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Thread: The MSD Thread.

  1. #26



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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    the manifold is a weber made dual dcoe setup - not made for years. Every once in a while a single dcoe manifold turns up from austrailia, but its pricey. I also will get new wheels and tires after the airbags. Besides, how many other D-50s do you see here or anywhere else that has a LeVan Flex-thru rear window? I only know of one other truck in the tri-state area with one, and its a 1st gen s10 with a hottops removable roof to boot!
    Those windows are friggin rare is right. I search my ass off for one and came up empty. Now on the other hand...they have come out with remote control rear windows which is pretty cool. Though I still like Pennyman's window much more and need to sneak over his place and get it.
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  2. #27



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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi minitruck View Post
    Yea good one Rahtid, I think there is a YouTube video with that engine running ,said it had more power an better petrol consumption.
    I think if one was going to go to a multi carb setup you would want to set ya distributor up to be mechanical advance (vacuum advance would not work anyway) brings me to say why has'nt MSD made a dizzy for our 4cylinders,they made one for a 4cylinder pinto
    They also made one for the 4 banger 1974 Toyota Celica 18rc. I had one installed on my ole Celica with a High Fire ignition.
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    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max ("Mitsy") Repair-Renew-Rebuild-Replace Thread

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    1989 Toyota MR2 GT (Purchased '08)
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  3. #28

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    You could use either mechanical of vacuum advance with this set up, you can use a vacuum cap on a vacuum advance distributor.

  4. #29

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    Ok I don't no what a vacuum cap is,most twin side draft or quad carb set ups suffer from no vacuum advance because under full throttle conditions
    There is no vacuum, so some set there advance high and then disconnect vacuum line,does make starting hard,that Triton quad carb link (above) the dude got rid of his distributor to fix the advance issue,can you explain what a vacuum cap is,cheers

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by LethalEthan View Post
    yeah we all know aus and NZ get all the good stuff, lucky devils.

    On the isuzu i ran a used msd 6al with a blaster ss coil and 2 step rev module. I always ran NGK plugs and wires and never had any issue. I did run an accel coil wire though after being shocked by the 6al box 3 times through an older coil wire. not fun stuff at all.
    Even if we didn't have the good stuff down here in southern hemishshere we just import the stuff,you US guys would be blown away by the the stuff we import,we bring in shipping containers of parts an lots of cars, you name it we get it or will import it,and our dollar is worth less than yours, cheers Ethan

  6. #31


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    GUY's How come no one told Gab he could not run a MSD box?

    I was waiting for Gabe to post about his truck, which is the one I owned parked for 7 years.
    I will tell you I didn't know much about these truck engines.
    So I will state right here and now if you think a MSD blaster coil work on your truck, your right it does.
    But then you run the resister, so it helps very little.
    My understanding is you can not run a MSD 6 or 6A digital on these trucks, but you can upgrade a box that does run on
    --> A Hall Effect<--- (ignition control module) such as these trucks have.
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    Helping Gabe taught even me a trick or two.
    Notice how smooth she purrs.
    Last edited by Rickdees; 07-30-2016 at 08:03 AM.

  7. #32


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    Still no questions, wow?

    Huge diference in spark. How huge?
    In the video I tested my MSD ignition a while back, Gabe's MSD ignition I tested it the same way, his fires and sounds just as hot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rickdees View Post
    My understanding is you can not trigger a MSD 6 or 6A digital on these trucks, but you can upgrade a box that does trigger on
    --> A Hall Effect<--- (ignition control module) such as these trucks have.
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    Side note, The stock ICM will trigger the MSD 6a or the digital 6a, but not very well and not for long.
    You will smoke the stock ICM.
    If you disconnect the resistor and try for hotter spark.
    You will smoke the stock ICM. They cost about $100.
    https://www.msdignition.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=15666

    #4
    11-23-2010, 08:19 AM
    msdtech1955
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    good to hear you got the info .you may want to take a look at the 6530 .( it can be used with a hall-effect distributor)
    MSD Ignition 6350 SCI Plus Digital Ignition Box you could pay about $370 to $475 if you think money comes E Z?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    MSD 6350 Digital 6 Plus
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Gabe is running a Digital 6A without using a stock ignition control module and without the resistor on a modified Stock distributor.
    Gabe's first $20 (@2.70 a gal.) of fuel, he went about a hundred miles on 32" tires.
    Last edited by Rickdees; 12-20-2014 at 02:45 PM.

