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OK , I'd like your opinions ! We that have put MSD , Mallory , ACEL etc on our cars . Are we just kidding ourselves? I first went from the original ignition to Pertronix to MSD ( billet dist, 6AL box, blaster coil ) I've had it on for about 5 years. But I'm really starting to guestion myself. Is it really all that better than then the original ignition or have we all been blindsided by all the advertisments ? For just basically driving and enjoying your car , why not stay with the original. That way , if theres a problem at least we can fix it ! What do you thing ? TOM
 

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Have you ever seen the spark put out by your MSD setup at idle? One look and you will stop asking if they are worth it. They put out the biggest, fattest, bluest sparks. You could almost weld with them.
 
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I asked this question a couple of days ago. I wondered how much improvement there would be from my stock distributor, Petronix, and Flamethrower coil if I went with a billet MSD distributor and MSD-6AL box. The responses were that the ends did not justify the means and that the money would be better spent on something else.
 

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My 66 coupe has MSD 6AL and MSD billet distributor. I'm very happy with the combo.
My 68 fastback has stock coil, stock dist with Pertronix. Also very happy with this setup. This car was very hard on points.
 

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I'm using my original distributor with an ignitor. I have upgraded to big plug wires (Ford Racing) and the big plug style cap. My engine is probably as built up as anyone would want for the street (well...maybe it could use a few more cubes /forums/images/icons/wink.gif).

I've considered an MSD 6AL box and distributor. I think it would be nice to have. My car runs fine without it. Would it run better with it? I would think it would idle and run a little better. Is it worth the money? I have no idea.

I guess it boils down to priorities. If you're spending money on a driven car, and you're working within limits on what you can spend on the car, then you should probably fix the weak areas of your car. For example, if your distributor NEEDS replaced, that might be a good time to put in a MSD box along with a new distributor.

If your ignition is working fine, maybe you should stay with it and spend your dollars elsewhere.

I'm not disagreeing with Kent at all. Kent has done darn near everything you can do to improve an old Mustang...including his ignition. I'm sure it's much better than stock. Do those big blue sparks add measurable horsepower? Beats me!

Kent...you've bought darn near everything else. Why don't you buy a dyno...or at LEAST a G-Tech Pro...then you can report back with some for real data to go along with anecdotal information. "Inquiring minds want to know!"

Phil
 

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After having run crank triggers, Durasparks, MSD's, Unilites, dual points and a plain old stock point distributor over the years, I basically feel this way...

OEM points are great for stock or mild engines on the street....emminently reliably and dirt cheap and easy to fix on the road if necessary.

I'd augment that with a box like a MSD for more serious street duty (higher performance) where the car is driven every day and/or for long distances.

The electronic ignition systems like I've run and Pertronix are great but I don't really think they're necessary for street use. Nice and usually long-lived (compared to points) but not necessary. Kent is right about the spark energy from some (like the MSD)...it's formidable (trust me, I know *G*).

The hard part is determining the demarkation when such energy is necessary. IMO, it becomes necessary when igniting dense fuel mixturres at high pressures and rpms, which usually only take place in HC naturally aspirated or LC supercharged racing applications (and some very serious street engines, basically racing engines in street vehicles).

I would say once your C/R gets over 10:1 (definitely over 11:1) or you're running boost/nitrous and/or are running at consistent rpms over 5K, then such accurate high energy systems become a necessity. IMO, with anything milder, they are nice but not necessary.

In my parts-getter D-coder, I run a stone stock ignition system and tune it up once every year or two when I note random misses under power. With the headers and intake I'm running, it's likely not putting out much more HP than a stock A-coder and has a low C/R and doesn't see the high side of 4K too often. Sure, I could stick on of my extra 6A boxes on it but I guess I'm lazy *G* and it does just fine without.

As always, YMMV (literally *G*), but that's a seperate subject....fuel economy (with regard to different ignition systems)...
 

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my stock ford distributor with the cheaper pertronics thing autolite spark plugs, black "Napa Auto Parts" ignition wires works great. The motor will pull hard in third gear farther past 7000 rpm than I care to go.
jimbo
 

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I looked at the Dynojets when I was dreaming large. They are only $45K, which is not bad for a business investment. Now if I just had a business to make the investment with....

I have one of the G-Tech Pro doohickies. I have not played with it yet. Anybody know what my car weighs?

