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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Batesville, IN
    Posts
    909
    Country Flag: United States

    MSD 6AL, Blaster II Coil, Pro-Billet Dist. - No spark????

    I just want to get a sanity check on my issues here. As listed in the title I have the following components on a small block Chevy.

    MSD:
    6AL
    Blaster II Coil
    Pro-Billet Distributor

    They are wired as such.

    MSD 6AL -
    large red wire to battery positive
    large black wire to battery negative
    small red wire - to key on accy source

    orange wire to coil positive
    black wire to coil negative

    purple and green wire with plug-end is connected to the magnetic pickup plug on the distributor

    I've had the engine running in the bare chassis with this exact wiring configuration, but now that I've wired the entire truck and I'm trying to start it...........well - - - it no worky!!!! ;)

    What I've tested - -

    Positive power feed to 6AL box - good
    power feed from 6AL to coil - - Not Good....this should have power when the key in the "On" position correct? It does not.

    If I test the coil power while cranking I get a slight voltage reading, but nothing significant (< 1V). This leads me to believe that my 6AL box is bad. Does anyone else have any other suggestions.

    I'm hoping that someone chimes in and tells me that I'm an idiot and I forgot to do "XXXXXX" and that will fix my problems. If not, I guess I'll pick up another 6AL and give it a try.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Brandon
    Brandon Wiedeman
    1972 Suburban
    1967 Chevy II - Project not yet started

    I have about 3 lifetimes worth of projects planned out in my head!
    Wiedo's

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Coronado, CA
    Posts
    1,846
    Country Flag: United States
    I am currently having the exact same issue. I had my car running for a few years and recently ants got into my box and it fried. I heard a pop and saw smoke so I looked under my dash and there were about 50 ants that came running out of the box where the power wire goes in.
    Anyway, I ordered another one from Speedway and wired it in the exact same fashion as the old one but I am getting the same scenario as you.
    Johnny C.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    70 'cuda, Pro-Charged 408 stroker, Tremec 5 speed, Strange S-60, Alter-k-tion, Tri 4, Hydroboost and Wilwoods

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Rafael
    Posts
    174
    Country Flag: United States
    http://www.msdignition.com/uploadedF...DTN_pn9615.pdf

    Small red wire to ignition key (original coil + wire ) NOT accessory
    Paul

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    203
    I had this problem with my MSD box, I re wired it probably 25 times thinking it was a bad connection. I ended up sending it back to MSD and I had a fried resistor inside the box. It ended up costing me $75 from MSD, which is cheaper than buying a new box! It was a pretty quick turn around too.
    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Batesville, IN
    Posts
    909
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by smhigh View Post
    http://www.msdignition.com/uploadedF...DTN_pn9615.pdf

    Small red wire to ignition key (original coil + wire ) NOT accessory
    I believe the (original coil (+) wire) note is simply a note that you can pick up and accessory "key on" 12 V in an already wired vehicle by using the wire that was previously use for the coil (+). Any key on 12v source should work - or at least I'm pretty sure of it.

    MSD states in the following documents as well as the ones that came with my 6AL that the small red wire goes to a switched 12v source, such as the ignition key or switch.

    http://www.msdignition.com/uploadedF...structions.pdf

    I'm thinking that the box is fried, but not sure.
    Brandon Wiedeman
    1972 Suburban
    1967 Chevy II - Project not yet started

    I have about 3 lifetimes worth of projects planned out in my head!
    Wiedo's

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Batesville, IN
    Posts
    909
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    I called MSD tech support and was not impressed. I realize that my 6AL is way outside of the warranty and was looking for someone to help me troubleshoot and possibly give me some pointers on how to fix it if I were to want to replace an internal fuse etc.

    What I got was a "canned" response of "you need to send it back to us and we'll see if it can be fixed. If so, it'll be anywhere from $20 - $80".

    I got the impression that this is such a common occurrence that they have a card on their desk that says - - if someone calls with a Bad "X", you simply say "Y" and thank them and move on. I would have felt better if he would have acknowledged that this is somewhat of a problem with these items (if that is in fact the case) and there could be several things that may be the issue and spelled out the possibilities.

