1983 Cutlass Calais “The Cripples Cruiser”

  • Thread starter Stupidquestionspro
  • Start date
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
5,592
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Yea I only tried the other because it was free when I have the money I intend to try it and am I right I’m assuming that you run the 4 blade without a clutch?


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Yes
 
Stupidquestionspro

Stupidquestionspro

Master Mechanic
May 23, 2019
367
43
Tampa Bay Area
So the other day I was driving the car started misfiring then died out it would crank fine then occasionally pop off like it would start and die immediately then it seemed to stop sparking at all but randomly. Hooked the spark tester and no spark from the distributor so I checked spark between the coil and the distributor and there was spark but not how I like to see it so I tried another coil I had same result. By this point the battery is pretty low but I was still getting 11.51 to the coil which should be plenty to at least run. Pulled the distributor cap and saw that it looks like there was corrosion or material on the contacts so I cleaned it off tried again with same results.

at this point I’ve ruled out coil, voltage, contact corrosion so it’s obvious something is up inside the distributor issue is this is a msd ready to run distributor so I looked for the spare parts and the new magnetic pickup ignition module combo is about 130 which of course is more than I’d rather spend at the moment. I was looking around and noticed there are quite a few HEI distributors on amazon and other places with great prices.

since my build is so mild and accidentally has such low compression I wonder if the MSD is actually worthwhile I doubt it honestly has much effect on the overall performance of the motor.

anyone have any recommendations if I were to swap for one of the cheaper HEI what year I would get it for and of course if it would be worthwhile to recurve it once I do. I’ve found 5 star rated HEI with coil in the cap for as low as around 50 which sounds better than 130 to me at this time considering I’m not having many benefits from the msd.

thanks
 
Stupidquestionspro

Stupidquestionspro

Master Mechanic
May 23, 2019
367
43
Tampa Bay Area
Yea I personally don’t see much of the difference ignition wise other than easier tuning for timing considering the fact the motor is lacking the other upgrades to make it worthwhile and truthfully not sure I can justify to myself spending 130 just to repair the msd
 
Stupidquestionspro

Stupidquestionspro

Master Mechanic
May 23, 2019
367
43
Tampa Bay Area
Bought a HEI distributor off amazon for about 45 dollars and then wired in the HEI two wire pigtail and set it to TDC got everything in and started it started but was way too rich so I tighten the idle mix screws of course accidentally too much so it was idling but under load occasionally it backfired out of the carb and died but other than those times it needs tuning but I didn’t have time because my daughters nap was over so I assume when I get it timed right and the mix right it will stop with the carb backfire.

how do I set initial timing and how do I know the curve and total timing in the distributor since it didn’t come with that info?
 
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Geezer
Oct 14, 2008
5,592
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Crank the timing as much as it will take. I run around 60 degrees part throttle on 8 to 1 Olds V8, set idle where ever it falls. I say around 40 with base and mechanical, I think the vacuum canister has around 20 degrees, go off manifold vacuum.
 
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