HEI old school distributor

Electrical and Ignition

  1. I8NEMO

    I8NEMO FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Im looking for recommendations on a distributor for my 340. Are there any HEI units that mimic stock? Also I'll be firing this motor soon, car is a shell save motor and running gear, no wiring harness or dash in car. I'll have a mechanical oil pressure gauge and temp gauge rigged, what are my electrical dos and don'ts without using the wiring harness? Ive spun new motor oil pumps with a drill in the past, what are some break in rpms and run times ? Guess I should rig a tach for sure yes?

    Thanks
     
  2. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    The way to do that is to use a Mopar breakerless dist as used in the early 70's and later, and use it to fire an HEI module. You can use the stock coil or not, and eliminate the ballast resistor. There are hundreds of posts on this subject, a few guys have even gutted a Mopar box and installed a GM module inside

    Search:

    67dart273, hei - Google Search

    A nice diagram done by a member here for a 4 pin. Pay attention to the pickup coil wiring polarity. You must break/ file a locator "tit" off the bottom of the module, mount it "flat" on an aluminum heat sink, and make sure the mounting holes are GROUNDED

    4pin-jpg.jpg
     
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    • 67Dart273

      67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      • Dana67Dart

        Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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        Pardon my ignorance but what makes the GM ignition module so desirable
         
      • mopowers

        mopowers Well-Known Member

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        Cheap, reliable, small (easy to conceal), easy to get. There's probably more, but that's why I went that route.
         
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        • 33IMP

          33IMP Well-Known Member

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          .....and the fact that the chinese copys of the mopar module that you get from parts stores are counterfeit pieces of crap.
           
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          • 67Dart273

            67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            As above, "for now" and likely because they are more popular, are better QC than the Mopar copies. Also they don't draw current if the key is on/ engine stopped. Also if a proper coil is used they make more spark. Actually they make more spark even if used on a stock Mopar coil LOL
             
          • I8NEMO

            I8NEMO FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          • DrEamer

            DrEamer I suffer from cars on the brain!

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            This may not be what you are looking for, but Davis Unified Ignition sells a Mopar unit that looks mostly stock. I ran one of their other style units on a Ford back in the day, and it was great . The plus is you give them your engine specs, and dial the curve in for you. They however are not cheap.

            https://performancedistributors.com/product/dodge-tri-power-distributors/
             
          • I8NEMO

            I8NEMO FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            Thanks! I was just reading about this very set up, I like the old school look for sure. DUIs larger unit looks pretty simple with only one wire connection but pretty sure it will not fit due to firewall proximity.
             
          • BillGrissom

            BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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            The GM 8-pin module shown in post 3 is best (1985-95 trucks). Also grab the GM coil and the wire which connects the 2 and the 2-pin connector w/ wire to the GM pickup. Cut the GM red (+12 V) and white (tach) wires as long as you can. It is better because the connectors are weather-sealed and the cable takes care of the coil wiring. Some engine controllers can also control the spark timing of it (ex. Holley Commander 950 & later).

            The Mopar distributor pickup will trigger the HEI, but you need the polarity correct. I have the colors documented somewhere, but regardless you need to verify w/ a timing light. Connect the coil output thru a spark plug (or simulator, or just a gap). With distributor cap off, spin the distributor by hand or crank over the engine (won't fire) and verify that when the timing lamp flashes, the pickup fingers are aligned. If not, switch the pickup polarity.
             
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            • 318willrun

              318willrun Utube channel 318willrun

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              Quick question: Does the coil last taking the full 12-14 volts consistently?
               
            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              I think they were designed for full voltage. GM HEI didn't use a ballast resistor. Another good reason why the GM modules are good. 12v. baby!
               
            • 318willrun

              318willrun Utube channel 318willrun

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              so then the stock mopar coil shouldn't be used?
               
            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              Good question. What does everybody use?
               
            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              I used a stock coil with a 4 pin HEI mostly as an experiment. It has held up, and gives a hotter spark than stock. I did the same deal with a (follow this!!!) old Cletrac crawler swapped Toyota 20R with stock Toy breakerless distro, GM module, and stock coil. No idea where it is now, I sold it

              ......and I forgot........Massey Fergesun sheet metal LOL

              _mg_6370cs-jpg.jpg
               
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              • BillGrissom

                BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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                An e-core coil is better than the stock coil, though I can't say exactly why. The stock coil could spark internally or perhaps it has different inductance to give a lower energy spark. The reason the 8-pin HEI module is better is that you can easily pair it with the GM coil, using their factory cable. If for some reason, you want to stay Mopar, you could use the e-core coil from a Magnum engine, but would have to fab your own cable (junkyard to get the mating connector too). It is mounted on the front bracket in Magnum engines.
                 
              • abodyjoe

                abodyjoe Well-Known Member

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                Mopar HEI Conversion
                 
              • RustyRatRod

                RustyRatRod Bla de blizhibliz de blatde blizi bla bla FABO Gold Member

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                Why not use the stock Mopar electronic ignition?
                 
              • abodyjoe

                abodyjoe Well-Known Member

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                use a coil designed for a full 12V. no need for a ballast then .. :)
                 
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