Hei coil keeps going south - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 19, 2:39 AM Thread Starter
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Question Hei coil keeps going south

I have a "69' with a 350 small block that I am running a MSD 6AL analog box, HEI distributor,and OEM replacement coil. The trouble I'm having started a year ago when I was on the way to a cruise-in. I was slowing down through a town ,the car backfired once and then went dead. Had to have my buddy take it home on his trailer. Did some tests on the coil with an ohm meter,decided it was bad,replaced it with one from Advance Auto and it fired right up and ran like a champ until today. Was going to another cruise-in and while going through a town,came up to a stop sign and the motor dies, like someone has turned off the key. I managed to get it restarted and into a parking lot,but it kept dying on me and every time I restarted I noticed the tach. needle going nutty. Anyway my friend shows up at parking lot where I'm at and he has a spare HEI coil. We replace the coil it fires right up and keeps running. We continue to the cruise-in,40 miles away and didn't miss a lick all the way there or coming back home. I wondering if I have got an ignition problem or are those stock aftermarket coils not strong enough for what that MSD box puts out. I know that the MSD box kicks the ignition voltage up somewhat, but what baffles me is the first coil was one the car for a least 4 years with no issues. When I bought this car it had a Accell super coil on it and I finally took it off and replaced it with the first OEM coil because the Accell coil would tend to burn up the contact posts on the inside of the distributor cap. Has any body out there ran across this issue with running an MSD box?
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 19, 3:44 AM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Yes had same issue back when I ran a hei, actually melted the cap when the msd took out the second coil, went with the low resistance bushing from msd
https://www.holley.com/products/igni...nts/parts/8412
But for peace of mind I went with a remote coil with the hei adapter and a blaster ss coil.
https://www.holley.com/products/igni.../parts/8401MSD

But like you I had problems with burnt contact posts but on the rotor instead of the cap had to change twice a year or more foten if not the best quality no matter what brand.

So went with a msd #8361 distributor same cap and rotor for over ten years and both box and coil still runs strong.

Picture of rotor new vs old, mallory pre 2007 was best after that they changed and eorn faster short after I went msd distributor.



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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 19, 10:24 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

get a good coil.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NOS-GM-1970...ty!85308!US!-1

It's a Delco D531B, this is the Real Deal.
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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 1st, 19, 10:49 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

OR, do like Dave Ray suggests and get a remote coil kit and get that coil out of the dist, good luck


https://www.speedwaymotors.com/MSD-8...rsion,674.html
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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 19, 9:43 AM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

It could be the MSD going bad. I would do the above suggestions first. If you have problems again, trash the MSD box. I have had more than my share of ignition boxes going bad over the years on many cars. I love the MSD spark and features but they are not worth the hassle on a car that you want to be dependable. You just don't need it on a 'cruise-in' car. Just run the HEI set up.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 19, 1:10 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69SS454 View Post
It could be the MSD going bad. I would do the above suggestions first. If you have problems again, trash the MSD box. I have had more than my share of ignition boxes going bad over the years on many cars. I love the MSD spark and features but they are not worth the hassle on a car that you want to be dependable. You just don't need it on a 'cruise-in' car. Just run the HEI set up.
After my second MSD box went bad (I had both a 6 and a 6AL fail), I returned to the basic HEI setup. It has run fine ever since.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 19, 1:39 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Have you checked your voltage to the coil? What spark plug gap are you running? Is your tach hooked to the MSD box or the HEI?

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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 19, 2:56 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

The coils going bad are going to stress the caps in your CD ignition system. My MSD finally pooched due to faulty coils. They fixed it, and I've re-rigged it. Been running a spare distributor with a Pertronix LS in it.

BTW, you SHOULD NOT be running a resistor type coil ( oem runs on 9v) with an MSD> hipo coil, straight 12v ONLY. Let Iman, or someone else confirm what coil works with the HEI module alone. That may be fine with oem voltages, like the Pertronix is.

Either way, running the coil via CD box likely ups the operating temps and it is a GREAT idea to get it out of the cap.

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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 19, 11:45 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

I'll preface this by saying I'm not a big fan of MSD systems. Their reliability is less than desired, and there's no reason to run a CD system on most engines (hi-perf or mild). A quality inductive ignition is both adequate and reliable. But I've got some questions here. I'm assuming you're hooking up the MSD box to the HEI distributor, and using the stock inductive type coil in a CD type application. Is that correct? And, I'm assuming the HEI module is only used for a timing signal for the MSD box. Is that correct?

