Didn't anyone tell you a GM HEI will cure all ills, including smelly holes, rotten toes, property taxes, and guaranteed to make child birth an absolute pleasure...
Wonder why none of the arm chair experts with all the answers didn't answer this post...?...
You have a '79 CJ-5, and that came with the Motorcraft distributor and DuraSpark ignition module.
The Motorcraft distributor is one of the best pieces any of the factories ever cranked out.
Really tuneable and you have the version with the full size advance slots.
I think you have made a wise choice keeping it.
Use the Cap Adaptor, Distributor Cap, and Rotor from a '82 Ford F-150 pickup with 300 CID I-6.
This will give you the wider, taller cap and rotor. These are low cost upgrades that make a world of difference.
It's worth the extra money to get the premium cap with brass terminals even if you have to order it.
The Plug wires from a '93 Jeep with 4.0L engine are a good fit and they are true High Energy Ignition wires.
MSD makes the best plug wires (MSD Red 8.8 mm wires), but any high quality set will work for stock vehicles.
You can round out the upgrade with an 'E-core' ignition coil.
The connector is available from NAPA, p/n ICC-1, around $14.
The coil is from a '92 Ford Escort.
This coil can be mounted at any angle because it's not oil filled
If you are going to use the old style Motorcraft canister coil and you need a replacement connector, NAPA p/n is ICA-102.
The factory module is plenty reliable for stock applications.
I suggest you splice into the black wire with a 16 or 14 Ga. wire.
Go from the module and ground it directly to the battery.
This will give your module an added layer of security.
If you decide to upgrade the module, you can't do any better than the MSD 6A module.
It will upgrade your inductive ignition to a true Capacitive Discharge Ignition (CDI), and it will increase your useable spark energy from 100% to 1,000%.
The MSD is available from lots of sources, Summit Racing is one of the cheaper ones.
<a target="_blank" href=http://www.summitracing.com>http://www.summitracing.com</a>
You are looking at about $140 for the module and about another $10 for the correct adaptor for your distributor.
Module is the MSD 6A, and the adaptor is MSD p/n 8869.
With this the stock distributor, the MSD module and the distributor cap, rotor, plug wire and coil upgrades, you have an ignition you can go racing with! This is a killer for an ignition!
Next comes the alternator.
Your vehicle had the Delco SI series internally regulated alternator.
You are going to have to install a Diode in the excite wire when you do the wiring for the alternator.
Radio Shack p/n 276-1143 or 276-1144 will do nicely.
They also have very small non-insulated crimp connectors that I use on both ends of the Diode.
(the part number escapes me now, if you need it later, let me know.
The two wire connector is available at most discount auto parts stores, and the same connector fits all of the Delco SI series alternators.
Here is a graphic to show you how to assemble the plug with the Diode.
Notice the Diode has a silver stripe on one end, and that stripe is facing the alternator.
This is an important detail!
The Red wire attaches to the 'BATT' terminal on the back of the alternator.
The other end of the Diode on the white wire attaches to a place like the Positive side of the ignition coil, or to the 'I' terminal of the starter solenoid.
Also, the brown wire in the graphic is a fusible link, and you will need one if you are wiring your charging system from scratch.
Install a 14 Ga. fusible link on the battery side of the starter solenoid, attach a 10 Ga. wire to the fusible link, then attach the 10 Ga. wire to the 'BATT' terminal of the alternator.
Now, you will need a wiring diagram for your ignition.
Here is the correct diagram for a '79 Jeep CJ.
Notice the resistor wire in the harness.
If you need a resistor wire, the only source I have for them is Auto Zone, p/n F-799, around $10.
I always recommend you use the ignition resistor just like the factory did.
(I have run the DuraSpark ignition on street rods with no resistor for 20 years with no problems, but if you have the original module, you may want to get an updated one with upgraded power switching transistors...)
If you have any more questions about your ignition, get a hold of me directly via private messages, or address the post to me directly.