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Old 10-16-2009, 06:32 PM   #16
Provience
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Here is a shot of my California carb legal mallory unilite dist. Tag 3761701h. Some state websites can be difficult to navigate, so here is also a link to verify if a carb executive order/part is valid or not, should any questions arise.

database: aftermarket parts database of executive orders

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Old 10-17-2009, 08:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Enjoyed jawwin' with ya yesterday in person!

So that's a big hurdle for ya, the mallory sparker is legal for what ya wanna accomplish. I'd print the info regarding the carb number (and any of the rest of the ignition stuff) and carry a copy with ya when ya are finally able to attempt the smog dance with the smog nazi.

Here's a pic of a recent rebuild I did onna sv unilite (it had 3/16" end play which was disastrous!!). As ya can see, it has no exemption number on the module...that is why I suggested that you check yours!
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:50 AM   #18
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Really enjoyed this write up
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:09 AM   #19
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonnie View Post
really enjoyed this write up
The lonmiester returns to the pardee!!!!

This deal ain't over yet lonnie! Wait 'til we git to that crank trigger dealybob we got going for the stroker 152:

http://www.forums.IHPartsAmerica.com...on-system.html

You know me...I don't git inna hurry 'bout nuthin' (except when it involves grub).

And...I've got a couplea very cost-effective modernizations of Holley distributors in process now that will allow the same unit to be used with either a carb or with some efi conversions. One is nearly ready to ship down to Jeff at ihon to try out on his efi whitescout.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Thank you for the welcome.

Interest in your write up was based in part on my having done the same upgrade as you describe. I have installed a msd and hyfire cd units (and dizzy upgrade including recurve) to my 63 and 62 scouts respectively. Performance gains were just as you described and so it should come as no surprise that I plan to follow, with interest, what other upgrades you have in mind.

This weekend I will be upgrading system plug wires from the standard 6mm to msd 8.5mm. I expect there to be little performance gain and will certainly let you know anything to the contrary.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:36 AM   #21
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Coil arcing

installed msd wires (8.5mm) on 62 with mallory hyfire 6a cd box. Problem - arching from coil tower to coil leads.

So I

changed back to old wires - still arcing,albeit far less noticeable.

Replced old cap and rotor - still arching

tried two other coils - still arching

how do I stop the arcing???
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:25 AM   #22
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by lonnie View Post
coil arcing

installed msd wires (8.5mm) on 62 with mallory hyfire 6a cd box. Problem - arching from coil tower to coil leads.

So I

changed back to old wires - still arcing,albeit far less noticeable.

Replced old cap and rotor - still arching

tried two other coils - still arching

how do I stop the arcing???
I saw the same issue on the sonjamotor once we got it running! It's got "new" conventional plug wires that were installed many years ago but the motor has not been run for more than a couplea hours before it took a dump.

This one is a IH/Holley points distributor controlling a msd "six" box with a msd blaster coil (not really much hotter than an oem coil).

So...I pulled all the boots back and cleaned inside really well using contact cleaner and q-tips/compressed air. Then cleaned the distributor cap in the laundry sink with detergent and hot water and a rotary scrub brush inside the female terminals.

After drying the cap and cables, I applied silicone boot grease inside the boots. That did the trick on that one.

I really surprised that the msd cable boots are not insulating against arc!!!! No doubt there is a invisible void in the boot material somewhere, the dielectric rating on those boots is incredibly high!!! Or...there is some contamination (not visible) on the surface of the various components that is allowing an alternate path to ground for the high voltage/current provided by the cd box. Something like..."frog hair".

I have several sets of these msd "power towers" on order now to use on these capacitive discharge ignition setups:

msd ignition 8805 - msd power tower wire adapters - overview - summitracing.com

Those will bring the plug cables somewhat higher above the cap on the IH applications, placing them in a more convenient position for dressing. But ya gotta use cables with female terminations which means your new cables won't work without changing out the terminations and re-crimping.

The msd/mallory/accel/crane/etc. "six series" boxes are all near identical in design, a capacitive discharge conversion for the oem inductive ignition systems. They use a very high primary voltage to the coil, on the order of 450vdc+ instead of a nominal 14vdc! When used with a companion "high turn ratio" ignition coil with a very low primary resistance, you are seeing a plug gap ionization voltage/current of around 25kv+ continuous at 300+ milliamps instead of the oem weakazz inductive spark of around 4>6kv...intermittent!

