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Discussion Starter #1
I am picking up the final few pieces for my engine. I picked up a 86 5.0 HO motor to replace my 289. I am going carb and original style accessories. I just bought a new Ford Motorsports timing cover. I will be going with a performance products balancer. Last thing I need is an ignition system. I would like some opinions on what has worked for everyone.
I like the 'new' Crane distributor with electronic mechanical and vacuum advance. But at over $300, I am having a hard time justifying that much money. Anyone running this system?
The new HEI style systems are nice 'all in one' solutions, but seem to have clearance issues with monte carlo bars. (I have a 13" air cleaner.) I would like to run a Maier Racing monte carlo/shock tower brace system. The the Procomp distributors (~100) from ebay is on the top of my list due to cost effectiveness. I did several searches (here, Stangnet, Corral) and did not find any negative feedback on performance of this product. Anyone have any first hand experience? They are real cheap, but appear to be made in Austrailia.

So what has the upgrade path been on your ignition system? I hate spending money twice for the same thing... :horror:

Thanks,
Glenn
 

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The Crane piece is relatively new to the market so I doubt very many people have had the opportunity to try it out. However, Crane has a solid reputation so I wouldn't hesitate to try one of their products if it fit my needs. As far as the price, $320 isn't out of line if you consider that most other ignitions will run you $200+ for a distributor plus another $150 or more for an ignition box(if you read the fine print most other distributors require a box in order to have a working ignition system). The question I'd have for Crane before buying it is how does the output with no box compare to other ignitions that use a box? At least compared to the MSD ready-to-run the Crane unit is preprogrammed with several ignition curves to make getting the best curve for your engine comparatively easy. I've been considering the Crane ign myself but since I don't have an answer on the output question I'm still leaning to a more conventional set up using a billet dist and box from Accel, with those pieces I know I'll have more than enough spark for when I add NOS.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
MSD system is a bit cheaper than the crane all-in-one distributor. Wouldn't have to worry about clearance problems either.

Thanks,
Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, not a lot of info on how the system works. I have more 'faith' in support from Crane after the sale (as I would with MSD). I really like the tunability on the unit. Compared to a two box solution the $320 is more competitive.

Thanks,
Glenn
 

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Still love my Mallory Unilite. I have a straight monte carlo bar and I can get it in and out no problem.
 

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I opted for the MSD pro billet "small base #8579" distributor and 6AL ignition box in the 66 Fastback. The distributor is small, and somewhat resembles a 289 Hipo unit as it has no vacuum canister. I have no manifold clearance issues, even with a Super Victor intake. Also black caps (instead of red) are available from NAPA to maintain that original SBF look. I can remove just the cap or the whole distributor with the straight Monte-Carlo bar in place. The cap has the "post" type connections so the SBF custom fit Ford Motosports ignition wires can be used in either red blue or black color. The 6AL box rev limiter saved my engine at the drag strip during a messed up shift.
 

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Both my '66 and '69 have MSD Pro Billet Distributors and 6A-L boxes. Other than getting the wrong gear from MSD (twice) on the roller motor, I've had zero problems with either. I am amazed at the mileage I'm getting out of my plugs with this setup. Right now, I have over 15k miles on the plugs in my '66 and they still look brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am definitely on board with the improvements an upgraded ignition system can offer. I think MSD has a large portion of the high performance aftermarket segment. Glad to hear your system, once set up with the requested gear, is working out.

Thanks,
Glenn
 
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