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Old 08-20-2011, 07:34 AM
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Converting A 1971 Monte Carlo 350 From Points To HEI

My Son and I are at the last stage of rebuilding his '71 Monte Carlo's 350 from the block up. It's been a long rode with both of us working long hours at work.
The engine had the original Points Distributor, so Dad bought a Summit HEI Distributor.
I know I have to run a new 10 Amp Fused 12ga. wire from the ignition switch to the HEI Bat Terminal to replace the original resistor wire that was for the old points.

The question is, should I replace the Ignition Switch? It is probably original. I'm concerned that the old contacts won't handle the new amp draw of the HEI.
Also, can I splice my new 12ga. wire to the original Distributor wire where the wire comes out of the steering column under the dash? The wiring diagrams show the resistor wire section to be on the engine side of the firewall.

Anything else I should be doing to insure this conversion is done the best way possible?

Thanks for any helpful replies.
JogasZ28

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Old 08-20-2011, 07:48 AM
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when you are upgrading your ignition it is always wise to replace it all. especially that old. better safe than sorry. so yes, new ignition switch. good luck!
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:06 AM
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What I did to my 70 Chevelle SS I left the original wire alone and ran a new wire from the coil to the fuse box. It should have an extra spot marked "ign" that you can plug in to. The SS has been running like that for about 28 years now. Dont know if that's the correct way but it works fine.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70chevelless
What I did to my 70 Chevelle SS I left the original wire alone and ran a new wire from the coil to the fuse box. It should have an extra spot marked "ign" that you can plug in to. The SS has been running like that for about 28 years now. Dont know if that's the correct way but it works fine.
Cool.
I'll look for that Fuse Terminal on the Monty.
Thanks.
JogasZ28
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:10 AM
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I still use the original ign switch
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:17 AM
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What I did to my 70 Chevelle SS I left the original wire alone and ran a new wire from the coil to the fuse box. It should have an extra spot marked "ign" that you can plug in to. The SS has been running like that for about 28 years now. Dont know if that's the correct way but it works fine.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:03 PM
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As I'm going over the Factory Manual Wiring Diagram (fun...fun), I see that the resistor wire to the old points ignition + coil terminal also had a yellow wire going to the starter solenoid. I have confirmed this yellow wire does exist.
As this was originally a reduced voltage, if I put 12 volts thru this yellow wire to the starter solenoid terminal, will I damage the starter solenoid?
BTW, we are planning on replacing the starter.
Thanks for any helpful replies
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:42 AM
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I don't think so I'm not using it just the purple one.
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Old 08-28-2011, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70chevelless
I don't think so I'm not using it just the purple one.
I talked to Marl Hamilton at:

http://www.madelectrical.com/

He told me I as I'm installing an HEI Distributor, I only needed to
insure that I had a full 12 volts at the starter solenoid. I no longer
needed the resistance wire terminal.
Did I understand him correctly?
I'll tell you, Mark is really passionate about alternators and engine
charging systems wiring.
jogasz28
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:37 AM
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Hello--

I recently did very much the same thing you're trying to do. Mark Hamilton's a great guy, isn't he? He and the late DocVette have taught me a lot. Anyway, here's the upshot of their recommendations:

Use the original resistance wire to trigger a relay, which you mount on the firewall near the HEI. The relay will switch battery current straight from the battery, to your HEI.

The yellow wire coming from the starter will no longer be needed. You can tape it off or remove it. All it did was provide a full 12 volts to the coil when the starter was being engaged and the ignition system needed full voltage. In Run, that wire goes dead, and the coil gets reduced voltage via the resistance wire, since full voltage would stress the ignition system.

With the relay, you'll now have full voltage at all times to the HEI without losing voltage through the dash harness, ignition switch, etc. And your ignition switch is better off than it was before, only having to handle the tiny relay-switching current instead of powering the points distributor. It's win-win!

(Incidentally, Mark also recommends relays for the headlights, and also the starter solenoid. You get full current to the devices without stressing dash components. Also much safer.)

Last edited by 70Caprician; 08-28-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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