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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Looking for suggestions on options for a distributor and coil for a 383 stroker sbc.
Thanks ahead
 

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I prefer MSD ignition. What is the combination and what are you doing with the car, cruiser, racecar, ???
What are specs on engine? Compression and max rpm?
 

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back in late nov i had an msd dist put in my 327. flame thrower with a blaster 3 coil. i only got a few miles before winter set in here in michigan. what little i drove it i liked. an there was something about a resistance wire that had to be changed that feels the new coil.
 

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I used to run all sorts of "hot rod" dizzy's and my buddies would all laugh at me and ask me why I don't just put in a solid HEI. Well, 20 years later in my latest motor I have an HEI with pertronix ignitor III in it with the integrated Rev Limiter.

I couldn't be happier and it spools up just fine. Planning on building another Pertronix equipped HEI this winter for spare motor or long road trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone. Looks like we have a tie lol. 2 for MSD 2 for HEI
As far as compression and rpm, I really don't know. This car was my wife's son's who is no longer with us.
It is a 383 sbc with a Lunati flat tappet cam, vortek heads. He had an MSD distributor in it until the younger son tore everything apart then walked away from it.
Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards replacing the MSD with another MSD to keep it as he had it.
 

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Save you money and put a GM performance HEI in. I run one in my BB it's good over 7000rpm.
 

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Distributor Options

Thanks everyone. Looks like we have a tie lol. 2 for MSD 2 for HEI
As far as compression and rpm, I really don't know. This car was my wife's son's who is no longer with us.
It is a 383 sbc with a Lunati flat tappet cam, vortek heads. He had an MSD distributor in it until the younger son tore everything apart then walked away from it.
Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards replacing the MSD with another MSD to keep it as he had it.
Ready to run distributor---remote coil Hei---small cap for firewall clearance on my 383. :)
 

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I have the same one pictured above. It came with light springs installed and is all in by 2500. People buy these msd's and never change the springs but swear it has more proformance, but they aren't all in until 4K plus. My advice, unless it's already set up(most are not) lighten those springs!!! Talk about hidden power and hole shot upgrade for less than $10!!
 

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I run MSD with a 6AL box. I put lighter springs in to get my advance in sooner. The springs actually came with the distributor. It may leave me stranded one day but so far it's great. It's the same distributor I used to run in my race engines. I don't run vacuum advance. I buy the billet with mechanical only advance. The module can also go out in a hei leaving you stranded. I've thought about carrying a spare and will probably one day.
 

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I agree completely, a properly set-up distributor makes far more difference than a lot of people realize. However, one very important thing that missing from the video linked above is the vacuum advance. Using the a vacuum advance canister that is well suited to your application can yield astonishing improvements to overall engine performance throughout the operating range.

Check this out:
http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11689

It's a wealth of information. Once I digested all of it I was able to perform a truly complete re-curve of the timing characteristics of my distributor. Getting my vacuum advance to work properly made far more improvement than I thought it could. It was well worth the effort.

That being said, MSD also makes the E-Curve distributor. It allows you to make a lot of adjustments, including vacuum advance, a lot more easily. I wish it had been around when I was setting up my distributor. No more searching for the right vacuum advance canister, making limiter plates to get just the right amount of vacuum advance, changing bushings and springs.

https://www.holley.com/products/ignition/distributors/chevrolet/parts/8394

I hope this helps.

Gerry
 

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We never run anything that has not been set up on the 504 Sun machine that we are lucky enough to have. You would not believe what I have seen over the years both new and used.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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I agree completely, a properly set-up distributor makes far more difference than a lot of people realize. However, one very important thing that missing from the video linked above is the vacuum advance. Using the a vacuum advance canister that is well suited to your application can yield astonishing improvements to overall engine performance throughout the operating range.
I also agree that most street driven engines will greatly benefit from any distributor that has the correct advance curve that works in combination with the correct amount of vacuum advance (often limited with a stop plate) that is connected to full manifold vacuum.

TOTALLY agree, unfortunately I'm having a hard time finding anyone with any dist. machine these days. Anyone know of anyone in the Portland metro area?
You don't necessarily need a distributor machine to dial in your advance curve. You can make do with a degreed balancer (or a timing tape attached to a non-dregreed balancer), a tachometer, and a timing light. Yes... it will take a little more effort, but the results are well worth it.

I've been running a Pertronix HEI for over 10 years without having any reliability issues... but I did have to modify the distributor's centerplate, change the advance springs, and add a vacuum advance stop plate to obtain the desired advance curve I was looking for.

P.S. You may also need to run a melonized steel distributor gear if your engine has a roller cam. Be sure to confirm that your distributor gear is compatible with your cam gear.
 

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I agree completely, a properly set-up distributor makes far more difference than a lot of people realize. However, one very important thing that missing from the video linked above is the vacuum advance. Using the a vacuum advance canister that is well suited to your application can yield astonishing improvements to overall engine performance throughout the operating range.

Check this out:
https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11689

It's a wealth of information. Once I digested all of it I was able to perform a truly complete re-curve of the timing characteristics of my distributor. Getting my vacuum advance to work properly made far more improvement than I thought it could. It was well worth the effort.

That being said, MSD also makes the E-Curve distributor. It allows you to make a lot of adjustments, including vacuum advance, a lot more easily. I wish it had been around when I was setting up my distributor. No more searching for the right vacuum advance canister, making limiter plates to get just the right amount of vacuum advance, changing bushings and springs.

https://www.holley.com/products/ignition/distributors/chevrolet/parts/8394

I hope this helps.

Gerry

Actually I have a roots style blower (142) so just ordered this to eliminate the vac to eliminate chance of detonation. Putting it in next weekend

https://www.speedwaymotors.com/HEI-External-Timing-Adjustment-Knob,1689.html
 

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I agree with RifRaf, a distributor machine isn't necessary to properly curve a distributor, especially an aftermarket distributor. I started with some basic information and, through a bit of trial and error, I got it right. I did have to use a larger bushing to restrict the centrifugal advance to 14° because my cam requires more initial advance (the biggest one from MSD is 18°). I got the bushing from FBO Systems

http://www.4secondsflat.com/MSD%20Distributor%20Tuning.htm

Determining the right vacuum advance canister for my set-up was a little more time consuming. But the research, and the trial and error testing, paid big dividends. I get excellent throttle response throughout the RPM range.

Gerry
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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If you have not already purchased a distributor, I would definitely recommend the Proform HEI shown in the link below.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pro-141-682

This Proform distributor is licensed by Chevrolet and I think it is the same distributor as the GM Performance distributor... but cost a lot less.
If I did not already have a Pertronix Flamethrower HEI, I would have purchased the Proform HEI shown in the link.

This Proform distributor also comes with the melonized steel distributor gear already installed and appears to have a decent set of mechanical advance weights and centerplate.


If you are planning to hook the distributor's vacuum advance canister up to a full time vacuum port, I highly recommend getting an MSD Vaccum Advance Stop Plate to limit the amount of advance.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/msd-84281

 
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