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2nd Gen (93-97) V6 2.5L Archive Quality Archived Posts and FAQs

 
 
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Old February 10th, 2004, 07:53 PM   #1
Joe Bialy
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$20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

This mod will save lots of people lots of money. It is also a good basis for real ignition upgrades.

After 173,000 miles, my ignitor finally bit the dust. Not wanting to spend $224 for another one, or an equal amount for a feeble MSD, I wired in a $20 (Wells #DR-100) generic GM 4-pin HEI module instead.

In a nutshell:

The ECU's trigger output wire (BL/O) feeds the HEI's pin 'G'.
Ground the HEI's pin 'W'.
Ground the HEI's base.
HEI's pin 'B' taps into the +12V dizzy feed wire (BK/P).
HEI's pin 'C' taps into the coil's primary wire (Y/G).
Remove the internal strap connecting the old ignitor to the coil plug center terminal.

I mounted the HEI module on a bracket next to the LH headlamp.

If $20 is too steep, head to the wreckers and get a used module for a buck or two. Almost every GM car from the mid 70's to the mid 80's has one.

If you don't want the stock coil, it would be just as simple to use an external coil if you add the extra terminal to the cap for it. Lotsa places have hi-perf. HEI modules and HEI specific hi-perf. coils too.
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Old February 10th, 2004, 08:13 PM   #2
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and like glue, this is STUCK!

very good thinking, this is what we all like to see.
just a couple questions before everyone starts hounding you. where did you get this from, and is there any specific GM vehicle you should ask for when getting it from the counter at an autoparts store?? or do you get it right from GM? let us know
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Old February 11th, 2004, 06:48 AM   #3
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Question Upgrade?

When you say upgrade, does that mean that this is a better ignitor than stock?

Meaning, should we use this ignitor even if the one we have still works okay.

Is there a performance difference or just a money saver if your stock ignitor is bad?

Just a few little questions to get hounding started.

Thanks

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Old February 11th, 2004, 07:41 AM   #4
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HEI module info

The module he is refering to can be purchased at almost any auto parts store...autozone, napa, etc.

It was used on 1975-1982? GM pruducts. I would stick with getting one for a Chevrolet model. I remmeber a couple oldsmobiles used a slightly different pin configuration, but they are rarer.

I will look at home tonight in the parts bins, and try and get a wells #, or a delco # from an old one.

I would not replace the ignitor with this one untill the old one fails. JMO
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Old February 11th, 2004, 08:19 AM   #5
Joe Bialy
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Quote:
Originally posted by spada
and like glue, this is STUCK!

just a couple questions before everyone starts hounding you. where did you get this from, and is there any specific GM vehicle you should ask for when getting it from the counter at an autoparts store?? or do you get it right from GM? let us know
Here's a picture of a typical 4 pin module. This one is in a V-12 Jaguar but it is the exact same part I used and it shows the pins clearly marked:

http://www.erlandsson.se/jaguar/ab14amplifier.jpg

The GM part # is 10482820

Niehoff part # DR400

Wells part # DR100 (what I have)

If the parts guy doesn't know what a 4 pin module is or can't cross reference these part numbers, then tell him its for a 79 Chevy 350 Caprice, that should be the same part.

With the right coils, this module will spark a 12 cylinder 12.5:1 CR Jaguar to 7000 rpm, more than enough for anybody's V-6. Summitt and Jeg's have lots of HEI stuff that's even hotter than this stock stuff.

I took some pictures of my set up, I'll post them somehow on the web for all to see. Apparently I can't post attachments directly to P-T.

After driving hard for an hour this morning, I checked the temperature of the module, its cool as can be. I think thats because the Probe coil's primary is around 1 ohm and the module isn't working very hard controlling current. It normally runs very warm when it is hooked up to a 0.4 ohm HEI coil.

The bad part about ignitor failure is that it won't normally happen in your garage on a Saturday morning. It'll be at 2am in BFE during a storm. This mod is so easy, you could throw these parts, prewired, in your glove box and be ready for it when it happens.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 04:43 PM   #6
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Man you have excellent timing with this

My harness is different colors but I dont see why it wont work once I figure out what is what. With that said I was gonna ask you, what year your car is? Just so I can say it's just a different year and my car isnt an oddball.

