which coil mfr. to trust? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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which coil mfr. to trust?

A month ago my chevelle with HEI stranded me. It shut off while cruising down the highway. The distributor was an entirely new AC Delco I got off Amazon in 2012. Ignition module died a year later. Same thing failed a month ago. Car wouldn’t fire, period. Put in an Echlin module made in USA and was good to go. I had a used coil from the old distributor. Figured that was probably more reliable than the one that came with the distributor which was likely made in China. Threw that in. Got stranded again today. This time, the car would fire after a few minutes but wouldn’t run more than 5 seconds. Went home, brought the ignition coil back with me that came with the distributor, which got the car home. I plan on buying a new coil. Two questions…

1. Should I buy a Standard Motor Corp coil made in Poland ($42 at O’Reilly) or an Echlin which is made in China ($36 at NAPA) ?
O'Reilly also has an Accel one for $75, Not sure where that is made.

2. Should I look at replacing any other component? I believe these are the two most important (only?) parts to replace.
I wish the Echlin was made in USA, like the module was. Echlin is part of Standard Motor. I don’t know what parts to trust anymore.

Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 11:00 AM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Dave Ray would have a good recomendation;
he has worked on many of these units

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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 11:14 AM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Dave Ray has stated many times on this forum that the epoxy filled coil on top is vulnerable to failure.


He has recommended an external oil filled coil but I don't recall the best brands.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Thanks guys. I'll look into that more and search the site for info.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 1:04 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

I believe the recommended coils are:

NAPA IC12
O'Reilly's 2-5195

Jeff Evans
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 1:11 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

I know this will bring on all the others that are the real know it all's, they always tell me, and everyone else that know more than I do.

Both Mallory (now owned by MSD), and MSD have a kit that adds a coil terminal in place of the in cap coils on the large HEI's. These kits allow the use of a round OIL FILLED coil mounted to the side of the HEI, drastically eliminating the coil failure issues of the in cap epoxy coils. ANY good quality electronic ignition coil will work for this conversion, EVEN a stock GM points type coil, and it will also run on a full 12 volts, no resistor. Also, a coil with .700 ohms primary resistance is good, any up to 1.400 ohms will work as well.

In cap epoxy HEI coils, ALL of them, are prone to do what is called "layer shorting", as the epoxy does not transfer windings temperatures out of the coil body, epoxy is a heat barrier, NOT a conductor. As the coil retains its heat, the insulation between the windings degrades and the windings touch each other, creating a different coil loading, which overloads HEI modules (and, this is the reason for most of the MSD box failures as well), fail "for no apparent reason". YES, an oil filled coil can do the same, but are far, far less prone to do so, unless the coil is manufactured defective, as a lot of Mexico made MSD Blaster II and III coils were in the mid-1990's, and 2000's.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 1:13 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Fast ps50(black) or PS 60(chrome) they bought crane ignition parts. You also need a modified hei dust cover. https://www.holley.com/products/igni.../parts/8401MSD
And a low resistance bushing.
https://www.holley.com/products/igni...nts/parts/8412
Made in USA according to fast and jegs?
https://www.jegs.com/i/FAST/244/730-0050/10002/-1
I have both the old cranes(Made in us on the box) and a new fast.
Ac delco hei’s are made in Taiwan today.

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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 2:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

I did find a prior post referencing these part numbers. I can get the oil filled oil locally. The cap, not sure yet. One component I'm having trouble finding is a wire to connect the two. It doesn't look like it comes with the cap. I'll call the mfr for info. May just use the in cap coil to enjoy the weekend and balance of the season but upgrade to the external coil for next year. Then just keep the other has a spare. Thank you all.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 3:04 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jat70 View Post
I did find a prior post referencing these part numbers. I can get the oil filled oil locally. The cap, not sure yet. One component I'm having trouble finding is a wire to connect the two. It doesn't look like it comes with the cap. I'll call the mfr for info. May just use the in cap coil to enjoy the weekend and balance of the season but upgrade to the external coil for next year. Then just keep the other has a spare. Thank you all.
Coil wire
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/tay-45306/overview/
Or
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/tay-45409/

Several more to choose from and summit has both the lowxresistance bushing and modified dust cover.

Chevelle Malibu ss 64
489 BB with parts from Lewis racing
Alumitech radiator with dual spals
Th 400 Edge 9.5" converter
57 3/4” wide 12 bolt: Eaton posi, Us gear 3.31, Toms KA 33 splines axles
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 3:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

I just called Holley/MSD and the rep questioned my desire to go to an external coil. He asked me about other components of the system. Most specifically the alternator. This is an area I’m not familiar with. His belief is that the alternator may be causing the module to fail. That said, when I turn my headlights on, the voltage drops. When I crank up the stereo, which has two amps attached, the voltage needle twitches rapidly. This has been an issue for a while but I’ve ignored it. It’s a crappy aftermarket alternator. I know that. So maybe my focus needs to be on that instead. Maybe both of my coils are fine and the alternator is killing the module?
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 3:57 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

While it does appear you need a better alternator, doing the upgrade to an external oil filled coil is a great idea. It'll certainly improve your car's reliability.

