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Unread 12-16-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Ignition swaps for '77 older jeeps

WE all know there are some older Jeeps that could DESPERATELY use a better Ignition,

Up to '73, everything was breaker points which need CONSTANT tuning and don't put out enough spark energy to keep things running in cold, damp weather and it's barely enough to fire most of the cylinders under the best of circumstances.

From '74 to '77 AMC inflicted the 'Prestolite' ignition system on us.
The one sure way to tell if you have a Prestolite ignition is to look at the vacuum advance under the head of the distributor.
If it's plastic, it's Prestolite, and that plastic vacuum advance is a failure waiting to happen with heat, cold, age it IS GOING to crack if it hasn't already.

If you have an I-6 or V-6 you have an inexpensive choice for durability,
And that's a GM HEI distributor.
You can get these distributors for around $100 directly from the parts supply houses & discount stores,
And you can build them up any way you want them.

Since there are more 232 & 258 I-6 engines out there, I'll start with them.



YOU HAVE TWO CHOICES IF YOU BUILD YOUR OWN HEI TO REPLACE BREAKER POINTS OR PRESTOLITE...

POST 1, COIL IN CAP HEI FOR I-6 Engines. (this post) '72-77.

POST 2 REMOTE COIL & COIL WIRE HEI FOR I-6 ENGINES, '72-'77.

POST 3, MOST POWERFUL CONVERSION '72-'77.

POST 4, DETAILS & INFORMATION ABOUT ALL IGNITION TYPES,

POST 5, CHEAP CONVERSION OF PRESTOLITE IGNITION TO 'STEALTH HEI' & JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR.

POST 6, ODD FIRE V-6 CONVERSION TO HEI '66-'71.


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

1. Coil in cap.
Lots of problems keeping your spark energy/high voltage from doing bad things with the coil in the cap,
And you are limited to the factory size coil, which isn't anywhere near the better of the three coil choices.

Coil in cap can be converted to a remote coil by using the cap and coil of your choice, plus adding a coil wire... Just in case you have one now and want to get the coil out of the cap!

COIL IN CAP DISTRIBUTOR, '78 CHEVY BLAZER WITH I-6 ENGINE IS WHAT I ORDER TO START WITH.



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

YOU WILL NEED TO CHANGE THE GEAR TO AN AMC V-8 GEAR, $20 to $50 DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU GET THEM.



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

THIS IS A BRASS TERMINAL CAP, NOT IN BLACK!
Black caps are often bad news, the pigment used to make the plastic black also causes problems with the spark energy getting to the plugs correctly.




MANY CAPS DON'T COME WITH A ROTOR IN THE KIT, IF YOURS DOESN'T, THIS IS WHAT THE LOOK LIKE.




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

WHEN YOU BUILD FROM SCRATCH, YOU NEED ONE OF THESE, It's a coil cover for the top of the distributor cap. Around $10 Retail.



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

YOU ARE LIMITED ON THE SIZE OF THE COIL WHEN THE COIL IS IN THE CAP.
This coil comes with a ground strap for the coil frame, metal strip on right[/img]



THIS IS WHAT THE GROUND STRAP LOOKS LIKE BY IT"S SELF, THIS IS A 3 ANGLE VIEW OF THE GROUND STRAP.



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

YOU WILL NEED A CENTER 'BUTTON' ELECTRODE FOR THE CAP TO COIL CONNECTION.
These drop in the cap from the top, the coil sits on them...






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

ASSEMBLY...

1. DIELECTRIC GREASE, also called 'Tune Up Grease' is a MUST for this assembly!
Don't even think about trying to assemble the cap without a coat of dielectric grease on BOTH sides of the gasket/insulator/'rubber' washer between coil and cap!

Drop the 'Center Button' in the cap from the top,
Slather up both sides of the insulation washer and center it on the spring sticking up inside the coil pocket in the cap,

Then put the coil in on top making sure little round bare metal spot centers over the spring on the center button!

2. You make sure your COIL SCREWS are not too long for the cap/coil you have!
There are two different thicknesses of coil mounting frames,
And if you use the LONG screws on the THIN coil frame, you WILL PUNCH THROUGH THE CAP before you get the coil tight!

