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Distributor Swap

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Old 08-25-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Clifton, NJ
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Car: 1986 Camaro Z28
Engine: 5.7L 350 V8
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: Standard

Distributor Swap

Hey everyone, not to long ago I got a 86 Camaro w/ a 350 in it. The car runs decent but I recently learned that the Distributor may not be the correct one for the car.

I have a Holley 4105 carb on it and from what I was told carbs require vacuum advance distributors not computer controlled which is what is still on the car. If this is true, is there anything else that needs to be replaced with the distributor besides the EGR?

Any other tips would be appreciated thanks!
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Distributor Swap

It requires a mechanical advance distributor (vacuum advance is also recommended for better fuel mileage among other things).
The factory computer controlled distributor does not advance the timing with rpm when the computer is no longer functioning.
I'm guessing you noticed a loss in power and fuel mileage after the carb swap.

You need either an older distributor from the 70's or buy a new one.
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Car: 1986 Camaro Z28
Engine: 5.7L 350 V8
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: Standard

Re: Distributor Swap

Actually, I bought the car with an Edlebrock intake, Holley carb and flex fan on it. After getting the car I realized the carb was out of whack on the highway, pinging and no power and I couldn't tune the carb to save my life at this point so I figured it was time for a rebuild. I rebuilt the carb, car idles better but lacks power still and still pinging plus it bogs WOT. Did some research and talked to a few people and they're saying my electronic HEI distributor is a no no and here I am lol.

I was checking out this distributor but I also see the MSD ones start about $130 as well. The actual diameter of the gear also confuses me, I'm not sure what the size is of the one that is in there now.

Thanks so much by the way
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #4
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Re: Distributor Swap

While I usually use msd the summit distributor should be fine. I used one once and didn't have a problem.
I would also recommend getting the msd advance spring and weight kit part #8428 and put the light springs in the distributor. This will aloy you to have more timing at idle for a smoother idle and also bring all the timing in faster for more low end torque.
Then time the engine to 34-36 deg at 3000 rpm.

Also before you buy anything pull the cap and rotor off and make sure it is a computer controlled distributor and that there are no weights and springs in it.
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Old 08-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Clifton, NJ
Posts: 50
Car: 1986 Camaro Z28
Engine: 5.7L 350 V8
Transmission: 700R4
Axle/Gears: Standard

Re: Distributor Swap

Well, I do know its an Electronic HEI but I'm unsure if it is computer controlled or not, it only has one plug on it with I think 4 wires on it if that helps...
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