First IH


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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:09 am

First IH

S120 RideCrop.jpg
Greetings all,

Just brought home a new toy (project?) - 1957 S-120 4wd pickup. Has the 8' bed, dual fuel tanks, dual spare tire carriers. At some point a 250ci Chevrolet 6 and 4 speed was transplanted, but did get the supposed original transmission and bellhousing with the truck. The seller also has an IH inline 6 which I have to pick up, but not the one for this truck, or even the correct one (smaller displacement I think).

I kinda like the Chevrolet engine - more power, easier parts, easier upgrades (like HEI). My plan is to go through the mechanicals so its dependable, restore the interior, add A/C and maybe P/S, and preserve the exterior.

Word is its a Texas truck, wearing original paint and still mostly legible door lettering for the exploration company. Ratty, but still good looking.

Any suggestions for resources greatly appreciated - will need some hard parts and sheetmetal (already know the cowl vent plate in the engine compartment is missing, and suspect the pedals may need some serious help) so a decent IH junkyard would be a big help.

Hope to have more pics soon - its coming off the rollback this afternoon . . .

Gregg
Professional automotive tech, Volunteer firefighter.

1957 S-120 4wd pick-up

Golden Jubilee
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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:47 am

Re: First IH

Nothing wrong with any of the inline 6's. If the conversion was done well, why change? Could of had a 220, 240, or 265 fit into it as they are all in the same family. Now if the inline he has is a flat head or a 269 or larger, it wouldn't go in that truck anyway.
Likley just me, but I hate the HEI, why would you put semiconductors in that hot, high voltage environment if you don't need to? Same hold true for pertronix ! I have nothing against, and like electronic ign systems, I just don't like the ones under the cap.

Golden Jubilee
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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:31 am

Re: First IH

It is just you and a very few others.
HEI distributors are a popular swap on older GM cars originally equipped with points and condenser type ignition systems. The HEI system produces a more powerful spark, which allows for a wider spark plug gap for surer ignition of a fuel/air mix that may not be optimal. The HEI setup has also become a popular swap into non-GM vehicles.
The only time HEI was not the preferred system was in high rev racing conditions.
I would rather have tools I do not need than to need tools I do not have
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Mark Twain

Golden Jubilee
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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:24 pm

Re: First IH

Welcome to the site. That's a great looking truck; and, being a 4x4, it's very desirable. Lots of good info here.

Golden Jubilee
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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:07 pm

Re: First IH

nikkinutshop wrote:It is just you and a very few others.
HEI distributors are a popular swap on older GM cars originally equipped with points and condenser type ignition systems. The HEI system produces a more powerful spark, which allows for a wider spark plug gap for surer ignition of a fuel/air mix that may not be optimal. The HEI setup has also become a popular swap into non-GM vehicles.
The only time HEI was not the preferred system was in high rev racing conditions.

As I said, I have nothing against electronic ign, I think it is great, I just don't like all the components under the cap. Ford, Chry and imports all make good systems. Gm pick-up coil wire have a tendency to break and then you have to pull the dist and gear to replace the pick-up, Ford and Chry you don't. IIRC Monsonmotors said there is a Toyota system that is close to bolt on, for the old point dist. Replaced a ton of pick-up coils and modules on HEI in my time.

Golden Jubilee
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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: First IH

My limited experience with the HEI suggests the "module" was the weak link. The module was the failure point on every GM I have owned. Heating was suggested as the cause of the failures.
The HEI was the first step away from breaker points and the HEI set the stage for future developments.
I would rather have tools I do not need than to need tools I do not have
“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
Mark Twain

Golden Jubilee
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Post Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:31 pm

Re: First IH

Chry had electronic ign std in '72, Ford was close to that, their 1st didn't have the big cap with male terminals, GM was '74 or '75 when HEI came out, they were the late come'er to the party. I know my dads '73 Chevy still had points.
The Module in my '73 Dodge went 350,000 miles before it started to die, wouldn't leave you totally stranded, would shut down after 1hr on the hiway, but let it cool off and you could go again.
I can't count the number of Olds, Chevy and Buick's V8's and V6'sI had to pull the distributor off knock the roll pin out of the gear and pull the shaft to replace the pick-up coil.

Rookie
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Post Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:35 am

Re: First IH

Not to turn this thread into a debate over ignitions systems, but I came into the automotive field in 1982/83, so I cut my teeth on early electronic systems and remember them all . . .

I agree the HEI had issues - pick-up wires breaking, modules failing, rotors burning, coils blowing out the cap center terminals . . .

All that being said, most of those issues have been addressed by improved aftermarket and O.E. AC/Delco components. One of the issues with HEI is people thought is was maintenance free - not the case. Caps, rotors, wires and spark plugs all have finite lifespans. Because the HEI can generate such high firing voltages it can fire ridiculously huge plug gaps - some factory plugs were gapped at .080, and I can't tell you how often I took plugs out of HEI equipped cars where the center electrode had been worn so far it was BELOW the porcelain center insulator!! Of course to fire that kind of gap the system was outputting ridiculously high voltages, which would easily bore through the cap, rotor, and coil body, nevermind what it would do to a wire set.

Currently one of the slickest electronic conversions I've seen is using a GM HEI module mounted externally on the bottom of the distributor cup of a Chrysler electronic distributor. Apparently the GM HEI is perfectly happy with the signal output from the Chrysler pick-up coil. When used with an external HEI E-Core coil you have to look close to see the conversion - yet you get all the benefits of the HEI output, and retain tunable vacuum and mechanical advance.

I'm pretty sure there were some late inline GM truck engines using the external coil and smaller distributor - I may try to hunt one of those up.

In the end though, even with coil-in-cap HEI systems, you keep a spare module in the glove box (as a talisman), and truthfully how does replacing the pick-up coil once every 5-7 years compare to doing points & condenser every year?

I wonder if I could figure out a way to put the Chrysler pick-up coil in the original points type distributor . . . .


Gregg
Professional automotive tech, Volunteer firefighter.

1957 S-120 4wd pick-up

Golden Jubilee
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:28 pm

Location: Lyman, IA

Post Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:32 pm

Re: First IH

Yeah pretty much any pulse signal will do, you could mix and match parts from just about any vehicle and it would work. As long as the trigger had enough iron to make a pulse in the pick-up coil it should fire the module.
Ford and Chry pick-ups mounted like the points they replaced, so fitting the pick up wouldn't be the hard part.
Replacing the point cam with a rotor is the more difficult task but not impossible. IIRC Monsonmotors said there was a Toyota set up that either would fit the Delco or would fit with minor rework, I just don't remember what application he took the donor. From what I remember you replaced the top portion, above the flyweights with the Toyota part with its trigger wheel.
I've wondered how the Ford or Chry (or even GM) modules would act on a 6 volt system. My guess is they would work fine on the running voltage but might have trouble at cranking voltage.
GM used the small cap and remote coil on the small V6's, I don't remember seeing ever used on the 250-292's, but I have been out of automotive for some time, they may have I just don't remember seeing it.

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Post Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:16 am

Re: First IH

I have replaced the points on a 391 Ford distributor with the electronics from a factory V8 Ford many times. They start noticeably better and run trouble free for a long time. After seeing how reliable they are under the hood of a pumping unit, I wouldn't worry about electronics in a high heat environment.

If somebody wants to know how to convert a 361/391 distributor just ask. I don't mind explaining it.
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