FAQ: Can I Use An Automotive Hei Distributor In Boat?

Can you run a HEI distributor on a boat?

GM HEI distributors are a great set up for a jet boat. The reason you read that they shouldn’t use one for a marine application is that they are not USCG Approved for marine applications.

Can car engines be used in boats?

Boat Motors Are Used Less Often But many people don’t take their boat out nearly as often as they drive their car, so it makes sense that marine motors are not built to be used the same way as car engines. This is why you can’t simply use a car engine in place of a boat engine.

What does a distributor on a boat do?

The distributor is a very uniquely designed part that serves many functions. Its main job is to tell each spark plug when to fire, and it also self adjusts spark advance to keep the motor at peak performance.

Do you need an ignition coil with HEI distributor?

A predecessor system called “Unitized Ignition” was optional on 1972 and 1973 Pontiacs. Most—but not all—HEI systems have the ignition coil mounted in the distributor cap. A control module and magnetic pickup are mounted in the distributor, in place of a conventional ignition system’s breaker points and condenser.

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What is the best engine for a boat?

11 Best Engines for Your Small Boat

  • Mercury Marine. Mercury Marine has one of the largest selections of Mercury outboard motors for sale when it comes to the varying lines of marine motors they offer.
  • Evinrude.
  • Yamaha Marine.
  • Volvo Penta.
  • Suzuki Marine.
  • Honda Marine.
  • Tohatsu Outboards / Nissan Marine.
  • APS.

How many hours on boat motor is too many?

Gasoline boat engines run for an average of 1500 hours before the need for an extreme overhaul. While the average marine diesel engine will run more than three times the gasoline engine will and can log about an average of 5000 hours under the same conditions.

Why are marine engines so expensive?

Boat motors (outboards) are expensive because they are equipped with high-quality parts that are not only designed to resist constant working at max RPMs but made with materials meant to resist corrosion well. All of this needs significant work in R&D (more money), resulting in a pricey product.

How does a boat ignition switch work?

The ignition switch on most outboard motors is operated by a key, much like used traditionally in vehicles. The rotating switch is used to control the engine and starter motor, while the push switch generally operates a priming circuit to aid in engine starting.

When did Mercruiser go to electronic ignition?

Mercruiser introduced the Thunderbolt IV onto their engines in 1982, alongside the introduction of the 1-R drives. The TB-IV system was used until the introduction of TB-V mid-way through 1996.

Does an HEI distributor add horsepower?

An HEI distributor is a great piece of equipment for an over-the-road car because it is completely self-contained. But without an external coil, a stock HEI cannot provide a strong spark at rpm levels commonly seen on the racetrack. Engines with higher compression or more horsepower also require a hotter spark.

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Does HEI distributor need vacuum advance?

See all 6 photos In a GM HEI distributor, vacuum advance is limited by the length of the advance slot. The further the rod travels, the more spark lead the unit provides. Original GM vacuum advance canisters can provide as much as 25 degrees, and possibly even more.

How do I change my HEI to a distributor?

Installing HEI Conversion Kits

  1. Adjustable vacuum advance with a range of 0 to 22 degrees.
  2. A new ignition module with wiring harness and capacitor.
  3. A selection of advance springs and weights.
  4. An ignition coil.
  5. A distributor cap with solid-brass terminals and ignition-rotor button.

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