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Darnit, can't use the MSD ignition system!


Well-known member
Jul 3, 2001
Auburndale, Florida
1969 Killer Shark
Hey TC, I guess I won't be joining the ranks of happy MSD customers. I have been reading through and setting up the basic fuel injection instructions and part of it includes installing a Hal effect sensor in the distributor. This is a small part of my big frustration on having to wait so long to get the unit in. It was not like I was ready to install it three months ago, but I needed to coordinate my other parts with compatible pieces.

Long story short, I don't see any way to put the Edelbrock part into the MSD pro billet unit. On the good side, Garin1 traded me out a fresh HEI for my old cable tach drive distributor for his 68. The Edelbrock components will fit the large bodied HEI no problem. The Edelbrock Fuel Injection system does have an ignition amplifier that works much like the 6AL box.

I don't think there will be a problem returning the 6AL and Blaster Coil, but I paid Cash for the distributor from a friend. So, I guess that will have to be an e-bay item later. I gave up $200 for the unit with cap and rotor new and never before installed.

Back to the drawing board.

BTW, now that the ignition has been decided for me, I am next onto mounting the fuel pump and completing the rear plumbing of the fuel system. When that is complete, I can go ahead and button up the complete rear of the car (bumpers and all).
You know, back when You were talking about going with the complete MSD system, I was going to mention that I had heard the MSD is recommended for carb'd systems. And the tons of guys I saw having them, had Carb's, on their "very" high performance motors.
I never really knew what EFI compatability issues were involved, but I knew there were some.
I had thought you (The mod man) may work through them successfully. I see, its just not the right combo for your High end Motor. Congrats on being able to quickly get back on track with the Best combo for your EFI Motor and carry on:upthumbs
I cant wait to see the pics of your motor all put togeather and ready to go in:gap

Question, Cant you just use the 6AL with the HEI. I know The Module is compatable with lots of other Distributors??

This is pretty cool. I am up in Ohio (very cold) cruising CACC on my Father-in-law's computer.

TC, you are right. The 6AL can be installed on almost any engine. However, the Edelbrock comes with an "ignition amplifier (I will post up a pic when I get back to sunny Florida) that is about 1/4 or 1/3 of the MSD.

I did find my receipts so sending back the 6AL and Blaster Coil won't be a problem.
You still may be able to wire in the 6AL w/ edelbrock's ig amp. Maybe you don't need the multiple sparks ... maybe the edelbrock does it too ... I dunno. Without the edelbrock, I know a 4-pin HEI can be used by removing the 4-pin module. And the 6AL can be used with some other ig amps. You probably have this contact, but if not ... you may try MSD's tech guy (Joe LaPille) at jlapille@msdignition.com . Joe's been very helpful to me when I've asked how to hook up things that aren't in the literature. Also, you may wish to try Nelson Specialties' advice http://www.nelsonspecialties.com/ their expertise w/ MSD & more is relied upon by many pro racers.
Jack thanks,

I will make those contacts when I get back home. Maybe I can still use it. I like the rev limit function and the mutiple spark, plus it looks cool (the MSD 6AL that is).
Glad that you are enjoying our beautiful Ohio winter. Where in Ohio are you?

59Tom said:
Glad that you are enjoying our beautiful Ohio winter. Where in Ohio are you?


I was in the Columbus area. Geeez I thought I was going to freeze my butt off. So glad to be home.

Quick update. I started with the full blown install on the HEI unit. There is more involved than meets the eye to the Hal effect conversion. Mostly, little intricate details of getting all the old stuff out, locking the vacuum advance mechanism solid, and then aligning the teeth of the hal effect rotor plate into the sensor. So far so good, but I need to go to the harware store today for some special length rivets to finish the job.

I will no doubt have to run the Edelbrock ignition amplifier. Today is a good day to check into any possibility of dual mounting the 6 AL, but overall it does not look good.
It is funny you mention that. Of the dozens of engines I have built, only two did I pay somebody else to do. Believe it or not, those are the only two that failed, and they were stock! One was in a 1988 Cavalier, and the other a 1984 Dodge Full size van. The Cavalier had a ring failure and lost compression on one cylinder about 1,000 miles out of the warranty provided by the builder, and the 318 Dodge V8 blew the oil pump (not the builders fault) about two years out of warranty.

I love the thrill and excitement and pride of doing my own engine building. I may be leaving horsepower on the table when I do it, but will gladly trade that for the thrill of hearing it roar to life for the first time knowing it all depends on me.
I am officially returning the 6AL and the blaster coil. Read through all the destructions last night. Yes, it is possible to dual link it with some mods into the Edelbrock ignition amplifier. However, it is not a "recommended" procedure from Edelbrock, and not used to produce the 540 hsp big block test motor.

Plus, by the time I mount it and the Edelbrock amplifier I have run out of firewall space.

The MSD pro billet distributor I have is the "Extreme heavy" duty model. I bought it from a friend that races GT-1 and it has never been installed. In fact, this is the same type they used in the 24 hour at Daytona this last year. It has heavier duty bearings, etc. than a standard pro billett series. Won't make anymore hsp that way, but it is strong.

I paid $200 for it, and I guess I will figure out some way to sell it I hope for the same.

Back to the drawing board.
Yep, I thought youd end up bailing the MSD completely in light of your initial compatibility research into the problem. Linking the module in, just because you can, isnt the right answer. on the other hand, you sure would have a unique yet jazzed mucho system :J
Luck finding a new home for the MSD.
How bout e-bay..isnt That where you got some of it ?
Hey Tom,

Did a little extra research. Spoke with Terry at Edelbrock in the Fuel Injection tech unit. They have just recently updated a section of the Edelbrock.com web site to inlcude a suggested wiring for a MSD 6 system. However, Terry at Edelbrock advised that there is no real great benefit of the addition of only the MSD box for street use. He suggested I return the item as well. So, that makes me feel much better. I also found out I did not shim my shutter wheel deep enough in the HEI distributor, and can easily fix that with a few washers. Very helpful people.

No, I bought the distributor from a local friend. Maybe somebody here will just have to have it. I am not too fond of ebay anyway.

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