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Username Post: 58 impala 283        (Topic#358728)
Posts: 30

Reg: 11-01-19
11-06-19 11:53 AM - Post#2779677    

Will a hei distributor clear firewall?


"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1523
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
11-07-19 09:30 AM - Post#2779727    
    In response to Meyer

It would not on my '63. I did not have the 1/2" space required between the cap and the fire wall (the large cap is 5 1/2" dia, the small 4 1/2" dia). It was close and I've read where other owners of '63's say it will.

Regardless of 'fit', the alternative of the small cap (non-point) distributor with an external coil is preferred by some folks (including me). I prefer the oil filled coil because it is (in my opinion) a better cooling system than the epoxy used in the large cap distributors, and some external coils. Heat is the enemy of coils (and other electrical components).

I also like the more 'original' look of the small cap and separate coil.


"10th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1802
Age: 76
Loc: Las Cruces, NM
Reg: 01-20-11
11-07-19 11:52 AM - Post#2779731    
    In response to Meyer

Did you consider putting a Pertronics module in your distributor? More voltage to the plugs and invisible from the outside.

Mike Ahlmann
Las Cruces, NM
'50 Tin Woodies (two) Ramon and Willard
'58 Impala Sport Coupe
'69 El Camino SS-396
'07 Ford F150 to haul parts for above
'16 Ford Explorer 3.5 EcoBoost - Red Rocket

Posts: 30

Reg: 11-01-19
11-07-19 01:35 PM - Post#2779737    
    In response to mahlmann

Im buying a crate engine...

Posts: 939

Reg: 12-09-07
11-07-19 05:24 PM - Post#2779746    
    In response to Meyer

Yes on a 58 it will clear no problem. Just make sure when you wire it up you have 12v in both the crank and run positions. Splice the wire going to your R terminal (green I believe) on the starter solenoid into the power feed going to your HEI.

If you want to keep the original style look of the window cap this is another option:

Whichever route you choose pick up a backup ignition module or original points set if using the window cap. If the module craps out on you a couple of screwdrivers pop in the new module or points and your up and running again. When the module quits there is usually no advance warning. Kinda like a fire extinguisher -- better to have it in the car and never need it than to NEED it and not have it in the car.

1958 Impala 2dr Hardtop Under Construction
1966 Chevelle Malibu Convert M20/350 Aztec Bronze
1987 Sea Ray Pachanga 22
2002 Cadillac Escalade EXT Parts chaser
2007 Trailblazer SS -gone and missed


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