Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: distributor question, gas engine

distributor question, gas engine 22 Aug 2017 21:37 #1

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
Friends......please enlighten me. With an HEI distributor in a boat (and it has vacuum advance from distributor to carb) what specifically makes that unit a potential spark (explosion) hazard since it does not have points, but rather uses electronic module? I know it is not marine rated, but I'm trying to understand exactly why. This came to my attention when a mechanic was admiring my boat in the haulout yard, and he immediately informed me that the distributors were not marine and that my fuel economy would be in the toilet. When I asked him about hazard of operation, he said it is not an explosive hazard but that the boat won't run efficiently with those distributors. Everywhere else on the web all I see is that these are explosive hazards but no one has explained what about them is the danger. I'm just looking for a thorough understanding. Thanks in advance

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life

distributor question, gas engine 22 Aug 2017 23:24 #2

  • Alaskanmutt
  • Alaskanmutt's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • Moderator
  • Anchorage Alaska
  • Posts: 4809
  • Thank you received: 323
Marine distributors don't have vacuum advances they use mechanical for full advance..... they are sealed to contain sparks, anything electrical can create a spark.

And they usually have a screened hole on the bottom to contain any spark and to let any accumulated fumes to dissipate.

Oh and auto distributors in a marine environment will equal boom one day

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Boatless at this time

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including their life."

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 00:16 #3

  • yachtman
  • yachtman's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 3753
  • Thank you received: 297
Other reason regardless of safe or not it's not a marine distributor.. any inspection you get will be a minimum a big butt chewing but probably a citation.

Also the advance curve will be wrong you could cause engine damage.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge twin 454's

1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hull#23

1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop hull#24
Twin chevy 350's
Last Edit: by yachtman.

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 01:10 #4

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
thanks guys. I'm just trying to understand why its a potential spark hazard if there are no sparks generated within the electronic distributor. I didnt put these distributors in. They were there when I bought the boat a few months ago, and honestly it never occurred to me to check them. I do intend to replace them with marine distributors, which will bring up more questions...like how I wire them, and do I also need to buy an external coil and find a place to strap it into place in the vicinity.
as for these hei's, I am still really wanting an explanation of how they present an explosive threat ,...if there are no open sparks generated within the cap. or am I wrong in that understanding? I am aware that the vacuum advance is a no-no as well. I'm also going to be taking a hard look at the starters and alternators to see if I can somehow determine if they are marine. It is old boat so all labels and tags are either illegible or missing.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 03:00 #5

  • 2850Bounty
  • 2850Bounty's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 24478
  • Thank you received: 1121
Ok Ron, here's my way of answering your questions and concerns.

fulltiltron wrote: Friends......please enlighten me. With an HEI distributor in a boat (and it has vacuum advance from distributor to carb) what specifically makes that unit a potential spark (explosion) hazard since it does not have points, but rather uses electronic module? I know it is not marine rated, but I'm trying to understand exactly why.
Fair question.
The triggering wheel and sensor produce both the the ignition coil saturation and the collapse of the electrical field.
When the triggering event allows the coil field to collapsed, we get high voltage output from the secondary winding.
This high voltage is directed towards each cylinder's spark plug.
We call this a "triggering event".

With the electronic ignition, there is no spark being produced as a result of the initial triggering.
However, the ignition distributor "rotor" directs the now discharged high voltage towards each cylinder's high tension cable contact tower.

The spark that occurs at this very location (within the distributor cap from the high tension lead tower, to the rotor, and then to each plug wire tower contact) could potentially ignite gasoline fuel vapors if the ignition distributor was not "Ignition Source Protected".


This came to my attention when a mechanic was admiring my boat in the haul out yard, and he immediately informed me that the distributors were not marine and that my fuel economy would be in the toilet.
Well, he missed an important aspect of it.
As Dave mentioned, the advance curve is incorrect for your Marine Engine!
Excessive ignition advance can lead to Detonation.... of which is extremely harmful to the Marine Gasser.


When I asked him about hazard of operation, he said it is not an explosive hazard but that the boat won't run efficiently with those distributors.
He is incorrect and for the reasons that I've mentioned above.

