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Unread 05-04-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
wm69
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Prestolite ignition module help

Have a buddy with a 77 CJ7, 304. He says the Jeep runs great for a while, then will die, and will not restart until the Jeep is allowed to sit for awhile.

I told him it sounded like an ignition module that was on it's way out. He called the local Jeep dealership and they actually have an old guy who knew CJ's and that guy told him to go get a points distributor off of an early 70's FSJ and use that.

Jeephammer, I found your writeup on JYG
http://www.junkyardgenius.com/ignition/jeep/jeep03.html
and am trying to convince him to swap instead to a teamrush'd duraspark/motorcraft distributor with stealth HEI module. Looks like removing the prestolite would be easy enough, then pop the MC distributor in the engine (have to change anything or will a distributor from a 79 go straight in?), and then hook the stealth HEI module into place. The JYG page doesn't have a wiring diagram for hooking up the duraspark setup (unless I'm missing it somehow).

Is this setup THAT easy to put in, and what kind of wiring am I looking at doing to get the duraspark in there? The owner inherited the Jeep from his grandfather and doesn't want to tackle the job, but I'm trying to convince him to bring it out one weekend to do it.

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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 05-04-2009, 10:58 PM   #2
scottymac62
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I have a 77 CJ5 with a 304. It had the Prestolite dizzy in it until I performed the TeamRush upgrade. And yes....it is THAT easy to install and the results are amazing!

I don't care what you have to do to convince your friend to do this upgrade......do it! He will thank you!




I did my upgrade last month on my 304 and boy what a difference! It's like I have a brand new engine installed (as far as idle and power goes). Good bye to cold starts! It runs so smooth and has so mush more pep when I step on the peddle that it's unbelievable!

I used the following parts to get my 304's ignition upgraded

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

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

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

http://store.summitracing.com/partde...5&autoview=sku
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'77 CJ-5 Renegade 304 / T-150, Dana 20, 30/20 axles, Aussie Locker in the Dana 30, American Racing 15x10 Outlaw II's, 33" Dynapro M/T's" ,Optima Battery, TeamRushed + Summit Racing CDI ignition, FlowKooler water pump, Edelbrock Performer Intake Manifold, Holley 4160 390cfm, Herculiner, Silver Ceramic Coated Hedman Hedders, Flowmaster 40's.
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Last edited by scottymac62; 05-04-2009 at 11:09 PM..
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Unread 05-05-2009, 02:23 AM   #3
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wm69 View Post
Have a buddy with a 77 CJ7, 304. He says the Jeep runs great for a while, then will die, and will not restart until the Jeep is allowed to sit for awhile.
I told him it sounded like an ignition module that was on it's way out.
Sounds like you might be correct.
The module goes in and out when it gets hot.
-----------------------------

Quote:
He called the local Jeep dealership and they actually have an old guy who knew CJ's and that guy told him to go get a points distributor off of an early 70's FSJ and use that.
Breaker point distributor is a step backwards, even from a Prestolite.
You think he has problems now, wait until he has to do constant maintenance on a set of points!
------------------------------

Quote:
Jeephammer, I found your writeup on JYG
http://www.junkyardgenius.com/ignition/jeep/jeep03.html
and am trying to convince him to swap instead to a teamrush'd duraspark/motorcraft distributor with stealth HEI module.
Well, it wouldn't be a 'Stealth' HEI since he doesn't have a Motorcraft/DuraSpark ignition now.
'Stealth' refers to hiding the module in the old DuraSpark module case and plugging it into the Motorcraft harness.

What you are telling him to do is sound advice.
The Jeep/Motorcraft distributor from '78 to '86 CJ's gives him very good advance mechanisms, excellent trigger, is already tuned for his AMC/Jeep engine,
AND,
It accepts the larger/taller distributor cap (TeamRush Upgrade) so the high voltage is taken care of properly...

