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Discussion Starter #1
Got tired of the points routine so I changed over to an HEI distributor, all's well and good, better performance. Several times after driving to work the beast won't start after work or at lunch time, nothing for spark. It's in a 66 El Camino with a 283 and muncie 4 spd. Motor is mildly built. I take the cap off after unplugging the wiring harness, clean rotor and cap, viola, runs good for a week or two then does the same thing. Can't tell you where it's timed at. My original timing is 4 deg. BTDC, the instructions I got online said to set the new HEI distributor to 10 Deg. BTDC. Distributor is just set where it starts and runs best by ear. I have removed the resistance wire and installed regular wire from the firewall connector to the BAT terminal on the cap as per the instructions. Stock HEI cap and rotor (autozone). The first time it happened I removed the cap to check it, reinstalled it immediately and it fired right up. Wondering if a better quality cap and rotor might correct this problem as the stock cap has aluminum posts. I need this problem like I need a hole in the head right now. Getting ready to do a body lift and paint job. :?
 

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I assume that your HEI has the coil in the top of the cap. It there's a different HEI that I'm not familiar with, ignore some of the rest of this comment. You say that if you remove and clean the cap and rotor OR if you just remove and immediately reinstall the cap that it runs(?). Sounds to me that you have a bad connection, perhaps where the coil plugs in inside the cap or a broken wire that regains its continuity when you move the cap around. If one of the wires is broken inside the insulation, it's going to be a pain to find. However, if you have an ohm meter with leads with "points" that you can press through the insulation, you can check the wires for continuity between the connections the next time it won't start. The wire without continuity is the problem. An easier way, perhaps, the next time it doesn't start, would be to sort of wobble one wire around and try to start it. Try one wire and try to start, then the next wire, and so on until it starts. Then you'll know which one you need to deal with. The ohms test tells you if you have a connection even if the wire has no power to it when you're testing. GOOD LUCK.
 

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connections are a good start. double check the ground strap that should run from one of the mounting bolts of the coil to the center of the 3 wire connector on the cap. people sometimes forget to transfer this peice when replacing the cap. also make sure you have a clean ground at the base of the distributor. a week pick-up or module can also create intermittent nostart condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Found the problem, the three wires running from the cap to the dist. housing were cracked where they enter the distributor. This was an Autozone rebuilt factory dist. and of course the warranty was up a month ago. I went out and bought a new billet dist., the problem is solved and the car is running correctly again. Actually running better than it did after I installed the rebuilt HEI. Thanks for the info. :D
 

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KEEPKOOL said:
to install a hei setup into my 65 what is needed and how hard is it to do. thanks kevin
You'll need a distributor and the other HEI stuff. For the plane GM HEI you will not need the resistor. Power (+12 Vdc) and ground. New cap for the dist, rotor and electronic module. Accel has a nice HEI set up in Jeg's catalog but then so do some of the others.

I'd watch out for the lowest priced setups. I've heard some true horror stories about getting cheap Off-Shore manufactured distributors that go out or just have a lot of slop so they are next to impossible to use.

Pentrox, Accel and MSD would all be names that I'd look at,,, and did.

Actually its pretty easy.

Maybe someone else with a Model closer to your will give better feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I sent all the info on the HEI conversion that I have to KeepKool in an email last night. I just completed my change over awhile back and had all the info. I went the cheap setup and the horror stories are true, changed again to an Accel billet HEI dist. and solved all the problems.
 

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You must use a new wire for power, the stock wire will not work.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Found this web site for the HEI conversion.

Ray's Restoration

It covers the topic real well, has the wiring diagram all laid out and explained.

Kevin
 
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