Everywhere else on the web all I see is that these are explosive hazards but no one has explained what about them is the danger. I'm just looking for a thorough understanding. Thanks in advance

As for the vacuum advance, this is an automotive feature whereby the Auto Engine undergoes "coast time".
"Coast Time" allows for and creates manifold pressure (I.E., vacuum).
As manifold pressure increases, the vacuum diaphragm pulls the triggering plate towards the rotation of the triggering wheel.
This ads ignition advance over that of the "mechanical" advance.
The Marine Engine has no coast time, therefor does not benefit from any form of vacuum advance.
Not to mention that the vacuum advance ignition distributor is not ignition source protected...... it does not need to be!


Bottom line....... I would suggest that you get that out of there ASAP and install a good Marine Ignition system....... and preferably one that is NOT using the Pertronix Style "Hall Effect" Triggering.




.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Rick E. Portland, Oregon
2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
Twin 270 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set
Last Edit: by 2850Bounty.

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 03:09 #6

  • builderdude
  • builderdude's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • "THE FIX"
  • Posts: 4891
  • Thank you received: 806
Gotta love a great explanation!
The following user(s) said Thank You: 2850Bounty

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Dave
Edmonds, WA
"THE FIX"
'93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled
***The rebuild of my 2556***
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ansom-repair-my-2556

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 03:31 #7

  • yachtman
  • yachtman's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 3753
  • Thank you received: 297

builderdude wrote: Gotta love a great explanation!


I was too lazy to type all that hahaha. That is why we keep Rick around lol

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1989 Avanti 3450 Sunbridge twin 454's

1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hull#23

1979 Bayliner Conquest 3150 hardtop hull#24
Twin chevy 350's

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 03:35 #8

  • 2850Bounty
  • 2850Bounty's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 24478
  • Thank you received: 1121
That's it?… That's the only reason? :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Rick E. Portland, Oregon
2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
Twin 270 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 11:25 #9

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
thank you very much for this detailed response, Rick. I get it. I do intend to install 2 new distributors asap and not use the boat til I do. If you get a minute, please advise which distributors and what else I need to replace the hei's. Thanks

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life

distributor question, gas engine 23 Aug 2017 23:23 #10

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
Rick, Is the Pertronix you frown on the same as Sierra? I have seen Sierra conversion kits that include external coil and plug wires which bear the same "Flame Thrower" labeling as others show on Billett or Pertronix? Whats the deal?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life

distributor question, gas engine 24 Aug 2017 00:55 #11

  • joe440
  • joe440's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 383
  • Thank you received: 47
Hi Rick
Why do you say don't use Pertronix?

Have twin 5.7's. One engine has pertronix and the other had points. On average the points engine is costing me $100+ more per trip.

I don't have my fuel records with me to give exact numbers. I'm usually putting in 375 to 450 litres per fill to top up both tanks.

Both engines idle and run smooth. Both engines now have pertronix. I'll see how the fuel consumption is on my next trip.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.


1989 3288
"Defiant"
5.7 L gas powered

2003 Yamaha FX Cruiser

MMSI 316 034 392
Last Edit: by joe440.

distributor question, gas engine 24 Aug 2017 12:26 #12

  • 2850Bounty
  • 2850Bounty's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 24478
  • Thank you received: 1121
Ron wrote:
thank you very much for this detailed response, Rick. I get it. I do intend to install 2 new distributors asap and not use the boat til I do. If you get a minute, please advise which distributors and what else I need to replace the hei's. Thanks
My preferred ignition triggering system would be VR. VR = Variable Reluctor.... also known as "Magnetic Triggering".
Chrysler Corp pioneered the VR technology back in the early 70s, and it has stood the test of time in both the Auto and Marine worlds.
Mallory refers to their GM VR unit as a YLM........ M = Magnetic.
The Reluctor wheel is a precision-ally machined star-like wheel.
Each star like point (tooth) is magnetically charged.
As each star point (tooth) passes the sensor, it creates a flux impulse.
This impulse (upon completion) triggers one spark event.

