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Old 04-08-2003, 05:22 AM
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Lightbulb GM HEI alternatives??

I am looking for an alternative to the GM HEI distributor for my SBC. Something not as large in diameter yet with the same performance features.

Any suggestions? Thanks for your time!

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Old 04-08-2003, 05:46 AM
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Try a Petronics conversion, They advertise in several of the Magazines.
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Old 04-09-2003, 05:08 AM
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A Pertronics conversion in a standar points distributor is about the only way I can think of to go, or use an MSD. The MSD still uses the points for triggering, but reduces the current through the points so they last longer, but still need adjusting. The Pertronix is under $100.

Part of the performance potential of the HEI is the big cap. At high rpm (5,000+) the spark can jump across terminals with high voltage, firing a cylinder ahead of time and causing poor performance. For street engines this isn't that big a deal -- how often do you run at 5,000 rpms? Race and dual purpose vehicles can run into the problem though. The bigger cap means more space between terminals, less chance of crossfire. Lots of racers run small distributors such as a Mallory or MSD Pro Billet with no problems, you shouldn't have one either.
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Old 04-09-2003, 12:48 PM
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I have used the DAVIS UNIFIED IGNITION (DUI) in their standard HEI configuration and was very happy with the performance increase. It had the high energy module and coil in the cap, so it was the same size as the GM HEI.
They now produce a small diameter body high energy ignition with the same high energy module mounted to the outside of the small diameter distributor body. It also uses a stand alone external coil. It's called the TRI POWER" ignition system.
You should check them out if you want the performance advantages of an HEI in a smaller package. <a href="http://www.performancedistributors.com/" target="_blank">http://www.performancedistributors.com/</a>

[ April 09, 2003: Message edited by: hotwheels55 ]</p>
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Old 04-09-2003, 05:57 PM
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I'm currently running a Mallory Unilite distributor in my Mustang. I originally bought a MSD Pro-Billet distributor from <a href="http://www.summitracing.com" target="_blank">www.summitracing.com</a> and was extremely dissapointed with it. Details are in these old posts...

<a href="http://www.hotrodders.com/cgibin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=19&t=001251" target="_blank">Quality Control????????? </a>

<a href="http://www.hotrodders.com/cgibin/ubb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=19&t=001490" target="_blank">Screw MSD</a>

I am completely satisfied with the Mallory distributor. It requires a ballast resistor and I installed a 'power filter' also to help prevent voltage spikes to the distributor as they are sensitive to this. No problems so far.

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Old 04-09-2003, 09:40 PM
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If you look around on different sites you can find a Pertronix unit for 59.95. Thats what I did and installed it. works pretty good so far. You need to use a ballast resistor with it also...... GlennK
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Old 04-10-2003, 07:08 AM
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How about an HEI with a remote mount coil? They are about equal in size to a points type distributor, and are a common fix for tight firewall applications. Check Jegs or Summit for several different mfgrs.
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Old 04-10-2003, 04:55 PM
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Talking

Thanks to everyone who responded to my query. I appreciate the time that you took to do this for me. It has been almost 50 years since I have built a hot rod, and a lot of things have changed in that length of time. So it is like learning all over again.

Think about this, time is your most valuable asset.

Thanks to all who answered. Sully
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