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MSD 6AL Points Trigger/OEM Tach/Duraspark/HEI

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: MSD 6AL Points Trigger/OEM Tach/Duraspark/HEI
    Posted: 03-March-2017 at 2:25PM
Has anyone here ever run an MSD box or any other CDI box using a point trigger?  Seems like a good setup, as the points are just switch with only a few millivolts passing through them so they have virtually no wear.  I like the ability to swtich back to points on the fly too, if the CDI died suddenly.
 
Are there any disadvantages to using a points trigger verses a magnetic trigger?  I am assuming that you'd still have to adjust the points on occasion, but would the timing accuracy be any worse? 
 
Has anyone here used a MSD box with a Tach adaptor with the Factory tach?  Any issues with getting it to work properly?


Edited by 72FordGTS - 13-March-2017 at 1:34PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-March-2017 at 3:48PM
there was some discussion quite a while ago on here about the tach, don't remember where it was at??? may have been in scott's thread?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-March-2017 at 12:26PM
Thanks Johnny, I read through most of the stuff on here but no definitive answers.  Seems like people have suggested using Tach Adapters but no follow-up if they worked or not.
I think this is the one your were talking about, which I read through amongst others.
 
My concern is that the in dash tach for my car needs a resistor wire to work properly, and I have read running 12 volts through it will damage it.  I think cars with Factory duraspark had a full 12 volts to the tach so it makes it a little easier for them.  Looking at the MSD wiring for a current sensing tach, it looks like they run 12 volts through the tach, which wouldn't work for the cars with factory resistor wires.
 
I also found this thread on a Mustang site that seems to suggest that cars with a resistor wire originally should use the 8910 Tach Adapter not the 8920 most people suggest.  What I'd like to do is run the ignition switch through the resistor wire, through the tach to a relay to the tach adapter.  I could use the relay to switch on another 12 volt circuit independent of the original ignition circuit which could power on the MSD 6 box.  That way it gets the full 12 volts.  Not sure if this would work.
 
 
I am just bouncing around different ignition options for my upcoming engine build.  I really want the factory tach to work, but it seems to really limit the options.  This is also why I am trying to figure out if the points is a good option or not to trigger the MSD.  My primary concern there is if it will effect timing accuracy, I don't mind that I may have to adjust them every now and that.  It seems many people have great luck with this setup:

http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/ignition-articles/495460-running-points-cd-ignition-box.html
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-March-2017 at 4:26PM
timing accuracy will be dependent upon the condition of the dizzy itself, the shaft bushings are more critical in a point dizzy to hold the breaker cam steady but overall the point trigger is very reliable as the link you posted verifies. the points don't need to be set to any particular gap or dwell, they just need to make & break. a quality set of HD points should be able to maintain control to a fairly serious redline, somebody said 7200 + rpm? 
 
all i can add about MSD products is that they don't necessarily match their connections color for color. depending upon the devices being connected they may use the same colored wires in the plugs but connecting them that way results in reverse polarity. certain MSD distributors & control boxes apply to this mismatch reverse polarity phenomenon while other combinations connect color for color ... Wacko. the correct polarity is the one that delivers the least amount of advance, to check it you need to find what the total advance is both ways and use the hook up that gives the lesser total advance
 
and remember, Most Suddenly Die Dead  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-March-2017 at 7:58AM
Thanks for the detailed response Rockatansky. 
 
The distributor in question is a Autolite rebuild and in good condition, nice and tight bushings.  I was just unsure how the accuracy of the MSD's trigger would effect the overall performance.  Obviously, points will be somewhat less accurate at higher RPM usage than a Hall effect type trigger.  Just wasn't sure if the MSD box could compensate for this.  I do have a Pertronix in my Dizzy now with my mostly stock engine, which I could use as a trigger.  I'd assume this would be more accurate than the points, but it's another electronic part that can fail without warning.  At least, even in that case, it'd still be easy to flip back to a points ignition should the need arise. 
I have looked at the wiring diagrams for the MSD and they way I'd run it is pretty simple setup.  I am just not sure about the Tach adapter and whether or it will work with the resistor wire installed. 
 
Rock, do you have any other suggestions one what to use for decent performance ignition?  I am somewhat worried about the reliability of the MSD 6, but it does seem to have the best reputation and most people seem to get good life.  Although the under 3000 RPM multispark is nice, what I like about a CDI ignition is no loss of ignition performance as the RPM increases unlike inductive ignitions.   It also "seems" like an MSD can work with the stock tachometer. 
 
