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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2019, 11:46 AM
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Driving around with a spare only helps if your jack works. Even if you carry a second unit that won't ensure all the vibration, heat, etc won't render that unit useless when you go to use it.

I have 3 AL6 boxes. 2 of them have R/N numbers where I said screw it and the 3rd one I did not want to risk breaking down so just went back to reliable hei.

Simple fact is most old rides have no need to go over 4500. That hei is acting like a limiter keeping your valves from floating in stock situations.

Getting a non typical points to hei application recurved can be a pain. But once it is done it is done. The little bit of effort is worth it.

For something with boost or other power adder I would want total control over my spark with the ablity to change timing within milliseconds. But on a typical street cruiser hei checks many boxes while surviving situations that a msd box dies under.

Given a choice I am leary to even run msd sparkplug wires at this point.

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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2019, 07:57 PM
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oil pressure dropped to zero

Of course the oil pressure dropped to zero, your engine died. That is also why your brakes got hard to push. The engine died before you stopped rolling. Your fuel or electrical stopped working. check for spark by pulling a plug and grounding it to the engine and turn over the motor. Since you say it starts for a second and dies now, I would assume it is a fuel problem. It gets a little fuel to start and dies because it runs out again. If it was electrical I don't think it would start at all. First put a new fuel filter on it and then check to see if the pump is working next. If they both work then it is time to pull the carb apart and clean it out. Sounds like low fuel pressure from a clogged filter or a half dead fuel pump that spurts a little gas, or it could be clogged jets or float needles in the carb. If it has been sitting these would be very likely to fail from bad gas sitting there for a long period and gumming up your fuel system. Good luck.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2019, 12:46 PM
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Been a busy 2 weeks so today was the first real day i got to revisit things. I like to also come back and post what was found as it kinda sucks when people post problems, get advice, and then you never know what ever became of things.

Wound up taking a stock HEI out of my test motor, dropped it into the camaro, bypassed the MSD box and ran a jumper from coil to battery since IGN wire routes to and through the box. Car started right up and ran. Problem solved--bad MSD box.

Thanks to all that posted on here! Just glad that's sorted out Plan to pull the motor in a few months anyhow so at least when i build this 383 i'm always going to know what set up i have with no unknowns too.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2019, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by rdobbs77 View Post
Been a busy 2 weeks so today was the first real day i got to revisit things. I like to also come back and post what was found as it kinda sucks when people post problems, get advice, and then you never know what ever became of things.

Wound up taking a stock HEI out of my test motor, dropped it into the camaro, bypassed the MSD box and ran a jumper from coil to battery since IGN wire routes to and through the box. Car started right up and ran. Problem solved--bad MSD box.

Thanks to all that posted on here! Just glad that's sorted out Plan to pull the motor in a few months anyhow so at least when i build this 383 i'm always going to know what set up i have with no unknowns too.
It could also be the ignition coil or the magnetic pick-up in the original distributor, and not the actual MSD box.

By installing a different pure HEI distributor, you bypassed all three items that could affect a no spark situation....the coil, the mag pick-up, or the box.

HEI distributors are known for cracking the wires leading into the magnetic pick-up(especially older stock units), as they are constantly being flexed by the movement of the pole piece half of the magnetic pick-up as the vacuum advance moves it. With no signal from the mag pick-up, the MSD box would appear "dead" as it won't make a spark without a trigger signal.

You would have to do a little further testing before outright blaming the MSD box. Wouldn't be smart to toss a couple hundred dollar box when the problem was a $20 pick-up.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2019, 02:13 PM
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It could also be the ignition coil or the magnetic pick-up in the original distributor, and not the actual MSD box.

By installing a different pure HEI distributor, you bypassed all three items that could affect a no spark situation....the coil, the mag pick-up, or the box.

HEI distributors are known for cracking the wires leading into the magnetic pick-up(especially older stock units), as they are constantly being flexed by the movement of the pole piece half of the magnetic pick-up as the vacuum advance moves it. With no signal from the mag pick-up, the MSD box would appear "dead" as it won't make a spark without a trigger signal.

You would have to do a little further testing before outright blaming the MSD box. Wouldn't be smart to toss a couple hundred dollar box when the problem was a $20 pick-up.
Coil can be ruled out as I'd already put a known, good coil in and got nothing. That would narrow it down to mag pickup or box.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 07-13-2019, 02:41 PM
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Won't surprise me with MSD's quality as of the last few years that the box is dead, but I just wanted to make sure you didn't prematurely toss it.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2019, 07:49 AM
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I see lots of GM HEI modules that have failed. They can let the car run until it gets hot, then fail. Most of the time they will start when cooled off. Some just take a crap and never let the car start.


I'm at around 425 HP with my SBC and just use a small body HEI with an external coil, much simpler without an MSD type box.
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:12 PM
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The last two posts describe the reasons to not use an MSD box on a street driven car IMO. Why use one when stock parts will get you there.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 07-16-2019, 05:27 PM
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Bought this Camaro back in 2014, motor as said is 'unknown' till i tear it down, apart from that its an SBC and purely 'stock.' That said, previous owner did those things. Motor i'm building this fall will see 500+HP for a street car and I will be running advanced IGN control for it. Agree, the current motor/set up that's in it did not warrant MSD or other increased voltage.
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