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I have a '69 camaro with an old 350 and a few minor upgrades to it. I have seen a lot on TV shows and magazine articles about using MSD 6AL multispark ignition systems. I don't race my car and primarily use it for cruising and riding around on weekends. Is this something I should consider for my car? Would it really make a difference? Would I get any real performance and/or fuel economy gains?
 

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Re: upgrading to a multispark ignition

I have a '69 camaro with an old 350 and a few minor upgrades to it. I have seen a lot on TV shows and magazine articles about using MSD 6AL multispark ignition systems. I don't race my car and primarily use it for cruising and riding around on weekends. Is this something I should consider for my car? Would it really make a difference? Would I get any real performance and/or fuel economy gains?
The multi-spark is all hype IMHO.
I do think the extra energy does help a little.
If you are using points a better value is a crane or pertronix electronic conversion kit; about $80.
 

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It will probably just look cool.....

Except that you have to locate that big box somewhere and then run the wires.

I vote for the Pertronix conversion if you want the stock look or the Pertronix distributor if you want the billet look.
 

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Well Duane. Here,s my nickels worth mind you i am old school . I have a complete MSD 6AL and vac adv billet dist in my Camaro. These are the 2 main things i noticed over my old set up. One on a cold start it fires off quicker and does not stallout it remains running this is more prevalent if you have a healthy cam . TWo i dont go through plugs like i used too and that,s another plus then you have a choosable rev limiter plus you can hook up a bunch of other things mainly for racing adjustable timing the two step etc. I believe this is where it makes a huge difference over the stock stuff. Before i had any of this i always ran well set up corvette cast iron tach drive window factory distributors that had an adv curve kit and a quick adv can with genuine Delco high speed points and a , real good coil. For the street i dont think my new set up accelerates any quicker than my old up to about 5800 rpm. Do i like it yes, is it purty yes .Would i spend all that money on another one? NO . Iexpected a lot more than what i got , maybe because i had an optimal factory set up i feel this way. Knowing what i know now ,i would go the same old route with a Pertronics conversion. I have installed a half dozen for friends and they work great no problems quick starts good plug life,much easier on the wallet. The Crane one i have never used and don,t know anyone who has but i looked at one and i would try one just to compare it to the Pertronics. This is not bashing of an y kind this is just my real world observation .If iwas going to use the car as a50/50 street strip car and rev it over 5000 rpm definately M S D hands down but for a mostly a street car with an occaisional trip to the track i would use a less expensive system or just keep the points.:yes:;):thumbsup:ALEX
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The previous owner installed a Crane Cams XR-i Points to Electronic ignition kit on the car. Would this be sufficient? Considering that the rest of the engine bay looks pretty pathetic, I'm not sure I'm up for $250+ for a coolness factor. It sounds like there is some benefit if it's compatible with what I already have.
 

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I've played around with various Electronic Ignitions over the years and in my opinion, one isn't any better then the other; however, I do lean toward Mallory Systems mainly because of their Excellent Service Department.

I presently run the Mallory Multi-Spark HyFire VI Unit with either their Mechanical Advance Magnetic Breaker-less or Uni-lite with a vacuum pod Distributor. A Vacuum Advance Pod is a must for the Street and Cruising.

The HyFire VI Module has all shorts of built in features, Multi-Spark to 3000 rpm, Variable Rev Limiter, 3 Spark Control Retard Triggers for adjusting Start-up, NOS, MAP ...etc - NICE Unit.

I also run a Remote Variable Spark Retard Module which I mount in the Glove Box and gives the option of adjusting spark advance on the fly.

The System has plenty of provisions for future items such as NOS, MAP Sensors, Blowers, Various Ignition Triggers...etc which I have never implemented but is there if I do.

I must say the Initial Advance Retard Over Ride and Multi-Spark features do Start the Engine faster, tends to keep the plugs clean around town and the Unit will easily spark the plugs to 7000rpm, where I've been a few times with my BBC.