And if any one else has any input, please chime in, especially if you got an MSD to work with a stock current sensing tach.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-March-2017 at 3:53PM
just put the top 1/2 of a Duraspark into your dizzy or complete swap
 
nothing wrong at all with using the points, I've had a GM electronic fail by breaking a pick-up coil wire from advance plate movement. the darn thing would reconnect with the engine off & fire up until vacuum pulled the wire away from the pick-up coil, got lucky finding that quickly
 
I'd say Mallory but MSD bought them & will probably kill them off eventually
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-March-2017 at 12:53PM
Thanks for the info.  Still undecided which way I am going to go, but I may look harder at Duraspark if I can get it to work with the Tach.  I always thought that Duraspark needed 12 volts to coil, which is true for Dura Spark I, but Dura Spark 2 uses a resistor wire.  If that's the case, I might be able to get the Tach to work with it.  It's just too bad Dura Spark II doesn't have the adjustable dwell like Dura Spark 1.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-March-2017 at 4:07PM
I'm interested in what you work out if you don't mind updating when you're done. I happen to be in a similar predicament.
I bought a recurved duraspark distributor and had planned on running an MSD box with the rev limiter. However after reading this thread I'm now considering using a duraspark box and I was leaning toward durapark 1.
The resister wire does complicate things. Now I'm wondering if I send the tach out to be updated (different thread) would that alleviate the problem of the resister wire.

For now I chucked the original dual point back in it and after all these years it still works.

Edited by lynchster - 10-March-2017 at 4:15PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 4:27AM

Hey Chuck,
 
I haven't made a final decision on the ignition route, but one thing I have decided for certain is that I am converting my Tach.  I want to keep my stock dash and tach, but that current sensing tach is just way too limiting.   The Rocketman conversions will basically allow you to run any ignition system and the tach will still work and it with modern guts it will be much more accurate.
 
I am probably leaning toward converting to Duraspark.  Although the old point system worked well on my car for about 40 years of service, they old points system are just too low powered, don't offer much spark at higher RPM and finding decent point these days is pretty tough.  The Pertronix I have now is okay in that at least it stays in tune, and it may off a bit more power to the plugs, but realistically it's not much of a performance ignition especially with the stock coil. 
 
I am leaning toward doing a Duraspark conversion.  I like the OEM reliability, and I plan on using my car for long trips.  I want something that won't leave me stranded.  I also think any Duraspark system has more power than any points system and is generally maintenance  free. While a MSD box probably offers more power at high RPM, the reliability is not OEM grade.
 
I have done a bunch of reading up on Duraspark.  George Pence has probably the best info on the internet on these systems. I also pulled a few of my old service manuals and shop repair books too.  One thing I have found is many people on the internet get mixed up between Duraspark and the early breakerless ignitions.  Duraspark only came out in 1977, everything before that from 1974-76 was breakerless,ignition and was similar but not the same as Duraspark.
 
Here is a chart that George Pence made that summarizes the systems:


 
If you look at the above chart,  Duraspark I doesn't use a resister wire between the ignition switch and the coil.  So to my knowledge, there is no way you could use a current sensing tach with this setup as you'd have to eliminate the resistor wire which will eventually fry the tach.  The Duraspark II system does use a resistor wire, but the value is lower than the old points system.  I believe this was done to increase the voltage to the coil.  So you probably could use the factory resistor wire from a points car, but it will reduce the power to the coil and you'd lost some ignition power.
 
From reading up, it seems the Duraspark red strain module is the highest power module, and is the only one that has dynamic dwell.  The dynamic dwell would definitely be advantageous for a high RPM engine.  But it also seems there are a couple of issues with the red stain module.  First, it seems finding a red strain module is very difficult these days unless you want an aftermarket (off shore) unit.  I haven’t had any luck finding a Motorcraft unit.  Second, according to this old Ford parts man, they were very unreliable (see post #6 below).
 
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1343344-duraspark-module.html

and here:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1203970-attn-numberdummy.html
 
The Blue strain Duraspark II system seems to be the most reliable but it doesn’t offer the dynamic dwell and less power goes to the coil due to the resistor.  It does offer timing retard at startup which is nice for running lots of initial advance.  This blue strain box seems easy to find even from Motorcraft, is cheaper, and the aftermarket wiring harnesses are all designed for this box.  This is by far the most common Duraspark swap.  I wonder how much real world performance it would give up over a red strain module.

