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The last time I had my boat out the MSD box crapped out and left my ass stranded. I've since removed the box and I'm planing on just converting over to HEI. My question is about wiring it up. I have an el camino, and if I recall correctly when I converted that over to HEI I had to run a signal wire down to the starter. That was several years ago and I don't recall 100% but I do recall having to do something with the starter. I checked the starter on my boat and it doesn't look like it has any extra terminals on the solenoid. I haven't purchased the HEI distributor yet so I have no instructions to look at. Can anyone tell me if I do have to run a signal wire to the starter when converting to HEI? Thanks
 

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The last time I had my boat out the MSD box crapped out and left my ass stranded. I've since removed the box and I'm planing on just converting over to HEI. My question is about wiring it up. I have an el camino, and if I recall correctly when I converted that over to HEI I had to run a signal wire down to the starter. That was several years ago and I don't recall 100% but I do recall having to do something with the starter. I checked the starter on my boat and it doesn't look like it has any extra terminals on the solenoid. I haven't purchased the HEI distributor yet so I have no instructions to look at. Can anyone tell me if I do have to run a signal wire to the starter when converting to HEI? Thanks
HEI distributors are simple,, a switched hot lead,, and a tach lead if desired.
 

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HEI distributors are simple,, a switched hot lead,, and a tach lead if desired.
What he said. Run a 12V keyed on/off source (ign on ignition switch) 14ga wire to the "BAT" terminal of the distributor. Run a brown or yellow wire from the "TACH" terminal next to it up to your tachometer and you're done.
 

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When you had the MSD it had one switched hot wire. Use it to the power the wire of the dizzy and the gray goes to the tach! The MSD also had one full time hot, discard it or the motor wont die when switch is turned off! And it is good to check the power wire that you run to the dizzy with a test light to make sure it stays hot while cranking!
 

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I am feeling like a baby seal so I will throw my .02 out so you guys can club me. My hei is one hot wire off the junction box/key. That works..... but it really isnt the right way. On most std starters there is a lug/terminal just for the starter that gets "full" power while cranking. My aftermarket starter does not have that terminal. To correct that it needs to be wired with a seloniod(sp) like a ford. Like I say it works....but weak spark while cranking a ice cold motor makes cold starts a bitch some times.
 

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I am feeling like a baby seal so I will throw my .02 out so you guys can club me. My hei is one hot wire off the junction box/key. That works..... but it really isnt the right way. On most std starters there is a lug/terminal just for the starter that gets "full" power while cranking. My aftermarket starter does not have that terminal. To correct that it needs to be wired with a seloniod(sp) like a ford. Like I say it works....but weak spark while cranking a ice cold motor makes cold starts a bitch some times.
With a points ignition this is true. HEI DO NOT use a "full voltage" for starting and a reduced voltage from a ballest resister for run, like a point dizzy. HEIs thrive on all the power you can give them up to about 18 volts. I know of no lug on a HEI for a "start" wire from the starter.



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Someone say Oldsmobile ? ? ?

yep ..... what they said .....
 

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With a points ignition this is true. HEI DO NOT use a "full voltage" for starting and a reduced voltage from a ballest resister for run, like a point dizzy. HEIs thrive on all the power you can give them up to about 18 volts. I know of no lug on a HEI for a "start" wire from the starter.
To bad I dont have my old suburban to go look under. I never said anything about reducing voltage...or needing reduced voltage. I am saying if the wire doesnt come off the starter....or a ford type a selanoid deal....the voltage WILL be reduced......its sharing its power with all the gauges ect....the starter lug "prioritizes" the voltage to the starter and dizzy....for start up only. After the motor is running it makes zero difference...but while cranking it does. Maybe I am wrong.....wouldn't be the first....but I dont think I am. This last spring I had a helluve time getting her to light. Stuck floats didnt help. After I fixed the float issue she didnt want to go still. Pulled a plug and looked at the spark...was weak....ran the hei straight off the batt. with a jumper wire and could see the difference....and yep she started. Doing the ford set up on my boat was on my todo list last year and didnt happen....yet. A stock chev starter has the lug for the ignition. My aftermarket doesnt.
 