Make sure you get the oil filled NAPA IC12 not the IC12SB which is an epoxy coil.

And it needs to be mounted standing straight up, high voltage tower on top.

For the alternator? Powermaster is a top brand.

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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 3:58 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jat70 View Post
I just called Holley/MSD and the rep questioned my desire to go to an external coil. He asked me about other components of the system. Most specifically the alternator. This is an area I’m not familiar with. His belief is that the alternator may be causing the module to fail. That said, when I turn my headlights on, the voltage drops. When I crank up the stereo, which has two amps attached, the voltage needle twitches rapidly. This has been an issue for a while but I’ve ignored it. It’s a crappy aftermarket alternator. I know that. So maybe my focus needs to be on that instead. Maybe both of my coils are fine and the alternator is killing the module?
No Idea if alternator can cause module failures but:
This is a great alternator with planty of amp you CSN wire it as oem with 3 wires but it will need your wires upgraded to thicker ones.
Mine is 12 years and works as the day I installed it.

https://www.summitracing.com/dom/par...elle/year/1966

Summits picture is wrong it had v belt.

Chevelle Malibu ss 64
489 BB with parts from Lewis racing
Alumitech radiator with dual spals
Th 400 Edge 9.5" converter
57 3/4” wide 12 bolt: Eaton posi, Us gear 3.31, Toms KA 33 splines axles
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 4:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Can amperage be too high for the module? Stock alternator is around 55 amps. The guy at Holley recommended 120 or 160. If too low can cause a problem, as seems to be my issue now, would too high cause one as well? I imagine 55 amps would still be an improvement over my apparently weak alternator. Aside from that, I'd go with the PowerMaster for sure.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 6:16 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Amperage is the result of a load at a voltage. If the stereo or headlights presents a load and the alternator maintains it's voltage, it means it's producing the amperage to support the load. If the voltage sags as load is added, it means the alternator is beyond it's capability.

If you replace a 50 amp alternator with a 100 amp alternator, it doesn't mean that now there's 100 amps coursing through your electrical system.

My opinion is that no car today-even these old classics, should have an alternator with capability of less than 100 amps.

Get a Powermaster, you'll get a proof of performance tag. This is the AD244 alternator I use, it's rated and advertised at 200 amps. I have two 25 amp fans, electric fuel, water and vacuum pumps and LS style fuel injection and no voltage issues.
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old Sep 20th, 19, 7:00 PM
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Re: which coil mfr. to trust?

Alternator, HILARIOUS.

I have used the 12SI 94 ampere GM 3 wire alternators, with the BATT to terminal number 2, 14 gauge jumper wire on just about everything, including my friend's fork lift, for over 30 years, and not one HEI or MSD module failure, including the ONE unit that stuck the regulator to 17.0 volts. All that one did was run 85 miles back to the shop, where we replaced the bad brand name regulator with another, and it was fixed, NO HEI module failure, nor coil failure, either.

There is even one bunch of HEI people that run their units at 16.0 volts, and they don't have module failures, their coils go away regularly, but their other HEI parts run just fine.

HILARIOUS, alternator.

A historical FACT about the internally regulated 3 wire alternators. When these came about, there were TWO versions, road vehicle, and farm and industrial use. Differences were strictly as how the regulator was excited in each.

The 3 wire has a number 2 side terminal, and in EVERY vehicle they were installed in, like all the dcars Ihave that have them, that number 2 wire feeds back up the wiring loom, beside the large BATT wire, and merges with it, about 8 to 10 inches back from the alternator. This can be duplicated quite easily with the 14 gauge jumper wire, externally, between the BATt and terminal 2, done, now, home made single wire.

The farm and industrial version had that terminal 2 jumper wired INSIDE the alternator, it was designed as a single wire from the get go. THESE particular regulators, internally connected, are what every after market "single wire" GM SI alternator uses.

With this, the number 1 terminal isn't an exciter, it is simply a charge indicator light terminal for uses that have a charge light in place.

So, internally, externally, make the jump, done, single wire works. IT'S JUST THAT SIMPLE. BTW, my 1986 GMC Safari van with 4.3 V6 and factory 5 speed, has a later CS series alternator and voltmeter stock, and the ONLY wire going to it is the large BATT wire, no jumpers on it, either.
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