HEI Install Issues Wont Idle - JeepForum.com
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  • 1 Post By mystert29
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-17-2019, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
bh10
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HEI Install Issues Wont Idle

Went to install a HEI today on my 81 CJ8 w/ the 258 and cant get it to idle. Once at RPM I can get it to run fine.

When I pulled the old distributor, to where the rotor was pointing at #1 and the #1 piston was at the top of the bore. When I installed the new distributor I had to turn the oil pump about 908, when I dropped the HEI in it was exactly lined up to the old distributor but it was pretty close.

The CJ had factory ignition on it which I took off. I pulled the ignition box off and cut the 10ga wire off the old harness where the ignition box was and soldered another 10ga wire on to it to reach the distributor. I didnt spet down the wire at all and hooked the 10ga wire up to the distributor, I get 12volts, when cranking it drops to 10volts.

Now I dont have a tach in Jeep so I didnt hook up any wire to the tach signal. So setting timing is a little difficult. I was turning the distributor and you could hear the engine running much better at a certain spot, but it still wont idle. When Im playing with the timing should I be seeing the mark on the balancer with the timing light? Vacuum was disconnected during all of this.

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post #2 of 8 Old 09-17-2019, 03:50 PM
mystert29
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You need to properly set the timing. With the vacuum advance unhooked and plugged with a golf tee, your timing on the 258 should be in the 8-12deg BTDC range. Have you adjusted the timing yet?
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-17-2019, 06:43 PM
pedal2themetai
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HI Yes you should be able to see the timing mark with a timing light while the motor is running.. It should be solid and not move around unless you are moving the distributor. If is moves around the timing chain is bad. A little bit of a turn of the distributor is a lot on the mark.. So don't over-rotate.
good luck
tim
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-17-2019, 07:41 PM
BagusJeep
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The mechanical advance on the original distributor did not kick in to over 1000 rpm, the exact idle speed had no effect on initial timing and setting.

If you cannot find a consistent idle timing, you may have a distributor that is "loose" on its mechanical advance springs.

Where did you get it?

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1981 CJ7 258ci - Bagusjeep
1984 CJ7 258ci - Puthijeep
1981 J20 258ci - Gladys
1951 Willys CJ3A/MB/M38 - Little Willy
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-18-2019, 08:39 AM
DougE
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From your wiring description it appears you did bypass the ballast resistor as would be required to provide full voltage to the HEI distributor. As you found out, the relative positioning of the rotor with respect to the oil pump slot with different distributors varying is basically a given. What you didn't take into account is that there is also very little likelihood that the alignment of the distributor gear to the rotor will be consistent. Shift the distributor a little and see if it will idle but definitely get a timing light!

1983 CJ7, 258I6, T4, Dana 300, 31x10.5x15 DuraTrac
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-18-2019, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
bh10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystert29 View Post
You need to properly set the timing. With the vacuum advance unhooked and plugged with a golf tee, your timing on the 258 should be in the 8-12deg BTDC range. Have you adjusted the timing yet?
It wont run without the vacuum advance hooked up

Quote:
Originally Posted by BagusJeep View Post
The mechanical advance on the original distributor did not kick in to over 1000 rpm, the exact idle speed had no effect on initial timing and setting.

If you cannot find a consistent idle timing, you may have a distributor that is "loose" on its mechanical advance springs.

Where did you get it?
How do I figure that out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DougE View Post
From your wiring description it appears you did bypass the ballast resistor as would be required to provide full voltage to the HEI distributor. As you found out, the relative positioning of the rotor with respect to the oil pump slot with different distributors varying is basically a given. What you didn't take into account is that there is also very little likelihood that the alignment of the distributor gear to the rotor will be consistent. Shift the distributor a little and see if it will idle but definitely get a timing light!
Ive turn the distributor in every direction with no luck. I have a timing light just no tach.

73 CJ5- BBC SM465
81 CJ5- 258
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-18-2019, 03:08 PM
DougE
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Is your crankshaft timing mark showing up on the degree marks at all? Sounds like you could be way retarded. Disconnect the hose at the distributor and block the hose so there is no vacuum leak to the carb. (The vacuum advance is not necessary to run the engine, it's primary purpose is to reduce gasoline consumption.) It should be using a vacuum port above the throttle blades and should provide virtually no advance when idling. (Some will argue this.) Set the engine at top dead center per the timing marks and then make sure the rotor is pointing at the #1 cylinder wire. (Could be 180* out).

1983 CJ7, 258I6, T4, Dana 300, 31x10.5x15 DuraTrac
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-22-2019, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
bh10
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Well, figured it out. The new HEI had a bad coil... Dumb.

Replaced it, fired right up
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73 CJ5- BBC SM465
81 CJ5- 258
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