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Thread: MSD 6AL box question

  1. #21
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    It makes me remember that I didn't have that much trouble with the 2 427ci engines I built 46, and 48 years ago, that pulled smooth, and hard to 6500rpm with just points. I could lift the left front wheel on my 68 Chevelle in second gear with G60-15 tires on the street. I had both of those engines machined at
    Speed-O-Motive in 73, and 75 while I was in the Navy in Long Beach. I just had a POS timing light back then...

  2. #22
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    To me that's an indication something is wrong, rather than it being a solution.

    I can't say this for a fact, but your "fix" may be telling you want you want to see rather than the correct timing.

    The trouble with MSD boxes and timing lights is when you use a dial back light (hope you aren't doing that). The only dial back light I've seen that works with an MSD box is a Snap On, though there may be others. Using most dial backs on MSD ignitions results in totally erroneous readings. That includes using one with the dial on "zero".

    In fact, the timing you've been reporting should have blown your engine up by now.

    Haven't we already discussed dial backs?

  3. #23
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    Hint: MSD stands for "multiple spark discharge". That alone would freak out a timing light. I have timed an engine by sound, and feel which is a better approach than what you are dealing with.
    Last edited by 55 Rescue Dog; 01-24-2019 at 05:58 PM.

  4. #24
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    That's a recipe for one of two things. 1. Disaster. 2. Leaving lots of power on the table. Use a freaking timing light, non-dial back, and get it right.

  5. #25
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    Yes Rick_L, I have a dial back but I am using my newer non dial back light. I know it would have blown my engine, all I can do is to time it by ear, which has been working just fine. Tried in the past to have a mechanic adjust it but his Snap On light gave erroneous readings also, and that was before the 6AL box.
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 Rescue Dog View Post
    Hint: MSD stands for "multiple spark discharge". That alone would freak out a timing light. I have timed an engine by sound, and feel which is a better approach than what you are dealing with.
    Yes I know what MSD stands for. In fact the company is actually "Autotronic Controls" doing business as MSD. They changed their operating name to MSD after their multi spark boxes took off. Right now it is timed by advancing it until it bucks when starting, then turned back some. Then I tuned it a little better at the track going by times. Right now I'm running an Autotronics Controls distributor with it's electronics unplugged and just using the pickup coil to trigger the 6AL box.
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

  7. #27
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    If that is pick up for your timing light you are putting it in a bad area. Hook it up down close to the #1 plug.

    your plug wires look ok. Iím refering to the wires to coil and MSD box be twisted not plug wires.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmvette View Post
    If that is pick up for your timing light you are putting it in a bad area. Hook it up down close to the #1 plug.

    your plug wires look ok. I’m refering to the wires to coil and MSD box be twisted not plug wires.
    You are right, I don't know how I got into that habit, probably from removing the clamp after it was resting on a header tube. Ouch! I suppose I could try mechanics gloves. I think I remember twisting those coil wires but I'd have to look again. Commonly known in electronics as a "twisted pair" to shield from outside interference. The one wire is normally a ground, but neither of the wires to the coil are ground. Not sure if it would also help reduce them from emitting RF noise.
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

  9. #29
    Registered Member chasracer's Avatar
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    Yep you got it right. Personally I have never seen a bit of difference with the clamp-on lights whether it was near the plug end, in the middle of the wire or near the distributor cap. I have seen a difference on a dial-back light if you did not have the clamp orientation correct. I have mine marked with a yellow paint dot towards the plug - makes it a bit quicker in the pits.

    And as to the timing, I have seen BBC engines with a huge amount of compression run at high timing numbers. My 555 engine has a bit over 14.6:1 but I run Alcohol and a-b-a testing has shown us that this engine is perfectly happy with a total of 30 degrees. I gain nothing except a harder starting engine moving the timing up. And btw this is a locked crank-trigger distributor. 30 degrees at start up. For STREET engines, I would normally tell someone to start with 8-10 degrees of initial and another 15-25 in mechanical advance for a total of of 33-35 somewhere around 2800-3000 rpm. That's a good start but it's up to the tuner to find out what that engine and it's combination of parts works best at - I like to call it a happy engine when you get it figured out. But this car magazine nonsense of 12+24=36 has to be understood as a starting point, not something that is written in stone! If Tony's engine runs it's best with the numbers he has then that's what that engine wants whether you agree with it or not.
    The problem is not the problem.
    The problem is your attitude about the problem.
    Savvy?Ē ~~ Captain Jack Sparrow ~~

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