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401 to HEI

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motiv8ya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motiv8ya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 401 to HEI
    Posted: May/19/2013 at 1:44pm
I am putting an HEI Distributor in my AMC 401 Jeep build. The engine is rebuilt with a Melling MTA-1 RV Cam and has not been fired up for break-in yet. With all of the stories of "HEI's eating up cam gears" I am contemplating swapping the new HEI gear with an old AMC factory distributor gear from an old points distributor that came on one of my donor 401's. The speed shop guy says I won't need to swap the gear because the cam is new (gear not matched to a different distributor gear) but I'm not a gambling man. Anyone have any experience with this?.  
1979 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040), Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Performer Intake and #1406 Carb, AMC TH400
1977 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040 over) Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Airgap Intake, HEI, Howell TBI
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whizkidder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote whizkidder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 2:28pm
The speed shop guys are thinking Chebby - where the cam gear is part of the cam. Ours is bolted on, so important to use an OEM set, or a matched set for Bulltear.
Ron Frost
marne1ancient @ gmail.com
910 nine two two 0563

"There is no limit to what a man can do, so long as he does not care a straw who gets credit for it. Charles Montague
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390spirit View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 390spirit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 2:33pm
the cam gear bolts on, its not part of the cam like SBC's. so where did they get the cam gear?

if you got a set of gears that came from the same engine that is your best bet. or you can get a matched set from bulltear

not a good idea to use a dist. gear from one engine and a cam gear from another, most likely will be a disaster

i got a set from Bulltear for mine, did not want to take any chances.
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390spirit View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 390spirit Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 2:34pm
lol Ron beat me to it
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motiv8ya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motiv8ya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 4:00pm
Thanks guys, I built both of my 401's and completely forgot about that fact. Now that I'm thinking correctly, I remember reusing my Mallory Unilite Distributor and gear from my 304 on my first 401 build, (hope that one holds up now too). I definitely don't trust the chinese hardened gear that came on the HEI.
1979 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040), Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Performer Intake and #1406 Carb, AMC TH400
1977 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040 over) Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Airgap Intake, HEI, Howell TBI
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motiv8ya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motiv8ya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 8:55pm
Here's the two side by side. I tried swapping the gears but the factory AMC gear doesn't fit on the HEI. The roll-pin holes are at different heights so it pulls the top of the gear into the shaft causing it to lockup and not rotate. Looks like I'll be rolling the dice with the gear that came with it.
1979 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040), Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Performer Intake and #1406 Carb, AMC TH400
1977 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040 over) Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Airgap Intake, HEI, Howell TBI
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whizkidder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whizkidder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 9:09pm
You can drill the HEI shaft using the OEM gear as a guide.
Ron Frost
marne1ancient @ gmail.com
910 nine two two 0563

"There is no limit to what a man can do, so long as he does not care a straw who gets credit for it. Charles Montague
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motiv8ya View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote motiv8ya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 11:11pm
The holes will intersect and I think it'll weaken the shaft. The roll pin holes are just slightly off, like the thickness of the washer between it and the housing.
1979 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040), Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Performer Intake and #1406 Carb, AMC TH400
1977 CJ7 - AMC 401 (.040 over) Melling MTA-1 RV Cam, Edelbrock Airgap Intake, HEI, Howell TBI
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Charles Smiley View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Smiley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/19/2013 at 11:24pm
Why not drill the new hole in the gear to match the shaft so the shaft weakening isn't an issue? Did I miss something?
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whizkidder View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whizkidder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/20/2013 at 8:47am
Originally posted by motiv8ya motiv8ya wrote:

The holes will intersect and I think it'll weaken the shaft. The roll pin holes are just slightly off, like the thickness of the washer between it and the housing.


In that case, I'd measure the distance from the flange that locates the housing in the front cover to the top of the gear, and either trim the housing or gear to make it the same dimension as the OEM distributor, and use the existing hole. (if a thinner washer wouldn't make it fit as is...)
Ron Frost
marne1ancient @ gmail.com
910 nine two two 0563

"There is no limit to what a man can do, so long as he does not care a straw who gets credit for it. Charles Montague
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