need advise - MSD distributor weights and springs

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by nova75mike, Jun 12, 2021.

  1. nova75mike

    nova75mike Veteran Member

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    Hi guys. finally getting back to putting my 79 Z back on the road. Last year I had the distributor locked out but want to put the weights and springs back on, and try an actual timing curve with vac advance to see how it runs. I was doing some research and stumbled across something....weird. online dist.jpg online dist 2.jpg friend dist.jpg my dist.jpg Take a look at the pics attached here. the first 2 pics are from videos posted online that show the "pointy" end of the advance weights pointed in a certain direction using the vacuum cannister as a reference. this was completely backwards from what I have on mine (the weights only go on 1 way on this MSD 8365, so no way of me putting them on backwards). I called a buddy of mine who has a 63 Nova with a smallblock and HEI. took a pic of his, same way as the 2 from online.

    The question is: does it make a difference how the weights are mounted? My thoughts are, that it does make a difference on how the weights swing out and help advance the timing. if they are trying to swing the wrong way, it will take more rpm to get it advanced. thoughts??
     
  2. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Yes and yes, the weight make a huge difference with an HEI. I always hated curving one of them as most of the time the weights in those kits just do not work right and I used to have a ton of that stuff, threw it all out after I switched over to an MSD small distributor like the factory style and a 6A box to fire the plugs.
     
  3. nova75mike

    nova75mike Veteran Member

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    I've done even more searching online and YouTube. It seems all the msd chevy distributors have the weights going in the opposite direction than a factory hei. Curious. I'm done thinking about it? I want a running car again.
     
  4. COPO

    COPO Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    What’s wrong with a GM HEI dizzy?
     
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  5. nova75mike

    nova75mike Veteran Member

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    Nothing as far as I'm concerned. I've run them in the past. It's just that my Camaro had this msd hei unit when I bought it, but could never get it tuned properly with the old engine. When I built the new motor I took all the mechanical advance parts and locked it out. This year I want an actual advance curve so hopefully it starts easier for me when warm. Just had a head scratcher when I put the weights back on...hence my original post
     
  6. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Nothing wrong with them at all, they are just a pain to put a curve in compared to the older smallish distributor. Without a distributor machine the process takes much more time.
     
  7. 1320feet

    1320feet Veteran Member

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    I never found a kit that worked to my liking. The early HEI's had 2 raised bumps (see pic below) that the weights slide on as compared to the ones with plastic buttons. The early ones with the bumps were easy to get descent curve with the stock weights, no aftermarket kit required.
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    For me the HEI just had too much total timing in the advance mechanism itself and I hated that, but now that I have a welder handy I could fix that problem in a heartbeat. The other problem I have would be, I have nothing to use it on when I am done with it. :happy:
     
  9. 1320feet

    1320feet Veteran Member

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    The Chrysler style pickup that MSD uses is better in the higher RPM's than the HEI pickup. I would rather speed a few hundred bucks on a MSD distributor than spend time setting up an HEI. We didn't have that luxury back in the old days.
     
  10. Chevyforever

    Chevyforever Veteran Member

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    Just for reference/interest here is a IMG_2402.JPG picture of a totally stock HEI from my 1980 Z28.
     

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