231 even fire distributor with vacuum advance (non-HEI)

Discussion in 'Jeeps with the Buick Heartbeat' started by Buische, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. Buische

    Buische Active Member

    Wondering if folks know of/have an electronic distributor that is not HEI, but with vacuum advance. Have come across race-type distributors without vacuum advance, but this is a street car. This is in a Porsche 914 and the HEI is just too dang big for that little engine compartment. Thanks.
     
  2. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut Staff Member

    Look at a points elimination kit. If you need help I can offer to spend time helping with this.
     
  3. Buische

    Buische Active Member

    Sean,

    Thanks for the idea and offer to help. That occurred to me also, but HEI was introduced on the odd fire 231 when it started being used by GM again in 1975 and carried to the even fire 231, along with many other changes, per the Novak website. So there would be no points distributors for the even fire from the factory. If someone knew you could adapt even fire electronic ignition to an odd fire distributor, and make it fit appropriately with the cam gear etc, in the revised, say 1980, 231 even fire engine, that would be helpful. I have the impression they are not compatible, but on the ground experience from you or someone may prove otherwise.

    Thanks,
    Chuck
     
  4. squire001

    squire001 squire001

    On my 49 Jeepster with an 85 231 motor I used the MSD billet distributor without vacuum advance.
    Don’t fear the lack of vacuum on this piece. You can easily set it up with the variety of springs it comes with
    for street driving.
    Mine was unmodified internally but ran Sanderson headers for clearance issues.
    8000 trouble free miles so far. Idles nice and smooth, but great acceleration when called for.
     
  5. Buische

    Buische Active Member

    Yes, I’ve come across aftermarket distributors without vacuum advance, but vacuum advance will help a lot with fuel economy while cruising around town or on the highway. I definitely want to have vacuum advance. Hard enough to explain to the wife why I need 93 octane gas, rather than 87 octane we put in our modern cars. I'll stick with HEI if I have to, but I'd like to get away from it. Thanks though.
     
  6. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

  7. Buische

    Buische Active Member

    Larry,

    That was good advice. After talking to Dave Ray, I felt confident enough to buy a low cost 350 points distributor on this board and prove that it will fit correctly in a Buick V6 even-fire engine. It seemed to fit just like I expected, oil pump drive and all, and the body sits much lower which is the big driver here. I can't even get the cap off with the engine in the car with big body HEI. Will cost more than just getting a used even-fire HEI, but has already benefited me by giving a break-through where I was not getting one otherwise. More benefit comes from quality rebuild, tuned advance curve for my engine plan, and correct vacuum advance limit. Will have to wait until Dave's hand and wrist heal from bad spider bite, but I've got time. Yes, I searched his reputation and saw stuff. But technical reputation is solid and I'm patient when it leads to great results. Personal discussion and some message board history left me confident he would honor a commitment if physically possible, or return my stuff and check.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020

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