How about some help on the GM HEI install - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-18-1999, 11:16 PM
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How about some help on the GM HEI install

Just got the HEI and waiting on the drive gear to come in.
I don't understand the purpose of marking the body of the Duraspark when you're just gonna lift it out in the next step. (The off-road.com instructions don't say anything about finding 0-TDC. They only say put the HEI in the exact position the stock dist. was in).
LarryM's directions are kinda confusing. Correct me if I am wrong here:
1. After I establish 0-TDC, I mark a place on the engine block where the rotor is now pointing (hopefully its pointing to #1 terminal).
2. Install the HEI making sure the gear is seated correctly and the new rotor is pointing directly to the #1 when seated.
3. Having done this, the dist. body can be rotated to any position desired, and the rotor will remain pointed to #1, is this correct???
4. I don't understand from where I run my 12 gauge wire to connect to the Batt. terminal in the dist cap. I don't have a red wire going to the stock ig. mod. Currently I have the Nutter in place. Do I use any of these wires, and if so how?
5. The stock coil had a green wire to the tach terminal and a small yellow wire to the other terminal. can I just jump from one of these to the HEI Batt. terminal?


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-19-1999, 03:08 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

The #1 cylinder on the HEI cap is distinct because the cap is notched. You need to line the terminal on the cap to the rotor. More than likely the yellow wire running to your coil is 9 volts durring run, you need to find a wire with a 12 volt feed all the time or put in a continuous duty solinoid like for fog lights. I herd that there is a wire from the original ignition module that is 12 volt all the time, but I re-wired my engine compartment and all that stuff is gone now.

Good luck,

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-19-1999, 05:10 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

I used the old fashioned method of finding #1 TDC . I put a small cork in the spark plug hole and turned the engine over (by hand) untill the cork poped out. Then put the timing mark on "0".

On the HEI, I used the post on the cap that's directly above where the wires go into the dist. body as my #1. Drop the distr. in so the rotor is pointing at where the wires go in. Your can rotate the body around so it lines up. Leave room for the vacuum advance to move either way some.

There is a heavy (maybe 10 ga.) wire that comes from the firewall connector from the fuse block and goes to the ignition module. On my ' 84 it's red with a white tracer. I cut it and just extended it with 10 ga. to the HEI.

All the purple and orange and other wires are no longer needed. Just the one heavy wire that's hot when the key is on.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-19-1999, 05:15 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

To find TDC of compression stroke rotate motor until timimg mark is on 0 degrees, check if rotor is pointing to #1 on old dist. If memory serves me right, looking down at dist. from the front , it should be at about 9 o'clock. If not ,rotate motor 1 more time and line up timing mark to 0, this should make rotor point at #1. Take out old dist. and put in HEI with the rotor pointing at 6 o'clock . This will be the new # 1 position for the HEI. This puts the cap and the vacuum can in a desired position. I've done it twice, it works. I'm fixing an 88 at the moment that caught fire, all wires got burned, so I've gone over the wiring diagrams with a magnifying glass. As far as i can tell the 14 gauge yellow wire, coming from the D5 hole ,is the only wire that is 12 volts from the ignition switch . The D5 hole is in the left hand side connector 4 holes down and toward the center, it's the only 14 gauge yellow wire coming from the left connector, its right next to a 12 gauge red wire. This wire runs to a splice that feeds many other systems. Splice in a 12 gauge wire and run it to the HEI. No you can't use the small yellow wire that runs to your coil cause it is a resitance wire and only supplies 9 volts, in the run position. If you have a manual and a magnifying glass you'll see what I mean LOL. Hope this helps with your HEI install cause the HEI is the only ignition I will use. CTjeepnut

post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-19-1999, 11:52 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

I just reread my instructions and you are right... they are kind of confusing.
Ignore that crap about the old distributor. The only reason I mentioned to do those things were to verify that you are in fact at 0TDC on the compression stroke.

The bottom line is you want the rotor to point to any one of the terminals on the cap with the engine at 0TDC.

That is basically all you really need to know.... just play with the adjustments. The one factor limiting infinite adjustment is that the cap only seats on the distributor body in one position... both should have a notch that fits each other.

Obviosuly I need to update the wiring info for Wrangler owners...if someone can help me out here I will add that to my writeup.







