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Pertronix II vs HEI....what would you like to know.
#1
This or next weekend, I will be replacing an original distributor which uses a Pertronix II module and converting it to a true high energy ignition system.

Is there anything you guys would like me to check to help you determine if this is a worthwhile upgrade?

I am not expecting any change in performance or gas mileage, although I will be checking. I am expecting my plugs/rotor and cap to last longer than 12k miles. My main purpose is to confirm this is an easy and reliable setup I will use on my new motor.

So far, I have about $250 into the new setup- Donor distributor, rebuild donor, new pickup, new springs, new vacuum advance($30 OUCH), wire harness, hei module, new HEI small diameter cap.

Here is more detail on what I am doing:

Engine:

Block 351W 1970
Carb 4V Edelbrock 600 CFM
Intake Manifold 4V Edelbrock Performer
Heads 2V Stock Windsor Heads
Exhaust 2V Stock Exhaust Manifold
Rockers Harland Sharp 1.6 Roller
Distributor Original Distributor(140K Miles) Withh Pertronix II Module
Cam Isky 388262 262 Supercam .445 lift, 262 duration, 108 lobe center
(Probably not the right application for me)
Coil- Mallory 30441

Installing
Distributor 1984 351W Duraspark
Module HEI External To Distributor


[Image: 11jmcuc.png]
351C Bold Manners, Brash Attitude
Favorite Teams: Michigan Wolverines and Whoever Is Playing Ohio State.

When I drive past a herd of cows, the cows MOO at me
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#2
I got a new hei for mine too..Mine had a autolite dual point on it...last time i got points for it they charged me out the arse for them...I had enough...cause they just didnt last like a hei does ...I thought about getting the Pertronix for it...but priced it and thought..I could of just install a cheap Hei and be done with it...lol..Plus its hard to beat...Cheap and good spark..All i need....And after so many years i figured my distribitor probably getting pretty worn bearring wise.
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#3
Are you guys using factory Ram Air? If so, will your HEI distributors clear the air cleaner? If so, post up the parts you're using (I might be convinced that HEI is the way to go, providing it works with the factory Ram Air can).

Wolverine - I'm concerned to hear that Pertronix II went through plugs, caps, and rotors that quickly. I was planning a Flamethrower dizzy & Ignitor II set-up (to alleviate issues with using the factory tac), but have to reconsider if that combination is really a turd.

Eric

[Image: mach1sig2.gif]
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#4
Mister 4x4;62294 Wrote:Are you guys using factory Ram Air? If so, will your HEI distributors clear the air cleaner? If so, post up the parts you're using (I might be convinced that HEI is the way to go, providing it works with the factory Ram Air can).

Wolverine - I'm concerned to hear that Pertronix II went through plugs, caps, and rotors that quickly. I was planning a Flamethrower dizzy & Ignitor II set-up (to alleviate issues with using the factory tac), but have to reconsider if that combination is really a turd.

I've got ram air and was informed air cleaner wouldn't clear an HEI distributor so went with Pertronic lll and a flamethrower lll coil. It'll take me 3 or 4 years to reach 12K on them so changing plugs and rotor isn't an issue with me. It's just a weekend cruiser.


Jim

M code 71 Mach 1, 351 4V Cleveland, Ram Air (not factory), C6 Trans, 3.5 rear
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#5
Jim and Jutta;62307 Wrote:[quote=Mister 4x4;62294]
Are you guys using factory Ram Air? If so, will your HEI distributors clear the air cleaner?

I am not using factor ram air, but my HEI can* look and will be sized EXACTLY AS STOCK with one small exception/improvement as noted below.

How can this be?

1. My donor distributor, pulled from a 1984 351W matches my old in regards to all dimensions. Physical match top to bottom. If you have a 351C, you pull a distributor from 460, and you have your match. I have these in hand so I am certain this works. (Years other than those listed can be used. The key in regards to the year is to pull a distributor from a NON EFI engine. EFI Engines do not have vacuum advance, and will not work in our application. Trucks did not get EFI until much later, so there are more donors in trucks than autos).

2. My coil WILL NOT be mounted in the cap.

3. My HEI Module will NOT BE mounted under the cap.

Because of 2 & 3, I can use a small diameter cap.

There are 2 fallacies regarding HEI ignitions like I am installing:

1. HEI Modules are only good to 5500 RPM. I test mine up to 7500 RPM without issue. Like the Ford Duracrap modules, the HEI modules probably had issues the first year or two after release. I see no evidence of this.

2. HEI systems need large caps. I test mine up to 7500 RPM without cross fire. If you need more RPM, then you probably need MSD capacitor system.

I don't know why Ford went to larger caps...I am thinking MARKETING, or to be safe. But, you can use the larger diameter cap if you want, and it fits.

