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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,

Any help from you guys is always great. I could just buy the big GM standard distributor, but I was wondering if there is something better out there.

I like MSD, seems the best all around from what I've read. I'm already wired to accept HEI, and the car will never see the track. It's for street driving, fun, hanging out at shows, driving with the daughter.. etc. So I don't need a super high-end system with boxes and controls and lot's of $$$ spent and all that on performence stuff I will never use. Simple is best for me.

283 punched .30 over, mild street cam, 4-speed Saginaw. The rear is stock but will be POSI with 3.55 gears down the road. Right now, I just want to get it running, check the gears, temps, etc... and pickle it all so I can start on the body and interior.

Thanks for the help!

DW
 

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Its very hard to beat the Stock HEI for reliability, ease of use, parts availability, and moderate performance... which is where you are
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yes, I was thinking of going stock, but the size of the thing I've read may or may not require massaging the firewall, which I want to avoid.

I was leaning towards the MSD Pro-Billet 8360, mainly for it's size and easy set-up. But, would that be overkill?

Thanks.
 

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Try a mallory unilite....small cap and easy to wire :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestion. After reading about this unit on a few forums, it sounds like what I am looking for.

Thanks again.

DW
 

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be sure to get the line conditioner.... to prevent voltage spikes...

voltage spikes are the killer of the unilite system.. burns the modules out.....
 

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I had a Unilite with the conditioner and crap. two modules later it went in the thrash and an HEI when in. I did not even have to mess with the firewall. Its tight but it fits.
 

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HEI's are not stock for those years, the stock unit would be as small as a unilite is and i had one on my 283 for years with points and it ran great, started great. Really cheap too. Just thought i would throw that out there if you didn't know.
 

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I'd go with the HEI for the same reasons given above.
The Mallory unilite today isn't what is once was. The old early ones from like 18+ years back are a better quality part than the new ones now. Sometime in the mid to late 90s, Mallory began using cheaper, inferior and less reliable components (mainly modules) in their unilite distributors and they have gained a reputation for becoming useless junk.
I've got a Mallory unilite in my 67 chevelle thats been trouble free since 1992. Put one in my dad's Fairlane 8 yrs later and the cap went bad and module burned up in it in a few months of driving it. Definately not the same quality anymore.
Another option is to convert a points distributor with a pertronix electronic ignition unit. I've got one in my 55 chevy that I bought used and haven't had any trouble with it. Works really well and you doint have to "modify" the firewall.
 

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Tommyjohn's HEI

I just ordered one last week. Looking forward to receiving. It was cheaper to replace my existing HEI than rebuild it. Tommy Johnson's, that is!
 

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distributor

i would go with stock,i have a msd #85551 and 6 months after i bought it,it rusted,turns out they say if you live in very high humidity places like me (florida) you need to vent your cap. i put a stock one in had no trouble but i'm out over $200, live and learn lol.......
 

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Try fitting an HEI in, If it clears no problem. ( I know many of us have all these spare parts to test with and you may not) MSD makes HEI control modules with rev limiters. A great investment for the street if you want to make sure the engine is not over-reved.

My 2 cents on many of these "billet" distributor products is be careful. Make sure any after market distributor you get has a warranty for high mileage street use. Aluminum does corrode. Salt environments or heavy humidity combined with the high voltage can be a problem. Aluminum must be anodized or processed correctly to keep it from corroding. Aluminum alloys and their corrosion resistance varies also. The factory aluminum distributors are a different alloy than many of the billet products.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, thanks guys! This is great! I'm thinking the GM Standard HEI might be it for me.

I bought the American AutoWire stock harness with the HEI conversion. I just modified the dash harness last night, to accomodate the HEI (it comes with the kit and instructions, real easy). But clearance was an issue. I was going to get one of those units that has a seperate coil.

Does that work with my wiring set up... yes, I am confused.. so many choices. I have nothing to compare it with, as my engine was bare when I got it.

Thanks as always,

DW
 
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