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Discussion Starter #1
As I'm beginning to research all the parts I'll need to bring my 67 back to life, I'm wondering what Ignition/Distributor would be best for a Street/Strip application. I used to run a Stinger Ignition and still have it and it looks to be in good shape but that is 25 year old technology and I'm sure there have been many improvements throughout the years in regards to ignition systems. What is your opinion on MSD E-Curve Distributors? MSD vs Mallory vs any other brand?
427 CID/ 4 Speed
Thanks, Jim
 

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In my opinion, if you're not running efi than you're better off blueprinting a stock HEI, upgrading the coil and module, and dialing in your curve with a spring kit and, if needed, a mechanical advance stop. MSD's quality has not been the greatest lately. Stock HEI is more than adequate with the right mods.
 

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MSD now owns Mallory and Accel. They are continuing to service, but no longer make those lines according to their web site. I agree that MSD quality is not what it used to be. Maybe because they have bought up so much of their competition.
 

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In my opinion, if you're not running efi than you're better off blueprinting a stock HEI, upgrading the coil and module, and dialing in your curve with a spring kit and, if needed, a mechanical advance stop. MSD's quality has not been the greatest lately. Stock HEI is more than adequate with the right mods.
I tend to agree....the GM 4 post modules.. not the very early ones which I doubt any around any more... are sort after for modded high rpm motor bikes, even the dodge guys like them...
We tend to right off 'factory' stuff to quick... mostly due to marketing propaganda of aftermarket companies whos prime interest is returns to shareholders.
Yeah if getting into dedicated track.. one goes to fixed timing, magnitos etc...often track and street dont cross for good reasons.
And as suggested above, regardless of type of dizzy, it comes back the right timing at a given load at a given rpms right thru the rpm range... ideally within 1 deg...max 2 degs

Also The HEI was introduced not as a 'upgrade' but because Government pressures on emissions and economy... which meant introduction of EGR, for leaner burns... lean burn has more advance therefore EGR curves have a lot of Vaccuum advance and less cent....Non EGR as most of us have requires modding of the curves
Also, and think this maybe a legislation thing... dizzies off the shelf these days are set up for EGR.
Modding is not difficult be it a Factory HEI or MSD whatever.....detailed how tos and walk thrus in many older threads.
Big body HEIs often have issues with room next to the firewall... It the fan is not too close to the bottom of the shroud, then the higher trans mount option just sorts this out.....thu every 5 yrs or so u may have to replace the rear HT boot on the back of the dizzy cap
 

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Why not use an original distributor with either the pertronix III OR THE CRANE XRI. the HEI module is too big and causes other issues with the firewall. I purchased one of the pertronix distributors rtr distributors and it is ok, the advance limiter clips were useless and not calibrated like advertised. I could not even get $100 for a restored one that I curved on my machine.

The Msd requires a box to fire it and while a good system, why would you want to have to deal with the box and mounting it.

Buy the correct coil for whatever system you go with
 

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I've had an MSD E-curve for about 10 years - it has been flawless. I bought mine when they first came out at a very reasonable introductory price. They are now quite expensive. It's a pretty penny for a feature that you're likely to use once - kinda like ride height adjustable coil-over shocks. The e-curve works with or without the MSD box - mine's w/o.

True coil-in-cap GM HEI is a really good and reliable system. The drawback - as said - is firewall clearance, which is a crapshoot on these old cars.

For a street/occasional strip car a blueprinted points distributor with a good aftermarket conversion module (such as Pertronix) would be my choice. These modules - as far as I know - are not true High Energy Ignition - but should be more than adequate for your needs, and will fit your chassis w/o worry.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are any of you familiar with "Stinger" ignitions? I don't quite remember how I acquired one years ago but it installed easy as I remember and performed great. I figured after all these years, it may be no good anymore or just outclassed by new technologies. I understand they're no longer made but were respectable back then. Any info?
Thanks, Jim
 

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just another version of the MSD ignitiion box built by the same company that did Hays Clutches. I think I would find out if you can still get service and parts before I put it in my engine bay.
 

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I had a 6A fail over 25 years ago. Told it was from inadequate grounding.
 