*I could use a Ford SOCKETED distributor cap, but I have hated that cap for 40 years. Always struggling to keep the wires in the cap. I will be using a male studded cap. Not sure you can tell the difference once the wires are on.
Mister 4x4;62294 Wrote:Wolverine - I'm concerned to hear that Pertronix II went through plugs, caps, and rotors that quickly. I was planning a Flamethrower dizzy & Ignitor II set-up (to alleviate issues with using the factory tac), but have to reconsider if that combination is really a turd.
I drive my car 10k+ miles a year, and quite frankly I think the cap and rotors we have to buy are pieces of garbage. I have tried all brands, many price ranges without noticeable difference in longevity. I don't blame the Ignitor II. As far as I can tell, it is doing it's job...sending a LOW VOLTAGE LOW CURRENT signal to the coil for charging. EXACTLY like the mechanical points, except it doesn't wear out. That is why the plugs only last 12k miles...just like they are supposed to.

The Pertronix Ignitor II setup is LOW VOLTAGE LOW CURRENT. It can only provide about 1/4 the energy a true HEI system can handle. Is 1/4th the energy enough to fire your motor....yes. NO ONE has proven more energy helps in any measurable way regarding performance. But, what could it hurt.

HEI does help in keeping your plugs clean. No doubt about that. I will find out first hand how it helps rotor and cap longevity.

As a result, if I am installing a new ignition system, I am buying/building

1. Stock style FORD DURASPARK distributor with small cap, but could use wide cap. Without pulling the cap, it appears exactly as stock. Air cleaner clearance, ram air clearance, wire routing and unobtrusive looks are big deals to me.
2. Coil externally mounted...easier to trouble shoot if I have an issue.
3. HEI Module externally mounted. This guy needs to be kept cool, and the further away from the motor the better. Under the cap does not meet that criteria.

In regards to HEI distributors, I do not see a Pertronix HEI system with external coil and HEI module. So, they are out of the running. MSD makes pro-billet distributors that are small cap with an external module. But, they look a little tall. Also, MSD distributors need MSD parts- MSD Cap, MSD Rotor, MSD Module, MSD Mag Pickup, MSD Vacuum Advance. That does not appeal to me. All parts for my system are stock at the neighborhood auto parts store. Other vendors do not excite me due to typical aftermarket experiences.

Additional info here(warning...they name the article DIRT CHEAP...but I don't see how you get away with under $200 and feel good with it):

http://www.carbdford.com/tech/HEI/hei.htm

If you do not have access to an auto salvage yard, and MUST BUY a completed ignition system, I would try(never used so cannot recommend)

http://www.performancedistributors.com/f...aspark.htm

I do not see that they offer a small diameter cap option, though you might be able to simply remove the cap and adapter and install one yourself.

And one LAST note. You can go to your neighborhood store and buy a distributor which you can use in an HEI ignition system for probably $70...just build your own wire harness and add coil and HEI module. Simply ask for a distributor for a (302,351W, 351M/400/460 = Cleveland) out of a 1984 F-150. Probably get a lifetime warranty. However, for me, there is nothing like opening the hood, and knowing that everything under there has my blood, my sweat and few of my beers on it.

[Image: 11jmcuc.png]
351C Bold Manners, Brash Attitude
Favorite Teams: Michigan Wolverines and Whoever Is Playing Ohio State.

When I drive past a herd of cows, the cows MOO at me
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#6
James, where did you find the small diameter male terminal cap? The small cap would fit and look better than the large diameter cap I have now.

Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

[Image: 1_12_09_14_10_15_11.png]
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#7
This guy sells the small duraspark caps as well as both small and large cap HEI converted dizzy's with either an internally or externally mounted module.

http://www.davessmallbodyheis.com/

73 conv. 460, D0VE large valve heads, Performer RPM manifold, Voodoo 227/233 cam, Holley 950 HP carb, C6 trans, 3.25 trak-loc.
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#8
Wolverine;62292 Wrote:... I am expecting my plugs/rotor and cap to last longer than 12k miles. My main purpose is to confirm this is an easy and reliable setup I will use on my new motor...

I'm always picking up new information on this site, I never assumed my rotor or cap may only last 12K. After reading Wolverine's post I couldn't resist checking out my rotor and cap, sure enough both were badly worn. I had replaced the points about 2K ago with an ignitor lll and the coil with a flamethrower lll, at the time I checked the cap and rotor they were fine, I just cleaned/scuffed the rotor contact points up and put it back on. At that time the "arcing damage" in this pic wasn't on my rotor, interesting find.


.jpg   arcing.jpg (Size: 116.22 KB / Downloads: 127)

Jim

M code 71 Mach 1, 351 4V Cleveland, Ram Air (not factory), C6 Trans, 3.5 rear
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#9
The Petronices module/points swap is a great way to go and have used them for many years on other cars without any issue.
On this build I went with the Flamethrower billet distributor swap in lieu of the keeping the Ford distro.
While the performance is great, the distibutor is way taller then the factory one and I had to put a spacer under my air cleaner to get it to clear.
In my haste to order it, there may be a lower profille one, and I just missed it, but some
thing to keep in mind if you are getting he billet distro.




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#10
What about a Duraspark?

[Image: 386_07_10_13_5_58_42.jpeg]
My Mustangs:
71 M-code Mach 1, Medium Blue/White Sport, 4R70W, 3L50, Factory Ram Air.
72 Q-code Mach 1, Pewter/Black Sport, 4-spd, 3L25.
65 Convertible, Britney Blue/White/White, more modified than original.
05 Convertible, Legend Lime/Tan/Tan, future classic??
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