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6/17/14 1:32pm - Original Message: 'Switch to HEI?'
manget1 Lifetime Member
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Indianapolis, IN - USA

Vette(s):
Silver 1974 Convertible - L82 4 speed Low miles (was only 8,900 when I bought it in March 2006) - Now 42K miles. Original owner bought it as an investment for son's college expenses. 2008 Jetstream Blue Convertible - DAILY DRIVER!!

Joined: 9/3/2006
Posts: 2382
Just talked to my shop.  The car was running rough and they tell me the points are burned out.  Every set they get does the same thing.  They've ordered some Delco ones but they haven't come in yet.  

They are suggesting for this and other reasons, I should switch to Electronic Ignition.

I don't plan on selling the car, and they would give me the original distributor back, so I'm not so worried about re-sale, but curious what other problems this might resolve or lead to.  I know that we've been struggling with the tach for a long time as it hasn't been working and keeps working itself free from the existing mechanical connection on the original distributor.

Thoughts?  And if we go this route, are there thoughts on brands we should consider or stay away from?

Thanks!


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6/17/14 3:47pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
manchestershark Lifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.

Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1895
Thumbs Up  I put a PERTRONIX unit in my 72'. Works very well. Use the same distributor, just change the guts, and coil. It is a High voltage replacement that looks original.

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6/17/14 4:40pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
Dejablu Lifetime Member
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Wichita, KS - USA

Vette(s):
2005 Daytona Sunset Orange Coupe ----------- Sold 1974 T-top, 4 spd to BillKS

Joined: 11/10/2003
Posts: 6833
Just like Mark, I had a Pertronix Electronic Ignition in my 74.  It was in it when I bought it and I had it for 10 years with absolutely no problems at all.  Unit goes in the original distributor and you can't tell its got it unless you take off the cap.  I'm sure it would work well on your 74, Marshall.
 
Larry


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6/17/14 5:32pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
I'd go the Pertronix route before HEI, too. With the HEI, your chrome shielding won't fit, and it will come really close to hitting the air cleaner base. You could get the shielding for a '75, and it would fit, if ya wanted.
The Pertronix set-up replaces the points with a magnetic pick-up sensor that reads the iggy pulses off of the lobes of the two piece reluctor they provide, that bolts under the rotor. You CAN notice the "modification" if you look hard enough....the wire is different. LOL   No big deal, tho.

If you keep burning points like that, I bet you have full battery voltage going to the points all the time, instead of just when cranking/starting. There is a resistor wire in the harness from the iggy switch to the coil that provides a lower voltage(around 6-8 volts) once the ingition switch is released to to "Run" position after starting. If someone has bypassed that resistor wire, it will burn the points a LOT quicker than "normal". I've had the same set of points in my '74 since I bought it...I had replaced them for the guy I bought it from. Granted, I don't drive it all that much now, but I used to. You might have yer guys check to see if the coil is getting a full 12v all the time with the engine running. If it is, that's your problem....Ouch


|UPDATED|6/17/2014 2:32:00 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Joel Adams
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6/17/14 6:18pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
F4Gary Gold Member
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.

Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 862
MSD Tach drive distributor and 6AL box.  Way better than Pertronix.


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6/17/14 10:04pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
dyoes
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Zachary, LA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 L-48 Auto. Just your basic Vette. GM crate motor w/vortec heads and intake. Crane cam. Scorpion rockers, Edelbrock carb. Lots of parts still in boxes... :(

Joined: 1/27/2013
Posts: 201
I swapped the tach out for an electric one from a '75, and used a '75 harness so the wiring was easy.  Piece of cake.  But, I'm not worried at all about originality. 

Of course, the '75 tach failed this weekend, so a lot of good that did me.

But the HEI dizzy allllmost rubs against the air cleaner.  Another millimeter and it would. 


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6/18/14 12:27pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
TargaBlue72 Lifetime Member
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Lodi, WI - USA

Vette(s):
1972 Targa Blue, T-Top, Saddle leather, 350 auto,numbers match, all original except '69 factory side exhaust. Previously owned: 1969 427, 390hp, 4sp, Riverside Gold coupe, factory side exhaust

Joined: 9/25/2007
Posts: 326
Marshall, I switched the original distributor of my 72 to a HEI several years ago and have been very pleased with it.  Bought it from MAM and also bought the the 75 thru 77 ignition shielding, but as Joel says, I had to modify it a bit to fit around the air cleaner base.  Looks really good.  Most people would not know it's not original.  It has the mechanical tach drive, so for the first time in many years, the tach works great.  You will also need to change spark plug wires.  This is one of the best improvements that I have made in my old 72.

Dean 

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6/29/14 12:29am - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
alohajohn
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Vette(s):
1972 T Top, Mille Miglia Red, auto, ac, power windows, power steering, tilt/tele, power brakes, black leather..

Joined: 3/10/2013
Posts: 24
Don't forget to also open up the gap on your plugs to 45-50.!!

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6/29/14 1:37pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
7t9l82
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melbourne, FL - USA

Vette(s):
79 L-82

Joined: 6/9/2014
Posts: 23
crane and msd both have good boxes and dramatically extend the life of your points. i always had good service out of mallory points. if you want to go that way once more.accel points were o.k but required more frequent adjustments be cause of the higher spring tension would wear down the rubbing block faster. i know many people like the pertronix unit but I'm not that impressed with them. you have lots of options all have there merits. when the h.e.i units first hit the street we used to throw them in the trash, but soon after parts to improve them came out making them much better, but they are still big and ugly.

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6/30/14 10:33am - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
cinor Lifetime Member
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 L48 Stingray 1992 LT1

Joined: 12/24/2013
Posts: 277
Hello fellow gathering friends.  I love to see you guys hashing out all these little issues with your c3's.  its hopefully going to make my job so much easier when I finally get to tearing into mine.  Shed is almost done then I can move into my little garage and start.  If the rain would stop things would go a little better.

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6/30/14 12:24pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19449
Another tip for those still on the points bandwagon....when you get your points/condenser, order/ask for ones for a Big Block....those area little better, in most cases, and definitely if they are AC/Delco parts. The big block points had a little heavier springs, and better quality point materials and rubbing blocks. Another problem you'll run into is that the aftermarket, or even GM replacement rotors are NOT made correctly. They have too large of a gap between the tip of the rotor contact and the terminal on the distributor cap, causing the spark to have to jump that larger gap before ever getting to the sparkle plugs. I know of ONE company that is making the correct rotors for these point type ignitions. I have the info at home, of course, but I can post that later this evening, just so all will have it. Thumbs Up

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Joel Adams
C3VR Lifetime Member #56    
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6/30/14 8:49pm - Reply: 'Re: Switch to HEI?'
danascar
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Germansville, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 Coupe 358ci 4 speed Black w/Medium Saddle interior w/79 custom leather seats

Joined: 1/28/2010
Posts: 763
If you do decide to go with the HEI Marshall, this is the unit I used. Been in for several years with no problems and a breeze to put in. And very reasonably priced.



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