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HomeTech Articles > Installing the MSD Electronic Ignition System

Guest Technical Article:

Installing an MSD Ignition System
Pete Dubler
pete@dublerfamily.com

Editor's Note:  While this article was written with the 914 specifically in mind, the MSD Ignition System can be installed on any 12V Porsche.

What Does an MSD Ignition Do For You?

     MSD ignition systems were first recommended to me by a fellow who worked for the Colorado emissions testing authority as a way to improve my emissions which also improving performance. I found exactly these results.

     The MSD ignition systems combine the concept of capacitive discharge ignition (made popular in the late 60's and early 70's) with multiple spark discharge. On a simple point and coil ignition system, while the points are closed, the coil builds up a magnetic field in its core by allowing current to flow at battery voltage into the coil wires which are wrapped around the ferric core, like an electro-magnet. When the points open, the magnetic field in the core of the coil collapses and rapidly introduces a strong, high voltage current into the output side of the coil, which becomes your plug spark. As RPM goes up, the charge time of the coil between sparks goes down, as a result, the spark energy is lower as RPM increases. Capacitive discharge solves this problem by providing a very quick higher voltage charge to the primary side of the coil which is the same at all RPM levels.

     Multiple Spark Discharge helps to provide complete combustion at speeds up to 3000 RPM by issuing several sparks during each combustion stroke. The number of sparks varies, but fills up 20 degrees of crank rotation. Above 3000 RPM, there is not enough time for multiple sparks, so the MSD sy! stems then provide a single high power spark. The result of multiple sparks is easier starting, smoother idling, and smooth, crisp, powerful acceleration. An added bonus of more complete ignition is cleaner emissions.

Which MSD Box to Pick:

     MSD produces quite a few multiple spark ignition systems. The "6" Series seems to be most widely used and appropriate for 914s. The models in this series include units with and without "soft touch" rev limiters, which keep you from over reving your engine. The rev limit is set either by a plug in "pill" with a designated rev limit, or an external adjustable control. Some units include shock mounts, which are really not necessary on a 914. Other units are available to meet NASCAR specs, to provide spark retard as turbo boost pressure increases on turbo cars, or to provide mult! i-step retards and rev limits for cars using nitrous oxide systems; not of much interest to 914 enthusiasts. All Series 6 units are "legal to sell, distribute, or install on non-OBD II vehicles in California according to Executive Order E.O. D-40-2 and legal in all 50 states." Here is a simple matrix of feature of the most popular models:

Model, P/N

Rev Limiter Shock Mounts
6A, 6200 (6246*) No No
6AL, 6420 Pil! l Yes
6T, 6400 (6446*) External Control Yes

The long and short of it all is that the 6A, part number 6200 works for most street 914s and the 6AL, offering rev limiting, might be considered for racers.

* One important note. MSD makes units which are designed to prevent cross-fire on odd-fire V6 engines. These units have been known as 4/6 cylinder units (p/n 6246 or 6446). While they will work on our 914s, you are leaving horsepower on the table if you use these units. The multiple spark duration of these odd- fire units is only 10 degrees of crank rotation and they do not provide as strong a spark above 3000 RPM according to the techs at MSD. (I was mistakenly recommended a 6246 an! d used it for many years before I learned this. MSD gladly converted my 6246 to a 6200 and I can really feel the difference).

Other Parts You Need:

     Our 914s have VDO tachometers in the instrument panels which do not understand multiple sparks. The good news is that MSD sells a "tach adapter", part number 8910. There is no way around this. Just order it when you order your MSD 6 unit.

     If you have decided to get an MSD unit which uses rev limiter modules (a.k.a. "pills"), you will need to order the appropriate pill. The Series 6 units come with pills for 3000, 6000, 7000, and 8000 RPM. The kit of five pills from 5100 to 5900 RPM, in 200 RPM steps, is part number 87451, from 5000 to 5800, in 200 RPM steps, is p/n 8745. Sorry, but they are only sold i! n these kits of five.

