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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an HEI in my 71 Chevelle and have been having some minor timing problems. I'm considering going to an aftermarket points distributor, but I'm not sure if that would be a good move. HEI's are popular, but I've been told that they were just a "GM smog device". My big block is knocking on 500 hp and I NEED hot, dependable spark. HEI or points. Compare and contrast. Thanks!
 

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Hey Ok...
The consensus that I have read in past posts is that HEI is superior to points in operation and is more reliable with less hassle.
Choose the search option, and look up pasts posts with the key word HEI. There is a lot of great information in the archives.

If the archive information doesn't help with your set-up, there are a lot of great guys willing to help out here. Post your specific troubles here or in the Performance forum for detailed advice. Good Luck!

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Ron Cook TC Gold Member #1276
1969 300 Deluxe HTSS396 69 300 Deluxe 325HP L35 69memorylane 1971 Malibu 2DR HT
"Supporting all car hobbyists, even those with different cars, is what being a true enthusiast is all about."
 

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Welcome to TC! The HEI will give the hotter spark, points will need some type of amplifier to compare to HEI. It's probably not an electronics problem you are having as long as the HEI is getting a full 12 volts, electronics either works or not. Are your advance weights, springs and vacuum advance okay?

Jim H
69 Malibu
Keep America beautiful, drive your Chevelle daily.
 

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You will get varying opinions on the whole HEI/points thing. Bottom line seems to be that you will get more consistent power with the electronic spark. Be it from an HEI or a conversion (i.e. Pertronix).
If you are running an HEI, be sure to widen the gap on your plugs to allow the gain of the hotter spark. Standard seems to be between .040 and .045.
Also you should know the mechanical advance built into your particular HEI. Spring/weight kits can be purchased to manipulate this, but it is best taken to a shop with a distributor machine. If the HEI is from a bone yard, be sure it's not a computer controlled HEI. Sounds like a no-brainer but you would be suprised.
The more you know about your HEI the better. Some aftermarkets come with adjustable vacuum as well.
Set your initial at 10 to start, so that you have a baseline from which to work. Remember to disconnect and plug the vacuum line going to the cannister before setting timing.
initial + vacuum + mechanical = total
Initial timing changed by rotating the distributor, advancing/retarding. Vacuum timing changed only if cannister is adjustable. Mechanical is changed by altering the spring/weights.
Also if you are running HEI be sure you are NOT running with the restrictor wire from the factory. An HEI needs a full 12v to it. I purchased an aftermarket wire and ran it directly to the fuse block and tucked the restrictor wire up into the loom.

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Better Late than Never Fred
Team Chevelle #400
ACES #4055
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
1970 Chevelle Malibu
 

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JJ says it all!

No point bounce with HEI.
No point gap to clean.
No point gap to gap.
No point gap to dwell.
No condenser to go bad.
No rubbing phenolic cam to lube.
No lube on the points.
No points to replace every 15K or so.

Much hotter spark.
More accurate timing.
No coil wire.
Fewer moving parts.
Custom modules that actually help.
Still have the ability to modify timing curve.
Don't need a point file.
Don't need feeler gauges.
Dont need point cleaner.
Don't need a dwell meter.


I'm tired.


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69 Chevelle
454 .030 10.5:1
373 posi
M21 4spd.
12.63 E.T.

"Fire all your guns at once and
Explode into space."
Steppenwolf "Born to be Wild"
 

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Is it OK if I jump here?
You know me, I have had EXCELLENT luck with the PerTronix conversions in point type distributors. NO QUESTION ABOUT IT, an HEI is an EXCELLENT dist. Period. But I prefer the smaller size and more original look of a converted point dist.

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Tom Parsons
 

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Was hopin you'd jump in Tom. Pertronix been taking a beating lately and I knew you had excellent luck with it.

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Better Late than Never Fred
Team Chevelle #400
ACES #4055
I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
1970 Chevelle Malibu
 

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My pertron burned out when I had the key ahead to play w/wipers. Called the company, they said go pound sand shouldn't have had the key key turned ahead. Didn't say that in the instructions. I run single points type dist. Wanna run it.
 

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When the control module in your HEI goes and leaves you stranded, you'll be wishing you had points.


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Bob (Pa.)

1963 Impala 283
1966 Chevelle SS 409
1969 Malibu 307
1972 Malibu 307
1969 Chevy stepside 350

Check out my website:
Bobs 409 Chevy Page

Looking for Chevelle or Impala parts? Click here:
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I'm with MR409 and also the KISS system "Keep It Simple Stupid". In our family of cars is a '69 with a 454 and HD Accel points. Three summers of running and the dwell is still as set. No maintenance what so ever. Our '67 with a 327 has gone 6 years with zero distributor maintenance or points adjustments. Our '69 L78 car runs a stock HEI for the last 4 years with zero maintenance. It works fine to 6500 plus. The key is having the distributor in good condition and set up properly. I don't see any reason to go to a heavier ignition unless you are running perhaps a 12 or 13 to 1 motor. At the slightest provocation the MSD ignitions and the like will be arcing all over the place with their excessive voltage unless the cap, wires and plugs are perfect. Who needs the aggravation on the street. All the magazines and advertising have a lot of people brainwashed into needlessly spending a lot of money. It's also nice to know that if you do have problems with these stock GM parts, any automotive store can fix you up right away. Over the years I've seen a lot of gee whiz equipment come and go. Mr409 and I seem to be at odds with what the magazine writers say but then again we are living in the real world.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mr409:
When the control module in your HEI goes and leaves you stranded, you'll be wishing you had points.