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To bad I dont have my old suburban to go look under. I never said anything about reducing voltage...or needing reduced voltage. I am saying if the wire doesnt come off the starter....or a ford type a selanoid deal....the voltage WILL be reduced......its sharing its power with all the gauges ect....the starter lug "prioritizes" the voltage to the starter and dizzy....for start up only. After the motor is running it makes zero difference...but while cranking it does. Maybe I am wrong.....wouldn't be the first....but I dont think I am. This last spring I had a helluve time getting her to light. Stuck floats didnt help. After I fixed the float issue she didnt want to go still. Pulled a plug and looked at the spark...was weak....ran the hei straight off the batt. with a jumper wire and could see the difference....and yep she started. Doing the ford set up on my boat was on my todo list last year and didnt happen....yet. A stock chev starter has the lug for the ignition. My aftermarket doesnt.
I will say this. The HEI THRIVES on as much voltage as you can supply it ALL THE TIME. Running some whimping wire from some whimpy switch will definitely reduce the voltage to the HEI. You should make every attempt to reduce any voltage drop to the HEI, cranking or other wise. There should ZERO difference between feeding the HEI from the starter while cranking, and when its running. If there is, you need to rethink your wiring from the switch.

ANYBODY thinking of running a HEI should consider the fact that the MSD uses a dedicated 10 gauge wire for its power source. Think about that. Now, think about how you want to wire your HEI. If you can't have a dedicated power wire like aMSD, then do you think you should be a useing a 14 ga wiore for you switch lead on a HEI?



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This weekend I'm going to my parents where my el camino is stored. I did an HEI conversion on that car. I'll crawl underneath it and check to see if there's a wire from the dizzy down to the starter. I have a feeling that I'm gonna find one...
 

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mine has the msd kit inside it .... uses a 12 gauge wire off the switch .... starts everytime.
 

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This weekend I'm going to my parents where my el camino is stored. I did an HEI conversion on that car. I'll crawl underneath it and check to see if there's a wire from the dizzy down to the starter. I have a feeling that I'm gonna find one...
Don't come back telling us there is a wire on the starter. Tell us where it connects on the HEI.

If it does have a wire from the starter to the HEI, then check to see if its a 7 pin module. Are you running a 7 pin module in your boat. Does anybody run a 7 pin module in their boat?'

If it does have a wire from the starter to the HEI module, and its a 7 pin module, where are you going to connect that wire on your 4 pin module?



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This weekend I'm going to my parents where my el camino is stored. I did an HEI conversion on that car. I'll crawl underneath it and check to see if there's a wire from the dizzy down to the starter. I have a feeling that I'm gonna find one...
Why would that be relevant to your boat? Did your boat originally have a points distributor? As GN7 stated, there is no 'HEI' terminal on the starter solenoid. Your original points equipped El Camino had two start circuits, one +12V circuit that went through the solenoid and bypassed the ballast resistor while cranking, then once started the other circuit reduced running voltage to your points through the ballast resistor. No need for this circuit with an HEI, connect it directly to the 'ign' on the start switch.

-Tom.
 

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Why would that be relevant to your boat? Did your boat originally have a points distributor? As GN7 stated, there is no 'HEI' terminal on the starter solenoid. Your original points equipped El Camino had two start circuits, one +12V circuit that went through the solenoid and bypassed the ballast resistor while cranking, then once started the other circuit reduced running voltage to your points through the ballast resistor. No need for this circuit with an HEI, connect it directly to the 'ign' on the start switch.

-Tom.
If he isnt using the a stock starter with the lug for the dizzy....the only other correct way to hook it up is with a solenoid. Sorry if that makes some of you un comffy:)Unsure
 

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If he isnt using the a stock starter with the lug for the dizzy....the only other correct way to hook it up is with a solenoid. Sorry if that makes some of you un comffy:)Unsure
OK H20MOFO, of these 4 pins on the HEI module, which one would get your so called "starter" wire? And why? What does that wire do to the module that a single hot wire from the key to the "B" pin cannot do. Does this "starter" wire go to a different pin. Does the "starter" wire somehow magically boost the voltage over that the key switch SHOULD supply if it is wired correctly? I a dumbass. Please explain the operation of the "starter" wire to me.



