Ignition: MSD or DUI HEI? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 05, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Metamora, IL
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I currently have 355 SBC making about 400HP in a 69 Camaro. The car will not be a daily driver, but used as a weekend cruiser and I plan on doing the Hot Rod Power Tour. With that in mind I currently have two ignition systems an MSD and a DUI HEI (DUI came with car when I bought it).
I have the following MSD system installed on the vehicle:
P/N 8361 Street Pro-Billet w/ Vacuum Adv.
P/N 6AL Ignition Control
P/N 8223 Blaster-3 Coil

While this is a pretty good setup I want to convert the HEI. I really do not like having the ignition module and coil mounted in the engine bay and do not want to relocate behind the cowl. The problem is the DUI HEI distributor I have
DOES NOT not have a vacuum advance and I hear while this will increase performance your gas mileage will suffer.

What are the pro and cons of each setup? Or should I just sell both and buy and HEI with vacuum advance. Any recomendations would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 05, 08:46 AM
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I would call the guys at Davis (DUI) and see what it would cost to convert your DUI for a street car not a race car !

69 Camaro -originally a LM1 car. 327, Edelbrock E-streets, hooker, DUI performance distributors, ultradyne cam, stewart, TRW etc. Vintage Air, AGR steering, Corbeau GTSII seats, 700R4 TPI transmission, 12-bolt w/Eaton 4.11:1
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 05, 04:34 PM
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gladly trade you my new hei with msd in cap coil and module!i dont mind mounting stuff on the 86's firewall,or there is that space under the dash where they decided to stuff a computer instead of putting a glovebox like they should have!

86 camaro,383,topline vortecs,scat crank,wiseco forged 9.5:1,6"scat rods,comp xs282s,performer rpm,750 proform vac sec,msd in cap, hooker coated 1 5/8"headers,3"flowmaster,700r4,2800 stall,3.42 10 bolt posi,hotchkiss lca's,aje tube k member & a-arms
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 12th, 05, 07:40 PM
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The MSD pro-billet HEI is pretty sweet. I run one on my 388 in the nova. Unlike the DUI, or any reman HEI, you can change the advance curve pretty much however you want. This is really handy if you plan on making other changes down the road.

"This is not a cheerocracy...I make the cheercisions around here"
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 05, 07:19 PM
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MSd has new very trick dist out. Has vacume advance and all electronic advance etc. Don't have link. Check it out at msd site. Summit sells it for $325 I think.


"If you can leave black marks on a straight from the time you exit a corner till the time you brake for the next turn.......
Then, you have enough horsepower."
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 05, 07:45 PM
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Matt Jones
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The price for that bad boy is $376. Crane has theirs for $320.

Crane gives 27 possible curves, while MSD gives 100. Crane can be adjusted from the outside, while the MSD is adjusted from the inside. MSD has a rev limiter, but I don't think Crane does.

I'm hoping these distributors will phase out the mechanical types, but I'd still like to use a HEI module so I can repair it at any parts store. Does the MSD require a MSD 6 or whatever to work? Or is it stand-alone?

Matt Jones
Lead Mechanical Engineer
Art Morrison Ent. Inc.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 13th, 05, 07:47 PM
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Matt Jones
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Looks like it doesn't require a box...

Matt Jones
Lead Mechanical Engineer
Art Morrison Ent. Inc.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 05, 05:16 AM
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MSD "Ready To Run" works nicely for me, requires no box, and it has a small cap. Need an external coil.

Brian's Camaro build up
BSE Power 385"
Best ET 11.15
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 05, 06:08 AM
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I'm sure Davis Unified can hook you up with the parts to add the vac advance to your distributor. I doubt it would be very hard to do or expensive.

The truth of the matter is that an ordinary HEI (like the DUI) will fire a 400 HP 355 no sweat. You will not see any significant performance increase with the MSD. The multispark does help my low speed response a little and helps keep my plugs a little cleaner, but no improvement in ET.

I will also say that if you were starting from scratch I would look hard at the MSD just because of the quality of the mechanical advance. Their mech advance mechanism is well built and consistent when setting up a curve. The DUI could be just as good -- I don't know though because I haven't used one.

E85 racer and E85 carb builder

68 Camaro, E85 powered 427" small block. 9.96 @ 133 MPH, 1.319 sixty foot on motor. 5.92 eighth @ 116 with a 1.42 sixty breaking beams with back tire on the bottle
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