which wire to power HEI distributor? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 08, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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which wire to power HEI distributor?

I've read many of the posts on this subject, but most don't seem to apply to my '69 Camaro, or at least make sense to me.

I'm looking to find out what wire to use to hook up the new distributor. I realize it is supposed to be a switched 12 V +. Looking at the diagram below the old supply to the distributor was the white resistance wire. However, it was run right alongside a thicker wire with a plug clip on the end (they both came from the same engine side terminal on the bulkhead). I can't figure out, or remember, where this wire originally came from. Would this wire be a correct one to hook up to the new distributor? (The plug clip is already correct to plug into the cap.)

On a different wiring topic, to wire the new starter using a Ford type solenoid, can I just cut the 12GA PPL purple wire that used to run to the starter and run that to the solenoid?

I'm thoroughly confused about this wiring part of the build.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 08, 02:33 PM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

The original points style distributor required the resistance wire. The HEI requires a 12 AWG wire. It sounds like instead of cutting out the resistance wire and replacing it with a 12 AWG wire someone just added the 12 AWG to the terminal.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 08, 02:34 PM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

If the thicker wire with the plug clip comes from the same terminal on the bulkhead as the resistor wire, you can power your HEI with it. Some aftermarket harnesses are made with both wires so you can use points or HEI. Just make sure the resistor wire doesn't make contact with any metal.
You can use the purple wire that originally went to the starter to trigger your Ford type solenoid.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 08, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Thanks for the info. I guess I'll try that red wire. I just don't want to short something out.

But ... what did that red wire with the plug/clip end in photo 1 below go to originally? I doubt it was something someone added, because is still cloth covered in the factory harness and the car never had an HEI distributor before. Also, I doubt this is a replacement harness because the car I'm redoing is (was) an all original 65,000 mile convertible. Photo 2 shows where both the red and white resistor wire come out of the same terminal on the bulkhead; and photo 3 shows the original white resistor wire that attached to the distributor still attached to the yellow wire that ran to the starter.

Any ideas?

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 08, 09:00 PM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

My guess is the red wire goes to the anti diesel solinoid (SP?) that's mounted on the carb. This was on a 307/PG equiped 69
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 6th, 08, 09:02 PM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Without knowing what the original engine was and if it was A/C equipped I'm gonna guess that red wire ran a throttle kicker. Some of us call em idle speed solenoids. they were used to up the idle on A/C cars or close the throttle blades to keep a car from "dieseling"

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 04:36 AM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

As suggested, the red wire is for throttle kick-up to prevent dieseling at shutdown.
A/C equipped came with a green wire for the idle-up solenoid.

And yes, HEI did not come out until 1974.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by freezined View Post
My guess is the red wire goes to the anti diesel solinoid (SP?) that's mounted on the carb. This was on a 307/PG equiped 69
Correct! This car was a 307/PG.
Can I use that wire to power the distributor?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 09:52 AM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Yes.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 10:49 AM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

I made a false assumption that someone had already converted your car to an HEI and you were just replacing it with a new one. Glad to see the pictures helped others figure out your situation. I do not notice a wiper motor on your firewall in the pictures you have posted. Would that red wire happen to be the power for the wiper or washer?

Last edited by fishin4info; Oct 7th, 08 at 10:55 AM. Reason: add ? on wiper motor
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishin4info View Post
I made a false assumption that someone had already converted your car to an HEI and you were just replacing it with a new one. Glad to see the pictures helped others figure out your situation. I do not notice a wiper motor on your firewall in the pictures you have posted. Would that red wire happen to be the power for the wiper or washer?
Nope, not for the wiper. I believe freezined was correct and it went to an anti diesel solenoid on the carb. (I took many pictures before tearing into this project. I'll just have to check them to verify this, but I'm pretty sure this is correct because there is orange overspray on the cloth wirecovering from when the previous owner must have spray bombed the engine block.)

So, once I got all this straightened out this morn, I decided to see if the new 383 would fire up. Well it didn't. The engine turns over and it tries to start but it won't stay running. It is getting plenty of fuel from the new Holley 650 and I know it's getting spark because it runs a bit (very roughly, however). Since this engine was last run on a dyno and it ran quite well, I really didn't want to mess with the timing too much. I did move the distributor a bit each way, but it didn't help. The only thing I can think of, is possibly something mixed up in the plug wires. I double checked to make sure the wires were in the correct order. The only question I have is which terminal on the distributer cap is the #1 cylinder? I used the diagram in the wiring schematic as my guide, but is it possible that the #1 plug wire would go on a different spot because it's a totally different type of distributor? What do you think?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 01:01 PM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Quote:
The only question I have is which terminal on the distributer cap is the #1 cylinder? I used the diagram in the wiring schematic as my guide, but is it possible that the #1 plug wire would go on a different spot because it's a totally different type of distributor? What do you think?
The HEI and point factory positions are the same...IF the dizzy has been drppoed in on the same teeth
#1 is the front and the VA pionts approx to the passenger wheel
This postion is not critical, other than the VA may hit a runner on the valley cover stopping full timing adjustment.

Pull #1 spark plug, put your finger over the hole and turn engine over, u will feel pressure as the piston comes up on fire stroke
with a bit of wire feel the top of the piston at the top of the stroke.
Timing mark should now be near to TDC and engine set at #1
Where the rotor points is #1 lead

Note: do not use the old points leads, these are 6 or 7mm leads and will not carry the current from the HEI...the HEI will blow holes in the sides of the leads like water at to high a pressure in a hose will blow holes.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

I didn't pull the #1 plug yet, but I did line up the mark on the harmonic balancer with TDC and checked the rotor ... it does line up with the #1 plug wire. The engine can't be very far out of time because the engine ran great on the dyno and nothing has been changed since I dropped it in the car. Everything was new when the engine was built so is there something else that I am missing here?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 08, 08:44 PM
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Carb/fuel pump/fuel line primed with fuel? It's a long way from the tank.
Use timing light to see timing while cranking. Adjust timing if needed.
Give a couple shots of fuel with linkage, set choke, and turn up the curb idle.

You want splashing of oil for the camshaft right at light up.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Oct 8th, 08, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: which wire to power HEI distributor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett#2390 View Post
Carb/fuel pump/fuel line primed with fuel? It's a long way from the tank.
Use timing light to see timing while cranking. Adjust timing if needed.
Give a couple shots of fuel with linkage, set choke, and turn up the curb idle.

You want splashing of oil for the camshaft right at light up.
Yep, plenty of fuel when cranking. It must be some kind of timing thing. I need to play around with it a bit more to see what happens. Maybe this weekend I'll get some time. I'm dying to get this car on th road before the snow starts flying here in NE PA.
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