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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Imsport, the way i tested things seems to stand. I know what you're saying w/the white wire but what you're saying is not the setup i have. The white wire is only used for a points or igintion amplifier which i don't have, thus i'm not using the white wire, only the red wire which runs from IGN to MSD box. From what i've gathered, when you test MSD for spark, you either test it with the white wire, as you stated if you're running it/that setup, or you test it at the magnetic pickup if just using the red wire (IGN to MSD Box and no white wire).
to test it using the mag pickup wires, you will have to plug a distributor into those wire and spin it, you can't just shunt the two wires together.
testing with the white wire always works, replacing MSD boxes was super common 15 years ago, they made many with the wrong screws for holding the transistor to the heat sink which caused the transistor to fail.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lmsport View Post
to test it using the mag pickup wires, you will have to plug a distributor into those wire and spin it, you can't just shunt the two wires together.
testing with the white wire always works, replacing MSD boxes was super common 15 years ago, they made many with the wrong screws for holding the transistor to the heat sink which caused the transistor to fail.
https://www.holley.com/support/troub...ng_techniques/

I attached a link above to show what i've done (see magnetic pickup). I'm using the magnetic pickup of MSD to trigger my ignition, not the white wire. White wire on my set up is not being used. I did not shunt the two magnetic pick up wires together. I took those two magnetic pickup wires and placed a jumper on the end of each of them them. I slid this jumper in and out of the magnetic pick up wires and never got any spark like i should have.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 06:54 PM
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You tested the mag trigger set-up correctly, but you can verify the box is dead by disconnecting the mag trigger plug from the distributor and then double check it by using the white wire to ground trigger method. If both show dead, you'll have a definitive answer.

Would not surprise me the box is dead, MSD quality has been heading into the toilet for the last 10 years. I'll never buy another until reliability greatly improves.
Sad deal too, used to be MSD was dead reliable, I've got a box from the late 1980's that works just fine, and so do several friends.....but the recent stuff seems to have what seems like nearly a 30% failure rate.

At least MSD is back to now fixing customer boxes....for a while they would not even do that....you might check into that, but I hear there is certain restrictions, some they can fix and some thety can't depending on the age of the unit.

Want a good modern CD ignition that is top notch, Daytona Sensors is the one.

They are what used to be Crane Hi-6 ignitions, which were well liked by th folks who used them and very reliable. Crane went bankrupt, dumped the ignition side of the business, changed ownership and moved out of Florida(to Minnesota IIRC) .
The ignition guys still in Florida who had built the Hi-6 automotive ignitions then started up Daytona Sensors ignitions.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Disconnected the MSD magnetic pick up wires (purple and green) from the distributor. With the key on, i ran a jumper on this pick up wire (coming from the MSD box) and pulled it in and out, and did not have any spark.

Thanks!

I just tested mine like that and yes I got spark, but it's also good to know if you didn't get a spark, if the red LED still blinked? It should blink with every tap of the jumper.
And when you first turn on the ignition, the red LED should blink ... I forget how many times.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ericnova72 View Post
You tested the mag trigger set-up correctly, but you can verify the box is dead by disconnecting the mag trigger plug from the distributor and then double check it by using the white wire to ground trigger method. If both show dead, you'll have a definitive answer.

Would not surprise me the box is dead, MSD quality has been heading into the toilet for the last 10 years. I'll never buy another until reliability greatly improves.
Sad deal too, used to be MSD was dead reliable, I've got a box from the late 1980's that works just fine, and so do several friends.....but the recent stuff seems to have what seems like nearly a 30% failure rate.

At least MSD is back to now fixing customer boxes....for a while they would not even do that....you might check into that, but I hear there is certain restrictions, some they can fix and some thety can't depending on the age of the unit.

Want a good modern CD ignition that is top notch, Daytona Sensors is the one.

They are what used to be Crane Hi-6 ignitions, which were well liked by th folks who used them and very reliable. Crane went bankrupt, dumped the ignition side of the business, changed ownership and moved out of Florida(to Minnesota IIRC) .
The ignition guys still in Florida who had built the Hi-6 automotive ignitions then started up Daytona Sensors ignitions.
Thanks Nova. Just went back out there. Disconnected mag trigger, then tapped white wire to battery ground. Got no spark.

Then just hooked white wire to battery ground for helluva it and tested for spark at mag trigger with white wire hooked to ground, got nothing.

Would appear both white wire and mag tests failed. So i reckon box is at fault then? Again, i don't know the age of box or history of motor (thank goodness I'm going to building my own soon too). Reckon there's no real sense in dropping a non MSD dizzy in at this point since i know both tests failed, and i've got 12V going to the box so that tells me IGN is kosher...