PS. I asked for one from a 82 chevette just so I could say my car uses chevette parts and he gave me the neihoff dr-400 they didnt have the wells dr-100 in stock but I see autozone has them for $13


edit** heres an edit with the 95 harness (I think hosted by leska) so they dont have to search through 5 billion pages

http://leskanet.no-ip.org/images/pro...nstall1995.jpg

Heres a good write up for you 95+ guys so you dont have to go through endless pages either

http://forums.probetalk.com/showthread.php?t=1701217992

Last edited by ya_whatever; December 20th, 2006 at 10:11 PM.
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Old February 11th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #7
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Here's a link to some pictures of this mod which shows the tie ins at the distributor and where I mounted the module:

http://www.picturetrail.com/

My member name is "heiprobe"

My car is a 94 PGT. $13 is the cheapest yet!
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Old February 12th, 2004, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by dmark101
feeble msd?

methinks not. methinks this comes from the myriad of installation 'how-tos', whether or not they're good.
Irregardless of how problematic the installation is, there are other concerns with MSD:

Each MSD spark event has about 110 mj of energy in it. This is the same energy that a bone stock GM HEI system has with its stock coil.
At very low RPM's, MSD starts out great with multiple spark discharge events, but as RPM's increase, it progressively sheds spark events until it puts out only one spark per event. This occurs around 3500 RPM for a 6 cylinder car.
So, above 3500 RPM, MSD provides no real advantage in regards to spark energy.

Lean mixtures are hard to ignite. A CD ignition, like that in the MSD compounds that problem by providing a very short duration spark to ignite that mixture. Mulitple short sparks make up for that limitation at low speed, but at high speed, MSD only puts out one spark. One short spark with a lean mixture is not advantageous, especially at speed.

The MSD unit, consuming about 10 amps of current, uses about twice as much power as the 5 amp current limited HEI system does. Most of this is lost as heat.

Sure, MSD works. Does it work well, I doubt it. Up to now it was about the only option. MSD does have lots of nice add ons like rev limiting etc., but I don't need any of that.

The object of this mod was to get my old Probe running again without spending 200+ dollars and also opening the door for other ignition options. For $20, I did both. The car starts every time and willingly revs past the red line. Hard to beat for the money and effort involved.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 12:17 PM   #9
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Great job Joe. This is pretty promising stuff. Do you think you could make up a diagram that would show how one would hook this up to an external coil? Pretty impressive find. What made you think of using the GM part?

Another question, what if you were to use a "performance" HEI 4-pin module over a OEM replacement module (e.g Niehoff, Wells, or GM parts). Would your power output be limited by the coil within the stock disty or would the stock coil output more power due to the higher "spark event" created by the "performance" module?

I found a few over at Summit Racing that still retained the 4 pin output.

http://store.summitracing.com/partde...rt=ACC%2D35361
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...rt=ACC%2D35367
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...rt=PNX%2DD2000
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Old February 16th, 2004, 12:29 PM   #10
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

The only thing I did different was ran another ground wire to the car (so I had two coming out of the ground W terminal one to the module one to the car) rather than reling on the back of the module to keep the ground, but it's gonna get pretty slushy and salty here soon at least Im hoping it will.

Last edited by KevinD; March 7th, 2007 at 12:54 AM.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 03:29 PM   #11
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by ya_whatever
The only thing I did different was ran another ground wire to the car (so I had two coming out of the ground W terminal one to the module one to the car) rather than reling on the back of the module to keep the ground, but it's gonna get pretty slushy and salty here soon at least Im hoping it will.
I put star type lock washers on the mounting hole screw and on the bolt holding the bracket to the body. A dedicated ground wire like you did is a good idea.

Make sure that the mounting hole gets a solid ground because all of the current flowing through the coil & Module goes through it- up to 5 amps or so. W is a low level signal terminal, one of the inputs, like G, it doesn't have to handle any big current like the mounting hole does.

They call these HEI things 4 pin, but really there's 5 terminals. The mounting hole is the fifth one.

Last edited by KevinD; March 7th, 2007 at 12:54 AM.
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Old February 16th, 2004, 07:35 PM   #12
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

'95+ distributors are different in their layout. I had posted up some '95+ disty anatomy pics on the old PT, but I'll repost them here for the continued development of this mod.

Personally, I'd like to see the advancement of this mod to include not just a simple repair for blown ignitors, but to include the addition of a "hot module" (performance HEI module) and the wiring of a high discharge coil. Sort of a simpler and less expensive alternative to the MSD setups.

Joe_Bialy, can you post up a wiring diagram that would include an external coil?

Here are the '95 disty pics:

http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/cams05.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty01.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty02.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty03.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty04.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty05.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty06.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty07.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty08.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty09.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty10.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty11.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty12.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty13.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty14.jpg
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Old February 17th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #13
Joe Bialy
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omaha95PGT
'95+ distributors are different in their layout. I had posted up some '95+ disty anatomy pics on the old PT, but I'll repost them here for the continued development of this mod.

Personally, I'd like to see the advancement of this mod to include not just a simple repair for blown ignitors, but to include the addition of a "hot module" (performance HEI module) and the wiring of a high discharge coil. Sort of a simpler and less expensive alternative to the MSD setups.

