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Old 11-15-2004, 03:35 PM
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Accel HEI; no #2, some weak, some strong

After a nice coulple days enjoying my RPM Air-Gap and new 3310 Holley install on my 360 SBC I was greeted with a nasty ignition problem on my rather new (well 5 months) Accel HEI distrib and wires...

I used a timing light to "check" my ignition pulses by flashing it on the front of the the car (each wire, rough idling).

Cylinders #1 and #8 (sequential in SBC order) are really strong with only minor misses at any RPM.

#2 is dead at any RPM.

Others miss quite a bit and flash the timing light a tad more with RPM. Basically my 6000rpm motor has trouble making 3500 on <7 cylinders...

Compression test and plugs are good. New cap, rotor, wires, and post for the rotor to contact.

I suspect Pickup or Module and not the Supercoil. But I have a GM stock module and it "won't fit" the Accel HEI unit. Seems Accel wants my money.

This problem is repeatable (hot, cold, all the time present) and the car can still beat most on the road, so I kinda dismiss the module and focus on the Pickup. Correct move? I've seen people measure Pickups, get good readings, and they are still bad.

If I am right, does Accel sell just the Pickup or can I use a GM one (don't have any lying around and my memory fails me)?

EDIT - well since the GM module doesn't fit Accel's pickup wires, I assume it is special, or at least a stocker would need a correct re-wire. Would like to use stock parts. If I had known this, I would have re-built a junkyard HEI...

On Summit's website, I get the following for ACC-9107 (my HEI unit):

Blueprinted for accurate timing and reliable performance.

Chevrolet: 262-454, non-computer controlled, HEI, vacuum advance, Blueprint distributor

Built from stock distributor cores that have been thoroughly diassembled, cleaned, degreased, and inspected to stringent quality control specifications. The breakerless electronic models feature new Accel magnetic pickups, Accel performance control module (GM HEI), and OEM-style wire harness.

I must have a strange GM module. I think I asked for a '79 GM pickup,

Am I not noticing the correct harness? I thought typical pickup to module harness had one small plug and one large so you wouldn't mess up the negative trigger input to the module.

BTW, you have to dismantle the distrib and it's cam gear to get the pickup out from it's 2 bolts right?

Thanks in Advance


Last edited by 360Camaro; 11-16-2004 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:24 PM
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The more research I do, the more the problem points to the Pickup/Pole piece; i,e.: the distrib has to be dismantled and I need Accel parts or convert completely to GM which dies around 5000 RPMs (which I guess I could live with, I just miss driving the car)...

Never had trouble with Accel distribs in the past. This one seems to be a turkey; ironically it fails at the same time my old 600CFM holley flooded; seems no relation, just bad luck. Never had a dual failure before.

Seem rebuilding what I have with GM parts is cheapest... though I hear many (especially trucks) are blowing the HEI pickups; seems the very fine copper in them gives up.

Even if I use a stock HEI distrib with an MSD 6 (I could avoid module failures at least); I'd still need a triggering device (the dang pickup).

Any ideas on where/how to get/buy a "bulletproof" pickup/reluctor assembly??

Built this car for speed and reliability; don't race it much...

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Old 11-18-2004, 06:17 AM
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Rebuilt the Accel distrib with generic parts (all of them; cap, pickup, module). Every ignition part is new except coil and plugs.

Car ran fine for 5 minutes (I used good white CPU heat paste on the module, not the clear Silicone di-electric grease it came with), thought I had it licked, threw it in gear and she stumbled bad; went to adjust carb to richen the mixture so I could test drive.

The test drive was terrible; just like the problem before; she's not on all 8 at all (well, was for 5 min).

These Accel shorty plugs look good. Should I replace the plugs or the coil or both?

This is a DOUBLE failure; i.e., the ignition system went south right as I forced the car to run home with a rear flooding Holley carb (to avoid a tow). Brand new carb, but ignition is really messed now; can these be related??
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