     This is also the time to upgrade your spark wires. The sparks from an MSD system in addition to being more numerous, are much hotter. Quality 8mm spiral wound wires work well. MSD makes a set of universal "Heli-Core" wires that you cut to fit. The four cylinder set is part number 3104 and costs about $30. Don't buy their custom VW set as those wires will not plug into your Bosch distributor cap. If you call MSD and ask real nicely, they might send you a set of their excellent quality VW boot seals (they call them insulators). These are very solid and fit tightly in the holes in the engine tin. (Tips on how to install these below). While you are shopping, pick up some di-electric silicone grease for the spark wires and some plug wire spacers. Mr. Gasket makes a set of nice looking blue plastic spacers that cost only a few dollars from places like AutoZone. !

     New spark wires will most likely require that your spark plugs have the screw-on slip-over connectors which you probably removed and threw away when you installed your plugs, since normal VW type wires slip onto the threaded rods at the top of the plugs. So, either find four of those spark plug top thingees, or buy a new set of plugs. You can consider a plug one step cooler for use with the MSD system.

     You may also want to invest in a new coil at this point. The Bosch "blue" coil works quite well with the MSD systems (NOTE: some users have experienced difficulties with the blue coil. Pelican Parts recommends using MSD coils with MSD Ignition Systems - Pelican Staff). MSD also makes a series of "Blaster" coils which, of course, work well with the MSD systems.

     While you are at it, you should go ahead and replace your points and condensor (for the last time), cap and rotor.

   Finally, you will need two crimp-on ring terminals: 12 gauge wire, 1/4" hole, to attach to the battery connections after you trim them. Also, one or two 1/4" cable clamps are useful to tie down the magnetic pickup wire (which you do not use, but should not cut off) and main harness. All other jumpers, hardware, connectors, etc. you will need are included with the Series 6 kit.

Where to Mount It?

     This seems to be a subject of personal taste, but I will submit that having the shortest wires is a sound objective in selecting a mounting location for MSD unit. To this end, mounting on the firewall, under the rear window, above and to the right of the coil, near the battery, keeps all wires nice and short. As an added bonus, when you open the engine lid, people notice your investment in an MSD unit...

     The unit is simply mounted with 4 #8x3/4" sheet metal screws provided with the kit. The tach adapter can be mounted directly below the MSD unit with two similar sheet metal screws.

     While mounting the unit, secure the two wires coming out to the unit. The short wire harness, used for magnetic triggering and not by you, can be turned under the unit and tied off with a wire clamp sharing the lower left mounting screw. The long wire harness, which goes down to the coil, can similarly be secured at the lower right mounting screw.

Power Connections:

NOTE: Disconnect battery ground while installing MSD unit. The heavy red wire should be connected directly to your positive battery terminal connector. I found the best place to connect the heavy black ground wire was the chassis lug! located behind the battery, where the battery ground strap connects. A disconnect on the ground lug of the battery is handy to have. In both cases, dress the wires neatly and cut them to length, replacing the lugs with new crimp-on terminals.

Other Connections:

     The wiring of the MSD unit is well illustrated in the excellent manual which accompanies the unit, but for the record:

Red wire: Red wire formerly on + side of coil Also connect to one side of 8910 tach adapter (use splicer in kit to attach directly to red wire)

Black wire: - side of coil

Orange wire: + side of coil

White wire: (green) wire from points, wire from tach (black/purple). (You can fashion a one to two wire adapter or use a splice co! nnector here) Also connect other side of 8910 tach adapter (use splicer in kit to attach directly to white wire)

When attaching these wires, I recommend sticking with the connectors already in place and using jumpers to make the female-to-female connections. In the event of an unlikely failure of the MSD unit, it is a trivial matter to drop back to standard spark but reconnecting the red coil wire (+), green point wire (-), and black/purple tach wire (-) back onto the coil and drive off.

Set Plug Gap, Connections, and Points:

     Install your new points and go ahead and set the dwell angle with the old ignition system.

     As noted in the MSD installation manual, the gap on your spark plugs should be increased well beyond the normal .028" to around ! .050". My spark plug gap tool only goes to .040" and that seems to work, but you should experiment with gaps up to .060" in .005" increments. Install the new plug tops to match your new spark plug wires too before you reinstall the plugs. Do not over-torque your plugs and ruin your day...

