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MSD DIGITAL PROGRAMMABLE 6AL-2 and locked down Ignition


Dudeland
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Crazy Question.  I am reading tons of stuff about ignition, timing, vac advance, mechanical advance, cams etccc...  I just got a 2002 with a schrick cam. It has the 76 advance/retard distro in it.  Instead of buying a mechanical distro, I was thinking of locking down the one I have and use the MSD to set the timing advance curve electronically.  I can program it easily with a laptop.  

 

Currently it has a header and 32/36 progressive in need of a rebuild. 

 

Cost-wize it may be the about the same, and it will allow me the flexibility to make other changes down the road.  

 

Your thoughts?  

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Simple answer, this would make an awesome ignition system but there are a few things you need to sort out / fabricate. 

 

You need to consider providing a crank sensor as well as locking the advance plate out. Sticking with the points or Pertronix to provide the crank sensing is going to waste a lot of the benefit. When you start going to this much trouble and EDIS with mega jolt controller starts looking attractive too. 

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Point taken, but I have looked at the other options, and making a crank trigger is a pain.  The ones I have seen cant do it for you anymore.   I need a bolt on solution that requires little to no fabrication.  

I can simply get the ignition welded to lock out any mechanical or vacuum advance.   What are the results with the regular MSD 6A units?

 

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If you do it that way then any existing vagueness and wear in your distributor will still be there plus wear in your cam, cam sprockets and timing chain.

 

At least with a 123 you start with a new distributor and a crank fire system removes the rest of the wear points from the system. It will work but you are just missing a lot of benefits. 

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The 123 looks interesting, but it is not multispark.  I like the bluetooth one, as it has security built into it.  I just need something that is going to be super reliable. I get your point with the wear in the system. I am just wondering how big a difference it would make in a motor like mine. Is it worth $900 ( about $1300 CDN) 

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I am running a multi spark ignition  (actually a Summit Racing one) with my 123. The 123 just acts as a means to switch the MSD and vary the advance based on your programme. 

 

Depends what you are after. Most people are reporting that the 123 running the coil in the conventional induction manner is a good upgrade for a stock or lightly modded engine. You could start with that and then add the (normal) MSD after if you wanted more umph from your spark. This also gives you the benefit of running vacuum advance for fine tuning part throttle running. Your locked distributor and MSD electronic don't have the facility to look at engine load. 

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Good point.  I will have a close look at one. First I need to deal up the carb.  I have a pertronix running a blue coil.  I need to put it on the timing light to see what I get.  When I got the car it had the vacuum advance disconnected. It still had the retard in place. I will disconnect the retard completely, temporarily disconnect the advance as per usual, set up the timing and see how it all feels.  I do like the security aspect of the 123. It seems like it would be unlikely that anyone trying to steal the car could get around this.

  

 

 

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I ordered a 123 yesterday. I like the stock look. The security and the Vacume option. I will see if I need the msd once I get everything failed in. The advance/retard district seems like a less than great especially for non stock configurations. I will update it with my results.


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Erp, sorry, too late to the discussion-

 

I disagree with Simeon on this one- if you repair a stock distributor to as- new,

lock it, and use it as a trigger it will be a lot better than the standard advance mechanisms,

and the spark scatter will be 'reasonable'.  It will NOT be as good as a crank triggered one,

but it will be within a couple of crank degrees.  Which, honestly, is considerably better metering than a carb can do for your fuel,

 

So it would work fine.  It DOES work fine- I use a standard MSD 6AL for the race car, and with a good

distributor, it doesn't wander more than 2 (+1-1) degrees.  And the M10 isn't THAT spark sensitive

at 12:1.

 

I have found the MSD box to be excellent for what it is, and very durable.

 

I've never tried the 123 option, as at that point, I DO agree with Simeon, and for the effort and expense,

would just go crank- triggered.  It's on my list, just not at a high priority...  because the MSD works pretty darned well.

 

This is just me, of course.

 

t

 

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The technology in the MSD is interesting. Before I spring for more "umph" I will see what the 123 does.  I agree that a standard mechanical advance would work.  Unfortunately i have the goofy advance/retard 1975-1976 emissions model that is likely causing a low lumpy idle.  Having the ability to see my vacuum, voltage, temp, speed, and advance and RPM in real time. As well as the ability to complexly immobilize my vehicle made the decision a little easier.  

 

 

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