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Unread 04-16-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
Dado99TJ
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Ebay HEI?

Does anybody know anything about these HEI units being sold on Ebay?

AMC JEEP 6 CYL. HEI DISTRIBUTOR W/50K VOLT COIL WP8918 : eBay Motors (item 390174366944 end time Apr-23-10 08:25:42 PDT)

and

AMC JEEP 232 258 4.0 4.2 6 CYL HEI DISTRIBUTOR 6511-R : eBay Motors (item 350331895551 end time Apr-22-10 16:00:00 PDT)

The ICM went out on my jeep years ago and the PO swapped in a mid 70s distributor with points and condenser. It works, but I'd like to see a bit more power and better mileage. I've seen other HEI units going for as much as $300 I'd really prefer not to pay that much for one, so when I saw these I thought they might be ok. The one says it has a lifetime warranty, but you never know.

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Unread 04-16-2010, 11:59 AM   #2
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There was a thread a while back about cheaply made gears causing damage to the cam, maybe someone else will have the details. I got an HEI distro from CRTperformance and have been very happy with it. Not a lot more money but for all I know it's the exact same one is the ebay version.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #3
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Do not take the risk of purchasing a cheap HEI clone, the gear on the distributor is made of hardened steel and will eat your camshaft, whatever savings you experience now will not mean anything since later you will spend 3x as much fixing stuff...

If you want to go the HEI route, buy from a respectable dealer.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 01:11 PM   #4
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I'd recommend the CRT unit, or if you do buy the super cheap one at least order the drive gear from CRT. You can also get a drive gear for an AMC V8 and swap on or grind your stock gear down to fit, but I wouldn't use the gear on the cheap unit.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 02:22 PM   #5
Dado99TJ
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Thanks for the quick replies! Now, here's another question; if I swap in an HEI unit, should I use the stock plugs? I know you can use a wider gap with the HEI, but are the plugs ok with the increased voltage and all?
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Unread 04-16-2010, 02:33 PM   #6
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Stock plugs are fine, just widen the gap. But you do need new plug wires... (8mm) CRT also sells those or as part of the kit anyway, OR you can get a set of plugwires for a 1977 to 1983 Ford Fairmont with the 200 I6, those are stock 8mm wires and will fit the YJ pretty nicely. (Those are what I used)
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Unread 04-16-2010, 02:42 PM   #7
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Go with a quality HEI MADE FOR YOUR JEEP. The cheap ones have hardened gears some times you get lucky and it wont destroy your cam but is it worth it. Do the team rush upgrade and a MSD ignition if you want the best set up in my opinion without spending a butt load. I did the whole conversion MSD6 used Ebay $90, MSD wires $90, Plugs $2 each Rush upgrade components $20 Tach adapter $20. Its more expensive but worth it in my opinion and you wont have to worry about your cam being chewed up.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 06:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bigjoe27 View Post
Go with a quality HEI MADE FOR YOUR JEEP.
You do realize that EVERY HEI made for a Jeep I6 is the same GM HEI, there is not a "Made for a Jeep HEI" they simply have a different drive gear and shaft, the rest of it is a GM HEI. I don't disagree that there are better qualities of product, but the CRT gears have a proven track record.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 09:56 PM   #9
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Why go with a HEI when the Ford TFI is twice as powerfull?
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Unread 04-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #10
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This is like the Ford VS Chevy argument, either choice is a huge improvement over the stock system. Neither are vastly better than the other.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 10:45 PM   #11
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Why go with a HEI when the Ford TFI is twice as powerfull?
Why? Well, I'm looking for a "drop in" solution. The GM HEI setup looks to be the simplest way to upgrade the ignition.

One more question; how much of an improvement can I expect to see over the old points and condenser setup that's on it now? Will I notice it while driving?
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Unread 04-16-2010, 10:49 PM   #12
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No not really a Chevy or Ford argument. It is a known fact that:

The TFI coil puts out 1-1/2 more than a HEI coil = Better spark

The DS system has a ignition spark retard to help start a hot engine or a high performance engine, HEI does not.

