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Discussion Starter #1
Over the years I have heard some good things about MSD ignitions (such as the 6AL)... Anyway, I have been looking around for reviews, and I have heard some bad things about them lately. Several people commented that their products are made in China... bla bla bla

Anyway, anyone running an aftermarket ignition? Ive been reading about the Summit ignitions, but the only reviews I can find are on summit. :laughing:

I already have a MSD coil (no problems), but its time to do a tune up again, and i was looking for some info on a ignition system. Mostly im wondering about the MSDs, Cranes, and Summits. Personally, I still think the MSD stuff is good, just looking for anyone who wants to talk me out of it, or towards a better product. Btw, its for my 4.9L.


Anyone?
 

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i dont think u'll see anything (maybe a smoother idle) by swapping igintion boxes on a 4.9. the factory system is really good for what it is and provides plenty of room for work. now if u go turbo and need boost retard control or something than ya.

but my personal preference is and always has been Crane. a few mags i read that did igintion shootouts said the Crane wasnt the best for power but was the best over all and most realilbe.
 

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i dont think u'll see anything (maybe a smoother idle) by swapping igintion boxes on a 4.9. the factory system is really good for what it is and provides plenty of room for work.
x2.

IMHO, people get way too hung up on doing ignition upgrades when you likely won't see any real gain unless there was something wrong with the stock system and/or you have a with high cylinder pressures that has a tendency to blow the spark out.

Personally, I'd do your tune up and run it until you determine that you've exceeded the limits of what the stock ignition system will provide you.

As for the Summit ignition boxes, I'm pretty sure that they are just private labeled Mallaroy boxes. I believe that if you call them up and ask they'll tell you who the manufacturer of their parts is. I've been thinking about picking one up for a project I'm working on but don't know if I need an ignition upgrade yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
sounds good to me. thats about what ive been reading - smoother idle, and thats about it. Ive just never actually met someone who is running one.
 

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sounds good to me. thats about what ive been reading - smoother idle, and thats about it. Ive just never actually met someone who is running one.
You look into megasquirt? I still have mine that I have yet to put in the turbo car. I have personally rode in a few cars that were on MS. Not sure if you want to make your rig that much more non-smog friendly. the good thing is they now make a plug and play to use your factory ford harness so when smog time comes you could plug in your stocker without pulling the harness.

As for the msd, a few of the stang guys run em...Haven't heard anything bad about em, but I'm with mondster...If you have the ford edis, keep it.
-Justin
 

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I had one of the offroad boxes. it died in 2 years and MSD said it was un repairable. In fact they said the way the bottom was epoxy'd in there makes all the offroad boxes unrepairable.

I tossed it all out. stuck in a points dizzy with matching VW coil for 8 months as I was working on SEFI for the 400. Not ever going to buy another pos MSD part.
 

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You won't notice much difference on a TFI and later ford. They already have a good bit of spark energy with the factory setup. The motor would respond to the longer spark duration, but not so much to the voltage.

On an older motor, yeah, there's a night and day difference. Going from points to 6AL and a blaster 2 coil made my 390 ANGRY by comparison.

My neighbor has the summit ignition on his hei chevy and it made a noticeable gain in power. He also upped his mileage. The summit box I would have to say is a relabeled Mallory, as it looked just like the HyFire IV box my other friend ran.
 

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I had one of the offroad boxes. it died in 2 years and MSD said it was un repairable. In fact they said the way the bottom was epoxy'd in there makes all the offroad boxes unrepairable.

I tossed it all out. stuck in a points dizzy with matching VW coil for 8 months as I was working on SEFI for the 400. Not ever going to buy another pos MSD part.
The off road boxes are potted, which would require you to basically destroy the contents of the box in order to get it back apart.

From what I've seen, the older MSD boxes seem to be of decent quality, but the newer ones seem to be hit or miss. I suspect that it is because they're cutting corners in an attempt to keep their prices competitive.

EDIT: I agree with Totalled on older vs. newer vehicles. I should have clarified that a bit in my first post. If you're still attempting to run your car on '60s technology ignition systems then yes, the CD boxes will help, but if you have a newer system like the TFI or EDIS stuff then I really think you're throwing money away unless your application really needs it.
 

