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JeepHammer 03-06-2012 10:38 PM

Small cap hei for amc v-8 engines, cheap!
Do you need a low cost, Small base circle distributor for your AMC V-8?
Something that doesn't get into the power steering pump and doesn't stick up like the HEI distributors do?

Follow along and we'll get you there for CHEAP!

(As far as I know, this hasn't been published anywhere before, so when it catches on, expect it to show up in the 'Jeep' and 'AMC' magazines...)


This is what I'm stating with, a Breaker Points distributor from a '72-'73 Jeep CJ 304 V-8 engine,
Or '72-'74 Full Size Jeep 304 to 401 FSJ engine.

If you choose to pass the Junk Yard search,
Then buy one reman for about $50 from the local parts store and start with something clean and tight.

Your basic breaker point Delco Remy


There is plenty of room for the 7 pin GM HEI module under these housings.


This is to prove that any old grimy piece of crap can work for this particular purpose if you have the know how...


First Things First,
Put the rotor on the top of the distributor, and drill or paint a 'Divot' or 'Dot' so the gear gets back on the shaft with the 'Dot' and rotor nose on the same side...
If you have a real Delco gear, it will have a 'Divot' already, but some reman distributors don't have them and you can make your own.

Then need to tear the distributor down to 'Nuts & Bolts', this is a pretty easy operation,
You first drive the roll pin out of the distributor gear, taking care NOT to loose the roll pin or housing shims,
Also notice the 'Divot' in this photo.

They you pull the distributor gear off, DO NOT loose the pin, shims between gear and housing or the gear!

If you are starting with a Reman distributor, this should be simple,

If you have an old crusty one like this, you might have to soften the crud stuck to the distributor shaft, which can take some soaking and more than one try to get the shaft out of the housing.
Each time you try, you will shave a little more crud loose from the shaft...
And eventually it will come loose without pulling the top shaft bushing...


Now it's time to DIS-assemble the vacuum advance and breaker points trigger plate...

DO NOT lose the little 'Wave Ring' 'C' clip used to retain the advance plate, you will be reusing it again...
This is what we call a 'Jesus' part, if you break it or lose it, it's VERY hard to replace, so take care when you are removing it and DON'T LOSE IT!

LOCATION, and this is really hard to photograph,

Find the ENDS, work an end out of the groove and 'Unscrew' the WAVE RING GENTLY!

RIGHT is the Wave Ring style Circle Clip, And you will see why it's called a 'Wave Ring' when you get it off, the 'Warble' bends in it are factory,

LEFT is a way to keep those small parts for the gear install together and keep them from getting lost...


Now, there is a rubber wire strain relief Grommet in the bottom of the distributor, and you will need to take the wire loose form the breaker points, or feed some extra wire up though that rubber Grommet,

Then you can lift the advance plate out of the distributor body.
There is usually a 'Ground' wire attached to one of the vacuum advance screws

The only POWER TOOLS so far is a Dremel tool or a Round File!


Now, you need to mark the trigger point, find the contactor on the breaker point arm and mark the location on the center bushing...

Here is a set of breaker points, same AMC V-8 Application, with bright RED contractor, Shows up better in pictures...

And mark that contactor point,
In this case, it's the 'Sharpie' mark on the plate, and although the picture doesn't show it up,
There is also a small file notch on the bushing collar.
That scratch is there so when the 'Sharpie' mark disappears during cleaning, I will have orientation.

All you have to do is fit the old breaker points on the plate again, find your location, and mark it again!
(Good reason not to throw things out until you are done!)


I usually scrap the grease catch ring (it doesn't work, obviously... See picture above...),
And I get rid of the 'Ground' shown on this plate, we aren't using anything that needs a 'Ground', so it's just in the way...

One thing I've noticed about these 'Jeep' advance plates,
The grease collar is STUBBORN to get off...
Most plates with a 'Delco' part number stamped into them come right off, but these are often induction welded to the plate, so a Dremel tool is usually the best way to get the collar off.

Something else,
Delco stamped plates usually have the 'Ground' spot welded to the bottom, where these often have it right up on top in the way when you are doing this conversion...