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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-19-1999, 12:54 PM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

Doug, personally, I feel that the instructions are way too complicated. Take the cap off your existing distributor, noting where spark plug one is. Rotate the motor, either by jogging the key, or by hand, until the rotor points to where plug 1 would be on the stock distributor cap. This puts the motor in the right spot. Ignore all that stuff about compression stroke, TDC, etc. You don't need it. The rotor will only point to the #1 spark plug when it needs to. So, get it so it does, and pull the distributor. When you install the HEI, pick a location for installing the rotor so it points to a plug wire location on the cap, it doesn't really matter which one. This will be your #1 plug wire spot. Install the other wires in the proper firing order, going around the cap in the same direction as the old cap was. (Mark all the plug wires on the old cap as to which one went to which cylinder when you remove them) You should now be able to fire up the motor in this position, though your timing may be pretty far off. If you think it all through, it really is very simple.

As for wiring up a good source of 12v+, look in your wiring diagram. I used a spot on the wire harness going to the old electronic ignition box on the drivers fender wll on my 88YJ. It was yellow. Then I unplugged the ignition module and taped up the connectors.

Good luck
Pete

88YJ, 4"susp, 33"BFGMT, 9k#winch, rear homemade swingout, reb.258, 999, 4.10, weber32/36, GMHEI.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-19-1999, 05:16 PM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

I think that you ALL over complicate this ......but I'm not going to add any more "personal techniques" to the thread. BTW..... unless something has changed in the last few years .......and seein' as a HEI in a AMC V8 is unlikely .....this must be a 258 ........so .....once you've found #1's position on the cap (I would actually choose which one will be #1) the rest of the firing order is an imutable bylaw of inline 6 cylinder design.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-20-1999, 01:29 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

Hey guys...it may seem like too much detail to some of us....but you have to remember that there are guys out there who do not have as much experience as we do....Having experience writing documentation on some of the software I have written, I constantly fall into the trap of assuming that the reader has a certain amount of basic knowledge....for example, Larry tells us what engine to get the dist from...a GM 250.....Hell....do you want to know how many GM V6's I looked at before I realized that I should have been looking for a inline 6? Except for that one problem, I found all the other instructions to exact...as for me, I skipped over the details on how to set it up for cyl #1....that is a part I take for granted...but the laymen out there may be in the dark. But then, that is one of the reasons we have this BBS. I consider myself to be a knowlegable mechanic...but I still learn something every day from this BBS.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-20-1999, 08:08 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

Point well taken DD[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif[/img]..perhaps I should eliminate the spicy foods...or check the blood sugar [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif[/img] ....uncharted waters can seem rather mysterious .......even if, after you've been around in them a bit, you realize that they are only knee deep. I really found nothing wrong with the above instructions ......my view is just a little more simplistic and generic in nature.

I would simplify this to:
1.) Establish TDC on #1 by either technique (old rotor position at #1 plug wire post or remove the spark plug and put your thumb, cork, whatever and rotate motor to TDC "whooosh")

2.) Place new distributor in a convenient position (just in case the vac advance will strike something or what not or you want the ignition terminal in a certain postion) ......now whatever position that the rotor is pointing to IS NOW #1 ............if you want (or need) it to be a SPECIFIC POST on the distributor .....either rotate the distributor so that the desired post is aligned with the rotor ........or lift the distributor a little and rotate the rotor and align it with the desired post......DONE

The motor is in the proper position .......the rest is determined by your specific needs (plug wire length, a #1 stamped on the cap, engine fixture sticks up where the vacuum advance diaphram happens to end up, etc.)

3.) Put on the rest of the wires .......start engine and set timing

This is generally true for all distributors with the exception of those with integrated "slotted" timing adjustments (where your distributor position is limited) and those with slotted (non gear driven) distributor shafts (where your rotor postion is limited - read 180 in or out) or unless there is some "MODEL SPECIFIC" requirments. Some 80s Oldsmobiles the timing adjustment was done at the cam.........


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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-20-1999, 09:18 AM
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Re: How about some help on the GM HEI install

I figured I would put a word out there from the laymen. Iím nervous about doing this because of the risk of big damage. I have no idea what Iím doing, but with the help and answers from this BBS Iím slowly learning about how things on my Jeep work and how to fix them. This seems like one of the most important upgrades Iíll do. Thereís not much more important then having it run well, well, maybe rust prevention. I know what helps me is pictures. You can tell me that I need to rotate the BTW valve (I know there isnít one), but itís hard to imagine what is meant without seeing it. Most of you that really know what youíre doing probably worked with someone that showed you. Larry, is there any way you can write on the pictures on your site to ďpointĒ to the items you mention in the article?
As always thanks for the help, Jeff


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