Joe_Bialy, can you post up a wiring diagram that would include an external coil?

Here are the '95 disty pics:


http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/95disty08.jpg
An external coil on a '94 like mine is pretty straightforward:

Besides the new coil, you'll need a new 1,000 ohm resistor to feed the tach because the Probe's old coil has this resistor built into it.

1) Do not plug in the 3 pin connector to the disty at all.
2) Pin #1 Black/Pink (power) will be new coil (+) and HEI "B".
3) Pin #2 Yellow/Green (IG-) will be HEI "C" and coil (-) and one side of the new 1,000 ohm resistor.
4) Pin #3 Yellow/Blue (tach output) will get the other side of the 1,000 ohm resistor.
5) Big connector pin 6 Blue/Orange goes to HEI "G" as before.

1,000 ohms is Brown-Black-Red, 1/2 watt will be fine. $.50 at Radio Shack.

The 3 pin connector (C170) is numbered 1-3-2. Not 1-2-3 as the incorrect All Data connector diagram shows. The correct order is:
1= circuit 2 Bk/P power
3= circuit 731 Y/Bl tach output
2= circuit 732 Y/G tach signal (ignition ground) or "IG-" on the DLC.

The faded wiring on my car makes it impossible to tell Y/Bl from Y/G. They both look like Y/G to me. You can be sure you have the right Y/G (IG-) wire by checking for continuity between pin #2 of the disty plug and the (IG-) pin of the DLC-its the same wire.

On to the '95:

You will need to do continuity checks to see where the three pins of the old ignitor go to. I suspect its electrically identical to the '94, just repackaged. If that's the case, then it will connect the same way. You don't have the strap to remove like the '94, but instead, you'll need to cut the corresponding pin on the ignitor. One ignitor pin will mimic the "G" function, one will mimic "B", and one will mimic "C" on the HEI diagram.

Or, screw the old coil and use an external one. Then you can forget about the ignitor all together. Just make sure the three pin C170 is the same configuration as the '94 is, and use the same Blue/Orange trigger wire on the big connector just like on the '94.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #14
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Money95
Does anybody know for sure if the color of wire is the same for 95+? Or how much it changes? I am having this done to my car tommorow and its a 95, so I need to make sure the wiring isnt extremely different.

And what pin on the 95+ ignitor is the ground pin?
The '95 three pin connector diagram that Omaha95PGT sent me is the same as my '94 is. The big 6/7 pin connector is different, but the Blue/Orange wire is the only one that's important here, and its the same too.

Without having one in front of me, I can only guess that the ignitor case makes the ground connection. It has three terminals, and it needs all of them plus a ground to work.

If the guy doing this can read prints and use a VOM it shouldn't be too big of a deal, especially if you're using an external coil because you can forget about the old ignitor entirely. It took me 6 hours in the dark of night to figure this all out from scratch and half of that time was in a snow storm with frost bit fingers.

I just read that last paragraph out loud. Its amazing how cheap I am
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Old February 19th, 2004, 11:23 AM   #15
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Where can I buy the mounting bracket, and what type of wires should I use? If these seem like stupid questions, it's because I've never attempted something like this and I want to make sure I do it correctly.
Also, once the HEI is mounted to the bracket, how should I secure it to the body?

Thanks,
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Old February 19th, 2004, 11:27 AM   #16
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

drill a hole and use a bolt/nut to secure it to the body.

from what i can tell, joe used 18AWG wire for the connections. it's the same size as the stock wiring.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 02:34 PM   #17
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

18 for all of them is fine if they're not too long.

Actually on mine, I made the Red and White wires are 16AWG 'cause they handle current and it was handy. The Green one, being a trigger, is 18AWG.

Be sure to have a good ground on that module too!
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Old February 19th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #18
Joe Bialy
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAGT
I've called five Autozones and a Pep Boys and not one of them know what this bracket is.
I've showed them pictures and still nothing. Is there a part number for it? Did you guys buy it at Home Depot? Did you buy a general bracket and ddrill holes? Please tell me exactly where I can buy this bracket.

Thanks
I made mine from a piece of sheet metal. Or, like dmark101 sez, just drill a hole in the body and bolt it down. Just be sure its grounded good.
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Old February 19th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #19
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

I think that is a homemade bracket, probably 1/8" or 1/16" sheet metal
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Old February 19th, 2004, 04:22 PM   #20
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by LAGT
Now all I have to do is learn how to solder
Soldering simple wires together is easy. Just get a 30 watt soldering iron from Radio Shack or your local auto parts store and some solder (I use silver solder since that's what I have laying around from my computer repair days). The key is to heat the item to be soldered not the solder itself. For example, place the soldering iron on the opposite side of the object you want to solder when the object is hot enough touch the solder on the other side of the object. If it is hot enough, it will melt the solder which will then be drawn into the wires by capillary action and complete the connection. Remove the iron from the object and it will solidify in <1 second. Tape up the site that you soldered. If you planned ahead, you got some heat shrink tubing on the wires then use a hair dryer to shrink the tubing to fit the soldered area.