A TON of the 'HEI' complaints I see from the "$100 E-bay" HEI distributors are the long screws on the early caps. They punch through, the spark energy grounds to the screws and you get a missing engine like crazy!
If your engine shakes when it idles, and you have a "$100 Internet" distributor, you might check for this particular issue.

3. GET YOUR GROUND STRAP IN THE 'RIGHT' PLACE!
You get all kinds of strange things going on if you don't ground the coil frame and coil correctly!
Look at the coil cover, it will be marked "GND" or (-), and the slot in the cap connector below is where the flat tail of the ground strap goes.
The 'Hook' end goes to a coil screw.

The 'Black' wire from the coil with an 'Eye' end goes under a screw also.
For best performance, it should go under the same screw as the ground strap.

4. Get the 'Red' wire in the 'BAT' or (+) slot on the cap.
The coil cover will be marked to show you were it goes.

5. GET THE 'YELLOW WIRE' in the correct slot on the cap connector
AGAIN, once you do the 'Ground' and the 'BAT' there will only be one more slot for a terminal on the cap connector, so it shouldn't be hard to figure where that 'Yellow' wire goes!

6. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE COIL COVER ON CORRECTLY!
Without a coil cover, the connector tabs won't stay in place, and you will collect water/crud around the coil.

7. TAKE THE MODULE OUT OF THE DISTRIBUTOR BASE, USE SOME ACTUAL HEAT TRANSFER PASTE UNDER THE MODULE.
Most replacement distributors come with a module, but the re-builder uses dielectric grease instead of actual heat transfer paste.
A tube of heat transfer paste is about $3 at Radio Shack or any computer store.



8. CHANGE THE DISTRIBUTOR GEAR! GM GEARS WON"T WORK WITH YOUR AMC I-6 ENGINE!
An AMC V-8 Gear will work on this distributor, so you punch out the roll pin holding the gear on,
Change gears, and put the roll pin back in.
You are looking for about 1/8" of gap between housing/shims and top of gear, gear/shaft should NOT be tight against the housing.

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Unread 12-16-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
JeepHammer
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2. REMOTE COIL HEI, THE 'BEST' VERSION OF THE HEI FOR OLDER JEEP ENGINES,

With the ignition coil mounted next to the distributor
,

And you use a coil wire between coil and distributor cap...

I prefer this type since it gets the coil out of the cap, solves some of the problems the HEI has you can't solve any other way,
Like the in cap coil blowing through it's insulator, the small size/lousy winding count of the In Cap coil, ect.

AND, you get to choose what coil you want to use, you aren't limited by the size of the hole in the cap...


NOTICE THE LONGER WIRING 'PIG TAIL' AND THE DIFFERENT PLUG FOR THE REMOTE COIL?
'76 CHEVY BLAZER I-6 ENGINE, $92 at Auto Zone




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

YOU WILL HAVE TO CHANGE THE DISTRIBUTOR GEAR FOR YOUR AMC ENGINE, GM GEAR WILL NOT WORK.



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

NOTICE THE CENTER DISTRIBUTOR CAP TERMINAL?
Not a premium cap with brass terminals, but you get the idea...



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

ROTOR, SCREWS ON TOP OF DISTRIBUTOR SHAFT, NOTICE THE LARGE TRAY TYPE SPARK GUARD ON THIS ROTOR TO KEEP SPARK ENERGY FROM JUMPING SOMEPLACE IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO GO?



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

DIRECT PLUG IN IGNITION COIL, YOU CAN GET A BETTER COIL THAN THIS TO WORK FINE, BUT THIS ONE IS MUCH BETTER THAN THE COIL IN THE CAP



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

PLUG WIRES OFF THE SHELF, ORDER FOR '94 JEEP WITH 4.0L ENGINE.
THIS WILL GET YOU A 'CHEAP' SET OF WIRES WITH ALL TERMINALS INSTALLED, AND IT WILL HAVE THE CORRECT COIL WIRE FOR THE APPLICATION.

MSD ALSO MAKES AN 'OFF THE SHELF SET FOR THIS APPLICAITON.




A 'CUT TO FIT' SET OF WIRES WILL FIT MUCH BETTER THAN THE OFF THE SHELF SETS DO!

