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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2002, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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H.E.I. for 258.

I'm thinking of doing the HEI conversion to my '88 Wrangler.I'd like to know how well it works and if it will improve my power and fuel mileage.Thanks- TommyT.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2002, 02:12 PM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

With the 4.2L engine you have, the TeamRush upgrade is a better choice and will outperform the HEI upgrade.

Do a search on this board for the TR upgrade and you'll get hundreds of posts covering the topic. If you can do a tune-up, you can do this mod - it involves replacing the dist. cap, rotor, wires, and coil to Ford components. You retain the stock Jeep distributor in the process.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2002, 03:35 PM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

I did the HEI conversion on my jeep. I didnt notice so much improvement in power, but it more than made up for it in reliability. for example there was a pic on here last summer when my jeep was in the lake almost over the hood. and it never died! not even a sputter and the distributor was totally submerged.
I just got a distributor from 250 chevy I6 and put on the amc V8 gear. I used a mallory bronze gear that was like $45. but i have used a stock steel gear on a friends. They are easy to set up too. Just check wires till you find the one that is hot when the key is on. usually one of the small ones that runs to the coil.
if you need any help let me know
Hope this helps, Wade
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2002, 08:10 PM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

The only problem with converting it to Ford stuff is reliability. Ford Duraspark modules and pick-up coils, even the TFI modules are not known for reliability. Be sure to carry spare modules if you go that route.
If TFI you'll also need the special socket.

GM's weak link is the rotor, carry one of those.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2002, 10:50 PM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

First off, you already have a good ignition.
You need to do a couple of things to make it more reliable...

One is the 'TeamRush' cap, rotor, plug wire and coil upgrade.

The other is the 'Nutter' bypass. If you do the 'Nutter' bypass, you will need to swap your distributor in for one from a '79 CJ-7 with 258 CID (4.3L) engine. (around $50 with exchange)
Just swap yours for a rebuilt, the parts dummies at AutoJerks won't know the difference....
The ignition controlled distributors don't have near enough centrifugal advance, and the vacuum advance is pretty limited also.

The 'TeamRush' upgrade,
The problem is the crap cap, rotor and plug wires that AMC used... Not rated for a high energy ignition, and like to cross fire and cause problems...
If you upgrade to the '82 cap adaptor, distributor cap & rotor, and use the high energy ignition plug wires from a '92 4.2 liter Jeep, you will be truly amazed at the easier starts, better highway manners, more power and an increase in fuel milage.
(USE A BRASS TERMINAL CAP, it's worth the extra money)
All of these parts snap right on your existing distributor, nothing but a phillips screwdriver needed.

You will need,
The distributor Cap Adaptor, the Distributor Cap, & Rotor from a '82 Ford F-150 Pick up with 300 CID I-6.
Don't waste your time with the cheap aluminum terminal caps, even if you have to order it and wait, the brass terminal caps are the thing to have.

You will need a set of plug wires from a '92 Jeep with a 4.0 Liter engine.
Everyone reports these work great and they are rated for a high energy ignition.
I recommend MSD <a target="_blank" href=http://www.msdignition.com>http://www.msdignition.com</a> ignition components when ever you can use them.
Order a free catalog from the home page at MSD and look at all the cool stuff they have. (we like free sh*t!)

The next step of the upgrade is the ignition coil. (Part numbers below)
This will require crimping two spade connectors on the new coil connector, and matching color coding on the wiring harness for the old connector.
1/4" male spade connectors, and push them right in where the old coil hooked up.
(now if you have a coil failure, either type Ford coil can be use, so no matter what the parts store comes up with, you can use it!)

You will have to fabricate a coil bracket for the E-core coil (most people just use angle iron) or you can get a coil bracket from any salvage yard.

NAPA p/n ICC-1 for the coil connector, around $13.
'92 Ford Escort for the ignition coil. Ford Factory E-core coil from the TFI ignition. Around $15 for economy, $45 for factory or premium grade.

This will bring your ignition into the later second half of the 20th century.

If you have around $140 lying around, do the cap, rotor and plug wire upgrade, then order an MSD 6 series module (MSD 6A or MSD Off-Road to be exact)
This will bring your ignition into the last 20 years of the 20th century...

