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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New Distributor ?

I currently have a MSD Pro-Billet ready to run #8360 Distr. and a MSD Blaster 2 coil for my for my 355.


Was hoping to remove the MSD Dist. and Coil and use a GM Performance all in one HEI Dist. but looks extremely close [ only about 3/4 " - 1" clearance from current Dist. to firewall.

Looks like I am stuck with a conventional small cap Dist. and separate coil, looking for recommendations .
 

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I saw in one of your prior post that you car is a 64.

You are correct - the space is critical between the distributor and firewall on these cars, especially if the coil in in the top.

You indicate you may have some clearance, as much as 1".

I think that is ample, even using the GM HEI with coil in cap.

You may have to install the distributor with the cap off - then after the distributor is seated, reinstall the cap.
 

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If you're trying to get away from the MSD distributor purely for looks, you may save yourself some time and money by getting one of the black caps (and a black coil, if desired).

If not for looks... What's wrong with what you've got?


If you have 3/4" clearance with the current MSD unit, an HEI distributor will be very close. Whether it will work fine or rub the firewall depends upon the contour of the firewall.

The bigger issue, however, is likely to be plug wires and boots. Unless you have room to run something straight up off the cap, at least for the wires in the back, the plug wires and boots may interfere with the firewall. I had to go to the MSD 8360 in the '70 4-door specifically for that reason. The HEI cap cleared the (already bashed) firewall without issue and looked like it had more than enough room; but the plug wires and boots rubbed, and required being set in a position that prevented me from achieving ideal timing for the engine (even with the distributor clocked such that I didn't have to pass any wires behind the cap; and a custom set of wires with the smallest boots I could get). And if the engine torqued over more than about 1", one of the plug wire boots hit part of the firewall hard enough to adjust the timing.


There is a guy that builds his own version of a small cap HEI distributor that doesn't require a crank sensor, that users seem to really like (and they say it doesn't have the MSD corrosion issues). But they're pretty pricey and I can't remember the name of the guy/company right now.
Anybody?...
 

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I currently have a MSD Pro-Billet ready to run #8360 Distr. and a MSD Blaster 2 coil for my for my 355.


Was hoping to remove the MSD Dist. and Coil and use a GM Performance all in one HEI Dist. but looks extremely close [ only about 3/4 " - 1" clearance from current Dist. to firewall.

Looks like I am stuck with a conventional small cap Dist. and separate coil, looking for recommendations .
Wow! 3/4-1" clearance is a mile compared to what I used to have. On my previous distributor I had 1/2" and that was an HEI on a 64. Being that close you have a built in kill switch. If your motor mount breaks on acceleration the motor will torque over and break the dist. cap and the engine will shut off. How about that?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Since a GM HEI is going to be so tight looks like I’ll be staying with the MSD 8360 and blaster 2 coil for now.Spoke with MSD today about my current 8360 distributor which is loaded with rust under the cap. MSD tech department says it’s caused by moisture not being able to escape on the car is not being driven on a daily basis ( personally I think it’s BS )

MSD says to remove the distributor and send it to them and they will rebuild it for $26-$125 plus shipping .

I asked MSD what is to say that it does not happen in the future ?
Their reply was if the car is only to be driven occasionally , then to pop the distributor cap off and let it dry out so Corrosion does not develop while sitting in the garage while parked .
MSD said you could drill vent holes in the cap ,But you have to be careful if you ever get caught in the rain or while washing car that moisture doesn’t enter the cap. ( REALLY ???)
 

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My race car used to sit for months in a non climate controlled garage and I used to drill a hole in the cap. I never had a rust issue in my car. Now if it sits outside, that could be another issue.
 

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If you're trying to get away from the MSD distributor purely for looks, you may save yourself some time and money by getting one of the black caps (and a black coil, if desired).

If not for looks... What's wrong with what you've got?


If you have 3/4" clearance with the current MSD unit, an HEI distributor will be very close. Whether it will work fine or rub the firewall depends upon the contour of the firewall.

The bigger issue, however, is likely to be plug wires and boots. Unless you have room to run something straight up off the cap, at least for the wires in the back, the plug wires and boots may interfere with the firewall. I had to go to the MSD 8360 in the '70 4-door specifically for that reason. The HEI cap cleared the (already bashed) firewall without issue and looked like it had more than enough room; but the plug wires and boots rubbed, and required being set in a position that prevented me from achieving ideal timing for the engine (even with the distributor clocked such that I didn't have to pass any wires behind the cap; and a custom set of wires with the smallest boots I could get). And if the engine torqued over more than about 1", one of the plug wire boots hit part of the firewall hard enough to adjust the timing.


There is a guy that builds his own version of a small cap HEI distributor that doesn't require a crank sensor, that users seem to really like (and they say it doesn't have the MSD corrosion issues). But they're pretty pricey and I can't remember the name of the guy/company right now.
Anybody?...
It's Daves Small body HEI. He did mine and it is really nice. The only problem is he seems to take a long time and is hard to get a hold of.
 
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