I also wonder  if you use another coil, even a Duraspark I coil and run a fulll 12volts to this system without the resistor (the module gets a full 12volts in both systems).  I have also read about guys using GM HEI modules with Duraspark. The HEI modules have dynamic dwell and are cheap, but not sure if this setup would be reliable or if it offers any real world advantage over a stock module.
 

With the Rocketman tach conversion, it will eliminate it from the ignition circuit.  I like the idea of using the original ignition switch just to trigger a relay.  This keeps a lot of current out of the old hard to replace ignition switch and old wiring.  There is also no need to remove the resistor wire or alter the factory harness.  I actually use the ignition switch to trigger a relay to supply 12 volts to my choke and Pertronix right now, although I still have the coil power running through the circuit. so the Tach works.  If I do need a resistor in the circuit for Duraspark the Painless wiring kit comes with a resistor.

http://www.painlessperformance.com/webcat/30812


Here are the installation instruction and wiring diagrams for Duraspark I, Duraspark II that George Pence wrote up:




Edited by 72FordGTS - 11-March-2017 at 6:19AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 6:23AM
i believe the later tachs used a three wire connection like most others and not the two wire pulse voltage sensing method
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 6:36AM
Originally posted by californiajohnny californiajohnny wrote:

i believe the later tachs used a three wire connection like most others and not the two wire pulse voltage sensing method
 
Yeah, you're right. I think in partway through 1976 they switched to three wire.  Why Ford stuck with current sensing tachs and ammeters for so long is a mystery. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 11:36AM
so can a late 76 tach be retro'd into the early gauge console housing & use the original face?
 
 
but the dizzy will accept the old black points style cap, small blue electronic and the 2 piece Duraspark shown in the pic. there's also a small AMC cap with HEI towers that fits
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 1:22PM
Originally posted by Rockatansky Rockatansky wrote:


.....but the dizzy will accept the old black points style cap, small blue electronic and the 2 piece Duraspark shown in the pic. there's also a small AMC cap with HEI towers that fits


The current set up I'm considering is using the old style small cap for a stock look. From what I've read I have to use the smaller spark plug gap as well. If that's the case I'm wondering if I can still use the more powerful Duraspark 1 box or will that only create arching in the distributor cap.    

Edited by lynchster - 11-March-2017 at 1:23PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 4:14PM
you'd need to use the tighter plug gap because of the proximity of the terminals in the small cap?
 
MSD uses a small diameter cap for high output applications ...
 
how much plug gap are you looking for?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lynchster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 4:58PM
I have to find the article but if I remember what I read correctly the larger gap promotes a hotter spark. I'm guessing it draws more from the ignition to produce the hotter spark and could arch between the closer terminals in the smaller cap. (?)
I'm not looking for any gap in particular, just what's going to work.

Found the one based on an HEI.

Don't be tempted to excessively widen the gap. The correct gap is 0.035"- 0.040" for the majority of cases. Using plug gaps wider than that is unnecessary when using a basically stock HEI ignition. Wider plug gaps (or faulty ignition wires) cause voltage spikes in order for a spark to occur. This in turn causes the cap to fill with ionized air, and this can cause erosion/degradation to the components along with spark scatter and/or voltage bypassing to the distributor advance mechanism, shaft, etc. It is hard on the secondary ignition components in general and just isn't needed in the vast majority of cases.
The large diameter of the cap helps to prevent this and it works well enough in a passenger car, even with the wider gaps that were used for some applications. But once the RPM goes up and the cylinder pressure increases, the chance of a misfire increases dramatically with a wider plug gap.

http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/Hot_rodding_the_HEI_distributor

I also found one that the one guy said it depends on the coil you use. The older coils will use tighter gaps than the newer high output ones.
It's been a while since I've revisited the ignition system for my car. I could do the older style coil but what effect does that have on a Duraspark 1 set up that the factory is calling for a plug gap of .60. The question I have to answer is can the plug gap be tightened with the Duraspark 1 with an older coil.     

