Question on HEI Installation - Chevelle Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems.

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 3:27 PM Thread Starter
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Question on HEI Installation

After playing around with my distributor for a problem I never got resolved, I bought an HEI unit with wires. The directions were pretty straight forward about finding number one cylinder and so on. Here is what I dont understand....It says remove the plug wires one by one and put them on the new one... THEN in parenthesis it says ( On GM HEI distributors it will also be necessary to transfer the coil and coil cover from the old cap to the new one ) This is what I dont understand. Does that mean I cant use the new cover that came with the unit, and what coil are they referring to ? Thanks, completely confused

Last edited by davewho1; Jul 21st, 19 at 2:16 PM. Reason: Title sp.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 4:05 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

If your new distributor came with a cover on the top of the cap and there is a coil underneath you can disregard. Can you post a picture?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 4:33 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinows View Post
After playing around with my distributor for a problem I never got resolved, I bought an HEI unit with wires. The directions were pretty straight forward about finding number one cylinder and so on. Here is what I dont understand....It says remove the plug wires one by one and put them on the new one... THEN in parenthesis it says ( On GM HEI distributors it will also be necessary to transfer the coil and coil cover from the old cap to the new one ) This is what I dont understand. Does that mean I cant use the new cover that came with the unit, and what coil are they referring to ? Thanks, completely confused
I think that means if you are replacing a HEI with another HEI, you need to move the coil to the new cap.
If you are swapping to a HEI , you also need a coil to put in the cap.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 4:37 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinows View Post
After playing around with my distributor for a problem I never got resolved, I bought an HEI unit with wires. The directions were pretty straight forward about finding number one cylinder and so on. Here is what I dont understand....It says remove the plug wires one by one and put them on the new one... THEN in parenthesis it says ( On GM HEI distributors it will also be necessary to transfer the coil and coil cover from the old cap to the new one ) This is what I dont understand. Does that mean I cant use the new cover that came with the unit, and what coil are they referring to ? Thanks, completely confused
You bought a complete unit with the coil already installed in the cap. You're good to go. Those instructions are for when you buy a new cap to install on your distributor. Then you get the new cap without the coil and put your old coil in the new cap.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 8:22 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

I sure hope you bought a G.M.--H.E.I............... WHY? I bought a Super Duper H.E.I. from Advance Auto. (AND IN ONE YEARS TIME)...I had my car on a rollback TWICE and twice I changed Modules on the side of the road.
Then I bought a G.M. H.E.I. at a Chevy Dealer. How does the G.M. unit operate are they durable? My G.M. unit has been in my 70 468 driver for over 35.000 miles, NO issues. Nuff Said.
Bob


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

Hey thanks guys, I guess I am all set replacing the new unit with the old original. Thanks for you help
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 19, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

I should say the old original with the new one !!!!!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 19, 3:21 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

Not many people listen to the fact that almost EVERY HEI module failure is caused by the coil in decline to failure. Some even replace module after module, when the coil fails them as it does, then say "those HEI modules are pure junk, I had (fill in the blank) fail FOR NO APPARENT REASON". Of course, others keep saying the in cap HEI coils never fail, when they are the cause of literally the most failures of the coil in cap HEI.

NOTHING ever fails for "no apparent reason", there IS a cause.

It is too bad we didn't find a way to put an oil filled coil in the HEI cap when we were designing those systems, it would have stopped so many coil and module failures in those units. But, we err'd on the side of safety, the transformer oil used in coils is flammable, and if the coil had leaked its oil down the button into the rotor cavity, it could have ignited, or worse, accumulated, then, blown up, not good.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 19, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

I have one more Question on the HEI instillation... There are 2 wires coming out of the unit, one for the tach and a red one Now I know I get rid of the negative wire on the coil that went to the old distributor, but on the positive side there are 2 wires. One hot one that comes off a ceramic resistor on the firewall (I guess that is what it is) and a second that I am not sure where it comes from. Do both of these wires go the the red wire leading into the new HEI Thanks for your help
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 19, 2:02 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinows View Post
I have one more Question on the HEI instillation... There are 2 wires coming out of the unit, one for the tach and a red one Now I know I get rid of the negative wire on the coil that went to the old distributor, but on the positive side there are 2 wires. One hot one that comes off a ceramic resistor on the firewall (I guess that is what it is) and a second that I am not sure where it comes from. Do both of these wires go the the red wire leading into the new HEI Thanks for your help
One wire comes from the starter solenoid and supplies 12 volt only while cranking. You can get rid of that wire or you can hook it up to the HEI to supply additional current for starting. I would disconnect it from the starter to eliminate the chance of it shorting out if you decide to get rid of it. The other wire comes from the ignition switch and runs through a resistance wire to the coil. That's your ignition wire and supplies about 9 volts with the key on or car running.


Your HEI requires a 12 volt source to run. Typically, we remove the resistance wire all the way to the bulkhead connector and tie in a new wire to eliminate the length of the resistance wire. Another option is run a new wire to the IGN terminal on the fuse block or other good ignition source.

Since your system sounds like someone installed a resistor, you might be able to remove the resistor and tie into the feed wire for your HEI if that wire is supplying full batt voltage of approx 12 volts.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 12:00 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Instilation

Never thought coil in cap was a good idea, just seemed like change for the sake of change.
I've seen the coil cover conversions for external coil, what coil do you like?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 19, 8:39 PM
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Re: Question on HEI Installation

The whole idea was to make ONE integral system, all parts unitized, so they would work the same for 50K miles, without changes to timing, spark output....for emissions compliance.

To do so, the coil had to be in the cap, and the mechanical advance start, limit and curve had to be in the weights and center, springs combination. ONE platform, all the curves available, for all engines, and, both left and right rotation.

Consider the previous version, same size cap as a point distributor, NOT an HEI, but had a module, cap, wires and coil were ONE assembly, have a problem with any of it, you get to buy the whole works. They didn't last long, were called the "Unitized". I have one someplace here, strange conversation piece.
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