Wher would the model or part # be on a GM HEI distributor? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:03 PM
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Wher would the model or part # be on a GM HEI distributor?

Would it be under the coil?

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Old 08-18-2011, 04:02 PM
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How many wires does it have from the body to the coil?
What are you working on?
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:09 AM
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Thanks for responding. There's 3 wires from the body to coil - red, black and brown. I've just replaced my Tilton-style mini starter on my '34 coupe (ZZ4 motor) with a new MSD mini starter. I was having a heat soak problem with the cheap eBay starter, so I went with the MSD. It's wired exactly the same as old starter, but it won't start. The starter cranks perfectly but after pulling two spark plugs, there's no spark. After fitting and properly shimming the new starter, I test cranked it over, and it did start, so I shut it off. It wouldn't start again after that. Is it possible that when the new starter cranked and started, it screwed something up in the distributor? Ive included a photo of the distributor (GM style HEI, large red cap). There's no external ignition module box like the MSD ignitions.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:00 AM
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Are these HEI distributors only year-specific, or do they actually have a part number? I've done a power test, and am getting 12V to the dist. from the ign. Real weak power to the coil, so I'm thinking I'll replace the coil.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickyardboy
Would it be under the coil?
The number is stamped into the body at the top where the cap sits.



You should only be using two wires at the starter (unless you're using a Ford relay set-up)- one large cable from the positive side of the battery and a smaller wire that energized the solenoid.

The HEI needs full battery voltage- no resistor wire or ballast resistor in the supply line of the switched 12 VDC circuit that you are using for it.

This sounds more like a wiring problem, like a loose terminal or a broken/burnt wire than a coil problem. Check this thoroughly first before spending needlessly on a new coil.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:19 AM
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The distributor needs to be grounded. this is done through the clamp to the block so be sure there's no paint or grease, etc. insulating the block, clamp, bolt and distributor body.

Run grounds from the battery to the engine, chassis and firewall if it's metal. The center wire of the plug at the coil where the power is applied and the tach is hooked up has to have a ground, otherwise the coil won't be grounded.
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:35 AM
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When you have a GOOD known ground, you might try and "hot wire" with a jumper from the battery + to the Dist side of the distrubutor cap (remove existing wire) this should prove good voltage and eliminate switch and wire now in place.

Let us know!
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:57 PM
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Got the car running. It turned out to be a bad ignition module. And, I figured out why this happened. When I installed the new starter, in my zeal to protect the solenoid and wires from the heat, besides wrapping the starter and solenoid with a heat blanket, I also wrapped the solenoid wires and positive cable with heat reflecting tape (has a metallic shiny surface). The tape must have come in contact with the frame, and shorted out the module. The tape is now off, and after putting in a new module and rotor, it starts fine. Live and learn, I guess. Thanks, guys, for your help.
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