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Thread: adding a hei in a 1973 riv

  1. #1
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    adding a hei in a 1973 riv

    Where can I get a 12V ignition wire easily for a new HEI distributor (i can't use the resistance wire to the original coil)? I'm afraid if I try to remove it from the driver's side firewall, the connector will crumble. I could make a switched 12V wire from the battery, but there must be an easier way.

    '63 Riviera
    '73 Riviera
    '76 Riviera
    '70 Eldorado
    '78 Tornado
    '94 Lex-***; it's good for something--getting parts!

  2. #2
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    You could wire in a ing. relay and use the res. wire to turn it on and run a fused 12 volt wire from the battery . HTH
    Guyopel
    The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse always gets the cheese.

  3. #3
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    You will now find your wiring diagrams here...

    http://www.buicks.net/years/73.shtml

    I don't see any reason why you couldn't take the yellow wire off of the start or switch terminal of the the starter relay and put it on the run terminal thereby bypassing the resisence wire.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcull
    You will now find your wiring diagrams here...

    http://www.buicks.net/years/73.shtml

    I don't see any reason why you couldn't take the yellow wire off of the start or switch terminal of the the starter relay and put it on the run terminal thereby bypassing the resisence wire.
    doesn't the yellow only put out 12v when the engine is cranking? and then while running use a cloth-encased reistance wire?

    '63 Riviera
    '73 Riviera
    '76 Riviera
    '70 Eldorado
    '78 Tornado
    '94 Lex-***; it's good for something--getting parts!

  5. #5
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    Steve,

    Yes, you are correct. That is the way a point distributer is wired, but when you convert to hei, you must supply 12v all the time.
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  6. #6
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    [quote=rcull]Steve,

    Yes, you are correct. That is the way a point distributer is wired, but when you convert to hei, you must supply 12v all the time.So are you saying I could run a wire from the "R" terminal of the starter to get a full 12V while the engine is running?

    This would seem much easier. there's another site dealing with Buick HEI covnversion where the guy traces the resistance wire back to a big firewall multi-wire connnector and has to carefully remove it, keeping the bass connector intact, and then supplying another 12 gauge wire into the same connector. With my luck, the whole connector would crumble ( as moct of my electrical, plastic connectors have done on my old Buick when I've done ignition upgrades.

    And I don't want to do any Unilite or Pertronix conversions. I've done four of those, nad had mixed results. The unilite module, although needs the resistance wire) is sensitive and needs a filter, which I used, and still had a failure. So, I've looked at a rebuilt GM HEI, a ready-to-run billet MSD and Accel--both of which would need coils

    Thanks for any help

    '63 Riviera
    '73 Riviera
    '76 Riviera
    '70 Eldorado
    '78 Tornado
    '94 Lex-***; it's good for something--getting parts!

  7. #7
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    Installed a Pertronix on my '73 Riviera a year ago... when the coil (Flamethrower) died I installed a GM HEI (from a 75 Riviera)
    I put another wire (12V) from the fuse holder through the same hole in the firewall were the wires of the the extra gauges I installed are going through.
    Rob
    68 Wildcat Custom 2dr
    69 Electra 225 Custom 4dr
    71 Electra 225 Custom 2dr
    72 Estate Wagon
    73 Riviera
    75 Riviera GS


  8. #8
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    I was going to have a look at a starter relay today but time/memory didn't allow it. When I have done it, it was probably like they say on the other site, ripe out the old and in with the new. Looking at the wiring diagram it, for what my opinion is worth I would crawl under with a voltmeter and hold it on the run and see if it produces 12v while the key is on (it will) and when the key is in start. If it does, it looks to me like this should worK.

    It's probable that a jumper wire between the two terminals is the way to go.

    Good luck
    Last edited by rcull; 06-01-2006 at 09:26 PM.
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  9. #9
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    I've also been told by a guy on the 'net who does these HEI BUICK conversions, says that the HEI can't have 12v all the time or it would run-on forever. He claims tracing the resistance wire to a big firewall connector, and replacing the resistance wire is the way to go.

    Although, The simpler approach, given to me here, was to hook up the yellow and resistance wires to a relay triggerring 12V from the a fuse connection to the battery. Simple. No manual switches, no crumbling connectors

    '63 Riviera
    '73 Riviera
    '76 Riviera
    '70 Eldorado
    '78 Tornado
    '94 Lex-***; it's good for something--getting parts!

  10. #10
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    As I suggested before, I would do it the way the other site suggested, and the hei guy who gave you the advise suggested. You didn't seem to want to, so I had a look at the wiring diagram and made a possible suggestion.

    The hei requires a "keyed" constant 12v. This means any time the key is on it has 12v. If it is not keyed, it will run forever.

    You have done lots of stereo installations, so must know your wiring (I expect you can read an schematic better than me). You should either do it the way the other guys have suggested or get out your voltmeter and find a keyed 12v source, I just suggested a place to look for one that might work and address the concerns you first mentioned.

    Good luck
    Last edited by rcull; 06-02-2006 at 06:34 AM.
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