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swapping distributors? HEI vs. non-HEI?

jteck10

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i bought my '66 Coronet with what i believe is a stock distributor to the engine that was swapped into it. I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark.
does this mean getting a HEI distributor? im not sure of the difference between what i have, HEI, or points
i was thinking of a MSD kit, but want to make sure i get all of the needed equipment.
originally my car came with a 318, but the previous owner swapped a 440 into it. i believe some members here helped me decode the engine to determine its a 1973/1974 big block 440.

besides plugs and wires, i think the parts i would need are :
- MSD 6A ignition control box?
- ignition coil
- distributor

these are pictures of my current set up

any help is appreciated. thanks!

IMG_8793.jpg


IMG_8792.jpg


IMG_8791.jpg
 
I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark.

Do you actually have any problems?
My car has its original single point distributor and i have no reason to "upgrade". It works great.

My 72 cutlass has been upgraded to HEI by the previous owner and it also works great but i do not feel this was a necessary upgrade.
 
i bought my '66 Coronet with what i believe is a stock distributor to the engine that was swapped into it. I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark.
does this mean getting a HEI distributor? im not sure of the difference between what i have, HEI, or points
i was thinking of a MSD kit, but want to make sure i get all of the needed equipment.
originally my car came with a 318, but the previous owner swapped a 440 into it. i believe some members here helped me decode the engine to determine its a 1973/1974 big block 440.

besides plugs and wires, i think the parts i would need are :
- MSD 6A ignition control box?
- ignition coil
- distributor

these are pictures of my current set up

any help is appreciated. thanks!

View attachment 1614721

View attachment 1614722

View attachment 1614723
The Mopar Electronic system you have now if working correctly and with a good coil is all you need. You can spend or waste money with little to no gain. Plus if you break down with most aftermarket systems you are screwed to find parts unless you live by a Summit or Jegs store. The system you have now you should be able to get parts at any auto parts store.
 
i bought my '66 Coronet with what i believe is a stock distributor to the engine that was swapped into it. I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark.
does this mean getting a HEI distributor? im not sure of the difference between what i have, HEI, or points
i was thinking of a MSD kit, but want to make sure i get all of the needed equipment.
originally my car came with a 318, but the previous owner swapped a 440 into it. i believe some members here helped me decode the engine to determine its a 1973/1974 big block 440.

besides plugs and wires, i think the parts i would need are :
- MSD 6A ignition control box?
- ignition coil
- distributor

these are pictures of my current set up

any help is appreciated. thanks!

View attachment 1614721

View attachment 1614722

View attachment 1614723
"I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark". WHO MADE SUGGESTION??.......and miss out on the blazing, instant 50+ hp, fantastic fuel milage, almost instantaneous starting attributes......not.....must be a Chevy guy. If it runs great now, just leave it alone and enjoy the car......just my opinion of course......
BOB RENTON
 
Check out the number of dist companies that are making HEI dists for engines that never had the GM HEI dist originally.......& for a few decades now....& no slackening off.
Why would that be? The Chrys ECU uses an inefficient canister coil & 0.035" plug gap. HEI uses an efficient E core coil that supports 0.060" plug gaps [ some engines came with 0.080" plug gaps ].
 
My 340 has an HEI and it runs great- I didn’t buy it, it was there when I got it. And my Olds 455 has an old school Mallory Unilite that uses a ballast. That one runs great too. Distributor came with the car and I don’t like MSD boxes.

If it runs, it runs.
 
Check out the number of dist companies that are making HEI dists for engines that never had the GM HEI dist originally.......& for a few decades now....& no slackening off.
Why would that be? The Chrys ECU uses an inefficient canister coil & 0.035" plug gap. HEI uses an efficient E core coil that supports 0.060" plug gaps [ some engines came with 0.080" plug gaps ].
Reason I would think they are common along all GM car lines, Easily produced and tons of parts cheaply found.
 
Do you actually have any problems?
My car has its original single point distributor and i have no reason to "upgrade". It works great.

My 72 cutlass has been upgraded to HEI by the previous owner and it also works great but i do not feel this was a necessary upgrade.
only issue i have is on starting, but its not a big issue at all. i have to press the gas pedal a twice to get it to turn on, then hold my foot on the gas to about 2K rpm for a few minutes before itll stay on by itself. maybe it just needs a tweak on the carb
 
The Mopar Electronic system you have now if working correctly and with a good coil is all you need. You can spend or waste money with little to no gain. Plus if you break down with most aftermarket systems you are screwed to find parts unless you live by a Summit or Jegs store. The system you have now you should be able to get parts at any auto parts store.
very true. i didnt think about the ease of getting new parts
 
"I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark". WHO MADE SUGGESTION??.......and miss out on the blazing, instant 50+ hp, fantastic fuel milage, almost instantaneous starting attributes......not.....must be a Chevy guy. If it runs great now, just leave it alone and enjoy the car......just my opinion of course......
BOB RENTON
very true. just forward thinking on if anything might happen in the future. i'll probably leave alone as is for now. haha the guy that told me this is a 15 year self proclaimed mopar veteran that currently has a 67 GTX with a 500 that he drag races and a 68 charger that he drag races. i aint drag racing so ill leave mine alone
 
only issue i have is on starting, but its not a big issue at all. i have to press the gas pedal a twice to get it to turn on, then hold my foot on the gas to about 2K rpm for a few minutes before itll stay on by itself. maybe it just needs a tweak on the carb
The couple pumps is normal. Not knowing the specifics of your engine what you are experiencing seems normal. Cars with headers, no crossover will be cold blooded. Then again a lot can depend on your choke and how it is set up.
 
only issue i have is on starting, but its not a big issue at all. i have to press the gas pedal a twice to get it to turn on, then hold my foot on the gas to about 2K rpm for a few minutes before itll stay on by itself. maybe it just needs a tweak on the carb

Sounds like your carb doesn't have a choke or the choke isn't working properly.
 
