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Old 08-06-2004, 11:49 AM
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Points - HEI : What's the difference?

Allright, call me stupid but can someone explain me what the difference between Points and HEI ignitions systems is?
What pros/cons are there for both? Which one is easier to install and why? Which one is more reliable and why? Are there more than just these 2 systems? Can you put either one on any engine?
Basically I need to know EVERYTHING about these 2 systems....

Thanksk for the help,

Mike

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Old 08-06-2004, 06:25 PM
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Nightfire, in the electrical forum poncho62 has posted info about Points and HEI. http://www.hotrodders.com/t44185.html check that.
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Old 08-06-2004, 07:52 PM
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Thanks oldschool, just started reading it

Mike
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Old 08-06-2004, 08:35 PM
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Good luck, personally I have a points system on my truck and I dont have a problem with it, it just requires some maintence, hei is pretty much maintence free.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:24 PM
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There are no "pros" to a points ignition system, they totaly SUCK!
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:34 PM
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Like I said I dont see what's so bad about them, there simple enough, all you gota do is change the points once in a while. But I guess I can see where it would be lacking for a performance application.
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:35 PM
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can you back that statement up with proof or logical and physically correct data or is it just a general statement like you saying Ford sucks if you're really only saying it cause your a GM guy (hypothetically speeking)?

Mike
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:59 PM
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No it is not opinion, it is fact.

Let me try to explain in my drunken state.

HEI (High Energy Ignition) Was introducted by GM in the early-mid 70's to replace the POS low volatge points ignition, especially fo remissions reasons. Points style ignition relies on a set of "points", or called breaker points the are being constatly worn down by normal use as they open and close with every spark. Basicly they close and current goes throught the points. This system has it's problems. off the top of my head. 1. Points style systems cant operate at much more than 30,000 volts with out frying the points(typical for it to be at 20,000 volts) 2. Even at the normal voltage, points wear out with time. 3. ponits style ignition allows current to flow to more than one plug at one time at high RPMs, hense why they are NO good for anything above 4,500 RPMs(current can either flow at the points, or at the contacts of the small distributor cap of points style ignition)

HEI: Has no points to burn out, or cause arcing. HEI setups from the factory run at between 35,000-40,000 volts(hense the bigger plug gaps) and can generate a much better spark. HEI setups usually have the big bulky cap with the module on top to prevent arcing in the cap from contact-rotor-contact. HEI caps usually have an electronic spark control module, eliminating the mechanical points/cam and allowing spark to flow on a stock setup at or to near 7,000 RPMS.

Now all this is just off the top of my head in my current state, so if I got something wrong, your more than welcome to correct, or add to it.

Points(like the TH-350's!!!) are a thing of the past, they are almost totaly useless, and for todays cars they ARE totaly useless. It's liek comparing a computer composed of vacuum tubes to a computer composed of transistors, it is a thing of the past and should be buried!
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Old 08-07-2004, 01:13 AM
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i dont think points are all that bad if you got a stock or mild engine. if the engine is hopped up and i wanted to use points i would get duel points..... shure the potential is not their but they work great and i consider them dependable. i have them in my 58 chevy, all my tractors and even my 1968 push mower that i use every week. i do NOT mind tho taking the distributer cap of now and then to check them. its just something you got to do with points. also i have never had points just "poop" out on me like my HEI has before. and when the HEI took a crap i didnt know what was wrong (module). but with points its all right their infront of you! strait forward and simple(mechanical). however HEI is hard to beat if you dont like to be "anoyed" by poping the hood to change them every now and then. if you have 3 deuces on a chevy you cant use a HEI anyways! also their are other systems for ignition systems, like magnetos. they do not need a battery. so you have no wires going to the distributer other than a kill switch. you might be familiar with magnetos on push mowers, tractors, or race cars.
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:38 AM
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BTW, its not a stupid question. we all had to learn it at one point..... i asked the same question when i was 16. i still didnt understand it so i got a bunch of books from the libuary and started reading. i never stopped. cant learn to much or ask to many questions!
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Old 08-07-2004, 10:11 PM
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Nope! Not a stupid question, just smart *** replies j/k
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Old 08-09-2004, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Yeah I'm familiar with magnetos. I'm pretty sure that's what I got on my go-kart engine. Since there's no battery that's the only way the sparkplugs can get their electricity from.
I wonder why they stopped using them in cars?

Mike
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Old 08-11-2004, 07:58 PM
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I would assume, that with magnetos are not used much in autos anymore because with a closed electrical system you still need to get it started. You've seen the old movies, the guy at the front has to give the propeller a good yank. I suppose the racing magnetos are used in conjuntion with an enternal stater. I don't know what they use in street. A seperate starter system, with a battery?
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nightfire
Thanks for the replies. Yeah I'm familiar with magnetos. I'm pretty sure that's what I got on my go-kart engine. Since there's no battery that's the only way the sparkplugs can get their electricity from.
I wonder why they stopped using them in cars?

Mike
They still do use them in cars, they are called "Alternators" Technologies change my friend, we all still can't rely on pull start engines and points setups
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Old 08-14-2004, 11:06 PM
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87442lover,
tell ya what, I trust my arm and a rope (or crank) more than I trust a battery full of lead, acid, water, battery cables,wires, a solinoid, a starter motor and a bendix!!!! my arm has not failed me yet! obviously one way is easyer, but the other keeps ya in shape!
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