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Old 03-30-2011, 08:01 AM
GMR GMR is offline
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HEI conversion on '64 corvette

I recently bought a '64 corvette that will be a daily driver. Previous owner converted to coil in cap HEI but wired it through the ballast resistor so it was only getting 9v and he used the original GM 18ga wire from the ignition switch to power the HEI at RUN.

I am planning to use a 10ga wire to power the HEI and bypass the ballast resistor. Should I wire the 10ga directly from the ignition switch - it is either the original switch or at least an original style replacement type. I'm wondering if this will cause problems (burn up?) the original ign sw. I was thinking of using a 30amp relay with the 18ga wire from the ign sw triggering the relay and a 10ga wire from the relay to power the HEI.

If you recommend the relay, can you suggest a power source for the 10ga wire (battery, starter solenoid, horn relay, etc.) and will I need a fusible link, fuse, circuit breaker on this 10ga wire?

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Old 03-30-2011, 08:23 AM
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From key to HEI. No resistor. I think 10 ga is overkill.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:26 PM
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I changed out a points distributor to and HEI unit on my 64 Chevy truck, I just removed the resistor wire from the solenoid to the distributor and put in a 16 ga wire. HEI sees 12V and it's been in operation now for about 10 months with no problems.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:01 PM
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16 gauge is what I have from the ing sw on my HEI conversion. Mine had an issue burning up the ing module..... I seemed to have solved it by swapping the ext regulator to a new style alt with an internal regulator..... easy swap and an added benny..... no more dim lights while the heater is on!
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:41 PM
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10 gage is way overkill, 12 is overkill, 14 or 16 is perfect.

Vince
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Old 04-02-2011, 06:43 AM
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Thankyou all for your replies.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:08 AM
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The neatest installation is to remove the wiring at the firewall bulkhead and remove the resistor wire from the connector and solder in the 14g wire up to the HEI. If you don't want to completely remove the wire and the terminal that is inserted into the connector, you can cut it close to the connector on the engine side, and then splice in the non resistor wire up to the HEI. Use rosin core solder/flux and don't forget to put a piece of shrink wrap around the splice. Add a fuse inline that's weatherproof and easy to access. A relay isn't necessary.

Alternatively, you might have a usable terminal at the fuse box under the dash. Check for a unused "accessory" or "auxiliary" circuit that's fused 10A or so, that has power w/the key in the "ON" and "RUN" positions. Use a female spade terminal at the fuse box, soldered to the wire that you can route out through a convenient hole through the firewall then on to the HEI.

You can use crimped terminals provided they are high quality and installed correctly. But if there's any doubt, solder and shrink wrap all the connections, splices and terminals.

You no longer need the wire that used to run up to the coil from the starter solenoid, just the switched wire from the ignition switch.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:48 PM
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Cobalt327, just saw your response, thought the thread was dead. Thanks for the "how to", very helpful.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Check for a unused "accessory" or "auxiliary" circuit that's fused 10A or so, that has power w/the key in the "ON" and "RUN" positions.
Should read:

Check for a unused "accessory" or "auxiliary" circuit that's fused 10A or so, that has power w/the key in the "START" and "RUN" positions.

And you're quite welcome. I didn't see this thread the first time, I'm glad you stopped back in to acknowledge those who posted replies.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:47 PM
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External contactor block/coil

I decided to just install a coil/contactor on the right inside fender of my Vette. Only thing my ignition switch does is send voltage to the coil which activates the contactor allowing 13.8 volts (12 vdc) to be used. I run my electric fuel pump, Speed Liminator, and ingnition. Each one is fused inline. Had so many issues with old wiring which I replaced a lot of it, I just wanted to be safe plus it's so easy to trouble shoot if I had issues with voltages going to those areas supplied by the relay/contactor/coil. I have a normally opened monentary push button to turn the starter (not in site), ignition key does nothing but activate the contactor I installed and give juice to the starter solenoid. I used 14 gauge wire coming off the contactor feed the distributor (unilite module)... there's no amps hardly pulled so you don't have to over kill with wire size. Voltage does not cause heat build up in wires it is amp draw, this is in AC voltage as well as DC voltage... volts don't kill, amps do!

Ron - Maryland
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:38 AM
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Thanks Hulk21074.

