HELP! Well Researched and Tested, HEI Still won't run PLEASE take a look - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
cjhuntnfool
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HELP! Well Researched and Tested, HEI Still won't run PLEASE take a look

I have not posted any here but have learned tons from this forum and have my first question to present. I just installed a CRT HEI distributor on my freshly rebuilt 258. I kind of cheaped out but there are many that seem happy with them on this site so I figured I would give it a shot. Can't be worse than the 40 year old distributor and bulky ignition.... Prior to install, the engine was running like a top with the Holley sniper and Team Rush and I am not over 100 miles on the odometer. But I just could not let well enough alone and here I am with a dead jeep. So far since last night, I have gotten it to run twice, very rough, for about 15 seconds max. The times it did run it was at 0 TDC.

A little background to start. I rebuilt and installed the engine and Holley setup so I was pretty confident going into it that I could take this on. I installed a relay to power the HEI which is functioning appropriately according to voltage test with key in run and start. The power is on the battery side of the solenoid. The signal wire is wired to the Sniper relay wire which I know works properly (goes through firewall to ignition switch. Ground is straight to battery. Used 10 gauge wire for power. My tach wire goes to the sniper ECU. Plug wires are new 8mm. I removed the resistor wire to the coil/I terminal of the starter solenoid, and unhooked the OEM ignition module.

Tests and trouble shooting:

Checked for TDC, multiple times. Made sure dizzy was not 180 out etc. It is on number 1 plug wire at TDC, verified by removing plug. Tried cranking and advancing/retarding it a bit and it did not help.
I have about 10.5 v coming to the BAT terminal on the HEI when cranking the starter so I don't believe cranking voltage/battery is an issue.
Checked primary and secondary coil resistance and they were in spec.
Checked dizzy ground and it is good.
Checked for spark with plug grounded and the plug sparked.
Tested pickup coil resistance and it's in spec.
Tried old plug wires, no difference.
Verified all wires are in contact on the cap with the proper terminal, coil wires and pickup wires all in good shape making good contact.
Dizzy is fully seated, turning oil pump verified by gauge.

The only thing left to test is the module, but how likely is it that a brand new module is bad? I guess I will run to the parts depot to have it tested to see but this is just killing me!

This was just supposed to be an easy install and it is starting to be one of the few regrets I have had with my jeep. It is killing me to keep trying stuff, cranking my new engine while also sending fuel down the cylinder walls. Please please help me see what I could be missing as I have researched as much as I can.

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post #2 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 05:29 PM
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Is your sniper handheld showing rpm and 'crank' mode when you are cranking over the engine? Have you looked down the throttle body, are the injectors firing? did you get a nice blue spark when you tested it or was it a weak orange spark?

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post #3 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
cjhuntnfool
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cjhuntnfool

Yes the sniper is showing RPM and is in crank mode when starting. It tries to fire off and bumps up a couple hundred RPM then does not catch. I also reset the sniper so it did not have any of the previous ignition "learned" but I cannot imagine it matters too much since the stock settings are all rich. There is definitely fuel being delivered. Pump is priming and there is enough fuel smell I am concerned about flooding. As I said, the sniper was humming along and all I did was swap the dizzy, haven't touched the sniper but to borrow the signal. I know the relay is right on the sniper, because I struggled with it when I installed so I know what it looks like when the handheld is not getting constant signal through crank and run cycles and I am.

I am letting it air out for a while and recharge battery. Won't crank again until tomorrow.

As far as the spark, I can't say it was a huge spark, but it was also grounded in a weird spot so I could see it while cranking and would jiggle loose after a few cranks. I will try when I have someone to help crank the motor. All of that aside I figured if I tested the coil and it was showing the right specs, and I was getting + to the battery terminal it would fire.

I did not succeed in testing the module at Advance Auto and the AutoZone line was too long, but again this seems unlikely.

