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Unread 01-29-2009, 04:16 PM   #46
bigjoe
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Nice write up Hammer. I too am a little far off on doing this upgrade. But if I read correctly I can't do this upgrade. I have 77' 258 with BID dizzy. Prestolite right? I will have to do the GM HEI upgrade correct? Sorry for the simple question. I'm from the school of seeing and doing and always worried I miss something when reading the write ups. Thanks in advance.

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Unread 01-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #47
Fjguercio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoe View Post
Nice write up Hammer. I too am a little far off on doing this upgrade. But if I read correctly I can't do this upgrade. I have 77' 258 with BID dizzy. Prestolite right? I will have to do the GM HEI upgrade correct? Sorry for the simple question. I'm from the school of seeing and doing and always worried I miss something when reading the write ups. Thanks in advance.
Could do that,
Another option would be get the DuraSpark Distributor for 1978 CJ, rebuilt they cost $50 and then use the Stelth GM Ignition Modual $20-$35 or a CDI MultiSpark Ignition, Summit has their CDI in the Cat for $115 vs $130sale.

Could also buy the DuraSpark Ignition Modual, the better after market ones are $80 or so each. They are not as good as the orginals... but for a few bucks more the CDI is a better option for $40 more.

If you use the GM HEI Distributor you need to select the correct one, correct gear, ck thing out a bit. Will also need to match the spark advance curve, initial, vacuum, mechanical to match or close the the 258 curve. They are usually too agressive. They have other issues and limitations. The MSD and DUI, $300, have (curve) done already and they use a quality gear but they are pricey. Can do CDI & DuraSpark for less. There is a comparison done By JeepHammer
http://www.junkyardgenius.com/igniti...eicompair.html

I was truely impressed what the TeamRush did for my rebuilt engine that had new parts already.
Fred
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Unread 01-29-2009, 10:04 PM   #48
bigjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjguercio View Post
Could do that,
Another option would be get the DuraSpark Distributor for 1978 CJ, rebuilt they cost $50 and then use the Stelth GM Ignition Modual $20-$35 or a CDI MultiSpark Ignition, Summit has their CDI in the Cat for $115 vs $130sale.

Could also buy the DuraSpark Ignition Modual, the better after market ones are $80 or so each. They are not as good as the orginals... but for a few bucks more the CDI is a better option for $40 more.

If you use the GM HEI Distributor you need to select the correct one, correct gear, ck thing out a bit. Will also need to match the spark advance curve, initial, vacuum, mechanical to match or close the the 258 curve. They are usually too agressive. They have other issues and limitations. The MSD and DUI, $300, have (curve) done already and they use a quality gear but they are pricey. Can do CDI & DuraSpark for less. There is a comparison done By JeepHammer
http://www.junkyardgenius.com/igniti...eicompair.html

I was truely impressed what the TeamRush did for my rebuilt engine that had new parts already.
Fred

Thanks Fred, All options are up for thought. That part of my project is a little while off yet. But good info all the same.
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Unread 01-30-2009, 12:21 PM   #49
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoe View Post
Nice write up Hammer. I too am a little far off on doing this upgrade. But if I read correctly I can't do this upgrade. I have 77' 258 with BID dizzy. Prestolite right? I will have to do the GM HEI upgrade correct? Sorry for the simple question. I'm from the school of seeing and doing and always worried I miss something when reading the write ups. Thanks in advance.
Big Joe,
You are correct, Prestolite doesn't have any upgrades,
And you will have to change the ignition, including the distributor, to do much of anything with it.

You have two choices,

1. Is an HEI distributor.
In your situation, with a 258 and Prestolite,
You are a VALID candidate for an Actual GM HEI distributor.

I'd start with the distributor from a '76 Blazer with 250 CID I-6 Engine.
That will give you the correct distributor, with wiring for an external (larger, better turn ratio E-core coil) ignition coil instead of the 'In Cap' coil that is poorly insulated, limited on size, and generally is a poor excuse for an E-core coil.

You will need the '76 Cap & Rotor,
Plug Wires with 'HEI' style terminals,
A Reman Version of the '76 GM HEI Distributor,
And External E-core coil to complete the conversion.

DRIVE GEAR. GM and AMC used different drive gears, and you MUST change the drive gear on the GM HEI distributor before you can use it!
------------------------------------------------------

2. Second Choice,
Would be for the 'Full On' Ignition,

'78 or '79 Reman Distributor for CJ with I-6 engine,
This will give you the Jeep/Motorcraft distributor that is upgradeable,

Cap Adapter, Cap, Rotor, Plug Wires from the 'TeamRush' upgrade,

CDI module, And a Coil of some sort (even your Prestolite coil will work)...

Believe this or not, they both work out about the same in the long run,
The HEI distributor is about $100 plus core charge for a fresh Reman,
Where the Jeep/Motorcraft is about $50,

HEI you will have to change coils to an E-core to work correctly, so that's a trip to the junk yard, or a $50 aftermarket coil, Where with the CDI, you can use about any stock coil,
(So that's $100 savings right there going 'Full On'...)

