Points to HEI - what do I need? - Impala Tech
General Tech For best results use forums below.

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 901
 
Points to HEI - what do I need?

I would like to upgrade my points to HEI on my 1970 350 with 2bbl Rochester carb. What do I need to make the swap? Is there a kit that I could buy from Summit or Jegs that will make the swap easier? I am noob when it comes to ignition, timing and related things so I would need either "plug and play" setup or detailed instructions on how to do it

Thanks.
drabina is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 03:47 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 234
 
You just need an HEI distributor with in cap coil. You just put it in place of your points style, run power to the coil and voila, HEI. Of course you need to adjust timing and make sure everything is working correctly, hook up the vacuum advance and what not. You can get a brand new HEI through summit for like $150 I think. I am running HEI on my 2bbl 307 right now.
RamAirZ is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 901
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RamAirZ View Post
You just need an HEI distributor with in cap coil.
What do I do with the existing external coil? Do I need to keep it or I can remove it?

Do you have the model number of your HEI so I can look it up on Summit's website?

Thanks.
drabina is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 03:58 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 234
 
You can ditch the external coil. The new HEI will just need a power wire ran to the BAT terminal, it should have one that says BAT and one for TACH. Here's a link for ya:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-850001R/

It's only 89.95 too!
RamAirZ is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 901
 
Thanks for the link RamAirZ. Where did you get the 12V power from? Does it need fuse? If yes, what rating?
drabina is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:21 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,458
 
Petrox and others sell conversion kits to those who want to keep the old distributor for their museum piece. I recommend a new distributors as the main shaft is supported by two brass bushings that have worn down quite a bit in the past few decades. The new billet distributors use ball bearings to support the centerless ground chromemoly shaft. Be careful which you buy as there are self contained HEI and just crank trigger distributors that require an ignition box to run. You need not buy a large cap HEI with a coil in he cap, as they sell small cap (same size as your current points distributor) which reuses your external coil.

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 04:29 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 234
 
For the price (as long as you don't have any space limitations which he should not), why not go large cap? Unless you want to keep original look, the large cap is cheaper and you get a better coil with it rather than reusing your stock piece (unless you have upgraded already). I ran one of those Pertronix Flame thrower points conversion kits on my 69' Pontiac with the 250 OHC straight 6, ran real good but I agree with going with an all new distributor. The small cap one through summit is $170, but its a billet unit.
RamAirZ is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Near Chicago
Posts: 703
 
Nobody mentioned the resistor wire. You have to run a new wire from the key to the distributor since the old + wire off the coil only outputs @ 9 volts for the points. Will not work with the HEI distrib.
1968 Caprice 396 is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 05:21 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,458
 
It is usually mentioned in the instruction sheet (in bold print) with a box around it and repeated two or more times. And a 12 inch piece of copper wire isn't that expensive (not nearly as expensive as the two 50 cent soldieries crimp on connectors he will need).

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 234
 
Good point, that's what i meant by run power to the coil, but didn't type it out lol. It's a fairly easy swap, especially for the benefits.
RamAirZ is offline  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 901
 
Thank you guys for all the info. You are great.

So what's the difference between HEI, billet type and distributor that needs the box (like MSD) to run? I just browsed Summit's catalog and while I do need to get anything fancier than RamAirZ suggested, I am curious why the other ones cost $200+.
drabina is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 10:47 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Near Chicago
Posts: 703
 
The billet MSD distributors (like the one I run in my blown Camaro) are precision built and have an adjustable collar to set the position/gear lash of the distributor. Couple this with a cam button to control cam walk and you have more accurate spark timing. They can use a standard GM cap and rotor so you can run anything from a cheapy cap (in a pinch) to a more durable Accel or MSD cap.

MSD is 'mulitple spark discharge' which gives you a big fat spark; good for efficient fuel burn. Most any engine can benefit from an MSD unit but most supercharged or turbo charged engines should run one.

HEI is 'high energy ignition'. It eliminated points, put the coil in a convenient, efficient spot in the cap and steps up the voltage from the old 25,000 volts to @ 45,000. It also has a harness on top to secure the plug wires. The 2nd gen HEI units were smaller since they didn't include the coil in the top.

Once manufacturers started making affordable (and reliable) crank triggered CDI ignitions distributors went bye-bye. Couple this with SFI (sequential fuel injection) and a computer driven closed loop ECM and you've got the means for a very efficient combustion process. The Buick V6 turbo's of the late 80's were one of the first production engines to offer CDI ignition.
1968 Caprice 396 is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 11:26 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 34
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1968 Caprice 396 View Post
Nobody mentioned the resistor wire. You have to run a new wire from the key to the distributor since the old + wire off the coil only outputs @ 9 volts for the points. Will not work with the HEI distrib.
yes, you need to replace the original resistor wire, it runs from the firewall/fuse box connector to the coil +, open up the harness and replace it with 10-12 guage wire and you can also eliminate the other end that runs to the starter solenoid.
69belair is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 01:16 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,458
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drabina View Post
Thank you guys for all the info. You are great.

So what's the difference between HEI, billet type and distributor that needs the box (like MSD) to run? I just browsed Summit's catalog and while I do need to get anything fancier than RamAirZ suggested, I am curious why the other ones cost $200+.
You can not use an HEI with a capacitive discharge box (like the MSD 6, MSD 7 or MSD 10) because it is already making power to fire the coil. If you have an HEI unit you take out the module out and use the two wires inside to trigger the CD box. If you do not you will fry the CD box. So MSD sells a complete HEI for no CD box use or a magnetic triggered billet distributor that requires a CD box to fire the car.

HEI is induction powered and the MSD boxes all use capacitors inside along with amplification circuitry to fire your coil using Capacitance.

Big Dave
Big Dave is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-23-2009, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern Hemisphere
Posts: 901
 
Sorry guys. Forgot to thank you for all the valuable information.

I have decided to go with the HEI distributor from Summit that has built in coil. I will run the new 12V wire myself and have my mechanic drop the distributor and adjust timing, etc.
drabina is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Impala Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome