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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 68 ELKO with 396 It has a MSD 6 inginition and coil. but it goes to a (points) style dist. I haven't had any problems but I haven't adjusted or replaced points in 20 years. I think I use to use a match book cover as a way to set the gap?
So 2 questions, 1 should I go HEI? iF so why?
And second if I did Will I have to replace my MSD 6
Oh yea 3rd I have a factoey (roll) tach. will that still work on a HEI. dist.
Any help would be grateful
Thanks
Donny
 

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:cool: my advice is, if it aint broke, dont fix it. for adjusting points, you can do it by setting the dwell while cranking the engine over. as i recall it should be about 30 degrees. the match book cover is also not bad either. i usually eyeball the point gap setting. as for your tach, if it is a mechanical tach, check out www.ecklers.com as they have an hei distributor that has provision for a mechanical tach.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your input and the link! I guess my question is , (is it worth changing over?) I mean factory did but for better performance, dependabilty,or for some other reason? Having a extra set of points in tool box aint no big deal, but if it would make a (big) difference in preformance then it may be worth the cost. I'm not sure
On a side note a 1964 Falcon was the first car I ever owned. Paid $50.00 bucks for it, would work on it all day then go out and party and rod it all night long! Ah those where the memories. That car will always hold a special place in my heart. Hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine.
Thanks
Donny
 

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rbohm said:
:cool: my advice is, if it aint broke, dont fix it.
Gotta disagree with ya...HEI is the way to go! Points bounce at higher RPMs...and although you may not be reaching those high RPMs with a 396, it may be that you can get a few more hundred higher RPMs out of your 396 by going HEI. Who wants to change points...it's old school techology...HEI is way more dependable. You may not notice a difference with your 396 by going to HEI...but then again sooner or later you'll realize there's no need to keep that extra set (or 2) of points in that tool box and toss them out.

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8) Besides the reliability of the HEI vs Points you also get a heck of a lot more voltage = hotter spark = better performance (ie higher rpm) and easier starts! Oh! and the biggie that Mike eluded to, a whole lot less maintenance, as in no fried points and no dead condenser to replace! :cool: Listen to Mike! He's one smart old dude! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No insult intended but if I didn't like (old school) why would I have a 1968? :cool: But from the performance side that's different. I don't drag race it but I don,t back down either.
Thank You for your responce
Donny
 

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DONE DEAL DONNY said:
No insult intended but if I didn't like (old school) why would I have a 1968? :cool:7
I didn't mean your old school Donny, that distributor is though...however if I had a 1968 all original numbers matching big block SS, I would probably leave the points distributor in it anyways...but an HEI is more dependable (no moving parts except the shaft...you can get a higher voltage spark out of it (better to ignite all the gas in the cylinder) probably giving a lil bit better MPG...and it's more of a set it and forget it...unless the module fails you never have to mess with it. And Hey John who you calling OLD...OK I admit it, I finally picked up my bifocals last Saturday...probably couldn't read this if I didn't have my glasses on right now. I'm also thinking (when I can) about joining a new club...AARP. 8) <---check out my new glasses...look good or what? Yep, the wife and I have been talking about gettin a matching set of these and having them custom painted http://www.hoveround.com/power-wheelchairs/hoveround-teknique-gt-power-wheelchair/ now those will look cool in the back of the Elky...those are GT's "for active users seeking speed and performance" look at dem big meats in the back! With a little tweaking, I bet I can get one of those down into the 14's in the quarter mile

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points/HEI

You could probably get some go kart slicks for that thing, Mike.
One thing that has not been mentioned, Donny is using a MSD capacitive discharge ignition. The distributor is just being used as a trigger. Without the MSD, there would be a gain in performance between points/HEI. With the MSD, all the ignition sees from the distributor is a dwell signal. The current is minimal so point wear is almost eliminated. What would be a factor is the overall condition of the distributor. If the bushings are not worn and the advance is working properly, I would find another place to spend the money. The matchbook thing is quite lame though. It is just too easy to do it properly. Get a cheap dwell meter and the flexible shaft allen tool to adjust it through the window with it running.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I know the match book thing is not very exact and I do need to get a dwell meter, it's just when I was young and dumb it's all I had therefore it's all I remember. I pulled the spark plugs, and cap and rotor, all needed replaced but I was surprised to see very little wear on the points so what your saying seems to be proving true.
I love this site for all the helpful people on it. Thanks to everyone, I hope to be as helpful sometime!
Donny
 

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Re: points/HEI

CANTED said:
One thing that has not been mentioned, Donny is using a MSD capacitive discharge ignition. The distributor is just being used as a trigger.
That's good info and I wasn't aware that the distributor only acted as a trigger with the MSD box (I use HEI on all my cars and truck)...but do you think points bounce would still come into play at high RPM...not necessarily on Donnys 396, but say any engine that was built to withstand 6500 RPM or higher? I still find it hard to believe mechanical points acting equal too electronics...even if only as a trigger. I'm talking about high RPM motors...not something mostly for street use.

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8) Mike, my mom just got a new hoveround chair. She then calls me up (haven't heard from her in almost a year) and tells me I can have her old one, says she knows I need it! 8O You'd think she was saying I was old and crippled or something! She wants me to drive down to Herrin and get it out of her way. I don't want it!!! I don't need it!!! Yet. :(
 

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MSD

I agree, Mike. You would need to consider the mechanical limits of the distributor with the application. To me the best route (not cheapest though) is to use the MSD distributor made specifically to trigger the unit, rather than something that was originally designed to do something else.
 

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8) No matter what else you have, the points will always be a weak link.
If it is appearence I seem to remember someone making an electronic setup that replaced the points and condenser in the original distributor. :cool:
 

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PaPa Johns 77 said:
8) No matter what else you have, the points will always be a weak link.
If it is appearence I seem to remember someone making an electronic setup that replaced the points and condenser in the original distributor. :cool:
Mallory has a points to electronic conversion.
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/category_10001_10002_11577_-1_10381

Stay away from the Pertronics conversion, I have read about too many failures on another forum. Pertronics uses a magnetic trigger, Mallory uses an infrared light trigger. I have used the Mallory conversion on a 64-1/2 V8 Mustang for many years now, Has not missed a beat.

Doug
 
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