Installing New Spark Cables:

     If you are installing new spark cables at this time (and you should), follow the cutting an crimping directions in the kit. Using the MSD wires with their VW air seals, you need to know the tricks to getting these in the holes. First apply silicone dielectric grease to the inside of the connectors, center of the air seals, and, with a Q-tip, to the notch on the bottom of the air seals. Now slide the air seal all the way up the spark plug boot. Connect the boot to the plug, then work the air seal back down the ! boot and work it into the tin hole until it seals all the way around.

     Spark plug cables should have good separation, not cross, and stay away from all metal. The use of a few wire spacers are helpful here. New wires are pretty firm and stand up on their own with the wire spacers holding them together/apart.

     Install MSD Iginition Decal on Tool Box and Go Drive Car...


Tony Wong (Tony_W@swbell.net) adds the following advice:

I have a comment about this article which is my experiences with running   a MSD 6A with a Bosch Blue coil. I killed two MSD units before I  figured out that I had sparks arcing from the high tension lead to the  trigger of the coil. This burned out my MSD units and gave me different  symptoms until I saw the spark jump from the high tension tower to the  trigger post.

After my first MSD burned out, I bought the second unit with a set of   their 8mm heili core wires. I don't know if it was because of the  rubber boots leaking or if the insulation material in the Bosch coil  cannot stand the intense firing but, this was not enough to prevent  damage to my MSD. I will admit that I did not know about or order the  rest of the wire hardware but I know that the only way to stop the  arcing was to wrap more insulating material around the high tension  tower.

Also, beware of a foggy or high humidity day in which you will   definitely get sparks arcing from your coil to the nearest ground.  In the future, if I can buy another MSD, I want to use another coil  recommended by MSD.

Tony Wong


Mike Wadkins adds the following:

Wayne,

Here are some lessons learned from my installation  of  a MSD unit in a Carrera style car:

I found that mounting the MSD unit was a major chore.  The 1985 911 did not have a CD unit and therefore the fuse/relay box did not have an aluminum extension to mount the MSD unit.  I asked a few other people for their ideas on alternate places to mount the unit and the only other place that was suggested was  on the firewall.   To me this was unacceptable since there is sound proofing on the firewall and “all” of the MSD wires would have to be lengthened. As is, the red power lead must be lengthened to connect it to the starter solenoid on the other side of the car.  Additionally, on the 3.2L engine it is very difficult to get to the back engine firewall.  Therefore,  I removed the ignition coil and proceeded to mount the MSD unit in it’s place. After looking at the various orientations to mount the unit, there was only one way the unit could  be mounted in that area. The MSD unit had to be mounted on it’s ‘end’ since there wasn’t enough room to mount it ‘horizontally.’  There is just enough room (top to bottom and side to side) for the unit to fit. Another problem which has to be over come is that the fender wall inside the engine compartment is curved, not flat. Unfortunately, I could only use 3 of the 4 rubber mounts due to the wall being curved.   The bottom two rubber mountings had to be put in so that the rubber mount was against the wall and the metal stud from the mount went through the MSD unit.  Overall the mounting is the hardest thing to do. If you can get past the mounting issue for the MSD unit itself then you must determine where the coil will go.  If you mount it on the fan housing like a 77-79 SC then the engine lid will hit it.  Also, the distributor wires will be in the way since they are mounted on outside of the fan housing.   My solution was to make a bracket that would hold the coil and mount it to the passenger side of the fan housing.  Once these two problems were solved the installation was a breeze.  I gapped the spark plugs at .055 and everything seems to work just fine.  The car started the first time, and the tach worked just fine.  P.S. I installed the tach option but didn’t connect it to the Motronic unit.  I installed it just in case I had to use it, and just for the record the installation time is greater than 4 hours (Way greater since I had to figure out the MSD and coil mounting problems).