It takes some serious and clean silicone rubber insulation to contain that kind of energy!
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #23
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Coil arcing update

what I know

Last night installed another new set of plug wires (napa), but arcing remains.

Next installed new msd coil and no arcing. Reinstalled new msd plug wires, no arcing.

what I guess

Installing the msd wires allowed more charge thru the system highlighting the arc condition (which May have been there all along). My other fixes increased the charge in the system (from where I started) so the arc remained. Both coils I had used were not new and perhaps more importantly, the paint had worn in spots where the clamp attached. Perhaps the coil body was grounding to the motor.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:01 AM   #24
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Ok, lonnie...I "assumed" you meant ya had installed a new upgrade coil of some sort to go with the rest of the hi-per ignition schnizz!

An oem grade coil can certainly have this issue since it's no longer being operated in a true "inductive" mode producing plug ionization based upon combustion chamber demand on each cycle, and is rated at a nominal average kv output of 4>6kv in continuous duty.

With the cd box, it's being hit witha primary voltage of 480vdc continuous with a secondary output continuously at peak output. In the case of the typical oem coil (and any similar aftermarket replacement), that max output is around 18>20kv, that is all they can do based upon operating voltage (approximately 14vdc and the turn ratio between primary and secondary winding. So the oem coils which are designed/manufactured for variable output with much lower peaks are being asked to perform in continuous maxed-out mode which they simply cannot do over time. Will they work right now?? Sure...but how long will they last in continuous duty such as firing a motor that is used in full-load towing duty cross-country for hours at a time.

And...with a used/unknown quality oem-type coil, microscopic flaws in the bakelite tower molding, unseen cracks, and invisible surface contamination, lead to "flashover" to the coil canister/ground...and if mounted in the oem position where the coil can is at ground potential, the new...much higher kv potential coil output finds the easiest path to ground which is what you saw.

I thought you meant random "arcing" across the distributor terminals which is the issue I had,...and see all the time with crappy oem stuff that has not been maintained.

That is why the current crop of "e core"-design coils is far superior in design and execution to any conventional canister-type coil. Those were developed in the motorcycle/marine industry back in the 60's/70's for use with extremely high output capacitive discharge ignition systems (both battery-powered and energy transfer magnetos) used with 2-strokers. Those designs were adapted over once the auto industry was forced into using a high output ignition system design to meet emissions regs in the late 80's. Automotive ignition system technology lags behind motorcycle/marine/industrial engine stuff by about 20 years historically!

The low primary resistance e-core coils are designed with much greater output potential, therefore the construction/designs used are far different, they are still step-up transformers, but far superior to any oil-filled (or epoxy-filled) canister coil. Hi-tek insulator polymer molding materials, hi-tek alloys used in the windings, etc.

That is why this performance ignition stuff needs to be looked at as a "package" and not just install random pieces. Each piece can improve kv output and coil saturation (and ultimately improve combustion chamber burn), but the coil selected should match the cd box characteristics specs...and then ignition secondary cabling is selected based upon budget and all the considerations of the distributor cap/coil termination design.

The "six series" cd boxes like we're dealing with here all will perform much better when the proper coil is matched...the "race only" coils have no application on a street-driven vehicle...those are for intermittent service duty only (such as a sub-10 second pass down the dragstrip!).

There is no one "right" ignition system upgrade package, all the current crop of offerings are nearly identical in design and execution irrespective of marketing hype which takes on a life of it's own! The best thing about using any of the cd boxes though...they can all be used either with breaker point trigger, hall effect trigger, or magnetic trigger distributors or even bastard distributor conversions like I (and others) do. But...they must be installed correctly and ya gotta be prepared for trickledown if they are incorporated inna piecemeal fashion. Wiring connections must be very well done and incorporate some sort of environmental protection, electronic schnizz can't deal with any surface contamination, abnormal resistance, poor grounds, etc. Since I know your level of attention to detail regarding your stuff, the weatherpak-type connection systems can be your best friend!
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Last edited by Michael Mayben; 12-01-2009 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:26 AM   #25
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Thanks for all your comments and I hope others will find this exchange useful as well.

Also pls say more about weatherpac-type connections or where we might learn more about them.

