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HEMI Tech- Ignition

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by scootermcrad, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We're finally getting down to the subject of what lights your Hemi up!

    1) Distributors...
    - What is interchangable between other makes and models?
    - Stock or aftermarket and for what application?
    - Who makes great performing distsributors for early Hemis?
    - Adapters for various other makes?

    2) Magnetos...
    - When is the correct time to put a magneto on your Hemi?
    - Things to consider with magnetos?
    - How will it effect the rest of your electrical system?
    - Who makes a quality mag and where can I get it?

    3) Wires, caps and tubes...
    - What wires should I run for what application? (I.E. Size and type)
    - Should covers/caps be run and what is the benefit if any?
    - Spark plug tubes... stock, billet, or other?
    - sources for these components, what works and what doesn't?

    Great topic! There is info here on the HAMB already. I will try to merge it all as always. This is an important subject for sure!
     
  2. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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  3. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,752

    George
    Member

    The LA distributor is a direct bolt in on low deck Dodge, everything else requires a lenthend shaft.
     
  4. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,148

    Ruiner
    Member

    the LA is only a direct bolt-in on the 241 and 270 Dodge (for those who don't know which ones are the low deck)

    There's a shaft extension for sale at the HH website for using a SB mopar dizzy in the chrysler hemi's

    stock dual point can light my fire any day, but I'm opting to step up to a Mallory Uni-lite from a 340 with the shaft extension until I can find a magneto later on down the road...

    I really wish the B/RB distributors would work, because they drop right in but because the B/RB motors have the distributor mounted up front the gear drive for them actually rotates in the opposite direction of the LA/Hemi distributors...I'm still thinking of taking the guts out of my dual point B/RB dizzy and swapping in the guts of that Uni-lite 340...or swapping in the dual point guts from a SB mopar mallory...we'll see how that goes...
     
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  5. Bored&Stroked
    Joined: Jan 14, 2005
    Posts: 3,861

    Bored&Stroked
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ignition Setup: Offset Distributor with MSD Internals - Early Hemi

    Problem: Blower Intake - Offset Distributor or Mag Drive Required

    I'm running Donovan 417 heads and the large Donovan blower intake. The problem is that this intake was designed to put a SFI burst plate on either end -- depending on if the fuel car was front or rear engined.

    Given the size of the blower manifold, a standard distributor doesn't fit. I then pondered an offset mag drive (like a Dunn) -- they are super expensive and I really didn't want to run a mag on the street. I then found a company named 'NRC' that makes an offset distributor for the early or late Hemi. It has an adjustable collar that makes it easy to use it on either an early or late Hemi.

    Basic Features:

    1) MSD Internals -- pickup, rotor, etc..

    2) Large MSD Ford style cap -- which helps reduce cross-fire between terminals with a high-energy ignition (like a MSD)

    3) No Advance -- this has neither mechanical or vacume advance, so you need to rely on the ignition module for advance curves, tuning, etc..

    4) Approx: 2.5" offset

    5) MSD Ignition Box Required

    I am running a MSD 7 digital ignition -- model 7535. The primary reason for this controller is that it has a range of features that include a boost retard, crank/start retard, shift points, trans brakes, etc.. Also - since you use a MAP sensor with it, you can also program a vacume advance curve in addition to the complete ignition curve.

    MSD Website Link:

    http://www.msdignition.com/ignition_22_7535.htm

    Boost/Retard Programming Link:

    http://www.msdignition.com/pdf/tech bulletins/boost_retard-vacuum_advance.pdf

    6) Software/PC Programming

    MSD supplies a free copy of their PC software to program/setup the ignition. If you're interested, just download a copy from their web site.

    Pro-Data Software Link:

    http://www.msdignition.com/1softdownload.htm

    7) NRC Performance Products - Distributor Manufacturer (Nice People)

    They make the above distributor -- costs roughly $350 or so. No - it isn't cheap, but if you have a special application, it might be right for you. There isn't much info on their WEB site - give them a call for more info.

    NRC WEB Site:

    http://www.newmanracing.com/index.html


    Pictures of the Unit:


    NRC-SideView2 copy.jpg

    NRC-SideView1 copy.jpg

    NRC-MSDPickup copy.jpg

    NRC-CapAndInsides copy.jpg
     
  6. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,458

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    So with that in mind ,if you just turned the points around it would work right? Would the opposite roatation affect the "curve"?
     
