Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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James
 
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Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

Hi everyone,

So I recently rebuilt my engine and in the process upgraded my points distributor to an HEI, and my factory starter to a mini starter. The factory starter had 3 terminals (Battery+, S, R), and the new starter has 2 terminals (Battery+, S). Based on the instructions and what I read online, the R terminal was the resistor wire bypass for the coil (so that the coil would have 12v on startup) and that for HEI distributors it could be removed (So I did just that). I also removed the resistor wire that was connected to the coil from the bulkhead connector, and replaced it with a 12-gauge wire (This will be the power for my HEI).

Note: I checked the wiring diagram and determined that this pin on the bulkhead connector ties into the ignition switch (12-P wire from the bulkhead on the factory wiring diagram)

So with the wiring set up as it is (to my understanding), when the key is in the RUN position the wire to the starter S terminal should read 0V and the 12-gauge wire to the coil should read 12V. Then when the key is switched to the START position, the wires to both the starter S terminal and coil should read 12V.

Upon testing, when the key is in the RUN position I am reading 0V to the starter S terminal and 12V to the coil (which makes sense). However, when testing with the key in the START position, I am reading 12V to the starter S terminal and 0V to the coil (which does not makes sense?). I also tested the IGN terminal on the fuse box and got the same results.

Unless I am mistaken, the HEI requires 12V in RUN and START. So is there a different terminal that I should be using instead of the IGN?

Thanks for the help!

PS: Sorry if this ends up being a double posting. My page crashed when trying to post the first time and I couldn’t find anything to suggest that the tread had actually been posted.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 03:50 AM
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

An ignition switch from a 75 or later vehicle might be the solution if you have a 69 vehicle or later with the same type of switch. If not, some sort of relay system may be required.

Jon N

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

If I were to replace the ignition switch, is there any way to know before buying it if it would pass 12V in RUN and START?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 09:55 AM
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

No way I know to be sure. If you can find an electrical whiz, maybe comparing wiring schematics would be helpful.

Jon N

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 7th, 19, 05:04 PM
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

If you have an IGN or IGNITION terminal on the fuse box, check it for having battery voltage at both run and start key positions to ground, cold everywhere else. If hot in those two positions, use that to power up the HEI, IGN to BATT on the HEI cap, done. 12 or 10 gauge wire will work just fine.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 19, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

I checked each of the terminals on the fuse box and unfortunately none of them are hot in RUN and START (Except for the battery which is always hot). What I am currently trying is one of the diode wires from the starter. They are supposed to be a single direction flowing wire that will supply the 12V during cranking from the starter (essentially a replacement for the R terminal on the starter). If anyone has tried one of these before I'd love to hear your thoughts. Ill post an update with my results.

Here is a link to the diode wire I'm talking about if anyone is interested: Summit P/N - SUM-890175

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 04:39 AM
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

What you're describing sounds like you have a '67 in which the ign wire is cold while cranking. I "believe" the solution is to install a '68 ign switch, which has both the run and start wires hot while cranking. I do not know if it is a plug and play swap, you'll have to do a little digging around. It has been posted here before. Ign switch from 69 and later is a totally different deal


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 05:10 AM
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

James garage picture shows a 69, fwiw.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 19, 06:28 AM
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Re: Wiring HEI distributor with mini starter

See attached diagram for the 69 Camaro Ignition switch.

The Pink Wire is HOT in the RUN and START Position. At the bulkhead connector it is a resistance wire to the coil. When HEI it would go to the BAT side.

If the resistance wire was changed at the bulkhead to to the BAT side of the HEI it would still be HOT in both the RUN and START position.

The YELLOW wire from the starter also goes to the BAT side and is only HOT in the START position to give full BAT power to the coil when starting. Eliminate the YELLOW wire when using HEI as you already have full BAT power to the coil if the resistance wire was changed at the bulkhead connector.

So either your switch is bad (or wired wrong) or the wire from the bulkhead connector is the problem.

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