Photo-Eye triggering is similar in that a light beam is interrupted by a precision-ally manufactured photo-eye wheel.
This wheel incorporates "windows" that allow and interrupt the light beam.
As each window passes by the sensor (making and breaking the light beam) one spark event is triggered.

Hall Effect also creates an impulse that the sensor uses for triggering.
Hall Effect is widely used today, and in many applications.
However, the way in which Pertronix incorporates the Hall Effect principle for their ignition systems lacks accuracy..... I would not be willing to accept this.



Ron wrote:
Rick, Is the Pertronix you frown on the same as Sierra?
I would need to see the Sierra system. I believe that Sierra is involved with Mallory, Pertronix and several others.

I have seen Sierra conversion kits that include external coil and plug wires which bear the same "Flame Thrower" labeling as others show on Billett or Pertronix? Whats the deal?
OK..... if this is a conversion "Kit" , then it is likely the Pertronix kit that uses Hall Effect triggering.
This would be the same basic style of Hall Effect triggering as used with the complete new Pertonix distributor.

What is not commonly discussed regarding the "Conversion KIT", is that a Pertonix conversion kit does ZERO to correct any shaft wobble or inaccuracy with the advancing mechanism within an older ignition distributor.
This is one reason why I cringe when I read that someone has gone to a Conversion Kit.


Joe wrote:
Hi Rick
Why do you say don't use Pertronix?
In a nut shell, they create their version of Hall Effect triggering by embedding the sensor magnets into a die cast plastic triggering wheel.
The diameter is small, causing any error to become exaggerated.
Pertronix themselves have admitted to seeing errors from 1 to 1-1/2 degrees.
In my opinion..... the Hall Effect principle works very well in other applications whereby the diameter is larger, and whereby the magnet portion incorporates much more precision.
The way in which Pertronix uses Hall Effect lacks accuracy! It is cheesy at best! They should be embarrassed! :blush:



Have twin 5.7's. One engine has pertronix and the other had points. On average the points engine is costing me $100+ more per trip.
Check the ignition curve on both engines before you make any further changes.
Start with BASE advance and take Ignition Advance Degree readings at each increment of 250 rpm up to 3,500 rpm.
Use these numbers and plot out a curve graph.
Compare both engine's curve graphs.


****************************************

To the left is a Pertronix kit. Note the black plastic ring (or wheel).
This small diameter plastic ring contains the small embedded magnets of which create the triggering.

To the right is a VR reluctor wheel.
Although also small in diameter, it is made from carbon steel with extreme precision.








This message has attachments images.
Please log in or register to see it.

The following user(s) said Thank You: SKUA 28 Contessa

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Rick E. Portland, Oregon
2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
Twin 270 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set
Last Edit: by 2850Bounty.

distributor question, gas engine 25 Aug 2017 15:59 #13

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
I found Delco marine distributor conversion kits that I would like to proceed with, but I have counter rotating engines. Port turning left hand, starboard turning right hand. How can I determine if both distributors are common rotation? Is it as simple as pulling cap and bumping motors.? BTW, this is an old classic boat, 1976 Jeffries 32' with Crusader 454's. I found Thermo Electron tags with serial numbers but have yet to find block id's other than the manifold numbers. The Thermo Electron tag gives model number CH350 and serial number 20298 (on starboard). I have a hard time believing these are the original factory installed motors but maybe they have undergone rebuilds over the years without replacement. Still running strong.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life

distributor question, gas engine 25 Aug 2017 16:51 #14

  • builderdude
  • builderdude's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • "THE FIX"
  • Posts: 4891
  • Thank you received: 806
You can determine counter rotation by looking at the balancer while cranking the engine. Casting numbers on the block will help identify your engines.

This message has an attachment image.
Please log in or register to see it.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Dave
Edmonds, WA
"THE FIX"
'93 2556 5.7 Bravo II 2.0:1 18 1/4x19 P
.030 over-Vortec top end-part closed cooled
***The rebuild of my 2556***
www.baylinerownersclub.org/index.php/for...ansom-repair-my-2556

distributor question, gas engine 25 Aug 2017 17:17 #15

  • 2850Bounty
  • 2850Bounty's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 24478
  • Thank you received: 1121
Both the Standard LH Rotation and the RH Reverse Rotation SBC oil pump rotate in the std direction........ which means that both of the distributor also rotate in the std LH Rotation direction!
In other words...... when looking downward upon either a LH Rotation or a RH Rotation Engine's distributor, the direction will be CW.