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

WIRING FOR THE REMOTE COIL VERSION OF THE HEI COULDN'T BE EASIER!



Your old coil positive (+) wire is enough to power up the distributor/coil and it's a SINGLE attachment at the coil.

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

Even though the coil shown above is MUCH better than the 'In Cap' HEI coil (no assembly, no chance for the coil to leak voltage past the rubber 'Gasket/Insulator',

There is even a better coil you can use from a Ford Vehicle,
Works great with the HEI module, delivers quite a bit more spark energy with better spark duration and better amperage than either type of GM Coil...

If you change the plug at the end of the wiring, you can use the MUCH BETTER Ford type E-core coil and really get the most from your HEI module!
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Unread 12-16-2011, 06:08 PM   #3
JeepHammer
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POST 3.

THE BEST BANG FOR THE DOLLAR YOU CAN DO FOR A COMMON IGNITION SYSTEM,

BAR NONE, IS A CDI MODULE

ALONG WITH A CAP, ROTOR & PLUG WIRES THAT WILL CONTROL ALL THAT SPARK ENERGY YOU ARE GOING TO PRODUCE!


The CDI module will increase your spark energy a bare minimum of 600%, and up to 1,000% depending on what RPM you intend to run!

A CDI (Capacative Discharge Ignition will fire your spark plugs about 6 times during each firing cycle, while the above ignition system will only try to fire the plug ONCE.

That's a 600% increase in spark energy right there!

The CDI modules also increase the Duration of the spark, the time the spark 'Lingers' in the spark gap, and the CDI modules increase the Amperage of the spark, Amperage is the 'Heat' of the spark.

With a CID module, there is no question you WILL get the cylinder lit each and every time it's supposed to!
There is no better money you can spend on an Ignition System Upgrade than a CDI module. PERIOD.


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

When I use a CDI module on an I-6 engine, or a V-8 engine in a Jeep,
I use the Jeep version of the Motorcraft distributor instead of an HEI.

The reasons being,
HEI likes to blow up the center electrode in the cap,
HEI likes to blow through the insulator between cap and coil,
HEI likes to blow through the rotor and let spark energy ground to the distributor shaft,
HEI triggers are very accurate, but they aren't very powerful, and they are trouble prone and hard to change when they do quit.
HEI distributors are more expensive than the Jeep/Motorcraft replacement distributors are.
HEI needs a gear change, and the Jeep/Motorcraft distributor does NOT, it drops right in saving you money again...
The list goes on, but that's enough...

The Jeep/Motorcraft distributor comes ready to drop in the engine,
No cap/coil assembly, no gear changes, it's already tuned to work with your engine, it's cheaper than HEI, ect.

The Jeep/Motorcraft distributor with the cap/rotor upgrade to 'Ford' parts handles the high voltage spark energy MUCH better than the GM HEI does...

Also, this will work with a V-8 engine, where there is no off the shelf GM HEI distributor that will do that...

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

THE JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR USED IN JEEP VEHICLES FROM '78 TO '86 CJs,
And will fit in ANY 232 or 258 I-6 Engine.
Runs about $50 for a reman from the local discount parts store.
'79 Jeep CJ-7 with 258 I-6 Engine




THIS IS THE V-8 VERSION OF THE SAME JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR
'79 Jeep CJ-7 with AMC 304-360-401 V-8 Engine




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

THIS IS THE UPGRADED 'FORD' DISTRIBUTOR CAP ADAPTER, GOES ON DISTRIBUTOR SO TALLER ROTOR CAN BE USED TO KEEP THE SPARK ENERGY UP AND AWAY FROM THE 'GROUND' METAL OF THE DISTRIBUTOR HOUSING/SHAFT

CAP ADAPTER FOR I-6 DISTRIBUTOR, From '82 Ford F-150 Pickup with 300 CID I-6 Engine.
THIS IS THE CORRECT SCREW DOWN TO THE DISTRIBUTOR ADAPTER YOU NEED.






CAP ADAPTER FOR V-8 DISTRIBUTOR, From '79 Ford F-150 Pickup with 300 CID I-6 Engine.
For what ever reason, shown up side down in this picture...




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

DISTRIBUTOR CAP, BRASS TERMINAL OR YOU ARE WASTING TIME AND MONEY...