Either way, you will need PREMIUM CAP, ROTOR, PLUG WIRES,
So that's a wash cost wise, even both ways,

CDI will gouge you for a little extra money for wiring adapters/coil connectors, ect. to make your install look professional,
But it will be 500% more powerful than the HEI as soon as you turn the key!
....................

Let me know which way you want to go, and I'll provide all the details and diagrams.
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Unread 01-30-2009, 06:21 PM   #50
bigjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
Big Joe,
You are correct, Prestolite doesn't have any upgrades,
And you will have to change the ignition, including the distributor, to do much of anything with it.

You have two choices,

1. Is an HEI distributor.
In your situation, with a 258 and Prestolite,
You are a VALID candidate for an Actual GM HEI distributor.

I'd start with the distributor from a '76 Blazer with 250 CID I-6 Engine.
That will give you the correct distributor, with wiring for an external (larger, better turn ratio E-core coil) ignition coil instead of the 'In Cap' coil that is poorly insulated, limited on size, and generally is a poor excuse for an E-core coil.

You will need the '76 Cap & Rotor,
Plug Wires with 'HEI' style terminals,
A Reman Version of the '76 GM HEI Distributor,
And External E-core coil to complete the conversion.

DRIVE GEAR. GM and AMC used different drive gears, and you MUST change the drive gear on the GM HEI distributor before you can use it!
------------------------------------------------------

2. Second Choice,
Would be for the 'Full On' Ignition,

'78 or '79 Reman Distributor for CJ with I-6 engine,
This will give you the Jeep/Motorcraft distributor that is upgradeable,

Cap Adapter, Cap, Rotor, Plug Wires from the 'TeamRush' upgrade,

CDI module, And a Coil of some sort (even your Prestolite coil will work)...

Believe this or not, they both work out about the same in the long run,
The HEI distributor is about $100 plus core charge for a fresh Reman,
Where the Jeep/Motorcraft is about $50,

HEI you will have to change coils to an E-core to work correctly, so that's a trip to the junk yard, or a $50 aftermarket coil, Where with the CDI, you can use about any stock coil,
(So that's $100 savings right there going 'Full On'...)

Either way, you will need PREMIUM CAP, ROTOR, PLUG WIRES,
So that's a wash cost wise, even both ways,

CDI will gouge you for a little extra money for wiring adapters/coil connectors, ect. to make your install look professional,
But it will be 500% more powerful than the HEI as soon as you turn the key!
....................

Let me know which way you want to go, and I'll provide all the details and diagrams.
Thanks Hammer. I think I could do the "Full on" choice. I have a 79' 258 I-6 here from a CJ I parted. So, (correct me if I'm wrong) I could use the 79' dizzy, purchase the "Team Rush" parts,(cap, cap adapter, rotor,and plug wires), and either re-use or replace with a new coil. Would an accel coil be ok over overkill? Thanks again for info Hammer.
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Unread 01-31-2009, 10:04 AM   #51
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoe View Post
Thanks Hammer. I think I could do the "Full on" choice. I have a 79' 258 I-6 here from a CJ I parted. So, (correct me if I'm wrong) I could use the 79' dizzy, purchase the "Team Rush" parts,(cap, cap adapter, rotor,and plug wires), and either re-use or replace with a new coil. Would an accel coil be ok over overkill? Thanks again for info Hammer.
Some Accel coils are NOT compatible with the CDI units, so be careful which one you run with.

About any of the factory coils will work just fine, Ford or GM E-cores, Canister coils from about any maker, ect.
The canister coils will produce more spark energy, but they are oil filled, so make sure you mount them upright!

MSD makes a canister coil with a 'Spark Plug' type terminal, Blaster 3, p/n 8223, but I'm REALLY not sure that it's worth the money just for that spark plug type terminal when junk yard Ford E-cores are $5 each with brackets and wiring connectors...
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku



-------------------------------------------

This will be your wiring diagram,
Notice there are some adapter part numbers listed in the images, take note of what you need.
Also,
The small 'Red' wire from the CDI module would connect to your factory module 'Power' wire or your factory 'Coil Positive' wire.
Both carry a full 12 volts and will turn the module 'On' when you turn the key...



Let me know if you have any questions...
------------------------------

The '79 model year was the last of the 'High Advance' ignitions, before the smog nazis got their hands into everything!

The '79 distributor is what I recommend because it has the most adjustment built into it, so it will work fine,
And if you want a REMAN, you already have a core!
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Unread 02-03-2009, 09:52 PM   #52
bigjoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
Some Accel coils are NOT compatible with the CDI units, so be careful which one you run with.

About any of the factory coils will work just fine, Ford or GM E-cores, Canister coils from about any maker, ect.
The canister coils will produce more spark energy, but they are oil filled, so make sure you mount them upright!