  8. #33

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    Holy crap! I need this in my 2.4l carberated life! Will it work for that motor as well?

  9. #34



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    I run a stock module on a modified distributor and have never ran a ballast resistor over my PERTRONIX 40,000-VOLT HIGH-PERFORMANCE COIL for years. Spark is blue and using about a .050 plug gap with NGK's. Have not ran the blaster coil 45,000 volt or the box yet though. Sort of out of my price range.

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  10. #35


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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMph View Post
    I run a stock module on a modified distributor and have never ran a ballast resistor over my PERTRONIX 40,000-VOLT HIGH-PERFORMANCE COIL for years. Spark is blue and using about a .050 plug gap with NGK's. Have not ran the blaster coil 45,000 volt or the box yet though. Sort of out of my price range.

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    Plug looks great. Do tell more since this is about ignitions.

    Gabe's running a Stock modified distributor. We (he), went through 3 stock ICM's. Original, a used one and a new.
    The first ICM the spark was WEAK. I suspect the the killer was the blaster II coil, dropping the resistor.
    We believe the feed back on the second one with resistor smoked the ICM.
    The third had spark running the resistor @ the coil and at the plugs (plugs out). Compared to my MSD 6, I'd let you hold the plug while I turn it over and giggle.
    Gabe's last straw that killed #3 was dropping the resistor, again.
    I twisted the key that time and I about died. lol, You see now it was also my fault.
    But, all the time when he was working on it I was thinking and reading as usual. It was when he sat down in discuss of killing #3,
    we talked about what I was thinking and what I read and post here about what the MSD tech said about Hall Effect, the trucks ICM.
    That video on me testing my MSD is when I replaced my magnetic pickup when it wasn't my magnetic pickup.
    So I had a spare old one.
    Note: All MSD magnetic pickup are identical.
    http://www.summitracing.com/parts/ms...Fc1ffgodY18AiA
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    Cost of a MSD magnetic pickup is $26.68. Cost of a MSD digital 6A $199.95= $226.23 with free shipping
    Quote Originally Posted by Rickdees View Post
    MSD Ignition 6350 SCI Plus Digital Ignition Box you could pay about $370 to $475 if you think money comes E Z?
    Installing one of those could be a major pain since you still have to tune it, this,
    it's a farly easy install, we did the homework. I'm spreading the gospel, slowly making you guys think outside the box is the starting point.
    Quote Originally Posted by thehive View Post
    Holy crap! I need this in my 2.4l carburated life! Will it work for that motor as well?
    As I stated I know very little about these engines, but I know this set up makes this 2.6 purr running a progressive Weber and 100% MSD ignition
    This I can say, If your distributor diameter is smaller or shorter then the 2.6, it's iffy?
    With some customizing of the MSD magnetic pickup, between the rotor and magnetic pickup the gap is about a match book cover thickness. MSD distrutors are a large radius, hense radius. so you have to change the MSD magnetic pick up radius gingerly in one area. I'll give more details later if the need be?

  11. #36




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    I wonder if the pickup in the older 2.6 dizzys might work better than the newer pickup for the 2.6 - the module on them is external to the pickup and bolts on the side of the dizzy. The starquest pickup is also separate from the control box, another option. But we want the particulars on this pickup and mod - I have a Holley high output ignition system needing the same style pickup to work.
    Pennyman1
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  12. #37



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    Mitsubishi 1st gen does not require a ballast resistor on a Coil that has a 3.0 Ohm primary resistance.
    Mitsubishi 1st gen does require a ballast resistor on a Coil that has a 1.3 Ohm primary resistance

    The flame thrower Pertronix coils are internally resisted so they are compatible with many ignition systems.
    Oil filled coils offer great heat control for street driven vehicles, while epoxy filled coils provide superior winding support for high vibration environments in offroad vehicles and boats.
    When I purchased the coil, my concern was to have a nice high voltage, 40,000 volts is plenty for a nice wide spark plug gap. My next concern was to fall into the Ohm range that the piggy back ballast was not needed. A 3.0 Ohms primary resistance coil achieved this. If I purchased the 1.5 Ohm coil, which our stock coil also uses, I would have to retain the ballast to protect the module from burning up.