Once this plate is cleaned off and the trigger point is marked,
We are ready to rebuild with a 'Breaker-Less Trigger (Stator)...



With springs, weights and CRUD removed from the shaft, the ADVANCE HEAD should slid off the shaft with little or no problems...

I use a Dremel tool, metal burrs and grinding stones to get the 'Reluctor' to slip over the breaker points cam lobes, and I try for a 'Press Fit' so I don't have to use a screw to hold it in place.

This shows,*
LEFT, A modified Reluctor going onto the factory beaker points lobes, notice the 'Points' of the 'Reluctor' line up with the beaker point lobes?

CENTER is an unmodified Chrysler 'Reluctor',

RIGHT is the complete conversion, Press Fit, but I usually use 'Locktite Red' stud locker on them, just in case...

Here is another picture of the parts...

LEFT, Delco breaker points advance head cam lobes from the bottom,

MIDDLE, Off The Shelf Chrysler Reluctor from '76 V-8 engine application,

RIGHT, Reluctor ground and fitted to the Delco advance head with Reluctor points lined up with cam lobes.

This part is done and ready to install in the distributor again.


Now that you have the 'Reluctor' Test Fitting on the advance head,
It's time for a test fit to see if that 'Stator' you marked earlier is in the correct position...


'Reluctor' clears advance plate, Shaft Spins Freely, No Issues So Far...

With STATOR in place, the Reluctor wants to rub on it's bracket.
So I need to push up the Reluctor a little more for clearance,
And it's perfectly acceptable to grind a little off the bottom for clearance since the center of the Stator is so far up the Reluctor, you aren't loosing anything, *

This is hard to see, but the Reluctor BARELY reaches the top of the center 'Tooth' of the Stator.
The Reluctor Most Certainly needs to go up a little, and that might solve BOTH issues at once...

Now, Reluctor is driven up on the cam lobes a little, and it's REALLY TIGHT,
That made all the difference in the world!

Good Clearance At The Stator Mount,

And better Stator Tooth Fitment,

Looks like it's time to do some Drilling...

You don't want a HUGE screw holding the Stator on the advance plate,
So stay a little on the small side and sneak up on the hole sizes you need...

JeepHammer 03-06-2012 10:38 PM



The basic 4 Pin HEI style module fits just fine on the underside of the distributor, and is virtually invisible when installed, which makes it VERY attractive to the 'Nostalgia' guys that want a 'Stock' looking distributor, but have the more powerful breaker-less ignition system.

The bottom of the housing is a rough casting, so you need to use a file to smooth out the casting lines and imperfections so the module can mount flush and transfer heat...

Once the under side is smoothed down,
Cut the locator tabs (Plastic) off the under side of the module housing, so it will lay flat...
LEFT, Factory locator tabs,
RIGHT, Tabs Shaved Down so the module lays flat,...

And use the module for a 'Template' for drilling.

Now STOP, just use the drill to mark the spots where you need to drill,
DO NOT drill through with a full size drill!

If you think this trough, you may have to change that module at some point.
If you drill through with straight holes and use screws from the bottom or top,
You will have to remove & disassemble the distributor to change modules!

In my case a #29 Drill and then use an 8x32 tap,

You can THREAD the screws into the housing,
(With 'Lock-Tite' on final fitting),
This will keep them in place while you take nuts off the bottom, replace the module, and put the nuts back on without removing the distributor from the engine or tearing it down!
Just use screws long enough to exit the housing and extend down far enough for the module to mount and get nuts/lock washers on...

This saves a TON of aggravation if you have to change modules...

This will keep MIS-ALIGNMENT problems to a minimum...

Here is an example of a screw threaded into the housing from the inside, and sticking out the bottom for a nut to hold the module in place...
Have you ever tried to find a small screw hole with a small screw, up side down and off center where you can't see the screw or the hole?

If you have, this should be self explanatory how much easier this will make a module change!




Now, if you are going to run this as a 'Small Cap HEI' you will need to keep centrifugal advance and vacuum advance.

If you are going to run this as a 'Tach Signal' distributor for throttle body injection that DOES NOT have electronic spark control, You WILL NEED the vacuum advance.


