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Old 09-22-2005, 08:18 PM
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hard start when hot

I just changed my distributor from a HEI to a Mallory Unilite. My timing is set at 12 degrees at idle with vacume advance diusconnected. The darn thing will not crank when hot unless I set the timing down to 6 degrees. I ran the HEI at 12 and never had a problem. Anyone have a fix

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Old 09-23-2005, 07:42 AM
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Did you use a ballast resistor and did you add some headers at the same time? The module will burn out eventually without the ballast resisitor but will work intermittently until it burns out, as for the headers, they are famous for heating up the solenoids causing hard cranking.
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Old 09-23-2005, 03:32 PM
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It has a ballast resister and the headers have been there. I was wondering if heavier cables might help.
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Old 09-23-2005, 05:14 PM
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Heat Soak..

Doc here,

May be heat soak.If the advance is right as you indicated..

You can order a Heat shield from General Mystery for your starter ( or other after market suppliers ) and install that.

I would also get some heat wrap on the right header from about where the collector box is (should be starter height) to a foot or so back under the car..

You may have grounding issues too...

Your ground should be set up as such, The battery cable ground to any handy bolt at or near the starter, from there, get a battery cable that has 2 3/8 ring terminals on it ($6 bucks at wally mart or auto parts place) and ground that to the frame..From the engine block ground at the starter, run 2 #10 wires, the first to the firewall, and the second to the alternator ground lug or mount bolt...

USE proper Star washers, Sheet-metal screws / bolts and locks, and burnish ALL the paint and grease from the grounding areas..this will give you a rugged reliable grounding system that will most likely outlast the car...

Check your Power Cable too..should be 4 gauge or better, unless the battery is in the trunk, then I suggest 1/0 or 0/0 cables..

Are you sure you need the ballast resistor with the Mallory? Check your install instructions...I don't think you do..and it may hinder spark..double check to be sure.

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Last edited by docvette; 09-23-2005 at 05:18 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 09-24-2005, 07:19 AM
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I will check and redo some of the grounds. On the mallory. I have a unilite distributor, Msd 6A , stock type electronic coil and a ballast resistor. Mallory couldn't give a me an answer on whether I needed a resistor and neither would MSD. They basically said it wouldn't hurt. I know that my factory tach doesn't work most of the time , it just jumps every once in a while.
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Old 09-25-2005, 04:50 PM
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quote.... I JUST CHANGED THE DISTRIBUTOR.... >>>> QUOTE

Won't CRANK? Is that a remarkable coincidence? or ......

Doc might be right about that ballast. BUT..... If the trigger gets to the MSD, it will blast a hole in a rock. So if it is sparking, there is some other problem. IMO

That tach is troubling me. Disconnect it. Why would you continue to run a malfunctioning unit? That doesn't make sense to me. Did it malfunction before? If not, that is an indication of a problem, but is it the tach or the wiring hookup?

What kind of car, what factory tach?

How could a tach and a cranking problem be related? I don't know besides coincidental occurance. I think that I would reinstall the HEI and see if the problem goes away.

Could the timing thing be a malfunctioning timing light? Maybe the timing is faster than the indicated 12 degrees. If its a dial-back-light I wouldn't be suprised.

To be honest with you... I have only met ONE person who would even run an Unilite even if they gave it to them for free. Everybody hates them because of their failure rate. Personally I never ran one.
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:23 PM
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You got a leaky spark tube...
 
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Ive had a Unilite and 6AL on my engine for about three years now and the distributor still works fine. I even had a period of time when I burned up a twin electric fan and electric fuel pump because my external voltage regulator wasnt grounded. The only problem I have now is that I keep burning out rev limiter modules. They work for about a week then they quit. Im thinking it has something to do with the voltage problems I had been having (was getting 22v at the battery, ouch) Other than that the unilite has worked fine. The whole ignition setup was installed at the same time and high rpm performance was dramatically increased. It went from shifting at about 5700 to shifting at about 6300.
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:25 PM
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22 volts??????????????

Doc here,

The first issue you need to clear up is the 22 volt issue...This will damage every semi conductor device in the car....

My bet is that the Diode pack or shunt/bleeder went bad inside the Alternator and 1/2 of that 22 is DC the other half is AC..

If that's the case you can kiss every semi conductor device goodbye in the car..Linear Op amps won't tolerate any degree of AC on their source lines (internal voltage regulators) and will overheat and go into permanent thermal shut down....(Blow out...)This includes Computers, SS Ignitions, SS Senders, Digital clocks, CD/Radio players, and everything in the car SS .

Also if it is a solid 22 volts DC you can expect the battery to overcharge Bulge and gass and may explode if gassed and loaded up (Start/stop in a row..)

You should NEVER have more than 14.4 volts at the battery at idle..(I know some meters say 15 15.5 etc..this is calibration, or meter battery low issues not actual reads) and if you do...fix it right away!

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Old 09-25-2005, 08:43 PM
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You got a leaky spark tube...
 
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I fixed the problem a long time ago. I rewired the truck a few years back and decided that since it's a 4x4 maybe it would be a good idea make some kind of a rubber mount for the external regulator to isolate it from vibrations. (dont know if vibrations affect regulator operations but I did it anyway) When I did that I didnt properly ground it and it didnt function. A ground wire fixed the problem. Ive since switched over to a an internally regulated alternator with a 100 amp output instead of 63 amps because I had too much electrical load.

I am very lucky I didnt damage any other devices in it (except for the three pairs of headlights in a week before I caught the problem) My fuel pump went out because of it and when I pulled it apart I found that Im very lucky that it didnt burn the truck up ( had 15 amp fuse instead of a 7.5, pump draws 7)

At any rate... I was just referencing an experience I had and that, despite my electrical malfunction, the Unilite distributor continues to function as normal in the 2 1/2 years since I discovered the problem.
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Old 09-26-2005, 09:08 AM
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I just replaced the HEi with a unilite, because I just installed a tunnel ram and needed a smaller cap distributor to fit behind the manifold. The HEI won't fit. The truck is an S10 and it has a built in tach. You say no one would use a unilite, Accel is basically the same, so whats left, MSD and a few lesser brands. I did disconnect the MSD tach lead. My timing is right on , I checked with 2 different lights neither are dial backs. I ordered some heavier cable and will redo the grounds. I believe this is the problem since I have a slight hesitation at first crank when cold. As far as the ballast goes, I still don't have a firm answer whether to use it or not, but at a $100 for a module, I think it safer to leave on for now till I know for sure
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