  7. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,148

    Ruiner
    Member

    the opposite rotation would mean your curve wouldn't work at all, the weights and springs on a mechanical advance are meant to work in one direction only...the simplest solution is to find a stock dual point hemi distributor, or an aftermarket or stock SB Mopar distributor and buy the 12 dollar shaft extension from the HH website...
     
  8. krooser
    Joined: Jul 25, 2004
    Posts: 4,587

    krooser
    Member

    I'm running a Cirello DGM on my 354. Haven't fired it yet...this will be a learning experience since the mag doesn't have an advance mechanism.....
     
  9. dehudso
    Joined: Sep 25, 2003
    Posts: 545

    dehudso
    Member

    I'm running a sb mopar electronic unit on my desoto. Lengthened it with the HH kit. Wasn't too hard to do, just needed a drill press and somoe patience. The dizzy has been in the car for 3-4 years now and about 2,000 miles with no problems yet.
     
  10. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    How about plug wires? What's a good wire to run staying with the traditional look. I personally like the braided one's, but they're only 7mm. 7mm seems small, but maybe it's okay??

    Something else that I was wondering about... and just me being Mr. Practical... if you don't run caps on spark plug tubes, does water become a problem when you're in the rain?
     
  11. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,752

    George
    Member

    Depends on if you have a hood & inner fenders!
     
  12. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    AHH yes! Good point... I should have mentioned that little detail... no hood, no fenders. When using caps, I liked your idea on using master cylinder rubbers, George! You should share that here for sure!
     
  13. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,032

    HemiRambler
    Member

    Distributors - don't overlook the STOCK hemi distributor. It's got a real nice curve for the street and is pretty darned reliable. I run one in my coupe and have run it for years and years. Downside - not flashy. Points ARE difficult to set right. But parts are CHEAP - especially IF you go to swap meets - I have bought a bunch of them over the years.

    AS far as swapping - I believe HH makes an adapter to run a SBC dist. I am cheap so I machined my own from stainless.



    Magnetos - I've run a Vertex on the street with 2 X4's on a tunnel ram - big acellerator pumps - turned out to be hard starting at times - I could easily flood it out if I wasn't careful. In the end I pulled it to run a stock distributor used to trigger an MSD. Way more reliable for MY setup. I STILL love those MAG's though. I still have couple stashed away so you never know. Issues were running mine with a "regular" electronic tach - I first made a signal adapter - worked so-so which eventually made me seek out a REAL one - it didn't work any better.:mad: Vertex's are PRICEY not only for the mag but EVERY darned part is megabucks - what's a cap - like 50 bucks!!! That said they do work great ONCE it fired up.


    Wires, caps, tubes - wires USED to be super expensive - now they are only expensive - so this CHEAP bastard's alternative is to go to the boneyard and go get some V-6 honda wires - they have a super nice extender with molded dust boots. I disect them using an old connector that I sharpen to act like a circular knife to cut out the old wire from the boot (they are factory glued) once apart you can slip in 8mm replacement wires - it's TIGHT but they will fit. Once done they work perfect and look great - the molded in "knob" makes removal a snap. If you look real close in the second picture - you can see a set on my car.

    426 boots are easy enough to find nowadays - ebay amoung others. AS for "donor" wire I have used 460 ford wires and some other WIDE motors, but actually it's too much hassle anymore so I now just buy rolls of wire. You used to be able to buy "Packard 440" wire in rolls from J.C.Whitney. Been a while since I bought it so I'm not sure now.
     

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  14. Little Wing
    Joined: Nov 25, 2005
    Posts: 7,458

    Little Wing
    Member
    from Northeast

    Wish to hell I could find an adapter or parts so I could use my Cragar Dizzy in my Desoto
     
  15. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,148

    Ruiner
    Member

    what is the cragar distributor off of, a big block or small block mopar? If it's a big block distributor then tough luck, but if it's from a small block then just get the extended oil pump shaft from the HH website for like 12 bucks...I'm machining my own pump extension (I'm a cheap bastard too, mainly because I have the means to do it and I'm not in a hurry for it)...otherwise just rebuild the stock one and use that...
     