Mike

Comments and Suggestions:
marktodo Comments: I have the 6a and the coil in my 69 911. It's been fabulous until.
As i was putting it away last fall. It stopped dead. I waited a while and it started up and did fine. I couldn't start it this fall and my friend Rudy an old school porsche whisperer. reversed the polarity on the coil a few times and it worked fine for 2 days of intermintant use. I went to cars and coffe on Saturday and it stopped dead on the highway cruising at 75. I'm pretty sure it's the same no spark issue. Rudy plans to do it again. I'm not sure what to do on a permanent basis. Previosly this has been stone reliable. Towing and messing with it is a hassle. Any help on test procedures? Should i replace the coil looks like $53 from our host thanks
April 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I does sound like the coil is faulty. I would start there and see if it helps. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rimcanyon Comments: Wayne, thanks for the reply. Please update the post when you have had a chance to try it, and confirm that it works, also whether or not you used a 6V coil, and whether or not you used the MSD coil.

Another question: what timing light is recommended for this system. I understand that some timing lights have problems with the multiple sparks.
April 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I haven't heard of this being a major issue - I don't have any specific recommendations. I would drop a line to MSD to see if they have suggestions on any particular brand of timing light that works well with their equipment? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
rimcanyon Comments: I have a 1964 6V 356SC. I am looking at the MSD 6AL-2. I will need a 6V-12V converter to install this unit, since MSD does not make a 6V unit. What 6V-12V converter is robust enough and dependable enough to use as the power source for an ignition system?
April 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I just had an engine rebuilt for my Speedster by Les at Air Power Racing. He provided an MSD 6AL for use with the engine (we have it installed, but not running). I asked him the same exact question, and he mentioned that they run fine on 6V. I have yet to confirm this, but I have no reason to doubt it either. Hope this helps... - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
willcall Comments: Hi, I have a '76 Carrera 3.0 I think this mod cod be good for my stock standard engine. Could you tell me which MSD items I should be buying to replace the original gear with. Spark plug and lead options would be great too. Thanks.
November 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ignition wires start here: https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg3.htm


MS parts here:
https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg5.htm

Any questions, give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
bestmetalman Comments: I am having trouble getting this MSD Atomic to idle after a hard accelartion or even gearing the car down. When I push in the clutch and the rpm's go down it will die. This unit is controlling the timming as far as running down the road the car run's and pulls strong. But ir is going to get me killed if it keeps dying like this.Any help would be appreicated. David
October 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You are using the full MSD fuel injection kit? I don't know what type of vehicle you have so I cannot be specific. Check that fuel pressure at idle is correct and that the the idle is adjusted correctly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Leonel Comments: Can I use a "Blaster" coil alone to replace the stock one in my 87 944na ? will this improve the stock system?
August 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think this model will work with your vehicle. http://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/PERF/POR_PERF_msdign_pg14.htm

Check the tech article for a good explanation of the benfits of the coil. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Preggo Comments: Also, no tach adapter was necessary for my installation- tach works just fine- save your money and try it without the adapter first!
September 16, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Preggo Comments: I installed an MSD unit in my '75 911S and everything ran fine with .028 plug gaps. When i opened up the gaps to .032 and larger, the car was impossible to start and it ran very crappy, missing and rpm's fluctuating. It behaved just like a massive vacuum leak.
As soon as I re-gapped the plugs to .028, everything ran fine again. I am guessing that the rpm limiting rotor with the suppressor resistor is not allowing the additional spark energy to travel past the rotor..
September 16, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Brad Comments: I have a 1988 911 3.2 , could you please be a little more detailed on why, I should not go with the msd , and any suggestions on upgrades or just stay stock .
March 16, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If interested in upgrading I would look into MSD. MSD kits for your vehicle are located here:
https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg5.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Camaro5217 Comments: How to wire little red wire????????
December 20, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: early model ignitions used a resistor wire or ballast resistor for the coil+ feed. In these applications you will need to bypass the resistor wire or ballast resistor in order to supply 12V to the small red wire of the MSD box - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sc bill Comments: i hav e a 1980 911 sc the cdi fails in 25 minutes or so just dies let cool for ten and it always fires back up the thing still squeels but still no spark during these episodes any tips on repairing it myself? i am no stranger to electronics i have opened the unit and saw carbon flash by some big resistors
November 27, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would replace it. Mostly because I am not equipped to repair circuit boards. You are going to have to do some research to see what you need to replace. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Freddy Comments: I understand that this article ws written for the Porsche installations...does your staff at Pelican have any experience in installing the MSD-6A into a Triumph TR6? What would be different? How about if a Pertronix ignition was installed? ANy recommendation on coils and wires?
September 27, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would imagine it s similar. Have you contacted MSD to see if they can offer some insight? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
peranaman Comments: Hello I have a 1971 vintage Ford 302 motor. It is fitted with MSD Blaster 2 coil, MSD 6AL digital box and has an Accel dual point type distributor fitted with Pertronix Ignitor 1.

