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How critical is voltage to proper operation of a HEI distributor?
I can't get more than 13.2 volts at the coil.
Would that have an effect on plug-fouling and poor idle?
Thanks
AJ
 

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That sounds great to me. In fact, I would expect the ignition system to work at anything above 11 or 12 volts. So I doubt voltage is your problem.

A couple things come to mind. First off, it may be caused by the plug gap being too wide for the compression ratio you are running. Another possibility is the rotor is not lining up well with the distributor electrode.

Pull the cap off and inspect the rotor carefully. Does the center tang appear to be making good, arcless contact with the center electrode? Does the center electrode have it's ball in place? Next look at the arc pattern on the end of the rotor. Is it centered or shifted to one side?

There have been reports of the distributor gear or shaft not being properly drilled causing a misalignment of the rotor. About the only way to ensure rotor alignment is to cut a hole in an old cap near #1. Then run the engine and shoot the hole with a timing light. Rotor alignment will be very apparent.
 

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You are getting plenty of volts to the distributor. I have an HEI cap with a hole cut out at number one. It works great for static timing before intial start up. You don't have to play with the distributor to get the car started. Then you can go right to setting the timing. I have never tried to use it while in operation though. As for the fouling plugs, how much carb are you running? It also may be too much for the internal setup of your engine. Try smaller jets (or metering rods)or a smaller carb.
 
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