Just one of those bits of 'Trivia'...
RIGHT is a 'HEI Vacuum Advance', there is only ONE HEI Vacuum advance, for the large cap version.

The smaller ones like the one we are working with is a BREAKER POINT canister, not an HEI,
And there weren't any Vacuum Canisters on the small cap version of the HEI distributor since fuel injection had come along an taken over timing duties...


If you are going to order a new vacuum advance, make sure you get the 'Small Cap' version or it won't fit!
(Just one of those little 'Tech' things you won't find out anywhere else but an 'Ignition Geek' like me...)

If you are going to order a vacuum advance, for either a 'Small Cap HEI' build,
Or for a 'Tach Signal' Fuel Injection System,
Here is the best on the market, comes with tuning springs, adjustment 'Allen' wrench, An Advance LIMITER, which is a very good thing to have if you are going for fuel economy...

Crane Adjustable Vacuum Advance And Limiter Kit, Crane p/n 99601-1, about $39 from Summit Racing.

JeepHammer 03-06-2012 10:39 PM

You have some choices to make...

And this is putting your money where it should be put!
This low voltage trigger and module stuff isn't really difficult to work with,
but the correct HIGH VOLTAGE hardware will make or break your ignition!

The distributor cap is VERY important, and this will help you make up your mind about what will work best for YOUR application....
As you can tell, I use what works best for these applications, and for my money, NOTHING beats MSD distributor caps for a number of reasons.

BUT... With good plug terminals!

MSD p/n 84333, about $32 at Summit Racing.

Standard Rotor Only, MSD p/n 8467, around $9

I STRONGLY SUGGEST you buy a blow through proof, Phasable Rotor if you are running fuel injection!

MSD p/n 84211, $32 at Summit Racing.



Cap Only, MSD p/n 8433, About $30

Cap & Standard Rotor, MSD p/n 84335, about $30 at Summit Racing.

Rotor Only, MSD p/n 8467, Around $9,

I STRONGLY SUGGEST you buy a blow through proof, Phasable Rotor if you are running fuel injection!

MSD p/n 84211, $32 at Summit Racing.



[size=2MSD part number 8420, around $50 with phasable, blow proof rotor,
Cap center terminal is replaceable,
Rotor nose is replaceable,

The adapter will allow you to use common Ford V-8 caps in a pinch...
(and for Rotor Phasing when you have to cut a hole in a distributor cap, you REALLY don't want to cut up the MSD unit, so a discount store cap will fit right on...)

Spaces the terminals out further and uses a rotor that high energy ignitions can't blow though, making your spark energy getting the plug wires a slam dunk,

This cap also allows you to phase the cap, and the rotor,
And for Fuel Injection Systems that have timing control in the computer/module, this is a HUGE DEAL since 100% of spark advance shows up in rotor phasing with the spark plug terminals at the cap...
Where only Vacuum Advance shows up at the rotor with mechanical spark timing control![/size]

It's what I'm running right now...
MSD Cap-A-Dapt, Ford Style Large Cap, MSD Phasable Rotor.
I wanted something I could pull a cap off the shelf if needed,
But the cap has replaceable center terminal, and it's over 10 Years old with no issues what so ever.
I have extra rotor noses,
The 'Cap-A-Dapt' is a one time buy, doesn't need to be replaced.

Phasable Rotor In Place,

Cap-A-Dapt Collar In Place To Mount The Larger Ford Style Cap...
(will accept off the shelf Ford V-8 Caps also)

MSD Verions Of Larger 'Ford' Style Cap In Place,

Another View Of Completed Cap Arrangement,
With the older style plug wire retainer on top,
The plug Wire Retainer attachment is built into the MSD caps now.


If you got this far, you spent some serious time and some REASONABLE money getting here,

Get a set of GOOD PLUG WIRES!
You spent all this time and money on this ignition, if you don't use some good plug wires, you are just shooting yourself in the foot!
Anywhere between 30% and 70% of your spark energy can be lost by using bad plug wires, and by installing plug wires incorrectly...