There are one of two more items to take care of before I start chasing HP. I have a driveline vibration starting at about 75 and getting worse with more speed. My guess is the driveshaft, but... you know how it is.

As far as the MSD making more HP goes, I can't say. I didn't get it because of HP desires. I got it because it helps with overall quality of tune. My idle is better with it then without it. One other major consideration for me was the fact that the MSD dizzy is the only one that I found which would fit under the fuel rails.
 

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Well...for guestimation purposes I'd say 3200 pounds with a driver and a tank of gas. The higher you guess, the higher the horsepower numbers the GTech will give you. Maybe you should put in 4200 pounds /forums/images/icons/wink.gif.

The BEST THING would be to put it on a scale somewhere. Just take it to a quarry, or a grainery...they'll be happy to let you run it over their scales. Oh wait. You probably don't live in the "Land of Quarries and Graineries" like I do. Maybe a truck stop somewhere???

Phil
 

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I think you should have stopped at the second step. The Pertronix is simple, inexpensive and reduces the bother of constantly adjusting your points. It also increases your plug life while it maintains a stock appearance. While neither of my cars REQUIRED anything other than the stock ignition, the Ignitors cleaned up some small problems and simplified my life. The more sophisticated electronic ignitions are probably well beyond what most of us will ever need in our street cruisers and are way too expensive for applications other than regular drag or open track racers. Just my $.02.
 

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When I went from just my Mallory distributor to my Mallory distributor + Crane HI-6 box, the difference was like night and day. The car ran smoother, started easier, and revved better. I would never go back to a standalone distributor again. I didn't have an option with nitrous, I had to get the box, but was glad I did, especially with the new engine setup I have coming, it will definitely be well appriciated.
 
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When I put the MSD 7-AL2 on my race car I thought the same thing, always ran good with the Unilite. That thing sure didn't like the MSD... I have the electrical scar to prove it! NEVER let a MSD zap ya. Car only picked up .20 seconds & another .10 when I put the MSD distributor in it. Running a 350 shot(soon to be a fogger) would be a bad thing to do it it were me.
 

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I considered the question posed but I don't drive my '65 very much...occasional cruise, occasional show, etc. Mileage is less than 4000 per year. Tune up intervals for conventional ignition are every 5K miles. It did not make sense for me to install MSD, Hyfire or Crane. If the average tune up costs me $20 (wires and plugs last about the same change inverval so aren't included) it will take 20 years to recover my investment in MSD, HyFire or Crane. Pertronix/Unilite module is less expensive, so the return on it should amortize in 5 years.
 

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Here's my take. A distributor is basically a distributor. Some look better, some will last longer, but they all do the same thing ... connect the coil primary wire to spark plug wires in sequence. Buying a fancy distributor doesn't make sense to me on a normal street driven car, unless you just like the looks of one, as a stock distributor with a Pertronix is much more economical, and will do the same thing.

The hotter coils and MSD-6AL boxes, though, are a different story all together. In my son's '65 and daughter's '69 without the MSD, I change plugs about every 8-10k miles. I've just recently started going back to a stock gap on those cars because it was eating plugs in 2 months on my son's car.

In my '66 with an MSD-6AL, I noticed a definate idle difference, starting difference, and little more upper end power. I gap the plugs at .055 in this car, and after 7k miles, they still look practically new.

I'm with the others, in that, there's probably better things to spend the money on that an MSD6-AL, but the money spent on it is definatey worth it.
 

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On my Mallory ignition, just unplugging the Hy-Fire box alone makes a noticeable difference.
Its worth the expense on a high reving small block V8. For a stock 2V motor, you might notice a smoother bottom end, but its probably overkill. Not that I know much about stock motors...
/forums/images/icons/smile.gif
 
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The MSD 6A made a big difference in my '66. It's a 10:1 289 daily driver. This replaced an early duraspark I put in several years ago. The duraspark didn't make a noticable improvement over the points, but the MSD starts quicker, idles better, and improved milage and seat of the pants acceleration.

IMO a points dist. is as good as a mag pickup below 5000 rpm. I am using points to trigger the MSD & installed it with quick connects so I can plug directly into the coil if the box dies.
 

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Recurved stock body, Pertronix single-fire, 9mm Jacobs wires, Jacobs variable multi-spark Pro Street ignition. Run .065 gaps on stock Autolite 45's (I think they're 45's). Picked up a full second in the 1/4 and get better gas mileage. Starts easy, runs smoother, emissions are way down. Works great.....
 
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