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frankym 09-17-2001 12:48 PM

Ignition Control Box
I received my repaired box back from MSD (box #2) so this would be the 5th actual rewiring and attempt to get the system to run reliably i.e. more than the 20-30 miles that the systems have lasted (MSD pro billet distributor, blaster 2, 6AL, Ford 427). My mechanic wired the heavy guage power directly to the MSD noise filter and then directly to the battery. The heavy black goes directly to the (-) side of the suppressor and then to the frame. The thin red wire was then jumped to the battery to try to get the coil to send a sparc. NOTHING. so any talk about voltage spikes doesn't apply here. The MSD tech said it's possible then that the unit was damaged in shipping. I asked him if he was aware that the units they send back are sent in a cardboard box exactly the same size as the control unit i.e. no insulation whatsoever. We are going to go to a stock ford electronic ignition control unit (Prestolite??) that will work with the rest of the stuff I now have under the hood. Anyone work with this unit before or can recommend a durable control unit?

Rick Parker 09-18-2001 10:03 AM

Msd fix revisited

I'm sorry to see that you are still having trouble with the MSD install. If I read your last post correctly after the "hookup" you connected the red wire directly to the battery's positive post then removed it to test for spark? The small red wire activates the switching side of the circutry in the control box but not the spark itself. This may be redundant but something is definatly wrong here you are having WAY too much difficulty in this application.
To continue: 1. Tape off white wire (You are not using point type distributor) 2. Be sure ther is a ground strap from engine block to chassis. 3. Remove coil wire from center of distributor cap insert spark plug in the terminal that attached to distributor cap and place base of spark plug on a suitable grounded object (manifold bolt, valve cover bolt etc). 3. Remove 2 wire cable that runs from control box to distributor, disconect from distributor. 4. With trans in neutral and parking brake on; either switch on ignition with key
or connect red wire to positive post of battery. 5. Take the wire that you disconnected from the distributor and with a small piece of insulated wire shaped like a "U" insert it into the end of this two wire run completing the circut. Now as you repeatedly make and break this connection a spark should appear at the previously mention spark plug if "IT" is grounded properly.
If there is no spark and "ALL" connections are good including all ground connections then you still have a bad box. If you get spark and after installing distrutor again have no spark, then check the module inside the distributor itself. Frank your troubles are highly unusual I have never heard of such difficulties with so many boxes in one installation. Are you able to do this installation yourself or are you relying on someone else for installation?
Orange to + (positive) side of coil/no other wires
Black to - (negative) side of coil/no other wires
small red wire to battery (for test) or to switched 12v source from key.
White wire not used for Msd magnetic trigger distributor.
This may seem redundant but something is being overlooked by someone.
Hope this helps

frankym 09-18-2001 11:24 AM

Hi Rick,

In the last hour, I got word from my mechanic who said that he got it running, the noise filter was not allowing current to pass. He might have just gotten another control box, I really don't know. My dad relayed the message as the car and mechanic are 100 miles from my week location. The manual testing that was being done on saturday was with the heavy red connected to the battery and the violet and green triggers jumped and then running the thin red to the battery to jump it. I think he removed the suppressor and perhaps then it got the current and allowed the system to deliver spark. Once he got it running, he determined that there were voltage spikes so he removed the alternator and removed the regulator. Apparently, and this is where I just don't have the familarity, my set-up was designed mostly for racing with as few wires from the alternator as possible, and with a points system, you can get away with it? Now the car gets amperage immediately without any lags, a bit beyond me. Also a wiring harness was used and ALL new grounds were established. He said it runs strong and he's been able to restart it dozens of times. He said this unit might still blow out and that I shouldn't be surprised, and if it does, not to bring it back. I ordered a new noise filter as well as the thermotec starter shield. I plan to install rubber shock mounts to the 6AL unit and then wrap the control unit with the heat shield and secure it with the metal straps. I will also install the new capacitor. If this 6AL blows, i am just going to get a plain jane ford electronic control unit and scrap the multiple sparks. I just don't really know what the hell was the root cause, probably less than perfect ground, a charging system with small spikes, and an ignition system that is extremely sensitive to a design that is not exactly as prescribed by the manufacturer's design. Maybe a poor choice of mechanic as well, surely the electrical system should have been tested once the car was running, especially since he found the first box wouldn't start the car.

I will plan on driving the hell out of this puppy (after implementing the last of the details) this weekend and hopefully I won't get stuck!


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