Converting 73' 455 OLDS sleekcraft to HEI Ignition, help with wiring please
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Converting 73' 455 OLDS sleekcraft to HEI Ignition, help with wiring please

  1. #1
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    Question Converting 73' 455 OLDS sleekcraft to HEI Ignition, help with wiring please

    Ok so I have a 1973 23' executive with a 455 Olds, I bought a HEI distributor from a 75' cutlass because the old distributor died on me on the water and a boat mechanic out there told me to upgrade to HEI(there was oil inside the petronix electronics) Question #1 do I put the wires back on the cap just the way they came out?(looks like the 75+ engines have the #1 plug more towards 1 o' clock instead of the 5 o' clock on the 73, also there is power (green wire) and ground (brown wire) on the factory harness with a yellow wire that was not connected also, do I just wire it up green to red, brown to black, and yellow to white(assuming the yellow wire is a tach signal) I have been told to add a ballast resistor but I have no idea what that is. Please help me get it wired up so I can take it out this weekend. Also the distributor I got came with a vacume advance, my old didnt have that, do I just cap the vacume port on the distributor or should I add a vacume line to my carb?
    Last edited by Quick01GT; 09-03-2012 at 01:15 PM.

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  3. #2
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    Default Plug wires...

    Quote Originally Posted by Quick01GT View Post
    Ok so I have a 1973 23' executive with a 455 Olds, I bought a HEI distributor from a 75' cutlass because the old distributor died on me on the water and a boat mechanic out there told me to upgrade to HEI(there was oil inside the petronix electronics) Question #1 do I put the wires back on the cap just the way they came out?(looks like the 75+ engines have the #1 plug more towards 1 o' clock instead of the 5 o' clock on the 73, also there is power (green wire) and ground (brown wire) on the factory harness with a yellow wire that was not connected also, do I just wire it up green to red, brown to black, and yellow to white(assuming the yellow wire is a tach signal) I have been told to add a ballast resistor but I have no idea what that is. Please help me get it wired up so I can take it out this weekend. Also the distributor I got came with a vacume advance, my old didnt have that, do I just cap the vacume port on the distributor or should I add a vacume line to my carb?
    I'll just touch on the plug wire position.... You can put #1 wherever YOU want it... Provided the engine is at #1 firing, (the mark comes up twice per distributor rotation), drop the distributor in with the rotor pointed wherever you want it... (I usually use straight forward, easy to remember if I do them all that way)... Once you've started in, and are engaged with the cam, you'll have to turn the motor over with a wrench until the distributor drops into the oil pump drive, maybe 1/4 inch or so down from where it stopped.... (sometime you're lucky and it'll fall right in, but usually the distributor sticks up 1/4 to 3/8th until everything is lined up)... Put your #1 cylinder wire where ever you decided to point the rotor and follow around with the firing order.... Oldsmobiles turn COUNTERCLOCKWISE, 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.... After the oil drive is engaged, you can rotate it around again until the rotor is where you put it with the ignition timing lined up with the timing tab on the front, and align the cap to that point as close as you can, clamp the distributor down, but not so tight you can't move it... Get a timing light and fine tune it....Clamp it down tight...
    Ray

    PS I don't think you need a ballast resistor with an HEI, but you will need HEI wires.... The HEI cap has "male" connectors, so you need "female" boots on both wire ends, as well as "resistance" wires....Stock HEI units deliver about 45K volts, so you may want to increase your plug gaps to .045-.060....I'm not sure which....
    PSS the HEI COIL is in the cap, don't hook your old coil to ANYTHING but the workbench or tool box....
    Last edited by Moneypit; 09-03-2012 at 01:39 PM.
    LOUD BOATS SAVE LIVES

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    [QUOTE=Moneypit;1707511]I'll just touch on the plug wire position.... You can put #1 wherever YOU want it... Provided the engine is at #1 firing, (the mark comes up twice per distributor rotation), drop the distributor in with the rotor pointed wherever you want it... (I usually use straight forward, easy to remember if I do them all that way)... Once you've started in, and are engaged with the cam, you'll have to turn the motor over with a wrench until the distributor drops into the oil pump drive, maybe 1/4 inch or so down from where it stopped.... (sometime you're lucky and it'll fall right in, but usually the distributor sticks up 1/4 to 3/8th until everything is lined up)... Put your #1 cylinder wire where ever you decided to point the rotor and follow around with the firing order.... Oldsmobiles turn COUNTERCLOCKWISE, 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.... After the oil drive is engaged, you can rotate it around again until the rotor is where you put it with the ignition timing lined up with the timing tab on the front, and align the cap to that point as close as you can, clamp the distributor down, but not so tight you can't move it... Get a timing light and fine tune it....Clamp it down tight...
    Ray

    PS I don't think you need a ballast resistor with an HEI, but you will need HEI wires.... The HEI cap has "male" connectors, so you need "female" boots on both wire ends, as well as "resistance" wires....Stock HEI units deliver about 45K volts, so you may want to increase your plug gaps to .045-.060....I'm not sure which....
    PSS the HEI COIL is in the cap, don't hook your old coil to ANYTHING but the workbench or tool box....[/QUOTE/]

    I have the HEI wires, now how do I wire it up to the factory wiring?

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    I have the HEI wires, now how do I wire it up to the factory wiring?[/QUOTE]

    Factory wiring??? Like in a car?? Look at the cap. There should be some symbols, or notations about which wire go where.. I have no idea about your boat "factory" wiring, you may have to do a little homework to see what is hot, what is ground, what is tach, etc etc.... UN HOOK YOUR BATTERY before you start messing with the wires, until you have established what's hot with the key on....Then, just touch the cable to the battery sideways, not on the terminal.... If it sparks heavy, that aint it...If you know where the "hot" wire is, the one that went to the coil, hook that to 12+ on the cap.....
    Ray
    LOUD BOATS SAVE LIVES

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    BATT + side goes to key switch
    TACH side goes to the tach


    Its written on the dizzy
    Use heavy 10 gauge wire for the dizzy

    Daniel
    "Never mind the mule, Just load the wagon"
    '76 Eliminator 21'

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