Which distributor for my Le Mans ??? - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
 
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Which distributor for my Le Mans ???

Hello guys,
I want to replace my distributor (with points) for a .
Engine: 400cui (1970), Heads: 62 from 1968, Tripower carbs, hot cam (doesn't know which one...)
I read, that for a HEI distributor there's not enough space.
What's about the Pertronix D7120700 ?
What is the difference to the Pertronix D7120710 ?
Any other ideas ?
Don't want to buy the wrong part(s).
Regards: Peter
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 01:08 PM
 
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You can use an HEI distributor but just have to buy one with the small cap and separate ignition coil. The common ones you see everywhere are the "large cap" with the built in ignition coil, thats what makes the cap so large. In terms of the differences in part number it looks like one has a female cap and one has a male cap. Just two different styles of spark plug wire, other than that they are identical.

I am actually looking at having an original style distributor rebuilt and converted to HEI. I'll let you know how that goes if thats the route you're looking to go. CRT performance and Packard also make small cap hei distributors but I have no idea how they run. Maybe someone else will have some input.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 01:51 PM
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My advice would be to run a stock rebuilt or good condition GM points distributor if you are after reliability. Points are more reliable than HEI and light the plugs just as well. Have used them for over 40 years in many cars for 100's of thousands of miles without issue. I can't even begin to count how many Pertronix and HEI failures I've run across in the last year alone. The problem is, most folks under 45 years of age have no idea what points are, so they don't feel comfortable with them. I say that when playing with antique cars, you should at least learn about the antique systems that made them great.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geeteeohguy View Post
My advice would be to run a stock rebuilt or good condition GM points distributor if you are after reliability. Points are more reliable than HEI and light the plugs just as well. Have used them for over 40 years in many cars for 100's of thousands of miles without issue. I can't even begin to count how many Pertronix and HEI failures I've run across in the last year alone. The problem is, most folks under 45 years of age have no idea what points are, so they don't feel comfortable with them. I say that when playing with antique cars, you should at least learn about the antique systems that made them great.
I would add x2.....I personally have had two Pertronix units fail and one GM HEI fail....When they go, they go and will leave you stranded.

1965 GTO Convertible 3 speed tri-power drum brakes originally

Current setup:
400 cu in with tri-power
4 speed Muncie
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by geeteeohguy View Post
My advice would be to run a stock rebuilt or good condition GM points distributor if you are after reliability. Points are more reliable than HEI and light the plugs just as well. Have used them for over 40 years in many cars for 100's of thousands of miles without issue. I can't even begin to count how many Pertronix and HEI failures I've run across in the last year alone. The problem is, most folks under 45 years of age have no idea what points are, so they don't feel comfortable with them. I say that when playing with antique cars, you should at least learn about the antique systems that made them great.
I suppose that everything else, other than a big cap HEI, will fit.

I agree that points are probably the least likely system to leave you stranded.

As for the elec systems, MSD is probably the most popular name. They have a ready-to-run system, that includes just the dist plus a remote coil. Then there are several types of "boxes".

The MSD dist are quite expensive.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/m...xoCT5cQAvD_BwE

This Pertronix is a little cheaper & has a rev limiter.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/p...w/make/pontiac

This Summit is cheaper, & probably Chinese made.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/s...w/make/pontiac

Then there are some cheap Chinese models on Ebay, for less than $60, & up. I think another name for ready-to-run is small cap HEI.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Pontiac-326...gAAOSw5VtaBEey

Last edited by bigD; 09-23-2019 at 04:01 PM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-23-2019, 03:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigD View Post
I suppose that everything else, other than a big cap HEI, will fit.

As for the elec systems, MSD is probably the most popular name. They have a ready-to-run system, that includes just the dist plus a remote coil. Then there are several types of "boxes".

The MSD dist are quite expensive.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/m...xoCT5cQAvD_BwE
I run an MSD Pro Billet distributor, mechanical advance, with upgraded bronze cam/oil pump gear, an MSD Digital-6 Plus ignition box and MSD Blaster SS coil. Granted there is nothing stock about that but I love the performance of that combination. The built in adjustable rev limiter is awesome and a life saver to boot. It doesn't use the fuse style rev settings but a simple adjustable dial on the side so it's easy to tweak while out and about. It has built in features for starting and NOS (should you choose to go that rout, not me though) as well as a few other goodies... The Ignition box can be easily concealed under your dash if you like or mounted on the wheel well as most do and the coil is a lot smaller than most coils... food for thought... but you are right, not cheap.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-24-2019, 12:14 PM
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Good point on the rev limiter....If I had had one in 1987, I would not have grenaded a 428 engine I was running at the time. Rev limiters on a stick shift Pontiac are a GOOD thing!
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 05:41 PM
 
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I run same setup as curtis.smith68 on my 68' 400. Rev limiter a plus and the MSD system works great. I do remember points, how to adjust and how much of a PITA they are. And they burn up far too often. Besides - where do you think they are made now? Very good to know where we came from and how to work on the cars. However, for ME and wanting reliability/driveability - MSD setup is way to go.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 08:22 PM
 
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I used a Summit brand hei with a pertronix module in my Firebird & it works great.
You just have to make sure you put the # 1 plug
At 1:00 not in front where it is on a Chevy.
The hei & cap should fit no problem , but if you
Put the #1 plug in the front the. Vacuum advance hose Will hit the head where it goes past the intake & you can’t turn it to get enough advance. The distributor isn’t that close to the firewall & the pertronix module got rid of the bad exhaust smell I was having & the spark plugs look great.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 08:58 PM
 
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An HEI will fit no problem. As Rmonte said make sure you index the distributor so that #1 is at 1:00 .
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