I-6 DISTRIBUTOR CAP & ROTOR, '82 Ford F-150 Pickup with 300 CID I-6 Engine.





V-8 DISTRIBUTOR CAP & ROTOR, '79 Ford F-150 Pickup with 302 CID (5.0L) Engine.





MSD p/n 8414, THE VERY BEST V-8 CAP KIT ON THE MARKET, ABOUT $36



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

THIS LITTLE ADAPTER LETS YOU PLUG YOUR JEEP/MOTORCRAFT INTO THE MSD CDI MODULE WITHOUT CUTTING WIRES, IT ADAPTS MOTORCRAFT TO MSD AND KEEPS THE TRIGGER POLARITY CORRECT. MSD p/n 8869



THIS EXTENDS THE RANGE OF THAT MSD DISTRIBUTOR CONNECTION 6 FEET SO YOU CAN MOUNT THE MODULE SOMEWHERE 'SAFE'... MSD p/n 8862



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

THIS WIRING DIAGRAM WORKS FOR BOTH I-6 AND V-8 ENGINES.
TWO COIL OPTIONS ARE SHOWN, CHOOSE THE COIL YOU WANT TO USE AND INSTALL ONLY ONE.
NAPA p/n for coil connectors shown in diagram next to coil type.


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Unread 12-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
JeepHammer
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POST 4.
DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS...

STORE STOCK NUMBERS CHANGE ALL THE TIME!
IF I GIVE PART NUMBERS, THEY ARE MANUFACTURER PART NUMBERS,
OTHERWISE, I GIVE APPLICATIONS.
Application (like for a '79 Jeep w/V-8) don't change, but when stores change suppliers, the part numbers I give change.
To avoid that, I'm giving Applications for the common parts,
Manufacturer Part Numbers for the specific parts when I know them.

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

V-8 DISTRIBUTOR UPGRADES WILL NEED A DIFFERENT ALIGNMENT TAB FOR THE UPGRADED CAP!


This is VERY easy to do, I usually use the side of a pop can, a razor knife or tin snips and needle nose pliers...
These are graphics showing what the alignment tab looks like, were it goes on the distributor to keep the cap adapter in the correct location.
The screw hole is in EVER Jeep/Motorcraft distributor, so there is no drilling or threading on the distributor,
You simply cut/fold the tab and install it.






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

IF YOU DO ANY IGNITION WORK AND DON"T USE A BRASS TERMINAL DISTRIBUTOR CAP AND GOOD PLUG WIRES, YOU ARE WASTING TIME AND MONEY!

MAKING THE SPARK ENERGY, THEN LETTING IT FIZZLE OUT OR JUMP TO 'GROUND' SOMEPLACE DOWN THE LINE BEFORE IT GETS TO THE PLUGS IS A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME & MONEY.

The BIGGEST defect all the small/short distributor caps from the factory had was they allowed the spark energy to jump to the WRONG CYLINDER, Jump to 'Ground', and the plug wires are about worthless.

Upgrading to the 'Plug Tower' type caps with brass terminals, getting the rotor up off the distributor shaft and away from the housing so the spark energy MUST go to the plug is all good,
But if you don't provide a good plug wire to get that spark energy to the spark plugs,
It's a total waste of time and money.

For my money, there is no better plug wire on the market right now for a street or trail driven vehicle than MSD.
(NOT the 'Street Fire' series, but the regular high quality plug wires sets)

I USE A LOT OF MSD p/n 31199 'Blue' WIRES WITH GREAT SUCCESS. BEST TERMINALS, WIRE, BOOTS ON THE MARKET RIGHT NOW. About $90





I ALSO USE A LOT OF MSD p/n 31193 'BLACK' WIRE SETS




AND I USE A LOT OF MSD p/n 31189 'RED' WIRE SETS




THESE ARE 'CUT TO FIT' SO YOU GET AN EXACT FIT,
THE PLUG BOOTS WILL BEND UP TO 90 DEGREES TO GIVE YOU AN EXACT FIT,
AND THE TERMINALS ARE EASY TO ASSEMBLE,
THE CRIMPING TOOL COMES WITH THE WIRE SETS,
TWO SETS OF CAP BOOTS FOR SOCKET OR SPARK PLUG TOWER TYPE TERMINALS,
AND THEY HAVE GOOD INSTRUCTIONS.

