Bare minimum; power the Ford ignition module correctly and verify that the associated wiring is in good condition.
If it has an electronic carb verify that it is clean, operational and properly adjusted.
Verify that it has good alternator to block, battery, chassis and body grounds.
Forget HEI anything; if you want good ignition add a MSD-6a directly triggered from the stock autolite electronic distributor; add a junkyard Ford E-core ignition coil and good ignition wires and a brass terminaled distributor cap (you can use the high voltage cap, spacer and rotor from a Ford but don't accept anything but brass terminals in the cap). The MSD-6a will help the engine run with the poor mixtures generated by the carburettor and different length intake manifold runners.
Don't ghetto up the ignition do it once and do it right.
If you decide to bypass pollution devices (including the electronic carburettor and computer) be aware that you will be responsible for paying to make them operational again, and possibly subject to a large fine if the next owner decides to push the issue.
...a well prepped, well driven, vehicle should do well in any terrain, including the highway.
Carburetors became obsolete during the last century... do what ever it takes to get fuel injection...It makes bigger grins off road.
Last edited by Happy Joe; 07-11-2010 at 06:52 AM..