"re-wiring" factory HEI car to run points distributor

Ottawa_LeMans

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Jul 11, 2021
23
13
Hi guys, here posting my first tech question.

I am swapping engines in the '81 Lemans, and the "new" 327 is set up and timed with points-style distributor (with Crane Cams XR-i)

Original engine had an HEI distributor. To save from buying a new distributor and re-timing, I'm considering running the points distributor.

Trying to figure out which wire I should run to the "+" terminal on the points coil.

From my research it looks like the wire that ran to "BAT" on the old HEI distributor is the "I" wire from ignition switch, which should now run through a ballast resistor and to "+" on the coil if I am reading it correctly.

Here are the diagrams I was using (taken from youtube)
I added the black arrows to show the Ignition switch connection points

HEI wiring:
1626010739001.png




Points wiring:
1626010749808.png


Thanks,
Colin
 
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ELCAM

Greasemonkey
Jun 19, 2021
163
43
The HEI circuit does not use the starter by pass. Straight from the ignition switch to the distributor.

The bottom one looks good, HEI wire to one side of ballast resistor. Other side of ballast resistor to + on coil.

Edited to add use the 12ga HEI wire just put a smaller fuse (5A) in the fuse block.
 
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565bbchevy

Geezer
Aug 8, 2011
8,448
113
Michigan
Original engine had an HEI distributor. To save from buying a new distributor and re-timing, I'm considering running the points distributor.

Why waste time going backwards to a points distributor, just buy one of these Ebay Chevy HEI's, I have had one in my Regal for going on 3 years now.
There is nothing hard about timing an engine and a it's lot easier installing an HEI in your SBC than keeping an outdated distributor and having to change points.
 
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Ottawa_LeMans

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 11, 2021
23
13
The HEI circuit does not use the starter by pass. Straight from the ignition switch to the distributor.

The bottom one looks good, HEI wire to one side of ballast resistor. Other side of ballast resistor to + on coil.

Edited to add use the 12ga HEI wire just put a smaller fuse (5A) in the fuse block.
Thanks ELCAM,

I'm not sure what is meant by starter bypass.
Is that something that I will have to change for the points wiring setup?

Colin
 

ELCAM

Greasemonkey
Jun 19, 2021
163
43
Thanks ELCAM,

I'm not sure what is meant by starter bypass.
Is that something that I will have to change for the points wiring setup?

Colin
The wire on the starter by passes the ballast resistor when starting so the coil gets the full 12 volts while starting , Then the coil runs on about 6 volts through the ballast resistor while running.

The HEI does not use this. It's coil runs 12 volts all the time(The dashed line from the starter in the top picture is not there.).
 

Longroof79

Rocket Powered Basset Hound
Oct 14, 2008
11,350
113
Gainesville, Fl
Why go with a points distributor? Isn't that going backwards, in a sense? Tuning is easier with an HEI. No dwell to set, just set the timing. If you insist on using the old points type distributor, convert to an ignitor, like Pertronix and eliminate points. Using points is old tech. An HEI, or electronic setup will stay in tune much longer. Contact points tend to burn and wear. However, I still retain a vehicle that uses contact points and condenser. I know it sounds hypocritical. but in my case, the engine runs off a 6 volt system. I've tried running a Pertronix ignitor, but it doesn't like using 6 volts, so I went back to points and a CDI box.
 
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Ottawa_LeMans

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 11, 2021
23
13
Why go with a points distributor? Isn't that going backwards, in a sense? Tuning is easier with an HEI. No dwell to set, just set the timing. If you insist on using the old points type distributor, convert to an ignitor, like Pertronix and eliminate points. Using points is old tech. An HEI, or electronic setup will stay in tune much longer. Contact points tend to burn and wear. However, I still retain a vehicle that uses contact points and condenser. I know it sounds hypocritical. but in my case, the engine runs off a 6 volt system. I've tried running a Pertronix ignitor, but it doesn't like using 6 volts, so I went back to points and a CDI box.
The only reason I'm considering points distributor is because the engine is already set up with one. The distributor has got an XR-i electronic kit so it's not true points but would still need a points style coil I believe.

Here is the points-to-ignition unit

1626015456279.png
1626015661561.png


Colin
 
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airboatgreg

Royal Smart Person
Oct 2, 2016
2,250
113
I would stay with the HEI. I just bought a new distributor in the box for $50.00 on Craigslist
 
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Ottawa_LeMans

Not-quite-so-new-guy
Thread starter
Jul 11, 2021
23
13
Why waste time going backwards to a points distributor, just buy one of these Ebay Chevy HEI's, I have had one in my Regal for going on 3 years now.
There is nothing hard about timing an engine and a it's lot easier installing an HEI in your SBC than keeping an outdated distributor and having to change points.
Fair enough, the only reason I was going to use points was because the engine was already set up with the distributor. Still considering just going HEI though.

I should have mentioned the distributor has an XR-i points-to-electronic conversion unit so it isn't true points that require the typical set-up procedure and maintenance

1626015845375.png
1626015964974.png
 
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64nailhead

Goat Herder
Supporting Member
Dec 1, 2014
3,344
113
Upstate NY
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