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Correct distributor for 1989

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Old 01-15-2018, 10:52 PM   #1
mlm0
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Default Correct distributor for 1989

1989 stock with auto trans

I just received a new distributor, however, it has the spring loaded j clamps to hold down the cap. My old one has screw down cap. Iím thinking this distributor is for an earlier year. Will it make any difference if I use the new distributor?

Last edited by mlm0; 01-15-2018 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:12 PM   #2
xrav22
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I have an 85 I was carefull to get the screw down cap as I have been seeing the clamp style. I don't really know or have ever seen the clamp style on the l98. I don't think you can use it.
Good luck
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:30 PM   #3
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Not sure, but it looks like it will work. All connections are the same. The only difference I can see is how the cap is held down, but I donít know. Hope someone on this site will know for sure because I have had it so so, I canít return it
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:41 PM   #4
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IIRC you will have small froves for the clamps to sit in. I had cars with that. I can see the cap being prone to problems if you just try to hook it on.
Good luck

I just put this one in my car
https://www.pepboys.com/product/deta...205.7L%2520OHV

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Old 01-15-2018, 11:46 PM   #5
PatternDayTrader
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You should be returning it and getting the correct screw down cap type. When you return it, make sure to tell them it looks like its been installed anyway, and you want a new one that's correct.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:58 PM   #6
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I think I m not being clear. I have a complete new HEI distributor for my 89. When I compare it to my current stock distributor, everything looks the same except for the way the cap connects. Even the pig tails connect the same When I did some searches for distributors, I found Early HEIs had j clamps and later distributors had screw down caps. This is an after market distributor, so I donít know if they just made it that way. What I need to know is what year hei distributors will work in my 89 Incase I was send earlier year then 89 by mistake. I really donít care how cap is secured, as long as distributor itís self works. Sorry I wasnít more clear

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Old 01-16-2018, 05:28 AM   #7
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What is the 'brand' and 'part #' of what you bought? I understand your question but it might be interesting to actually see what was purchased!

I believe '84 L83 used a conventional twist/spring retention cap.

All L98 I'm quite sure used the threaded screw retained cap and the LB9 (TPI F-body)

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Old 01-16-2018, 07:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlm0 View Post
1989 stock with auto trans

I just received a new distributor, however, it has the spring loaded j clamps to hold down the cap. My old one has screw down cap. Iím thinking this distributor is for an earlier year. Will it make any difference if I use the new distributor?
If it functions fine use it. The snap on cap is much easier to find.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:23 AM   #9
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..... Back in the day when MSD was still awesome I used to buy their J-hook caps (they didn't have them with screws) and cut the hooks off replacing them with the screws from an old cap ... As long as your new distributor has a 7-pin module , a 4 wire connector , and no advance mechanisms (vacuum or mechanical) it will work .....
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Old 01-16-2018, 11:20 AM   #10
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Itís a Cardone, 84-1869 part number
Looks like it will work. 91-85 corvette

thanks everyone
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Old 01-16-2018, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlm0 View Post
It’s a Cardone, 84-1869 part number
Looks like it will work. 91-85 corvette

thanks everyone
I'd be maybe concerned with the 4 wire connector on it maybe. Some of the 'stock' images provided by Cardone maybe look to be incorrect.

How about a snapshot of the connector? Never mind I found more than enough to likely substantiate that the connector is correct. It is something to confirm though before getting real far into the replacement.

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Old 01-16-2018, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlm0 View Post
1989 stock with auto trans

I just received a new distributor, however, it has the spring loaded j clamps to hold down the cap. My old one has screw down cap. Iím thinking this distributor is for an earlier year. Will it make any difference if I use the new distributor?
Last year I bought a cap with J-hooks (1986) and it would not line up correctly with the distributor. You could hook it on if you rotated the cap but otherwise would not work. The timing was way off with it rotated so I returned it and got the screw type. The hooks were sketchy to say the least.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WVZR-1 View Post
I believe '84 L83 used a conventional twist/spring retention cap.
Yes, that is correct. If you decide to keep the distributor, you'll need to remember to purchase an '84 cap at tune-up time.

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Old 01-16-2018, 06:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatternDayTrader View Post
You should be returning it and getting the correct screw down cap type.
You never go wrong with the correct part. Swap it for the right one.
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:58 PM   #15
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The cap retainer difference raises the question: Do you have an '84 distributor? The '84 L83 distributor seems to be the same as the L98 except for the cap and the drive gear. Corvette America and Corvette Central show this difference. Eckler's just lists a different p/n for the L83, but doesn't explain why. If you really do have an L83 distrib, there may be an alloy incompatibility between the drive gear and your camshaft gear.

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Old 01-16-2018, 09:20 PM   #16
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Cardone part list it for 85 thru 91 corvette. When I take my old one out, I will compare gears. As far as I can tell the only difference is the L clamps vs screw down. If it was made for 84 I donít think the connectors would match up to my 89
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlm0 View Post
If it was made for '84 I donít think the connectors would match up to my '89
Do you have the FSM for your '89? Compare your distributor connections to my '84 shown here. My sources tell me the connectors and wiring will be the same. It's not possible to see the alloy differences of the gears. Be careful!



Why does your distrib cap have spring hooks if it's for the L98? Can you ask your source what the part number would be for an L83 ('84) distributor? Is the p/n different than yours?

I may be wrong, but this would make me worry!

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Old 01-17-2018, 01:31 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=mlm0;1596392616]
Cardone list the distributor for 1984 as a different part number. The plug wires on my new distributor also match up with diagram. It just seems some manufacturers use screw down and some use the L clamp. If you look on Eckler, their performance Distributor for 89 use L clamp. ACCEL distributors also shows L clamp for 89

Last edited by mlm0; 01-17-2018 at 03:30 AM.
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:17 AM   #19
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My 84 uses the L hooks. For a few years, I was using an ACCEL high performance replacement for the l98 with the screw down cap. They both work and are interchangeable. They with use iron gears and have the same connectors.
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Old 01-17-2018, 09:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 383vett View Post
My 84 uses the L hooks. For a few years, I was using an ACCEL high performance replacement for the l98 with the screw down cap. They both work and are interchangeable. They with use iron gears and have the same connectors.
sorta - I believe you'd prefer the 'Melonized' gear. I'd think this late in the game the Cardone would have a comparable gear used in their offering.

OP - this is all correct and actually after sorting through some old GM SPO information, if HRR wanted a new GM he would have been offered the same 'complete' unit as any L98 out there.

HRR - while sorting that I found something I didn't realize is that for '84 there were 2 distributors, 1103538 & 1103603. The module was the only component that seemed different. It wouldn't have been visibly different with different pin-outs but different. Did they attempt to tweak Dwell?

The HEI cap with screws looks to have first been used by Cadillac.

Last edited by WVZR-1; 01-17-2018 at 09:04 AM.
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