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Unread 05-13-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
paulbone
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1977 FSJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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TFI versus HEI

I am sure this one has been discussed to death before, but would appreciate advice and comments you might have.

I want to upgrade my 78 Cheif 360 ignition with something relaible, bullet proof and easy to fix 600 miles from civilization.

I have seen the Mallory series 85 HEI's on BJ's Offroad, has any one used this set up?

I have also seen articles about at TFI set up, which looks cheaper but also looks like a lot more work with just as many parts to fail as stock.

Is there a Pertronix kit and an upgrade to the Ford/Jeep ignition module?
Or even keep it all stock and just run round with a couple sets of spares.

Long term reliability is more imprtant than cost as I want to drive to South America in it next year.

Many thanks for any advice.

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Unread 05-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #2
revelc
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I personally went with an MSD Ready to Run dizzy bit I hear a lot of good about both TFI and HEI. If I were to do it again I'd go with the HEI simply because its a one wire set up, looks cool, and the parts are readily available almost anywhere. Check out D.U.I. if you have the extra cash. They are highly regarded by the AMC guys.

I wanted the Mallory kit from BJ's but they couldn't get me one after two months of waiting on that distributor AND a radiator.

So I just cancelled my order and got everything from Summit.
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Wag Rebuilt 360, 260H, 727, Locked 44, AMC 20, 208, 31" M/T's, 4" Rustys, 2.5" Duals. SOON:SOA SF, 496, T400, Doubler, D60's, 37" M/T's <-TOY
Cherokee Rebuilt 360, 2" Duals, mostly stock. SOON: Hot Street 401, 4'' Rustys, 33" BFG A/T's maybe a T-case to get rid of Q-Track <-TOW RIG
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:22 AM   #3
pleontks
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check out the stealth hei setup. those gm hei ignition modules are EVERYWHERE (including south america) and being gm, they dont die.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
revelc
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Oh and another thing, since you mentioned tripping below the equator. I hope you've read up on these engines enough to know your weakest point is the oiling system. Just to be safe I'd run either a Milidon or Canton road race pan. They have almost another gallon in capacity and will keep your mains fed and happy. A high flow water pump would also be ideal. Will you be pulling a lot? Carrying a lot of gear? Up hill climbs under load will have your temp gauge walking on the wild side. I'd invest in an aluminum radiator too. I did some research and put a summit radiator in mine and it works great. Less than half the price of the one BJ's offers. I want to do something similar with missions work so I have done a lot of reading and planning myself.

We would all love to help you out any way we can if you want to go a little deeper with your build.
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Wag Rebuilt 360, 260H, 727, Locked 44, AMC 20, 208, 31" M/T's, 4" Rustys, 2.5" Duals. SOON:SOA SF, 496, T400, Doubler, D60's, 37" M/T's <-TOY
Cherokee Rebuilt 360, 2" Duals, mostly stock. SOON: Hot Street 401, 4'' Rustys, 33" BFG A/T's maybe a T-case to get rid of Q-Track <-TOW RIG
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Unread 05-14-2013, 08:01 AM   #5
CSP
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Oiling problems in the AMC doesn't have anything to do with a lack of capacity or the bottom end being oiled. It's all up top. Revelc you know just enough to be dangerous with your advice sometimes, especially when it comes to spending other people's money on things they probably don't need. I'm sure it has good intentions behind it.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #6
revelc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP
Oiling problems in the AMC doesn't have anything to do with a lack of capacity or the bottom end being oiled. It's all up top. Revelc you know just enough to be dangerous with your advice sometimes, especially when it comes to spending other people's money on things they probably don't need. I'm sure it has good intentions behind it.
I meant rod bearings. It was very late O_o.
And I don't want to

image-194447144.jpg

But yeah...
A higher capacity oil pan can help longevity of an AMC. You can run an extra quart in the stock pan. But if the man is traveling that far (thousands of miles from his garage) explain to everyone how extra insurance isn't a good idea please.
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Wag Rebuilt 360, 260H, 727, Locked 44, AMC 20, 208, 31" M/T's, 4" Rustys, 2.5" Duals. SOON:SOA SF, 496, T400, Doubler, D60's, 37" M/T's <-TOY
Cherokee Rebuilt 360, 2" Duals, mostly stock. SOON: Hot Street 401, 4'' Rustys, 33" BFG A/T's maybe a T-case to get rid of Q-Track <-TOW RIG
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Unread 05-14-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
CSP
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Rod bearings are bottom end and again, that's not where oiling problems occur in the AMC V8.

I agree that extra insurance is a good thing, but there are areas that demand more attention than more oil capacity. It's not an item that causes problems historically.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
revelc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP
Rod bearings are bottom end and again, that's not where oiling problems occur in the AMC V8.

I agree that extra insurance is a good thing, but there are areas that demand more attention than more oil capacity. It's not an item that causes problems historically.
.....

image-1703100692.jpg

Do you really know what your talking about?

Countless AMC rebuilds are a result of starved rod bearings.

Tell you what OP, listen to CSP.
He's knows fecal matter better than the boys in THEAMCFORUM, Bulltear, or any other forum that knows AMC engines.

