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Old 07-10-2010, 03:19 AM
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Possible HEI rotor problem?

I have an HEI I bought new 5 years ago and I made the following modifications:
Replaced aluminum point cap with a copper one
Replaced stock coil with an Accel 48,000V HEI coil
Replaced stock ignition module with an Accel fast charge module.

I had the HEI housing off today to set ignition points and noticed that the narrow plate the rotor cap is bolted to is easily made to wobble off-axis using my thumb and index finger on each end. Is this wobble normal? The dist. shaft itself seems fine.

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:56 AM
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There are no points to set on an HEI.

Jon
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:20 AM
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Whether the distributor is an HEI or points- that is NOT normal! It says that the distributor is badly worn, and in all probability too far gone to mess w/fixing, there's no replaceable bushings on the plate that rotates on the shaft. The only hope might be a replacement plate from a junk distributor- if the shaft isn't too far gone, but all in all, I'd say to just replace the whole distributor and be done w/it.

You obviously can swap out the aftermarket parts from the bad distributor to the new one.

If the distributor IS a GM HEI, there's no adjustment for the reluctor to pick up coil gap. If yours is moving that much, I'd suspect the reluctor has already contacted the PU coil and has done damage there, as well.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:24 PM
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oops, didn't mean "set ignition points" I meant to say "line reluctor points up", Your right Jon, there is no point gap to set on an HEI, your statement doesn't help regardless of if I have an HEI or points ignition, they both have rotor caps which mount to a plate.

I was hoping I wouldn't have to change the distibutor but that rotor cap plate is definately letting the cap wobble. The mech. advance seems unaffected and the wobble isn't affecting where the rotor points but the top contact is probably swinging around as it wobbles, throwing off the timing.

I'm thinking of upgrading to an electronic controlled distributor so I can set it up in my EFI program but I'm not sure which one to get. I'm going to have to get a separate coil aren't I? Maybe I should buy an MSD ignition box...ugh, decisions! Thanks for the help again, Cobalt
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:56 PM
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So I decided to go with a 1994 Chevy 2500 SBC computer controlled HEI. Went to the parts store and had them bring me a new and a refurbished distributor. The new one was shinier and came with a cap and rotor but the shaft end play was 0.04!! Apparently that amount of end play is acceptable in new parts now. The refurbished one had a new gear put on and its end play is 0.025 plus the two ventilation screens in the bottom are obviously a higher quality than the new one.

I get a good discount at the parts store so I bought:
reman. distributor
MSD cap
MSD rotor
MSD blaster 2 coil
coil bracket
two pigtails for the distributor wiring; and a
4 pin GM metripak connector kit

Paid $384 Canadian and spent the afternoon connecting the wiring and setting the distributor to the EFI computer. My timing stays within a degree of what the computer sets, which is a little better than the 2 degrees my HEI when it was still good did, which had an end play of 0.02...its a world better than swinging 30 degrees out!
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