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Old 02-19-2006, 07:50 PM
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Msd = Pain In *** !!!

CAR: 78' El Camino
Problem: MSD wont engauge/fire

So this weekend my buddy and I along with a the supervision of his 30+ drag racing vet. boss all embarked on a simple manifold,carb,and MSD install. After lots of lost bolts,pieces that wont fit, closed part stores when you need them the most and no money. We finally got the damn thing running at like 1 o'clock saturday/sunday night. So today we dicided to go ahead and install the MSD now that the car was running just a wee bit lean. Followed all the digrams and even had a haynes manual on hand (eventhough it did us a whole lotta nothing) for all the "special" chassie only stuff. I deligently cut into the ignition system and remapping everything to accomadate the MSD box and coil. Buttom it all back up with the proper eletrical fittings and tape. Nothing,we get power to the box and nothing out of it. So ok,took out the box and figure we'll use just use the the coil in case the box is bad. Uplugged some stuff and got it back to near stock....still nothing... then put EVERYTHING back to stock. What do you know,the car cranked right up with not problem of without missing a beat(well kinda cause since my buddy forgot to mark the distributor we're like a tooth off). Anywho,is the something el camino specific we're missing ? It's not a HEI distributor but a good ole fashion points/vac advance one. I have a feeling there might be something points specific but I dunno I have little experince with these kinda setups so any help would be great.

~BB~

P.S

It's an A6 model MSD box with a msd blaster coil if that helps any

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Old 02-19-2006, 10:26 PM
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OK, RED Blaster II coil? May have already taken the box out.

Until we do a few checks, we won't go to the coil just yet.

OK, for the MSD wiring:

Large red wire to the positive side of the battery, not to any other terminal someone says is OK, run it back to the positive side fo the battery.

Large black wire to the negative side of the battery, NOT the frame or engine, back to the negative side of the battery.

Small red power wire. This wire powers the MSD module up, and needs power in ignition switch positions start AND run. I usually chech the fuse box at the IGN or IGNITION terminal for battery boltage at both start and run key positions. Once confirmed, then I'd run a 14 guage wire from the IGN connector on the fuse boz to the small red power wire on the MSD and that should make the MSD box power up.

You should also check the existing power wire in the loom, as it should have a full 12 volts in both start and run key positions already.

The MSD box should sense the power from 9 to 16 or so volts, so a resisted wire shouldn't make a difference in this. 1978 El Camino had a stock HEI in it, and should have a full 12 volt power feed wire for the HEI already in place.

If you don't get power in either place, or in either of the key positions, there is the issue.

Coil wires from MSD box to coil are self explanatory, and no other wires should be attached to the coil, just like in the diagram.

The two wire connector that comes out of the MSD box won't be used with a points distributor, leave it alone and tape it off so dirt and junk don't get into the connector.

White wire from MSD box to the single wire from the poitns distributor, this is the trigger wire for the MSD from the points dist. If you get the rest of the MSD system connected correctly and want to check the system without the distributor in the loop, intermittantly groud and unground the white wire from the MSD with the key in the run position, while holding the coil wire, out of the dist end, close to an engine ground. As the white wire is grounded/ungrounded, spark should occur.

Because you can get the ignition system to work with just the coil and points dist, I doubt there is any large problem in the dist, and I'd not tinker with it until the MSD box/wires are troubleshot and the system runs on the MSD.

This stuff should keep you busy for a couple of minutes to start with, please post what you find.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:45 AM
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THANK YOU !

See the two diagrams we have are very crued and are hard to read. The color stuff I have down but after reading your post and talking to one of my friends we found that A.) we don't need the white wire and B.) we shouldn't have been lazy and just run the ground BACK to the battery. Also,the trigger wire is a bit tricky but I think I have it now and THANKS again.

~BB~
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Old 02-21-2006, 12:46 PM
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Quite to the contrary, you DO need the white wire, connected to the points wire from the dist. If the dist isn't an electronic trigger type, then a signal from the points is needed to trigger the system, and that is through the white MSD wire.

A magnetic trigger system such as one of the dedicated trigger MSD dists, would use the two wire plug for mag pickup.

BTW, the white wire WILL kill the spark if it is grounded. With a mag pickup for the MSD boxes, using the white wire for a grounding stop switch, or theft deterent grounding circuit is the added extra.

I do agree with the large neg wire from the MSD. It should be dedicated connected to the neg post of the battery.
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:45 PM
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Check this out

following everything you told me to do we could only get the coil to work by itself. But when we worked the box into the system,we got nothing, so what do you think it could be ?
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