Team Rush with 89 distibutor -

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post #1 of 7 Old 09-06-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: bainbridge
Posts: 62
Team Rush with 89 distibutor

I recently installed a Weber 32/36. My 1989 wrangler will now idle, but MPG is still pretty bad and the engine still sputters and pops. I am sure that it has the original distributor, cab, rotor, and coil that came on it. I have been reading everything I can find on HEI distributors and on the Team Rush upgrade.

I am not a mechanic, but I am trying to learn all I can and at least learn enough to get by as I work on getting this jeep into tip-top shape. So any help and direction is apprecieated.

I am leaning toward doing the Team Rush because it looks like the parts can be had cheaply and because I have read that HEI clones may come with a gear that can damage the cam. I don't know enough about the HEI clones to know which have hardened gears and which do not, so I figure it best to just stay away. If there is an HEI that is not TOO expensive and that has softer gears, I would like to hear about it.

If I do the Team Rush, will I have enough manual advance to set the timing if I do not replace the distributor with a pre-smog unit? I have been reading that the distributor that comes on the 1989 using the computer to advance timing. I have not performed a Nutter bypass yet. If I simply replace the cap, rotor, plug wires, etc. associated with the Team Rush, will the computer still provide the advance? If not, will I have enough manual advance available with the current distributor or will it need to be replaced?

Obviously out of my comfort zone.


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post #2 of 7 Old 09-06-2011, 10:47 AM
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1988 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Rio Rancho NM
Posts: 4,298
You can just swap the cap/rotor/cap adaptor and wires. This will not have any negative effect on the computer control.
When you perform the Nutter you can use the original dizzy infact most do not change it when performing the team rush, you are aware that you will be leaving some performance on the table. Just set your advance to 8*-10*btdc at idle and you will be good to go.
You will probably benifit from using manifold vacuum instead of ported also. You wll have to retune the carb to that source but that is no big deal and the payoff is worth it.

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-06-2011, 11:23 AM
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1990 CJ7 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ga
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Do the nutter first. With the aftermarket carb, the computer can no longer control the idle, and it is probably really messing up your timing.

There are instructions in the CJ section on how to mod your smog dizzy to pre smog configuration to get full mechanical advance. A small file or dremmel is all it takes, no parts to by for this item.

You should be getting 18 to 21 mpg on the highway, if not, something is out of wack. Nutter and dizzy mod should fix it.

Mine went from 11 mpg to 21+ mpg with the mods mentioned, and I still have a Carter on mine.

418 miles on 19 gallons of gas. Can't beat the BBD !
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-07-2011, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: bainbridge
Posts: 62
Thanks for the replies. I figure I may be getting 8 MPG. I know I need a serious tune-up and I really need to check my fuel lines as well. I don't smell gas, but I am dealing with some old hoses.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-07-2011, 10:40 AM
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 174
Im going to jump in on this conversation because I think my questions will help the OP as well.

4.7 stroker, I had spoken to you before about this and you told me about the problems with the advance curve of the Chevy Hei not matching the 258 very well.
I personally love the way the HEI has improved my performance(I built my HEI from a Chevy dist and a 304 AMC gear.) Although it performs alot better Im wondering if there is still even more performance available.
I have had some trouble with water getting under the coil on the HEI and shutting me down in the middle of crossing creeks so I want to get the HEI out and replace it with a more water resistant ignition. I could seal it but I want to see if I would rather a different ignition.

You advised me at that time to get a pre smog 258 distributer.
My question is: How would you upgrade the ignition to perform best, and still acheive the water restistence that I am wanting ?
Btw, I got my 99+ intake and the aluminum carb base milled to fit each other.
I was going to just carb a 4.0, Now Ive decided to strip it and build a stroker

boardmaker,you should reconsider the HEI route, on the street I love it but it has let me down in some pretty bad spots.That coil is in a perfect spot to get splased by the right front tire and is just too low for water crossings.

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post #6 of 7 Old 09-07-2011, 11:44 AM
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1990 CJ7 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ga
Posts: 5,145
Not 4.7 here, but I'll tell you what I did to my ignition.

I am using a 1980 AMC dizzy (motorcraft) and stock coil. The firing is being handled by a late 70s GM HEI ICM (just the module). It allows a full 12 volts to the coil when needed, and auto adjusts the resistance to keep from burning up the coil when 12V not needed.

Idle and low end torque improved over Duraspark module. GM ICM is mounted high in a closed metal box to make it very water resistant. Stock coil is mounted high away from splash area. Dizzy cap and wires have heavy bead of dielectric grease at all openings to cut down on water intrusion. Am running the Team Rush style mod.

Ignition is trouble free at this point. Not only is the GM ICM cheaper than the Duraspark (less than 1/3 the price), it is easy to find literally anywhere in the world.

418 miles on 19 gallons of gas. Can't beat the BBD !
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-07-2011, 11:45 AM
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1990 YJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 4,022
I use VAseline, stuff the coil with it, put coil on put vaseline around the coil wire where it attaches...

If like mine it uses a plug style, do the same thing, just not as much, put it aroudn the plug, and a little inside, vaseline repells water like mad, you cant even use saop and water to get it off barely, unlike some types of greese

Started with some rust repairs ended in a SOA...

family roll bar swap/upgrade..

1990 YJ. SOA, OME 36R 3.5" lift springs, OME 5/8 greasable shackles, OTT high steer, Custom cage, team Rush, Posi, 33 TSL swampers
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