Distributor Heat Shields

Tech chat w/ Marc Matzer
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Distributor Heat Shields

Post by Marc » Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:06 am

I want to mention protecting your distributor from exccesive heat.Your Fiat came stock with a few items that Fiat installed to protect the distributor and motor mount from heat produced from the exhaust manifold.
Many of us remove these items to install headers or an early year exhaust system.What will happen if you dont take preventative measures to combat the heat,your wires inside the cap(the green and black wire attached to the pick-up )will crack and short-out against the distributor base.
The heat shield protecting the motor mount is also important,without it, the motor mount will heat up and start to deform from the heat if not protected.
And finally you will even expierence heat issues with the hood's insulation,possibly causing the vinyl to melt or a fire.Removing the insulation and not replacing it could even cause the paint on your hood to melt or bubble.
So it is important to take precautions from heat when modifying your Fiat exhaust system.Fiat engineers designed those parts for a reason!

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Post by cohiba » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:02 am

What does anyone suggest would be the best way to protect the dizzy from excessive heat. I am running a 2.0 liter engine in my 72 Spider with the early exhaust manifold. I also converted to the electronic igniton so the wires are exposed to the heat also. I removed my headers because of the heat issue but noticed the dizzy is still subject to the heat with the stock manifold on. Would it be wise to install a later model exhaust that has the mounting studs for a stock heat shield, or is there something I could do with what I have on there now? I can't remember where I read something here in the forum, but someone suggested to put a piece of heat shield material inside the dizzy but the wires are still exposed. How good is the high temperature paint that can be applied to the exhaust manifold, does it really work well enough? You mentioned that the Fiat came with a few stock items to protect the distributor and motor mounts but I do not remember any kind of protection items that came stock on my car when I purchased it new in 72. My Spider came with the 1608cc engine. I see the later model Spiders have the heat shield mounted to the exhaust manifold but the early manifolds did not come with that setup. Any suggestions?

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Post by Denise » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:55 am

Cohiba, I have my distributor harness routed over the overflow jug on my 71 after I moved the coil to the right side of the car:

On my 72 I had the exhaust manifold ceramic coated which reduced the temperature of the manifold to around 650 degrees.

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Post by mickp21 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:38 pm

For those of us using headers, does anyone know if the header wrapping material available at Pep Boys, etc. provides enough heat protection? Or would this still not be enough?
Miguel Palacios
1979 Spider 2000

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Post by Denise » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:56 pm

I'd advise against wrapping the header. You'd be better off sending your manifold to be ceramic coated. Wrapping it could cause it to rust worse since it traps moisture.

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Post by mbouse » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:23 pm

i have heard denise's advice from others as well. seems to be a consensus of opinion.

what is the cost to ceramic coat a set of headers for a Spider, Denise?
Mike Bouse
FLU Board of Directors
1978 Fiat Spider mostly stock
1980 Fiat Spider modified
Home of the Michigan SHORTER SHIFTER

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Post by Denise » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:38 pm

It cost me around $100 including shipping. We've used Airborn Coatings (http://www.airborncoatings.com/homepage.html) for years and they did a great job on my manifold.

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Jim Herzog
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Re: Distributor Heat Shields

Post by Jim Herzog » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:58 am

Does anyone have a picture of what a heat shield for a '70 - '73 looks like?

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