    In addition, I have also added the 3rd wire back to my starter that many say not to use. But, if you want a stronger / faster 12volt cranking of the engine during startup, it needs to be used. This 3rd wire requires a one way diode installed on it so the ignition burst does not end up going the wrong direction. If it does, it will over heat the starter quickly and rob power that is used for the coil to spark plug spark.

    If you want to run with no resistor, use a 3.0 Ohm coil. If you buy a 1.5 Ohm coil, you better have that resistor next to the coil for added resistant.


    It still is a bit confusing to me when I started researching issues I had with starting my truck. It had a slower cranking when I tried to start it which seemed normal because it has been this way for years and the spark was weak on the plugs.
    I found I was getting under 12 volts during the cranking time and over heating the starter and this was not suppose to happen. I thought I had a weak coil and replaced it with the Pertronix Flame Thrower 3.0 Ohm. Then I searched all over and gathered this info concerning the starting period, 12 volts, 3rd wire information, coil resistor ballast, etc.
    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...ter%2C+voltage
    Last edited by BradMph; 01-16-2015 at 11:05 PM.
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    1989 Toyota MR2 GT (Purchased '08)
    1974 Toyota Celica GT (Purchased '76 - Sold '12)
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  13. #38


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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMph View Post
    Mitsubishi 1st gen does not require a ballast resistor on a Coil that has a 3.0 Ohm primary resistance.
    Mitsubishi 1st gen does require a ballast resistor on a Coil that has a 1.5 Ohm primary resistance
    [/URL]
    Brad, I'm basically clueless when it comes to ohms but I enjoy learning. Is this tested while the key is off?
    For the lame like me.
    Primary is; one lead of the meter on the coil positive terminal, the other on the coil negative terminal.
    Secondary is; one lead to the coil positive terminal, the other lead to the center tower of the coil.
    Here's the blaster 2
    Primary – .7 OHMS
    Secondary – 4.5K OHMS
    https://www.msdignition.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=19205
    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    But we want the particulars on this pickup and mod - I have a Holley high output ignition system needing the same style pickup to work.
    If your Holley is in fact magnetic pick up, you need to find it and dust it off. You'll be installing it real soon.
    Here’s what we did to install the MSD magnetic trigger.
    I included a diagram for those who don’t know their 2.0 and 2.6 distributor.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    We’re talking about removing #7. We call the Ignition Control Module and replace with a
    MSD part # 84661 to use on a 6a or digital 6a. “which require” a magnetic trigger.
    We’re removing the distributor in order to work on this. You’ll need to get to the breaker base (part #10 in the above diagram). On it sets the ICM which rotates by vacuum. Vacuum advance.
    If your asking why,? Here is the why.

    All hall effect signals are powered by the ECU and grounded and they are magnetic and signal in a square wave.
    I’m not the guy to explain this stuff but I understand pictures.
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    Above is square “wave”. Below is a “magnetic “.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    When you order a MSD magnetic pick up part # 84661, you’ll get two nuts and bolts which are #8 x32
    We used these bolts (or get metric bolts if you wish, it‘s your truck).

    Again, trying to say this so a newbie and new or old enthusiasts can understand is important, which is my weakness.
    Many good men do this, don’t get lost right at the get go!