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I have been using MSD since they hit the market decades ago. I haven't had a lot of issues with any of their products; and I have built about fifty or so cars for others that were happy as well. Any problems I have had have been due to poor electrical circuits in the car I installed the parts on to, not with MSD. Ignition boxes want a rock steady voltage and do not like low voltage or excessive voltage problems caused by mechanical points in the external voltage regulator. Also if you ever reversed polarity by trying to jump some one off (red to red black to black how simple can it get?), and your ignition was energized when it happened that box is now toast.

What they are like today I can not say as I locked my roll around cabinets for the last time about twelve years ago.

The advantage of a CD system is multiple spark discharges below 4,200 RPM where most street motors live with a 6AL box. A capacitive discharge isn't taking a miniscule little bit of energy and trying to amplify it through a transistorized circuit the way an HEI system does. A capacitive discharge system takes the batteries energy, runs it through a bunch of caps in the box (the bigger the box a 7 or a 10 the bigger the caps; so the more energy it lets loose when it discharges) and discharges it when your magnetic coil in the distributor says it's time to fire.

Another advantage is the ability to plug in a retard chip, rev limiters, RPM activated switches and five or six other different RPM controlled electrical relay devices to control boost retard, or your ignition advance under multiple stage nitrous systems; to just being able to crank a big cube high compression BBC with a miniature starter and the battery in the trunk

As mentioned because capacitive discharge boxes differ from inductive ignitions (Points) the ignition coil is also different (usually an E and I stacked coil with a central winding). The inductance of the ignition coil has to match the model of CD ignition box (MSD lists two or three coils for each sized box to choose from).

One problem not mentioned by the those who favor the factory HEI is that above 4,500 RPM the spark energy falls off as the HEI module over heats (transistors do not like heat). Under sustained high RPM use the HEI module will fail all together (usually tell tale is dropping ignition pulses sounding like you are hitting the rev limiter.

For a street strip car and if you have a good stock GM distributor I would stuff a Petronix HEI module inside of it. On my race car I ran a MSD 7AL-3 box that replaced an earlier Vertex magneto. It met every need I had except data logging at the time. Today I wouldn't by an analog box (though they are very robust) and stick with the newer digital boxes that will interface with a data logger if you ever go that route and have all of the chips internally controlled by rotary switches.

Big Dave
 

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If you aren't running a box, MSD8360. Fits against the firewall, has a rev limiter, is somewhat customizable, and has given me no grief whatsoever. Cannot say the same about the Mallory unit I had before I got angry and threw it out (new). Also, MSD's tech service is reachable and knowledgeable if you have a question.
 

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Lots of choices for ignition. Don't know that there is a "best".

You will find varying opinions (polar opposite) on the Stinger system.
Some guys swear by it, others swear at it.

You said it was working when pulled right? I would use it. It's FREE.
Check the air gap. 002. to 005. A piece of standard copier paper works well if you don't have really thin feeler gauges.

On the other hand, if you decide to go with a GM HEI distributor, you will need to re-curve as Steps said. In a high performance application (high RPM), you should plan on two other things. 1. Use solid core plug wires. Secondly, that ignition doesn't draw huge amperage, but does have a high instantaneous amperage draw, so it must have a nice thick (like 10 gauge) lead wire. And that lead wire should not be on a shared circuit. Best bet is to run a dedicated wire from independent 12v supply with a hidden toggle switch to turn it on. That gives you the bonus of an extra theft deterrent. Not 100% effective, but if some douche defeats the ignition switch and doesn't know about your hidden toggle, the car won't start until he runs 12 volts to the distributor. Hopefully that slows him down enough.
 

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I've had an msd 6al box and msd dist on my car for 10 plus years now never a problem 1. What are some of the problems you guys are having with msd stuff just curious?
They just mysteriously die. Mine lasted about 2 years and that was over 20 years ago. Im not surprised to see so many people with msd failures.
 

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I have the Mallory Hyfire 6. It can control boost retard, start retard. I have had it for 6 years and even had a small under hood fire that melted the plastic lens and it still works fine. Also it is under the hood.
 

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I tried a factory HEI, but there was not adequate firewall clearance in my 68 camaro. I went for the pertronix setup in the original distributor. Works great so far.

In my blower van ('65 chevy van w/ B&M supercharged 400 sbc), I went with a factory HEI modified for use with a MSD 6AL BTM, recurved with lighter springs.

People talk trash about MSD, but I've used them for years, only had one box fail. It was a 6A, this was about 15 years ago. MSD was very good about service and support. They took the box back, repaired it at no charge.

