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I just bought a 66 GTO Tripower, factory A/C, power brakes, steering, etc. I am working through the engine/ exhaust issues to bring it back to a more original look, better running vehicle. I plan on driving it at least weekly. One question- go old school (which I am) with points, etc. or change to a more modern ignition system (which I drive everyday in my truck)? I don't want visible changes under the hood, but more reliable, and less maintenance concerns are on the HEI's side. I understand I can get an HEI system that should pretty much drop in as a replacement for the current distributor. Any expert opinions out there?
thanks much.
Bill
 

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Well, by no means an expert, but if you drop in an hei distributor you will change the stock appearance even using a small body one. Maybe go with a Pertronix or similiar manufacturer that converts the points to electronic using the stock distributor under the stock cap; that way it will appear factory correct but with less maintenance of the points setup.

Congrats on the new score BTW.
Mike
 

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The wide HEI distributors don't all clear the rear part of the trip/carb set up.....Personally, I would convert the system I have. Or stay with the points set-up.....Eric :cheers
 

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what's the advantage of MSD over the petronix unit? I'm a big fan of the simple plug and play nature of the petronix. I should really replace my coil anyway given it's 42 years old and probably operating at about 20%
 

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An MSD unit will give you Multipul Spark Discharge, or more then one spark per power stroke. It also gives a hotter spark making more power, easer starts, better mpg, etc.
It also changes the way the points are treated. In a conventional system 12v are sent through the coil and the points ground out that currcut and that causes the points to burn and wear.
The MSD unit only moniters resistance through the points much like a multi meter so it removes all the voltage from the points, no voltage, no burning, no wear making them last forever.
Some MSD units have RPM limiters too so you can set the max RPMs, which is sweet incase you spit out a driveshaft or whatever, it keeps the motor from gernading.
If you hide the main MSD unit your engine will look bone stock. I tell people I have one with the hood open and no-one can find it.
Every muscle car could benifit from an MSD.:cool
EVERY person I've installed one for has been more then happy with them. :cheers
 

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I changed the points on both of my classics to the Crane Cams Electronic Conversion kit, without points you can remove the ballast resistor and/or the ballast coil wire and feed a full 13.8 volts to the coil. This unit also has an adjustable rev limiter.
 

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Rukee, the petronix ignitor III has an RPM limiter and multispark capabilites. Without points there's no need for concern. It also doesn't require any camoflage/stealth methods and costs $75 less. MSD may be a great unit, but it seems like there's a new kid in town.
 

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It's probably just two methods of approaching the same issue, one technology vs. another. Maybe some disadvantages on the drag strip or possibly longevity but who knows. any muscle car magazines do reviews of these things? i'm not a subscriber to any.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
points vs. hei

thank you all for your quick replies and great ideas. I will check out both the Pertronix and MSD. I like the idea of a stock look but reliable starts.
Bill
 

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I'd say convert. My GP would burn points quick, I remember touching them up with a point file/emery paper and resetting the dwell every 1500 miles or so.

Just a bit of advice/reminder, spark plug gap is super important, so take your time with setting them right.

Oh, and don't ground the hex key on the coil while you're setting the dwell. :lol:
 

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Rukee, the petronix ignitor III has an RPM limiter and multispark capabilites. Without points there's no need for concern. It also doesn't require any camoflage/stealth methods and costs $75 less. MSD may be a great unit, but it seems like there's a new kid in town.
Pertronix claims to have "Ignition box performance without the box". I just installed the Ignitor III module and I must say that I'm very happy with it so far. It "woke up" the engine. Has a built in rev limiter, multi spark discharge and increased spark energy. I like the idea of not having to clean, adjust or worry about points failure. Although, of the 6 years I've had my car, I never had a points problem. I still feel more confident with my new setup tho.

I'd like to see a side by side review of both. I find it had to believe something placed inside the distributor is going to do the same job as something that needs an external control box with dirrect battery connections and heat sinks built in.
I have no idea if a side by side test has been done. I too would be very interested in the results. Although, it would take a lot for me to go back to points.

It's probably just two methods of approaching the same issue, one technology vs. another. Maybe some disadvantages on the drag strip or possibly longevity but who knows. any muscle car magazines do reviews of these things? i'm not a subscriber to any.
I would recommend a subscription to High Performance Pontiac. All Pontiacs all the time!
 
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