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  • Results Using The New Version Digital MSD 6A & 6AL

    I am in need of a new MSD ignition box and I have seen conflicting reports of problems with slow cranking no spark issues and voltage sensitivity with the new Digital 6A (6401) and the 6AL (6425). I'm wondering what everyone's experience has been with these two models and whether I should buy another analog version instead? Thanks
    Last edited by REARSPROCKET; April 25, 2012, 10:55 AM.

  • #2
    All I can say is there are bad apples in every crate......... Just because a few people had problems doesn't mean you will.........

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    • #3
      I guess I'll take a chance on one.
      Last edited by REARSPROCKET; April 26, 2012, 03:57 AM.

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      • #4
        The MSD boxes will be well tested coming out of the factory, and consistent. Safe to assume with simple good practices in your electrical system, you'll be able to make it work. Try it first, then if you have problems with poor triggering at low RPM - hit us up here for advice.

        IMO 99% of people who have complaints, are having other electrical issues that they do not understand.
        Last edited by dieselgeek; April 26, 2012, 06:20 AM.
        www.realtuners.com - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dieselgeek View Post
          The MSD boxes will be well tested coming out of the factory, and consistent. Safe to assume with simple good practices in your electrical system, you'll be able to make it work. Try it first, then if you have problems with poor triggering at low RPM - hit us up here for advice.

          IMO 99% of people who have complaints, are having other electrical issues that they do not understand.
          there is diodes and resistors for certain builds to conquer little monsters.
          in msd directions, they only give primitive examples for needing these things..
          you may have an issue similar, but with something not written.


          it can be funny learning the problem.
          ie: A simple diode on an electric choke does something for the alternator which does something for the igniton and battery which does something for everything...

          oem builds get much more complication. msd is good.
          Previously boxer3main
          the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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          • #6
            I have this one, and have not had any problems with it.
            Attached Files
            Last edited by 1Y; April 26, 2012, 02:04 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dieselgeek View Post

              IMO 99% of people who have complaints, are having other electrical issues that they do not understand.

              Oh boy Scott, you said a mouth full! I see so many guys on forums who really don't know how to measure voltage. As simple as it seems they don't understand the reading on a VOM is actually the voltage drop of the VOM. The VOM in comparison to other devices has way more impeadance then any other part of the circuit and as a result is going to drop the most voltage. Simple OHMs law 101. I love the guys who take the resistor wire feeding the old points system on 18 AMG wire, reading 13.8V to ground and think they have a killer source of power for their HEI or what ever. Garbage in, garbage out. On my 66 Mustang, I use the old ignition circuit to operate a relay to control my HEI power source which is #12 AMG off the battery.

              Should I mention meter loading too? Well maybe now with digital meters it's not so much of an issue.
              Tom
              Overdrive is overrated


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              • #8
                Not only that, I wonder how many guys out there know that not every timing light will work with a MSD Ignition........ The multi sparking causes problems with the readings on some timing lights...... It's the reason I bought the SnapOn one I have today.......

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TC View Post
                  Not only that, I wonder how many guys out there know that not every timing light will work with a MSD Ignition........ The multi sparking causes problems with the readings on some timing lights...... It's the reason I bought the SnapOn one I have today.......
                  I think that's either a bullshit claim, or someone mixed up "multi spark" with "wasted spark"

                  It's a wasted spark ignition that won't work with many timing lights (NONE of the dialback models such as a snap on). I've got a number of different lights - a super cheap craftsman, a more expensive digital craftsman, and a really old craftsman dialback that's probably the nicest of the bunch - none of them have problems with any distributor / MSD comb, only wasted spark gives the dialback light fits.

                  MSD's "multi spark" is there to make up for the fact that CDI ignitions offer a weak-suck spark at idle compared to inductive ignitions, whose spark events last longer. Some people actually believe the marketing hype that it "improves idle" - it's actually there to make up for the fact that the CDI spark is so short, it can cause misfire at idle. Hence, they came up with multi-spark to give you back what you lost when you "upgraded" from your factory ignition.

