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HEI Dist Replacing Coil/Points?



OK, I should be able to answer this but I'm going on the "only stupid question is the one not asked" theory. Can I simply drop in a later model HEI distributor to replace the original points?coil type distributor? The car will be a daily driver and I like the relatively low maintenance of the HEI system.

My 72 has a 1972 350 that was originally installed in a pickup according to the serial number. Obviously, it has coil/points etc but the distributor doesn't have a tach drive gear. I will be replacing the tach anyway with the white Auto Meter gages.

Lift me from the abyss of ignorance please.
Yes..and no. It will fall right in place however, a little "Creative" wiring will be in order. I'M not sure but, I would assume that all you would have to do is take the wire that now goes to the coil, from the switch, and connect it to the new dist. Sombody help me out here, I'm too use to taking the wrong dist out, not putting it in:D ...........Steve
The coil + wire is a resistor wire running from the coil to the firewall bulkhead connector. You must change it to 10 ga. It is already 10 ga. from the ignition switch to the bulkhead connector. The other wire going to coil + comes from the starter. No need to hook it back up, just cut it and cap it.
All the above posts are true and accounting of wire size and spark plug gap. As posted, use at least a 12 ga if not a 10 ga wire for the coil + power. And don't forget to provide a "fused" 12V source! As per my '75's wiring, the + feed to coil is 12 ga/pink fed from a 10 amp fuse labeled "gauges" in the fuse block. This will connect to the + terminal in the HEI cap. The second wire is for tach service and is 18 ga/brown. This runs directly from the cap to the tach, from the 'tach' terminal on the cap.
Be sure to use "soldered" terminals, not the 'crimp' style on your wiring. These stock or solder type terminals are widely avail, and are a brass color without the plastic collar at the attaching stem. They also have a 'tab' protruding out the back side serving as a lock to the connector. You should also obtain the 'proper' connectors to serve these terminals. They will lock to the attached components (such as your HEI cap) and not fall out.
You will love your new HEI! It's low/no maintence is a plus,and it's performance is light years beyond points!
Best of Luck - Dave

I installed a Pertronix unit in the small style points distributor for Garin 1 (red 68 convertible) several weeks ago. It was a nice easy conversion. You can get the complete Kit from Summit for around $70. It allows you to discard the old points, but retain the stock look of the distributor with the function of fully electronic ignition.

It should take you a couple of hours to do the swap, and I highly suggest you have a good bench vice and a clean area to lay out the parts and put it all together.

Either way will be great.

Hey, if you really want to look impressive, I can hook you up with a professional grade MSD pro billett extreme duty distributor assembly for $200 (never been installed).
Thanks all for the advice.

69MyWay, yeah, the billet distributors are sweet. But, with what we just put out for xmas I'm lucky to have lunch money right now. Maybe in a few months. Thanks.
Chris, I got the Ignitor II replacement for mine as well. Did you replace the resistor wire? If so, how? Did you just run a new lead down to the box? While I am putting everything back together I want to do this. Got the heads and intake back on and ordered a set of Summit stamped roller rockers to go back in. I hope to put them in and install all the brackets and exhaust this weekend. May have her back on the road in a couple of weekends. MAN, this intake change has really taken me along time!!!!:t

OH, yea, got to cut the fuel line back about 4 inches during the process, with fuel running everywhere. Cracked it during clean up. I have had such holiday fun!!:s :bang
That is funny you mention the resitor wire. The Pertronix did not specify one way or the other, and we did not make any alteration as the car had already had an HEI put in it once before.

Good question though.
Actually, my instructions say to delete it. Mainly they say that performance will be better without it.
High resistance

The nasty bit of resistor wire SHOULD be very close to the end of the harness ( Cloth covered wire ) if you peel back the tape enough you SHOULD be able to find the splice, remove the resistor wire, and extend as needed. Instead of another loose wire runing around under the hood.

Thanks Vig, that helps alot. I was planning on trying to replace the whole wire. If I can find this splice, it will be much easier. Great info. :_rock

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