    1. Make sure you put the crank timing marks on top dead center.
    2. Make sure you check the rotor , is it pointing at #1 on the distributor cap.
    3. Make sure you’re looking at the right #1 plug wire
    If it’s pointing at #4, it’s a 180* out.
    #1 Rotate one more revolution at the crank to top dead center.
    #2 Look at the rotor again, is it pointing at #1?
    #3 Make sure you’re looking at the right #1 plug wire
    If you’re sure, pull the distributor and break it down to the breaker base (#10)
    Disconnect the vacuum linkage #11 or #12/ (Gabe’s truck is #12)
    #9 will also need to be removed to get the base off held on by two screws NOTE; the one notch for alignment of the base.
    Take pictures, save some pain if the need be.
    First, The red part in the MSD picture are the places that need some material removed.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    NOTE; do not use a hard grinding disc or soft pad grinding disc on the magnet to removed material. The heat tends to fragment the magnet.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ONLY USE A BURR BIT/ROTARY FILE.
    Grind off enough magnet marked in red in the MSD picture until hole #1 is centered over the original ICM hole on the vacuum linkage side.
    (don’t worry about the steel part of the MSD yet)*
    At this point the breaker base is your hand now, Tap (#8x32) the hole on the base on the vacuum linkage side where the ICM was screwed down. You can turn the two base plates to clear the tap and not break it off.
    Place the magnet on the base and run a bolt in it and then cut it off with a zip cutting disc carefully.
    Re install the breaker base into the distributor and place the magnetic pick up back into the distributor and slide #9 fully back on. #9 will now be part the trigger and now called a reluctor. Position the magnet on the bottom of the pickup mount. The black stripe on the side of the magnet must face towards the pickup (Figure 1). The air gap between the pickup and reluctor should be between .018” - .030”
    *BEFORE GRINDING/FILLING, PAY ATTENTION TO THE MARKINGS ON THE MAGNET in the below MSD diagram !
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You’ll notice the reluctor doesn’t fill the MSD pick up 100%, but it will in fact trigger it.
    You will have to shave the magnet and the steel part of the magnetic trigger several times
    to get between the air gap MSD requires (In the Diagram) and the Breaker base to freely move for the vacuum advance.
    Once you feel you have both the gap and the base is moving freely. Find a drill bit the same size as the MSD holes and drill to only mark the base plate (don’t go to deep this only to make sure the proper sized drill for the tap doesn’t drift. You want some room to adjust the gap and clear the cap. You get off and you’re screwed until you find a replacement distributor.*
    You have about 1/16” to be off in placing this #2 hole. Don’t worry, take your time and be careful.
    Yes, it throws the rotation off the firing order off. don't worry #1 will now be at #3. just remove the wires and rotate back and re time.
    You'll be off the original timing mark on the distributor by about 3/8 of a inch. Remember, distributors don't time the cam and crank the timming chain does that. The distributor only delivers the spark at the right time.
    NOTE: be sure to use a distributor cap that has brass contacts. Aluminum is not going to cut it.
    I hope I made a small dab of sense here. I'll find mistakes, later.

    It’s much later now.
    Looking at my 1986 factory bible these truck came with two different types of distributors.
    One is Mitsubishi and the other is Nippon Denso. Gabriel’s truck is a Mitsubishi type.
    Here’s where size really matters. Unlike your lovely maidens child bearing birthing channel there’s zero room to spare.
    I know squat about the 2.0 distributor and I should not talk pooh about ladies I don’t know.
    Sorry. The questions are now,
    Is the inside dimensions of the distributor the very same, radius?
    Does the under side of the rotor ride at the same height off the breaker base plate as the 2.6?

    I can't believe we only took one picture? in the pic, only the #1 bolt on the vacuum side is holding the trigger so far.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can see how large this is. Soon we're going to cut a old distributor cap in half and put the base of the cap back on and use a vacuum pump on the advance and make sure the Magnetic Trigger doesn't hit the cap, since we did very little trimming on the plastic part mark red on the MT pic above.
    Last edited by Rickdees; 07-30-2016 at 09:00 AM.

  14. #39




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    thats a lot of technical info to take in - I have to look to see which distrib I have. Sounds like a lot of work, but it isn't as bad as it reads. I have spare distribs to work with - I will use one of them in case I have issues with the mod
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  15. #40

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    Am I reading this thread correctly that Rickdeez and Gabe are the first to ever get an MSD working correctly on our trucks? Jeez, I thought they were plug and pray.

  16. #41




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    I had an MSD 5 on Geronimo years ago, but that is a different animal from the MSD 6AL. The MSD 5 is an add on that runs in parallel to the stock system, the MDS 6AL is a stand alone system.
    Pennyman1
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  17. #42

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    SOOO HAS ANY ONE DONE IT. OR MAYBE EVEN A THANKS TO RICK FOR EXPLAINING IT ALL?
    I didnt want to say a word. I figured not one person who helped me mentioned i could not run the box.... even though they knew......... umm rudeness but the truck runs awesome and has a shit ton of power and you will recieve outstanding fuel economy ( some what that of a prius) lol but you guys wont regret it i promise