My question is this. I want to fit an MSD dizzy with vacuum adv. 1. should I go for the MSD 8352 dizzy or

2. the MSD 8503 dizzy?

3. If I choose either of the above shoudl I keep or discard the MSD 6AL box? The E curve dizzy seems to have it's own high power spark, which makes me wonder whether the 6AL is overkill?
September 25, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think with the 8503 you do not need a spark box as everything is in the distributor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
partha Comments: This is a question for Wayne. I have a 911 sc 1980 and hve had no luck with Plasmatronic 6 pin replacements which fail every year. I have 5 of these units which work for about 5 minutes and shutoff. The engine starts and runs well for those 5 minutes cold or hot. One of them is almost new. The car was tuned last year fuel filters are new, ignition wires are new, fuel pump is new. Should I try to change to msd?
September 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you're having an issue with your current set up, repeated part failures. Switching to MSD sounds like a good idea. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeff Comments: Refering to Robins post:
"Robin1 Comments: I am contemplating the MSD 6A for my 1976 914-4 2.0. I assume I will need the tach adapter as stated but I was thinking of replacing the points with mag pick up unit. There shouldn't be any problems with this should there? You just use the different wiring scheme right?
April 15, 2011
Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's pretty straightforward - you might not even need the tach adapter. I would try it without the adapter and see if it works. I do indeed recommend the Pertronix system - it works very well in these older cars. - Wayne at Pelican Parts "

I am preping to do much of the same my 2.0 914 is a 1973 and I already have the Pertronix system in place but what is meant by "different wiring scheme". Which one???there are way too many listed in the MSD kit instructions. Also I did not order the tach adapter yet and you stated I may not be needed. What is the difference?
September 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What exactly are you adding and removing from your vehicle?if removing the points, the wiring changes due to the lack of points. You will wire the system to your replacement parts instead of the points. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Dan Comments: I have a 1969 911S. Which new model of MSD do you recommend? the 6201 or 6425? and why? or why not?
Or is there another MSD model you prefer for the '69 911S?
August 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The MSD options for your vehicle are here:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911E/POR_911E_ELignt_pg7.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
krc Comments: I have a 1972 911e with a MSD installed. The original points worked fine with the MSD and tachometer. I replaced the points with "ignitor" points eliminator. The motor runs great, but the tach stopped working. I installed a 8910 tach adapter, but the tach still does not work. Any suggestions on what to do next?
August 16, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Here is some info from the forums in reply to someone with a similar problem:

The Black/Purple wire is the Tach wire. It sounds like the mistake you have made is connecting that wire to the Tach output of the MSD box. These old tachs seem to need a pretty strong signal to work, as they were originally connected to the coil. The "tach adapter" is connected to 12v power and the trigger signal wire (white), and what it does is amplify that trigger signal. So you need to connect the black/purple wire to the white wire to use the amplified signal. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
morten Comments: hi, will the msd work with my 1980 3.0 carrera?, i have a jetronic ignition system wich is failing out due to water damage.
August 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the parts for your vehicle are located here:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg5.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
2porscheguy Comments: What MSD unit works best on an '80 911SC with BAE/Rajay turbo? Should I also upgrade the coil to an MSD Blaster?
June 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MSD kits for your model are here:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg5.htm

Personally I would contact MSD about which suits your turbo set up best. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
henry Comments: hi. I got a 1983 911 convertible with no spark.. I think its the CDI.. would this setup work on my car? Is it just plug and play or got to do other modifications? thanks henry
June 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MSD kits for your vehicle are here:


https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg5.htm

They require a bit more than plug and play. However the install is not that difficult. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Robin1 Comments: I am contemplating the MSD 6A for my 1976 914-4 2.0. I assume I will need the tach adapter as stated but I was thinking of replacing the points with mag pick up unit. There shouldn't be any problems with this should there? You just use the different wiring scheme right?
April 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's pretty straightforward - you might not even need the tach adapter. I would try it without the adapter and see if it works. I do indeed recommend the Pertronix system - it works very well in these older cars. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Tommy911 Comments: I have a 68' 911 with no cdi, just points, coil & distributor. I really want the MSD ignition but not sure what will work and what I need to get to improve performance. Thanks!


