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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-29-2017, 10:54 AM
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Default CB Performance black box

I installed the CB Performance black box in series with my MSD. So far, I've been impressed. The BB takes the input from my MSD distributor as a signal, then will either drive the coil directly, or trigger the MSD box thru it's white wire "points" trigger. Once installed, you have a variable timing map that is based on RPM and manifold vacuum.

I created an excel file and basically recreated a map that mimics the centrifugal advance based on RPM, then created a vacuum advance map that goes away as vacuum decreases, then combined the two.

Since all the cells are user configurable, I set timing under 400 RPM to be at 10 to make it easier on the starter. I was able to advance the timing of the RPMs drop below desired idle to help nudge it back up. I was able to increase idle timing to get the car to idle smoother and cooler, but dropped the off idle timing as power rolled in but increased again as RPMs rose.* I was also able to increase the timing on the low rpm/low vacuum situation that occurs when it is cold so I don't have to sit there and feather the pedal as it warms up.

I also installed it with two quick disconnects so if either the BB or the 6AL goes out, I switch two connectors and can run on either one separate from the other.

A couple of down sides.

1. It uses a serial connector, not a USB, so if you don't have a dinosaur laptop, you have to buy a USB to serial converter.

2. The software looks and feels ancient - as far as programming/ease of use goes. We're talking 1990's GUI here.* You cannot copy/paste from excel, so you have to manually enter every cell's data. The software will not work off-line so you can't download the map then go inside and work on changes, then reconnect and send the changes back later.

3. Lastly, when I got the box, it had a notice saying that "all sales are final, no returns." This was not mentioned when I bought the thing. I guess if one was dysfunctional, they would replace it, but no returns.

Overall, it seems this combined with my 6AL is similar to MSD's 6530 box that has a built in adjustable timing table. The benefit of the separate box is that if one dies, I can still run. If the 6530 box goes, you get to call a tow truck.

Last edited by Texasdoc; 07-29-2017 at 12:23 PM..
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2017, 11:03 PM
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Good to hear you are using the table as it is intended.

Many do not understand the use of more timing if the engine starts to die.

Lower vacuum after cold start benefits from more timing.

You can get almost EFI idle speed control at idle, cold and hot, if using the table to it's capabilities.

Gary
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Old 08-06-2017, 06:38 PM
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TexasDoc - Did you lock out the distributor advance?
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:24 AM
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I would bet he did lock it out, to have programmable advance.
But if the Black Box ever did fail, will need to bump the distributor up a bit to say 25BTDC to get home.
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Old 08-17-2017, 12:07 PM
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Yes, I did lock the distributor. I have a mark on the distributor on where to set it if the box fails. That way I can at least get home.
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Old 08-17-2017, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasdoc View Post
Yes, I did lock the distributor. I have a mark on the distributor on where to set it if the box fails. That way I can at least get home.
Good thinking.

My bet is you'll never need to do that.
Should be more reliable than some other unnamed brand, which I don't use any more.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:50 AM
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Hey Gaz,

Have you ever had a problem with the black box? Twice now I have started the car and it went to 2000 rpms at idle. It would drive around town ok, but coming to a stop at a light and it wouldn’t idle below 2000. At first I thought the throttle cable was sticking, but it was fine. The car would stay at >2000 until I turned the car off, then restarted it. Then it would be normal.

The only thing I can think of was the black box was having a hiccup.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:52 PM
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No, never had that.

I use a hall effect distributor, not a magnetic pickup like MSD.

Gary
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