Add a $20 GM style module to the mix and you have a very reliable, cheap and durable ignition using parts you can get at any parts store...
And they will be available for years to come...
-----------------------------------

Quote:
Looks like removing the prestolite would be easy enough, then pop the MC distributor in the engine (have to change anything or will a distributor from a 79 go straight in?), and then hook the stealth HEI module into place. The JYG page doesn't have a wiring diagram for hooking up the duraspark setup (unless I'm missing it somehow).
You would be correct on the ease of install.
Drop the distributor in,
Drop the upgraded Cap Adaptor, Cap, Rotor & Plug wires on,
The module pretty much falls into place were the old module was...
The only 'Issue' is mounting the module, and a heat sink is easy to fabricate.

As for the wiring diagrams, I have plenty, just let me know which ones you want and I can direct you to them.
-----------------------------------------

Quote:
Is this setup THAT easy to put in, and what kind of wiring am I looking at doing to get the duraspark in there?
Well, the Prestolite has provided all wiring to the module and to the coil, so that doesn't change.
You can cut the 'Pig Tail' off the old module, so your GM Style HEI module can plug into the harness,
And the only real wires you have to change are the spark plug wires, and add a couple of wires from the distributor to the module.

Prestolite used a round 'Co-Axial' type wire to the distributor, and you can't easily reuse that,
So Orange & Violet wires from module to distributor is about it.
--------------------------------------

Quote:
The owner inherited the Jeep from his grandfather and doesn't want to tackle the job, but I'm trying to convince him to bring it out one weekend to do it.
It's an afternoon job if you are familiar with setting a distributor correctly.
There's not much to it once you do it a few times, but people not familiar with setting a distributor screw it up all the time!
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Unread 05-05-2009, 03:53 AM   #4
CoyJ-5
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jeephammer... I would like to do this upgrade. i need your help first. 1st I have a 76 cj5 w/ 304. I put a painless performance wiring kit in and have everything ready to go. I can't tell what distributor I have and the painless diagrams show that two wires come off and go to the distributor, but there is nowhere on my distributor to route these two wires. I have a prestolite module (thinking that was what I had) and I started wiring everything and now i am stuck and a brick wall. I decided to change out my distributor... blah blah blah... anyways, I want to do the team rush upgrade and everything is geared toward cutting out the the old prestolite system and going from there. My question is... with new wiring and all the old parts out, what parts do I need to buy (distributor, rotor, cap, module, etc.), and how do I wire from starting fresh to successfully do the upgrade?
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Unread 05-05-2009, 07:07 AM   #5
wm69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyJ-5 View Post
jeephammer... I would like to do this upgrade. i need your help first. 1st I have a 76 cj5 w/ 304. I put a painless performance wiring kit in and have everything ready to go. I can't tell what distributor I have and the painless diagrams show that two wires come off and go to the distributor, but there is nowhere on my distributor to route these two wires. I have a prestolite module (thinking that was what I had) and I started wiring everything and now i am stuck and a brick wall. I decided to change out my distributor... blah blah blah... anyways, I want to do the team rush upgrade and everything is geared toward cutting out the the old prestolite system and going from there. My question is... with new wiring and all the old parts out, what parts do I need to buy (distributor, rotor, cap, module, etc.), and how do I wire from starting fresh to successfully do the upgrade?
Here are the basics, and looks like Jeephammer was nice enough to put directions on how to set up a distributor on the bottom of the page too. Maybe he can walk both of us through the process.

http://www.junkyardgenius.com/ignition/jeep/jeep03.html

Jeephammer, I guess what I would need is wiring instructions on wiring in a GM HEI module to work with the motorcraft distributor (which wires to leave in place, what goes where, and the end points for the two new wires I'd need to run to the coil. I know you and Strenk have wiring diagrams on putting the HEI module in the duraspark box, but I'm sure the prestolite wire colors are different, so if you could tell me which wire goes to which terminal etc I think I could handle it.

Wow, just read the distributor instructions.... and I figured you just pulled the old one and set the new one in in the same place.....