$90 SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF MONEY, BUT THESE WIRES HAVE BEEN IN MANY VEHICLES FOR OVER 10 YEARS WITHOUT ANY ISSUES, SO THAT'S ABOUT $9 A YEAR FOR POSITIVE SPARK ENERGY TO THE PLUGS!


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

If you are going 'Low Budget' with plug wires (Off The Shelf), then PRE-MADE plug wires sets for a '94 Jeep With 4.0L engine will work with an I-6 Engine and come with the correct coil wire for the E-core coils and upgraded distributor caps.

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

WITH ANY SINGLE SPARK IGNITION UPGRADE LISTED HERE,
(Except When Using '78-'86 Factory DuraSpark Module)
USING THE 'FORD' STYLE E-CORE IGNITION COIL IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!




E-CORE COIL ON LEFT, Canister Coil On Right...

The 'FORD' factory E-core coil from a salvage yard is one hard deal to beat!
They have more windings, better winding ratios and better insulation than the GM style E-core coils,
And they run about $5 to $15 for the Coil, Bracket & Connector Plug in the salvage yards.
Ford used a VERY high quality ignition coil, so it's perfectly acceptable to grab one at the salvage yard!

Just lift the hood, find the distributor, follow the coil wire back to the coil,
Take bracket, coil, connector and as much wiring as you can get for the connector!

For a new one from the parts store, late 80s/early 90s vehicles all used them, runs about $50,
The coil connector is $15 from NAPA (p/n ICC1) and the brackets are virtually impossible to find on the aftermarket, so a salvage yard coil is a GREAT DEAL ALL THE WAY AROUND!


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

MOUNTING THAT GM STYLE HEI MODULE CORRECTLY !

The GM style HEI module (made by GM or one of the discount store modules) means getting the bottom metal surface into contact with something that will pull heat out of and away from the module.

It's called a HEAT SINK, and the GM style module MUST have one!

The HEI distributor housing works as the Heat Sink, big aluminum housing works pretty well for getting the heat out of the module,

But when you install as a 'Stand Alone' like shown some places here, you need to MAKE SURE you have an adequate Heat Sink for the module.
I use Aluminum, Copper, even Steel. Just make SURE you use the proper HEAT TRANSFER PASTE to move the heat from the module to the heat sink of your choice.

A lot of times, gutting the old module housing, and mounting the HEI style module in that housing works pretty well as a Heat Sink (DO NOT forget the heat transfer paste!)

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

HEI modules have two little alignment posts sticking down out of them.
These are for the stock application, and not needed when you mount the module flat on your Heat Sink.
You can drill your heat sink material for the posts,
Or you can clip the plastic posts off/shave them down so the module lays flat on your Heat Sink material,
But the module MUST lay flat!

Examples of modules on heat sink materials...


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Unread 12-17-2011, 06:00 AM   #5
JeepHammer
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POST 5.
IF YOU HAVE A PRESTOLITE IGNITION
,

BUT DON'T WANT TO SPEND A TON OF MONEY ON A 'FACTORY' STYLE SINGLE SPARK IGNITION, AND YOU WANT RELIABILITY, AVAILABLE PARTS, ECT.

WITH SOME WIRING (WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF DOING)
YOU CAN SWITCH THE DISTRIBUTOR $50, CAP ADAPTER, CAP, ROTOR $36, AND MODULE $20, FOR A RELIABLE SYSTEM.

THIS WORKS ON I-6 & V-8 PRESTOLITE VEHICLES FROM '74-'77,
USE THE JEEP/MOTOR CRAFT DISTRIBUTOR SHOWN ABOVE, BUT USE AN HEI MODULE FOR A SINGLE SPARK IGNITION THAT IS RELIABLE, AND ALL PARTS COME OFF THE SHELF FROM ANY PARTS STORE ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY.


WIRING DIAGRAM SWITCHING PRESTOLITE TO JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR & HEI 4 PIN MODULE.



THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS SHOWN,

THE LEFT SIDE IS USING MOSTLY FACTORY WIRING YOU ALREADY HAVE, IF YOUR WIRING IS STILL IN GOOD SHAPE...

