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Old 08-17-2017, 05:32 PM   #1
65chevysub
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small diameter HEI dizzy

Is there such a thing as a smaller diameter HEI distributor? I want to put one in my 65 Suburban next year when I get a new engine, but I don't want to have to mangle or modify the firewall. Also, I have a Mallory Unilite that just needs a module. Anyone have an honest opinion on these? I read some reviews and they all say they are junk, the modules keep burning out etc. etc. Mine burned out because a shop took my ballast resistor off and said I didn't need it, but by the time I figured out I did, it died and the warranty was out.
Thanks
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:49 PM   #2
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

Yes, there are small diameter distributors for Chevys. They mount the coil separately to get the dizzy size down.

I had one with no special computer controls on my 1984 S10 with the 2.8 V-6. It ran beautifully with the original cap, rotor, and wires for the 215k miles we had it. I know it was all stock because we bought the truck new and never changed it. Still ran well when we gave it to a friend for farm beater truck when it was all rusted out.

I believe a Camaro around the same time frame (1980s) had the small size HEI with separate coil for the V-8. I may have read that in the classic "Chevy Power" manual (6th edition). May be hard to find. So not sure if that helps.
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:56 PM   #3
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

DUI sells one.
http://performancedistributors.com/p...nition-system/
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Old 08-17-2017, 05:57 PM   #4
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

Looks like Summit has your Unilite module for $55.

Or if you like the totally stock look, you could go with a Pertronix module in a stock distributor for, what, about $100? (bought that a few years ago) I had one on an old Ford and it worked great and kept the stock look.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:40 PM   #5
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

I didn't have to mangle or modify my firewall to use an HEI. It's tight and I had to route a couple of the plug wires a bit creatively, but once the air cleaner goes on you can't see it anyhow.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:27 PM   #6
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

I have the Pertronix in my stock distributor now and it's been in there for a very long time but it's getting worn out. I may stay with it as it's been good to me. My mechanic said I should switch to an HEI but not so sure.
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Old 08-17-2017, 09:30 PM   #7
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

Thanks for all the replies everyone. I will look in to the module, Pertronix, or a new dizzy
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Old 08-17-2017, 10:58 PM   #8
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

There is absolutely no reason to have to move the engine or modify the firewall to install a large cap HEI in a '63-'66 truck with a small block in the original location. It is a little close but is quite workable.
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Old 08-18-2017, 01:25 AM   #9
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

This is what I'm running in my big block 72. https://www.msdperformance.com/produ...let/parts/8360 You can run any coil you want, it does not require an ignition box and it has a programmable rev limiter. I love it!
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

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Originally Posted by Ironangel View Post
This is what I'm running in my big block 72. https://www.msdperformance.com/produ...let/parts/8360 You can run any coil you want, it does not require an ignition box and it has a programmable rev limiter. I love it!
Got any pics of your engine setup?
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:15 AM   #11
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

The Mallory 'Unilite' MUST be ran on a ballast resistor and be CAUTIOUS of 'high amp charging systems ,, and most of all JUMP STARTING a dead battery and high amp chargers. They are nothing but a on/off trigger that uses a 'shutter' and light sensing diode for the switch.

Mallorys instructions were TERRIBLE and didn't express the requirements for the ballast resistor. The instructions always show the Unilite distributor triggering the Mallory 'Hyfire' CD ignition box,, and NO resistor. THAT is correct, but IF you have the Hyfire to condition the power to the Unilite,, otherwise toasted Unilite modules are going to plague your life. The Hyfire box powering the Unilite distributor conditions the voltage to the distributor and the modules last ,, well I ran one on a street truck for about 5 years, and ran one in the Nova (when it was just a 10 sec car) on the track, for 8 years,, SAME module.

ANYTHING you need for Mallory anything, talk to Sam Solace at centruyperformance.com His speed shop was just down the road from the Mallory plant in Carson City Nev. before the company was destroyed by Mr Gasket group.

OK all that crap said,, Your Unilite 'can' be a rock solid small body ignition if you follow the rules.

Another option, is Daves small body conversions. David Ray is a real piece of work, has been booted from most every forum and chat room on the net and is one of the most argumentative personas in type EVER. BUT if you can get past the personality of a rattlesnake,, his small body HEI conversion is probably one of the most IDEAL conversions for the 'looks' of an old points distributor , with quality modern HEI components. His conversions are not exactly CHEEP, but his work is impeccable right down to new bushings in the body, a correct advance set in the mechanical and advance. Just remember your not buying his personality,, just a quality product which honestly IS the best solution I've found for maintaining the 'points' distributor with a maintenance free GM HEI internals.

http://www.davessmallbodyheis.com/


The Pertronics deal,, well been there dont that,,, and have NOTHING good to say so I'll say nothing about it.
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Old 08-18-2017, 10:27 AM   #12
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

I used Mallory stuff back in the 1990's when drag racing a 1971 El Camino SS. A buddy of mine swore up and down that the Unilite and the Hyfire V would change my life! It did! It made me never buy another Mallory product again! Even with the correct wiring and all the precautions Marv talked about. If there is ANY RF noise, the Unilite will be affected. I didn't burn out modules, but that Unilite just never performed half as good as any other distributor I used. I finally tossed the Unilite and ran a damn near bone stock GM HEI with the Hyfire and it worked better. About 1995 is when I switched over to all MSD stuff and never looked back.

