Ignition swaps for '77 older jeeps - Page 2 - JeepForum.com

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post #16 of 76 Old 04-28-2013, 12:15 PM
Oregon76CJ7
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Thank you very much for your time in posting all of this very helpful information.

I have a 1976 304 and I plan to upgrade using option 3.

I have a few questions:

1) What MSD CDI module to you most recommend as most reliable/best performing?
2) How do I know where to locate the notch in the distributor? I see the pictures, but there are no dimensions, is the location very critical or can it be ±2°?

Thanks again for taking the time to educate us all.

Regards,

Oregon76CJ7


1976 CJ7 - AMC 304
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post #17 of 76 Old 01-18-2014, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
JeepHammer
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CDI module I recommend is any of the basic units, they are all pretty much knock-offs of the original MSD 6 series units now days since the patent expired.

If I used a MSD unit, it would be the basic 6 series unit. NOT sealed up with epoxy, so they can be serviced if they fail, but the 'Marine' and Off Road units are epoxy sealed and you can't get them serviced.

The notch is in the distributor already, so is the screw hole, you just have to make the little metal tab or swipe one off a dead Ford unit.
Little metal tab, screw and you are in the money!
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post #18 of 76 Old 02-20-2014, 07:05 PM
ghcoe
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Looks like this is the cheapest upgrade now for the 290 304 360 401.


http://store.speedmaster79.com/p-375...r-red-cap.aspx


$53.99 shipped. I ordered mine last weekend and it was here today (thursday). No way can you purchase separate items cheaper and it is ready to go.

George.

1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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post #19 of 76 Old 02-20-2014, 07:23 PM
Matt1981CJ7
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You'll get what you paid for, IMO.

Good luck,

Matt
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post #20 of 76 Old 02-20-2014, 07:32 PM
ghcoe
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That is what they say. I'll take the chance with the 1 year warranty offered with it though.

George.

1977 Jeep Cherokee Chief, 1972 360cid., Turbo 400 , Quadra Trac with Low Range reduction, 3:31 Gears, 31x10.5-15 GT Radial Adventuro AT II. Factory Brush Guard/Spare Tire Carrier/Safari Kit/Tow Package.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f57/1...chief-1749666/
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post #21 of 76 Old 02-20-2014, 09:57 PM
stephenspann27
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I'm still debating DUI..

2014 Overland JGC. Hemi/8 spd.
1975 CJ5 304 V8/3spd
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post #22 of 76 Old 11-12-2014, 07:02 PM
Greenbean
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I'm suffering from a poor running 1975 cj5 258 I-6. Looks I need an ignition upgrade but I'm not sure about which one to use. I must have the prestolite system? On another thread jeephammer spells out how to do it but I can't always tell what info is for the V8 or I6. I think I need the Stealth HEI system but I need more specific info on the distributor type and the wiring diagram specific for the 6 cyl 258. Thanks.

Chino Valley, AZ
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post #23 of 76 Old 11-12-2014, 08:15 PM
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I don't see the reason to go through all of this complexity when there are so many good big cap HEI systems out there.

I have been very happy with the CRT system I put in my '76 258.

One wire - that's it.

I call it a distributor, not a dizzy.
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post #24 of 76 Old 11-13-2014, 06:37 AM
WindKnot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mortgage-payer View Post
I don't see the reason to go through all of this complexity when there are so many good big cap HEI systems out there.

I have been very happy with the CRT system I put in my '76 258.

One wire - that's it.
Longer hotter multiple sparks at lower RPMs where inline sixes are happiest and supply the most torque. I'm very happy with my MSD. Extremely easy startups in cold weather on a cold engine as well. And MSDs are hardly complex to wire. There's not that much to gain with "one wire". Trade offs; the world is full of them.

I'd rather be lost on the trails than found at home!

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post #25 of 76 Old 11-13-2014, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenbean View Post
I think I need the Stealth HEI system but I need more specific info on the distributor type and the wiring diagram specific for the 6 cyl 258. Thanks.
The wiring and components to use are the same for I6 and V8, other than the distributor.
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post #26 of 76 Old 11-13-2014, 09:17 AM
swatson454
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Actually, the spark duration on CDI's is extremely short. That's why they have to fire so many times below a certain rpm. From what I hear, the "multiple sparks for more power" stuff came straight from the marketing department when it was discovered that engines will barely idle with a single spark.

