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Bye Bye MSD-Built my own distributorless ignition

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Old 11-14-2010, 02:52 AM
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Default Bye Bye MSD-Built my own distributorless ignition

I am so fed up with not only MSD distributors, but all of them in general. I have numerous customers that are having to swap out their MSD distributors each season. They have a spare distributor that we install in the spring. We then send out the one that came out to MSD to be rebuilt. After one season, most are a solid ball of rust. Some look like an elephant took a dump under the distributor cap. I found another distributor that has the GM internals in it, but has a billet aluminum body and 1/2" shaft. Thought it was the end of my issues with distributors. However, after 2 months it started leaking oil. The oil was climbing up the shaft and coming out under the cap. That did it for me.
We have been working on the distributorless ignition (DIS) for quite some time now. I recently got an engine in the shop to replace the entire efi system. This was an excellent candidate for the DIS. It is an Eickert engine that has a 14-71 without an intercooler. There was no way that a standard distributor would fit under the blower without the intercooler.

A good bit of the system was made either by me or a good friend of mine. The rest of it is straight from GM. The coils are from an LS 7/9 and are about 4 times hotter than a standard ignition system. We are still using a Mefi 4B ecm. It can still be diagnosed by any Merc mechanic with a Rinda scan tool. It is a very similar setup to the 525, 600,700,1075, etc.

Besides being 4 times hotter than a standard ignition system, the real beauty of the system is that it uses a 58 tooth crank trigger wheel in conjunction with a cam position sensor. It also uses dual knock sensors, one on each side. With the above items working in sync, it is able to determine which cylinder is detonating. It will then only take timing out of that one cylinder instead of all 8. This will keep the EGT's from climbing in the entire engine, which makes it more susceptable to detonation.
Anyway, here are a few pics of the setup. We were limited on where we could put the coils on this engine. The headers lay in really tight to the valve covers, so we couldn't put them directly on top of them. I am working on a different coil mounting bracket for future setups.

Here is a pic of the 58 tooth crank trigger wheel. We had it lazer cut from 1/4 steel plate, since the GM one will not work. I also had to make a different pickup mounting bracket for this particular engine since the engine is so busy.

Eddie
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Last edited by Young Performance; 11-14-2010 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:10 AM
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Here are some pics of the coils and distributor. The distributor is billet aluminum with roller bearings on the shaft instead of a bronze bushing. It also runs a GM Melonized gear. The pickup wheel is hard coat anodized so it will not rust. The 3 large holes in the top of the wheel are balancing holes. The entire rotating assembly is balanced. It also uses a GM pickup sensor that is readily available. It is a really sharp piece.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:51 AM
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Eddie,
That looks like a real nice set up. I never realized that GM used coils that can produce that much zap. So, with this system, are you saying you dont need any type of spark amplifier like an MSD 6 or equivalent?
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:02 AM
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Eddie, why did you use the distributor mounted CMP instead of one on the timing cover and a magnet on the cam gear? Was it just easier because you still need the oil pump drive?

Very nice set up. Anything to get away from those MSC corrosion balls is a good thing.
Good job.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:15 AM
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Looks good. I like all the off the shelf parts. But you can't be calling part of a DIS system a distributor! Maybe it can be the CMP oil pump drive lol.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:50 AM
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Very cool!!
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GO4BROKE View Post
Looks good. I like all the off the shelf parts. But you can't be calling part of a DIS system a distributor! Maybe it can be the CMP oil pump drive lol.
Ditto
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:07 AM
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Very Nice. I agree with you on the msd stuff, last spring i had to replace the advance weights and springs, due to so much rust. Pulled caps off a few weeks ago, same deal again after 6 months. Reluctor wheel is all rusted again, along with the pickup module. ugh!
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:43 AM
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If MSD is so good, why do all the NASCAR guys run TWO sets of electronics?.....

Nice setup, Eddie. Could you not use any of the Merc 525 stuff?
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vinny P View Post
Eddie,
That looks like a real nice set up. I never realized that GM used coils that can produce that much zap. So, with this system, are you saying you dont need any type of spark amplifier like an MSD 6 or equivalent?
That is correct. No add on box, amplifier, etc. What you see is it. The coils have to be hot for what Gm is using them for. They are making over 600 hp with a naturally aspirated small block. Not only are they hot, but they are completely potted with weatherpak plugs. They're made to last over 100K miles in a car, so they should hold up a while.
Eddie
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