MSD makes a canister coil with a 'Spark Plug' type terminal, Blaster 3, p/n 8223, but I'm REALLY not sure that it's worth the money just for that spark plug type terminal when junk yard Ford E-cores are $5 each with brackets and wiring connectors...
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku



-------------------------------------------

This will be your wiring diagram,
Notice there are some adapter part numbers listed in the images, take note of what you need.
Also,
The small 'Red' wire from the CDI module would connect to your factory module 'Power' wire or your factory 'Coil Positive' wire.
Both carry a full 12 volts and will turn the module 'On' when you turn the key...



Let me know if you have any questions...
------------------------------

The '79 model year was the last of the 'High Advance' ignitions, before the smog nazis got their hands into everything!

The '79 distributor is what I recommend because it has the most adjustment built into it, so it will work fine,
And if you want a REMAN, you already have a core!
Thanks Hammer. Printed off the info and the list of parts needed. I'll check back in when I get closer to this part of the build. Thanks
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Unread 02-04-2009, 12:37 PM   #53
Blthomas
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Awesome thread. I did the basic stuff, no MSD or anything yet on my 79'.

I didn't start it for 3 months, pumped the gas, hit the key and it purrs like a kitten.

This upgrade has made a huge difference for me. Just wanted to say thanks!!!!!!!!
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Unread 02-04-2009, 04:43 PM   #54
bigjoe
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Hammer another couple questions on the "Full On" setup. What CDI from MSD should I use for this? And using the CDI means I'm removing the stock Ign. mod. right? Thanks again.
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Unread 02-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #55
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Just a quick question. I have got two red wires that are connected at the coil connector and then one green one. I am going with the E coil and the connector only has one red. The 2nd red one is for my Tach correct? So do I splice them together at the new E coil connector?
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Unread 02-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #56
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Did the upgrade, worked wonderfully. Thanks Hammer!
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Unread 02-05-2009, 08:01 AM   #57
JeepHammer
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Thanks man, but remember, you did the WORK!
I'm like the old fart that sits on the porch... I don't do WORK,
I give advice!
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Unread 02-05-2009, 08:21 AM   #58
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjoe View Post
Hammer another couple questions on the "Full On" setup. What CDI from MSD should I use for this? And using the CDI means I'm removing the stock Ign. mod. right? Thanks again.
With the Prestolite ignition, since the distributor isn't compatible with anything else, I'd remove the factory ignition module along with the distributor.

With a Motorcraft distributor ('78 to '86 CJ) you can just tape over the factory connectors and leave the factory ignition in place as a 'Back Up',
But no point in that with the Prestolite since it's distributor doesn't get along with ANY of the aftermarket modules,
And for MSD or any other common CID module you will have to replace the distributor...

'78 or '79 Jeep/Motorcraft distributor out of CJ 304 V-8 engine will give you a distributor that is VERY tuneable, has a STRONG trigger, and is upgradeable with the large Ford cap/rotor.

I would use the Summit Racing brand of CDI module.
It's virtually an exact copy of the early MSD 6 series modules, but it's only $130 out the door,
And like all good clones/copies,
MSD adapters/connectors will all work with it.
Mallory/Summit kept the MSD color coding on the wires, so the diagram below will work with Summit or MSD 6 series units.


http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku



They say 'Mallory' makes this for Summit...
Mallory has been swiping ideas from MSD and others for 30 years, but at least they got this pretty close to correct instead of cobbling it up...
Internally, it's a MSD 6AL design, and MSD adapters & Connectors will work with it just fine.

Other than being made in 'China', I can't find any reason not to save about $50 between this one and a true MSD unit...
-----------------------

Now, as for removing the stock ignition from a CJ,
With Prestolite, this is REALLY easy!

Since the Prestolite was a 'Last Minute' add on, its right on the end of the wiring harness, kind of 'Dangling' there,
AND,
It's all self contained, so it's REALLY easy to remove!

It's LITERALLY dangling on the end of the ignition switch wire!

This should give you some idea of how to remove it,

Notice if you leave the factory Coil Positive Wire to connect to the 'Small Red' wire on the CDI unit,

Leave the alternator excite wire,
and cut the module power wire, you can remove the entire ignition system fairly easily?

In this case, cut just to the LEFT of the splice, leaving the 'Coil Positive Wire' to be retasked, and the 'Excite' wire for the alternator wire intact?



-----------------------------------------------

Leave the coil wire, but it won't connect to the ignition coil anymore,
It will connect to the 'CDI Small Red' wire to activate the module when the key switch is in the 'Start' or 'Run' position...

And the coil will be driven by the CDI module, in the case of MSD, that will be the 'Orange' & 'Small Black' wires to the coil.


Last edited by JeepHammer; 02-05-2009 at 08:36 AM..
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Unread 02-05-2009, 11:54 AM   #59
bigjoe
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Thanks Hammer. Have it all printed out and have my notes. I'll check back in when I'm ready to give it a try. Thanks again. BigJoe
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Unread 02-06-2009, 06:58 AM   #60
genghisman
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I'm currently running a HEI distributor installed by the previous owner, should I just toss it and go with this?
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