  16. I'm planning on running a Chrysler Dual Point Distributor to trigger a MSD 6AL box for my ignition in my 354 Chrysler Hemi.
    Does anyone see a downside to theis set up?
     
  17. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,148

    Ruiner
    Member

    other than my absolute hatred of MSD products...nope...
     
  18. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,032

    HemiRambler
    Member

    If I were YOU I would turn up the HEAT and find a way to use that Cragar!!! It's way too cool to move!!!!!!


     
  19. Ruiner
    Joined: May 17, 2004
    Posts: 4,148

    Ruiner
    Member

    there are ways of making distributors fit, as long as the rotation is correct...I love having a full machine shop at my disposal, it makes for easier fitting parts when you can make your own adapters...
     
  20. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 6,752

    George
    Member

    A few spark plug comments. Round port heads take short reach plugs & oval port heads take long reach plugs. According to the shop manual, you're supposed to remove the washer, as the spark plug tube fills the role.
     
  21. You can also run the MSD 8534 distributor if you're going to run a control box, it requires it. Or the 8389 which is drop in ready/no box needed. The 8534 is at least $100.00 cheaper. 8534 is 8" tall from manifold to top. 8389 is 7 7/16". Run either set up with #8207 Blaster SS coil. Not traditional looking but they can be hidden.
     
  22. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Anyone running one of these HEI Mag looking distributors?
    [​IMG]
    Are these wired for a tach? They're on the pricey side and they need to be dulled out a bit, but I like the look. I may have to stick with something a little shorter. How tall is that thing anyway? I believe Joe Hunt and Vertex are making these. Don't know if there is any functional value to the tall body (which I wouldn't like if it weren't) other than looks.
     
  23. hillbillyhell
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 934

    hillbillyhell
    Member

    Me wants to know this too. I also need to get off mah ass and see how much work it is to use a SBC distributor in a short deck Hemi, since I have SBC Unilites falling out of trees here....
     
  24. Villlage Idiot
    Joined: Dec 30, 2005
    Posts: 408

    Villlage Idiot
    Member


    Scott. Thanks for bringing up these HEI mags I think I've probably shown you photos of this NOS Mallory Mag Spark. I've only had it out of the box a few times and I took the cap off once. Under the cap is a red translucent plastic shield to protect the points. And neatly folded up under the cap is an instruction sheet dated 1953. It almost deserves to stay as is in some kind of an early hemi museum. I've been kicking around the idea of putting it up on that E auction thing and buying either a Joe Hunt or Vertex HEI mag but I'd like to hear how well they work.

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=288488&stc=1&d=1174138988

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=288489&stc=1&d=1174138988

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=288490&stc=1&d=1174138988

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=288491&stc=1&d=1174138988
     
  25. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,426

    Jeff Norwell
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member



    SCOOTER
    I have one of these units in my 92....I will report on it when it is fired.
     
  26. foolthrottle
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 680

    foolthrottle
    Member

    Thats a 354 with a GM hei cut down from a chevy 454, those dist. seem to rev at about the same rate as a 354. When cutting the GM down remmember to leave enough room for the vacum advance to clear the intake or carbs on a 2x4 set up. Lots of after market stuff and in open hood cars almost impervious to moisture.
     

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  27. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Steve, that's AWESOME! A nice piece for YOUR little museum of awesome Hemi parts!! ;) :D Hold on to that baby for a little bit.

    Keep us posted Jeff! These really interest me. I'm really torn...
     
  28. Another distributor option, at least on the Chrysler motors (and likely available for Dodge) is the marine/industrial version set up for shielded (like an airplane) cables.

    They use points, and have coil built in.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you find one, be sure to get the drive shaft too; it's different.

    Another option is to put the reluctor and pickup from a later mopar aluminum-case distributor in an iron prestolite case.

    I did it for my '49 plymouth. Worked okay, but there was no room inside that little case for the vacuum advance once I stuck the pickup in there, and I had to make a rotor out of epoxy. But it was kind of fun to do. I don't have any pics of that, but can give details if you PM me.

    -bill
     

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  29. scootermcrad
    Joined: Sep 20, 2005
    Posts: 13,071

    scootermcrad
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