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Old May 28th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #1
Jrgunn5150
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Default Finally get to join you guy's

Ok, so I have an 83 F-150, 4x4, reg cab, shortbox. It's a 351w with the T19 4 speed and was originally equiped with the feedback Holley carb and a Duraspark III ignition.

When I bought the truck, it had an Autolite 5200 on it, but still had the duraspark III box. It ran, but idled high and had a million vacuum leaks. I fixed all the leaks and wham, the alternator seized up.

So I replaced it with a 3g, from a 96 Mustang V6. I'm in college, I work at McDonalds, moneys tight to say the least, but you can do upgrades on the dime if you look hard. I got my alternator for 10 dollars, and they threw in all the charge cables and mega fuses I could carry free.

Bummer number 2, my big case 3g didn't fit my smog pump/alternator bracket. The bolt spacing was fine, but a rib on the case interferred with the bracket. I took a grinder to the bracket, but after 20 minutes and 2 exploded wheels in my face, I gave up on that lol. So I got to thinking, my truck is smog exempt where I live, and my smog pump belt is cut anway, so I can just do away with that. After some looking and some thinking, i relized the upper mount only spaces the alternator out from the block and lines the pulley up.

So, a trip to Home Depot and a 2 3/4 inch piece of well pipe later and I had my new upper bracket. I used a few washer to get the spacing and tension on the bolt exactly where I wanted it.

Wasn't done yet though, my belt didn't fit anymore! 17 trips to the parts store got me one that did, all I had to do was find a counter jockey with enough sense to just let me go look at the belts myself. So I had it all mounted, now to wire it. I took the voltage regulator completely out, ran the new green/red to the old green/red, ran the yellow back to the alternator, and ran my charge cable to the pos batt terminal, with mega fuse bolted to the terminal and charge cable bolted to that.

Hopped in the cab, fired it up, no spark! Yikes, somehow, the duraspark III get's it's juice from the voltage regulator. I didn't look at a diagram, because I didn't really care, I wanted it gone anyway. Back to the boneyard!

I pulled my duraspark II distributor from a 79 Bronco with a 351m. The cap and rotor were gone, so I grabbed three rotors and two caps from random Fords. I got home, knocked the roll pin out of my old distributor, pulled the gear, and put it on the new Duraspark II unit. Yes, the Duraspark 2 is about 1/2 shorter than the Duraspark 3 at the bottom where the oil pump drive is. I put it in anyway and it's been fine for a week so far, maybe I'm more likely to bust a oil pump driveshaft, time will tell. Anyhow, I went ahead and ran my plug wires like a normal 351w and bolted the thing down. The timing pointer and mark do not line up with TDC anymore, oh well.

On to the HEI module. I pulled mine from a 80's van, any 4 or 7 pin will work. I got a TFI coil from a early 90's F350, but again, any TFI will work. 10 bucks out the door, and some looks like I was crazy.

On to wiring, I completely removed the Duraspark 3 box, and the entire harness. I started fresh, I recomend you do the same, leaving stuff around that's still hot is a recipe for disaster eventually. I mounted my module to an aluminum lid I got from Radio Shack, it was meant for a project box, that I inteded to put the module inside, but it didn't fit. SO I removed my factory bottle jack, and mounted the plate there, then the module to it. I used heat dissapating paste on both the module, and the plate where it meet's the body, those thing's get hot. The module need's to be grounded. I didn't realize this at first when I rough wired it and had it hanging in the breeze. It gounds through the mount hole, so I attached ring terminals to my new mounting screws (6-32 1 1/4 BTW? and then grounded the module to one of the old mount screws for the jack that's gone now. Just a little extra insurance.

Now that it's all mounted up, I needed to wire it nicely, and this is real easy and simply, it's why I chose this route instead of the duraspark box. Easy to diagnose and fix, piece of cake, and no more fifty million wires everywhere. Plus I can still plug an MSD box into the Duraspark distributor if I ever get rich.

On the distributor side, I found a plug in my old harness, that matched the plug on the new distributor, even though the wires were different color's, so I cut it off and used that. There are three wires on the Duraspark distributor plug. Two side by side, and one at a right angle. The one at a right angle should be black, and is the ground for the duraspark system, you don't need it here, I cut mine off at the spliced plug, and left it in tact on the distributor side.

Next, there are orange and purple wires coming into the plug. These are side by side. The orange goes to pin W on the HEI module, the purple goes to pin G. Easy as pie, that side is done. Up next, the other side of the module, for this, it's kind of hillbilly, but I can't get my new TFI coil off the stupid bracket it's on, so the whole thing is just jammed up next to the solenoid until I can afford a new coil lol. Now, the negative side of the coil goes to pin C of the module AND to the tach, if you have one. Just crimp the two wires onto the same connector.

The positive side goes to pin B, AND to a switched hot in crank AND run wire. Most wires hot in run are not hot in crank. And the "I" positive of my solenoid is only hot in crank. So... An hour with my little 6 dollar tester showed me that one of the wires on the old Duraspark III plugs left over on the body harness IS hot in crank and run. It's red with a blueish stripe, but check to make sure first. There are three or four red wires over there, this one has a fusible link in it though, so that should help you finding it. So I ran that one and my tach wire through some loom left over from the 3g upgrade up by the cowl, looks clean.

With it all done, the truck needed the timing messed with, of course, and I had to do it by ear, but it runs great now, no more sputtering and coughing and dinking around with timing locked at 10 degrees and wires all over the damn place. It's clean, it's simple, and it works. Not only does it work, but it works better than the stock stuff, and I have about 65 dollar's in the whole thing.

I went from a 40 amp 1g alternator to a 130 amp 3g, and ditched the smog pump and ugly bracket, and went from wiring nightmare timing locked at 10 degress to a simple, cheap, high energy ignition system with adjustable timing. All in all I'm very happy and pleased with myself, and it goes to show, you don't need to be on a baller budget to do some upgrades.

I'm sorry I dont have any pics, I don't have a camera, but I'll get em when I can. The whole point of this was to help people searching for infor on these nightmares lol. Any questions, feel free to ask, I'll help anyway I can.

I have pics now, sorry no before though.

Here's the module mounted to the fender, the wires on the left go to the distributor, on the right to the coil.



Wires out of distributor and 3G Alt into loom,



Here you can see my salvaged plug from the duraspark III, colors don't match the II distributor



Close up of the module and my hillbilly coil stuck on it's bracket not bolted down (Hey I found it on the ground for free lol)



I have a few more to take but I need to have my GF find the charger, lemme know if anything isn't clear.
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