OFF THE SHELF, ready to install all but putting one end on the coil wire,
And that comes with a cutting/stripping gauge, crimping tool and instructions.

MSD p/n 35859, about $87 at Summit Racing.


You put your own cap terminals on once you cut to fit...

MSD p/n 31199, RED, set of 9 wires, about $88 Summit Racing.

MSD p/n 31193, BLACK, Set of 9 Wires, about $88 Summit Racing.[/size]


MSD p/n 8841, $13 set of 4, Summit Racing.

And keep them OFF METAL on the way to the plug.
Bundling wires, and draping them across metal is the fastest way to have your spark energy sucked away and to have cross fire (induction fire) problems!

So separate wires by at least 1/2" inch and keep the wires off metal on the way to the plugs.

================================================== ===
================================================== ===


Here are some links to an old MSD service bulletin on rotor phasing,
Now, remember, with a mechanical advance distributor, only the VACUUM ADVANCE shows up at the rotor to plug terminal.

Link to page 1.

Link to page 2.

The SMALLER DIAMETER the distributor cap you choose, the more likely you are to have Rotor Phasing issues...
So just be aware of this,

Here is a link to MSD's latest version of Rotor Phasing information, .pdf format.

Click On This Line For Link.



There is more than one way to do this, but since I won't let an ignition out of here without Phasing the rotor correctly, this is some of my test gear for checking Rotor Phasing...


There are 13 teeth on your AMC distributor gear, that means no 'Center', there IS a 'Front' and a 'Back' to the gear!
Get the gear back on in the correct position!


Now, to get you started...

Install distributor into engine with rotor pointing in the correct direction for #1...

THE 'SPIDER', test cap, test rotor, testing plug wires for any V-8 running a 'Ford' distributor cap.
Notice the Firing Order for various engines is written on the cap, along with rotation for each engine,
And the plug wires are a mess (8 Spider Legs) but long enough to reach every cylinder on any V-8 engine...

The distributor cap I cut the "Window" into so I can watch the rotor in action while the ignition advances and retards during operation...
CHEAP CAP since you are going to cut a giant hole in it!

I put a stripe of NON-Conductive paint on the rotor center line so I can see exact center line better with the timing light...


This is pretty typical for 'Vacuum Advance' misalignment.

With CORRECTED Rotor Phasing, you will wind up with something like this...


Now, most people don't think the increased cap diameter is a big deal...

Here are two things to consider,

1. Distance between terminals.
The smaller the cap, the closer the terminals.
Much larger chance for spark energy to go the wrong way, ESPECIALLY if the Rotor Phasing is off and the Rotor is closer to the WRONG terminal when the ignition fires...

2. The small diameter caps use a SMALL ROTOR NOSE at the plug terminals.
The 'HEI' and 'Ford' large caps use a WIDE rotor nose, to keep the rotor firing the Correct terminal,
See the width of this rotor nose at the Plug Terminals?

Now, have a look at the width of the Rotor Nose on the small cap Rotor...

With a 'Small Cap' you have to be MUCH more precise with Spark Energy Control or you WILL fire the wrong cylinder!
So Rotor Phasing is a MUST to keep the Spark Energy from firing the wrong cylinder!




YOU SHOULD BE ABSOLUTELY SURE you need more advance and the engine can tolerate it before you start cutting here!

JeepHammer 03-07-2012 12:14 AM


CHRYSLER TRIGGER, Turned Advance Head, Dual Triggers.

You start by turning down the advance head, turn the breaker points cam lobes off the advance head,

(Personally, I prefer to fit the reluctor over the STOCK breaker point cams as shown in the above posts... In an absolute 'Mad Max' situation, I can always go back to breaker points to keep the thing running!)

Use a Chrysler Reluctor from Late '70s, and Ream out the hole in the center to fit over the turned down advance head...

Chrysler already makes a Dual Stator (Triggers) set up for their stock applications,

And it would be easy if this plate just screwed to the Delco plate and that was it...

Doesn't take a lot of imagination to see where this is going! :)

But the Chrysler mounting plate makes to too tall of an install!
So you have to drill the Stators off the Chrysler plate and mount them on the Delco plate so the cap screws/lugs will clear the Stators...