I'm out of here man. Enjoy this thread.
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Wag Rebuilt 360, 260H, 727, Locked 44, AMC 20, 208, 31" M/T's, 4" Rustys, 2.5" Duals. SOON:SOA SF, 496, T400, Doubler, D60's, 37" M/T's <-TOY
Cherokee Rebuilt 360, 2" Duals, mostly stock. SOON: Hot Street 401, 4'' Rustys, 33" BFG A/T's maybe a T-case to get rid of Q-Track <-TOW RIG
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:31 PM   #9
CSP
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It's all a matter of relevance and application revelc. You obviously are one tracked and think every gas engine is meant for high RPMs. Most here aren't interested in the race track. You might take that into consideration.

What I do know is that your 401 failed with very little run time. Mine has run without issue for years and makes close to 500ft lbs of torque. I know what that tells me.

Cute picture.
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Unread 05-14-2013, 12:47 PM   #10
revelc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP
It's all a matter of relevance and application revelc. You obviously are one tracked and think every gas engine is meant for high RPMs. Most here aren't interested in the race track. You might take that into consideration.

What I do know is that your 401 failed with very little run time. Mine has run without issue for years and makes close to 500ft lbs of torque. I know what that tells me.

Cute picture.
Haha okay BRO.

I can say that I had to build my 401 in a hotel room over the winter and had to install it myself in a parking lot in the snow in Colorado. I only had a chance to drive it maybe 80 miles before I drove it over 800 miles back to Texas. The valve covers leaked and it ran out of oil on the way back. I still made it home although it has a light tapping sound. So it is still "running". I'm sure I'm the only person that's ever had a problem with an engine in the first 1,000 miles it was on the road.

That must mean I'm an idiot. Right? I think I did alright for someone with a craftsman lunch box with a set of hand tools, a hand me down cherry picker, and freezing temperatures.


You obviously have a problem with me. Why don't your take your poor attitude over to Pirate4X4. You can bang skulls with other people more concerned about pushing their own take on things and belittling others than they do helping the threads OP.
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Wag Rebuilt 360, 260H, 727, Locked 44, AMC 20, 208, 31" M/T's, 4" Rustys, 2.5" Duals. SOON:SOA SF, 496, T400, Doubler, D60's, 37" M/T's <-TOY
Cherokee Rebuilt 360, 2" Duals, mostly stock. SOON: Hot Street 401, 4'' Rustys, 33" BFG A/T's maybe a T-case to get rid of Q-Track <-TOW RIG
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Unread 05-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
pleontks
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SWEET! FORUM FIGHT! It's like we're at ifsja.

Everyone does stuff differently, and makes different mistakes. That's what the forum is for. I've read both your guys' posts, and you both know what you're talking about.

Now, what are your opinions on ignitions for the OP?
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Unread 05-14-2013, 04:16 PM   #12
revelc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleontks
SWEET! FORUM FIGHT! It's like we're at ifsja.

Everyone does stuff differently, and makes different mistakes. That's what the forum is for. I've read both your guys' posts, and you both know what you're talking about.

Now, what are your opinions on ignitions for the OP?
I can only speak on what I've used which is the MSD ready to run set up. But lots of people like the HEI set up. The parts would be available everywhere. The only issue I can see coming up is the power steering pump interference which can be fixed by a slightly longer belt.
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Wag Rebuilt 360, 260H, 727, Locked 44, AMC 20, 208, 31" M/T's, 4" Rustys, 2.5" Duals. SOON:SOA SF, 496, T400, Doubler, D60's, 37" M/T's <-TOY
Cherokee Rebuilt 360, 2" Duals, mostly stock. SOON: Hot Street 401, 4'' Rustys, 33" BFG A/T's maybe a T-case to get rid of Q-Track <-TOW RIG
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Unread 05-14-2013, 07:59 PM   #13
paulbone
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Thanks for the input guys, I was leaning towards the HEI conversion, but heard of reliability issues.
Though i must say I went the HEI route with my wifes 58 Chevy some years back and never had a problem, but that wasn't the Mallory 85.

Thanks for the tip about oiling issues and overheating.

I am to finish the Chief in the next few months, go on a scouting trip in August and then plan the mega trip for next year. My wife and I will be travelling light and will be doing volunteer work.

I was advised by a local in Costa Rica that in the rainy season I will have to ford alot of rivers, so of course I want a durable ignition system with the minimum of components to fail.

Got the motor out today in 102 degrees of sunshine, heaven!
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Unread 05-15-2013, 09:57 AM   #14
pleontks
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If you have onboard air, with the 'tfi' style cap, (or any vented cap), you can run a line into the vent on the dist cap to keep it dry while fording.
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Unread 05-15-2013, 10:02 AM   #15
CSP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revelc View Post
You obviously have a problem with me.
No sir, I have no problem with you per se. Here's my point of view though. A few months ago you stated on the forum that you know little about gas engines. Now that you've read a few threads on various forums you seem to think you're an expert on AMC engines. Some of us have been running these things since before you were born and we have tons of first hand experience and a lot of it is pre-internet. Just because our information isn't going along with everything you've read on a forum doesn't mean it isn't correct or that it doesn't have any value.

Not everything you read on the internet is true, and some of it may be true in one situation, but not applicable in another. Having the knowledge to know the difference is more valuable than just regurgitating something you read on the web. Don't be that guy who is just spewing information he read somewhere else.

As far as ignitions go, the Duraspark distributor has the correct advance curve for the AMC V8 (and is more easily adjustable than HEI), but the HEI ignition module wins hands down over the Duraspark module for longetivity. I'm a fan of the stealth HEI. MSD is good stuff, but bang for the buck really isn't there.
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