I love the capacitive discharge of the MSD. To view the benefits, just pull a plug and observe the spark compared to a regular ignition. With a stock ignition, you've got a normal single spark jumping the gap. With the MSD, you get a big ZZZZAP of spark, which supposedly gives a more complete fuel burn. Certainly is a hot ignition!
 

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Do not run solid core wires with an Msd or any other multiple spark ignitions, read Msd instructions and you cannot miss it, pertronixIII says it as well, if the car is stock appearing, why would you want the ugly red box?
 

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if the car is stock appearing, why would you want the ugly red box?
I posted something like that some yrs ago... and not just stock appearance...one sees so many times a nice colour coordinated engine bay, neatly laid out, and a bloody sore thumb looking bright read box wit wires/ loom hanging out spoil the whole effect .. usually for bragging rights to saw .. look at my msd that the marketing propaganda sucked me into buying

which supposedly gives a more complete fuel burn. Certainly is a hot ignition!
like an electric bar heater.. it only draws the amount of power the resistance of the wire in the bar demands.. if one increases the voltage, the current will drop....
And the resistance across the gap of a spark plug is determined buy the distance of the gap and the quailty of the fuel mix between it....
If one has a modern lean burn economy mix with higher resistance which requires a 'hotter spark' (increased voltage and/ or current) then one moves up from a points system (see my post above)
Or ones an over rich condition... same thing.
Dial in your mixtures correctly...AND the timing curve.. a 6 or 8 volt points system will be as effective as any high voltage system... the advantage of electronic over points is at high rpms with mechanic points bounce and capacitance recovery times
And as the the 2nd or 3rd generation factory HEI rpms issues .. thats an old wives tail thats hung around since the 70s and early 80s with the 1st generation of module failures.
And reliability... well it is common for the modules to go thru 2 sets of shafts and bushes... and still go as well as the day they came off the shelf.
u should see how they handle a motor bike getting out to 11,000 + rpms...sweet as.
Or drop in a rotary as a dizzy mod...nps

And yes one can adapt into a std points dizzy as well without much hassle
there is an old post on how to do that as well.

If GM produce such crap ign mdules, radators and so much other stuff... why not join the ford or mercidies or audi fans
 

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like an electric bar heater.. it only draws the amount of power the resistance of the wire in the bar demands.. if one increases the voltage, the current will drop....
And the resistance across the gap of a spark plug is determined buy the distance of the gap and the quailty of the fuel mix between it....


Algebraically true as determined by Ohms law, but not true in reality. Your electric heater analogy has a fixed voltage source. If I dropped said power across the bar but first ran it through a step down transformer the voltage drops and the amperage increases to the point where it will melt the heater element. That is how a welder works.

If I hold the voltage constant but increase the power by using a capacitor to temporarily store energy I can increase the amperage at the plug with a fixed resistance for a hotter spark. That is why a 7AL-3 box has a much hotter spark than a 6AL box and a 10AL box has enough juice in it to kill you. In each increase in number the amount of power rises as the caps get larger (as does the size of the box that holds them) to hold more power.

This is how a CAP Start electric motor works (versus a cap start-cap run system that uses a big cap to start it and two smaller caps and a set of induction coils to improve the RMS efficiency of the power supplied to the motor for more torque). Takes little to keep it running but a sizeable inrush current to get it to turn over initially. It is for this reason that a small electric emergency generator rated at sufficent Wattage out put can keep a refrigerator running when you loose power but it won't have enough power in reserve to crank it up (which usually destroys both devices if you try it).

I use solid wire for my spark plug wires, but it isn't solid core. I use spiral wound wire with all of my MSD, Pertronix, Accell/Mallory applications. It reduces the static on the radio as much as carbon impregnated fiberglass resistance wires without the associated drop in resistance for more power to the plug. I do use a resistor plug (it usually has an R in the plug's part number). A resistor plug is nothing more than an insulated spark gap that can not leak the high voltage from one side to the other until such time as the air in the gap is ionized. It is the ionization potential of the air gap built into the plug that determines the resistance of the ignition system not your spark gap and thus the actual voltage delivered to the plug.

Big Dave
 

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Good info Dave. For the record, I never suggested a solid core plug wire for and MSD.
That was if the OP decided to use a GM HEI distributor.
 
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