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Discussion Starter #1
I know how to install the HEI, I just need to find out how much fire wall massaging needs to be done. I can get a complete unit for $50.00 with cap and coil, it seems to be a good deal. Will it go in with just a little work or is it a major amount of work. If it's too much of a hassel I will go with the pertronix igniteor. Stock apperance is not a problem, but money is. Both are about the same amount of money, when the entire job is done.

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My 67 has an HEI. It was in the car when I bought it. They put a box about two inches deep in the firewall to clear the cap. Works like a champ but I have to jack up the back of the motor to remove the distributor.
 

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My '69 has HEI and I didn't think the firewall was touched until pulled the dist. Who ever did the install took a hammer to the firewall it looks very bad (lots of hammer marks) with the dist out (dented in about 1.5" or so) but with it back in place you can't tell. If I ever pull the motor I will take the opertunity to clean it up and try to get a bit more clearence.

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...DjD
69RS Ragtop
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I have a Performance Distributors HEI in my '68. It has a full-size cap and fits with no firewall modifications. Plenty of space for installation and adjustment. The only modification necessary is the removal of the factory resistor or resistance wire. A 12 ga. wire should be run from the firewall plug to the HEI. An easy way to make the wire installation really clean is to scavange a wiring harness from an 70's car that has an HEI, unwrap both harnesses, and swap the wires by removing the plugs from the harness. The junk yard harness will come in handy for other wiring jobs as well since you can use these wires to plug into empty slots in the firewall plug instead of drilling holes in the firewall.
 

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I would make sure you have enough clearance, just fitting wont do it. Dimple the firewall enough to get 1" clearance, or make sure your engine has solid mounts and a chain holding it down. Any engine movement will crack the cap and strand you if there isnt enough room (Been there, done that)

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69/71 camaros
 

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Just put an HEI on my 67 350. No firewall modifications were necessary. I did have the vacuum advance removed in favor of a mechanical advance. Have the HEI spun, curved, and setup to your cam specifications. My general rule of thumb is to think " What will it take to restore?" before I modify.
 

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I put an HEI in my 67, 327, had to dent the firewall a bit. best thing to do is get a big piece of pipe and hit that, that way it looks clean. as far as removing the resistance wire, i had to leave mine on or the car wouldn't shut off.

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Discussion Starter #10
I might be going with the ignitor, it seems as though it will be less hassle in the long run. The thing I find intresting is that some have to modify while other don't, I have not completly decided if I want to take the chance on my fire wall, and end up having to make major mods.

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Joe, if your still not sure why don't you just try it. HEI's are cheap or free and are everywhere. Pick one up or borrow one. Pulling distributors are no big deal. Pull yours out and see if the HEI will go in without any problems. If it doesn't go in and fit with enough clearance to make you happy then the decision has been made for you. You got alot of different answers so if you are thinking about it just try putting it in and see what happens. Your only checking for fitment at this point, not messing with wires so its easy. Then you will know and you won't be left wondering if it could have fit or not.
 

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I know this is an old topic, but it might help inform someone. I have a 67RS, 327/275, all standard. I have the engine stripped down to the intake and I am about to pull it.I plan to use an HEI on a 350. I decided to try the HEI for fit, and , with the cap/coil off, it will not allow true vertival enough to slide completely into the block. With the cap on, it wouldn't even start to go in. I took the time to measure the standard distributor and the HEI (caps on) and the HEI is almost exactly 1 inch larger in diameter and about 1 3/4 inches taller. If the firewall were 1/4 inch deeper, I could slip the HEI in w/o cap and then install the cap, with little clearance. I have decided for a cleaner approach and cut and section the firewall. I am beginning to think there are minute differences between cars that aren't documented anywhere. But there is no way an HEI will slip in to the existing manifold/block without moving something.

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I recall reading an article about motor mounts and how all BB, SB, and 6cyl will work with all engines. The differences are in how much the engine is set forward or back.

I will have to find the article to determine which mounts move the engine in which direction.
 

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Thanks maroSS396. That helps me out. I have a '68 SS 396 that I picked up recently and was wondering if the HEI would clear everything ok when I put in my '69 Vette 427 engine. It will be going together with the correct BB frame stands.
 

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If you check out the picture here http://www.midnight-auto.com/yoda/camaro of the left side of the engine compartment in my '69, you will see that the HEI fit with no modifications. Just dropped in. It is a little tight though.

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'69 Base Camaro
355, 200-4R trans
 

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I did a 67 with a 400 SB & hei years ago. I "clearanced" the firewall about 1/2".
The distributor would not go in and out with the motor in, but the motor went in with the distributor install but no cap. Discovered it the hard way, broke the cap on the way in, then had to massage the forewall with the distributor installed because i couldn't get it out. worked out ok, though.
 

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Guys, I have seen it both ways. My friend had his 68 at my house for several months while I put on some quarters for him. He has an HEI that has at least 1-1.5" clearance between the cap and firewall. I decided to put an HEI in my 69 and found that I had to "clearance" the firewall 1-1.5". Strange I know.. You would think that the firewalls or motor mount configuration would be similar but it was not in this case..
 

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I ran an hei in a 67 SB car long ago. I found out it wouldn't fit when putting the engine in (trans was all ready in) minor massaging on the firewall and taking the cap off did it. after the motor was in i got the cap back on. the distributor would not come out once the motor was in the car.
 
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