THE RIGHT SIDE IS USING SOME ADAPTERS, ECT. FROM MSD. (part numbers listed)

THIS IS ONLY REPLACING THE IGNITION MODULE WITH A MORE RELIABLE VERSION,
REPLACING THE COIL WITH A HIGHER POWER VERSION,
AND REPLACING THE DISTRIBUTOR WITH A BETTER TRIGGER & UPGRADED CAP/ROTOR WHICH YOU CAN NOT DO WITH A PRESTOLITE DISTRIBUTOR.
You will be keeping virtually all the factory wiring in place, just changing what it connects to at the ends... VERY easy to do.


THE IGNITION COIL IS YOUR CHOICE, BUT I RECOMMEND THE 'FORD' STYLE E-CORE COIL FROM A SALVAGE YARD SINCE YOU CAN GET THE COIL, BRACKET, CONNECTOR PLUG FOR $5-$15 AND FORD USED A VERY GOOD QUALITY OF COIL.

REMEMBER TO PUT 'HEAT SINK PASTE UNDER THE MODULE BEFORE YOU SCREW IT DOWN OR IT WON'T LIVE LONG.
RADIO SHACK p/n 276-1372


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Unread 12-17-2011, 07:00 AM   #6
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POST 6.
ODD FIRE!

IF YOU HAVE A V-6 'JEEP' ENGINE ('66-'71), YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TERM!


The 'V-6 Jeep' Engine is actually a 'Dauntless' 225 V-6 GM engine.
It's an 'Odd Fire' design, which means you are pretty much stuck with a GM HEI for a distributor for an upgrade.

They are available from parts stores very readily, and with a little work, The HEI will fit into your engine, giving you ELECTRONIC IGNITION and getting rid of those breaker points which are a nightmare...
Along with getting rid of the old 'Socket' Type distributor cap so you can use modern plug wires.


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

The '76 Buick Skyhawk is a pretty good HEI donor for a distributor for the 'Dauntless' Odd Fire Engine.



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

The ODD FIRE trigger in the distributor is an odd looking thing,
Really an engineering feat, but strange looking!



The way this works is:
You fire TWO cylinders at a time, One at the correct COMPRESSION STROKE TIMING,
The other 'Sister Cylinder' Fires on Exhaust Stroke along with the primary cylinder in each firing cycle.

When the 'Sister' cylinder is on compression stroke, the same two terminals on the cap fire,
This time you are sparking the EXHAUST stroke of the primary cylinder.

It's a strange way to do thing, but it will work!


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

GET A BRASS TERMINAL VERSION OF THE CAP!

ACCELL verion of the brass terminal EVEN FIRE (evenly spaced terminals) distributor cap & rotor, About $35.
This is just so show you what a reasonable cap would look like... NOT BLACK & HAS BRASS TERMINALS!





This is to show you the oddly spaced terminals on the cap...





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

Cap Center 'Button' and gasket. Also refered to as the 'RESISTOR' for an HEI system.



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

The ROTOR looks very much like the V-8 Rotor, although some will NOT interchange with the common V-8 Rotor, some will interchange the V-8 rotor just fine.



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

Ignition Coil with small metal 'Ground' strap you MUST have to make the ignition work correctly...



Three angle view of the coil 'Ground' strap...



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

ALL THE SAME RULES APPLY AS ABOVE IN THE STANDARD 'COIL IN CAP' HEI.

You WILL NEED Heat Transfer Paste,
You WILL NEED a reasonable set of plug wires,
You WILL NEED Dielectric Grease for the cap insulator,
You WILL NEED to make sure the coil screws aren't too long,
You WILL NEED to take the Ignition Resistor out of the old coil wire Positive (+) supply wire to get best performance...


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

The correct firing order on 225 Odd fire is started on factory designated #1, Then fires 6-5, 4-3, 2-1.

Your cylinders actually fire two at a time, one on 'Compression' stroke, while it's sister cylinder is on 'Exhaust' stroke...

Your Distributor cap must have the terminals connected so you get the correct firing order.

You MUST start at the FACTORY DESIGNATED #1 with your firing order or you will NEVER get the engine running correctly.