Have you looked for bronze in your oil pan!
I can't believe no one told you not to use a bronze gear on a cast iron camshaft!

I'd suggest pulling the distributor and looking at the gear to see how much is left before I put may more miles on it...

RRich wrote,
**The only problem with converting it to Ford stuff is reliability. Ford Duraspark modules and pick-up coils, even the TFI modules are not known for reliability. Be sure to carry spare modules if you go that route.
If TFI you'll also need the special socket.**

This guy needs to lay off the sauce...
This is one of those guys that will lie to you for fun...
First off, **converting it to Ford stuff**
You are not, "... Converting to Ford stuff..." like the above clown would like you to believe...
Your Jeep already has Ford's Motorcraft distributor and DuraSpark module &amp; ignition coil in it.
It's traveled tens of thousands of miles with a cap, rotor, and plug wires it was never intended or designed to use.
Fix what's broke, not what's working every day with out complaint....

Second, **Ford Duraspark modules and pick-up coils**
Late model Ford ignition modules are MORE RELIABLE than late model GM modules, and can be replaced at any discount auto parts store (some of the super Wal-Mart's are carrying them now...)
Ford has upgraded the power switching for the modules several times down through the years, and they will handle the most stout ignitions now. (GM has changed nothing about their original 4 pin ignition modules, still just as crappy as the day they were issued)

Some of the WAY off road guys take an extra module because early modules were pretty crappy. Ford corrected them in about '77, and they are find now.
They also carry tons of 'What If?... parts and tools...
(can't say that about GM HEI modules, GM hasn't changed their terrible switching transistors yet!)

If you add a splice to the black wire coming out of the module, and connect that straight to the battery negative post. The ENTIRE primary ignition system grounds through that black wire through the distributor housing.
You will be doing your module (and wallet!) more good than switching to a system you vehicle was never designed for or intended to use....

Third, **TFI modules are not known for reliability.** (This guy really doesn't have a clue...)
As for TFI modules, you won't be using a TFI module, just the E-core coil that every manufacturer is using now, and Ford successfully used with the DuraSpark ignition module and conventional magnetic pickup for years...

The E-core coil...
They are more DEPENDABLE, reliable, higher output of usable spark energy, lower in the stuff you don't want (like EM and RFI noise), and have been used by Ford since '84 and by GM since '74.
(that's right, the GM HEI has an E-Core coil... It's just in the cap.)

Fourth, **If TFI you'll also need the special socket.**
No special socket needed, because like I've already stated, you won't be using the Thick Film Integrated module, you will be using the Jeep factory stock DuraSpark ignition module.
(Besides, it's not a socket, it's a stubby screwdriver with tamper resistant torqx bit...)

Do the search, or start a new post asking for opinions of the 'TeamRush' upgrade for the 4.2L/ 258 CID engine.
I'm sure you will find what you need from the posters here...

Several hundred people have already done the 'TeamRush' upgrade for the factory Motorcraft/ DuraSpark ignition used on all I-6 and V-8 Jeeps from '78 to '90, and I have yet to hear anyone complain about the results or switch to a GM HEI after doing the 'TeamRush' upgrade.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2002, 12:31 AM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

Sorry TeanRush if you think I'm lying. I've just been in the tune-up/performance/diagnostic business too long to rely on the Ford modules - 35+ years. I even used to carry a spare Ford module off road for the Ford guys - I was tired of towing them out to the pavement when I came across them. And I didn't/wouldn't drive a Ford.

In response to his situation I wasn't sure exactly what system he had or was planning on, so I covered the TFI as well. Sorry if my dislike for your loves showed through.

Converting the cap and rotor and the coil makes sense over keeping the Rambler stuff.

In the last few years Ford has made significant improvements in reliability, but I still don't have alot of respect for them, especially when it comes to their computer control systems.

I read your article on HEI vs. Fords, I have to disagree with some of your statements about the HEI being so terrible.

I've done quite a bit of chassis and engine dyno testing / curving of lots of different ignitions and haven't found any that perform better than the HEI for a street type engine. All out race engines are a different story altogether.