And of course, you will have to make holes for TWO wiring sets to pass through the distributor housing...

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++++++++


IF you have your ignition tuned for NO LOADING, maximum Horsepower and/or fuel mileage,

Then you decide to haul something large and heavy,
If the second stator is RETARDED a little from the first, you can switch to the LESSER ADVANCE of the second stator.


I use mine for Trail Redundancy, one ignition fails, I flip the switch and I'm up and running on a second ignitions...


This can also be done with Jeep/Motorcraft distributors also,


There isn't any way I've figured out to do a dual trigger with a GM HEI distributor...

JeepHammer 03-07-2012 01:05 PM

Ford style Electronic Trigger, and this DOES RUIN The distributor if you ever want to run breaker points again...

This is not a 'Jeep' distributor, but it's a Delco Remy distributor and everything works the same way in your 'Jeep' version of the Delco Remy 'Jeep' distributor...

Grinding down the breaker points cam lobes so you can use the Ford style reluctor.
Now, if you keep turning this advance head on the shaft, and you have access to a belt sander, you can do a pretty smooth job of it.

I used a 1/2" drill to turn the shaft and kept the breaker points cam lobes against the belt EVENLY, and this worked out pretty good since I didn't need a lathe to do the turn down...

This shows the Ford Reluctor getting fitted to the Delco Advance head.
Now, you need to open up the reluctor hole a little to keep the Advance head metal from getting too thin...

This is best done with a 'Reamer',
A reamer will do two things,
1. is to taper the hole, so the reluctor is a 'Press Fit' onto the advance head,
2. Will stay centered in the reluctor as you sneak up on the correct size for the 'Press Fit' onto the Advance Head.

This is the Reluctor, Reamed out, so it PRESS FITS onto the Advance Head.
The advance head is flush with the 'Up-Side-Down' Reluctor, and will have to be moved up the Advance Head to clearance the advance plate in the distributor.



Plain Old 'Run Of The Mill' Ford advance/trigger plate from any parts store in America.

It doesn't fit the Delco Advance Plate or the Delco distributor the way it is,
So with a couple of cuts with a hack saw or Dremel tool...

Then you drill the Ford vacuum Advance Pins out from the back side of the plate,
This makes a good place to bolt this thing down at!
(see the removed pin sticking to the magnetic plate on the left lower corner?)

Simply lay that plate on the Delco advance plate and assemble the distributor for a test fit,


If you are one of the unlucky ones that got a OVER MOLDED Stator (trigger) like the one shown in 'Blue', they don't fit very well and hit the Advance Head 'Arms',
DON'T PANIC! It's easy to fix...

Simply drill the rivets out of the magnet and stator arm, and take the trigger off the Ford advance plate,

Keep the magnet in the correct orientation, and DO NOT break that ceramic magnet!
That magnet has a 'North' and 'South' pole, so don't get it turned end for end,
The best way is to paint stripe the magnet so you know which end of the magnet faces out and which side goes down....

Use a couple of small screws and nuts to secure it to the Delco advance plate...
And you are golden again!

This is a 'Worst Case' Discount Store trigger, so it's actually so over molded it will interfere with the cap screws and cap alignment tabs!

These tabs and screws will have to be trimmed for clearance with a 'Dremel' tool before this particular distributor can run...


This 'Ford' Trigger is fine for a Small Diameter Cap 'HEI' so you can get fire wall clearance with a 'Chevy' engine transplant,

You can get clearance between distributor and power steering pump when you do the conversion on a 'Jeep' version of the Delco breaker points distributor,

It works fine for a common ignition application,
It work OK with fuel injection if it's a 'Speed/Density' arrangement that only requires a 'Tach Signal',

Remember, the Ford style trigger isn't the most ACCURATE if you are going to run a distributor with EST or Electronic Spark Timing where the Fuel Injection Computer takes control of the timing advance, you are MUCH better off with the more accurate Chrysler trigger conversion for that.
It's more work, but it's MUCH more accurate than the Ford trigger,
And MUCH more reliable than the large cap HEI style triggers...