  18. #43




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    I never had one to try it - I wasn't sure you couldn't run it with the stock ignition. Not being rude at all - didn't know for sure. I have the Holley annililator ignition box that is like that - didn't know that until I read the directions, so I haven't used it yet. No one on here would let you struggle like that if we knew for sure - glad you and Rickdees figured it out.
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  19. #44

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    i'm sooo doing this when the time comes

  20. #45

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    I believe the holly is the same concept. ..... but the guy is a genius

  21. #46

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    *gasp*
    This is incredible info =)

    File > Save Page As... > The-MSD-Thread.
    Save as type: Web Page Complete

    Huge thanks for the write-up and the pics, now getting more vids to look at related on youtube.

  22. #47

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    Just thought Id offer another CDI ignition option.
    http://www.mightyram50.net/vbulletin...hlight=mallory

  23. #48


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    Portland, OR
    Vehicle

    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
    Engine

    Chevy V6
    Quote Originally Posted by can th View Post
    I believe the holly is the same concept. ..... but the guy is a genius
    Gabe, thanks but I'm not a genius, I just think outside the box.
    Gotta update here, this is conversion is working quite well. Just too well. I believe Gaberiel is running NGK 7
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I haven't seen his plugs, but he's says 7 are too hot. Makes total sense, these MSD boxes fire spark three times.
    Keep an eye on your spark plugs if you chose to do this.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  24. #49



    Array
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    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max
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    Sorry Rick, I missed your question on this thread in Dec. Hope this helps to explain it better.



    Here are the Stock Ohm readings when testing coil related resistances across the specified connectors. I also included a Q & A to help describe why and what about this stuff. It will help describe it better then I can.

    2.0L and 2.6L Engines

    1. Measure the resistance of the external resistor on the coil by connecting the probes of an ohmmeter across the two resistor connectors. Resistance should be as follows or the unit should be replaced.
    * 2.0L engine (1983-86): 1.35 ohms
    * 2.0L engine (1987-89): 1.2-1.4 ohms
    * 2.6L engine (1983-86): 1.04-1.27 ohms
    * 2.6L engine (1987-88): 1.25 ohms
    * 2.6L engine (1989-90): 1.12-1.38 ohms

    2. Measure the resistance across the coil primary circuit by connecting an ohmmeter between the (+) and (-) coil connectors. Resistance must be approximately as follows or the coil should be replaced.
    * 2.0L engine (1983-86): 1.2 ohms
    * 2.0L engine (1987-89): 1.08-1.32 ohms
    * 2.6L engine (1983-86): 1.04-1.27 ohms
    * 2.6L engine (1987-88): 1.25 ohms
    * 2.6L engine (1989-90): 1.12-1.38 ohms

    3. Set your ohmmeter to the x1000 scale and measure the resistance between the connector inside the coil tower and the coil (+) terminal. This is secondary resistance and must be as follows, or the unit should be replaced.
    * 2.0L engine (1983-86): 1.2 kilohms
    * 2.0L engine (1987-89): 1.08-1.32 kilohms
    * 2.6L engine (1983-86): 7.1-9.6 kilohms
    * 2.6L engine (1987-88): 11.0 kilohms
    * 2.6L engine (1989-90): 9.4-12.7 kilohms

    4. Inspect the unit for oil leaks and cracks in the coil tower, and replace it if any defects are noted.


    NOTE: While reading below, ignore the sales pitch for their Indigo Ignition. This info is just posted to draw light on Coils, Resistance, Ballast Resistors, etc.


    Q: How come a ballast resistor is now needed after all of these years of offering the Indigo Ignition Kit without one?

    A: That is a good question. I am still not convinced that one is needed when operating an Atomic within all of the proper operating parameters. These parameters include electric system voltage, coil resistance, engine RPM, engine compartment temperature, type of alternator regulator, and normal mode of operation. I personally have never experienced a coil failure but it has recently come to light that some have occurred and the exact reason for the failure(s) is not fully understood. My best guess is that some of the operating parameters are not in the optimum range causing the coils to run excessively hot. The best means of reducing coil operating temperature is to reduce the voltage across the coil and the current running through it with a ballast resistor.

    Q: Just what is a Ballast Resistor and what does it do?

