HEI Swap - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 20, 9:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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HEI Swap

It looks like awhile since any postings on an HEI swap and I'm currently looking to do so myself. I have a 1971 true SS, but not with the original engine. I have a 1970 454 in it with original (or not) points distributor and want t replace with an HEI. I have narrowed my search I think to Performance Distributors, Stree/Strip distributor. Anything I should know before installing? Any help or advice would be appreciated or other recommendations for a distributor. Thanks.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 20, 10:57 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: HEI Swap

Pretty straight forward...1 wire from the IGN terminal at the fuse block to the Batt terminal on the cap....
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 27th, 20, 11:36 PM
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Bob
 
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Re: HEI Swap

Here is how I wired my HEI in my 70. Ran a wire ( hot on " Crank & Run) from the fuse box, Ran across the dash, NOTE: on the way across the dash , I installed a toggle switch, WHY?
Two ideas. #1 its a hidden kill switch. #2 If I need to work on the car with the key " ON", With the toggle OFF, I have no power to the Dist. and it is not just sitting and cooking while I do other things.
When I ran the wire to the dist. from the inside of the car, This is my trick. Just above the Dist. you will see a plastic plug ( It holds the firewall insulation in place) I cut the firewall side of the tip off and ran the Ign. wire through the plastic plug. Two reasons why I did this. PLASTIC plug,,, Wonderful insulator. and the Ign. wire comes out of the firewall 3-4" from the dist. It is hard to see the Dist. power wire when it is connected. P.S. I also ran my Tach. wire back into the car using the plastic insulated plug.
The wiring for my HEI has been fine for over 44.000 Miles....
Bob
Its a PITA to do, But when its done ITS DONE and NO wires everywhere!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 1:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HEI Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
Here is how I wired my HEI in my 70. Ran a wire ( hot on " Crank & Run) from the fuse box, Ran across the dash, NOTE: on the way across the dash , I installed a toggle switch, WHY?
Two ideas. #1 its a hidden kill switch. #2 If I need to work on the car with the key " ON", With the toggle OFF, I have no power to the Dist. and it is not just sitting and cooking while I do other things.
When I ran the wire to the dist. from the inside of the car, This is my trick. Just above the Dist. you will see a plastic plug ( It holds the firewall insulation in place) I cut the firewall side of the tip off and ran the Ign. wire through the plastic plug. Two reasons why I did this. PLASTIC plug,,, Wonderful insulator. and the Ign. wire comes out of the firewall 3-4" from the dist. It is hard to see the Dist. power wire when it is connected. P.S. I also ran my Tach. wire back into the car using the plastic insulated plug.
The wiring for my HEI has been fine for over 44.000 Miles....
Bob
Its a PITA to do, But when its done ITS DONE and NO wires everywhere!
Thanks! Appreciate the ideas!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 4:44 PM
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Re: HEI Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by flatbedlovetruck View Post
It looks like awhile since any postings on an HEI swap and I'm currently looking to do so myself. I have a 1971 true SS, but not with the original engine. I have a 1970 454 in it with original (or not) points distributor and want t replace with an HEI. I have narrowed my search I think to Performance Distributors, Stree/Strip distributor. Anything I should know before installing? Any help or advice would be appreciated or other recommendations for a distributor. Thanks.
On the side of the HEI distributor cap's cover it says in embossed letters "BAT" and "TACH".So a word of warning on the TACH side.If your 71 SS has an original tach you may want to get a tach filter before hooking up your OE dash tach to that HEI.
On my 71 with OE dash tachometer I hooked up the HEI straight from the TACH terminal and the dash tach stopped working.Now my dash tach was always a little flickery but it always worked and it only flickered when the engine was idling.So it was probably on the way out and then the HEI may have pushed it over the edge.So this is just a heads up if you have an OE dash tach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robinls5 View Post
Here is how I wired my HEI in my 70. Ran a wire ( hot on " Crank & Run) from the fuse box, Ran across the dash, NOTE: on the way across the dash , I installed a toggle switch, WHY?
Two ideas. #1 its a hidden kill switch. #2 If I need to work on the car with the key " ON", With the toggle OFF, I have no power to the Dist. and it is not just sitting and cooking while I do other things.
When I ran the wire to the dist. from the inside of the car, This is my trick. Just above the Dist. you will see a plastic plug ( It holds the firewall insulation in place) I cut the firewall side of the tip off and ran the Ign. wire through the plastic plug. Two reasons why I did this. PLASTIC plug,,, Wonderful insulator. and the Ign. wire comes out of the firewall 3-4" from the dist. It is hard to see the Dist. power wire when it is connected. P.S. I also ran my Tach. wire back into the car using the plastic insulated plug.
The wiring for my HEI has been fine for over 44.000 Miles....
Bob
Its a PITA to do, But when its done ITS DONE and NO wires everywhere!
You could also use Bob's cut-off switch when starting a high compression engine by spinning the engine over with switch to off and then hit the switch on while its still cranking.Also its a good way to get the oil pressure up before starting the engine.

John
71 El Camino SS
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 20, 7:58 PM
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Re: HEI Swap

A couple of ideas,

As far as the toggle switch on the BATT side, NOPE, a good thief knows to bring an alligator clipped jumper wire to get the ignition working from BATT to the positive post on the battery.

Even with a tachometer, the large HEi can be stopped cold with another wire from the TACH terminal on the cap, through the hidden toggle switch, to ground, and then, any other power source to the BATT won't get the fire started up, until the TACH toggle switch is thrown to its off position.

If I was threatened with execution if I didn't run a large HEI, I'd try to find a take out one from a GM Chevrolet crate ZZ series engine (people take them out when they don't have adequate firewall clearance for them), and send me an email so you can get the curves and vacuum advance set up correctly.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 20, 8:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HEI Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71350SS View Post
On the side of the HEI distributor cap's cover it says in embossed letters "BAT" and "TACH".So a word of warning on the TACH side.If your 71 SS has an original tach you may want to get a tach filter before hooking up your OE dash tach to that HEI.
On my 71 with OE dash tachometer I hooked up the HEI straight from the TACH terminal and the dash tach stopped working.Now my dash tach was always a little flickery but it always worked and it only flickered when the engine was idling.So it was probably on the way out and then the HEI may have pushed it over the edge.So this is just a heads up if you have an OE dash tach.


You could also use Bob's cut-off switch when starting a high compression engine by spinning the engine over with switch to off and then hit the switch on while its still cranking.Also its a good way to get the oil pressure up before starting the engine.
Thanks for that, I do have an OE dash tach that seems to be working fine. I'll look at getting a filter. Not exactly sure what I'm looking for but will do some research. Thanks for the help!
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 20, 10:07 PM
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Eric
 
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Re: HEI Swap

Chances are the tach will work fine, just hook it up before spending money.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 20, 7:59 AM
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Jeff
 
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Re: HEI Swap

I would keep the single points distributor and use it to trigger a CD box like the Vertex Z-6 or the MSD6AL... That would give you a true performance ignition...
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 2nd, 20, 4:28 PM
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Steve
 
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Re: HEI Swap

I've had 2 Novas with strokers ran the DUI in both think they are great.Going to put one in my 72 whenever I get it and talked to Performance distributors and was told no filter is needed for a factory tach

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