Proform 67082 – Street/Strip HEI Distributor & Coil for Chevy 173ci (2.8L) V6 with Red Cap $251.99
This is the HEI distributor that all the parts houses says will work. Well, in my situation, the distributor is too large in diameter. You can mount it, but once in place, there is no room for timing it. The vacuum modulator hits the firewall and the clamps that hold down the cap hit the intake manifold. I only had about 15 degrees movement, and could not get static timing set.
MALLORY V6 2.8L & 3.1L DIST – This works
This distributor would not seat all the way. It lacked about a 1/4″. Had to do the bump thing. Have someone bump the starter as you apply downward pressure. Mine snapped right in. Mallory dissys are notorious for this. This dissy has an adjustable mechanical advance, but no vacuum advance. The curve from the factory seems to be spot on.
The original thermostat housing did not work with this manifold, as it was pointed right at the back of the generator and there was no way to connect hose. I cut the end off the housing (about an inch) and found a radiator hose with a tight S shape in it. I cut out the S shape, used it to connect to a modified original top radiator hose, and it works. You’ll also notice I had to modify other water hoses to make everything fit.
Fuel Pressure Regulator Plumbing
You will either need to change out your fuel pump with a low pressure unit or use a bypass regulator. I used a Aeromotive Universal Bypass Regulator from Summit Racing. For all the little brass fittings required to hook up the regulator, I found that Ace Hardware had what I needed. The auto parts houses in town had nothing. I also added a filter and a small pressure gauge in the carb line so I could adjust the regulator. Just make sure you get NT fittings where needed and use a good pipe sealer compound (Locktite 565).
If you decide to replace your current fuel pump with a low pressure unit, that works fine, but a lot of extra work. The fuel pump is installed on the top of the fuel tank. To replace, you have to remove exhaust, lower rear axel with car jacked up pretty high and them remove the tank. Once the tank is out, its pretty easy to change pump, but then you have to put everything back. For the cost of the regulator, $156, I decide to save the work.
Since I took out the air cond. compressor, the original serpentine belt was way too long. I measured it up, and ended with a 80.5 inch belt. Duralast 805K6. To measure belt length, use a rope and run it over the pulleys in the correct direction. Mine measured right at 81.5 inches. To give the belt tensioner the proper tension, I got a belt 1 inch smaller than measured. Make sure you route the belt the correct direction so water pump and alternator turn the correct direction.