This was one of the first things that I had done to this car besides getting it running. I knew that I did not want a trailer hitch on the vehicle and I wanted to put new plugs, wires, cap and rotor on the car. The car was sitting for awhile and I did not know what condition these components were going to be in. Everything under the hood was dirty and even the Chrome air cleaner was starting to rust. These parts are cheap insurance to make sure the ignition is in good running condition. Since this is a GM car from the late 70’s, the car was equipped with the HEI distributor with the ignition coil contained within the distributor cap.
That Ugly Hitch
First things first, that ugly trailer hitch has got to go. Lucky for me, most of the bolts that were holding the hitch in came out without too much of an issue. There were 6 bolts total holding up the trailer hitch and all but 1 of them came out using regular hand tools. The last one needed some persuasion which took the form of a 6” grinder with a cut off wheel attached. This allowed me to cut that last stubborn bolt off and watch that hitch fall to the ground!
Bolts On The Frame Rail
Hitch Bolt Near Exhaust Braket
Stubborn Bolt! I Win!
While taking the hitch off the car, I found that one of the exhaust pipes had separated from that bracket that attached to the hanger. This was remedied using my Clarke 95 Mig welder. I used my grinder to get the two ends of the brackets down to bare metal and then I welded the bracket back together.
Grind The Braket
Until It’s Bare Metal
No More Hitch, And The Exhaust Isn’t Falling Off!
The next step was to perform a tune up on the car. I ordered a new Hypertech Cap and Rotor Set, Taylor Cable Wires, and spark plugs for a GM 350. I actually pulled the plugs out to get the part number when I ordered the new ones. For a GM 350, you can use the ACDelco R45TS as your spark plug.
Hypertech Power Coil Set:
To perform the tune up, I usually take the wire off the spark plug and remove it. I replace the spark plug, then I replace that wire so that I get the firing order correct. You can see what the correct firing order for a GM 350 is in the post at the Hot Rodders forum. Since I was also replacing the Distributor Cap, I was putting the new wire on the appropriate nub on the new cap as I went along.
One At A Time
To replace the rotor on an HEI distributor, you just need to undo the two small bolts that are holding the rotor in place. Once complete, you can pull the rotor straight up and out of the way. The new rotor goes on in the exact opposite way.
Remote The Two Screws On Either Side Of The Rotor
Once the rotor was replaced, as well as all the spark plugs and wires, it was time to install the new HEI cap. All I needed to do was line it up properly and push down on the spring loaded screws to get the clips to attach to the bottom of the distributor. I knew which way to install it because of the electrical connectors on the HEI cap, they face towards the master cylinder.
Those Silver Clips Attach To The Underside Of The Distributor