One thing you MUST understand is that the Electrics of our Old Rides (prior to 72) where never designed to use Micro Processing Circuits. If the System is not protected with the use of Filters and Capacitors, EMF and Fly-back Voltage will burn the transistors of your expensive CD Ignition. Advertising and Sales Personal of CD Ignitions do NOT admit this; however, their Technicians are well aware of the problem and I highly recommend you discuss the installation of their product with a Tech.

In my opinion, if you have a Mildly Modified Mill and NOT heavily into competition CD Units are NOT necessary. I never trust CD Units and always keep a Points Distributor in the Trunk.

Tom is right: The Units do look Cool - LOL



 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all of the feedback and pointers. I think I'm going to hold off on this for a while until I've gotten other things fixed up first. It doesn't sound like there would be a significant advantage to adding one based on my use and the cost of adding one.
 

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The previous owner installed a Crane Cams XR-i Points to Electronic ignition kit on the car. Would this be sufficient? Considering that the rest of the engine bay looks pretty pathetic, I'm not sure I'm up for $250+ for a coolness factor. It sounds like there is some benefit if it's compatible with what I already have.
I'd like to know how well the rev limiter works on your Crane XR-I setup. It's supposed to be adjustable from 4000 rpm up.
If you get a chance to test it, let us know if it works ! Thanks :beers:
 

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I'd like to know how well the rev limiter works on your Crane XR-I setup. It's supposed to be adjustable from 4000 rpm up.
If you get a chance to test it, let us know if it works ! Thanks :beers:
I don't think I've gotten the motor up to 4000 RPMs since I bought it last April. How would I test it? I'm not even sure what the current rev limit is set to right now. I believe the factory specs say this motor shouldn't go above 5500. Probably shouldn't even be that considering I'm not sure how solid the condition is on the motor.
 

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I don't think I've gotten the motor up to 4000 RPMs since I bought it last April. How would I test it? I'm not even sure what the current rev limit is set to right now. I believe the factory specs say this motor shouldn't go above 5500.
I found the instructions for the rev limiter. You set it by turning a screw on the body of the module.
I would set it on the 4000 rpm mark to see if it works; then you can set it on 5400-5500 rpm and forget it.
Go to the bottom of this page for instructions :

http://www.cranecams.com/uploads/instructions/90001700c.pdf
 

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Speaking of rev limiters, have you seen the updates MSD has done to their ready to run distributors like the 8360? They added on a gray wire that has a 12V 20% duty cycle tach output just like the boxes have. They also have a built in rev limiter....you just connect the gray wire to your tach and jumper in a piece of wire on the gray tach line, rev the engine up to half the RPM value you want your limiter set at, and touch the line connected to your tach line to ground for one second. The unit will then display the rev limit on your tach for two seconds to confirm and also swing the tach needle to your rev limit setting for two seconds every time you turn the car on. Pretty sweet.


Oh, and no reason for a CD box on a regular cruiser in my opinion. The HEI has worked great on my engine and has proven to spark well with a 0.045 gapped plug past 6000 RPM. Any other electronic upgrade with a 40kV coil ought to be sufficient as well.
 

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I don't think I've gotten the motor up to 4000 RPMs since I bought it last April. How would I test it? I'm not even sure what the current rev limit is set to right now. I believe the factory specs say this motor shouldn't go above 5500. Probably shouldn't even be that considering I'm not sure how solid the condition is on the motor.
To see how it works,
Figure out how to set it for four k and then just rev it to that point. The limiter will do the rest. Much better than forgetting about it till that one day when you rev it up and get surprised when it kicks in. That happened to me autocrossing my MR2! I didn't know it had a limiter till I hit it then thought I had damaged the engine. By the way I see that Pertronix offers modules with limiters now also.



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Unless you really need high rpm power 6k+ dont waste your money. Ireplaced my msd setup with a Dui distributor and coil and it runs the exact same time in the 1/4. Its also easier and cheaper to hookup. multtple spark ignitions can be hard on cap and rotors. When i had points it made a difference. When i switched to an msd distributor it didnt. Any quality distributor will work fine in most situations.
 
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