Edited by lynchster - 11-March-2017 at 5:33PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote californiajohnny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-March-2017 at 8:13PM
IIRC the older points type coils were about 30,000 volts and typically used a plug gap of .035 for the lessor voltage, the round aftermarket coils were about 40,000 volts and the HEI coils were 60,000 volts and would use a plug gap of about .050 my HEI dist. i put in my toyota, davis recommends a gap of .060!!! but i kept them at .050 no issues Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2017 at 1:54AM
Originally posted by Rockatansky Rockatansky wrote:

so can a late 76 tach be retro'd into the early gauge console housing & use the original face?
 
 
but the dizzy will accept the old black points style cap, small blue electronic and the 2 piece Duraspark shown in the pic. there's also a small AMC cap with HEI towers that fits
 
Yes, it looks like a late 1976 tach could be adapted to an earlier cluster. I think the hardest part would be finding one. This would eliminate the problems associated with the current sensing tach. 
 
Thanks for sharing the info on TMeyer's distributor.  Since I at minimum, I plan to buy most of my internal engine parts from him, maybe by then this distributor would be released.  I like the idea of it having the module inside for a cleaner look.  The HEI module should offer the dynamic dwell and eliminate the need for any sort of resistor.  And the module should be easier to find unlike the red strain Duraspark. It would save having to buy the overpriced Painless wiring harness too. I'd definitely prefer the smaller cap too for a more stock look, but since I have a Mustang 5.0L distributor cover, at least it would be covered.
 
Originally posted by lynchster lynchster wrote:

I have to find the article but if I remember what I read correctly the larger gap promotes a hotter spark. I'm guessing it draws more from the ignition to produce the hotter spark and could arch between the closer terminals in the smaller cap. (?)
I'm not looking for any gap in particular, just what's going to work.
 
That article you quoted doesn't seem correct to me. I have owned a few GM cars with HEI over the years and they always had significantly wider plug gaps than points style ignitions.  Typically around  .045" to 080" with the Chevs using smaller gaps and the BOP engines using bigger gaps.  I remember my Oldsmobile 307 have .080". 
 
Regardless of the power of the coil, the ignition will only put out as much power as needed to jump the gap.  So if it only requires 20,000 volts to jump the gap, regardless of whether you have a points system or a electronic system it's only going to put out 20,000 volts.  The advantage to these high powered systems is that you can open up the gap which will require more voltage jump the gap and thus a hotter spark.  I think you'd lose the advantage a Duraspark I system would have if you ran the same small gap as a points system.
 
Of course, at higher RPM as inductive systems loose energy, these larger gaps may be too much for the ignition to fire and this could result in misfire.  This was the issue with early GM HEI systems.  But GM fixed that with later more advance HEI modules and it seems now the aftermarket has modules that can support a hot spark up to very high RPM.  FWIW, DUI ignitions recommend about a .055" plug gap with their HEI distributors.
 
I am not sure about the large cap/cross fire issue.  I thought I read on the Pantera board most guys run the small cap for firewall clearance with a Duraspark conversion.  Doesn't seem like any issues there with the small cap that I came across.  I know later GM HEI systems on the fuel injection vehicles went to a small cap with an external coil.  I would like to run the small cap too.  I like the idea of using a AMC small cap with the male terminals.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2017 at 4:36AM
I like the idea of the wider cap for a higher voltage spark ignition. I use my Duraspark distributor's magnetic pickup to send signals to a 5-pin GM HEI module(2-reasons: 1) Duraspark boxes are a crap shoot at best. 2) The 5-pin HEI module allows a 5 degree ignition timing retard when a ground signal is placed upon the 5th pin. The system also uses a later model TFI coil, it has been really reliable and will straighten out the "kinkiest" hair in no time flat if you grab the business end of a plug wire. All basically stock stuff that can be easily found if a problem arises.  
www.supermotors.net/22468
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2017 at 9:35AM
Todd, when you have a chance, can you share the details of your setup, what parts specifically you used and how you wired it up?  Where'd you mount the HEI module and what did you use for a heat sink?
Sounds like another great option, especially if you've used it in the real world and it's been reliable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-March-2017 at 10:53AM
The distributor is a factory speced but remanned Duraspark unit for a '77 460(I did change the internal timing limit and advance springs for my application). I used the magnetic pickup to send signals to the 5 pin HEI mounted to an all aluminum heatsink I had that previously housed a battery isolator. The coil is a Ford TFI coil from something like a '96 Mustang 5.0(Standard FD-478). The TFI coil's low ohm resistance works excellent with the GM HEI module, too much resistance could cut down on the spark output. Also the TFI really needs full 12V at all times, unlike a regular "blue grommet" Duraspark system that uses full 12V at start-up/cranking but then relies on the resistance wire to drop ignition coil voltage to 7.5-8V give or take, the "red grommet" California emissions Duraspark system uses full 12V at both cranking/starting and in the run position. Instead of doing a bunch of wiring removal and keeping with the concept of being able to change back to original if ever wanted or needed, I used the resistance wire to trigger a Bosch 30/40 amp relay to send full 12V+ battery/alternator power going to the + coil terminal of the TFI coil, even the reduced voltage of the resistance wire trips the relay with no issues. I also wired the GM HEI with 10ga cable fused at the battery. The is the diagram I used for my ignition, just substituted the 5 pin for the 4 pin HEI module, it does show the HEI being powered by the solenoid, but I used the "I" signal to trigger the relay which allows it to power the module with 10ga wiring due to the current capability of the module:
  Image result for ford duraspark gm hei
This ignition has been very reliable. The ignition retard feature the 5 pin module has makes it easier on the starter. I may have left something out and sorry for not having pics of the actual install, right now I am out of town for work. Todd
 