The combination I'm envisioning here is not a recipe for performance or reliability.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 19, 11:52 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Quote:
Originally Posted by 427L88 View Post
The coils going bad are going to stress the caps in your CD ignition system. My MSD finally pooched due to faulty coils. They fixed it, and I've re-rigged it. Been running a spare distributor with a Pertronix LS in it.

BTW, you SHOULD NOT be running a resistor type coil ( oem runs on 9v) with an MSD> hipo coil, straight 12v ONLY. Let Iman, or someone else confirm what coil works with the HEI module alone. That may be fine with oem voltages, like the Pertronix is.

Either way, running the coil via CD box likely ups the operating temps and it is a GREAT idea to get it out of the cap.
Every inductive ignition coil (points or HEI) runs off of a 12 volt source (or 13-14 volts alternator setting, if one wants to be picky about things). The ballast resistor in the points systems is there to limit the peak current through the coil and points. It doesn't limit the peak voltage that the coil or points see.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 19, 2:36 AM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69ZL1 View Post
I'll preface this by saying I'm not a big fan of MSD systems. Their reliability is less than desired, and there's no reason to run a CD system on most engines (hi-perf or mild). A quality inductive ignition is both adequate and reliable. But I've got some questions here. I'm assuming you're hooking up the MSD box to the HEI distributor, and using the stock inductive type coil in a CD type application. Is that correct? And, I'm assuming the HEI module is only used for a timing signal for the MSD box. Is that correct?

The combination I'm envisioning here is not a recipe for performance or reliability.
If he followed msd’s instructions he has removed the module. See the wiring diagram.
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Chevelle Malibu ss 64
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Th 400 Edge 9.5" converter
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 19, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

You are correct, this is the way it’s wired. One thing that hasn’t been brought up in conversation here is the possibility that I had a defective coil. In these days of cut corners manufacturing practices that produces Chinese junk, it really wouldn’t surprise me a lot if that was the root cause.
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 19, 1:18 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Quote:
Originally Posted by il69smbk48 View Post
You are correct, this is the way it’s wired. One thing that hasn’t been brought up in conversation here is the possibility that I had a defective coil. In these days of cut corners manufacturing practices that produces Chinese junk, it really wouldn’t surprise me a lot if that was the root cause.
I burnt two coils before the low resistance bushing and modified dust cover for remote coil one Accell HEI in cap supercoil from the 90’s and one oem ac delco hei in cap coil from the 70’s.

If I was you I would try the msd low resistance bushing and next the modified dust cover with a remote coil.

One of these coils should work if you decide to try the remote coil the fast is made in Us according them, summit and jegs
https://www.fuelairspark.com/fast-ps...ance-coil.html
https://www.jegs.com/i/FAST/244/730-0060/10002/-1

https://pertronix.com/pertronix-4501...itional_tabbed

I went with the msd bushing at same time as the modified dustcover do not sure if only the bushing would have cured my coil problem? But I still burnt the rotor intill I went msd distributor.

Dave Ray recomends napa or oreilly
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Ray View Post
Large HEI, BEST ADVICE, GET THAT DISASTER OF A COIL OUT OF THE CAP and that included all the "performance" in cap coils as well. THE single most frequent issue with large HEI is not IF, but, WHEN the epoxy coil begins to fail, taking module after module to fail "for no apparent reason".

Noting fails "for no reason".

Nice oil filled coil, such as NAPA IC12 (NOT AN IC12SB), or, O'Reilly's 2-5195 will work wonders in saving modules and coil failures on the large HEI's, and they will make a touch more spark energy because they don't run nuclear hot.

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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 19, 2:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

Forgot to mention that when I converted over to the MSD box as per MSD’s advice, I installed the low resistance bushing. As far as your suggestion for hei cap conversation for an external coil, I bought a name brand coil yesterday and going to run that with a backup in the trunk. If that doesn’t fly for any amount of time, then will probably start looking into either remote coil route or possibly eliminating the MSD box all together. We’ll see what happens.
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 19, 3:56 PM
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Re: Hei coil keeps going south

I used the MSD, HEI setup with an Accel supercoil in the cap. Though I never had a failure, my car had an idle miss that would cause the engine to kick and the tach needle to jump. I had never gotten around to the coil change, but always wondered if the in cap coil just did not work for this setup. I have a 6AL in my Chevelle now with a blaster 3 and an HEI type distributor and so far no skips or needle jumps.
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