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1965 cruiser upgrades

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  • 1965 cruiser upgrades

    Bought a nice 1965 blue ,Cruiser w/283 I drive it every day to work. (my Jr. Hi students LOVE it) While the present ignition system is fine, I am considering an HEI distributor. I know they work, but are there any fitment problems or quirks I should be aware of? I will drive this one until my '63 Cruiser is finished....or my '62 GT....or my '61 Champ is finished......
    Thanks,
    Jim

  • #2
    It might be best to buy an HEI with the standard sized distributor cap and an external coil. I don't think there's enough room by the firewall for the large cap type with the coil mounted in the center. I have a large cap type in my 66 Daytona, but the previous owner pushed the center of the firewall back to clear it.
    Scott Rodgers
    Los Angeles
    SDC Member since 1989
    \'60 Lark HT
    \'63 Wagonaire
    \'66 Frankenbaker

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    • #3
      I agree with Scott. Keep the original distributor or at least get one the same size. I have had mine now with a Pertronix conversion & coil for over 10 years now with no regrets.
      59 Lark wagon, now V-8, H.D. auto!
      60 Lark convertible V-8 auto
      61 Champ 1/2 ton 4 speed
      62 Champ 3/4 ton 5 speed o/drive
      62 Champ 3/4 ton auto
      62 Daytona convertible V-8 4 speed & 62 Cruiser, auto.
      63 G.T. Hawk R-2,4 speed
      63 Avanti (2) R-1 auto
      64 Zip Van
      66 Daytona Sport Sedan(327)V-8 4 speed
      66 Cruiser V-8 auto

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      • #4
        On the Stude-engined cars, I've heard of people using the pickup out of a later MoPar Prestolite in the Stude Prestolite housing (like Dave T. used to sell) with a HEI module in place of the MoPar "orange box." Keeps a stock-ish look and apparently works well. However, I think that GM went straight from the points type dists. to the big cap HEI so I don't know if there are any options for you there.

        My dad has been running a late 70's HEI dist. in his '73 pickup for years and it does work well. I just don't know if you will have the clearance in the Stude body.

        nate
        --
        55 Commander Starlight
        http://members.cox.net/njnagel

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        • #5
          What's wrong with the distributor that's in it? If your condensor is good & the upper shaft bushing is good, it'll run forever.

          Mike (if it ain't broke, don't fix it) Sal

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          • #6
            Quality points are getting tough to find, so I switched to a Pertronics module and coil about a year ago.
            No regrets...

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            • #7
              Go with the Pertronix. No need to change the plug wires, no fitment problems and all you need to do is carry a Uniset point and condenser combo and you can always get where you're going in case of module failure.

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