Electronic Ignition for '68 472
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500, 472, 425, 368 Discussion, Electronic Ignition for '68 472 in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hi All, I just bought a '68 with a 472 and want to put an electronic ignition in it. Can ...
  1. #1
    greenkp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    Hi All,

    I just bought a '68 with a 472 and want to put an electronic ignition in it. Can anyone tell who makes 'em and where to get one? Also who's got the biggest selection of original parts? Performance parts?

    Thanks!
    Keith

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  3. #2
    lux hauler is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    You can use a factory HEI from any 472/500......I believe they started using them in '74 or you can do a conversion. Pertronix and Accel make conversion kits. They probably won't list one for the Caddy but one for a 70's Chevy is what I got. MSD also make a distributor for the BB Cad. You can pick those up from Summit or Jegs.

    As for parts.......I prefer NAPA for replacement, mechanical parts and there are a few different vendors for performance parts......just depends on what you're looking for and where you are.

  4. #3
    Sasquatch's Avatar
    Sasquatch is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    lux how are those pertronix conversion kits? Any good or better off going with a stock HEI?

  5. #4
    lux hauler is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch
    lux how are those pertronix conversion kits? Any good or better off going with a stock HEI?
    I've heard nothing but good about them.
    The conversion itself was easy but I can't tell you for sure that it's as good as I've heard.......my engine is STILL on the stand in my garage. I really should get off my butt and get to work on it.

  6. #5
    Sasquatch's Avatar
    Sasquatch is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    lux, did you change out the coil also with one of petronix's? Think I may go this route. Sounds easier then pulling the whole distributor.

  7. #6
    lux hauler is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    Yeah, I have their coil too.

    You still have to pull the dist.......well, I guess you don't HAVE to but it'll make it a whole lot easier. Once the wires are disconnected/removed, the only thing left to do is remove the dist hold-down clamp and pull it out. Just note "what is pointing where" so you'll know how to put it back in.

  8. #7
    DaveSmed's Avatar
    DaveSmed is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    When I installed my Pertronix, I found that i didnt really need to shim the distributor gear, because I test fitted it by replacing the points with the module, and the rotor back with the magnet ring, and it fit, was within clearances, and didnt have excessive play. distributor didnt even need to come out.

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    Sasquatch's Avatar
    Sasquatch is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    What about re-gaping the plugs? Is that necessary? How about the plug wires? Do I need to replace with some that will carry the higher voltage. I just put new ones on about 4 weeks ago can't remember the name but got them from Autozone for around twenty bucks or so. They came pre made in a box. Were the ones for the Fleetwood Seventy five.

  10. #9
    lux hauler is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    I haven't read up on the plug gap yet but I will and get back with you.
    Personally, I'd replace the wires with a name brand performance type. No need to have one part that may be marginal in performance and the rest set up for high performance. I have the MSD 8.5mm wires.

  11. #10
    voodoo is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    Hey Lux, How much money do you have invested in converting your dist. and did you build your engine for higher RPM.

  12. #11
    greenkp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Smile Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    Hey All - Lux especially,

    Thanks for the input. I think I'll try a post '74 BB caddy system. Are there any internet resources that might sell the complete system.

    Thanks Again!
    Keith

  13. #12
    lux hauler is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    I read through the paperwork and didn't see anything about the plug gap. I'm thinking it should be about the same as an HEI....... .050-.060.

    voodoo.....I purchased a remanufactured dist. from NAPA and went from there. I don't remember exactly what I paid but an estimate would be right around $190. That price includes the cost of the dist., the Pertronix Igniter, Pertronix coil, Accel adjustable vacuum advance new cap and rotor.
    My engine may handle RPM's a little higher than stock but not much. My cam selection will keep most of the power on the low side anyhow.

    greenkp....... napaonline.com should list a stock remanufacturered HEI that'll work. If you go HEI you'll have to change the wires (hei wires are different) and probably the plugs too. Just get whatever is recommended for a '75 Deville w/500.......I don't think those were computer controlled yet......?

    Here's the part number for a stock, reman. HEI (for a 1975 Deville w/500 4bbl.) from NAPA.....NRD481898
    That price does not include the coil, cap, rotor, wires or plugs. Personally, I'd convert the points distributor.....or you could try to find a good HEI in a junkyard. The HEI will require some ignition wire changes also......nothing complicated but something you don't have to do with the "points to electronic" conversion.

  14. #13
    greenkp is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    Thanks Lux!


    That will be my first spring project.

    Thanks again.
    Keith

  15. #14
    Scout is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Electronic Ignition for '68 472

    I have a lot of experience with these items.

    What ever you get make sure that the bushings aren't worn out. I don't like to see more then .002 lateral play.

    As far as the HEI module, Pertronix, or MSD I don't think you'll notice that much performance difference with low RPM motors (i.e. 472/500's). You may notice slightly quicker starting with the MSD.

    If you are on a budget my recommendation is to find a good HEI from a junkyard. You may have to pull several before you find one with good bushings. While you're out there pick up some extra HEI modules so you have a spare. Pull the dist. apart. and clean it up. Especially the centrifugal advance. Buy a new coil, cap and rotor. If you're willing to spend the time dialing in an advance curve then the adjustable vacuum advance and spring/weight kit is well worth it. That's it. Maybe $75-100 total and you'll be very pleased with the performance.

    If you have some extra money all the top electronic ignitions (Crane, MSD, Holley, etc.) can be triggered directly from the HEI pickup coil. In other words you don't need the HEI module just the HEI dist.

    Scout

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