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Ray's 1975 CJ-5

Chevy HEI Distributor Swap

For your 232 or 258, your first modification, if your only modificiation, should be THIS SWAP!!! The difference is dramatic! I had problems with my olds points getting carbon filled (oxidized?). Engine acted as if it was flooding. Hard starts. Bad hesitation. Slight flooding was evident with black smoke out the tailpipe. I was using no choke. And the fuel/idle was cut to where it almost didn't run. With all the adjustments I could make, nothing would work. The motor still appeared to be flooding. About two years ago it got to the point of no starts. Cleaning the points had me running again. Should have realized that at that point it was a spark issue, not a carburator flooding issue. 


Over the past two years, it reappeared and progressively got worse. Cleaned the points, replaced the points, replaced the condenser, vaccuum advance, vaccuum lines, distributer button/cap, spark plugs, rebuilt the carb, adjusted the float, even went to a full 12 volts to get all the spark I could. Thing still ran like junk. Now this thing will idle beautifully. Good motor. Just needed to get rid of the obviously "flooding." This distributor swap did it. Confirms the issue was a firm spark issue and not a flooding issue. 


Now it runs perfect all through the RPMs. Starts on one kick of the motor and I mean quick. First time it practically scared me. What a difference. Could have been any part of the electrical side causing it. Play in the distributor (minor), wearing of gears, lobes, cheap points... whatever. Replacing the distributor did it. Now I have solid state, one wire hookup with a centrifical advance and a coil right on top. All attempting to do this swap, note that the 258 swap is different than a 232! Other documents say to swap the chevy distributor gear with one from a Jeep V-8. After getting a gear from a 360 I found out this was not true, at least in my case. Most other descriptions of this swap are for post '76 258's. Those descriptions say that a V-8 distributor gear will go right on or that the original Jeep 6 cylinder gear will necessitate slight grinding. I swapped the gears from the 360 and discovered that it would work without grinding as everyone else advertises. Note that I have a 1975 232 straight 6, using a '74 points distributor. The GEAR (from the '74 distributor) WILL SWAP PERFECTLY onto the Chevy HEI (it's the same as the Jeep V-8 distributor gear)!!! No grinding necessary. Only difference is that the shaft below the gear is longer. THERE IS A WASHER ON TOP OF THE '74 GEAR, WHICH IS NEEDED! Do not overlook this if you have a 232. I haven't seen a 258 distributor. The distance from the mounting flange to the gear is likely different, necessitating the 258 gear grinding.