Where to tie in HEI? - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old May 13th, 18, 5:59 PM Thread Starter
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Where to tie in HEI?

I just started my engine on my 66 today for the first time after rebuild, it went well except that I switched over to an HEI distributor and I'm having an issue. I eliminated the resistor wire to the old points distributor and replaced it with a heavy guage wire which I ran from a spade lug n the fuse panel labelled "IGN Fused" directly over to the distributor. When I tried to start the car, it ran off of the pink wire from the starter while cranking but died with the key in the run position. I moved the wire up one spot on the fuse panel to "BAT Fused" and the car ran for my cam break-in. When I went to shut it off, it kept running and I had to pull the wire from the fuse panel to shut it off. That makes sense to me but why didn't IGN Fused work? Was "IGN Fused" incorrect or do I have to go looking for an issue with it?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old May 13th, 18, 6:37 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

The IGN terminal in the fuse box is powered by an adjacent fuse, test the terminal with the key on to see if it has power. If not check the fuses next to it for a blown one.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old May 13th, 18, 7:38 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Earlier vehicles don't have a mutually bussed ignition switch where as you may encounter the ignition switched circuits dropping out during cranking.

A 12 volt test light is your friend here.....

As Eric stated, check the IGN slot connector for power with the key "on".

Now see what happens with the test lamp on the same IGN slot connector as you crank the starter. Does it still stay on?

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old May 13th, 18, 8:16 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Just turn on the ignition and check for +12 on the coil using a DVM, if itís not there, sounds like thatís is the case, check fuses.

1970 Cranberry Red SS396 TH400 AC 3:31 Posi -as it was born
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old May 14th, 18, 6:01 AM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Congrats on using HEI, a great ign. HEI needs the full 12v. The easiest way to ensure it gets it & keep your original wiring intact is to use a relay to power the HEI. Whatever wire[s] were connected to the old coil +ve terminal, use these to power the relay. Connect the supply to either the alt main terminal or bat +ve terminal for max voltage to the HEI. Use an inline 10 amp fuse in this line.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old May 14th, 18, 6:46 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Thank you, I think that what is happening is that the same IGN terminal on the fuse box is also feeding my 2004r lockup and I'm getting a voltage drop so Geoff is right on with how to fix that.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old May 14th, 18, 6:11 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

A relay is no good way to fix a system that really doesn't need one. They are problem prone, add extra stuff to go wrong, and just aren't needed to do it right.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old May 14th, 18, 8:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Worked like a charm. I'll agree with Dave that I'd rather not use it in an ideal world but I think that would lead to a while new wiring harness, maybe next winter. For now, it's running.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 5:37 AM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

If relays were no good, the sides of the roads would be littered with broken down cars...Sourcing a power supply for ign through 30 or 40 year old wiring harnesses & plugs/sockets probably has more risk of failure than installing a new relay & fresh wiring.

Using a relay ensures you get max voltage for HEI, which is voltage sensitive.

Picking up 12v from the fuse panel requires just as much messing around as fitting a relay & will not supply as high a voltage as a relay connected the way I said in the earlier post. I often fit the relay to the base of the dist, at the rear. Neat tidy, out of sight. Short run of wire along the intake to the alt main terminal.

I know of at least two companies, DUI & Ice Ign, that offer voltage boosters that increase voltage for inductive [ HEI ] ign systems. They obviously think maximising voltage is very important......
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 6:30 AM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

A 12 gauge wire between the IGN and the coil should have brought a little over 12v and fired right up

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 1:32 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Relays are NOT reliable, none of them, haven't ever been, aren't now, never will be reliable, and, what sensible person needs an extra unreliable electrical device to monitor, and its added wiring, I never have. But, then, I choose to do it the RIGHT way in the first place. Comes from doing ignition systems for a living, and fixing Rube Goldberg stuff, like failed relays, EVERY DAY.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 1:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

You've helped me out numerous times Dave so I hate to contradict you but I have to ask, if the relay is such a bad idea what would you suggest? Rip out my original harness and fuse block to start fresh? Great idea but I save stuff like that for the off-season. The car is 50+ years old and never designed for HEI. The IGN circuit won't do it but the relay idea is working. If the relay fails, it's 4 spade connectors and put another one on.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 2:26 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

True, a relay fixes the symptom for people that don't know how to properly diagnose the problem but it is another extra added on unnecessary future thing to fail.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 2:58 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
Relays are NOT reliable, none of them, haven't ever been, aren't now, never will be reliable, and, what sensible person needs an extra unreliable electrical device to monitor, and its added wiring, I never have. But, then, I choose to do it the RIGHT way in the first place. Comes from doing ignition systems for a living, and fixing Rube Goldberg stuff, like failed relays, EVERY DAY.
I'm not sure if anyone ever hear of "Vital Relays" but when I worked on wiring transportation control cabinets, they were used. 20+ years ago they were $1200 each if I recall. They are super high quality, sealed with visible contacts. They have no springs, and are gravity powered, unless gravity ceases to exist, or the cabinet falls over, they fail in the "Safest" state.
BUT (remember, everything before "BUT" is B.S.)
https://washington-dc-metro.com/2011...of-10-million/

I fully understand benefits of relays, both in isolation, and in limiting current on controls.
How many millions of cars/trucks on the road power HEI through the ignition switch for decades with no issues?
In many cases fault tolerance, just adds additional single points of failure.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old May 15th, 18, 7:38 PM
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Re: Where to tie in HEI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
Relays are NOT reliable, none of them, haven't ever been, aren't now, never will be reliable, and, what sensible person needs an extra unreliable electrical device to monitor, and its added wiring, I never have. But, then, I choose to do it the RIGHT way in the first place. Comes from doing ignition systems for a living, and fixing Rube Goldberg stuff, like failed relays, EVERY DAY.
We all have our opine's. However in most cases the relay is extremely reliable and will provide full battery voltage to the HEI without going through yards of 50 y/o wire.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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