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Old 03-10-2009, 09:21 PM
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Computer controlled HEI

Hey guys,my 86 GMC with a 4.3 V6 has a comp controlled HEI but nothing else.The 4bbl is the correct carb but no electrical connections.I looked under the dash and there is no port for trouble shooting.The HEI connector is a 4 pin weatherpac and when I disconnect it,it kills the engine.I would like to convert it over to a regular style HEI so that I can install my MSD ign. My Haynes manual isn't any help because it says I'm supposed to have all the computer stuff that I don't have.I don't know if there is something I can do to bypass the comp because it still has the heavy red positive wire going into it like a regular HEI.Any suggestions

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Old 03-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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I am going to move this to the engine section, you should get a better response there, this being a technical question for the more advanced members of our elite squad of engine gurus.
Good luck, Dan
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:51 AM
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Don't want to tell you how to mod your truck of course, but I've read that inductive style ignitions work better than CD ones like MSD. I'll try to find the link to the tuner forum that explains the superiority of ID ignition. I think Accl sales a replacement inductive module if you want to upgrade that.

I'm sure you can remove the electronic HEI and wire up a conventional one, but I don't really have the steps to give you to do that best. I would say you would need to get the connector and wiring harnes off of the non-electronic HEI and a wiring diagram and wire it up.

I think the stock HEI is quite good and electronic timing has advantages. Since you already have it, maybe you could get a setup that allows you to easily tune the advance curve on your electronic HEI? I'm not sure what's available but maybe somone else here knows. Just a suggestion.
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:58 AM
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I don't think there is much to converting it to a regular HEI. You may need something to generate a signal for your tach and an MSD magnetic pickup trigger. But thats about it if it's carb'd.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:03 AM
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I found this: http://www.davessmallbodyheis.com/

I have no knowledge of the company but it may steer you in the right direction.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:17 PM
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In 1986, the 49-state 4.3 liter motors used a knock sensor and Electronic Spark Control (ESC). That's why you have the computer controlled HEI. The ESC computer is a stand-alone unit and should be mounted somewhere above the glovebox.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser1
Don't want to tell you how to mod your truck of course, but I've read that inductive style ignitions work better than CD ones like MSD. I'll try to find the link to the tuner forum that explains the superiority of ID ignition. I think Accl sales a replacement inductive module if you want to upgrade that.

I'm sure you can remove the electronic HEI and wire up a conventional one, but I don't really have the steps to give you to do that best. I would say you would need to get the connector and wiring harnes off of the non-electronic HEI and a wiring diagram and wire it up.

I think the stock HEI is quite good and electronic timing has advantages. Since you already have it, maybe you could get a setup that allows you to easily tune the advance curve on your electronic HEI? I'm not sure what's available but maybe somone else here knows. Just a suggestion.
Thanks Cruiser.If you find that tuner link,I would like to check it out. I will prob leave it alone and check into the Accel module and fixing the advance
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSouthWon
I don't think there is much to converting it to a regular HEI. You may need something to generate a signal for your tach and an MSD magnetic pickup trigger. But thats about it if it's carb'd.
Thanks for the reply.I'm familiar with HEIs, but not this kind.It's prob going to be more trouble than it's worth to convert it Thanks again
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_padavano
In 1986, the 49-state 4.3 liter motors used a knock sensor and Electronic Spark Control (ESC). That's why you have the computer controlled HEI. The ESC computer is a stand-alone unit and should be mounted somewhere above the glovebox.
Thanks Joe.Now that you mention it,I did see a knock sensor on the drivers side while I was changing the engine mount.You guys have convinced me to work with what I've got and leave it attached.If it ain't broke,don't fix it
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:21 PM
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Since the computer doesn`t control anything else on the engine all you have to do is drop in the basic HEI and connect up the power and tach wires. We did this on a friend of mine`s 83 Silverado that came with the same system your using now. It don`t really have a computer, but it`s got a system to control spark advance. Since the factory controlled jobs were known to be tree hugging hippies as far as emissions went they weren`t very good for performance applications. When my friend bought the 83 it had already been rebuilt once before and a edelbrock performer intake and a edelbrock 600 carb sat in place of the stock pieces but the computer controlled HEI remained. When we installed a 350 later on we removed the CC HEI and dropped in a standard HEI without any problems at all.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:23 PM
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hi there,

