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Old 03-05-2012, 01:07 PM
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Pontiac 455 Distribitor

Ok I'm looking to upgrade my distribitor, any suggestions? Would a GM HEI work with my pontiac? My engines a 1971 455 H.O. bored 30 over. Eldebrock performance cam 278 duration, Elderbrock Performance intake, Elderbrock 1411, 750 cfm carb. My last piece of the puzzle....
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:35 PM
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sure will. There are GM HEI dizzys out there, just gotta find one.
You can buy the chinesium billet ones for 75-100 bucks. Quality seems ok. Not sure about the modules. I have 2 of them and they both put out good spark as I have bench tested them. i have not run them on a long term basis to give any feedback on how long they last, but they seem OK.
of course you will need to "curve" the dizzy to your application. You can find out more here in the knowlegde base or ask around .
Very nice block by the way. 4 bolt center mains, Hmmmm... got any more?
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:11 PM
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Thanks, Nah had a time finding this 455. Got lucky only had 70,000 miles on it. Came from a wrecked '71 Grand Prix. Guy was going to put it in his boat... For give as I'm just getting into the engine thing (I install car Stereo for a living) whats dizzy?
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billonwheels
whats dizzy?
It's a nube name for a distributor.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:36 PM
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yeah...disributor...sorry. Just makes it easier and faster to type the word. Kind of a nickname.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:48 PM
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Ok cool. I Thought about it after I hit Submit...
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:12 PM
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hei

if you put in hei you will need to run a larger ingition power wire 12 or 10 gauge
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:08 AM
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Another approach that works very well, using the original distributor, would be a "conversion" to electronic. Petronix is the "buzz word" brand, and Crane also makes a very nice "kit". We use the Crane because it has a built-in rev limiter. Most customers like the conversion because the "look" of the original is still there, and it is as effective, if not moreso, than HEI.

Pontiac engines have a very "short" distributor shaft, and the rotation is opposite that of a Chevy, so many of the stock distributor "issues" facing the Chevy are not present in the Pontiac.

Of course, MSD is the best. Their "ready to run" distributor is very good. If you install an amplifier, their 'Pro Billet" is the way to go.

With a stock 455 short block, revs should be kept to a MAX of 5,200. The stock points are adequate for this rev range. "Cold" starts are where you will see the "gain" from adding electronics until revs exceed 6,500 or so. That rev range is the "kiss of death" to the stock cast connecting rods.

In the future, when looking for Pontiac performance parts, be sure to talk to "Pontiac people". Nothing rare or "hard to find" about Pontiac parts, just ask the correct folks. I highly recommend Jim Hand's "How to Build Max-performance Pontiac V8s" published by SA Designs. It's the most "current" study of the ol' Injun. While a BIT "dated" (2004), it is still very applicable regarding history, quirks and some of the basic porting techniques used to make good power. Some of the recommended hardware and valve train components are superseded by more modern pieces.

FWIW

Jim
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqzbox
It's a nube name for a distributor.
We all know what a bumpstick is too, right?
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:17 PM
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Bumpstick??? That's my grand-nephew's nickname! His name is Cameron and his mom calls him "Cam", so his grand dad and I, the car freeks in the family, called him "Bumpstick" before he even came home from the hospital!!

(:-

Jim
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billonwheels
Ok I'm looking to upgrade my distribitor, any suggestions? Would a GM HEI work with my pontiac? My engines a 1971 455 H.O. bored 30 over. Eldebrock performance cam 278 duration, Elderbrock Performance intake, Elderbrock 1411, 750 cfm carb. My last piece of the puzzle....
As long as you have the room for the large cap HEI to fit and originality isn't a concern, the GM HEI is fine. This assumes the shaft is tight and the distributor has been taken down (if needed), cleaned and reassembled using shims to take the excess endplay out of the shaft- 0.015" endplay is plenty.

The stock module can be easily upgraded or an MDS 6-series amp used if wanted.

Usually excessive milling to the decks isn't a problem, but just the same you need to check the engagement of the distributor shaft to the oil pump. Excessive milling can cause the distributor to bottom out on the oil pump and if this isn't corrected by using shims between intake and distributor like those sold by Mr. Gasket, p/n 6059, there can be problems.

You might not need the following, but it's here if it's needed:

HERE'S an exploded view of an HEI distributor.
THIS is a description of an HEI rebuild. HERE is another HEI info/rebuild page.

I don't remember if it's mentioned in the above tutorials, but I always mark the distributor gear and shaft so the gear goes back on the same way it came off. This prevents any possible problems w/the roll pin holes being off from one another.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:06 PM
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Great Info guys. I'm not bothered with the Original look, Heck I'm painting my Block Black instead of that awful pontiac teal...ewww.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billonwheels
Heck I'm painting my Block Black instead of that awful pontiac teal...ewww.
To each his own, I guess!!!

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Old 03-07-2012, 02:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Usually excessive milling to the decks isn't a problem, but just the same you need to check the engagement of the distributor shaft to the oil pump. Excessive milling can cause the distributor to bottom out on the oil pump...
As Bill "WDCreech" kindly reminded me, the Pontiac intake doesn't contain the hole for the distributor to mount on like a Chevrolet V8. My mistake and disregard the quoted passage above. Been around Chevys too much lately.

So Bill- thanks for the correction and I'll be off whipping myself w/a back issue of PHP .

@ Billionwheels, I'd also like to add that if the points distributor is kept, the points rubbing block has likely worn the eccentric of the distributor to the point that shimming the end play could cause uneven (and accelerated) wear to the points rubbing block. One more reason to swap to an HEI, IMHO.

BTW, I like the early metallic Pontiac blue. Classic color, IMO
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:55 AM
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I know, I'm gonna catch alot of Flack at the car shows for not having the Pontiac Blue block.....Hopefully the Horse Power will make up for it
I'm buying my Dizzy today. I'll update my Journal with engine pics soon. Thanks for the feed back guys!
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