                  Long story short, MSD boxes don't cause much problems for timing lights. Wasted spark ignitions, on the other hand, DO.
                  www.realtuners.com - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dieselgeek View Post
                    I think that's either a bullshit claim, or someone mixed up "multi spark" with "wasted spark"

                    It's a wasted spark ignition that won't work with many timing lights (NONE of the dialback models such as a snap on). I've got a number of different lights - a super cheap craftsman, a more expensive digital craftsman, and a really old craftsman dialback that's probably the nicest of the bunch - none of them have problems with any distributor / MSD comb, only wasted spark gives the dialback light fits.

                    MSD's "multi spark" is there to make up for the fact that CDI ignitions offer a weak-suck spark at idle compared to inductive ignitions, whose spark events last longer. Some people actually believe the marketing hype that it "improves idle" - it's actually there to make up for the fact that the CDI spark is so short, it can cause misfire at idle. Hence, they came up with multi-spark to give you back what you lost when you "upgraded" from your factory ignition.

                    Long story short, MSD boxes don't cause much problems for timing lights. Wasted spark ignitions, on the other hand, DO.
                    Why do you always have to try to prove me wrong??........Right off MSD's website, this is something I've known for 20+ years now........

                    Timing Fluctuations

                    If your timing seems to be jumping all over the place, check the following items:

                    What kind of timing light are you using? Many lights have trouble reading the MSD's capacitive discharge multiple sparks. Dial back timing lights are not recommended. Try another non-adjustable light and check the timing again. MSD offers a Timing Light, PN 8990.
                    http://www.msdignition.com/page.aspx?id=3306

                    And a forum article from MSD's forums you can read....

                    http://www.msdignition.com/forum/arc...hp?t-6147.html

                    Like I said make sure your timing light is compatible with MSD's multi-spark discharge........
                    Last edited by TC; May 1, 2012, 09:28 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I've yet to meet the timing light that didn't work with an MSD box.
                      Escaped on a technicality.

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                      • #12
                        I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong, Alex. I'm simply offering the readers here a different perspective. Your experience comes from reading a website, mine comes from putting timing lights of all different types on many different MSD-equipped engines. 2-5 times per week usually.

                        I've never had a "bouncing timing" problem that was only because of the light I was using.
                        Last edited by dieselgeek; May 1, 2012, 10:17 AM.
                        www.realtuners.com - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dieselgeek View Post
                          I'm not trying to prove anyone wrong, Alex. I'm simply offering the readers here a different perspective. Your experience comes from reading a website, mine comes from putting timing lights of all different types on many different MSD-equipped engines. 2-5 times per week usually.

                          I've never had a "bouncing timing" problem that was only because of the light I was using.
                          No, my experience comes from the 10 years that I worked as an Auto Technician working on cars day in and day out.........How else would I be able to search for stuff to back up my point so easily without already know what to look for......... I ran a 6A on my '71 Camaro back in the day when I used to drive it, thus the reason I bought the Snap On light that I have, as even back then they warned you of this......... Sorry to say old boy I've been tinkering with cars a lot longer than you have......... Next time do a simple search before posting..........

                          By the way sounds like you have a timing light that is compatible, though the timing just doesn't bounce around, it will also read wrong........
                          Last edited by TC; May 1, 2012, 10:40 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheSilverBuick View Post
                            I've yet to meet the timing light that didn't work with an MSD box.
                            You have multiple timing lights?? If your light is reading wrong how would you know it?? Well unless you have one that you know works with a MSD ignition to compare it to......... I've seen it, my friend's light was kind of old, and it read a few degrees off from what my SnapOn light read..........

                            And I'm not saying this is a problem with all timing lights, but you do need to be aware that some don't work right.......
                            Last edited by TC; May 1, 2012, 10:44 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Aha, so Alex's experience is twofold: (1) he read it on the internet and (2) he once used a timing light on an MSD box back in 1971.
                              www.realtuners.com - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!

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