Chevrolet Nova/ChevyII 1962-1979

HEI Electronic Ignition System

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TROUBLESHOOTING





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Fig. Fig. 1 View of the HEI ignition distributor components

  1. With transmission lever or selector in Neutral or Park, and ignition switch on, connect a test light between the lead labeled "BAT" on the distributor and a good ground. If the lamp lights, proceed; otherwise, repair the wiring or replace the ignition switch, as necessary.
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  3. Perform the same procedure as in step 1, but with the test light connected to the terminal on the distributor cap labeled B+. If the lamp operates, proceed; otherwise, repair the lead or connector.
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  5. Disconnect a plug wire, insert a conductor into the open end of the wire, and hold the conductor 1 / 4 in. from the block. Crank the engine, checking for spark. If there is spark, check the fuel system, spark plugs, and for flooding. Otherwise, proceed.
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CAUTION
Hold the plug wire with insulated pliers to avoid electric shock!

  1. Turn the ignition switch OFF, disconnect the three wire connector, and remove the cap. Visually inspect all parts for moisture, dust, cracks, etc. and dry out/clean up/replace components as necessary. If there are no visible problems, or repair still fails to produce spark, proceed.
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  3. Invert the distributor cap and connect an ohmmeter between the two primary terminals. Resistance should read less than 1 ohm, but above zero. If the resistance is above 1 ohm, or absolutely zero, replace the coil. If the resistance is within range, proceed.
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  5. Test the resistance between each primary connector and the body of the coil. If either test shows 6,000-30,000 ohms, proceed. Otherwise, replace the coil.
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  7. Remove green and white leads from the module. Connect the ohmmeter between either lead and ground with the meter set on the X1000 scale. Resistance should read infinity. If reading is less than infinity, replace the pick-up coil. If reading is ok, leave the meter hooked up and check the reading while moving the vacuum advance linkage back and forth with a screwdriver. The reading under these conditions should be 500-1,500 ohms. If the resistance is not within this range, replace the pick-up coil. Otherwise, proceed.
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  9. If these checks have proved out, remove the switching module and take it to a dealer to have it tested. Replace the module if the test shows it is bad. If you have to replace the module, make sure to apply silicone grease included in the kit as described in the enclosed instructions for proper module cooling and long life.
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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Ignition Coil


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Fig. Fig. 2 To remove the ignition coil, first disengage the clip securing the high tension lead (noted by arrow)



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Fig. Fig. 3 Unplug the high tension lead by pulling on the boot



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Fig. Fig. 4 Detach the ignition coil primary electrical connector



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Fig. Fig. 5 Unfasten the ignition coil or coil bracket retaining bolts



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Fig. Fig. 6 ... then remove the ignition coil from the vehicle



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Fig. Fig. 7 To remove the distributor, first remove the spark plug wires from the distributor cap



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Fig. Fig. 8 Push down, then turn to disengage the retainers securing the distributor cap



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Fig. Fig. 9 The cap can now be removed from distributor



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Fig. Fig. 10 View of the distributor with the cap removed-1977 inline 6-cylinder shown



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Fig. Fig. 11 If rotor replacement is necessary, unfasten the retaining screws ...



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Fig. Fig. 12 ... then remove the rotor from the distributor



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Fig. Fig. 13 Disconnect the vacuum line from the vacuum advance unit



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Fig. Fig. 14 Unfasten the hold-down bolt, then lift the distributor up and out of the engine



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Fig. Fig. 15 Exploded view of an HEI distributor

REMOTE MOUNTED COIL
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
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  3. Remove the coil wire clip.
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  5. Disconnect the ignition coil wire.
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  7. Detach the electrical connector(s) from the ignition coil.
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  9. Unfasten the retaining bolts/nuts, then remove the ignition coil from the vehicle.
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To install:

  1. Position the ignition coil and secure with the retaining screws or bolts.
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  3. Attach the ignition coil electrical connector(s).
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  5. Connect the ignition coil wire and install the retaining clip.
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  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
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INTEGRAL COIL
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
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  3. Detach the feed and module wire terminal connectors from the distributor cap.
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  5. Remove the ignition set retainer.
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  7. Remove the 4 coil cover-to-distributor cap screws and the coil cover.
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  9. Using a blunt drift, carefully press the coil wire spade terminals up out of the distributor cap.
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  11. Lift the coil up and out of the distributor cap.
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  13. Remove and clean the coil spring, rubber seal washer and coil cavity of the distributor cap.
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  15. Coat the rubber seal with the dielectric lubricant that comes with the replacement ignition coil kit.
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  17. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
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Distributor
  1. Disengage the wiring harness connectors at the side of the cap. Then, remove the cap and position it out of the way.
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  3. Disconnect the vacuum advance hose.
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  5. Scribe a mark on the engine in line with the distributor rotor. Also, scribe a line marking the position of the distributor housing in relation to the block.
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Do not disturb the position of the engine's crankshaft while the distributor is out, or the timing relationship between the distributor shaft and camshaft will be lost!

  1. Remove the distributor hold-down nut and clamp, and remove the distributor. Note the position of the rotor as the drive gear disengages.
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To install:

  1. Position the distributor rotor slightly counterclockwise of its installed position-that is, in the position noted in the last step of the removal procedure. With the body of the distributor at its normal angle in relation to the block, slide the lower body straight into the block, being careful not to damage the rubber oil seal. Make sure the rotor matches up with the marks drawn in the removal procedure. If not, pull the distributor up until the drive gear disengages, and try again with the rotor turned in the appropriate direction. You may have to rotate the rotor back and forth while gently pressing downward on the distributor to get the distributor drive gear teeth to engage.
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  3. Once the drive gear teeth are properly timed (rotor match marks lined up with distributor seated against the block), line up the match marks for the distributor body and block. Then, install the hold-down clamp and loosely install the nut.
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  5. Position the cap onto the top of the distributor body with the tab in the base of the cap aligned with the notch in the housing. Then, secure the cap with the four latches.
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  7. Connect the writing harness connector to the terminals on the side of the cap (if connector won't go on reverse it-it will install only one way).
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  9. Adjust ignition timing as described above.
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