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Posted By: pablos49 HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 04:23 PM
I have a 283 with stock GM HEI distributor in my '49. The other day it just quit. When I checked there was no spark. So far, I've changes the module, pick-up coil, rotor cap and cover, even the coil in the cap. Luckily, I had almost all of this stuff already, so it didn't cost a whole lot. Another problem is when I put the distributor back in it was about 90 degrees off. I've heard of it being 180 degrees off, but not 90. When I brought number 1 piston up on compression stroke, the rotor was pointed to number 4 spark plug wire instead of number 1. Hope somebody has some ideas. I'm running out of hair!! Thanks
Posted By: 46gmcpu Re: HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 04:34 PM
Did you make sure the coil wire is powered, and it's making a good connection to the distributor?

What is the HEI out of? A 283 never had HEI as factory equipment.
Posted By: pablos49 Re: HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 05:00 PM
Yeah, wire going up to the coil is hot. That was the first thing I checked. The HEI is out of a mid 70's Monte Carlo.
Posted By: 12 Port Re: HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 05:57 PM
You really didn't need to remove the distributor to change out the parts, but since you did, you just re-installed it out of phase from where you removed it. It can get out of timing any number of degrees by having it a few teeth off or 5-6 and even by rotating the engine with the distributor out of the engine.
Posted By: Dogs51Burb Re: HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 05:58 PM
Pablos49,

Sounds like you need to re-drop the distributor in with it on #One firing position. Notice how much it turns,(turn it back that much to line up with #One when it's seated) as it drops in. does the distributor shaft drop all the way aligned into the oil pump shaft?

look up a valve adjustment chart for #One and look at the other valves to adjust, they can tell you if your on #One.
Small Block Chevy Valve Adjustment Order 0 deg TDC, both number one valves shut.
look at the #3 exhaust valve & look at the #5 intake valve, if they are opening; your not on #One. rotate 360.

make sure the wires coming out of the distibutor aren't broken or grounding out.
Posted By: pablos49 Re: HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 06:56 PM
You have to pull the center shaft out of the distributor in order to R&R the pick-up coil.
Posted By: pablos49 Re: HEI distributor - Mon Aug 12 2013 06:57 PM
I'm starting to think it would just be easier to move the spark plug wires around.
Posted By: 46gmcpu Re: HEI distributor - Tue Aug 13 2013 11:34 AM
Originally Posted by pablos49
I'm starting to think it would just be easier to move the spark plug wires around.


I hope you're not serious. Do it right and get the distributor put in and phased right.
Posted By: pablos49 Re: HEI distributor - Sun Aug 18 2013 06:29 AM
Update: I finally have spark, but it still won't start. I shot a little (VERY little) shot of starter fluid in the carb yesterday and it tried to start. It looks like I may have a little kink in the rubber fuel line leading up to the pump. I'm going to try getting that out of it today and see if that helps. I have a clear fuel filter on top where I can see it and there doesn't seem to be much in there. I replaced the pump 2 weeks ago, so it shouldn't be that. But I guess I could have gotten a bad one. Oh, by the way. I finally got the distributer set in there right. All the wires are where they should be. Thanks for all the help.
Posted By: LarryW Re: HEI distributor - Sun Aug 18 2013 07:27 AM
Did you redrop the distributor? If you just moved the wires you risk not getting oil to the crankshaft and burning the bearings. First lesson I learned the hard way many years ago.Larry
Posted By: pablos49 Re: HEI distributor - Tue Aug 20 2013 09:13 PM
Yeah, I did. Just kept working at it til it finally got in the right place. Found a crimp in the rubber fuel line, so I bent a small piece of steel line to take the place of the crimped area. Still 2 or 3 inches of rubber on both ends of it. Seems to be running good now. I hope. Thanks to all.
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