JeepHammer 11-09-2014 02:44 PM

I am so surprised that no one jumped on this thread with both feet I can't believe it!

Converting a old breaker point distributor to Electronic trigger with COMMON, LOW COST PARTS alone should have generated interest,
But showing how to build a fuel injection distributor with common, low cost parts should have at least been attractive to the 'Junk Yard Fuel Injection' guys!

Anyway, I'm often asked about using a GM HEI trigger in a small cap breaker point distributor.
The answer is, yes you can, for low bucks and a little work...

Let me root around and find those pictures since I don't see them on the thread...
Above covers dual Jeep/Motorcraft triggers,
Delco Remy breaker point (Small Cap) distributor to both Chrysler and Ford style triggers, Dual Triggers...

Let's see if I can find my HEI trigger in a Delco Remy small cap (breaker point) distributor conversion pictures.

Matt1981CJ7 11-09-2014 07:02 PM

I think 2--1/2 years without a response is a pretty good indication of the level of interest, Aaron. Lol!


JeepHammer 11-10-2014 09:13 AM

I dunno, it gets posted regularly on the fuel injection section of other forums, but no one shows interest here.
I'll add the HEI trigger since that seems to be the going trend right now, next week it might be something else.

There are mostly 'Howell' or other package FI guys here, while some of the other forums there are 'Bits & Pieces' guys building from virtually scratch. Real DIY types that just have to be a glutton for punishment in a lot of cases.

The biggest question is always 'Why Small Cap/Breaker Point Distributors' and the answer is SPACE.
A ton of people are shoving some engine into something it wasn't designed to fit into, like Small Block Chevy into a Jeep, and the fire wall clearance is an issue.
Smaller cap means more clearance, and not much more...
It's either this or a sledge hammer! Not that I'm adverse to a sledge hammer and sawsall...

TIPPEDITOVER 11-10-2014 10:35 AM


Originally Posted by JeepHammer (Post 26540706)
The biggest question is always 'Why Small Cap/Breaker Point Distributors' and the answer is SPACE.
A ton of people are shoving some engine into something it wasn't designed to fit into, like Small Block Chevy into a Jeep, and the fire wall clearance is an issue.
Smaller cap means more clearance, and not much more...
It's either this or a sledge hammer! Not that I'm adverse to a sledge hammer and sawsall...

I think it's real cool for the guys who run AMC engines or older non-TBI small block Chevy's. Don't know why they didn't jump on it, or maybe they did. It's such well written procedures no questions really need to be asked. Oh I definitely have it filed away in my head somewhere. Your legwork, efforts and creativity are appreciated.

When I did the SBC conversion with junkyard TBI, I used the OEM small cap distributor that came on my 1990 SBC originally. Clearance is not an issue and if/when I need a new one there's always one sitting in the nearest parts store in every little town across the U.S.

JeepHammer 11-10-2014 11:04 AM

It's mostly the guys with antique vehicles that seem to reference this and ask questions.
I agree about not reinventing the wheel, some of these guys are converting old iron distributors for use.
I guess they want to save the money on a new distributors or there isn't a replacement available.

Anyway, a little bit of money in parts and they are off to the races.

TIPPEDITOVER 11-10-2014 11:16 AM

I tried to hurry up and delete my comment about re-inventing the wheel, but I wasn't quick enough. That's not what this is all about and I tried to catch myself but was too late. Lot's of folks will benefit from these conversions, or already have.

RWC 11-10-2014 01:57 PM

I ordered a DUI for my 401, but had them swap the vacuum advance and install the 7-pin ignition module so I could control timing advance through my Holly ECU. Clearance isn't really an issue on an AMC V8, and you've still got a full 90 degrees of rotation before you smack something. I simply don't see the need to go to a small-cap distributor as clearance isn't a significant issue. You prove this point yourself by, after spending the time to adapt the stator/reluctor to the AMC distributor, you then go ahead and jump up to the Ford TFI adaptor and cap (which can be done on any stock AMC distributor anyway) for all the benefits you describe. I think it was around $325 for the DUI, and came with all new parts. (Buying just the cap/rotor/module/coil from NAPA kisses $135.)

