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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so pro billet with 6a box or pro-billet ready to run without 6a box? on a 396ss. Are there advantages to running a 6a ignition box with the pro-billet as opposed to the ready to run without the box other than mounting an extra piece? Just looking for opinions on the hardware, good , bad and the ugly. Sorry for the rookie question but, eh, what can you do when you're a rookie? As always thanks for any input.

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'70 SS 396 4spd

"One must learn to walk before he can fly. One cannot simply fly into flying"
 

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I put an MSD 6A on my car with stock HEI and I can't really tell the difference. It maybe helps it idle a little better but that's it. Don't expect any performance gains out of it.

I would go with a 6AL if anything just because at least that way you get a rev limiter.


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Chris Dagenais
Saskatchewan
'71 Malibu with a home built 454!
"Salad and vegetables are what food eat!"
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
really just looking for really clean spark, the rebuilt GM HEI is caput. Was thinking about the 6al incase I miss a shift as the car is a four speed, so might look into that. But what about the pro-billet ready to run vs. the stret pro-billett? Only thing I see different is an external vs. internal coil or cap mounted, and possibly one requiring a 6a or 6al box. Oh, and about $80.

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'70 SS 396 4spd

"One must learn to walk before he can fly. One cannot simply fly into flying"

[This message has been edited by Midnight Marauder (edited 07-06-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Midnight Marauder (edited 07-06-2001).]
 

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I'm running a msd 8365 billet dist wired into my stock ignition (no 6al box). I just put the original coil and dist in the box. Now I think that 6al box has a rev limiter, if your car is a 4 speed or if you want to race you may want to research it. Mine is a stock 396/350hp, and that distributor really woke up the motor. Oh and after several sets I ended up using AC delco plug wires from a 454 Suburban, perfect fit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys, what I was looking for. Appreciate the tip on the delco wires too. Always good to save the headaches for the electrical gremlins I am sure i will encounter once I get into the wiring harnesses. Thanks again.

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'70 SS 396 4spd

"One must learn to walk before he can fly. One cannot simply fly into flying"
 

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If you get the distributor that is ready to run you will not have a rev limiter. I have a MSD distributor in my car and had a 6A too, but I also have a 4 speed and was afraid of blowing the 427 so I got a MSD digital 6 plus. I love it. It has 2 rev limiters and a start retard and a programable retard all built in. I locked the advance in the dist. and set the timing at 38 degrees then set the start retard at 20 degrees. It starts great and the throtle response is much better.
 

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I went with the pro billet and the 6AL box. This is only one part of the ignition. Make sure you have a fresh, high quality coil and 8mm or better plug wires. MSD makes excellent plug wires. Also, make sure the wires are secured with a decent wiring loom. I used the Moroso kit. You have to be careful of the 5 & 7 being too close together due to problems with the spark jumping between the wires and causing a misfire. Also, make sure wires are routed away from major heat sources.

David Selko
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
O.k., thanks. Went with the MSD pro-billet, p# 8365 and asked the tech on the phone if it was compatible with the 6al if I chose to get one in the future (as I probably will). Wondered if since the 8365 has a spark intensifier already in the dist. if a 6al was necessary other than the fact of the rev limiter as I thought the ignition box took over for the spark intensifier. Still not sure of this if anyone can tell me I would appreciate it. Also, forgot one small thing when I ordered, didnt see if there is a hook up for the tach on this dist, anyone know? And I also noticed that MSd says includes vacuum advance starting @ 6 hg and maxing at 12 hg but didnt see an adjustable canister, does this mean it's fixed and cannot be adjusted? Anyone?

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'70 SS 396 4spd
TC# 1341
"One must learn to walk before he can fly. One cannot simply fly into flying"
 

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I don't believe any of the MSD Billet distributors come with adjustable vacuum canisters. My MSD-8361 didn't have one and I couldn't find one in the MSD catalog.

Rod
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If thats the case, couldnt you purchase a crane adjustable canister, the whole kit? Cant see why it wouldnt work if this particular dist. is modeled after the gm hei. Will have to see when she arrives on tuesday. Any bad things to expect if this dist does not have adjustable vac advance or does it mean I just will have to tweak the mechanical to get where I want to be?

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'70 SS 396 4spd
TC# 1341
"One must learn to walk before he can fly. One cannot simply fly into flying"
 

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The 6A and 6Al WILL give you extra horses, but you won't feel them. If you've ever seen a dyno chart, your top-end power output will rise a few HP every time your spark plug fires, then go down - it's quite noticeable. With the multi-spark units like the 6A, you get a more complete burn at high rpms that levels out those peaks and boosts total output.
 

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I changed to a 6-AL box and used the GM Transistor Ignition distributor with my 64 Rochester Fuel Injection B/P race car. Just changing to the 6-AL box, we picked up TWO seconds a lap at Laguna Seca 2.15 mile course!! Now that is a lot of power increase!!

Chevy also has a newer HEI distributor out for their ZZ4 and up motor. Cost about $295. I used one in my street 67 El Camino and it worked very well. M and H Electric in Santa Fe Springs, Ca makes a special wire harness to take a HEI set up .
Good Luck,
Jim Gessner

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over 15 Chevelles including my orginal 65 L-79 SS.
 

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Midnight:

Yes, you can use the Crane or Accel adjustable vacuum advance as long as you get the right unit for an HEI, if that is the type of MSD distributor you have. I ended up removing mine and the parts for the vacuum advance lockout came with the MSD-8361. As I recall, I think the MSD vacuum advance added something like 15-17 degrees advance. Initial and mechanical advance totaled 36 degrees, and I think it was in the neighborhood of 53 degrees total with vacuum advance added. Too much for my engine, so I removed the vacuum advance until I can replace it with an adjustable unit. I only want about 6-7 degrees of total vacuum advance. Good luck.

Rod
 

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Something that was just touched on is multiple spark, this is 20 degrees of crank rotation results in better spark at high revs cleaner burning plugs.Also much stronger spark it will jump from the Blaster coil about 3"to 4" so if at any time you crank the engine with it disconnected, ground it to prevent fires...FRED

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Right on. HotRodThanks for the info on the vac. advance, 15-17 vac advance is a little much for the 396 as well. Gotta pick up an adjustable unit. Fred thanks for the tip on the fires, want the chevy to have some heat but not that kind. Thanks again.

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'70 SS 396 4spd
TC# 1341
"One must learn to walk before he can fly. One cannot simply fly into flying"
 

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Along Fred lines, you'll see on page 6 of the MSD instructions an easy way to "disable" the ignition. I recommend it for "cranking over" as well as "safe keeping".

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67 SS396(427-3X2)
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