ignition box decisions - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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i have been looking into buying an ignition box for my '68 396 and have settled on getting a crane box after i read the praises it has received. their box's output beats the MSD 6AL, is cheaper, and has a digital rpm adjustment unlike the analog one of the MSD. my question was this: which model is the one for me. ive converted to HEI from the points, but there is no computer on the car, just a distributor. is it the HI-6, HI-6S, HI blah blah... also, does anyone have any praises, suggestions, recommendations before i purchase? thanks.

john

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 03:09 PM
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I went with the MSD 6AL box and pro billet distributor. Have been totally happy with both. I don't have any experience to compare the others, but I pretty much found universal agreement that the MSD distributor was the way to go and the box is the direct plug in. Just look at how many MSD boxes you see next time you are at a car show. I have also heard good things about the Jacobs upgrades, but never seen one on anybodys car. One thing I have found is that it is better to spend a little more money up front rather than doing it twice.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 03:40 PM
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I like the MSD stuff just because I'm more familliar with it.
Whatever box you use, I'd consider a new distributor too.
I've just recurved a stock HEI distributor for my truck and whatever you do with it, have it done on a distributor machine.
I had to grind the heck out of the weights. You would not recognise them anymore!
It was a LOT of work to make it kick in at any thing like 2600 rpm's with the lightest springs in there. The weights just don't weigh enough, and the "fingers" on them are too long.
If you get a box that can do the advance for you, I guess the HEI will work then.
MSD has the digital advance type box now too.
David

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old May 7th, 01, 06:43 PM
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I've been looking as well and have decided to go with the Mallory Hyfire which is basically the same as the MSD digitial 6al except it has a window switch and is cheaper as well $209US you may want to look into it as well.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 05:36 AM
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My car originally came with a Mallory Unilite distributor and no box. After I asked several other car owners and the guys at a well respected Camaro shop (that is also into engine building and big time drag racing) the instructions I received were almost universal. Step 1: Remove Unilite. Step 2: Toss in garbage. Step 3: Go get an MSD. I think its like the old Ford or Chevy question. Depends who you talk too. I think the boxes are all about the same. My choice was to get the box that plugs directly into the distributor I wanted to run. I got a very low mileage Unilite here if you want it!!!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 06:54 AM
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All I have to say is GO MSD. It is true if u goto a show or more importantly the drag strip everybody uses an MSD of some sort and that is because they are the Best. I run one on my prised 69 Rally sport and wouldn't use anything else

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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but just going by the numbers ive seen (3x spark power of MSD), the features (adjustable digital rev limiter instead of analog), and price difference, i dont understand why more people dont run the Crane box. i looked into an msd a long time ago, infact i had purchased one over the internet and paid for it, but the &$#(@#@#& never mailed it, so now im looking again. if there is a better value, why wouldnt i choose that one instead of doing what everyone else does? im sure MSD appreciates the accolades, though. has anyone had experience with the crane box?

john

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old May 8th, 01, 07:28 PM
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I agree with them being pretty much the same and think MSD is more popular because it was superior but it's like most other things eventually they become more equal in quality.
I used MSD with no problems but have heard alot of good stuff about Mallory lately and like the price so I'm going to give it a try.I'll let you know what I think after I get it.I'm sure Crane is right in there now as well.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old May 9th, 01, 02:42 AM
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I installed a Crane Hi-6 on my 69 Z two years ago, after 2500 + miles, I still have the same plugs installed, impossible with the stock set up, and the only problem I've had was during Crusin' the Coast in Oct. the breaker points decided to loose one of the pads on them and the gap went from .016 to 1/8 inch and it went dead. New set of points and off I went. I run the stock 480 Dist. and coil and wires with the Hi-6 and routed it inside under the dash and no one knows that is isn't the stock set-up. FWIW, I just ordered one for the 67, I think it is a good alternative to a complete aftermarket type system so you can keep the oem look.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old May 9th, 01, 03:07 AM
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I have the MSD in my truck and an Accel 300+ in my 69. I like both of them. You can never keep up with the progress of technology. I think that for typical use ( street ) you can't go wrong with most of them. Pick the price/features that appeal to you and go for it. The upgrade will be worthwhile.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old May 9th, 01, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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pipeman,

was there a performance, gas mileage increase when you used the hi-6? just curious.

john

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old May 10th, 01, 02:36 AM
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The biggest difference was the starting and idleing performance. My car, 302, 4:10 gears, gas milege isn't a goal, but with the 11:1 compression, I was eating plugs like candy, since the installation of the Hi-6, I haven't changed a plug yet. I have read the ads for MSD and the Crane, showing the differences and how the HI-6 is a better unit (Cranes Words) so I am happy with mine, but I am the only guy in my group who uses it, everyone else is using MSD or Pertronix.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old May 10th, 01, 05:36 PM
 
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I have the Accel 300+ digital performance racing ignition but I have not yet installed it. If anyone had problems with this one let me know please. I should know more next week.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old May 11th, 01, 05:05 AM
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I run the Crane, MSD 6AL and the MSD Digital 6. The Crane is a nice box, but I prefer the MSD setups. As I said, the Crane is nice, BUT the MSD has always worked better for me.

Of all of them, I like the Digital 6 the best, but it carries a higher price. The Crane and the 6AL performed the same, but Crane coils, IMHO, are not near as good. If installed in a tight area, the 6AL "pills" are easier to change then the dials on the Crane. In my case, there was not a lot of room for the screw driver.

If you buy either the Crane and the 6AL I doubt you will know the difference. If the 6AL ever fails, MSD replaces it for less than $50. Not sure if Crane will do the same.

IMHO the Digital 6 is the hands down winner. I picked up about 2 tenths and have a smoother idle and rev limiter than before.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old May 11th, 01, 05:17 AM
 
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MSD is in most race cars because they pay contingency money if you use their products.
Doesn't mean it's better. (It's marketting)

Most MSD problems are due to poor installation, wiring problems, too much heat and bad grounds.

I run Mallory stuff. One of my hyfires was installed in 1987 and still does what it's supposed to.
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