Damnation of it all is that in the parts i ordered i did buy a pro billet MSD distributor. Now it would seem i'm going to have to buy a new box..will keep that daytona sensor in mind for future builds.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 07:53 PM
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Quick question: With this dizzy, i don't have have a blaster coil set up, IE i have the 'coil inside of dizzy setup.' The instructions had said to remove coil wire from dizzy cap, since i don't have that setup, i would assume my tests would still stand with the type of coil i have?
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Quick question: With this dizzy, i don't have have a blaster coil set up, IE i have the 'coil inside of dizzy setup.' The instructions had said to remove coil wire from dizzy cap, since i don't have that setup, i would assume my tests would still stand with the type of coil i have?
edit: and if its any consolation, i never heard any beeps/noises come from the mSD box when jumping wires for testing for both tests..
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 06-29-2019, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 55 Tony View Post
I just tested mine like that and yes I got spark, but it's also good to know if you didn't get a spark, if the red LED still blinked? It should blink with every tap of the jumper.
And when you first turn on the ignition, the red LED should blink ... I forget how many times.
55 tony, i reckon the box i have is really old, don't have the LED on it lol. Like i said though, from what i've seen, i should have at least heard a beep or buzz coming from the box on each jump, but i did not.
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Old 06-30-2019, 01:03 AM
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Is the current distributor in the car separate cap and coil, the coil is not mounted in the top of the cap HEI style?? If so they have you pull coil plug wire from distributor cap and place the end close to ground metal so you can see if there is spark

If you are trying to spark test a coil-in-cap style HEI distributor this way I'm nor sure how you would tell if there is spark or not, as the rotor would have to be pointed at terminal on the cap and you would have to be checking that plug wire only.
Maybe they recommend a way to check that?.

All the MSD box with HEI type distributor set-ups I've ever done I use the separate coil and special MSD coil cover adapter that takes the place of the stock HEI coil dust cover and has a plug wire terminal on it to transfer the spark from coil to distributor.

I've never done it using the in-cap coil. I know it can be done, just never wired one that way.

The older non-digital boxes don't have LED indicator lights, beepers, or buzzers. Might be a light hum or buzz when the capacitor fires the coil, but it won't be very loud
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2019, 09:45 AM
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Is the current distributor in the car separate cap and coil, the coil is not mounted in the top of the cap HEI style?? If so they have you pull coil plug wire from distributor cap and place the end close to ground metal so you can see if there is spark

If you are trying to spark test a coil-in-cap style HEI distributor this way I'm nor sure how you would tell if there is spark or not, as the rotor would have to be pointed at terminal on the cap and you would have to be checking that plug wire only.
Maybe they recommend a way to check that?.

All the MSD box with HEI type distributor set-ups I've ever done I use the separate coil and special MSD coil cover adapter that takes the place of the stock HEI coil dust cover and has a plug wire terminal on it to transfer the spark from coil to distributor.

I've never done it using the in-cap coil. I know it can be done, just never wired one that way.

The older non-digital boxes don't have LED indicator lights, beepers, or buzzers. Might be a light hum or buzz when the capacitor fires the coil, but it won't be very loud
Yeah i realized last night when i was doing the tests, i was looking for spark in the wrong places (IE i did not have the coil wire from dizzy cap itself to check spark at, i was actually looking for spark where i was jumping at).

Could i do this: I have a blaster coil laying around. Unhook the two coil wires from existing cap in coil and hook them to the blaster coil? Leave the cap in coil in dizzy because i'd essentially be bypassing it with the blaster and two wires hooked to blaster. Then repeat tests?
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2019, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Yeah i realized last night when i was doing the tests, i was looking for spark in the wrong places (IE i did not have the coil wire from dizzy cap itself to check spark at, i was actually looking for spark where i was jumping at).

Could i do this: I have a blaster coil laying around. Unhook the two coil wires from existing cap in coil and hook them to the blaster coil? Leave the cap in coil in dizzy because i'd essentially be bypassing it with the blaster and two wires hooked to blaster. Then repeat tests?
Make life simple disconnect the MSD. Forget the blaster coil. Wire the HEI as it would be normally and test it for spark.

Things that most guys don't check is impedance compatibility between components as manufacture's use different values so when you just pull parts off the advertiser's recommendations for the ever hotter spark, you can easily get into electrically missmatched components. While they will usually play together for a while eventually whomever is being subjected to work with currents above their design intent will fail.

A for instance; the factory coil and its solid state controller are rated at .7 to 1.2 ohms. This establishes the size of the electrical load on the solid state switch. When you switch to a high output coil, this is achieved by moving more electrical current through the coil, this is done by reducing the coil's impedance to current flow. This is often an impedance of .5 ohm or less. So now the electronic switch in the HEI module is having to deal with current flow higher than its design operating limits, the natural result is life expectancy goes down.

