electronic dist. clearance help......... - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 03, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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kevin
 
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i am having trouble getting electronic dist. in because of clearance.i jacked the back of the motor up and get the clearance to get it in, but when i let it down slow it gets to tight and can't be turned.i am afraid i will break it.my friend suggested either beating in the firewall which is not an option i want.can i shim the transmission to keep the clearance i need or what is another option?thxs in advance.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 03, 03:25 PM
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Al
 
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I assume you're talking about a GM HEI distributor. There have been lots of posts and discussions on this topic. Try a search. If memory serves me correctly, it has to do with the type of frame mounts and/or motor mounts you are using. On some cars they just flat hit the firewall regardless, and others are fine. Some have massaged the firewall to gain clearance, some go to a small body HEI, some use MSD or other aftermarket electronic ignition. I was lucky and have plenty of clearance in my 69. I don't think jacking up the back of the trans is a particularly great idea ( a little might be OK) - you get goofy driveshaft angles and it's a good idea to keep the trans level with the frame rails if running an automatic.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 03, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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who makes a small body hei?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 4th, 03, 06:32 PM
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http://www.davessmallbodyheis.com

I've got one and it's an excellent piece which uses standard GM HEI replacement parts. Dave even put a shine on it for free. It looks like a standard breaker point distributor which is nice.

-dnult

Dave
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 03, 02:49 AM
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Yep, if you have the correct mounts for your headers to clear your PS box you may need to use a hammer to install an HEI. A pertronix conversion to your point distributer is another option. I guess its hard to have everything.

69 Camaro -originally a LM1 car. 327, Edelbrock E-streets, hooker, DUI performance distributors, ultradyne cam, stewart, TRW etc. Vintage Air, AGR steering, Corbeau GTSII seats, 700R4 transmission, 12-bolt w/Eaton 4.11:1
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 03, 04:47 AM
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Most of the distributor manufacturers are making "small cap" versions now. Nearly the stock diameters. I went with a MSD Pro Billet 8360 "ready to run", ( no ignition box required ) in my '67 rs. Your '68 should be the same if we are talking 327. The distributor fits and went in like stock. Just a taller, but much more better than stock set up. Holley, Summit Racing also make a small diameter sparker. Check em out. Dan

'67 Camaro rs, L30-327/275.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 03, 11:22 PM
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get a set of engine and frame mounts for a 307 or 327. those mounts seem to be a bit farther forward than 302/350 mounts, but you might have header fitment issues around the steering box if you have power steering, unless you have dynomax headers, which clear fine. word is that a big harmonic balancer might hit the swaybar with the 307/327 mounts, as well. kinda makes you wonder why they had so many different mounting arrangements, don't it?
or, as others said, you could get a smaller diameter distributor. if you price everything, either way will probably cost about the same, but the smaller distributor will look more stock and be easier to do.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 03, 07:23 AM
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The difference in the mounts is almost 2" Don't forget about the rest of the driveline if you take that route. Since the 350 and 302 equipped Camaros were performance designed until mid '69 I think the differnt mounts were all about weight distribution. I've found though that with headers and clearence more seem to fit without problems with the 327/307 mount.

I have the "daves" and am completely happy with it and have several friends using it as well. I upgraded a friends to a crane adjustable vacuum canister yesterday, Dave sent us written directions and provided phone support when we ran into a fitment issue with the cast iron dist housing. Things came apart and went together as instructed.

You send Dave a points dist and he takes it apart and goes through it and then rebuilds it into an HEI using parts available from any parts store. It comes with a parts list so you know what to ask for if you have a problem. I've had mine for several years with no issues. A lot of others make a small body dist so you do have several options.

...Dennis

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 03, 04:24 AM
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Dennis, how do you get a 2" difference between different SBC mount combos in a 1st gen? I just don't see how you could get that big a difference unless you had the frame mounts backwards and then the engine would be 2" too far forward.

I run ordinary 350 SBC mounts from NAPA in my 68 and my HEI clears. Its tight (1/8" clearance at the tightest spot) but it clears. My friend runs 327 mounts in his 69 and they position the engine in the same spot as my 350 mounts.

I think there are a couple things that can effect how a distributor fits in a 1st gen. 1) Engine mounts probably DO vary a small amount from set to set, or design to design. 2) Frame to body mounts could be shot causing the body to sag in the middle (look at the gap between the fenders and door - should be the same all the way down) 3) Alignment of the frame to the body. If the frame is pushed back the engine will sit further back too. You can adjust frame to body alignment a fair amount (not that you would want to mess with frame alignment just to make a distributor fit) but certainly enough to make or break your HEI clearance.

Just my opinion.

E85 racer and E85 carb builder

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 03, 06:45 AM
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Eric - I have never looked for part numbers on my frame mounts or on my buddys but we both have '69 ragtops. Mine engine is up against the firewall and Dave's is almost 2" forward. We both have small blocks with long water pumps and more or less stock fans, pulleys, shrouds etc basically same accessories!! Dave's fan sit's in the shroud without a spacer and I have to use a 1 3/4" - 2" spacer to get my fan into the shroud. Frame mounts on both cars are not backwards as far as I know. I am making an assumption, but it's based on physical evidence.

Both cars are ragtops, both cars have no door sag, both cars are factory automatics (powerglides), both cars are RS optioned and all frame to body relationships are visually in check. Rad cores are same (mines been re-cored, same tanks though). I really couldn't find anything but engine placement different on the 2 cars...

...Dennis

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