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Unless you have a race motor that can make benefit of some of the more advanced features, I'd say skip it. Some of my MSD boxes have lasted years, some only a handfull of months. They are pretty sensitive to electrical spikes, and the best way to run one these days is with what is in essence a surge protector between the the box and the power. Msd makes one I know, and summit sells them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unless you have a race motor that can make benefit of some of the more advanced features, I'd say skip it. Some of my MSD boxes have lasted years, some only a handfull of months. They are pretty sensitive to electrical spikes, and the best way to run one these days is with what is in essence a surge protector between the the box and the power. Msd makes one I know, and summit sells them.

Agreed. I think im starting to try to "pull power out of my ass" for my 6 cylinder. :flipoff2: Ill try to hold back next time.

thanks for the replies. :homer:
 

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my old setup

OEM ford dizzy and module box.

teh suxors.

HEI Dizzy hybrid setup:

no more high RPM missing.

HEI dizzy, MSD HEI cap rotor and coil, MSD 6AL, and 8.8 MSD race wires:

no issues at any range, plugs stay clean now all times, and a happy driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
what engine were you running that on Halo?
 

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my old setup

OEM ford dizzy and module box.

teh suxors.

HEI Dizzy hybrid setup:

no more high RPM missing.

HEI dizzy, MSD HEI cap rotor and coil, MSD 6AL, and 8.8 MSD race wires:

no issues at any range, plugs stay clean now all times, and a happy driver.
You're not even comparing the same thing. A TFI or EDIS ignition system is superior to an old Duraspark system IMHO.

Why mess with a TFI or EDIS system that works fine?
 

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sorry im motarded:


TFI and EDIS?

i know what an HEI is :D
TFI = Ford's version of a computer controlled (7 or 8 pin) HEI
EDIS = Ford's version of DIS

Both were used on more modern engines with EFI and work fine. The older duraspark and points ignition systems were a bit lacking (as were the GM and Chrysler offerings in that era) and can be improved. In my experience, more modern, fuel injected motors have decent ignition systems that don't really need to be improved unless you have high cylinder pressures from boost, high compression, etc.
 

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i guess i missed the "its a 4.9" so i guess thats one of those new(er) modular engines?


if thats the case i agree with you, modern ignition systems blow away HEI style ignitions.


hell look at the BMW's i work on :evil:

the ignition sequence on those are in-fuggin-sane, even on cars as far back as the mid 90's. BMW has been using C.O.P. designs from the early 90's.

the new M5 V10 (S85) engine uses the spark plugs for knock sensors "ionic spark" and can re-shoot, lengthen or shorten spark or squirt to kill detonation BEFORE the detonation occurs. on every cylinder. individually. while revving to 8,000 rpm :eek:

hell my M3 which is turboed, and my buddies turbo M3 still uses factory coils and ignition components, and both are well over 400 hp.
 

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I'm assuming that the 4.9L in question is fuel injected considering it is an '89. In a case like that, it should be TFI and be an acceptable ignition IMHO. By no means is it as high tech as the newer stuff like what you're talking about, but it isn't bad either.

I've owned/built a lot of turbo cars over the years and have never needed anything more than what the factory ignition system had to offer in all but the most extreme cases. In fact, there were some cases where it could be proven that an MSD would create a power loss. The only times I've found an MSD or other products like it beneficial is with old carbed motors and insufficient ignition systems.
 

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If you aren't revving it high, there is no point in going to MSD. Factory TFI is plenty good for even high horsepower motors. The only time you would need something that does multiple sparks is for something that revs past 6500 rpm or see's enormous amounts of boost. Although you can use the blue DS box in some boost retard applications (so it is rumored) as the white wire retards timing by 10* for starting. I've never tried it of course, because the only forced induction thing I have is a diesel.

I've tried the difference between Duraspark, HEI, and MSD and didn't notice any difference in power. The problem the DS and HEI have vs the MSD is they are not setup to deal with high RPM dwell angles, thus causing a miss. I've found that you outreach the limits of either a DS or HEI above 6500. I've never hit the limits of a factory TFI because they are usually tied to the computer's rev limiter (6250 RPM on a 5.0) but I imagine they are better setup to deal with RPM better than the older DS and HEI shit.

Save your money, stick with your factory ignition.
 
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