.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Rick E. Portland, Oregon
2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
Twin 270 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set
Last Edit: by 2850Bounty.

distributor question, gas engine 25 Aug 2017 18:23 #16

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
Are there ever applications when distributors turn in opposite directions? Curious.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life

distributor question, gas engine 26 Aug 2017 11:40 #17

  • Chief Alen
  • Chief Alen's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Manalapan N.J
  • Posts: 10321
  • Thank you received: 1079
The real question should be should you go with a conversion kit on a older dizzy or get new.

I vote ... get new, YLM as explained.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

'86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

distributor question, gas engine 26 Aug 2017 11:56 #18

  • 2850Bounty
  • 2850Bounty's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 24478
  • Thank you received: 1121
Ron wrote: Are there ever applications when distributors turn in opposite directions? Curious.

Perhaps more of a situation than an application.......... but yes...... during a strong over-powering back-fire that causes the engine's crankshaft to kick backwards, the distributor will rotate opposite for a split second or two! :lol: :whistle:

OK....... I'll be serious! Ron, the short answer is NO!
The camshaft's "drive" gear rotates the distributor's "driven" gear.
In a REV RH Rotation engine w/ chain & sprocket driven camshaft, the camshaft is now turning in the opposite of Std LH direction.
Since the ignition distributor also operates the oil pump........ the industry has chosen to use opposite or reversed helical "drive" and "driven" gear cuts.
This keeps the oil pump rotation the same as the Std LH Rotation engine.

It would be quite involved to design an oil pump that would be capable of opposite rotation.


There is more to this that involves distributor shaft down-ward force -vs- up-lift force and thrust surfaces....... but that's another story!

Ron, if you are certain that one engine is truly a REV RH Rotation, and if you decide upon VR, the Mallory system would be YLM 624 AV for the STD LH Rotation engine........ and the YLM 624 BV for the REV RH Rotation engine.
Both the AV and the BV rotate in the same CW direction. The advancing mechanism must rotate in this direction.
However..... (and unless Mallory has made a change) the BV down-ward force is "checked" via a different thrust bearing location.



.
The following user(s) said Thank You: nile

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Rick E. Portland, Oregon
2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
Twin 270 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set
Last Edit: by 2850Bounty.

distributor question, gas engine 26 Aug 2017 20:40 #19

  • nile
  • nile's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Elite Member
  • Elite Member
  • Posts: 582
  • Thank you received: 50
Bounty, thank you for these clear explanations. Makes me feel like changing my "kit converted" rotors for new ones (The 305's on my 3288 now have 3200 hours and the rotors too!) as ignition is now far from perfect and something needs to be done.
What make/model would be your best bet. I'll trust you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

NILE
1989 3288MY 305's US Marine
Fort Lauderdale Florida

distributor question, gas engine 27 Aug 2017 22:16 #20

  • fulltiltron
  • fulltiltron's Avatar Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • Premium Member
  • Posts: 393
  • Thank you received: 26
thanks to all for the helpful advice. Yes, I have confirmed my port engine is standard rotation (left) and my starboard is right hand. Not only by looking at them, but also by the thermo electron engine tags i found on them. When I say conversion kit, I dont mean a kit that modifies an existing distributor. I have found numerous "kits" online that include a new distributor, coil and wires. Since last post, I have purchased 2 NEW Delco Voyager EST distributors that come with the coils, coil brackets, plug and coil wires and some other installation goodies. The merchant advertises they fit EVERY carberated 454 made between 1968-2014. They are marine distributors and uscg approved. Hopefully, I successfully drop these in and the engines run. They arrive in 7 days.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

1994 2655 Cierra
Home port...San Pedro, CA
Enjoying life
  • Page:
  • 1
Moderators: Jim GandeeRuffryder
Time to create page: 0.156 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum