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points to hei question

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    Senior Member jamesblown97's Avatar
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    Default points to hei question

    im trying to get away from my current points ignition and probably going to an hei setup. my question is with the hei setup do i need an ignition box like a 6al or something similar or just the coil and the dizzy and away i go. if there is a different route other than the hei that i should look into let me know. thanks

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    Senior Member jet460's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesblown97 View Post
    im trying to get away from my current points ignition and probably going to an hei setup. my question is with the hei setup do i need an ignition box like a 6al or something similar or just the coil and the dizzy and away i go. if there is a different route other than the hei that i should look into let me know. thanks
    If you mean GM type HEI, just put 12 volts to the batt terminal on the cap and fire it up.
    You can also widen the plug gap.
    I used to run mine at about .050"-.060".
    ..oh, and it's a good idea to keep an extra ignition module handy since they burn out frequently.
    Last edited by jet460; 04-06-2011 at 07:25 PM.
    100 years from now, none of this will matter.

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    Senior Member jamesblown97's Avatar
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    do you suggest any other type of ignition for my 455 to get away from the points and ballast resistor. should i go with the hei setup or just go with a pentronix or something. just trying to get the best reliability i can. its not a race boat just a cruiser.

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    Senior Member jet460's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesblown97 View Post
    do you suggest any other type of ignition for my 455 to get away from the points and ballast resistor. should i go with the hei setup or just go with a pertronix or something. just trying to get the best reliability i can. its not a race boat just a cruiser.
    The Pertronix ignitor is a great swap too. Takes minutes to install. I just put one in my Ford. With the HEI you will also have to use different plug wires, so the pertronix unit is the cheapest way to go providing the distributor you have is still good. Either way is an upgrade from points any way you look at it. If you go with the Pertronix, get a good coil and toss the ballast resistor.
    Last edited by jet460; 04-06-2011 at 07:59 PM.
    100 years from now, none of this will matter.

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    Senior Member jamesblown97's Avatar
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    how do you like your pentronix i have heard good things about it. that may be the way i go because to buy a decent hei dizzy is quite a bit more than the pentronix stuff.

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    Senior Member pilot940's Avatar
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    I tried the ACCEL points eliminator. After going through 2, I went back to the points set up. Not sure if they had a bad run or what, but I will be staying away from ACCEL in the future. I have heard good things about pertronix. For just a cruiser, points run pretty good, just get a dwell meter to tune it every season.

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    Senior Member HotRodJosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesblown97 View Post
    do you suggest any other type of ignition for my 455 to get away from the points and ballast resistor. should i go with the hei setup or just go with a pentronix or something. just trying to get the best reliability i can. its not a race boat just a cruiser.
    HEI is best IMO. Easy to get and replace the module if/when it fails (5 minute job)....always carry an extra. Not every auto parts store is gonna have a Pertronics module when it fails....

    Shouldn't be too hard to find a used HEI out of some big, mid '70s Olds.....

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    Senior Member SoldHondaBoughtHondo's Avatar
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    I try to run HEI whenever possible....for one reason...if they take a dump, although they rarely do, repair parts are as close as my tow vehicle....or ANY auto parts store...burned up 2 uni-no-lites with the olds motor...had to order parts...$85...was told HEI wouldn't clear my tunnel ram...and it didn't until i remove a little material from the intake and filed off a little plastic for the cap hold downs.
    And aftermarket HEI are sometimes junk, depending on the brand..NAPA seems to be decent and the silicone grease is important
    "A liberal paradise would be a place where everybody has
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    not, such a place does, indeed, exist: It's called prison."

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    Member reno_eNVy's Avatar
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    I'm thinking I'm going to go HEI as well.

    I know that when something seems too good to be true, it usually is, but I might even try one of these:

    Oldsmobile V8 HEI Distributor 307 350 400 403 455 OLDS - eBay (item 380322232488 end time May-05-11 09:38:42 PDT)

    I think I'll keep the old points and cap just in case. I have used HEI before and then decided that I liked my points better... weird, I know but if it runs well and reliably, I don't care what's in it!

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    Senior Member jet460's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesblown97 View Post
    how do you like your pentronix i have heard good things about it. that may be the way i go because to buy a decent hei dizzy is quite a bit more than the pentronix stuff.
    I put one in an Accel dist, and I also run an MSD 6al/blaster coil.
    Works flawlessly. Not a hint of misfire.
    HEI was great in the 80's, but there is better stuff to run than that now IMO. The aftermarket modules for HEI are absolute garbage. Seen them bad right out of the box more than once.
    100 years from now, none of this will matter.

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    Member Katanna's Avatar
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    Ok I'm confused. My pertronix instructions said if it had the ballast resistor to leave it in. Have you had any problem without it and how long have you ran it this way? Live in michigan and mother nature has not provided the weather for testing yet.

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    Senior Member jet460's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katanna View Post
    Ok I'm confused. My pertronix instructions said if it had the ballast resistor to leave it in. Have you had any problem without it and how long have you ran it this way? Live in michigan and mother nature has not provided the weather for testing yet.
    I think it depends on the coil? It's been so long since I have used anything with points, I honestly don't remember what a ballast is even for...complete blank...

    I know I don't need one using the Pertronix with the MSD coil & box. Runs perfectly.

    The Pertronix is just a trigger, like points or a module.
    They all do exactly the same thing.
    Read the installation instructions VERY carefully since there are lots of ways to hook it up depending on dizzy type, coil type, etc,etc...hooking it up wrong will cook the thing, or it wont run at all.
    Last edited by jet460; 04-07-2011 at 06:48 PM.
    100 years from now, none of this will matter.

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    Senior Member HotRodJosh's Avatar
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    You'll need to keep the resistor, like said above, the Pertronics is just an electronic "trigger" to fire the coil. Traditional coils are meant to run at lower than 12v...otherwise they get hot and weaken. There are some coils that can work directly off 12v...but they have a built-in resistor.....so they still don't really run off 12v.
    An MSD box, as long as it's not an older Blaster, doesn't need a resistor, as it takes care of that within box...as do the other CD & digital ignitions....
    An HEI is one of the simplest and most reliable ignitions out there....and if there is a problem, so easy to diagnose...... and yer not sending it back to some manufacturer when it fails (ie: MSD). I like to keep my rigs as simple as possible....so if a failure happens to occur, it can be fixed rather than towed....
    But there are some aftermarket HEI's that have issues....any of the off or no-name brands I'd stay clear of. A recurved GM or a D.U.I are best.

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    Senior Member jet460's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotRodJosh View Post
    You'll need to keep the resistor, like said above, the Pertronics is just an electronic "trigger" to fire the coil. Traditional coils are meant to run at lower than 12v...otherwise they get hot and weaken. There are some coils that can work directly off 12v...but they have a built-in resistor.....so they still don't really run off 12v.
    An MSD box, as long as it's not an older Blaster, doesn't need a resistor, as it takes care of that within box...as do the other CD & digital ignitions....
    An HEI is one of the simplest and most reliable ignitions out there....and if there is a problem, so easy to diagnose...... and yer not sending it back to some manufacturer when it fails (ie: MSD). I like to keep my rigs as simple as possible....so if a failure happens to occur, it can be fixed rather than towed....
    But there are some aftermarket HEI's that have issues....any of the off or no-name brands I'd stay clear of. A recurved GM or a D.U.I are best.

    There you go...well said..
    100 years from now, none of this will matter.

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