But like the saying is, everyone has one. Some folks get insulting just to prove they are one.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2002, 01:21 AM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

As me being the scorekeeper for the OFGWJ Club, ( Old Fat Guys With Jeeps ), the current score is,
TR + Nutter thing- 12
HEI - 0
post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2002, 02:32 AM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

Rich, you best go back over to one of the forums that will tolerate you telling your tall tails....
You are in WAY too deep here.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2002, 08:34 AM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

Rich, we all know that TR will come down on people really hard sometimes but only and only when he is totatly and knowingly correct. Im not sure the reasoning for this but most techs seem to like the HEI better. Me personally i dont care they both make spark. So since you are tech you may just fall in to the tech thing. A buddy of mine has a yard and does alot of service work. We have done both the HEI upgrade and the TR. In may opionin the TR made much more of a difference. Also on the gm stuff being more reliable. I dont think so. The ford igintion is much more reliable, my cj is 22 years old with all the orginal crap in it (except rotor, cap, and wires). My buddy with the yard has a 1952 payloader with a ford v8 and an auto swapped in and a another loader but just alittle smaller(One of these days i will take a pic for all to see this). These loaders sit outside all the time, the motors and igintion are always wet my point being is; that is about as much abuse as you can but on something and guess what they never go down. Well just my $0.02.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2002, 01:45 PM
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Re: H.E.I. for 258.

I don't care about the poser.

If the original poster (ttnjr) wants to use a GM HEI, I'll help him install it CORRECTLY.
Damn few of the conversions are installed correctly.
I have the gear, the correct electrical connector, wiring diagrams, and power relays if it's needed in his application.
Sometimes the relay isn't needed, especially if you have a '78 to '90 Jeep with tach... That will save him $30.

(and I'll pay him for is Motorcraft distributor core)

If ttnjr, the original poster, is just wanting to have a reliable ignition he can find parts for, then he needs correct information, not lies, half truths, rumors and incorrect information supplied by an unemployed salesman.

If this clown had actually been in a dyno room, he'd already know this stuff, it's simple engineering fact...

The facts are...
Ford has a better design or uses better materials on,
Cap, Rotor, Distributor, Module, Ignition Coil, and most other parts of the ignition.
Most of the aftermarket Ford stuff is better than the aftermarket GM stuff because Ford designed in overkill, even the aftermarket guys can't screw it up too bad...

The Magnetic Trigger in the GM HEI is slightly more accurate, but the Ford Magnetic Trigger sends a much stronger signal and is more reliable.
The Ford style magnetic trigger is so reliable that all NASCAR distributors are equipped with them....
MSD uses them in the custom billet distributors they make...

The Ford distributor is easily adjustable for rotor phasing, you can't rotor phase a GM HEI at all with out major surgery and a TIG welder...
If you've never heard of rotor phasing, or believe it's not important, then you are just not capable of making a decision on this subject.

The GM HEI has two things going for it,
1. It will operate on a 1 wire hookup, so any chimp can get the wiring connected (just not wired correctly)...
2. Unless the distributor cap center terminal gasket has failed completely, the caps works as an air bubble in deep water so the engine will run a little longer.

That sealed cap works against you any time you ARE NOT in deep water by trapping ozone in the cap and adding to cross fire and multi-fire.

Every ignition has good points and bad points when compared to competitors.
GM HEI just happens to be the second worst excuse for an electronic ignition system produced for production vehicles in this country.

Prestolite was the worst, followed by GM HEI.

The GM HEI is a great improvement over breaker points and even the Prestolite ignition.
The Ford Motorcraft/DuraSpark system with the E-core coil is that much more of an improvement over the GM HEI.

If you want to really make your ignition work...
Step out of the 19th century and into the 20th century...
Get rid of the inductive ignition module and get a Capacitive Discharge Ignition. Several companies make the CDI modules that will add on to you stock distributor (MSD being the best of the lot).

MSD connects directly to your Motorcraft distributor's Magnetic trigger and directly controls the coil saturation for an increase of 100% to 1,000% in all major areas of spark energy!
One MSD module, One adaptor 'pigtail' wire and you are in business....
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