I was thinking of using a relay because I was concerned about running the ignition through the 47 year old wiring harness, although I don't know if it is actually the total original harness. Problem is the harness is all taped up and there is some old looking tape and some newer looking tape, so I really don't know what's what. Don't really want to take everything out to check because all the gauges work.

I'd be interested to know if you have a C1 or C2 and did you add any fusible links at the horn relay/starter solenoid/etc and if so to which wires. Also, did you do anything to protect the ammeter (as it's referred to in the wiring diagrams) and the clock or any other accesory.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:25 PM
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I had the same issue with all the wires screwed up from previous owners..... I am the third owner of this car (1968 Corvette 427 CI). It was so bad that I actually had 2 wires catch on fire when I first bought and drove it. I thnk the guy wanted to unload the car because he had it so screwed up as far as electrical issues. It was so bad that he complained to me that he always had issues getting fuel to the carb using the electric fuel pump. Well, no wonder he had 9 volts going to the pump, God only knows where he got the wire from to do this. The amp gauage on the dash was BLOWN out... the reason why the wires caught on fire and the gauge was blown out was due to the voltage spiked up to 17 volts DC at times. I installed a digital voltmeter on the dash so I could monitor the voltage all the time (battery voltage). Sometimes the system would drop voltage almost to where the car would shut down then next thing I knew it went sky high!!! I checked wires on the voltage regulator, etc. Even changed the voltage regulator. The whole problem was a BAD ground for the voltage regulator... ground problems are always issues with Vettes due to a lot of Fiberglass. I made up a ground terminal block that goes right to the negative side of the battery. I use an external solenoid to control the fuel pump, speed liminator, and wire (red) going to the distributor module (photo eye pickup - Mallory). When I turn the key to on position, the coil activates on the contactor and then allows 13.8 volts to the areas mentioned above. Since I did that I have had no issues with anything so far plus it's much easier to trouble shoot. I did use inline fuses in each areas just for safety measures. Here lately though I have been having issues with the Mallory Unilite module so, my plans are to install an Accell Distributor with magnetic pick-up, coil inside distributor... ghee, for $154 bucks you can't beat it, looks just like MSD Dist.

Ron - Maryland
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulk21074
I had the same issue with all the wires screwed up from previous owners..... I am the third owner of this car (1968 Corvette 427 CI). It was so bad that I actually had 2 wires catch on fire when I first bought and drove it. I thnk the guy wanted to unload the car because he had it so screwed up as far as electrical issues. It was so bad that he complained to me that he always had issues getting fuel to the carb using the electric fuel pump. Well, no wonder he had 9 volts going to the pump, God only knows where he got the wire from to do this. The amp gauage on the dash was BLOWN out... the reason why the wires caught on fire and the gauge was blown out was due to the voltage spiked up to 17 volts DC at times. I installed a digital voltmeter on the dash so I could monitor the voltage all the time (battery voltage). Sometimes the system would drop voltage almost to where the car would shut down then next thing I knew it went sky high!!! I checked wires on the voltage regulator, etc. Even changed the voltage regulator. The whole problem was a BAD ground for the voltage regulator... ground problems are always issues with Vettes due to a lot of Fiberglass. I made up a ground terminal block that goes right to the negative side of the battery. I use an external solenoid to control the fuel pump, speed liminator, and wire (red) going to the distributor module (photo eye pickup - Mallory). When I turn the key to on position, the coil activates on the contactor and then allows 13.8 volts to the areas mentioned above. Since I did that I have had no issues with anything so far plus it's much easier to trouble shoot. I did use inline fuses in each areas just for safety measures. Here lately though I have been having issues with the Mallory Unilite module so, my plans are to install an Accell Distributor with magnetic pick-up, coil inside distributor... ghee, for $154 bucks you can't beat it, looks just like MSD Dist.

Ron - Maryland
PS I also plan on installing another alternator with a voltage regulator built in and do away with the external voltage regulator. Trying to make it as simple as I can. Yea I know, I'll catch HELL from all thos Corvette "Keep it original" dudes. I'm 59 years old and I don't really care about that, I want to enjoy the car, and I always liked tinkering with stuff like electronics. I like to keep it simple and easy to work on and trouble shoot. The way they build cars even today they make it soooo hard to work on and understand. The old classics are simple but could have been much more simple as far as layout and design.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:12 PM
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Thanks Hulk21074. Glad you got things straightened out. Good info.
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:00 AM
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Doc's diagram, it's how I did it.
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