If you have an EVEN FIRE distributor cap, you will NEVER get the engine running correctly.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 08:06 AM   #7
mopar408
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Quote:
IF YOU HAVE A PRESTOLITE IGNITION,

BUT DON'T WANT TO SPEND A TON OF MONEY ON A 'FACTORY' STYLE SINGLE SPARK IGNITION, AND YOU WANT RELIABILITY, AVAILABLE PARTS, ECT.

WITH SOME WIRING (WHICH A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE SCARED OF DOING)
YOU CAN SWITCH THE DISTRIBUTOR $50, CAP ADAPTER, CAP, ROTOR $36, AND MODULE $20, FOR A RELIABLE SYSTEM.

THIS WORKS ON I-6 & V-8 PRESTOLITE VEHICLES FROM '74-'77,
USE THE JEEP/MOTOR CRAFT DISTRIBUTOR SHOWN ABOVE, BUT USE AN HEI MODULE FOR A SINGLE SPARK IGNITION THAT IS RELIABLE, AND ALL PARTS COME OFF THE SHELF FROM ANY PARTS STORE ANYWHERE IN THE COUNTRY.

WIRING DIAGRAM SWITCHING PRESTOLITE TO JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR & HEI 4 PIN MODULE.
This works GREAT!!!
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Unread 12-17-2011, 09:04 AM   #8
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Replacing my distributor with the "Ford" 79 Jeep distributor and adding an MSD box was simple and straightforward. The directions given by JeepHammer and MSD are simple to follow. If you're coordinated enough to change your sparkplugs and replace the wires correctly, you can do this.

I did it a while ago, and it is by far the best improvement I made to my Jeep. It flat out runs better all year round with better and easier starts in the winter just for starters. If you have fears, set them aside, follow the directions and you'll do just fine.

Thanks JeepHammer for these easy to follow directions.
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Unread 12-17-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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Thank you JeepHammer, this will come in very handy!
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Unread 12-17-2011, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar408 View Post
This works GREAT!!!
Kind of a 'Stealth HEI' thing for Prestolite, but you have to change the distributor...
That Hall Effect distributor Prestolite used was a good idea, but so poorly executed you can't do anything with it.
And the plastic vacuum advance costs you more than a Jeep/Motorcraft distributor does complete...

On the ones I've done, I move that module up on the fender as far as the wiring allows, get it up out of the way of tire splash and exhaust heat.
Don't know if it actually helps, but it seems like a good idea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindKnot View Post
Replacing my distributor with the "Ford" 79 Jeep distributor and adding an MSD box was simple and straightforward. The directions given by JeepHammer and MSD are simple to follow. If you're coordinated enough to change your sparkplugs and replace the wires correctly, you can do this.

I did it a while ago, and it is by far the best improvement I made to my Jeep. It flat out runs better all year round with better and easier starts in the winter just for starters. If you have fears, set them aside, follow the directions and you'll do just fine.

Thanks JeepHammer for these easy to follow directions.
That CDI module, MSD or some other maker, is the BEST SINGLE THING YOU CAN DO next to getting a modern, high quality cap, rotor, plug wires on the engine.

Once you change the cap, rotor, plug wires and are actually getting the spark to the correct cylinder at the correct time with wires that supply without leaking,
Then you are ready to start lighting those cylinders!

Nothing like a CDI Module to get those cylinders lit CORRECTLY!

With a single spark ignition, you get ONE chance to get the fire lit CORRECTLY,
If there is a 'Lean' spot, a 'Rich' spot, some exhaust gas left in the cylinder right around the plug,
It's not going to happen. You will get a 'Fizzle' instead of a proper flame front traveling across the combustion chamber.

The CDI gives you SIX CHANCES to get that fire lit in a slow turning engine with slow moving fuel/air mixture that might not be quite 'Right'.
I don't know about you, but $130 to get EVERY cylinder, with all my EXPENSIVE FUEL in it lit every time is worth the money...

Not to mention when the cylinders are getting lit CORRECTLY, I don't have to babysit the vehicle trying to keep it running when you get two or three misfires or fizzles in a row!

