I have one. Once I figured out the little chart for setting the advance curves, it was very easy to use. Changing the curves involve removing the cap and turning a couple of pots.
When you install it, you set the max timing you want with the vaccum line disconnected, and tighten it down. No matter what you do with the curves it won't change the max timing. You just change the initial timing and how quick it all comes in, with the pot settings. It has 10,15,20, and 25 degree curves. The designation is the difference between max timing and initial. For example if your max timing is 39 degrees like mine, and you select a 20 degree curve, your initial is going to be 19 degrees. Select the 25 degree curve and you have an initial value of 14 degrees, but the max doesn't change. A 34 degree max with a 20 degree curve selected also gives you 14 initial... so on and so forth. Each curve 'size' has 4 different variations of when it comes in, from 2000-3500 rpms. I have mine coming full in at 2500.
You can also set the amount of vaccum advance and how much it gives you based on the vaccum reading. It took me a little while to figure it out, but once I did it is a piece of cake to tune.
Another really cool feature is a built in rev-limiter that you set using another pot under the cap. I set mine at 6500 and had a couple of 'encounters' with it at the track due to inaccurate shifting .
Wiring is a breeze. You hook up their supplied harness to your coil and power supply, etc, and the it just plugs into a 4-prong connector harness on the distributor. There is a seperate green wire for the tach. If you need to remove it you just unhook the tach wire and the connector harness, no need to undo all the wires on the coil, etc. Makes removal/installation painless, so long as you don't re-install it 180 degrees out like I did (DOH!).
I also considered the Crane equivalent, but was turned off by it because you have to buy their ignition box to use with it. The MSD version requires no ignition box. I use a stock canister style MSD Blaster coil. Makes for a cleaner look without the ignition box, particularly for a street/strip car where I don't really have a need for a box.
My only complaint, the dials on the little pots are rather fragile, and the numbers on them yellow and fade a little due to heat after you put some miles on it. I boogered mine up a little with the screwdriver, not being careful. Other than that it's worked great.
I painted the cap for mine black, and it takes a second look to realize it's not a stock points style distributor.
I second everything Boo had to say. I keep a jewlers screwdriver in the car with me that takes care of all my timing curve management. Though I haven't been to the track with it yet I've changed it a few times just to see what happens on the street. The rev-limiter is great with my stroker. I was really looking for a replacement for my point-type setup. I also don't run a box, but its just a matter of mounting it and plugging it in. I put a Blaster 2 coil in with Taylor 8mm wires and its been doing great. Best of all, it'll make your ford and mopar buddies really jealous cause they can't have one.
It was worth the $375 I paid. And I just checked, Summit is selling them for $350.
Thanks guys. After pouring over the directions I found on their web site I kinda figured out how to set it up. The directions are kinda vague to say the least. For us old timers the concept of setting total timming up front is a little odd but it makes perfect sense. Brian, you should have written the directions for MSD as they are well stated and easy to understand. Thanks again.
The car is getting a cold air cowl air cleaner and the HEI distributor is to big to clear the cold air system. I was looking for something that incorporated all the features I have added to the HEI. I looked at the E-Curve at Sema last year and it seemed like the perfect solution. I will order the E-Curve today.
I know what you mean, the directions are definitely a little unclear. It took me a while to really get a grasp of how it's working. I didn't understand what they meant by '10' or '15' or '25' degree curves. After tweaking with it and watching the timing light it finally made sense what was happening. The 'smaller' the curve I selected, the higher my initial timing was. It doesn't change the max timing, it just changes where it starts advancing from.
I don't think you'll be dissappointed with it though!
i've had one on my car for about 2 months now. i don't run a box either. whether it's worth almost $400 is debatable, but i have no complaints. the thing i really liked about it was that i can lock my timing at 36 degrees and it has a 20 degree start retard that directs the timing back to 36 deg after 600rpms. it was the perfect distributor for me.
wow, old thread. But 3 years later, as far as I know the car is still running fine for the new owner with that distributor. It has been several months since I talked to him though. If i build another hotrod with an SBC, I'll probably use it again.
I also have an E-Curve. Same problems, hard to understand the instructions. So I made a program to solve all this, you can view it at www.cammhsm.com or on ebay. It will answer most all questions and how to install and use it. This distributor is awesome.
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