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Old 08-13-2008, 07:49 PM
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Msd Ignition questions

I am wanting to upgrade the ignition in my 69 F-100. It has a mild 390 in it, headers, cam, intake and holley carb. It currently has points ignition. I was planning on upgrading it to MSD ignition. I bought a blaster 2 coil today. I was planning on buying a duraspark distributor and an MSD 6 al box. Would this work together or am I missing something

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Old 08-14-2008, 05:54 AM
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Yes it will work fine.however you can just as easily use your points dist to trigger the box and assuming your old dist is not worn out performance will be the same and still look stock.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnym17
Yes it will work fine.however you can just as easily use your points dist to trigger the box and assuming your old dist is not worn out performance will be the same and still look stock.

This is correct but you are defeating some of the purpose of the MSD system by using a points distributor. You have 2 pieces that degrade pretty quickly - mainly the points rubbing block and then the condenser will break down electrolytically with heat. First of all, I'm not sure point and condenser sets are made in the US any longer which makes their quality suspect. Secondly, the wearing of the rubbing block will change the dwell angle which determines the firing of tha spark plug - and can be faily significant. Performance will suffer as will gas mileage - and a 390 is not an economy based engine - ever.

If the Duraspark distributor is available and in good shape (shaft bearings wear), it's about as good as you can go without spending the big bucks for an MSD or other performance dist. Get the newer and more common of the two version of distributors - the one for the blue grommet module.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:43 AM
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You won't get the full benefit of MSD with an old points distributr. MSD - Multi Spark Discharge.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:36 PM
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my $.02:
just upgrade to the Duraspark....
that gains you way more volts and amps capabilty "reserve" to the coil for a sooner and stronger more intense "blue flame" spark than a mild cam will ever need.....

(spark energy is measured in joules but most folk understand watts better and they are related)

your points are operating at very roughly 11V x 3amps= only 33 Watts available to overcome the heat/pressure/A-F mix/etc to burn a hole thru the mix and light the mix with only milli-amps of heat...
(works fine as long as you use a small plug gap (<.035) for a lower Kv value (typically 10Kv) to burn the hole and have some milli-amps left to make heat)

the Duraspark will be 14V x 4.5amps(?CRS)=63 Watts!!!!
with the plugs gapped at .040(?)=very roughly 15Kv to burn a hole, it does make a almost "white hot flame" due to more milli-amps available....

a MSD 6AL or other multi-spark capacitive ign box can help to make sure the mix "does" get lit at lower rpms on a motor with a radical camshaft and/or very high compression which makes for extreme turbulance in the chamber (that can snuff out a single inductive spark) .....

by burning multiple (extremely short event duration) spark holes thru the mix with extremely high Kv so that the MSD low milli-amps intensity has a (better?) chance of starting the flame propagation due to multiple strikes....

a favorite analogy:
which way is better to light a fireplace?
a brief blue flame from a blow torch? (=inductive Duraspark)
strike 10 yellow flame fireplace matches (= MSD)
answer is:
depends on what's in the fireplace that your trying to light!!!
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:25 PM
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