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Old 08-18-2017, 04:02 PM   #13
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

I just got a pertronix for my 61 impala with a stock 283.
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:39 PM   #14
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

Well, I made up my mind. Not going to use the Mallory. From what I read above, it sounds similar to the reviews on them. I will probably just get an HEI unit and be done with it.
Thanks to everyone for your input on this subject.
Have a great weekend
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:47 AM   #15
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

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Originally Posted by 68gmsee View Post
Got any pics of your engine setup?
Sorry I didn't see this sooner, been busy with the eclipse preparations.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:14 PM   #16
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv D View Post
The Mallory 'Unilite' MUST be ran on a ballast resistor and be CAUTIOUS of 'high amp charging systems ,, and most of all JUMP STARTING a dead battery and high amp chargers. They are nothing but a on/off trigger that uses a 'shutter' and light sensing diode for the switch.

Mallorys instructions were TERRIBLE and didn't express the requirements for the ballast resistor. The instructions always show the Unilite distributor triggering the Mallory 'Hyfire' CD ignition box,, and NO resistor. THAT is correct, but IF you have the Hyfire to condition the power to the Unilite,, otherwise toasted Unilite modules are going to plague your life. The Hyfire box powering the Unilite distributor conditions the voltage to the distributor and the modules last ,, well I ran one on a street truck for about 5 years, and ran one in the Nova (when it was just a 10 sec car) on the track, for 8 years,, SAME module.

ANYTHING you need for Mallory anything, talk to Sam Solace at centruyperformance.com His speed shop was just down the road from the Mallory plant in Carson City Nev. before the company was destroyed by Mr Gasket group.

OK all that crap said,, Your Unilite 'can' be a rock solid small body ignition if you follow the rules.

Another option, is Daves small body conversions. David Ray is a real piece of work, has been booted from most every forum and chat room on the net and is one of the most argumentative personas in type EVER. BUT if you can get past the personality of a rattlesnake,, his small body HEI conversion is probably one of the most IDEAL conversions for the 'looks' of an old points distributor , with quality modern HEI components. His conversions are not exactly CHEEP, but his work is impeccable right down to new bushings in the body, a correct advance set in the mechanical and advance. Just remember your not buying his personality,, just a quality product which honestly IS the best solution I've found for maintaining the 'points' distributor with a maintenance free GM HEI internals.

http://www.davessmallbodyheis.com/


The Pertronics deal,, well been there dont that,,, and have NOTHING good to say so I'll say nothing about it.
Yes I agree that David RAY, IS a pc of work....sharp...yes, & yes he has been booted, from many boards! Let me ask the ?.... would you like to deal with the man , over issues, on his build? I for 1, would prefer not to play with a "rattlesnake" Longhorn
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:53 PM   #17
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

I did not offer too much info, on topic in the last post...My bro runs a small cap MSD, with a 6AL box. The thing was an easy tune on the curve, & has run flawless, track & street Longhorn
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:22 AM   #18
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

CL I couldn't agree more. A good MSD small boly with a digital contol box is without a doubt the #1. But it looks aftermarket and no way around that.

I think the OP was looking for a options in the 'original' look of a old points distributor (maybe I misunderstood) I;ve done the pertronix with very questionable and unreliable results, and there really is no 'great' options out there. for the' original look' except for the Dave small body thing. I agree I'd 'rather' tell my wife she's fat, than deal with a A
@$$ over a problem with an on-line order.
The two times I've dealt with Dave it was with GREAT reluctance,, but I have to say not only was the distributor seriously a nicely done piece but has been rock solid in those two street car restorations. They wanted the 'old school' points cap with the window and early plug wires (pre HEI) and that was the only way other than the pertronix deal ,, which I just cant get behind any more because of issues with timing fluctuation and reliability I've experienced with them
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:06 PM   #19
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Re: small diameter HEI dizzy

Marv, my take was he was looking for clearance, as that GM HEI does fit tight. I have to totally agree on the Pertronix.....been there & played that! If the OP was looking for a "stock looking " build, I trust YOU, when you say that Dave was right on, with the build Longhorn
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