MSD Box - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 14, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Considering getting the basic MSD 6 box. My car has a crate motor, MSD distributor & coil and I've read the box would be simple to install with these. Maybe just need a harness and plug it in? (and + and -)

Problem is i don't know which distributor I have and not sure if it even matters which model....does it?

and then installing a tach it will go to the MSD box instead of the coil?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 20th, 14, 09:43 PM
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Re: MSD Box

Yes to your last question It has a tach output. With a crate motor I would not run a box, I don't think its necessary. I had one on a 400+hp motor in a 69 with 4:11 gears and I don't think it made any difference. It was just something to look cool and more wires to clutter up the engine bay IMO. The only reason I would use one is in a manual car that you want to add a rev limiter to but most newer MSD distributors have that built in now.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 14, 04:51 AM
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Re: MSD Box

You don't need a box and if you do install one you'll see Zero difference.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 14, 06:04 AM
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Re: MSD Box

Hi Ken,
I would use a MSD 8360 Pro Billet Ready To Run Distributor. You don't need a box.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 14, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: MSD Box

ok thanks. I was starting to wonder if I needed one after doing some more reading. Basically, I just thought it would help with my starting. Sometimes the car fires right up, others not so much.

I haven't owned a carb car in a long time so maybe this is just the nature of a carb.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Dec 21st, 14, 01:09 PM
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Re: MSD Box

If you have a HEI now the module has to be disconnected and the green and purple wires from the MSD box placed on to the green and white wires coming off of the reluctor's pick-up coil that triggers the HEI module. There is usually a set of two mall adapter wires that feeds into the HEI to make this connection included in the ignition box but if not you will have to make your own out of 18 gage wire or buy the adapter wire from MSD. You can not use the coil leads coming out of a small cam HEI or the internal taps in the cap to do this or you will fry the MSD box.

A lot of people swear by MSD ignition modules the rest swear at them as they are very, very sensitive to any fluctuation in voltage or changes in polarity (as with any transistorized device). They are not very robust and could be protected by diodes from reversing polarity or resisters and LC circuits to prevent transient voltage spikes from getting through to the box. But this way they hope to sell you a replacement if it is out of warranty or "improperly installed" which is a convenient out should you fry it.

In addition to the programmable Rev Limiter with the 6AL digital you get:
Multiple sparks at low RPM
Above 3200 RPM you get a higher amperage (hotter) output in a single spark (voltage is determined by the resistance in the secondary circuit such as plug gap not what it says on the coil).

Speaking of coils it requires a special coil as the standard points coil has too high a resistance to offer you the dwell time (coil saturation) that the box can deliver with a dedicated coil.

Finally to get the easier starting you have to jump to a 7AL-3 to get more than one RPM controlled plug. With the 7AL you get everything the 6Al has but it includes a second rev limiter just for burn outs. It also includes a retard function to allow easier starts. You can also stack the chips to control nitrous by backing off on ignition lead, as well as boost reference if blown.

Both system fire the spark plugs. The CD system will charge the ignition coil to full power in half the time an induction system will (which is why you need a special coil) allowing higher RPM operation than you can get out of an HEI (with the 10AL you can match the output to fire as high an RPM as a magneto does it just wont put out that much juice ). Since most cars RPM is limited not by the ignition but by a hydraulic cam aside from a bit of fall off at high RPM with the HEI as it runs out of power and heat builds up you probably won't notice the difference.

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