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Old 02-01-2012, 10:15 PM
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General HEI concerns/questions....:

NOTE: i don't know jack about distributors so please be patient and very detailed.

1) In taking it all apart i noticed that there was some oilish substance underneath where the module is mounted. Is this ok?

2) Is there supposed to be a felt washer where "a" is?



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Old 02-01-2012, 10:36 PM
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Called a Seal here >> http://www.chicagocorvette.net/image...utor-78-82.gif
Felt Washer on this Points dizzy >> http://www.chevytech.info/3c1o2.html
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:42 AM
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yes you need dielectric grease under the module without it the module will burn up from over heating,, it uses the hei housing as a big heat sink
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:10 AM
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1) Ok, so mine did not have the felt washer OR it disolved; i should point out that this is out of an 83 1/2 pickup and as far as i know was never rebuilt---so that's 29 yrs. This distributor seemed to run ok before i pulled it. Comments?

2) So is dielectric grease supposed to look like that----spilled coke with oilish texture?
a) P.S., i read it should be heat sink vs. dielectric grease?

Last edited by against all odds; 02-02-2012 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by against all odds
NOTE: i don't know jack about distributors so please be patient and very detailed.

1) In taking it all apart i noticed that there was some oilish substance underneath where the module is mounted. Is this ok?

2) Is there supposed to be a felt washer where "a" is?


Where "a" is, may or may not have a felt. There will be a plastic cover over a grease reservoir on the later style HEI. The shallow style (earlier type) you have would have had a felt, the plastic cover used a deeper pocket. The reservoir has feed holes to the shaft. These need to be cleaned out- they'll be clogged w/hardened grease in many cases.

Go to Radio Shack and ask for 'heat sink compound'. Don't use dielectric grease.

Last edited by cobalt327; 02-02-2012 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Clarification.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Go to Radio Shack and ask for 'heat sink compound'. Don't use dielectric grease.
why, thats what g.m. used and what comes with a g.m. module
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by against all odds
1) Ok, so mine did not have the felt washer OR it disolved; i should point out that this is out of an 83 1/2 pickup and as far as i know was never rebuilt---so that's 29 yrs. This distributor seemed to run ok before i pulled it. Comments?

2) So is dielectric grease supposed to look like that----spilled coke with oilish texture?
a) P.S., i read it should be heat sink vs. dielectric grease?
There's every possibility that in the CCC- and beyond years the plastic cover was discontinued. I wouldn't sweat it either way. Just clean and refill w/a grease like non melting/wheel bearing grease and call it good.

The original heat sink compound GM used was white and did not have any residue that looked like yours does.

I could care less what's supplied- it might look like dielectric and be heat sink for all I know, but I know what should be used- and that's heat sink compound and not dielectric grease. One type is Arctic Silver 5 Polysynthetic Thermal Paste.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:28 AM
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I guess g.m. the maker of the hei is stupid then..
peace. I'm out
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stich626
I guess g.m. the maker of the hei is stupid then..
peace. I'm out
just because GM, did or didnt use something, doesnt mean there isn't something better
do you drive perfectly restored or bone stock cars?
because thats how GM built/sold them
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:40 AM
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Every original GM HEI I've ever seen has had a white heat sink compound under the module. If that was changed sometime after the HEI went to computer control to something besides a heat sink compound I am unaware of it- regardless of what it looks like.

More HERE.

Last edited by cobalt327; 02-02-2012 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Add link.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:43 PM
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I think it should be made clear here that there are two topics in this thread that seems like they got mixed up, up there,

first inside the well ( A in the pic ) in the center shaft goes lubricating grease, maybe covered with a plastic cap or a felt, it lubricates the distribuitor shaft.

under the ignition module goes the white heat sink compound that transfers the module's heat to the distribuitor body to cool the module down. It must be there or the module will burn.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:16 PM
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Augusto is right along with most of the others. Heat sink grease, not dielectric. I used to argue this same thing when I was young and dumb. Now I'm 46 which means I'm just older and less dumb,lol
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:14 PM
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Back with more practical questions; i need to get my head out of the clouds.

Anyways, i will continue to research the heat sink thing.


Anyways conerning the grease at "a:" So this grease is (apparently) good for 10-20-30 or more years without repacking? How? You know ball joints for a long time had to be regreased every 10,000 miles or so. But in a distributor, the shaft is moving at anytime the engine is running. i would like to remind that the distributor pictured was taken from an 83 1/2 ton pickup and this distributor as far as i know has never been rebuilt.

Also, how is the area at the bottom---at and near the distributor gear lubed---not the gear itself, but the area/bearing near the base?

These two questions probably conclude my investigation concerning the motion/movement of the body of the distributor----i was just kinda wondering what to look for if i want to rebuild one of these? Yes, i understand that there are many other moving parts---the weights, vacuum advance etc., but i consider the rotating part to be the primary motion/movement of the distributor.

i guess what i'm really trying to ask is if there is grease in the resevoir and the bottom part is getting oil---it should if the engine has oil/oil pressure AND it doesn't bind when you turn it, then i'm good?

Last edited by against all odds; 03-25-2012 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:01 PM
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The bottom bushing gets splashed w/oil, that's sufficient to keep it lubed. There are mods some guys will do to provide more lube to the bottom, it involves drilling the housing. I do not do this, I only mention it in passing however you can research it if you'd like.

The grease isn't necessarily good for any particular length of time. It was sufficient to last as long as most vehicles/engines did in that era and that's about it.

By now, the grease is very likely far too stiff/dried out to pass through the relatively small orifices that are drilled into the top bushing and should be removed/replaced w/fresh lube.

My advise is to dismantle it completely, inspect and clean, then reassemble it. Use a grease in the top reservoir like white lithium or Lubriplate. And fill the groove in the shaft (seen when the HEI is disassembled). If you use a non melting type grease like wheel bearing or chassis grease, it's not going to flow down into the shaft/bushing as easily as a "softer" grease.

Page on the HEI.
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