Also, also despite the bother I ran into upgrading the ignition system, the performance improvement was more than worth while.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:51 AM   #26
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Here's a nice website that deals with weatherpak stuff with great "tech" that explains the background and use of this stuff:

weather pack environmentally sealed connectors | weatherpack terminals and seals | white products cleveland ohio

The actual components are available at any full service auto parts house locally, sometimes found in the oregon-based company packaging such as:

noble wire & terminal corp. - the complete wholesale line of* terminals, wire and wiring devices,* nationwide

If you think (and I certainly agree!!) that this electron-schnizz ignition stuff has really awakened potential in yore four-banger motors, wait until the distributors are rebuilt and the endplay is adjusted!!

If you, lyle, and the rest of the IHSTO krew wanna come down for a one-day training session at binder u. On distributor rebuild, we can make that happen! I always have sample sparkers tore down here, I'm doing three mag trigger conversions (three different levels) on Holley sparkers right now. And everything regarding any IH-pattern distributor is common to both the I-4 stuff and the sv stuff (except the cylinder count on the point cam or reluctor, and the cap).
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Thanks for the links and great offer, I will pass it on to the rest.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:25 AM   #28
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

Let's look at another variation of a performance ignition system upgrade.

This system is now installed on a '73 t'all with performance built 392 (9.0:1 cr and cam) described in this thread:

http://www.forums.IHPartsAmerica.com...own-chunk.html

As seen in that thread, the major drivability issue was created when the engine was "professionally" rebuilt because an attempt was made to retain the entire oem emissions system including the carburetion and ignition system. That simply won't work and I have no doubt that is why the vehicle was parked after acquiring 3,000 miles of runtime over 20 years ago!

I've now taken care of the fuel system issues and a carburetor has been installed that is adequate for the engine spec though the final dial-in has yet to be done.

That leaves the ignition system needing attention. So what I've done here is typical of our ihon members who are looking at performing an ignition system upgrade but have a budget to work within. And that starts with the distributor.

So...in this case I'm going to leave the breaker point-equipped distributor alone initially. Again, typical of what most of our customers face. This Holley distributor was replaced with an a-1 cardone reman unit at the time the engine was built, so it's as fresh as can be. The dwell has been set to 30* and base timing performed. The distributor has an oem advance curve suitable for egr...so that also has been left alone. All we're going to do here is add an aftermarket capacitive discharge box and a matching coil to the breaker point distributor.

By incorporating the cd box into the ignition system, the current across the breaker points becomes almost nil, that in turn adds greatly to the life expectancy of any breaker point set. The deciding factor regarding point life then becomes wear on the rubbing block, these points are now capable of running 50k miles if the point cam is kept lubricated.

So the system as you see it here consists of a Holley point distributor (stock), a new prestolite distributor cap with male terminals (modded to properly install on the Holley distributor body), msd helical-wound plug cables (8mm od insulation), an msd blaster ss "e" core ignition coil that matches the output characteristics of the cd box, and an msd 6a capacitive discharge box.

The msd box is virtually identical in operation and performance to the mallory 6 box described in the earlier posts. I have no preference for one over the other, the "digital vs. Analog" stuff doesn't make a shit to me! In fact, msd actually buys the mallory digital box and re-labels it under their own brand! Likewise...a "rev limiter" feature is certainly useless on an IH tractor motor (even a built one).

The add-on auxiliary fuse/distribution panel is not part of the system, that is simply a convenience point for adding in additional vehicle system loads to the battery. The two circuit breakers seen in that panel are for the electric trailer brake controller and for protecting the charging line that feeds the trailer (dual batteries) also. In the future...a sound system might be added to the mix, an underhood work light, and an auxiliary b+ power connector.

The msd box incorporates internal circuit protection and should not be connected to a fused b+ power source. In this case, b+ for the box is simply taken right off the additional battery feed to the fuse block. The msd box harness is then grounded right to the inner fender which has been properly cleaned and bonded to the negative side of the battery/charging system.

The oem coil/mount was simply removed intact and stored in the truck box for an emergency backup in case the msd system ever fails. The oem coil wiring connectors (including the "resistor" wire) were insulated and taped back into the loom also where they are easily accessible. No oem wiring is used with this system other than the distributor breaker point wire run that connects to the msd box. Everything about this wiring work is easily reversible on the side of the road if need be.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:54 AM   #29
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

This shot shows the Holley distributor with a prestolite male terminal cap installed. Proper internal phasing of the internal terminals was verified against rotor position and rotor tip clearance also validated so no internal "collision" could occur!

