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Points to HEI Conversion...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by burbanfanatic, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. burbanfanatic

    burbanfanatic Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I have a question about doing an HEI conversion on my 1990 Suburban with a points system, YES a 1990 suburban with a Points ignition System.

    Is there a certain distributor I should buy? A Pre 1975 Truck? Car? Van? Does it really matter? I'm thinking it shouldn't matter but I've read about a power curve built into the weights & vacuum advance. My best guess would to buy a 1974 3/4 ton Suburban with HEI.

    Basically I need a new Distributor, Igntion Module, Coil, & wires right? Of course a little rewiring for a 12v source in Start & Run. I should be able to use the same Spark Plugs but maybe with a bigger gap?

    Any other suggestions are welcome! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
    Thanks a trillion in advance for all your advice!
     
  2. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Haven't done the conversion myself, but I give you some info I know.

    I don't think HEI came production in trucks until '75. Cars had HEI earlier than that.

    If you are looking into a whole new distributor, look at aftermarket like MSD or Mallory. I bought a whole new HEI distributor (w/o coil) from Carquest, and it cost $220. I was pissed when I figured out I could have bought a Mallory Unilite or MSD Pro Billit ready-to-run for the same money.

    If you are going to salvage one out of a vehicle the HEI is a great distributor from the factory.

    I think the gap is a little more like .045 IIRC. Don't know what points is.

    You only need a wire that is hot with ignition on. Don't the points distributors already have that lead?
     
  3. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Don't the points distributors already have that lead?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    I believe if you use the power wire from points system , it is a certain resistance wire ( in lieu of a ballast resistor ) so you can't use that .

    However in his instance , since its a points distributor in a 1990 and obviously swapped in and probably has a carb , he can use whatever full 12 volt wire they used to install that points distributor . /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  4. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I believe if you use the power wire from points system , it is a certain resistance wire ( in lieu of a ballast resistor ) so you can't use that .


    [/ QUOTE ]

    You are correct. The factory points wire reduces the voltage to 7v. That is not enough to fire your distributor correctly. You will have runability problems. You will need to run a new 10 ga. wire from a 12v source off the ignition.

    I ran mine from the fuse panel to an underdash 10 amp fuse, then to another under dash switch. Then I ran the wire from the switch to the dist. I used the factory color code on the wire and it all looks like it's supposed to be there. Since I have the top off mine all summer, it's a handy little ign. kill switch. If I get really nervous, I'll pull the fuse too. The starter will crank till the battery dies, but it won't fire! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  5. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    find a 75-79 with only three wires, and not seven, look for one

    soem heavy 3/4 tons and some 80 big 10's and heavy half gmcs had the non emissions HEI too

    non-EST that is


    also 75 was the year yes, but some 74 oldsmobiles and i think caddies had HEI but gap was .060, and for a few years was HEI with .060


    yes wierd.

    i can get exact models and years and engines info and even cams specs and valves sizes and all too

    all you need is some more of the red wire that feeds HEI BATT terminal, use wire that size, i have alot around i saved ffrom many 75-up carsd and trucks with the HEI BATT plug and all,


    run it from hEI to ign port on fuse panel, run an inline fuse if it says its unfused port,

    put on your HEi wires and route them and then youre all done after putting the dizzy in the engine

    its simple,
     

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