I don't see the need to go through all this trouble when you can simply order the complete custom-made AMC/HEI distributor, which also places the ignition module inside the cap where it was designed to live versus leaving it on the bottom in a less clean and exposed location.

In the alternative, I also considered going with the 8-pin ignition module for my 401, but then I was going to need to remote-mount the coil, whereas I actually like how clean the convention coil-in-cap HEI is put together. And I appreciated the large-cap internal spacing benefits.

If I was going TBI in a 350 for installation into a CJ-7 (yes, I ran into firewall clearance issues putting the conventional large-cap HEI in my CJ-7 with a SBC 350), similarly, I'd just pick up a stock 8-pin GM small-cap distributor that was designed for the external coil, and be done; no "conversion" necessary. And if I wanted to keep a carb, I'm still not sure I'd want to retain the stock AMC/Ford ignition module (that mounts on the fender) due to it's well documented heat-sink failure issues considering that I could just go to an HEI ignition.

Don't get me wrong; it's an interesting exercise and I admire your ingenuity. For people doing show-quality "classics" in an AMC who need/want to keep the stock look while switching to a TBI system, I can see why they'd want to go through the process. And for junkyard guys who want to piece things together just for the challenge. I also appreciate your write up and sharing the knowledge. But I'm not surprised that people haven't fawned all over the conversion for the above reasons. Nonethelss, for only 11 posts as of my writing this, you still have nearly 12,000 views on the thread. That in and of itself speaks to the interest. It's well written and documented such that those trying to duplicate it don't need to ask questions.

Cool write-up. Something for the archives.

JeepHammer 11-10-2014 03:06 PM

The 'Large' Ford style cap is still smaller/shorter than the factory HEI, and with firewalls that hang over engine bays, the extra inches count.
For the SBC, the old breaker point conversion is shorter over all than the later smaller cap HEI, again, inches...

And again, depends on the fuel injection you are using, some of the throttle body injections still used vacuum advance, and the later smaller diameter HEI distributor doesn't have a provision for vacuum advance.

This is mostly for the guys trying to convert something that's already laying around, or to give ideas to the guys that have an even older, more obsolete and arcane distributor they want to convert.
The lay out steps for getting the electronic trigger in correctly, getting the reluctor on the shaft correctly, using the old vacuum advance for rotor phasing since many FI computers have delay built in, you need to be able to adjust the rotor phasing with the terminals, ect.

And it's passing along information that isn't always condensed in the same format, the 'High' points are all hit, the rest is details that most people can work out fairly easily...
I just saw a '53 F head with fuel injection and they referenced this particular article on distributor conversion, and I though that was pretty cool, completely restored outside, better axles/transfer/trans with FI which shocked me...

rons75 11-27-2015 09:08 AM

Sorry to dig up an old horse, but I found this very handy. I want to put GM HEI in my jeep for reliability, and this shows how to do it cheap. I also have a Cad 472 in a 63 Chev pu that I want to convert the points dist, the GM HEI fits, but AC belt clears dist by 3/8" and under flex will hit the plug wire.

CaliforniaCJ5 04-24-2016 03:25 AM


Originally Posted by JeepHammer (Post 26527834)
I am so surprised that no one jumped on this thread with both feet I can't believe it!

Converting a old breaker point distributor to Electronic trigger with COMMON, LOW COST PARTS alone should have generated interest,
But showing how to build a fuel injection distributor with common, low cost parts should have at least been attractive to the 'Junk Yard Fuel Injection' guys!

Anyway, I'm often asked about using a GM HEI trigger in a small cap breaker point distributor.
The answer is, yes you can, for low bucks and a little work...

Let me root around and find those pictures since I don't see them on the thread...
Above covers dual Jeep/Motorcraft triggers,
Delco Remy breaker point (Small Cap) distributor to both Chrysler and Ford style triggers, Dual Triggers...

Let's see if I can find my HEI trigger in a Delco Remy small cap (breaker point) distributor conversion pictures.

Were you able to find your write up on using GM HEI parts in a Delco small cap points distributor?

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