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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: ND
Posts: 6

Want to put Hei in 68 Camaro with 396. Which is best, vacuum advance dist or without. Also do you gap spark plugs wider with HEI? Have read about firewall clearance problems, some dont have problems, some modify, is there a smaller cap that can be found? thanks
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 02:51 AM
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Location: Houston, TX USA
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If you are going with an original HEI (unmodified) you will have to have vacuum advance as the ones without the cannister are for computer controlled cars. Yes, you can increase the plug cap when going to an HEI.
I believe most stock HEI's usually go .045".
You will probably have firewall clearance problems but nothing that can't be fixed with a hammer. I do not believe that you can get a smaller cap for the HEI because the body of the distributor is built larger specifically to receive the large cap. The coil in the cap is another issue. I have read on this BB that there are small body HEI's available from different sources. You may watch the responses here or post another question about the small body HEI's to get more info.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 03:04 AM
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Location: Dtown PA
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this seems to be a ongoing topic, look at my orig post in the troubleshooting area, or was it electrical and wiring? that covered just about everything... but for a recap of the posts,

remove your old distributer, coil , and wires. (mark #1 TDC for when you put the new one back in . ) remove the plastic / rubber wire harness that is above the distributer (the one near the winshield washer pump and the wipermotor) you dont need to take it out, but remove the screws so you can squish your hei in place. with the HEI cap and coil out, drop in your distributer, it will fit loose at first, but then youll have to "wiggle" it into place.. sometimes if your short on space you will need to reposition it so the vacuum advance is on the drivers side, most of the time you dont have to beat your firewall in , but if you did usually its only around where the base of the cap sits. (thats the fattest part) and if you did , dont worry, when you have the cap / new hei coil in place it will cover all your banging... you wont ever notice,,, to check out what I did, check my website out under the engines section, its a close fit, but it fits. and you can still see the wire harness unbolted.. (i havent rebolted it up yet... its the 3rd or 4th pic down (viewed from the passenger side)

heres the URL:

have fun!!!

[This message has been edited by Chris Edwards (edited 03-10-2000).]
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 00, 03:56 AM
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Location: PA
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one more very important thing. like i mentioned in eariler posts, replace the white braided wire that comes off of the junction box on the firewall and goes to the coil with a heavier gauge wire(12awg). the 16awg wire that is original might be ok for a little time, but could or will eventually melt or burn up and that could cause serious problem.
good luck,
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 11th, 00, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: ND
Posts: 6

Thanks for info guys, has anyone tried Hei dist. from Proform or Accel, from the pictures they look smaller than original GM. Maybe I just need eyes checked. thanks
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 00, 02:46 PM
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: brandon, ms. usa
Posts: 278
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check my past posts about a small body hei. i bought one from dave's. he takes a stock point dist. and converts it to a hei module. you use an external coil. it looks stock except for the module under the dist. plate which is not noticable. no problem with the firewall and it works very well. other ?'s - best to usa a vacuum advance dist on a street car. gap spark plugs wider can be set to .45 - .50 with the HEI
To see a pic of my car, click here... pages.prodigy.net/mtbmtb/rf396ss.jpg

[This message has been edited by mike brown (edited 03-12-2000).]
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