Having an ignition that will fire up a cold, damp engine is also worth the money!
I hate sitting there in the rain or snow, teeth chattering, wishing I'd worn the mattress rapped around me instead of the jacket I have trying to get the engine to fire long enough to run without me feathering the throttle, messing with the choke, and twisting the key when it keeps dying all the time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiftace View Post
Bookmarked
Thank you JeepHammer, this will come in very handy!
Well, it's that time of the year again,
People are complaining about Jeeps that won't start, won't idle, chug, buck, die at lights, ect.
And I've been spending a LOT of time on PMs trying to explain this.
It's all been posted before, but in different places, so I thought I'd throw all my chicken scratches together in one spot, let people decide what they NEED! (Application, Application, APPLICATION!) And what they can afford,
And what is in their 'Comfort Zone' to do.

There are two or three different ways to skin this cat, so I thought I'd list them here, let people decide what's the most cost effective for them, what's in their skill level, and let it go from there.

Glad you guys can use it. Just easier to find when it's all together...
(and you have PICTURES! )
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Unread 02-22-2012, 12:43 PM   #11
wayflo
Registered User
1974 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Kingman, Az
Posts: 13
2 questions

Unless I missed it, you didn't say which CDI module to use as far as for what year vehicle and what engine. I'm talking about the 3rd option in your post. I assume either the '79 jeep or the '82 ford p/u. Also, in the 3rd option, which coil would you recommend as best for this multi-spark system.
Very informative post. Was looking at the HEI and DUI distributors, but like the sound of this better.
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Unread 09-14-2012, 08:55 PM   #12
TmasCJ5
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1977 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 12
Furst, thanks for all this great info...awesome post here. I'm stepping a bit out of my comfort zone here but i'm going to try this ignition swap in my '77 cj5 304. I figure there's enough guys on here that will be willing to help if I get lost part way through! I do have 2 questions though!

"THIS IS THE V-8 VERSION OF THE SAME JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR
'79 Jeep CJ-7 with 302 V-8 Engine"

Do you mean the304 engine here, or a '79 ford? Also i've been looking at MSD ignition control modules, will the MSD digital 6a work for this, i'm not sure whether i want the 6A or the 6AL or if i'm looking at the wrong modules entirely
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Unread 09-15-2012, 04:30 AM   #13
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 10,724
Yup, TYPO! I need to get time to change that one of these days...
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Unread 01-30-2013, 03:32 PM   #14
BayshoreBlues
Registered User
1974 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Lufkin, TX
Posts: 1
JeepHammer, thanks for the in depth nature of your posts. I do have a couple of questions about Option 3, the Jeep/Motorcraft distributor swap. This one seems the most logical, straight forward, economical and easiest of the swaps with the most benefit. I would be performing this on possibly a '74 Wagoneer 401 and/or a '74 Javelin 401 (the other AMC I have running is my '72 304 Javelin). I have a question for clarification on "THIS IS THE V-8 VERSION OF THE SAME JEEP/MOTORCRAFT DISTRIBUTOR '79 Jeep CJ-7 with AMC 304-360-401 V-8 Engine". Not trying to appear stupid here, but literally you are swapping in a '79 Jeep CJ-7 V-8 distributor for the '74 401 (or other cid) distributor with no gear change or other mods or issues, correct?
Also, the cap adapter used for both 6 and 8 cyl are both the Ford 300 I-6 part, but the one for a '79 Ford is the one to use for the V-8 AMC application, correct?
In Post 4 when you tell about the alignment tab, you show a shot of the Motorcraft distributor that looks different than the one from Post 3. Is that alignment tab that you show a factory piece or one you made? If factory, what was it used on originally and what size is the screw you are using? The rest seems pretty straight forward and well detailed. I would be upgrading the alternators on these vehicles at some point, will there be any complication or problem when doing so if I've already performed the distributor conversion? Thanks in advance and I'm also looking at your Oil Pump/Front Cover rebuild thread as well,
Reagan
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Unread 01-30-2013, 04:10 PM   #15
CSP
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 12,765
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayshoreBlues View Post
Not trying to appear stupid here, but literally you are swapping in a '79 Jeep CJ-7 V-8 distributor for the '74 401 (or other cid) distributor with no gear change or other mods or issues, correct?
This is correct. The AMC V8s all share the same distributors and the versions of dizzys used are interchangable amongst AMC V8 blocks throughout the years.
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