BTW, I previously had a Crane HI-6 ignition and Fireball coil installed, this seemed easier to install and if parts are needed they are just a local parts store away.


Edited by aquartlow - 12-March-2017 at 10:57AM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Big Bird Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-March-2017 at 10:00AM
Some where I've got the same kind of drawing for using a Chrysler module...
Seems like the name "Duraspark" was a bit optimistic.
The above post should be read in a "Grumpy Old Man" voice.
Almost forgot: "Get off my lawn!!!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-March-2017 at 1:32PM
Originally posted by aquartlow aquartlow wrote:

The distributor is a factory speced but remanned Duraspark unit for a '77 460(I did change the internal timing limit and advance springs for my application). I used the magnetic pickup to send signals to the 5 pin HEI mounted to an all aluminum heatsink I had that previously housed a battery isolator. The coil is a Ford TFI coil from something like a '96 Mustang 5.0(Standard FD-478). The TFI coil's low ohm resistance works excellent with the GM HEI module, too much resistance could cut down on the spark output. Also the TFI really needs full 12V at all times, unlike a regular "blue grommet" Duraspark system that uses full 12V at start-up/cranking but then relies on the resistance wire to drop ignition coil voltage to 7.5-8V give or take, the "red grommet" California emissions Duraspark system uses full 12V at both cranking/starting and in the run position. Instead of doing a bunch of wiring removal and keeping with the concept of being able to change back to original if ever wanted or needed, I used the resistance wire to trigger a Bosch 30/40 amp relay to send full 12V+ battery/alternator power going to the + coil terminal of the TFI coil, even the reduced voltage of the resistance wire trips the relay with no issues. I also wired the GM HEI with 10ga cable fused at the battery. The is the diagram I used for my ignition, just substituted the 5 pin for the 4 pin HEI module, it does show the HEI being powered by the solenoid, but I used the "I" signal to trigger the relay which allows it to power the module with 10ga wiring due to the current capability of the module:
 
Hey Todd,
 
I know you are away, but when you get back could you post some pics of your install?  I like the sound of your setup.  That wiring diagram looks a little different than some of have seen.  Don't the coil and module just need a switched 12 volt source?  Not sure what the module is connect to the "I" terminal?
 
Does this one look close to your setup?  It even has a relay.
 
 
It sounds like the HEI module triggered by a Duraspark might be the best of all worlds. The HEI is can fire a high power low resistance coil, there is no resistance wire, it has dynamic dwell, and the 5 pin even has the start retard.   And on top of that modules are probably the most available ever produced.  It seems these modules are used for all sorts of other makes too, even import guys use them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-March-2017 at 2:15PM
Originally posted by 72FordGTS 72FordGTS wrote:

 
Yes, it looks like a late 1976 tach could be adapted to an earlier cluster. I think the hardest part would be finding one. This would eliminate the problems associated with the current sensing tach. 
 
IIRC a 3 wire Bronco tach can be swapped in also?
 
and there was a Fox body Mustang tach too?


Edited by Rockatansky - 13-March-2017 at 2:16PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-March-2017 at 12:01PM
Vince,
 I should be back in town on Saturday, I will look over my notes and/or wiring and hopefully post some pics.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-March-2017 at 1:52PM
Originally posted by Rockatansky Rockatansky wrote:

 
IIRC a 3 wire Bronco tach can be swapped in also?
 
and there was a Fox body Mustang tach too?
 