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It all comes down to using a whimpy ass switch and a whimpy ass wire. If you wire your shit with 14 ga wire, and a cheap ass switch, you deserve all the problems that go with it. A 10ga wire to the switch from the battery and a 10 ga wire to from the switch to the HEI will eliminate the need for a some POS solenoid. does the solenoid have some magically power booster in it. Or is it simply not effected by the volage drop caused by using some thin ass cheap wire to you key switch that can barely keep up with the gauges. When you stop cranking, and go back to the key, you are aware you are starving the HEI for power right. If the HEI doesn't have enough voltage to start your shit when you cranking, then you starving your HEI. Now if your running some weak ass compression, and some low ass RPM, it may be enough. But why in the hell would you want you HEI to have LESS voltage after it starts than when its running. just cuious. Seems like what ever voltage started you stone cold engine would be the same voltage you would want ALL THE TIME!



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It all comes down to using a whimpy ass switch and a whimpy ass wire. If you wire your shit with 14 ga wire, and a cheap ass switch, you deserve all the problems that go with it. A 10ga wire to the switch from the battery and a 10 ga wire to from the switch to the HEI will eliminate the need for a some POS solenoid. does the solenoid have some magically power booster in it. Or is it simply not effected by the volage drop caused by using some thin ass cheap wire to you key switch that can barely keep up with the gauges. When you stop cranking, and go back to the key, you are aware you are starving the HEI for power right. If the HEI doesn't have enough voltage to start your shit when you cranking, then you starving your HEI. Now if your running some weak ass compression, and some low ass RPM, it may be enough. But why in the hell would you want you HEI to have LESS voltage after it starts than when its running. just cuious. Seems like what ever voltage started you stone cold engine would be the same voltage you would want ALL THE TIME!
You should probably write gm a note...and tell them they fucked up by giving the hei a priority route from the starter...and perhaps a note to ford telling them the didnt know wtf they were talking about either. Wow...what would we do without you;)
 

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You should probably write gm a note...and tell them they fucked up by giving the hei a priority route from the starter...and perhaps a note to ford telling them the didnt know wtf they were talking about either. Wow...what would we do without you;)
He's not putting this HEI in a freekin car!!!! with the A/C clutch pulled in before some dumb ass hits the key, or while the bitch in the next seat is messing with the electric window or the electric seat, and the A/C blower is running and the alternator isn't turning, and .......should I go on. he can take the damn solenoid and stick it where the sun can't get to it and never have a single issue. IF HE WIRES IT RIGHT!!!!!

Reminds me of guys killing electric fuel pumps, blaming the pump, while all along its bedcause they bought the smallest cheapest wire at Home Depot to wire there fuel pump, gauges and ignition, blaster stereo and anything else, ansd bitch because there shit don't start or the pump fails.

Wire it correctly, and you don't need a solenoid. Why do you think MSD was smart enough to have a dedicated 10ga wire for their ignition.Because they knew there would be dumbasses trying to power it with some puny wire. AND IT STILL HAPPENS!

do you run a 14 ga wire from the battery to your starter? Why not? Why would you run one to your ignition?



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You may want to look at how many older boats have the Ford switch wired in before making wrong decisions. It acts more as an isolater for the start mode on the wiring. I will add that 99% of starting problems are more ground related more than what gauge wire you are using. For that reason I do agree that a larger gauge wire will help and then to use an islolater as in the Ford switch will assist in hard starting. Example: V.W. aftermarket mechanics install a "hard start relay" for cold or any hard start situation and it is nothing more than the Ford starter relay. Give you a clue!!! Now to agree with GN-7 alot of older GM vehicles (big blocks mostly) will go dead on start mode until the engine compartment and engine cool down. Mostly due to heat related break-down in the wiring voltage delivery thus a larger gauge wire will assist! So AGAIN the hard start relay will eliminate this need and if most guys would check the ground and wiring that have problems starting with a MSD, we may see less for sale!!! Just my lame-ass opinion. Mark
 
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