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Old 02-21-2002, 11:16 PM
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Question Changing to a HEI distributor

OK, I have a 69 chevy with a 350 that I'm going to be rebuilding. The engine's going to be a bit hotter than stock, with a new cam and intake, along with head work.
I'm wondering what is involved in upgrading to a HEI over Points distributor, ( one with a coil in the Cap [a summit special]) I've herd that some mods have to be done to get proper voltage???
any help would be great

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Old 02-23-2002, 08:14 PM
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You must bypass the resistor (usually mounted on the firewall and white in color)that is connected between the coil (+) and the ignition sw. disconnect the resistor,find the wire that has 12volts when the key is on be sure it still has 12v when in start position. connect it to the battery (+) connection on the new dist. done.
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Old 02-25-2002, 10:32 PM
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I've always ran a wire from the fuse box, from the ignition post to the dist. Fired it up. I used the stock dist. though.
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Old 02-28-2002, 03:08 PM
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all right, I've checked all over and no ballast resistor is to be seen on the fire wall? My wiring diagram in my manual also shows now resistor, however, it states that the wire is a "resistance wire" and instead of a standard color abrv. it has "20W-OR/PPL TR", the wire insulator is a braded material, instead of the standard pvc plastic insulator.
???Is it possiable that they just use a small wire for the resistance, and no resistor???
Also I saw somewere that the reason for a second wire that runs from the starter up is when the Ing. is turnd to "crank" it provides full 12v to help start, but then after started it is run through a resistor so it does not burn up the points. ANY truth to this? this type of wire does not apper in the wiring diagrams of cars with HEI standard so Is it still needed???
If it is just a wire that is the resistor, Can't I just replace it with a bigger one and be done?
Thanks <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
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Old 02-28-2002, 03:47 PM
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Eliminate the resistor wire and run switched 12volts to the dist.. They did use a resistor wire in your system, and yes there was a separate wire from the starter used to bypass the resistor for starting.
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Old 08-27-2002, 01:00 AM
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Everything you said is correct. I am in the middle of fixing my wiring now. Eliminate or disconnect the starter to distributor wire. Run a large guage wire from the hei to a switched 12 volt source. I am using a 12, stock from a Buick, cause the distributor is at the front and the long wire will reach just about anywhere you want. Some suggest plugging into the ign terminal at the fuse box, but others say the switched fuse box terminal will not stand up to the constant voltage required. A local chevy mechanic says to splice it into a switched wire at the ign switch, under the column, soldering and wrapping. I tried to trace back my original resistence wire to the firewall junction box to pull it and just repin the Buick wire in. What a hassle. Could not get the pin out of the bulkhead connector, so I am planning on trying the fuse box, alternatively tapping the wire into the ignition switch if that does not work. In any case, I too, have the cloth wrapped silver resistence wire, problem was someone else rewired and installed the hei when I got my car, splicing the resistence wire inline to a red 18 guage wire which went to the hei. Funny thing, somehow this mickey mouse setup is feeding 12.5 volts to the hei in the run position, well over the 9.6 I have read about, and has run well from day one. Go figure. My system runs 13.7 volts (14 on my meter)in run, so I am seeing some resistence somewhere. Only thing I can guess is that somebody tapped another wire into the resistence wire somewhere, near the hei unit so it does not drop that low. Will post an update when the dust settles. It really can't be this hard...can it? lol
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Old 08-27-2002, 07:52 AM
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The easiest way to do this is as follows. Eliminate the wire from the starter to the distrubutor. Remove the fuse block on the firewall side. Trace the resistance wire from the old points coil to the block. Using needlenose pliers, you can squeeze the blade on attached to the resistance wire on the inside of the block and pull the wire and blade out. You can try to pry it open and remove the resistance wire, but I would recommend getting a new blade plug from the dealer. they are cheap! Anyway, replace the resistance wire with a 12 or 10 guage copper wire. Hook it up to the + on the new coil and your done!!! It's pretty simple. I did the same conversion in my 69 Firebird several months ago nad have had ZERO problems with it!
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