    A: A Ballast Resistor is an electrical device that is installed in an electrical circuit to provide resistance to the flow of electricity in that circuit. In this specific case, the resistor is installed between the primary voltage source for the ignition coil (the wire that comes from the ignition switch) and the coil (+) stud. With the resistor installed in this manner, the coil no longer sees full system voltage but rather it sees about 2 volts less. Additionally, the current passing through the coil is reduced about .5 amps.

    Q: What can I expect to see different with my ignition system if I instalI a Ballast Resistor?

    A: The only difference you should notice is that the coil will not get as hot as it did previously and have a longer life. It will still most likely be hot to the touch however. Maximum temperature should be about 165F. Engine operation should remain unaffected.

    Q: Why can't I just install an automotive Ballast Resistor from an auto parts store?

    A: You can but it will probably not hold up as well in a marine environment as the Indigo Ballast Resistor. Additionally, most automotive ballast resistors have quick disconnect type connections which are not the most trouble free type of connection for a marine application.

    Q: With a Ballast Resistor installed and the voltage reduced to the coil, will the coil make enough of a spark to be able get the engine started?

    A: When the starter motor is cranking the engine, the system voltage does indeed drop to about 10 Volts. For this reason, a jumper wire is included with the Ballast Resistor Kit to provide this full 10 Volts directly to the coil when starting. On all late Model A4 starter motor solenoids, there is an #8-32 stud which attaches to an internal auxiliary contact. This stud is normally not energized. However, when the starter motor is engaged and running, full system voltage is present at this stud. A jumper wire can be run from this stud to the (+) terminal on the coil thus providing full system voltage to the coil for starting. (The infamous 3 wire starter requirement that many auto parts counter boys say you don't need, WRONG) ) Once the starter disengages, the stud is no longer energized. That is OK as the system voltage has returned to its normal level as the starter motor is no longer energized and system voltage is supplied via the normal path.

    Q: What if my starter does not have the auxiliary contact for bypassing the Ballast Resistor?

    A: The first option would be to try starting the engine without the jumper and see how things go. If you are unable to get it to start, you can wire in a jumper with a manual switch such that the switch is turned on for starting and then turned off for normal operation. If you were to inadvertently leave the switch in the on position, the coil would simply get hotter as though there is not a Ballast Resistor in the circuit.

    Q:What happens if the Ballast Resistor fails open?

    A: The engine would start but only run while the starter is engaged. It would immediately die once the starter switch was returned to the normal run position. The Ballast Resistor could be removed from the circuit and the engine would operate properly except the coil would run hotter.

    __________________________________________________ ______

    Just what is a Ballast Resistor and why is one needed? A Ballast Resistor is an extra electrical "load" which is installed in the electric circuit providing power to the ignition coil for the purpose of reducing the voltage that the coil receives. This may seem somewhat counter-intuitive as one would think that the higher the voltage to the coil, the better the spark to the plugs and the better the engine will run. That is true up to a certain point. After that point, the extra voltage simply causes the coil to run at a higher temperature than it needs to. For years, the Indigo Electronic Ignition Kit has been offered and installed without a Ballast Resistor with essentially no feedback that there was any issue with the coil running hot. It has been known that the coil can be found to operate near 200 F but that was to be expected and has not presented any problem. However, a very lively and informative discussion was held on the Moyer Marine Forum in 2011 regarding coil heating, failures and possible solutions. At that time it came to light that a few A4 owners, at least those who participate in the Forum, had indeed experienced multiple coil failures. The consensus was that the coils were operating at too high a temperature and that was leading to premature failure. It was also realized that there are a number of variables that can have a significant affect on coil temperature, including the coil internal resistance, alternator output voltage, type of alternator regulator, A4 operating speed, A4 operating temperature and engine compartment temperature, and A4 duty cycle (long periods of operation versus short periods).