There are several variations of the prestolite cap out there in the parts supply chain, many with different design internal terminations...this one is the "flat" terminal design. This particular cap is a borg warner "select" grade (brass terminals not aluminum), part number c200.

In order to use this cap on a Holley distributor, the locater keyway must be cut out with a razor knife so that it can properly engage the locater tab on the Holley vacuum advance bracket. If that is done, then internal rotor phasing will be correct for this workaround.

Using the male secondary terminals allows much improved access for connection points, and they are much more secure than the typical female cap terminations used with the Holley cap.

The plug cables are just off-the-shelf universal msd streetfire helical wound items in 8mm insulation. Plenty of length was provided for when I crimped up the cables so that in the future a blingy cable standoff can be added.

The coil is an msd blaster ss (I hate all these marketing bullshit names these people come up with!!). That "e" core coil (and any similar item) should only be used with an appropriate variation of an add-on cd box sourced from msd, mallory, jacobs (now defunct), accel, crane (now defunct), pertronix, etc. It is not suitable at all for use with either an oem ignition system or a converted distributor system (say a pertronix install), no matter what the manufacturer sez! An additional ballast resistor will not make it suitable..do not use except with a cd box!!!!!

If...ya wish to take complete advantage of what the cd ignition system is capable of providing, a suitable "low resistance" coil simply must be incorporated also. Otherwise, ya gotta half-assed system!

This coil has a nominal spec'd primary resistance of 0.55ohms at ambient temp. It has a rated output potential of in excess of 40kv with no duty cycle (that means it can run at 40kv 24/7). A "stock"/oem coil has a rated potential (with duty cycle) of approximately 20kv, most will sign off at around 15kv in continuous operation at underhood temperature.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #30
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Default Re: Ignition System Performance Upgrades

This is the msd 6a cd box.

Those come with a type of rubber "lord" mount set that are total crap. Same for the coil. They will not bear the weight of the box (or coil) if mounted to a vertical surface, and in fact will shear when ya simply try and snug 'em up. Toss 'em in the trash and then mount the box with some plastic spacers of some sort to insure air circulation underneath. Same for the coil. Neither the box nor the coil should be grounded through mount points. The cd box circuitry is grounded through it's wiring harness connection, a coil body is never grounded!!!

Wiring instructions are included with these units and are also available online as a download. The various wiring instructions cover every conceivable installation scenario with any type of distributor trigger. Do not "improvise" the wiring of these boxes, follow the directions!

The end of the msd box opposite the main wiring harness has two sub-pigtails. The single black connector is for hooking up some tachometers (not all). The other duplex connector is for use with a distributor harness for a magnetic (mag) trigger system such as found in many of the msd distributors, "some" mallory units, delco hei (sometimes forgoing the internal hei amplifier module), and the typical conversions done on IH/Holley distributors for the sv application. When the box is connected to breaker points, a pertronix conversion, etc., the mag trigger duplex connector is simply left open and does not have to be jumpered.

If...the box is going to be incorporated into a Holley gold box electronic ignition system (or prestolite electronic distributor), then special wiring instructions are supplied.

A single ignition-switched b+ feed is connected to the msd (or mallory) box. No "resistance wire" is used for that connection as it needs b+ at all times. That circuit turns the box on and off (thus turns the ignition on and off), actual power for the internal box circuitry is provided through the separate power and ground wire runs connected directly to the battery or in this case to an auxiliary battery connection point.

That's it! If either the coil shown or a similar unit from another supplier is used, then the plug gap May be opened to no ore than 0.045" in order to take advantage of the much higher potential for ionizing the plug gap.

Once this system is installed and operational, you should immediately perceive an increase in overall idle quality and "smoothness" if the carburetion ya have is in decent shape. In fact... You can even improve idle quality with a careful adjustment of the idle mixture screws no doubt since now you are experiencing a much more efficient "burn" in the combustion chambers at idle. And if the burn is improved at idle, it's gonna be improved across the entire rpm range also.

So what is left to complete this upgrade? That would be to incorporate a distributor with some sort of electronic trigger to do away with the mechanical breaker points. A pertronix install is the most common conversion and works just fine with the msd stuff. Same for a mallory unilite distributor if an entire replacement unit is needed. Or a homebrew mag trigger conversion of the oem Holley distributor.
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