One thing is apparent when it comes to MSD type boxes regardless of manufacturer is they fail at a greater rate than factory ignition systems, often taking or causing a failure in the OEM system's emaining components.

Another factor with these things is engine top end grounding, not something new or unexpected as in the installation instruction it describes the need to seperatly ground the heads and intake. Most guys, including a lot of professional installers, ignore this. Why, I haven't a good idea? But they do. What happens is the high power, abrupt wave form voltages to the plugs are not easy to ground they want a highly conductive, clean path back to the battery negative side which bolts full of thread sealer and lubrication have a hard time providing in this dynamic situation. The result is these currents seek any path with less potential voltage than themselves to ground. Often this is through the wiring and components of the ignition system to their peril. This is often the cause of running fine one instant and dead as a door knob the next.

My basic rules include that unless you are racing and having to deal with extreme compression pressures, intentional as well as fuel slosh induced excessive lean or rich mixture variations, lots of RPM variation, constant high combustion chamber temperatures: these high energy ignitions are not necessary. And they bring component life expatancy problems that just aren't needed on the street. About the only place on the street where they might offer some help is on older SMOG engines with low compression, low activity combustion chambers that don't ignite well especially if you mix this with a performance cam change which makes lower RPM ignition problems worse for a host of reasons

To a great extent the standard GM HEI is well suited to RPMs into the 5000 range with no help and with a performance chip will spin into the 6000 rev range or higher all by itself.

Counter to current belief, I keep my plug gaps tight on the street from .030 to .035. This works just fine, todays fuels burn very clean, contrary to hotrodders mantra on the subject, so plugs don't get grungy like the good old days. Modern high energy chambers are easy to ignite even with factory ignition systems and "lean" mixtures if for no other reason is this is EPA mandated for upwards of 100,000 miles without sparkplug removal. So if anyone can't get a factory HEI to work on the street, there are other problems needing to be addressed.

Bogie

Last edited by BogiesAnnex1; 06-30-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2019, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Yeah i realized last night when i was doing the tests, i was looking for spark in the wrong places (IE i did not have the coil wire from dizzy cap itself to check spark at, i was actually looking for spark where i was jumping at).

Could i do this: I have a blaster coil laying around. Unhook the two coil wires from existing cap in coil and hook them to the blaster coil? Leave the cap in coil in dizzy because i'd essentially be bypassing it with the blaster and two wires hooked to blaster. Then repeat tests?
Yes, you could do the test this way. You would need to put a coil output sparkplug wire on it and place the other end of the wire close to a ground point so you have a place to observe the spark.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2019, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Quick question: With this dizzy, i don't have have a blaster coil set up, IE i have the 'coil inside of dizzy setup.' The instructions had said to remove coil wire from dizzy cap, since i don't have that setup, i would assume my tests would still stand with the type of coil i have?
That sucks man. I had a 0 oil pressure issue on my 307 with 2 hrs on it. Didn't knock, valves couldn't clatter due to solid cam. I think it was a double whammy.....the forgotten plug under the rear main cap popped loose and I'm guessing allowed debris (due to unfiltered oil) to not allow the oil pressure relief valve to close all the way (on teardown it was too hard to move it). Go with all of the other good advice here first, if it doesn't seem to be any of those reasons, check that plug. (My new one is epoxied in.)
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2019, 07:30 AM
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I have to go along with Boggie on the use of stock HEI. These can be recurve to match the motor pretty easily have a vacuum advance and I’ve heard of a small base one although I’ve not seen this. Even my Willys didn’t see 4500 rpm more than a few times. Even at the time it was built I considered an HEI but it just would not fit behind the blower. My current el Camino with crate motor and stock HEI has hit 4500 maybe 5 times in 25k miles. It hasn’t missed a beat and is a great daily driver in the summer. The big Buick had the fancy factory Opti Spark fail at about 110k. Hasn’t run right since. I even replaced anything that needed replacing with OEM stuff no aftermarket stuff.

In Our cruise groups most guys have gone back to HEI and a couple even have point distributors! MSD does not have a good rep.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2019, 07:53 AM
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The best part of using a coil in cap HEI is that parts are available everywhere - even on Sundays lol.

It sucks when the car breaks. It sucks x2 when you have to get it towed. It sucks x3 when you have to wait more than 24 hours for a part to fix your broke down, recently towed hotrod.

I do whatever I can to have spare parts or parts availablity. If I ever decided that I must use an igniion box of any brand, then I would undoubtedly, buy two so that I could get it going along side of the road.
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