    We took this concern to heart and decided it was time to conduct our own testing. Three different Ballast Resistors (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 Ohms) were tried initially. Picking the proper resistor is not as straightforward as one might think. While the coil has a certain internal resistance (as measured across the two brass studs on it), a coil does not behave in the same manner as does a plain resistor when installed in an electrical circuit. Inductance and capacitance come into play such that the current flowing through the coil is less that the value obtained by simply dividing the Voltage across the coil by the coil resistance (I=V/R). As testing progressed, it was quickly realized that the 1.5 Ohm version would be the optimum choice for several reasons. First, the 1.5 Ohm resistor provides about a 2 Volt drop. This will give a range at the coil of from 10-12 Volts with the system Voltage being 12-14 Volts. That range insures that you have sufficient spark to keep the engine running yet protects against high system Voltage. Second, the 1.5 Ohm Resistor reduces the Wattage (and thus the heating and operating temperature)in the coil about 35%. The type of Ballast Resistor chosen provides reasonable cooling surfaces and a minimal full load rating of 50W. However, the resistor selected has to be de-rated from the 50 Watt rating as no additional heat sink is installed and also for an ambient temperature of 150F (typical engine compartment). Nevertheless, the resistor is still rated for continuous operation at 6 Watts which is just about two times the worst case operating condition for the A4 (See Table Below).

    One very important consideration given to any ignition system is that it must be capable of starting the engine when the starter motor is running. It is at this time that the system voltage is at its lowest as the starter motor draws a very significant amount of current. It is not unusual to see the voltage drop as low as 10 volts when starting. For this reason, a jumper wire is utilized during starting to remove the Ballast Resistor from the circuit and provide full available voltage to the coil. On all late Model A4 starter motor solenoids, there is an #8-32 stud which attaches to an internal auxiliary contact. This stud is normally not energized. However, when the starter motor is engaged and running, full system voltage is present at this stud. A jumper wire can be run from this stud to the (+) terminal on the coil thus providing full system voltage to the coil for starting. Once the starter disengages, the stud is no longer energized. That is OK as the system voltage has returned to its normal level as the starter motor is no longer energized and system voltage is supplied via the normal path.

    Test data was obtained utilizing a bench mounted system which is routinely used to verify Electronic Ignition Kit components prior to packaging and shipping. The shutter is rotated at a constant speed of 360 RPM which is equal to an engine idle speed of 720 RPM. The slower the engine runs, the greater the heating of the coil so this shutter speed represents a worst case condition. Voltage applied to this system is maintained with a 12 VDC battery and a Smart Charger. A voltage of 13.5 VDC was chosen to simulate an alternator which charges at a voltage level appropriate for proper charging. Voltage and Amperage were both measured with a Fluke Digital Volt-Ohm meter and temperatures measured with a non contact Infrared Laser Thermometer and verified with a contact probe used with the Fluke meter.

    Indigo Ignition System Performance - With and W/O a Ballast Resistor

    Configuration Voltage from
    Ignition Switch VDC
    Measured Current Amps Coil Temp/Watts Ballast Resistor Temp / Watts
    No Ballast Resistor 13.5 1.90 195F / 25.7
    1.5 Ohm Ballast Resistor 13.5 1.42 165F / 16.2 178F / 3.0
    Last edited by BradMph; 01-16-2015 at 10:59 PM.
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    1986 Mitsubishi Mighty Max ("Mitsy") Repair-Renew-Rebuild-Replace Thread

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  25. #50

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    I have some good info to share on here, because I also am in the process of swapping in a digital msd 6al unit into my truck, I fallowed this thread and got in contact, with the OP Rick, I also shared my findings on the MM/D50 Facebook page, and he gave me a few more details on this swap, he also gave me permission to share some of my findings on here. so to add to this post I will share what distributor cap and rotor to use with the setup: they both were purchased from Napa autoparts.
    Napa/Echlin: Distributor CAP [with brass contacts] part number EP706
    Napa/Echlin: Rotor[brass plated]: part number EP342
    also I used special drill bits that you can get on ebay and amazon that have the thread on the drill bit they worked great in my case so I recommend them I'll leave a link that you can copy and paste into your search engine, https://www.ebay.com/itm/6Pcs-set-1-...=1649251488006
    These are ones I used, I opted to use the metric 4 bit that comes in the 6 piece set.

    I have yet to really wire in the msd unit and everything, but for the most part my distributor is modded and ready to try if it does not work I'll start over again lol but I'll share any info I have on the swap on here or I'll make a new thread if I have to, but for sure I wanted to thank Rick for still willing to help us MM/D50 guys out, he was a great help in getting this together for us Thanks a million Rick.

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