    I'm just going to buy another Ignition box - from someone else.
    Brandon Wiedeman
    1972 Suburban
    1967 Chevy II - Project not yet started

    I have about 3 lifetimes worth of projects planned out in my head!
    Wiedo's

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    203
    I got the same service from their customer service line. I didn't want to spend another 200 bucks so I sent it in. Once it got there, I got a hold of their actual tech guys who work on them and they were pretty cool. But yes, their customer service sucks, you just have to get past them and you are dialed.
    Jeff

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    668
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    Just as a reminder, it is a discharge style ignition, so there will be 12v going into the box from your stock coil wire, but will not be getting 12v to the coil. They have instructions to check the box on the site, takes about 5 minutes. You jump the 2 wire plug that goes to the distributor and remove the coil wire at the distributor, remove the jumper while holding the coil wire close to a good ground and check for spark, make sure you're not grounded to the car, or you'll find out it works the fun way.
    Dan W
    1968 Plymouth Road Runner
    1962 Dodge Dart 440

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Batesville, IN
    Posts
    909
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    Yeah, I realized after reading up a little bit that there won't be a constant 12v at the coil, it is only powered when the ignition discharges. I am using the magnetic pickup on the MSD distributor and I clipped the white wire off and heat shrinked it closed to seal it up. I will try to test procedure when I get back over to the shop. I honestly think I heard a "pop" when I keyed it on after hooking up the 6AL box. I wasn't right next to it when it happened so I can't say for sure. I read somewhere (not sure how true it is) that a low battery can cause them to fail - ie: go bad. I've also heard that a slightly low battery will cause them to not discharge. I may pull a battery out of my truck to test that the low battery isn't the issue.

    I will test it see what I get. I will probably send it back to have it fixed if it's bad, but I don't really want to wait around. I'll have another ignition here tomorrow in case I need it. The 6AL I was using was actually one for my Dad's car, so I owe him an ignition box anyway...if I end up with an extra working one I'll replace the one I stole from him! ;)
    Brandon Wiedeman
    1972 Suburban
    1967 Chevy II - Project not yet started

    I have about 3 lifetimes worth of projects planned out in my head!
    Wiedo's

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Batesville, IN
    Posts
    909
    Country Flag: United States
    Thanks to all for the suggestions. I appreciate all of the help.

    I'm not too proud to post that this entire issue was me being a complete dumbass. I owe MSD a bit of an apology - well, not for the less than stellar customer service, but for any stated or implied knock to their products.

    I knew that the 6AL small red wire went to a "key on", but I had instead wired it to an accessory location on the switch, which is not powered when the key is in the start position. Once I figured this out, swapped the wire over to the correct "ignition" side of the switch it worked fine. "smhigh" tired to point this out to me in the above post, but I totally missed his point -- sorry man, you were right. I knew that it needed to go to a key one, but for some dumb reason I had in my mind that the accessory would achieve this, but it does not!

    I've come to the conclusion that in most cases where I become adamant that I've done everything correct and that the issue must be with a product or someone else's problem - - that should be my first clue that it's probably something stupid that I've done.

    I need to remember more often what my Dad told me when I got my first Dirt Bike - - he said "just when you think you've got it figured out, it'll bite you in the ass". More generally, just when I think I know what I'm doing, I continue to prove to myself that I don't. Live and learn.

    Thanks again everyone - - - For anyone that searches this, not that you would be as dumb as me, but if you are - - be sure you wire it to the "ignition" and not the "accessory".
    Brandon Wiedeman
    1972 Suburban
    1967 Chevy II - Project not yet started

    I have about 3 lifetimes worth of projects planned out in my head!
    Wiedo's

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    La
    Posts
    20
    There are high failure rates on all those type of ignition boxes, whether it be crane, Mallory, or msd. The guys I know that drag race ALWaYS keep a spare box with them. I know a few of them who went thru 4 Or 5 boxes in a year then got one that's lasted several years after a few bad ones with no problems. The older ones seemed to be better than the new ones as far as reliability. Maybe when they started making them overseas they started using cheaper components?





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