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MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PICS !

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Greg72, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Hey guys here's a riddle for you....

    As part of my 396 rebuild just before Moab, I also installed the MSD Pro Billet distributor (the small body one), an MSD 6AL box, and SS Blaster Coil, and MSD wires.

    Last night, while trying to set it up with some softer advance springs, we noticed that the center "button" on the cap was completely disintegrated and there was tons of carbon in the cap and rotor area. The electrical contacts were heavily corroded too....

    The curious thing is this setup only has about 4000 miles on it. Any ideas how this could have happened so quickly?


    See pics of the damage at this link:

    http://coloradok5.com/photos/showgallery.php?thumb=1&stype=2&si=Greg72&cat=500&perpage=12&sort=1&ppuser=2089

    UPDATE:

    I took some quick resistance measurements on the plug wires....take a look and remember, the MSD spec is 40-50 ohms/ft.

    Cylinder #1 = 142 ohms
    Cylinder #2 = 161 ohms
    Cylinder #3 = 145 ohms
    Cylinder #4 = 118 ohms
    Cylinder #5 = 95 ohms
    Cylinder #6 = 6000 ohms
    Cylinder #7 = 92 ohms
    Cylinder #8 = 101 ohms


    Well...needless to say, I think I found my "smoking gun"... /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I was going to try to fix the #6 wire, but managed instead to destroy it getting the plug ends off!! /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  2. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Billet Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles???

    Were the cap and button an MSD unit or a stock GM unit? You have to use an MSD or equivilent button in the cap because the stock ones wont hold up to the juice put out by the MSD.. Or so I was told... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  3. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: MSD Pro Billet Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??

    The distributor came complete.....as far as I recall (it's been a few months!) so I don't think it's a part I'd have swapped over.

    I think I recall something about doing a "button swap" when I first installed the 6AL box with the existing HEI distributor though.....maybe that's what you're remembering?

    Anyway, I took some pics (worth 1000 words each!) so I'll post them in a few minutes.
     
  4. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Billet Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??

    Ya, that was on an HEi, but thought it may pertain to this situation also. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Only other thing I could think of is maybe the button wasn't making good contact with the rotor post that comes up to it?? *shurg* /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  5. Swanson52

    Swanson52 1/2 ton status

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    Which MSD wires were you using?
     
  6. GRINCH

    GRINCH 1/2 ton status

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    Greg,

    Have the same problem on a late mode1 Pro Billet 8366 Dist. I also installed a 6a box, Coil and wires from MSD. Mine lasted a bit longer 8000 miles. The cap was toast when I was troubleshooting a no start problem. The Ign module was bad. I called MSD to get a part # for the module and they told me any GM 87-90ish will work. They didn't have the GM # although it was a factory GM part they use in thier Dist. packages. Since I was in there I decided to replace the mag pickup at the same time.. OHH to my suprise they don't make that either for the 8366. I had to use a different one and cut the wires and put my own ends on.

    Not very happy with MSD /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif

    Hope you have better luck than I. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    The wires are the 8mm "DIY" ones....I think the distributor end had the 90* boots already installed, and the plug end was the side you had to build. I bought a set of straight boots and used their little "crimping tool"....

    A couple local shops feel that the wires must not have been made well, and they probably have very HIGH resistance....I forget what the MSD spec is (something like 50 ohms) but I just bought a DMM so I'll go out and check them for excess ohm-age!!!!

    Then it's a quick order to Summit for at least a new cap and rotor (maybe plug wires!) and I should be back in business..... /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  8. GRINCH

    GRINCH 1/2 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    Here's the specs on the wires.
    Heli-Core Wires (Blue):
    150 - 1,200 ohms per foot
    8.5mm Super Conductor (Red):
    40 - 50 ohms per foot

    If you do not know the specification for your wires, measure the resistance of each wire. Remember to divide the length of the wire by 12 to get a "per foot" measurement. If one wire is out of that average spec, it is at fault.
    Solid Core Wires: You cannot run Solid Core Spark Plug Wires with an MSD Ignition Control. Solid Core
    wires do not suppress any Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) which will interfere with electronics or rev limiters on your vehicle. A suppression style or spiral wound spark plug wire MUST be used.


    If you want to hold off until tonight I found a site that sells MSD parts cheaper than anyone else I've found. (I'm at work until 9pm MST)

    Dennis
     
  9. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    Yeah these are the REDS.....that's probably why the "50" number sounded familiar. Looks like I'll have to measure the length as well as the resistance to be valid.

    I'm willing to wait for your "secret source" for MSD....honestly, the pricing and delivery (typically 2 days max) is pretty hard to beat!!! /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  10. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    I have always ran the Taylor wires with my MSD. They are cheap and last a long time. THey were recommended by a Summit rep...
     
  11. 78shortbox

    78shortbox Newbie

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    I have had the same kind of problems with MSD caps and rotors before. I believe most of the problems come from condensation inside the cap. None of the MSD caps seem to have any vents in them, so any moisture that gets inside them stays in there and corrodes everything. This problem seems to be worst on vehicles that aren't driven everyday.

    The solution that seems to work for me is to drill a small(1/8-3/16") vent hole in the cap. I usually drill them down low, between 2 posts, but I don't think the location really matters. I think if you get a new cap and rotor and try this it will solve your problem. I doubt that the wires are the problem, and if they measure ok for resistance, buying new ones is probably a waste of money.
     
  12. yellowK20

    yellowK20 Well Lubricated Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    I have complete MSD ignition on both my trucks the only prob I've had is there wires they burn real easy /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  13. Swanson52

    Swanson52 1/2 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    That squashes my theory. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif I had the same thing happen to me with an MSD 6AL, and I was using the 8MM blue wires. I switched to the 8.5 Super Conductors and that eliminated the problem.
     
  14. GRINCH

    GRINCH 1/2 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    Here's the link.

    I got my cap and rotor cheaper than anyone else because they had it on clearance. So I bought 3 of each and it was still cheaper than than the local parts store that carries MSD.

    MSD Parts
     
  15. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Check the update in the original post....!!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. Blazer_Boy

    Blazer_Boy 1/2 ton status

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    40-50 ohms per foot. Soo, that sounds about right. Excluding that bad little monkey called #6.
     
  17. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    I just bought a DMM so I'll go out and check them for excess ohm-age!!!!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I find it imposible to believe that you of all people didn't have a DMM /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  18. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Re: MSD Pro Distributor - Cap and Rotor are toast after 4000 miles??? ! PI

    Kinda weird, huh?

    I had an OLD analog one that I built as a "kit" in high school... and I have a simple 12V test light that has been useful more times than I can remember!

    It was just another item on a long "Things I Really SHOULD Own" list.... now I guess I can cross that one off! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif


    It's pretty nice....Ohms, Volts, Diode Tester, Thermal, Frequency, Auto-Ranging, etc. Sears $60. Not bad at all.
     

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