Anyhow I think I can handle that, and I've done some basic wiring, so hopefully this is something I can handle.
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO

Last edited by wm69; 05-05-2009 at 07:18 AM..
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Unread 05-05-2009, 07:13 AM   #6
wm69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
Add a $20 GM style module to the mix and you have a very reliable, cheap and durable ignition using parts you can get at any parts store...
And they will be available for years to come...

Quick (slightly OT) question. I have the two CJ's in my sig line, and about 20 years ago one of them had the ign module go out, I had no idea what was wrong, so I took it to a shop and the guy there wired in a GM module. After Al Gore invented the internet, I discovered that while the original Motorcraft duraspark modules were ok, that the autoreillynapa replacement duraspark modules had a less than stellar reputation, (and I'm guessing that's why people started using a GM module). I figure that sooner or later the duraspark module will go in Jeep #2 and figured I'd do the GM module on that one then. I'm an extra parts type guy and am trying to get both Jeeps with the same components so I don't have to keep as many spare parts around.

Given that the autoreillynapa duraspark modules are junk, does the same hold true of the GM HEI modules (so can I go to the local parts place for an HEI module and get a quality part)?

Thanks. Back OT now.
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 05-05-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
Dad03
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I ditched my 304's Prestolite ign and did this a few weeks back. When you think of revamping an ignition system it must be complicated, nope its EASY! and a huge improvement.
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Unread 05-05-2009, 12:54 PM   #8
wm69
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One more question hammer. What do you think of this setup

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/AMC-J...spagenameZWDVW

I know better than to buy stuff off of ebay, but what are the advantages/ disadvantages of going to autoreillynapa and buying an HEI setup as opposed to the the motorcraft setup?
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 05-05-2009, 09:01 PM   #9
CoyJ-5
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dad...how did you do it? easy? how easy?
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Unread 05-05-2009, 09:26 PM   #10
Dad03
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Jeep Hammer has the diagrams. He's the man to ask all the questions.

I am by no means proficient in this but here is what I did--
I bought a distributor for a 79 jeep cj with 304 ( i have '75 304) $49, HEI ign module from '79 vette $20 , Large dist cap with brass posts & rotor (fits 78 Ford F 150 with 351w)$25 and new 8mm cut to fit plug wires $60, I used existing ign coil but you can upgrade.

Replace all the Prestolite crap, Install HEI module at your location of choice. Follow the wiring diagram from Jeep Hammer. Wiring is easy. Take the red wire that goes into the old ign module to the new HEI (Only existing wire I used). Then run the wire the the - post on the coil and the 2 to the distributor.

Fire it up, check and adjust timing.

Do a search on Team Rush. There is great info and detailed parts list if needed.
Thats it!
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Unread 05-06-2009, 08:39 PM   #11
wm69
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Bump to the top. Jeephammer, when you get a chance can you please post the wiring diagram for putting an HEI module in the prestolite system.

It looks like there used to be a diagram on your page, but it's not showing up.

Thanks for the help thus far. I emailed this thread to my buddy and I think he's gonna bring it out to the house one weekend and swap it over with my help (and your instructions).
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 05-07-2009, 05:56 AM   #12
rkbell
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Post #11 in this thread:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/junkyard-genius-basic-ignition-upgrade-735093/
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Unread 05-07-2009, 07:05 AM   #13
wm69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkbell View Post
GREAT! Thank you.
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 05-07-2009, 10:24 AM   #14
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The HEI module will not work with prestolite dist. You will need to change to Motorcraft dist.
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Unread 05-07-2009, 02:33 PM   #15
wm69
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Originally Posted by cj5752 View Post
The HEI module will not work with prestolite dist. You will need to change to Motorcraft dist.

Yeah, bad wording on my part. Going to go with motorcraft distributor with HEI module, but Jeephammer had a wiring diagram to use the existing wires running between the prestolite distributor and module.
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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