If you don't like the DS box, you can run a GM module in it's place with the TFI coil.

The biggest draw back to the GM HEI is the coil in the cap, and the module in the cap design. Coil in the cap means that all of the Radio Frequency Interference, and Electro-Magnetic Interference that the coil produces (and believe me, they are REALLY cranking out the 'noise'!!) is directed at the module and the pick up trigger coil...
(Ford fixed this by moving the module and coil to different locations.)

On the HEI, the high voltage from the secondary side of the ignition passes within 1 1/2 inch of the module!! One ground fire to the module, and you walk! When the high voltage escapes to ground inside the distributor, (That's when, not if...) you are guaranteed a false firing of the Hall Effect trigger.
(Ford fixed this by using a much taller rotor, and shielding the Hall Effect trigger.)

The center electrode (Button) is normally a soft, relatively high resistance graphite. This graphite comes off when the voltage is passed through it, and when the electrode comes into contact with the moving rotor, and small amounts of CONDUCTIVE graphite are distributed all over the inside of the cap and on the rotor, causing the high voltage to follow it, instead of going to the spark plug terminal like it's supposed to. If you see black dust in the cap, or on your rotor, you have the problem.
(Ford uses a much harder, and lower resistance center electrode to correct this problem.)

With the short rotor barely covering the internal centrifugal advance mechanism, you are guaranteed to get lots of firings to ground, both around, and through the rotor. (Look for 'Red Dust' inside your cap and rotor. That is the residue of extreme heat 'welding' the advance weights to the pivot pins from ground firing.) (Ford Solved this problem by using a much taller rotor, physically putting distance between the distributor internals and the high voltage.)

The HEI distributor cap is non-vented, so the high energy discharges build up ionized air, called Ozone. This ozone promotes ground fires, cross fires and chain fires inside the cap, further adding to the confusion...
(Ford fixed this by venting the distributor housings, and in some cases, the caps themselves. Also, Ford uses vanes in the cap to stir up the air and keep the ozone from collecting in the top of the cap.)

And the list goes on.

GM could never design out all of the defects, so the entire Coil-In-Cap design was scrapped. GM now uses an ignition very similar to the Ford ignitions. Just do a search.

The GM HEI's good points are...
--With the one piece cap with no vent, the cap works as an air bubble to keep the high voltage circuit moisture free when driving through water.
--The GM HEI is a one piece changeover, meaning if you have to change distributors, it's loosen one bolt, pull a couple or three wires, and change the distributor.
--There are parts for them at every discount auto parts store, and most farm implement stores in the country (and abroad for that matter)...
--They are EVERYWHERE in junk yards for cheap...
--A fresh Reman with core charge at the discount parts store is under $125.
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Unread 04-16-2010, 11:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dado8788 View Post
One more question; how much of an improvement can I expect to see over the old points and condenser setup that's on it now? Will I notice it while driving?
I don't know about the HEI, but with a MSD you will notice, more power, better idle, slightly better gas mileage, but above all you will notice great improvement in torque...

Maybe my stock ignition system was extremely bad, because I swear when I did the change it was like driving a different Jeep... I am very happy now!
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Unread 04-17-2010, 05:01 PM   #14
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I'm not going to argue with you, you have what you have and that's fine. FACTS, the engine in the Jeep can only use so much spark. This is exactly why things like Bosch plugs and the like are pointless "upgrades" they simply provide nothing better.

Either system is a HUGE improvement over the stock system. From there it becomes personal preference.
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Unread 04-17-2010, 09:52 PM   #15
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My buddy had a wore out Bronco with a 460. It would hardly run. He put a MSD box on it and wow. It actually improved the start up and running. Took it back off, it it was back to bad starting and poor running.
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