CDI's are hard to beat for high rpm stuff but, IMHO, are the wrong ignition choice for a low-rpm engine with poor vaporization and homogenization characteristics. These engines really need a LONG-duration, hot spark; not multiple snaps. Also, you'll drive over the crankshaft before you even think of running out of spark energy from a current, aftermarket H.E.I..

Even the guys doing the highly-boosted stuff have gotten away from CDI in favor of coil-on-plug, inductive spark systems. The short-spark CDI, as hot as it still is, wasn't firing the charge and the multiple coil packs got rid of the saturation time argument.

For my money, once you factor in needing to recurve the OEM distributor, safely mount and wire the box, coil, etc. and still shell out the cash for all that stuff, I'll take a D.U.I. all day, every day and twice on Sundays

I know there's a lot of you CDI guys on here so I hope you don't take any offence. That's just the way I see this particular topic.


Shawn

Live in a way that those who know you but don't know God will come to know God because they know you.
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post #27 of 76 Old 11-13-2014, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenbean View Post
I'm suffering from a poor running 1975 cj5 258 I-6. Looks I need an ignition upgrade but I'm not sure about which one to use. I must have the prestolite system? On another thread jeephammer spells out how to do it but I can't always tell what info is for the V8 or I6. I think I need the Stealth HEI system but I need more specific info on the distributor type and the wiring diagram specific for the 6 cyl 258. Thanks.
If a PO (Previous Owner) hasn't swapped the ignition out already, and you have a plastic vacuum advance on the distributor then its factory Prestolite and there are no practical upgrades,
And it's been a problematic ignition in historic terms.

With an AMC I-6 engine, an actual GM/Delco Remy HEI distributor will usually work with the most reliability.
You WILL need to change distributor gears,
And you WILL need to put the cap, coil, plug wires ect together.

This has the added benifit of using the '76 Blazer with 250 I-6 engine distributor, cap, rotor, and EXTERNAL IGNITION COIL, will give you much better spark energy than the coil in cap version of the HEI.

Again, you will have to change the distributor gear.

----

The other conversion is to use a factory reman distributor that is dead safe and ready to install.

Since the Prestolite ignition module won't work with the '78-'86 Jeep Motorcraft distributor, you will need to swap modules.
The HEI module is the cheapest and easiest conversion.

Just like any other module,
Two trigger wires,
One 'Green' wire to coil negative,
One 'Red' wire to module power/coil positive,
One 'Black' wire for module 'Ground Path'.

Same as any electronic ignition.

-----------

Now, what the HEI Clone fans aren't telling you,
All these clones and there component parts are made mostly in china.
The base materials, machining & components are all questionable.
You MUST do some critical clearance checks before you install a clone.

-----

The truth is, if you use either FACTORY distributors there isn't a dimes worth of difference besides the gears.
The centrifugal advance works the same way, fly weights and springs,
The vacuum advance works the same way,

The basic rules stay the same,
Good spark energy transmission is critical.
You work hard and spend money on a higher spark energy ignition just to screw your self on a few bucks for good cap, rotor, plug wire set.

When your cap, rotor and plug wire set can waste 80% of your spark energy there isn't any good reason NOT to buy quality parts for the spark energy.

You can buy cheap wires for cheap,
You can buy cheap wires that are flashy for big money,
Or you can spend about $80 on wires that will last 10 years and work really good.
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post #28 of 76 Old 10-09-2015, 10:08 AM
Splinter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSP View Post
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.
That is good information. Thanks
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post #29 of 76 Old 10-09-2015, 10:12 AM
Splinter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt1981CJ7 View Post
You'll get what you paid for, IMO.

Good luck,

Matt
Your right. However I just looked at a Mallory HEI listing at $502.00. I wonder how they justify the price?
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post #30 of 76 Old 10-09-2015, 02:16 PM
Matt1981CJ7
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Your right. However I just looked at a Mallory HEI listing at $502.00. I wonder how they justify the price?
By producing a quality product and getting people to pay for it, I suspect.

Once you lay your hands on a quality billet distributor, you'll immediately see why they command a premium price.

Whatever you do, I recommend you avoid the re-man'd Motorcraft (Duraspark) distributors sold in most auto parts shops. I had nothing but problems with 3 of them over a short 2 year period.

Matt
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