<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I ran points in my Chevelle for the first 27 years of it's life and WHAT A PITA! I changed over to HEI in '97 and have put over 90,000 miles on the unit with NO problems whatsoever. Quick, sure starts in the coldest weather, no points to mess with, no drifting of timing or dwell. This on a car that sees 2000 miles a month. What if the module goes bad? I carry a spare, just like I carried extra points years ago. No big deal. I wouldn't trade the reliability for points EVER!



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MalibuJerry350
TC Member #1279
Original owner '70 Chevelle.
560,000+ miles on car.
Hey, if it's got wheels, DRIVE IT!
My Chevelle: http://hometown.aol.com/erie614/myhomepage/index.html
 

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HEI all the way on a 65 & 69.

I carry a card that says AAA+ in my wallet.

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Nothing like a 11 sec car.
 

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I've had no problems in 2 years and 2000 miles with an original type Pertronix.

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von '69 300 Dlx SS TC #15 ACES #1575
My '69 SS
 

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I had a junkyard HEI put in my 72 Elky 350 ran pretty good, but had a little hesitation down low. Just put in an Accel #59107 HEI and the stumble is gone.

Points NO WAY! For all these people who love points and are worried about a module "leaving them stranded" on the side of the road, I have a spare tire and fix-a-flat, zip ties and electrical tape (and a cellphone). If I need anything more than that, I must be driving a POS!

Funny, you love old technology points, why don't you send us your opinions via the regular mail since you won't embrace technology. How did you post here, don't you have to use a COMPUTER? BTW, I love fuel injection too! And I love my Garmin Emap GPS instead of a 19th century road map! I suppose overdrive transmissions are no good either? The hell with satellite or digital cable TV, I'll stick with the rabbit ears. A refrigerator? Nah, I'll keep the icebox. CD's? Nah, I like 8 tracks.

See my point(s)? Ha, Ha.

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Steve
1972 El Camino
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by elky1476:
I had a junkyard HEI put in my 72 Elky 350 ran pretty good, but had a little hesitation down low. Just put in an Accel #59107 HEI and the stumble is gone.

Points NO WAY! For all these people who love points and are worried about a module "leaving them stranded" on the side of the road, I have a spare tire and fix-a-flat, zip ties and electrical tape (and a cellphone). If I need anything more than that, I must be driving a POS!

Funny, you love old technology points, why don't you send us your opinions via the regular mail since you won't embrace technology. How did you post here, don't you have to use a COMPUTER? BTW, I love fuel injection too! And I love my Garmin Emap GPS instead of a 19th century road map! I suppose overdrive transmissions are no good either? The hell with satellite or digital cable TV, I'll stick with the rabbit ears. A refrigerator? Nah, I'll keep the icebox. CD's? Nah, I like 8 tracks.

See my point(s)? Ha, Ha.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well Steve, I really don't care what you use in your car. I didn't tell anyone that they had to use points. Your post seems a bit sarcastic if you ask me. Which I don't think was called for. You must really love those H.E.I.s huh? If they are so reliable, why do you carry a spare then? If your so into new technology, why are you driving a 1972?

Why didn't I write using regular mail? I won't even reply to such a stupid question.
Just because I and some others prefer points doesn't mean we still live in caves. Just because you don't have the smarts to install a set of points correctly doesn't mean that nobody else can.

Anyone that can't keep points in their car must have had a worn distributor or weren't installing them correctly. If done properly (which isn't hard at all) they will last longer than the 10,000 miles in which they were designed for. You shouldn't have to clean them or re-adjust them at all.

Changing a set of points every 10,000 miles isn't a big deal. I happen to like working on my "old" car so that doesn't bother me. If I didn't, maybe I'd go for the new "technology" and buy one of those 100,000 miles between tune up cars. I've never had a set of points leave me stranded anywhere. I'd much prefer changing points at every tuneup in my yard during daylight hours than replacing a module when and where ever it decides to sign off.

I'll keep my old cars with their old parts. They made it this far with their points. I still have some 8 tracks somewhere too.



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Bob (Pa.)

1963 Impala 283
1966 Chevelle SS 409
1969 Malibu 307
1972 Malibu 307
1969 Chevy stepside 350

Check out my website:
Bobs 409 Chevy Page

Looking for Chevelle or Impala parts? Click here:
Chevelle parts for sale
 

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Sorry for the double post. Computer foul up. What else is new? I sure wish they would make a computer that uses points. Maybe it would work right.


[This message has been edited by mr409 (edited 08-18-2001).]
 
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