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1994-1995 5.0 Mustang SN95 Tech Forum

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Unread 09-07-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy 1995 Mustang GT and MSD Distributor

Hey all, I recently replaced my stock distributor as I had a problem somewhat familiar to a lot of us where the car would just shut down and then restart right away. I had my mechanic install a MSD Pro Billet Model 8455. I have no real mods on the car. The problem with the car shutting down stopped. I got a more responsive throttle response and was pleased.....at first. I then noticed that it would knock under moderate load like heading onto the highway in 3rd gear or going a little bit slow while in 5th. Normal street driving was fine. I did a lot to try and clear this, used seafoam, changed parts etc. Nothing seemed to affect this knocking. The original distributor didn't seem to have issues with this, just had the shutting down issue. I checked back with my mechanic and he said it was set at 10 degrees advanced like it was before. He said bring it back in and he'll do some adjustments the best he could. When I picked up the car, he said he had to drop the timing to 8 and do a minor adjustment on the throttle position sensor. So, it no longer knocks but it is terrible (to me) at idle and starting off the line. He said the low end would be like this and he was right. Once it warms up a bit, the low end issue is better but still is not where I would like it or where it used to be. Is there something more MSD's need or should I get something that is more OEM type instead of what you'd consider performance based? I'm at a loss here.
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Unread 09-08-2011   #2 (permalink)
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have him bump it back up to 10-12 and run a little better gas. try 89 or 91 octane.
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Unread 09-08-2011   #3 (permalink)
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I don't want to run 89 or higher. It has always run on 87 no problem and with gas prices now, I would prefer to stay that way.
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Unread 09-08-2011   #4 (permalink)
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i would agree with cindys sn95,,,, even if you dont want to run a higher octane its worth a try to see if that fixes your problem
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Unread 09-08-2011   #5 (permalink)
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I understand what you're suggesting but if it runs fine on 89 or 91 then I would prefer to just run an OEM type of distributor. It should run normally on 87 at 10 from my knowledge. It was running fine that way for the last 12 years (give or take a month). It just makes me wonder if MSD requires some sort of additional controller to fine tune.
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Unread 09-08-2011   #6 (permalink)
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This MSD (8455) uses the stock ignition correct? In that case, the timing curve should be a direct match for what you were previously using (there's nothing fancy in there, the hall-effect sensor (PIP) sends the position and RPM information to the computer, and your initial timing is about all there is to adjust). Sounds like you've had >10 (pinging), and now 8 (sluggish), and you preferred it at 10. Set it back to 10 would be my suggestion too.

Most places around here, 89 is only 10cents a gallon more than 87 (3%). You might even see that much of a gain in mileage if you bump the timing back to 10-12. Just a thought.

Other than that, you can tune a different timing curve (stock advance or a little more at idle / low RPM-load, and then dial it back at higher loads to cut the pinging). But that's an expensive solution to a simple problem.
 
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Unread 09-08-2011   #7 (permalink)
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I had him confirm what the setting was when initially installed and he said 10 which makes sense since I didn't ask for anything different than what it was. It just doesn't make sense why one distributor would do something different at the same setting. Yes, I can go back and have him set to 10 again. I guess it's just the thing inside me that asks why should I have to change the gas and yes you're right that it really isn't all that much difference in a fill up. I wish there were performance shops around here that may have run into these things before. I did change the ignition coil when trying to figure out the reason why the car would stop and restart to a BWD Ignition Coil. I ran with it on the old distributor for a while, just a straight replacement part. I saw some improvement after installing only because the factory coil had some corrosion. Didn't fix the car from stopping and restarting though.
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