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MSD conversion

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Eliteman76 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eliteman76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: MSD conversion
    Posted: 30-April-2023 at 5:36PM
Just wanted to say thank you for the MSD discussion topic guys...

I am converting from my worn out durapark ignition over to the MSD setup. I have been overly hesitant to step up to a full MSD system but I am parting ways from my reservation of absolutely keeping the duraspark on my 351C.

I just wish I understood what FoMoCo was thinking with the 72-early 73 cars and the Positive ground versus the 74-79 cars on the tach. Sitting here trying to make sure I get the correct tach driver for this.
Really sort of annoying.

I was debating about keeping my duraspark ignition box but after 27+ years...it's time to upgrade to new system.

I just wish I knew if I should remove the original resistor wire or leave it alone.
one would think I have no reservations about changing my wiring yet again...but man, I just don't want to mess up and fry stuff.

Edit:
Now that I recalled why I made this post: Ignition coils. 

TFI EEC IV coils, versus the traditional coil. I was considering using the more modern type coil from 92-96 F series trucks. 
Specs on the stock motorcraft and the MSD look comparable. 
Plus...this will sound really stupid but I HATE the red color.
 
I am searching the ole interwebs on what I need to do converting over to the TFI coil, but if anyone has advice, just wanting to avoid mistakes.
Andrew:GTS.ORG admin, '72 Q code 5 speed Restomod
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aquartlow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2023 at 12:19AM
Andy,
 If you hate the MSD red, tape off the terminals and paint the MSD distributor cap Ford blue engine paint-I found VHT paint works best(or whatever color you desire), I've been doing that for a while since using Accel dist caps(they have brass terminals)don't like the tan color Big smile. The TFI coils require full 12V at start and in run. When I cobbled together my ignition system, I used the original resistor wire to trigger a relay that sends 12V to my TFI coil, even with reduced voltage output it still energizes the relay and can easily be converter back if later in life you want an all Duraspark ignition. Hope this helps 
www.supermotors.net/22468
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2023 at 9:26AM
I wish you well with the ignition system, that seems to be an issue for most of the older cars. I never had trouble with mine in the 70's and 80's when I sold my 72.

I have the Mallory system parts I bought when I was young and had my 72, but I never installed the Hyfire IV box, or the coil. I liked the Unilite distributor, but ages later people bashed them. I kept that too when I sold the car, I intend to put all of those on one of my 351C's.

I'm watching with interest for more good news about what works these days.
Don
73 Ranchero "Sport 72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 7000+ rpm 351-4V &4R70W
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V &4R70W for sale later.
92 Lincoln Mark VII SE GTC, OBDII 347/4R70W
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-May-2023 at 11:49AM
Originally posted by Eliteman76 Eliteman76 wrote:

I just wish I understood what FoMoCo was thinking with the 72-early 73 cars and the Positive ground versus the 74-79 cars on the tach. Sitting here trying to make sure I get the correct tach driver for this. 


maybe the 1st time i've heard it referred to as positive ground? what it does is the coil power flows through the tach, thus only 2 wires In & Out. the later 3 wire tach is similar to aftermarket tachs that use switched 12v power, a coil + signal wire and ground. i don't believe there is a way to use the Ford 2 wire tach with MSD? either swap out the 2 wire tach for a later 3 wire or get the 2 wire tach converted by a gauge outfit with an aftermarket make-it-happener
72 GT Ute
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Greg73Oregon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-May-2023 at 10:16AM
This is an easy circuit to put together to supply full +12V to coil and ignition modules.  The relay can be any general-purpose automotive relay (such as labeled "Ignition" or "Headlight", etc.).


GKF
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eliteman76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2024 at 6:30PM
I ended up using the 8920 tach driver. After some head scratching and studying the wiring diagrams. 

Biggest issue was wire color on the 8920 and then the Digital 6AL ignition box were different. But the diagrams in the 6AL manual helped me square things up and get it wired. 

I connected it into the wiring to the dash and called it a day. 
Completely removed all the factory duraspark stuff.

With my GTS, I am using a 72 rally cluster so it has the goofy positive ground setup. 
Then to make your head hurt a bit more, I adapted the Duraspark off my '76 Elite using the Elite's engine harness for the Duraspark connected to an NOS harness for a '75-76 LTD. Distributor came off a 1977 T-bird with a 400. 

I pulled from a few sources to ditch points back when I was getting the electrical stuff sorted out. 
I did things...that I look back and want to smack myself for over complicating things. 

  
Andrew:GTS.ORG admin, '72 Q code 5 speed Restomod
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eliteman76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-February-2024 at 6:37PM
Thanks Todd. I need to post up things on my build thread. Working towards it. Thankfully MSD came out with a black Digital 6AL box and black cap for the Pro-billet distributor. You know my mantra with the GTS...no gaudy colors, everything black, grey, or powder coated to match. 

I only went full MSD due to the 393C stroker I took in trade for money owed to me that I ripped the top end for my CJ rebuild. 

but I will tell you the first few passes on the CJ before the bottom end ate itself...that CJ was scary man. Absolutely scary. Here's to good thoughts on the round 2 rebuild being faster and lasts a lot longer than...20 miles.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Greg73Oregon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-February-2024 at 5:26AM
Eliteman76, do you still have the Duraspark stuff?
I interested in them.
GKF
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Eliteman76 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-February-2024 at 7:50AM
Greg-
I am currently selling the Duraspark ignition stuff with my 1971 351C 2V engine. 

If you need a durspark harness, Painless sells a brand new harness that's worth using.

With that said, I've read over the years about the Pantera guys discussing the later Duraspark 1 (Duraspark I) systems, meant for California emissions stuff and also I believe ditches the need for the ballister resister. I by no means an expert on Duraspark...I just adapted what I had laying around and made it work.


Andrew:GTS.ORG admin, '72 Q code 5 speed Restomod
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72 RS 351 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-February-2024 at 9:15AM
Who might now how useful a Mallory Hyfire IV would be, and the matching large coil? I have two ignition systems I might use on my 351C, likely a stroker running maybe 6500rpm. The Mallory parts I have are new, except the Unilite distributor I ran for a few months on my first car(351C-4V). I think it should survive the rpm.

My other system was a Jacobs I had on my 91 Mark VII, stockish 302 with heads and intake, 5500 shifts. I liked that system, but it was no gain over stock. I wrecked that car and saved almost everything. Just thinking, I read the OEM distributors are the best, and the Duraspark is very good compared to aftermarket. I'm open to any new news.
Don
73 Ranchero "Sport 72 front end", floor shift/console, planning EFI 7000+ rpm 351-4V &4R70W
73 Ranchero GT 351C-4V &4R70W for sale later.
92 Lincoln Mark VII SE GTC, OBDII 347/4R70W
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