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Old 03-25-2007, 02:22 PM
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more HEI trouble

It's been a while, but my HEI troubles have resurfaced. The mechanical advance gumming up keeps haunting me. I found out that mineral oil is a big "no" in the HEI, as the high voltage eventually degrades the oil and causes it to turn to sludge. GM used a silicone lubricant in the mechanical advance when new. On this distributor, I'm finding engine oil is leaking up the shaft and gumming the advance.

My question: is the upper bushing the only seal against engine oil? I know there's a felt washer to lubricate the upper bushing, but that won't seal anything. Is it just time to replace this entire HEI with a lower mileage one?

Thanks,
-Michael

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Old 03-25-2007, 02:54 PM
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Doc here,

If your getting oil invasion inside the Dizzy, It's probably past runout..I'd replace it , If it's not a problem now..It soon will be.



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Old 03-26-2007, 10:57 AM
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Thanks! Yeah, I guess it's time to just replace it.

Do you have a larger picture of that HEI blowup?
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:01 PM
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Doc here,

No sorry, it only gets pixelized when I do..(bad scanner)

BUT it is in your standard Haynes Manual for your car..If you have one, if not, try the library reference room for a copy..they should have one or get one at auto Zombie for like $21..

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Old 03-26-2007, 07:17 PM
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Haynes manual or a small block chevy rebuild book will have diagrams.

This a ignition specific book though.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku
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Old 03-27-2007, 02:24 PM
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Thanks, I'll look for the Haynes. I have the GM manual for my car, along with a couple Chiltons, neither has a decent blowup of the HEI.

On the topic... does anyone know what lubricant to use on the mechanical advance? (Under the reluctor wheel, where it has that groove cut in the shaft to hold some kind of grease). I was told it was a silicone product, but I found that clear silicone spray turns to glue the same as motor oil does. I have tried just about everything, including using no lubrication--which had no lasting results.

My latest attempt was to use a very slight amount of silicone dielectric grease. Will have to see if that lasts.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:26 PM
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As I recall isn't there a small rubber o-ring at the top of the shaft? I'm guessing this would act as a seal to stop any lube from creeping back up and in. It SHOULD be pretty dry in the dist. And you SHOULD NOT use any lube on the advance weights ...except ALITTLE graphite. These weights ride on little bushings that are plastic or bronze. Adding any extra lube is inviting thing to get gummed up. I'd check to see if you have the rubber o-ring and clean up the weights so they are pretty much dry ...maybe abit of graphite dust. But that's it! Good Luck!
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:02 PM
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If you decide to buy a new one, you might be interested in this one. Procomp on eBay for 50 bucks

Yes, I know it's an MSD knockoff, yes, I know it's NOT an MSD, but I have one in my truck and it's working great. My son has one in his truck now and it's doing fine too. For those of us that don't have the bucks for the expensive stuff, these seem to be doing very well. Lots of guys on the board here have bought from this seller and been very happy.

Mark
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:36 PM
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Doc here,

I have had trouble with Graphite..

It's conductive, and at as much as 5500 rpm at 40 KV, can spray all over the inside of the cap, making Carbon Trails to Crossfire..

If you MUST use anything at all, use the smallest amount of module heat sink compound you can..(just dip the shaft inside the tube filler, no more.)

The best cure is pull the parts, media blast them, and install new nylon bushings on reassembly, leave it dry.

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Old 03-27-2007, 05:39 PM
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Echo:

There is no oring seal--just a bronze bushing at the top of the shaft. It's lubricated by a felt washer soaked in the special HEI oil. No graphite can be used in a distributor, that I know of.

The advance weights have never been a problem. It's the reluctor core that is sticking. This is the piece that slips over the dist shaft core. There is a groove cut in the shaft that held whatever lubricant GM used.

Mark:

Thanks for the link. I think a new dist may be the best bet for this driver. I would buy a new GM dist, but they've discontinued the part for this car.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:29 PM
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I've used Break Free CLP on my advance mechanisms for years with no problems at all.

On HEI's, you have to keep the plugs and plug wires in good shape, or you'll start getting high voltage arcs through the rotor and into the distributor shaft and advance mechanism. This causes corrosion and the rusty-colored dust that you may have noticed.

PN 93440806 is GM's HEI distributor for Chevy engines. It's for non-computerized engines and has vacuum advance. It ain't cheap, though, it's ~$180 at Scoggin-Dickey.

http://www.sdparts.com/product/93440...stHousing.aspx

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Old 03-30-2007, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for the tip... reading the description of Break Free CLP, it seems like it's perfect for the HEI.

I'm not sure why I have so much trouble with this one HEI, I expect it's just simply past it's useful life. 27 years and 150,000 miles. I just bought a used, but low mileage HEI to replace this one. It's from the same model car as mine, so no worries about overadvanced timing and knocking. I have seen the GMPP HEI, but the "performance" curve won't be good on this driver. I had tried recurving my existing dist a while back, the engine did not respond at all, I get better performance with the stock curve.
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