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Hello! I'm working on a '72 Malibu. In the course of replacing just about everything under the hood, I'm planning to install an HEI system. Any recommendations or words of wisdom as to type/brand of distributor and coil? The engine's a 350, what Jasper calls a class 1 racing engine.
 

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Aftermarket parts sellers will hate me, and die hard hot rodders will scoff, but I've got plain 'ol stock GM HEI distributors from mid '70s trucks in both my '69 el Camino, and my '69 Camaro convertible. They start right up, and I've never spun my engine faster than it can spark it. I kinda think go with whatever floats your boat, but maybe you could go stock on this piece and spend the money you save on something that might actually help you go faster or look cooler. Just one gearhead's opinion. ;)

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When I bought my Chevelle one of the first things I did was replace the points distribtor with a HEI. Made a noticeable inprovement. Got it free :D from my dad. He orginally got it from a late '70's Camaro he and my uncle bought for $200.00. They bought it for the engine and trans, then sold the rest of the car to a junk yard for $150.00, believe it or not. Also in the trunk we found a nice set of beauty rings and derby style caps. Would not believe that one myself, but I was the one who found them.
 

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Stock GM HEI...aftermarket HEI uses neoprene bushings on advance weights and they wear out fairly quick. I have an ACCEL and after a yr or so the neoprene bushing were worn. I replaced the entire shaft with one from original GM distributor. Also I found that out of the box it wouldn't fully advance so had to recurve it. Read somewhere that they are designed for smog motors so they don't fully advance.
 

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for the stock HEI. Cheap and not hard to find parts for. Spend your money on a good ignition box, high current coil, plugs and quality wires and you should be good to go.
 
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I took one of the early good cast iron units with a vacuum advance, had "Ignition Man" do one of his small cap HEI conversion, man is that bady nice. I like the look of the smaller distributor and get the nearly bullit proof early cast unit, which has bronze bushings and can be replaced, with the fire power of the HEI, can't get much better than that
 
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