Back on topic...

Here's the external tower wiring diagram: http://home.comcast.net/~mmunoz70/z/Probe-Ext-HEI-Coil.gif

Diagram courtesy of Joe Bialy
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Old February 19th, 2004, 07:52 PM   #21
Joe Bialy
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Delco #D1906 from any GM dealer anywhere in the world.

These should be the same too:
KEM #E200
Standard #LX301
Motorcraft #DYG-216
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Old February 20th, 2004, 09:24 AM   #22
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Just a tip for those guys trying to locate this in Canada, call Canadian Tire asking for Niehoff DR400 and they will come up with the Wells module :-)...if you ask for Wells directly they can't find it - some problem in the computer system.

BTW, I have ***not*** tried this yet!!!
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Old February 20th, 2004, 08:59 PM   #23
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmganga
Just a tip for those guys trying to locate this in Canada, call Canadian Tire asking for Niehoff DR400 and they will come up with the Wells module :-)...if you ask for Wells directly they can't find it - some problem in the computer system.

BTW, I have ***not*** tried this yet!!!
Yes the DR400 is the one they gave me. I looked up the application before cause alot of these guys at crappy tire dont know their head from their arse and thats the real problem with those computers . If you ask for the 79 Caprice 350 as Joe suggested you'll get the right one. I asked for one out of an 82 chevette and got the same one.

Ive been looking at coils but I'm unsure what to get, any suggestions what I should look for?
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 11:13 AM   #24
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Hey guys, can I get some 'help' regarding this install? I had the disty problem a while ago and then I put in a MSD. I think my MSD is crapped out now as it doesn't give any spark.

So I'm trying to put in this module (Wells) on top of a MSD install. The stock coil is working fine!!!

From what I understand the MSD box works as follows:

- it doesn't tap in the ECU feed
- the black/pink wire which gives +12 V from the ignition powers up the MSD box
- the yellow/blue from the 3 pin harness goes to the tach feedback on the distributor (center connector), and at the same time feeds back into the MSD box as a pickup sensor
- the MSD box gives a +/- signal to the stock coil using an orange/black wire which goes into the distributor coil.


Now, this HEI unit is slightly different -- I need to install this using the MSD harness which I mentioned above - from what I gather:

- this unit taps into the ECU wire (first wire blue/orange from the 6 pin harness) (G-connection)
- the wire feeding the power (black/pink from the 3 pin harness) goes to feed the HEI unit (B-connection)
- now I see the C-connection should tap into the coil primary wire, which is yellow/green - questions:

1) how does it give +/- to the coil?
2) is there any tach feedback in the HEI case?
3) can I install this HEI module with this replaced harness, or should I go back to the original connection?


THANKS!!!
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Old February 22nd, 2004, 03:03 PM   #25
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Re: $20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmganga
I think I'm starting to understand what's going on...man I've got my head around this!!!

Anyway, I am pretty sure now that it's supposed to be like this:

- the black/pink wire supplies +12 V to the stock coil as well, that's why it's supposed to be TAPPED into, not disconnected as the MSD says!!!
- then the yellow/green wire is the negative input!!! and that's why it comes from the HEI. I guess the HEI works on negative trigger????

Any ideas?

THANKS!!!
I don't know how the MSD harness ties into the Probe, but it sounds to me like it adding a lot of confusion to what should be a simple project. It almost sounds like your car is firing off the wrong side of the ECU's trigger signal and is majorly retarded all the time.

Why don't you just go back to the basic Probe wiring and add this HEI thing from there? Its only a few wires.

You're right about the B/P wire, it supplies +12V to both the coil and the HEI.

The Y/G is the negative coil 'input'. Pin 'C' of the HEI takes that wire to ground to charge the coil with current. When pin 'C' of the HEI opens up, or switches off, you'll get a spark, so your wording is semi-correct here, HEI works on negative of the coil.

The Bl/O wire is really the negative trigger, when pin 'G' has voltage on it, the coil is charging (pin 'C' is at ground). As soon as pin 'G' goes to ground, or low, pin 'C' opens up and the coil fires. So yeah, its a negative trigger in this sense.

I could write more, but I really gotta run. But like I suggested, just go back to the basic Probe wiring and add HEI on top of that.

Did you take oput the liitle meatal strap inside the the disty?

Gotta run,

Joe
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