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Old 06-23-2011, 12:08 PM   #1
imdarren
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HEI VS Pertronix

Lots of HEI questions coming up. I have installed 2 Pertronix setups in my trucks, and have loved them. Keeps the original look, with newer technology and performance.

The question:
Has anyone done a comparison to see if HEI has any advantage over the Pertronix setup? I personally love that the size stays small, and looks original.

Darren
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:34 PM   #2
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

I liked the Pertronix in my SWB 4x4 because the factory dizzy is smaller in diameter than the HEI and the engine sits very close to the firewall. Also keeps the factory look! I think there are other competitive systems that don't require any wiring changes like the Pertronix does.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

As DANTIP said. I purchased a Pertronix FlameThrower II billet distributer and coil. Had the distributure recurved to a stock GM application. Use summit wires and AC/DELCO plugs. Runs good, but notice that it burns hotter in the cylinder.

Don't forget to take out/replace the ign resistor wire or run another 12 V source wire to the coil. It likes solid 12VDC.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:42 PM   #4
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

Good point about the wire.
I did not change my wire. Seems I checked the voltage, and it was 12v.
My truck is a 72 K20. Did all the trucks have a resistor wire?

I'm thinking I better go back and re-check that. Sure runs good though.

Darren
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
Lee H
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

Seems like the pertronix works very well for daily driver applications, good starting, improved drivability around town and and on the freeway, improved mileage. However I have experienced that they tend to miss above 6K, allot.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:17 PM   #6
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

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Originally Posted by Lee H View Post
Seems like the pertronix works very well for daily driver applications, good starting, improved drivability around town and and on the freeway, improved mileage. However I have experienced that they tend to miss above 6K, allot.
Agreed, for all around performance, ease of install, reliability, you absolutely cannot beat an HEI
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

Used/junkyard HEI's are not expensive. But, they may come with a problem or two. My '69 had an HEI when I bought it. It was okay for a few years...okay 2 years...and then I began to have trouble. I'd let off on the gas and it would die. I could throw the gear selector into neutral and it would fire back up, then I'd drop it in gear and keep driving. I had already replaced the ignition module and I'd also put a different vacuum advance on it. The cap, rotor and wires as well as plugs were all good. I had already put the Edelbrock Q-jet on it, as well as a new fuel filter. So, I was just biding time....until one New Year's Day. It died at a traffic light and wouldn't restart. I had it hauled home and decided that it was time for another distributor. I shopped around for a short time and decided that an Accel HEI (actually a reman unit by Accel) was what I wanted. After it was installed, no more problems.

The HEI that came out is still in the box that the Accel came it. I found that the wire to the reluctor had a break in it. When you let off of the gas, the vacuum advance would move the breaker plate and temporarily break the connection and that's why it would die. It can be fixed, so I'm hanging onto it.

Thought I'd share this in case anyone else has ever had a question.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #8
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

I like the factory HEI unit. It has a spark like a bolt of lightening. They are dependable. For my Task Force trucks I use the petronics changover kit because of the firewall clearance. Some petronics systems still use the resister. Read the directions.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:42 PM   #9
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

I think one of the big advantages of the HEI is not only the elimination of the points which the Pertronix also does but the large amount of volts it delivers.I guess you could up grade your coil with the Pertronix.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:11 PM   #10
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

I have used the Crane XR1 (simular to the Pentronix) and HEI's. Here is my opinion, the HEI is a cheaper change if you can find used ones in the "pick and pull" than one of the kits. The better side to a points conversion kit is that the advance is stays the same. Hei's came out of the emission era and have a very broad advance range that it is more difficult to use on a performance engine. A performance engine will require more intitial timing, with a HEI it will end up with too much total advance unless you can find someone who knows the proper way to set them up. On a stock engine the HEI is the cheapest and best way to go, you have a bit of cam and need 12 of initial timing then a Crane XR1 or the Pentronix is the way to go.
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #11
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

The only downside to an HEI is if you're doing any kind of high RPM stuff... they start dropping serious voltage after 4,500 RPM's. For most cats this ain't a problem since their engines never see that many R's at all. Some never.

But for me, where my engine will see 6,000+ RPM's quite a bit... some kind of Aftermarket HEI was in order. I use an MSD Pro Billet unit. Anyways... Just a thought in case anybody is puttin' an HEI in a racing, or street/strip rig.

Gary
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:28 PM   #12
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

I have used Pertronix in my truck for years w/o any issues....yet
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #13
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

huge positive on the HEI... You can get parts for it at any parts house in the US. on any day of the week.
Pertronix , unless you have a performance shop in town, you'll have to order the stuff and wait till it gets shipped.
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:51 PM   #14
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Re: HEI VS Pertronix

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Originally Posted by Longhorn Man View Post
huge positive on the HEI... You can get parts for it at any parts house in the US. on any day of the week.
Pertronix , unless you have a performance shop in town, you'll have to order the stuff and wait till it gets shipped.
Good point
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