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Old 02-11-2010, 12:15 PM
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Ignition Conversion

My name is Rob Fisher and I own a 1964 GMC pickup with a late model Chevy 350 crate motor. It currently has a points style distributor and I am looking to convert it to electronic ignition. I have read a number of posts and it sounds like builders are not a big fans of the conversion kits that are available, like the Crane XR-1 or Pertronix. Can anyone help by recommending how I should do the conversion to electronic, which distributor, coil, etc...
The engine is a stock 350 crate engine and I am looking for a reliable engine that down the road will under go some mild modifications, nothing to radical.
Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks
Rob Fisher

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Old 02-11-2010, 12:40 PM
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For a stock 350, I don't see a problem with the conversion kits plus you have a smaller stock appearing distributor. The other choice is to find a mid to late 70s HEI dist as they still have vac adv and single wire hookup. Aftermarket coil and 8mm wires and your in business.

Good luck,
Robert
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Fisher
My name is Rob Fisher and I own a 1964 GMC pickup with a late model Chevy 350 crate motor. It currently has a points style distributor and I am looking to convert it to electronic ignition. I have read a number of posts and it sounds like builders are not a big fans of the conversion kits that are available, like the Crane XR-1 or Pertronix. Can anyone help by recommending how I should do the conversion to electronic, which distributor, coil, etc...
The engine is a stock 350 crate engine and I am looking for a reliable engine that down the road will under go some mild modifications, nothing to radical.
Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks
Rob Fisher
If you have the firewall room a Stock HEI is a great choice. They are available everywhere new and used, one wire hookup and are pretty dependable. The only thing you will most likely have to do is change the feed wire. Most vehicles that old with points used a resistance wire to lower the running voltage to 9 volts or so. The HEI wants full battery voltage You can just run a new wire right from the ignition switch to the HEI and you are good to go.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:22 PM
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Have used both the Crane XR-1 and the Pertronix Ignitor kits, on both stock and modified vehicles and had not a problem with either one. Used the Crane twice on modified engines to get the rev limiter feature, used the Pertronix 5-6 times on stock and modified engines just to get rid of the points. All worked flawlessly, but if the distributor bushings, pins, and wear surfaces are shot a new distributor would be a good starting point. You might consider a new points remanufactured distributor and then add the conversion if you have to stay small cap and your current distributor is trash.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:42 PM
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Ignition conversion

Thanks very much for the quick reply gentlemen.
If you had to choose between one or the other which would it be HEI or conversion. Is there any advantage to going with an aftermarket system.
Look forward to your reply.
Thanks
Rob
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:40 PM
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You distributor is old and is probably worn. A drop in replacement is probably a better solution. If you want to stick with a small cap, bot MSD and Accel make decent units for a reasonable price
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:58 PM
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AFA points vs. HEI, if you have room for it, the HEI has a better design for the higher voltage.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:39 AM
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Points to HEI Conversion

Points to HEI:
http://rmcavoy.freeshell.org/HEI.html This one has Wiring Diagram/Pics.
http://www.oldengine.org/unfaq/hei.htm
You can get New HiPer HEI distributors on Ebay for under $50.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:44 AM
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The problem I've seen on some of the Ebay distributors is that it's pretty difficult to change the advance curve on some of them. If he goes that route, he might wanna make sure the one he gets doesn't require complete dis-assembly and re-engineering to change the advance curve,
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:48 AM
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Ignition conversion

Thank you very much for the very detailed information.
I will start the hunt for a good used distributor.
I will keep you posted as to how successful I am.
Thanks again
Rob Fisher
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:27 AM
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save yourself time money and problems and just use a stock 1975-early '80's HEI dizzy

one wire BATT connect to any 12v ign source on the fuse panel, and it will be done.. easy as cake..


very simple and more than adequate secondary coltage

do away with/ignore all the original small wires to the points dizzy and eliminate the one from the R terminal on the starter solenoid, to the coil

no longer needed also.

i just snip the end off at the R terminal or yank break it off,



can buy a good v-8 chevy HEI for around 20 bucks maybe 30 tops.

dirt common..
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