HEI pro billet install problem - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 20, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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HEI pro billet install problem

I just installed a MSD pro billet distributor and the car absolutely will not start. I tried everything replaced everything no go. Installed $99 HEI I bought for my old Vette and fired right up so I put the MSD back in exact same position no start, than I tried the HEI cap off cheap distributor fired right up. What could it possibly be? I'm at Witts end. Low mileage 396 bb aluminum heads/intake new Holley carb good compression every cylinder, also tried 3 different Distributors they all want to sit about 1/8" off intake manifold with a thick distributor gasket in place.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 20, 12:51 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Is the Pro Billet distributor new? I run an MSD Pro Billet HEI in my 1965 Impala with 350. No problems at all for over 3 years now.

An HEI distributor has the coil in the cap. If you put the cap from the $99 distributor onto your Pro Billet, with coil inside, and the car fired up - well there's your problem, the MSD coil is bad. Try removing the coil from your $99 distributor, installing it into the MSD cap, and see if the engine runs.

As an aside, I wanted the engine compartment in my 65 Impala to look somewhat stock, so I disguised the MSD HEI distributor by swapping the cap. coil cover, and plug wire retainer ring over to black Echlin pieces I got from NAPA, along with AC Delco plug wires for a late-70's Corvette. I'm aware that HEI wasn't used in 65, but it looks like a stock GM HEI unless you look REALLY close.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 20, 12:57 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talentscout#1 View Post
3 different Distributors they all want to sit about 1/8" off intake manifold with a thick distributor gasket in place.
You know you have to rotate the distributor around until the drive tang at the bottom of it engages the driveshaft on the oil pump, right? The tang and the slot on the oil pump drive have to line up and engage for the distributor to drop down the last little bit and seat on the intake.

Mike

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 20, 2:08 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

There are two distinct problems that HEI's have brand new for some.

One is a new defective coil, happens a lot more than people think.

The second is that possibility that the electrical connectors crimped to the magnetic pickup wires into the module connector were compromised when the pickup was built. It is possible the crimp tool has cut a number, of, or all of the wire strands on one of the pickup wires, stopping the spark.

You mentioned that the distributor fired right up with the other cap and coil. Take a close look at the coil itself under the cover on the cap. There are two grounding areas those caps use that other caps don't. Both grounds need to ground to the coil yoke, the metal band around the coil. One screw holds the ring terminal out of the coil, to the coil mounting yoke, the other screw holds the grounding buss bar to the yoke, is the center terminal in the three wire connector at the side of the cap. The grounding bar fits under the coil yoke, between yoke and cap.

Once assembled, do a continuity test frm the ring terminal screw on the yoke, to the center terminal of the 3 wire connector, should be good, clean continuity. If not, pull the coil out of the cap, confirm the connections from it and the yoke are clean and working.

To test the coil, it should be run on an off vehicle electrical tester, but an in field test can be made tor continuity between the ring terminal and the TACH wire on the coil. Should have correct resistance. This is not the right way to test the coil, but if the coil is new defective, it just might show it right off.

My thought is that the MSD coil is new defective, might be wrong, but have seen more of them DOA than I cared to see over the decades.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 20, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Thanks Guys, I've tried everything you'll have mentioned. I also exchanged the pro billet for another they warranted it and absolutely no change. However with the cheap HEI cap/coil along with new plugs and wires it seems to run fine. I still can't figure out why the MSD cap/coil won't work! It literally sounds 180 out with MSD cap/coil but runs perfect with cheap HEI coil/cap. I even tried running a heavy gauge wire directly from battery to MSD cap to no avail.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 20, 1:33 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

What is the part number? They make a version that has the terminals moved so the right bank are on the right side and left bank on the left side instead of the normal firing order.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 20, 9:37 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

If it runs good on the cheap Dist., keep using it and return the expensive msd unit, and use that money to by more goodies for your car! Terry
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old Jun 30th, 20, 10:42 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Please confirm, the new MSD cap & coil don't work and the old cap & coil work, regardless of which distributer you put them on.

A photo of the two caps with coils would be great.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 20, 12:43 AM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

the real solution, dump the overpriced MSD junk and install this:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ado-93440806

If you don't goof it up with some gazillion volt coil or multi whatever module it'll probably still be running your car 20 years from now. Don't put any aftermarket junk in it or on it, just run it. Cheap at twice the price.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 20, 7:44 AM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

It is all confusing because the MSD Pro Billet does not use the big HEI cap.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 20, 8:16 AM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69SS454 View Post
It is all confusing because the MSD Pro Billet does not use the big HEI cap.

The title says HEI Pro Billet. I believe this is the one he has, he mentioned swapping caps around.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 20, 8:56 AM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Oh ok I didn't see that one.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 20, 4:04 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

I had a problem with the HEI I have in my car it turned out to be the terminals you plug the wires into the ones in the cap. They were made out of really cheap thin brass and when you pushed the connectors up into the cap it buckled the little leg that is supposed to lock the terminal into the cap but in this case it just pushed the terminal up so the connector wasn't making contact.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 20, 11:08 PM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mobley View Post
the real solution, dump the overpriced MSD junk and install this:

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/ado-93440806

If you don't goof it up with some gazillion volt coil or multi whatever module it'll probably still be running your car 20 years from now. Don't put any aftermarket junk in it or on it, just run it. Cheap at twice the price.
Tom is right on the money here folks. This is a best buy. Don't let the low price fool you,
these are $500+ from GM Performance parts, or $469 + tax if you're a shop.
I see they dropped the price dramatically since last month - Inventory must
be building up. LINK https://www.gmperformancemotor.com/parts/93440806.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by USMC_Spike View Post
I got mine and I'm modifying it for use before I replace my MSD ProBillet,
LINK https://www.summitracing.com/parts/msd-8361 and 6AL Digital.
non-HEI with it. Or I'll use it for the remote coil + remove HEI set up.
Continue with Post:
It has a good vac advance on it (I've checked about 1/2 dozen or more new one's
or NOS ones and this is better then everyone I've checked (hand held vacuum pump).
It also had the good weights and center that our own Dave Ray recommends too.
The only things you might need are a any brand HEI weight kit and the crane
HEI Clam Shell advance stop and the instructions from Dave Ray.

Dave Ray is a stand up guy too, find his posts with his GM HEI "How to" information
and request his info.

-- Spike
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 20, 8:27 AM
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Re: HEI pro billet install problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKalin View Post
I had a problem with the HEI I have in my car it turned out to be the terminals you plug the wires into the ones in the cap. They were made out of really cheap thin brass and when you pushed the connectors up into the cap it buckled the little leg that is supposed to lock the terminal into the cap but in this case it just pushed the terminal up so the connector wasn't making contact.
was that one of those $47 fake HEIs made popular by that leader in quality Skip White?

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