April 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The MSD system will be a good upgrade for your car, as it did not originally come with a capacitive discharge system. I'm going to copy this question over to our technical forums, and then some other people may have some additional input for you. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Gary Comments: Does the MSD work even though I have a motronic computor in my 1985 911 Carerra?
February 17, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: In general, the MSD is not for use with the 3.2. You can make it work by substituting the MSD system in place of the ignition system of the 3.2, but it's a bunch of work. I typically don't think the amount of work exceeds the potential benefits. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
shatterdparadigm Comments: I'm contemplating an MSD upgrade to repair the problem of a failed crank position sensor which is unavailable from anyone anywhere on my '81 931. I have a 6A w/ Blaster 3 coil at my disposal. Will this setup work?
January 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm pretty sure that will work with your car, but I'm not very familiar with the 924 Turbo models. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Paul Griffin Comments: I received an MSD Street Fire ignition with built in rev limiter for Christmas. :
I have a 912e fits compression requirements of Street Fire but am thinking I might need the tach adapter and am considering a coil upgrade to an MSD Blaster.

Does that sound right? thx
December 28, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, the MSD coil is designed to work with the MSD capacitive unit perfectly. With respect to the tach adapter, some tachs need them and some don't. I would install it and see if your tach needs it, and if not, then you saved some money! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Dinos930 Comments: Wayne thank you for responding.The wire out off the dist.has two seperate wires in one.One is shelded the other not.What color wire from msd goes to the shelded wire?
December 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Again, they have changed the unit since I last did an install, but I've got some more links here on the install:
http://forums.pelicanparts.com/911-engine-rebuilding-forum/576337-msd-6al-how-wire.html

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-911-technical-forum/578921-any-way-trigger-msd-cd.html


- Wayne at Pelican Parts
 
Dinos930 Comments: I have a 77 930.This car comes with a stock CD unit,with no points. I am using a 6a unit witch wires do I use out of the dist. to the msd ? one wire is shelded,what color wire from the msd goes there?I called msd and they did not know.Thanks Dean
December 19, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MSD has changed the design of their unit over the years, so I'm not 100% sure. You need to connect the signal wire from the distributor to the capacitive pickup wire on the MSD. There should be two wires coming from the MSD, one for points, and one for an inductive pickup (you will use one or the other, but not both). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
SorenDK Comments: I am considering the MSD 6al for my 69 911E. It has been upgraded with a xr700 optic ignition prior, but i cannot see a CDI. was this not a stock option on these models? Would you think the MSD is a good idea or should I go for something else?
November 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: 1969 was the first year for the CD box, it should be located on the left side of the engine compartment, mounted against the wall. MSD units are indeed good replacements for the BOSCH units. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
jared Comments: I installed the msd 6al 2, coil, tach box in my 1975 911. works good to start but now after a couple mins the rpm's jump up and down then go to 0 killing the engine.. Please help with the problem..???

I have bought an pertronix ignitor 2 on it way but dont know if thats the problem and i also have good bosch wires, but could that cause the effect..
thx for your time
jared
October 29, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Unless there's something overheating in the wiring, this doesn't sound like an ignition problem. The ignition system usually works or it doesn't - it's not typically fickle like this. I would look for a fuel injection issue somewhere? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
jared Comments: what are all the parts needed to install msd in 911 1975 please
thx
October 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I recommend using the 6AL, the blaster coil, and the tach adapter. You might also want to upgrade to a Pertronix electronic ignition trigger at the same time. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Andy S. Comments: Will the MSD 6A work on a stock 74 911? I amnot sure since these cars use points but not a points and condenser type ignition. Do I need to change the coil to a standard type coil or will the stock coil work fine? Thanks.
August 29, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should work fine, and also work fine with your stock coil. But, the MSD seems to work best with the MSD Blaster coil - it's what we recommend to be used with the 6AL units. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
gp Comments: Considering the use of your MDS CDI unit over the Permatune alternative. My application is a boxer 4 cylinder which currently has a 6 volt ignitions system. I'm proposing the use of two 6V batteries placed in series and parallel, depending on the voltage requirement of my various electrics. Assuming I will be able to send 12V to the MSD control unit, will I also be required to use the 12V coils, or will the blue 6V coils be adequate, if in fact I can mix and match coil types with this 12V MDS unit? Thanks for considering my interest in these CDI units.

