'78-'86 AMC/Jeep Ignition Module Swap, "Stealth HEI" Swap.
'Replacement' Module Failure & How You Can Fix It.
We all know the "Discount Parts Sores" don't carry 'Factory' replacement parts.
Most times, the stuff you get from a 'Discount Sore' is 'Imported' from someplace that doesn't understand English
Measurements, Can't Harden Steel, Can't make an electrical component that will live like the 'Factory Quality' units did...
Because most of our 'Replacement' ignition modules are made in South Africa, China, India you simply can't get one that
will work or live like the 'Factory' unit did....
To get around this issue,
I have put together a couple of ways to use a more reliable aftermarket module in place of your constantly failing
This Version is John Strenk's "Stealth HEI" module used in the case if your 'Replacement' module that failed.
This WILL pass emissions testing, both visual and tail pipe.
This is John Strenk's Version of the "STEALTH HEI MODULE".
You start with the basic 4 pin GM style HEI module used in everything GM from about '74 to the mid '80s.
I use a '79 Impala with V-8 engine for my ordering purposes.
You will need a tube of 'Heat Transfer Paste' from Radio Shack or a computer store.
Radio Shack p/n 276-1372, about $3.
DO NOTuse the Clear 'Dielectric Grease' supplied with most modules, it simply does NOT work well enough for
While you are at 'Radio Shack', order Diode, p/n 276-1661, OR, 276-1143, about $1.50
The Diodes aren't 100% nessary in all cases, but since there are several models that need them, and
they won't hurt the models that don't, no sense leaving them out for $1.50
Take your 'DuraSpark' module out of the Jeep,
If you are considering this swap, you already know where it's located!
WRAP YOUR WIRES/CONNECTORS WITH A WET RAG,
Throw it in the oven for about 30-60 minutes at around 200-300 degrees to soften up the potting material used to water
proof the electrical circuit board...
Pry the guts out of the old module case, taking care NOT to break or tear up the wiring/connectors, you are going to reuse
Once the 'Guts' are out of the module, salvage as much of the wiring as you can off the old circuit board and discard the
old circuit board.
*IF*... You have a NICE FLAT CLEAN spot in the module case, you can attach the HEI style module to your case.
You want to Clip off the two little round locating tabs on the bottom of the HEI module so it will sit flat on your
'Heat Sink' material, in this instance,
The old module case.
If your case IS NOT flat inside,
You will have to find aluminum, copper, so something that will conduct heat away
from the module that is FLAT and you can cut to fit in the case...
Once you have the HEI module situated in the old case where you can get connectors on it's terminals, mark the mounting
holes in the module and drill the case for some screws...
Use some Heat Transfer Paste under the module when you mount it with screws!
Without the paste, the module won't transfer the heat it produces and burn up quickly!
Connect your wiring as shown in this diagram to the HEI module, and you are done!
Simply install the module where it came from and plug it back in.
That's all there is to the 'Stealth HEI' module swap!
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A FLAT SPOT INSIDE THE CASE,
AND SOME CASES ARE NOT FLAT INSIDE...
Then you will need a 'Heat Sink' surface.
A piece of flat aluminum, copper, something you can fit into the case for the module to rest FLAT on.
This is an example of a module mounted on copper for a heat sink.
Cut the heat sink to fit in the old 'DuraSpark' case and you are off to the races!
(I DON NOT recommend you drill out the factory rivet holding the 'Blue' wire grommet like I did here, Leave it attached to
DO NOT let your NON-Insulated terminals touch the case or heat sink matrial!
Your best bet is to use 'Heat Shrink' to insulate your push on terminals!
One 'Grounded' wire can cause no end of troubles!