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Technical HEI crossfire GM style distributor cap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. My old beater let me down on the way back home from the All Deuce Run and long story short we limped into Cherryville, N.C. to a Autozone and worked on the car trying to get it running right, at first I thought it might be the electronic module and had them check it out but it checked OK,

    My next thought was the coil, took it out and they checked it and it showed I had a problem, the new coil didn't want to fit my old cap, bought a new cap and after everything was back together I realized I had a crossfire cap, it was hot and getting dark and I was beat, I ask the manager if the car would be OK in their lot and Brenda and I get a cap to a motel for the night, he advised against it so I call my pal Dave and he said he was on his way, just before eleven he rolled in with the trailer and we loaded the car, got a couple of rooms shortly after midnight and we arrived at Dave place late morning.

    It appears none of the local autopart's places carry the cap so I gotta order one from Jeg's, 30 years ago it seemed to be the hot setup and since it has worked for that lone I am going to stay with it although I thought about just buying some new spark plug wires, the wires that are on the car are less than a year old.

    I'm hoping the new cap will solve the problem. HRP
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,827

    squirrel
    Member

    I think there's a thread going right now, maybe two of them, about how and why to put an old point distributor back in your engine :)

    and I'm still fighting my wife's slightly OT car....it isn't starting like it ought to....
     
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  3. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    Wish I had known that, I have a crossfire cap on the shelf here.
     
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  4. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,019

    Rex_A_Lott
    Member

    I've never seen a module get flaky, they either work or they dont, and usually fail without warning. When you switch the coil out make sure you check the little carbon button between the coil and the rotor button. I had one of those eat my ass once, doing just what you describe, spitting popping etc. Of course I replaced everything else before I discovered that little sucker. Sorry you had trouble, thanks for posting up all the pictures, and remaining upbeat about the whole deal. Good Luck.
     
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  5. Now you tell me, I ordered a new one last night. HRP
     
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  6. Thanks Harry, I may end up buying it from you in the future, I ordered a new one last night.

    Remember you and I praying over a dead module on the Deuce Run several years ago and a good Samaritan stopped to see if he could help and had a brand new distributor in a box, went home and got it and came back and put it in and wouldn't take a dime, just took your old distributor as payment.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  7. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    Remember it well.
     
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  8. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    I carried a spare crossfire with a coil in it plus a module in both deuces after that.
     
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  9. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 958

    3W JOHN
    Member

    Sorry man.
     
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  10. Good idea, I now know you can't pick one up at your local parts house.

    BTW, the guy at the Aurozone ran a diagnostic on my module and it checked out good but I said just for my piece of mind run it on a new one and see what it reads, he pulled a new one out of the box and it was bad. HRP
     
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  11. Sorry to learn about your problem, and the fact that it could not be repaired simply because parts were not on the shelf.
    I have stayed with the old technology, points, as well, but I did add a Delts CD ignition module back in 1973. This cuts point wear by a factor of 100, so point wear is virtually non existent. The only ignition maintenance required, is to remove the oxide on the points, lube the fibre actuator, oil the distributor, and keep the wiring in good condition.
    The CD unit is good and reliable on the street, and has a switch to bypass the module in the unlikely event it should die. It only happened once, and it was the SCR, a type of transister, which I replaced with a higher amperage rated unit.
    No other problem, and I have been running it in the truck since 1973. I have five other units, four of them with CD ignition systems, and two with the newer GM HEI. The only maintenance for the GM systems is keeping the connections clean.
    Bob
     
  12. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    That don't surprise me, most parts come from overseas anyway.
     
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  13. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    I don’t like road side failures either, but normally a GM HEI system is fool proof and trouble free. I had trouble with mine last week but would never think about putting a point distributor in the car. The 455 came with points but put in the HEI when I built the car
     
  14. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,097

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    I bet Brenda was asking you why in the heck you hadn’t gotten that AC hooked up yet!
     
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  15. I got it working last Tuesday night. HRP
     
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  16. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,097

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Good deal! Gotta take care of the women folk! I’m kinda partial to that cool air myself!
     
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  17. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422

    OLDSMAN
    BANNED

    I wouldn’t be without A/C anymore, and I know Theresa wouldn’t want to go with me if there wasn’t A/C in the car.
     
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  18. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,287

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    It was probably someone returned a bad one, and was put back into inventory.
     
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  19. Merlin
    Joined: Apr 9, 2005
    Posts: 2,546

    Merlin
    Member
    from Inman, SC

    I've had that happen before. Last one was a water pump, opened the box before I bought it and there was a greasy old pump inside.
     
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  20. big duece
    Joined: Jul 28, 2008
    Posts: 6,287

    big duece
    Member
    from kansas

    Some stores have policies about returning electronic ignition parts, but an employee easily could have done a switcharoo.
     
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  21. Terrible80
    Joined: Oct 1, 2010
    Posts: 783

    Terrible80
    Member

    Now they want the core back in the new box. I can see how it could end up back in inventory.

    Sent from my LG-TP450 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  22. It felt pretty good, I've owned the car over 30 years and I was only going to install a heater, it was a plus.

    I don't like the looks of all the hoses and lines but I never but my dirty engine on display anyway. HRP
     
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  23. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 958

    3W JOHN
    Member

    Got it fixed yet?
     
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  24. No but UPS dropped off the new cap and rotor button this afternoon, I hope to work on the car Saturday. HRP
     
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  25. coilover
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 674

    coilover
    Member
    from Texas

    I did a bit of machining on an Olds V8 HEI to make it fit my Buick straight eight because the coil in cap HEI has such a good reputation HOWEVER please note the coil for the points distributor is still in place and the points distributor is in the trunk. I've also had a couple of those not fun stranded on the road events.

    Dar, Dog, HEI 003.jpg
     
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  26. At first glance it looks odd but if it works why not. HRP
     
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  27. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    Why did it fail?
     
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  28. To be totally honest, I really don't know if it's the cap but with process of elimination that's what I'm banking on, I have all the parts and I am going to Dave's house where we dropped off the car and work on it tonight. HRP
     
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  29. I ordered a new crossfire cap Monday and after getting to Dave's today we did a continuity test and it just showed getting spark to only four plugs,I don't know what happened Saturday but the car just started running rough and steady got worse.

    About a hour ago we replaced the old cap with the new Davis crossfire cap and low and behold the car fired up and ran like a champ!.

    While replacing the cap and rotor I also replaced the old coil just as a precaution.

    I'm sure relieved! HRP
     
  30. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260

    Gman0046
    Member

    Good deal. Hope you bought a spare.
     
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