Thanks!
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post #4 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjhuntnfool View Post
I installed a relay to power the HEI which is functioning appropriately according to voltage test with key in run and start. The power is on the battery side of the solenoid. The signal wire is wired to the Sniper relay wire which I know works properly (goes through firewall to ignition switch. Ground is straight to battery. Used 10 gauge wire for power.
Can you elaborate more on how you have this setup. If I understand you correctly you're getting your HEI's relay trigger power from the Sniper's fuel pump relay? The sniper's pink wire?


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post #5 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoffroad View Post
Can you elaborate more on how you have this setup. If I understand you correctly you're getting your HEI's relay trigger power from the Sniper's fuel pump relay? The sniper's pink wire?
Yep that is exactly how I have it.
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post #6 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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I should also say, initially I tried wiring straight from the OEM coil wire at the bulk head before the resistor. This obviously did not work, which is how I ended up down the relay rabbit hole. From all my research and reading Jeephammer's write ups, seems like the best way to hook it up which is why I am stumped.
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post #7 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjhuntnfool View Post
Yep that is exactly how I have it.
So the rest of your setup looks like the below besides the relay powering the HEI's BAT terminal

Seems like your on the right path. Have the module tested.
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Screen Shot 2021-06-10 at 11.28.01 PM.jpg   Screen Shot 2021-06-10 at 11.31.56 PM.jpg  


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post #8 of 19 Old 06-10-2021, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjhuntnfool View Post
I should also say, initially I tried wiring straight from the OEM coil wire at the bulk head before the resistor. This obviously did not work, which is how I ended up down the relay rabbit hole. From all my research and reading Jeephammer's write ups, seems like the best way to hook it up which is why I am stumped.
Yep should have worked


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post #9 of 19 Old 06-11-2021, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I tested the spark while cranking and got a weak orange spark. Parts store couldn't test module but I bought a new one so will see if that is the issue and if not will return. Other than the module, I am not sure what else to test/look at.

Plugs are new autolite and gapped to .045.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-11-2021, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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New module made no difference. I am getting WEAK spark with good ground. Everything else seems to be in order. So I trace it back from the spark. Cap and rotor are first in line I suppose since I know there is power coming in. Other than that, does this part have anything to do with spark? It is the only thing in the dizzy I have not swapped or tested.

I feel like I must be at the end of whatever the issue is...
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post #11 of 19 Old 06-11-2021, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Tried a different battery with same result. Weak Azzz spark. I went against my better judgment installing a gm part and this is what I get. Where are all the HEI acolytes? Because this is some BS. I never had an issue with the Motorcraft ignition. This is what I get.
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post #12 of 19 Old 06-12-2021, 04:22 AM
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Are you using an OEM tach?

Are you using it wired like this:
screen-shot-2021-06-10-11.31.56-pm.jpg

Did you wire in the tach like this before?


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post #13 of 19 Old 06-12-2021, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Hi John, yes that is how the tach wire runs to my gauge from sniper. I have a speedhut cluster with the tach. Everything worked before I pulled the dizzy. Rpm is still showing on the holley.
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-12-2021, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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cjhuntnfool

The battery also checked out under load test at advance. I am curious if people tend to get a battery with larger cranking amps with the HEI as it seems it would help.

I think my next course of action is to buy a coil to test if they will let me return it at auto zone. People say the coils are finicky, or can be, but how likely is it to be bad out of the box even as a cheapie? I tested primary and secondary resistance and the coil tested good.
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-12-2021, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Update, reinstalled Motorcraft team rush setup. Fired up first turn of the key. HEI goes bye bye. I am not sure what the issue was, but it wasn't something I did
Either way, I'm not sure HEI would be good for me as I need my jeep to start without fail in remote areas potentially in sub-zero temps.

I think the thing that pisses me off most about this is the HEI could have been installed without cutting any wires, but the instructions all state the bulkhead wire to the module is perfect so I cut my harness...


I appreciate everyone's input. I have pretty sour grapes over this experience, but everyone's input is very appreciated. I've wasted money before on projects, but generally I see the project through. Hopefully the CRT people get in touch for me to return.

Last edited by cjhuntnfool; 06-13-2021 at 01:00 PM. Reason: spell check
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