Not sure on those? Maybe someone else knows.  Mines off to Rocketman by the end of the week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-March-2017 at 1:57PM
I have been doing some reading on the HEI modules.  They definitely have some advantages over the Duraspark II, mostly with the fact that there is much more ignition energy overall with the HEI system because of the lack of resistor and the low resistance coil.
This is a great read comparing an HEI ignition's output to a stock Mopar Electronic ignition.  I would think the Duraspark II would be similar to the Mopar ignition output since they are fairly close in design concept.  A red strain Duraspark I system would probably be closer to a HEI, but impossible to find any real test data on that system.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-March-2017 at 12:22PM
So Todd shared his pics and info with me and with his permission, I thought I'd share it on this thread for future reference.  
 
Thanks Todd!
Here are some pics of coil and module mounts/locations.
 
 
 
 
 
Here is a diagram or quick drawing on how I wired up my Duraspark II/5 pin GM HEI ignition module with Bosch 30/40 relays.  
 
I used 3 separate relays, from left to right:
 
 
A) 1st Relay that sends a ground signal to the HEI module's 5th pin which retards start-up ignition timing 5 degrees. The positive trigger to this relay is sent from the original Duraspark II wiring plug, WHITE WIRE is energized only in start position. The way the relay is wired changes the "+" trigger to a "-" signal to the module. Once key goes to "RUN" position the ground signal no longer exists on the 5 pin and ignition timing resumes to whatever the initial timing is set to.
 
 
B) 2nd Relay sends BATTERY voltage to the "B" terminal of the module only when the ignition is in the start and run positions, the "+" trigger wire for this relay is the GREEN/RED STRIPE wire which also energizes the 3G alternator to "turn on" and charge. I used 10 gauge wire to connect the "B" module to the relay's #87 and #30 wire to the battery, the other wires used for triggering are 16 gauge.
 
C) 3rd Relay takes the original ignition's resistance wire voltage and uses it as a "+" trigger on the #86 terminal, which is reduced (around 7.5 Volts or so)to save the Duraspark II's module from overheating, changes it to full battery voltage and sends it to the newer Ford E-core coils "+" terminal.  

All the connections that are from the battery to the relays are individually fused protected, as well as the "+" trigger wires.

The ignition coils I have tested varied quite a bit, here is a run down on what I have at my shop and/or acquired over the years.
 
Original replacement Duraspark II coil:
1.6 ohms        primary
9.09K ohms     secondary
 
MSD 2F Duraspark II replacement coil:
.9 ohms        primary
4.66K ohms   secondary
Crane LX92 ***must be used with capacitive ignition***:
.3 ohms         primary
.901K ohms      secondary
 
Ford E73F coil "E-core" coil  ##This is the coil I used##:
.50 ohms          primary
7.45K                secondary
 


Edited by 72FordGTS - 23-March-2017 at 12:50PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-March-2017 at 12:32PM
Dang, I've got to do some underhood detailing. Wink 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-March-2017 at 12:32PM
Todd mentions he used the TFI coil with .5 ohm resistance in his setup with an HEI module.  The HEI modules need a low resitance coil.  Coil selection seems to be very important for the module to work properly.  
 
 
Here is some comparisons on an HEI module firing different coils.  As you can see, the higher resistance coils produce much less energy.  This results were performed with a standard GM HEI 4-pin module, which limits the current to about 5.5-6.0 AMPS.  Some aftermarket HEI modules have higher current limiting of 7 amps or more.
 
 
This is a 0.5 Ohm coil.  Notice that the module hits the almost 6.0 amps, then levels off.  This is the current limiting feature in the HEI coil. 
 
 
 
This is a 1.5 Ohm coil.  Notice the coil takes longer to reach it's peak, and it only peaks at about 3 amps.  This is more like the power on a points ignition that has a resistor wire limiting the current.
 
 
 
This is a 4.0 Ohm coil.  It probably doesn't have enough power to fire a plug.
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by 72FordGTS - 23-March-2017 at 12:39PM
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72FordGTS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-March-2017 at 12:33PM
Originally posted by aquartlow aquartlow wrote:

Dang, I've got to do some underhood detailing. Wink 
 
Ah, it's not bad, better than my car looks underhood now. 
Vince

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