Pnora,
Post #7. You missed my point in post #5. Numerous companies are making HEI dists for Ford, Chrys, AMC, Toyota that did not come originally with HEI dists. DUI has 13 HEI dists for various non-GM engines.
 
Post #3 for the final winning answer- another thanks to member @pnora
i bought my '66 Coronet with what i believe is a stock distributor to the engine that was swapped into it. I was told that swapping the distributor and getting rid of the ballast resistor would help the spark.
does this mean getting a HEI distributor? im not sure of the difference between what i have, HEI, or points
i was thinking of a MSD kit, but want to make sure i get all of the needed equipment.
originally my car came with a 318, but the previous owner swapped a 440 into it. i believe some members here helped me decode the engine to determine its a 1973/1974 big block 440.

besides plugs and wires, i think the parts i would need are :
- MSD 6A ignition control box?
- ignition coil
- distributor

these are pictures of my current set up

any help is appreciated. thanks!

View attachment 1614721

View attachment 1614722

View attachment 1614723
Jtek make sure you take a look for what you're getting into... the proverbial " uglier than the back of my sack " applies here. And then there's, "will the hood close" :rofl:
 
Y
Check out the number of dist companies that are making HEI dists for engines that never had the GM HEI dist originally.......& for a few decades now....& no slackening off.
Why would that be? The Chrys ECU uses an inefficient canister coil & 0.035" plug gap. HEI uses an efficient E core coil that supports 0.060" plug gaps [ some engines came with 0.080" plug gaps ].
You can use an e core with a Mopar ignition.

The reason they sell is the Chinese make them and the resellers will promote the crap out of them.

I would bet the millions of Mopar ignition systems used over the years outsell those hei's 50-1.
 
Check out the number of dist companies that are making HEI dists for engines that never had the GM HEI dist originally.......& for a few decades now....& no slackening off.
Why would that be? The Chrys ECU uses an inefficient canister coil & 0.035" plug gap. HEI uses an efficient E core coil that supports 0.060" plug gaps [ some engines came with 0.080" plug gaps ].
"The Chrys ECU uses an inefficient canister coil & 0.035" plug gap. HEI uses an efficient E core coil that supports 0.060" plug gaps [ some engines came with 0.080" plug gaps ]."

Based on WHAT??? Seat of the pants "engineering" or speculation or 3rd party hearsay, or the DFL factor. Do you know difference between a canister coil and a E core coil, other than the physical shape? And WHY the E core coil supports 0.060" plug gap. Are you an engineer having designed ignition system (not just a parts replacer) experience? Do you understand the concept of inductive reactance, capacitive reactance, volts to turn ratio in transformer design and if an E coil is an isolated winding or auto transformer design. Platitudes don t cut it....show us your derrived calculations that illustrate your points......inquiring minds want to know.....
BOB RENTON
 
For Bob Renton,
0.060" plug gaps [ sometimes 0.080" ]. Based on what? Based on info supplied by GM.....& millions of cars that were driven, & are driven, with 060 plug gaps.
Yes, I understand capacitive reactance & inductive reactance & probably did before you did....

Stop trying to fool everybody with your big, technical words. Try some basic physics for a change....
A canister coil is a ferrous magnet with windings wound around the bar. It has a N & S pole, the distance between the poles being the length of the bar. Because of the great distance between the two poles, a lot of the magnetic field radiates into the atmosphere....never captured to be converted into spark energy. That is why canister coils are inefficient. Crane published the leakage inductance of their coils: PS91/92 E core coils 5.5/1.9mH primary; 0.32/0.14mH secondary; PS 40/50 canister coils: 7.5/5.3mH pri;1.3/0.5mH sec. That is energy that is lost, never makes it to the spark plug. E core coils have have a very small N-S gap & much more energy is captured. They are more expensive to make, yet you do not see cheaper canister coils on modern cars. There is a reason the extra money is spent.
Crane cams made ign components, including CD ign boxes; Crane had a very good reputation for their products. The diagram below is from the Crane catalogue.
Read it & learn Bob.....

img296.jpg
 
Krooser,
Yes you can use an E core with Chrys ign, but it will more than likely need a ballast resistor because of the very low primary resistance of E core coils [ under 1 ohm, typically 0.5-6 ohm; the MSD #8207 Blaster E core coil is 0.355 ohm ].

Without a bal res, there is a good chance the excessive current will burn out the ECU. Using a bal res will limit the current to a safe value [ providing it is the correct resistance & it will be more than the standard 0.5 ohms ] but will so compromise the performance of the E core coil that there would no benefit & could possibly misfire. Ign coils should be used with the system they are designed for.
 
The couple pumps is normal. Not knowing the specifics of your engine what you are experiencing seems normal. Cars with headers, no crossover will be cold blooded. Then again a lot can depend on your choke and how it is set up.
true, good to know its not out of the ordinary. the more i dig into the car the more i feel like the previous owners friends-cousins-sister in laws-daughters-boyfriends-brother was the mechanic. lots of unfinished or half jerry rigged little things
 
Sounds like your carb doesn't have a choke or the choke isn't working properly.
correct, its a holley carb on an edelbrock manifold intake, but i dont think it has a choke. or at least one i can find
 
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