glen
June 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure, but I would probably go with using the 12V coils along with a 12V input to the coils. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
DDIOOS Comments: Hi, my ignition control unit no longer works on my 3.3 964 turbo. People have kindly directed me to the use of the MSD as replacement part is hard to come by for the ICU and Bosch/ Porsche no longer supplies it. Which unit could I use as a replacement and is it feasible?
June 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The 964 Turbo uses an integrated ignition system from BOSCH (Motronic). In general, I don't really recommend deviating from the stock systems on these cars. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Philippe930 Comments: Hi for a 930 turbo 1985,what kind of MSD and coil,need i?
other thing?
Thank's

In place of bhkz
May 22, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MSD kits for your vehicle are here:

https://www.pelicanparts.com/catalog/shopcart/911M/POR_911M_ELignt_pg5.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
nivekrs Comments: I'm still trying to understand the MSD system. Does it replace a current ignition system in my car, or does it just enhance/work with, the current ignition system? I have an '82na 924, will this work with it?
May 15, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The MSD is designed as a performance replacement for the stock system in your car. I'm not super familiar with the 924, but it should work well, as it does in the 911s. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Kashnutz Comments: P.S. I also installed a MSD Blaster 2 coil and Magnecor KV85 wires.
March 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kashnutz Comments: I just installed a MSD 6a on my 1984 Porsche 911 Carrera and now I cannot get the car to start. It cranks over fine and you can hear it fire but it will not start. Why wont it start? Thanks! Kyle
March 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is spark present? If not there may be a problem with the installation. Double check your wiring. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jibuggs Comments: I have a 82sc and my question is will the MSD system elimate the stock permatune unit?Thank you.
January 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: MSD replaces the factory ignition system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Blu Comments: Can the MSD system be made to work on a jag V12?
December 16, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sorry, I have no experience with Jags... - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
yaffstone Comments: I just installed the MSD6A in my 1967 911. I did have to use the 8910 to get the tach to work.
October 28, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Swank911 Comments: Is the tach adapter needed for a 1980 3.0L CIS? I assume the tach adapter is just combining the dual pulse from the ignition to the tach so that it get an accurate firing rate?
October 3, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try the install without the adapter first, and then if the tach doesn't work, you may need it. Each tach is slightly different and behaves / reacts differently to the MSD installation.- Wayne at Pelican Parts  
YZR500 Comments: Forgive my ignorance, but would the use of Bosch 4477 Platinum+4 Spark Plug, be a good compromise to using the MSD unit in partially solving the firing issue??

Thank you
September 28, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure - MSD tech support is usually pretty good on these types of questions. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
mike2race Comments: I have a 1983 944 and a 6a MSD.Can this combo be made to work on this series?
July 22, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The 944 uses a DME, which is generally not compatible with the MSD. But, you can indeed make it work, but I'm not sure you'd get any better performance. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Bob Kontak Comments: I took the time to extend the wires on my 81 SC and mounted the 6AL box under the drivers seat with the ground going directly to the main transmission ground point. Given NASCAR cars mount two MSD boxes on the passenger side dashboard I figured the extra five feet wouldn't hurt for my trips to the grocery and Best Buy. Coil mounts nicely where the original CD box mounted. Four years no problems.
July 10, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rod Schneider Comments: Will the tach adapter work with early 1966 911 tachometers?
June 28, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Actually, on a car that early, you probably won't need the tach adapter - it should just work right out of the box. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
DON996 Comments: I HAVE A 1999 996 WHICH UNIT SHOULD I BUY FOR THIS CAR?
THANKS VERY MUCH --DON--
June 25, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This unit is not applicable to a 996. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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