Valuable lesson

Discussion in 'Engine Performance + Maintenance' started by 89GMCJOHN, Dec 2, 2019.

Car Parts
  1. 89GMCJOHN

    89GMCJOHN I'm Awesome

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    Was cruising the other day in my 89 shorty and my rebuilt carb'd 350 just abruptly died. I tried for the next 30 mins to restart it all to no avail....I paid $100 to have her towed home after waiting 2 hrs for the tow truck AAARRRGGHH. I fixed it the other day and it was the HEI IGNITION MODULE as I initially suspected. The engine and distributor are brand new with less than 1500 miles on them..... If I was smart I would have had a spare ignition module in my glove box as a just in case :( . These are known for breaking abruptly as mine did here :( ...... There is a spare one in the glove box now FWIW...... HEI MOD.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  2. L31MaxExpress

    L31MaxExpress I'm Awesome

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    I would get a Davis Unified Module. I have had good luck with them.
     
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  3. 885speed

    885speed Newbie

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    Yyyyuuuuppp, changed a few over the years myself. I don't worry so much about keeping a spare one these days as much as I do about purchasing a good quality one, such as a Delco or Dephi. You couldn't pay me enough to install an off brand from the parts store or even Accel or other brands.

    FWIW if your insurance offers roadside assistance as an add on for cheap like mine (like $8 a vehicle or so over 6 months) its SO worth it. Its a lot less aggravating going through the hassle of being towed home when your not stuck with a tow bill. Came in handy when my 4L60E crapped the bed about a month or so ago.
     
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  4. Crookedaxle

    Crookedaxle I'm Awesome

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    When my OEM unit took a shit a couple of years back I replaced it with a Chinese special. I know I should have a spare in my glovebox instead of being the Riverboat Gambler that I am.
     
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  5. 89GMCJOHN

    89GMCJOHN I'm Awesome

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  6. Schurkey

    Schurkey I'm Awesome

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    There's generally two reasons an HEI module dies:
    1. It was a cheap-crap knockoff lacking proper design and assembly quality.
    2. The ignition coil is partially shorted, drawing excess current from the module and causing "slow module death" syndrome.

    An ohmmeter test of an ignition coil can tell you that the coil has failed. An ohmmeter test of the ignition coil CANNOT tell you that the coil is GOOD. You need to perform an ohmmeter test of primary and secondary windings, shorts to ground, AND perform a spark test using a properly-calibrated spark tester (readily available for $20 and under, depending on the source.)

    My favorite spark testers look like spark plugs with an alligator clip welded-on, but they're specifically designed to load a points-style or an HEI ignition. The HEI version has a recessed center electrode to make the spark gap longer than the points version.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For example,
    https://www.amazon.com/Performance-...ywords=spark+tester+HEI&qid=1575359333&sr=8-3

    There are other brands, and other designs as well.
     
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  7. 240 Gordy

    240 Gordy Newbie

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    Got a part # for that HEI Ingnition module? Thanks!
     
  8. L31MaxExpress

    L31MaxExpress I'm Awesome

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    They make several versions. 4-pin, 7-pin for large cap EST , 8-pin for the small cap EST, and a a Vortec/LT1. Which one do you need?
     

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