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FFR Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was going to fire up the car today so I could test the new radiator.

Everything seemed fine execpt it would not start. Now I started this car 2 weeks ago to move it around with the leaky radiator. Nothing else that I can think of touched the engine or anything else. Just sat there while I got the radiator stuff done.

I checked my white "kill" wire to ensure it wasn't grounded. Fuel pump is fine, float bowls both show 1/2 full as it should; I see fuel going down the manifold.

I removed a plug and it was a bit wet but not saturated so it's not flooding.

I know it's not fuse related; all of them are fine; since the MSD is hooked to the gauges as well upon startup, I know the box should be getting electricity since my gauges all fire up.

Starter is fine.

I have another Blaster2 coil now, replaced my other one but still no go.

OPened up the distributor cap but it's dry as a bone. The 2 prong plug from the MSD distributor to the MSD6AL is plugged in tight.

At this point, unless something is shorting out the box, I think it's time for a new unit.

Any other way of testing the MSD?

[ May 05, 2007, 08:16 PM: Message edited by: 289FIA_Cobra ]
 

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What is the speed of dark?
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593 Posts
You could always ask a friend, preferably one smaller than you, to hold a plug lead while you crank the engine. If it does not knock him fifty feet or so, replace the MSD unit.

Pick a smaller friend in case the MSD unit is good and he holds a grudge. . ;)
 

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Charter Member
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858 Posts
Many say, the MSD boxes are known for electrical problems. I hope mine performs well!

Try to bypass the the box?

Good Luck,
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Was the car running before so you know the MSD was wired and working correctly before? You mentioned changing the coil. Wire come loose there or something not get connected again?

Mike M.
 

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Charter Member
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6,161 Posts
do the MSD test, its easy. Pull the coil wire off the dizzy. Put a sparkplug in the end. Ground the sparkplug to the frame. Make a small jumper wire to short the purple/green plug (dist plug) on the MSD. Turn the ignition "ON". Jump the plug off and on, you should get a nest of sparks each time you pull the wire jumper.
 

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Or pull a plug and have somebody crank the motor while you hold the ground strap against the frame and look for spark.
 

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FFR Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all. I'll visit the support site.
 

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Senior Charter Member
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IT happens and life goes on....

Mine gave problems, trouble shot it using their Web site, sent them the box, paid some $$ and we're back in business. I just keep the trouble shooting info in the trunk for the next time.
 

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FFR Craftsman
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5,834 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I went to the troubleshooting section at msdignition.com and proceeded with determing a spark by taking the coil wire and using a steel bolt to extend the connector outside the boot, I placed the wire next to two areas; the first I verified with a continuity tester for ground, was the upper A-arm pivot point. Placed the wire to within 1/2" as prescribed, and began connecting/disconnecting the "white" wire that I usually use for the kill switch. Nothing.

My next ground was the water pump. Still nothing.
The +12V attachment is still in place for the MSD6AL.

At this point, I'm 99% sure it's the unit itself.

The next and final step is to remove the unit and this is going to be a pain. What I may do since it's so well integrated behind the dash, that I may use connectors on the engine bay side to make it easier to remove if it should crap out again. More importantly, it would also tell me if a short was occurring inside the harness if it does work when disconnected from the main harness. In other words, I will probably make a "test" harness as well so it'll be easy to do.

Of course if it "is" the main harness, this will be a major undertaking as I did not take into account the rolled cockpit edges covering the dash screws!!! :(
 

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Premium Member
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10,650 Posts
Sounds like the MSD if you tried the trigger test and it didn't fire. Verify that both the heavy gauge red has 12v and the heavy gauge black ground is very secure, then check the small gauge red for 12v when the ignition is turned on. Verify these as close to the box as possible. Sometimes connectors come loose through vibration. If all is good, box is bad.
 

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FFR Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hmmm.... the "bounty" sounds tempting. One thing I didd like about the Mallory is the rev limiting is not done via resistors.


Mark: I checked the thin 12v; it's good. The thick ground is still there as is the thick 12V.

Anyone using the Mallory HyFire 6AL ?
 

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before you take it apart, try the sparkplug way I descibed above. I tried the 1/2" method the instruction manual described and got nothing. Put the plug in the end of the coil wire and lean it against the frame. Pull the jumper wire from the green/purple plug. You should get a spark.
 

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Premium Member
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I've used MSD boxes for years and never had a problem with any of them, until I mounted one in the FFR. I mounted it on the F panel, and in an attempt to clean up the wiring, I shortened the twisted pair cable coming from the box, going to the distributor. Result was, some times it would run, other times not. I removed the shortened cable and tested it with a DVM for an open circuit and it checked out OK. I ended up buying a new cable, and it now works fine. I'm at a loss as to why the first cable failed after being shortened. The cable I bought was designed to be cut to length and the terminals connected to the wire ends.
 

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FFR Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Originally posted by trevor:
before you take it apart, try the sparkplug way I descibed above. I tried the 1/2" method the instruction manual described and got nothing. Put the plug in the end of the coil wire and lean it against the frame. Pull the jumper wire from the green/purple plug. You should get a spark.
JPersons, Trevor, I guess I'm not clear on their instructions. So here's what I did after reading both responses:

I put a spark plug at the end of the coil, used the trigger wire test; nothing.

then I removed the connector from the distriburor ( purple and green ) and NOW I get a spark.

So is the problem with the harness, or the distributor?

***EDIT***

I took my VM to the purple/green plug from the MSD6AL and register 4.5V so I now feel the MSD6AL is fine. That's a good thing; wondering if perhaps it's something simple like the cap? Rotor? More diagnosis but I feel better knowing the iginition may not be the problem; it's narrowing down to the distributor now.

***EDIT***

So I removed all of my plugs because the one thing I overlooked was the possibility I flooded the engine. As I removed each plug, they were all "wet". I figured this would be a good time to replace the plugs with a fresh set I have sitting around for the last 4 months. I will try a tighter gap per Gordon Levy since the last plug gap thread on the 'Ask the Expert' section (in a nutshell, a multi-spark ignition requires a smaller gap instead of one long spark on a single spark ignition system.)

As an added bonus, I discovered one slightly loose header bolt so I got that tightened up.


I ran just the starter for a minute to hopefully get more of the fuel out of the cylinders.

I'll update the thread some more after lunch but I'll be damned if it's just a flooded engine. I haven't had to deal with that in about 25 years! (yeah, yeah, EFI NEVER has this problem!)

[ May 05, 2007, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: 289FIA_Cobra ]
 

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You can check the dist cap this way. Pop the cap off and see which plug the rotors on. Put a sparkplug in that wire (ground to frame) and do the MSD jumper test. Make sure you are jumpering the "MSD box side" of the purple/green wire dist plug.
 

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FFR Craftsman
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5,834 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
***EDIT ***

It FIRES!


Thanks everyone for the advice. But.....


The problem was operator error. I thought I had perhaps flooded the engine....


Ummm...... how about not ENOUGH fuel! Not sure why I thought I had enough fuel but I finally decided to goose it with all pumps going and finally a shudder ocurred! I gave it some more and finally it roared to life!

Ok Herman, you're not worthy to drive this !!!!!


Man I feel stupid.

[ May 05, 2007, 04:30 PM: Message edited by: 289FIA_Cobra ]
 

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FFR Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
oH, almost forgot. I need to test the radiator now... which is what started this whole thing.
 

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i had a msd box fail suddenly- that same model i think- in a race car a few years ago. no warning, just no spark. if i ever had a car with an msd box again, id carry a spare.
 
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