yeah, what doublevision just said is the way to go


you can find a non-ECM HEI for the 90 degree v-6 chevy engines

get one for a pre-1980 3.8L, or 200ci
they are the same '90 degree chevy v-6 upper parts as the 4.3L,
intakes, distributors, etc


find them in cars such as the malibu etc




1979 was last year for non-ECM distribs and carbs

call your local parts store or check ebay, or junkyards.

partstrain.com has one for 3.8L chevy malibu 1979:
1978-1979 Chevrolet Malibu 22010E $69.61


i did this on an 84 impala 3.8L chevy i had,
i converted it from the crappy computer controlled carb and distrib over to pre-1980 non-cc by using a 2bbl from a 78 pontiac 301,
and a distrib for an old 3.8L malibu before 1980 that i bought from a local auto parts store.

easy.,

was a great strong running car i miss it, shoulda kept it.,., very reliable always after the conversion,. hmm.. kicking myself still... hmm..




msd is a waste of time and money you dont need msd, the stock coil is far more than adequate and hot spark. no need to hack wiring for an msd that you dont need.


good luck

Last edited by fast68; 03-19-2009 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:09 PM
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A 4.3 has the crank journals ground 30 degrees offset to have an "even fire" sequence of 120 degrees between hits.

The 200/229 V6's have a different crank throw phasing of 18 degree offset between throws. This makes for an engine with a firing sequence of 132 deg./108 degrees.

The distributor caps are the same, so the difference in the crank phasing is handled by the distributor's rotor/reluctor. The distributors are, therefore, different.

That being said, I once installed a 229 V6 in place of a 4.3 V6 using the 4.3's CCC computer controlled distributor and TBI. It seemed to work fine, I believe the knock sensor saved the engine from damage.

Ideally for an OEM distributor, you want the non computer/knock sensor HEI from a 1985-86 1/2 ton PU or similar type van. This was used on the VIN "H" 4 bbl engines during those years.

EDIT- 1980 was the last year for non computer controlled carburetion/ignition for the majority of Chevys, but all the way to at least 1986 the 4.3L V6 could be had w/non computer controlled carb and ignition. Look for VIN "H". They came on trucks and vans, mainly. Some taxi and police cars are said to be the same, although I cannot confirm this myself.

Last edited by cobalt327; 03-13-2009 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroyBoy
Thanks Cruiser.If you find that tuner link,I would like to check it out. I will prob leave it alone and check into the Accel module and fixing the advance
I found the link. The discussion of HEI vs. CD starts at the bottom and goes on to page two. Pay particular attention to what usernames "Tuner" and especially "Klatinn" say about the topic.


http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/f...harge+ignition

Last edited by cruiser1; 03-11-2009 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiser1
I found the link. The discussion of HEI vs. CD starts at the bottom and goes on to page two. Pay particular attention to what usernames "Tuner" and especially "Klatinn" say about the topic.


http://www.innovatemotorsports.com/f...harge+ignition
Thanks again
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
A 4.3 has the crank journals ground 30 degrees offset to have an "even fire" sequence of 120 degrees between hits.

The 200/229 V6's have a different crank throw phasing of 18 degree offset between throws. This makes for an engine with a firing sequence of 132 deg./108 degrees.

The distributor caps are the same, so the difference in the crank phasing is handled by the distributor's rotor/reluctor. The distributors are, therefore, different.

That being said, I once installed a 229 V6 in place of a 4.3 V6 using the 4.3's CCC computer controlled distributor and TBI. It seemed to work fine, I believe the knock sensor saved the engine from damage.

Ideally for an OEM distributor, you want the non computer/knock sensor HEI from a 1985-86 1/2 ton PU or similar type van. This was used on the VIN "H" 4 bbl engines during those years.
Thanks Cobalt.4.3s in those years are like hens teeth in this area But I will be on the the lookout.
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