Need help running msd w/o box - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Need help running msd w/o box

Does anyone know how or if i can run my pro billit distributor without the 6a box? The person helping set things up wants to set the timing without the box.

He says its running at 30* btdc at idle and that the box has the timing all over the place.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wscott00 View Post
Does anyone know how or if i can run my pro billit distributor without the 6a box? The person helping set things up wants to set the timing without the box.

He says its running at 30* btdc at idle and that the box has the timing all over the place.
I believe some can, some can't. What model Pro Billet Distributor?

Do you still have the original instructions? A hit of the MSD website will likely help...

1969 Mach-1 Mustang
460 / C6 / 9"
Back in Dixie DSO 22 (Charlotte)
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Its the 8577. For some reason it will only wants to start at 30* or so. Then the timing jumps around
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wscott00 View Post
Does anyone know how or if i can run my pro billit distributor without the 6a box? The person helping set things up wants to set the timing without the box.

He says its running at 30* btdc at idle and that the box has the timing all over the place.
Looking at summits website, says PN 8577 requires the use of an external ignition box, like the 6, 7, 8, or 10 series ignition box.

Not sure how you’re getting the car to run without the box, but I highly recommend you hook it up to an MSD ignition box and set your timing from there.

FYI, I have a 6AL ignition box with the PN 8598 dizzy (same as yours, but with a wide cap).

If checking timing with a light, and it’s all over the place, make sure the wires from the dizzy to the box are correct (I shortened those wires, and accidentally swirched them around. Timing was super erratic)

Hope this helps.

-Chris

'68 Mustang
347ci that has a lot of neat stuff in it
T5 manual trans, alum driveshaft, 9" w/3.70 gears
Suspension parts from SoT, Global West, Maier Racing, and a few others. Works for me!
TCP manual rack (love it)
EPAS (Love this the most)
VWW V45 wheels (like these too)
SoT 13" brakes (stopping is good)
And I finally got a paint job!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:25 PM
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https://documents.holley.com/8577.pdf

I have the same one in my 460. Needs a box. Have you checked inside the distributor to make sure the weights and springs haven't, well, sprung?

1969 Mach-1 Mustang
460 / C6 / 9"
Back in Dixie DSO 22 (Charlotte)
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by blueovalfan68 View Post

If checking timing with a light, and itís all over the place, make sure the wires from the dizzy to the box are correct (I shortened those wires, and accidentally swirched them around. Timing was super erratic)

Hope this helps.
Yup, when the trigger wires are backwards they run strangely if they run at all......

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:43 PM
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Also, some timing lights do not like the multi-spark and get all screwed up by it. My $400 Snap On digital timing light is useless on an MSD equipped car, the timing jumps all over the place. Have to drag out the old school Craftsman.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:48 PM
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Yes, the multi-spark can be a problem with some timing lights. I believe you need an analog timing light, (AKA Old school), as suggested.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Does it make since that it only wants to start when set around 30*
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wscott00 View Post
Does it make since that it only wants to start when set around 30*
Have you verified that your pointer to the harmonic balancer is set correctly?

-Chris

'68 Mustang
347ci that has a lot of neat stuff in it
T5 manual trans, alum driveshaft, 9" w/3.70 gears
Suspension parts from SoT, Global West, Maier Racing, and a few others. Works for me!
TCP manual rack (love it)
EPAS (Love this the most)
VWW V45 wheels (like these too)
SoT 13" brakes (stopping is good)
And I finally got a paint job!
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Nope. It ran well when we pulled it out if the foxbody. I was hoping to just drop it in and go. But i guess thats too mich to ask for.

Should i seg it where it runs the strongest and figure it out once i can take it off the stands and drive it
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by wscott00 View Post
Nope. It ran well when we pulled it out if the foxbody. I was hoping to just drop it in and go. But i guess thats too mich to ask for.

Should i seg it where it runs the strongest and figure it out once i can take it off the stands and drive it
Hmm... fascinating. Get the ignition box set up with the dizzy, and probably verify the pointer if you think that it could have been disturbed whe plucked from the donor car into yours. Verify all that you can, one by one. Not trying to insult your intelligence, but when things stop working correctly, especially when it previously was, it helps to go through all the obvious stuff again.

Just seems really odd thay it *only* idles at 30 degrees.

-Chris

'68 Mustang
347ci that has a lot of neat stuff in it
T5 manual trans, alum driveshaft, 9" w/3.70 gears
Suspension parts from SoT, Global West, Maier Racing, and a few others. Works for me!
TCP manual rack (love it)
EPAS (Love this the most)
VWW V45 wheels (like these too)
SoT 13" brakes (stopping is good)
And I finally got a paint job!
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 10:40 PM
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The MSD 6A won't alter the timing unless it has somehow lost its brain if it even has a brain. I also got the 6A because at the time I was shopping around(years ago) the rev limiter was not working exactly on the money with the plug in chip so I skipped it. I would probably have wound up not using the limiter anyway.


The timing is run by the pro billet distributor which uses centrifugal weights and springs. Total timing can be altered with one of a series of colored donuts of different sizes. If you have a broken spring or a spring that has disconnected itself from the weight post or something else inside there that has gone wrong that will make the timing act wonky.


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