Looking for Ignition recommendations...

Discussion in 'Engine Performance + Maintenance' started by 135 Honolulu, Aug 21, 2019.

Car Parts
  1. 135 Honolulu

    135 Honolulu Newbie

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    Hello All!
    I have been contemplating what kind of ignition to go with for my 1994 GMC C1500 project. I saw that for a cap, rotor, and ignition coil from both MSD and Hypertech were quite comfortable on my budget. There is a write up on Harris Performance website that suggests staying stock. Any words of wisdom?
     
  2. magimerlin

    magimerlin I'm Awesome

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    Stock..... brass contacts on the cap and rotor. I use msd wires but that's cause the stock ones the parts stores sell are waaaaay to freaking long. The msd wires I use you fut to length and put the end on yourself.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
     
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  3. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

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    Seconded. Leave your stock coil there unless it's bad (i.e. actually leaking spark as evidenced by spray bottle test while running, or watching it in the dark and it's arcing from the body, or simply 100% dead) - no so-called performance coil will give you any better performance and often will not last as long as the stock coil. Early failure rate is high on many of them. If it's bad, replacement with a good used original, or a new AC Delco or Delphi is the way to go.

    AC Delco or Delphi cap and rotor, and the stock application plugs, NOT any of the multi-electrode gimmick plugs - TBI's generally hate 'em.

    Richard
     
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  4. PlayingWithTBI

    PlayingWithTBI Desert Old Guy

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    Damn skippy - stay stock Delco!
     
  5. Schurkey

    Schurkey I'm Awesome

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    The MSD cap for the TBI distributor is a low-budget piece of Communist Crap.

    [​IMG]

    Folks jack-up about brass terminals, but aluminum actually conducts better if not covered in corrosion. Problem with aluminum is that it gets covered in corrosion.

    There is no magic in distributor caps and rotors. Damn near any brand will work, at least for awhile. Delco, Delphi, Accel are all brands I've purchased recently.

    I sent the MSD cap back, though. MSD isn't the company it used to be, and it hasn't been for years.

    You will gain NOTHING with a "hot-rod" ignition coil if the OEM coil is in good condition.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  6. slowburb

    slowburb all motor

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    Many people have fixed their ignition system problems by getting rid of the junky aftermarket stuff and replacing with OEM delco/delphi parts.

    The gm engineers may not have gotten it all right, but they got it to where the L31 really wants the factory parts.
     
  7. XJPhoenix

    XJPhoenix OBS Enthusiast

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    Sorry if this is considered a hijack, but what are everyone's thoughts on ignition add-on stuff such as the multi-spark ignition boxes offered from MSD, Crane, etc...

    If this is too much of a hijack, please let me know and I'll remove.

    :)
     
  8. PlayingWithTBI

    PlayingWithTBI Desert Old Guy

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    Stick with ACDelco OEM design parts.
     
  9. Schurkey

    Schurkey I'm Awesome

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    I bought my first MSD (model 5, the cheap one) back in '79. Transferred it from vehicle to vehicle until it failed around 1988. Went back to MSD for repair, and I still have it, it works, but it's not being used.

    I put a used MSD 5C (same guts as the plain "5" but with a Chrysler-style molded-5-pin connector that the Chrysler electronic ignition plugs right into) onto a '67 Dart I converted to electronic ignition. Worked great until the car got totaled, and I sold the MSD to another Chrysler-lover.

    I put a MSD 6AL (the original kind) on my hot-rod El Camino. Works great. Still have it.

    I had a MSD 6T that I bought used on my '88 K1500 for a few years. The box failed, and I never bothered to get it fixed because the truck doesn't run any different with or without it.


    I've even got a MSD "store display" unit I use for testing those boxes. I paid about what a MSD 6 cost at the time, and the display included the MSD 6 and a MSD coil that failed not long after I got it. The black knob on the top adjusts the spark gap above the coil. You can see a pretty-hefty "C" shaped spark leading from the coil boot to the tip of the brass ground electrode.
    [​IMG]

    I've got half-a-dozen MSD spark boxes stuffed in a drawer in my shop. Far as I know, they all work except for the 6T. I've come to the conclusion that if they make a radical difference in the way a street-driven engine runs, you're pretty lousy at carb tuning. These spark-boxes are great at covering-up idle misfire from improper fueling at idle. Beyond that, I've cooled to their use. MSD has quality issues and has for years. And don't get me started on ignition coil failures due to moving production first to Mexico, and then to China.
     
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  10. XJPhoenix

    XJPhoenix OBS Enthusiast

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    Hmm... What you say makes sense. Plus, most modern fuel injection ignition components seem to be pretty solid. I guess it's just effective marketing that makes me wonder if there's some magic aftermarket parts out there that can be bolted on and will wake things up.

    Thanks for your insight!

    :)
     

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