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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks... This might be better for trougble shooting, but since its also asking for product advice I thought this forum might be right...

Just found out why my engine was running like crap after chaging the carb & Intake- The distrib was off by about 4 teeth- TDC was firing no8 cyl. No clue how it managed to run at all that way... But anyway to make a long story short(too late huh...) I re-installed it & now its running great.

But while checking for vacume leaks I discovered my vac advance can is shot- its probably been shot for a while but since the engine was running rough for the last couple months i never noticed.

The Distrib i have is of unknown origin, not original for my car, GM Hei- I recently replaced the cap & rotor, but not the coil, or the chip. Looking at the internals everything is corroded & probably the original components.

Usually I prefer to completly replace items like this of questionable history with a new known good peice- rather than just repair them... however i know nothing about ignitions, vac advance etc.

Buying a new one and slapping it in would be fine- however i have recently read stuff here about having to ADJUST the vac advance on new ones etc etc, and it has me a little scared.

Should I just spend the couple bucks and replace the vac can on my existing dist or can I buy a whole new distrib, instal it & not have to mess with adjusting it?
(Drop it in & go)

Also- any thoughts on the various new distribs available? I've flipped throguh Jegs & summit looking at their various offerings...

I'm not going for anything crazy expensive- this is just a Goodwrench target 350, and has run fine with the generic GM Hei(except for the vac advace can being shot)


Anyway thanks for any advice!
Ben

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Ben Rambow
My '69 El Camino
The El Camino Classics Club

[This message has been edited by ahsom69 (edited 05-29-2001).]

[This message has been edited by ahsom69 (edited 05-29-2001).]
 

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Just change the vac advance canister. You don't even have to pull the distributor and it'll take 2 minutes.



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Chris Dagenais
Saskatchewan
'71 Malibu with a home built 454!
"Because of my velle, i'm broke, cut, bruised, tired, dirty, sweaty, and loving EVERY minute of it"
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heh... I just sat down and re-read my post, and as usual it didn'tmake any real sense, so I'll try to clarify...

My question is:
Are the HEI distributors offered through Jegs & summit a direct bolt on & go, or will they require tweaking with the vacume advance to work right?

I WANT to replace my existing HEI because I don't know the condition of the chip or the other internals, and I'd rather replace the whole thing at once- and be confident that i have good new equipment than have to fix it peice by peice over the next couple years as things break(having that chip go out is not fun- it happened on my '75)

If I can just buy a brand new one that already has the high voltage coil in it & install it with no funky vac advance settings to tweak I will probably do it.

If I have to tweak with the settings- and they are terribly complicated, I may just go the easy way out and only replace the vacume can.

When I can- I prefer to do things right, even if they are more expensive than the immediate problem- They can solve future problems before they happen.

So has anyone had any experience with new aftermarket HEI's?

Thanks-
Ben

(Thanks for your note too Chris- it just wasn't exactly what I wanted to be asking...
)
 

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Yes, you should tweak the advance (vacuum and centrifugal) on any distributor, new, used, whatever. Some are easier to do, or may by chance be right on for your vehicle.

If you go with a time tested name brand, you will likely get a quality product. I recommend MSD. I have a used HEI housing connected to an MSD 6AL. The distributor shaft was replaced with P/N 1894379 which is the service replacement shaft for the ZZ4 distributor. Advance curve was reasonable out-of-the-box.

There has been discussion here about newer brand names (Proform?) or "store brands" being sourced from Communist China. I have no use for them, best of luck.
 
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