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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys. I own a 1969 Mustang Mach One and a strange thing happened where the engine would not shut off when I turned the key to the "off" position on the dash- the engine kept on running. I have an aftermarket universal wireharness from Haywire from Joplin Missouri and a complete MSD ignition system that includes coil, box and magnetic distributor. Anyway, the only way to shut it off was to unplug the pigtail where these set of wires connect on the ignition switch mechanism where the key is inserted on the dash. I also opened the hood and there was a bad smell coming from the starter solenoid. I have attempted to start up the car and all it does is just crank and there is no spark. What do you guys think happened?
 

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A little more background would be helpful. The wire harness and ignition system worked fine for some time I assume? Or did this occur after some work on the car?

Sometimes the MSD boxes can recieve enough power from the alt/regulator to keep the spark firing after the key is turned off, they sell or include with their box a diode to correct this problem.

I would check for power at the heavy red wire at the MSD and for power at the small red wire at the MSD(or closest connector) when the key is turned on. If you have power there then follow MSD's direction for testing the box for spark(in their manual). HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mustang update

Putt said:
A little more background would be helpful. The wire harness and ignition system worked fine for some time I assume? Or did this occur after some work on the car?

Sometimes the MSD boxes can recieve enough power from the alt/regulator to keep the spark firing after the key is turned off, they sell or include with their box a diode to correct this problem.

I would check for power at the heavy red wire at the MSD and for power at the small red wire at the MSD(or closest connector) when the key is turned on. If you have power there then follow MSD's direction for testing the box for spark(in their manual). HTH

Well, this harness worked ok, except that the headlights had an intermittent problem where they would shut off unexpectedly. I took the car to an electrical shop to have it fixed and the headlights didn't shut off on them. The only thing they fixed was the passenger side headlight where it was dim-not as bright as the drivers side low beam headlight. Two days later, the engine would not shut off. Any how, I found out when I unplugged the connector from the ignition switch in the dash that I blew the MSD box. I got out of the car and opened the hood and I picked up a smell like melted wires coming from the starter solenoid mounted on the passenger side of the car. Below the solenoid I touch the MSD BOX and it very hot to the touch. So I went back inside the car, reconnected the ignition wiring to the ignition switch and it didn't want to start. So I threw parts at it bought a new igntion switch with new keys, new coil, new solenoid. None of those things worked. I performed the spark test on the box and even had someone install it another vehicle equipped with an MSD system to see if it worked and it didn't it wouldn't start up his car. So, what other ignition system do you recommend that doesn't require a box to make it run? Is HEI the way to go?
 

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It depends on what you want. A stock Ford distributor ( points style) with a Pertronix Ignitor or Crane XR1 electronic conversion is very dependable and does not require any external box to run. The HEI system is a GM title, Ford used several different electronic ignitions, it depends on how involved you want to get.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What do you think of Mallory?

Putt said:
It depends on what you want. A stock Ford distributor ( points style) with a Pertronix Ignitor or Crane XR1 electronic conversion is very dependable and does not require any external box to run. The HEI system is a GM title, Ford used several different electronic ignitions, it depends on how involved you want to get.
Hey Putt, thanks for answering. I was doing some searching on here and other mustang forums. They pretty said I should stay away from Points style distributors because they don't offer enough vacuum advance when full throttle is applied to high performance engines which causes engine detonation. Could you clarify this? I had a hard time grasping that concept. The other users kept on saying that going with an aftermarket ignition system was better because the gas in combustion chamber would burn more completely w/o detonation. Oh forgot to tell you, the motor inside the car is a 377 stroked Windsor on a 351 W roller cammed Sportsman Racing block (A351), ESP forged steel rotating assembly, AFR 185cc heads, Ford Racing B303 roller cam, Speed Demon 650 w/Vacuum secondaries, Edelbrock Performer intake and Compression is 9.5:1. Ok back on the ignition, my usage of this car is high performance street level. I am not taking it to a race track. I just want it to be a reliable high performance muscle car that will give crisp and excellent throttle response when needed on the street or highway. I was also looking up on other forums about Mallory and no one seems to comment about them too much. It's something I was deciding on purchasing but don't know about their reliability. What has been your experience with Mallory Ignition? Are they reliable or worse than MSD? Anybody else have suggestions on this matter? I willing to listen to them.
 

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I have no idea what they mean by the vacuum advance statement because at WOT, there is no vacuum and therefore no vacuum advance, it makes no sense to me!! A point style distributor has as much adjustability as an OE Ford electronic version, so it sounds odd to me.

Mallory makes some nice pieces, like MSD, but to use their hi output ignition requires a separate box, not a big deal to me. I would suggest whatever brand you feel comfortable with that offers a multiple spark output at lower engine speeds(ie. the MSD 6A, Crane HI-6, Accel), it makes for easier starting and improved idle and mileage. It also virtually gaurantees that the spark plug will light the fuel mix in the chamber, so no misfires, you burn all the fuel.

My only Mallory experience was a Unilite conversion on my F100, it failed in the middle of the winter at about 4 or 5 years old. I did not like the special rotor that it required(expensive and hard to get), so I installed a Pertronix Ignitor and it has been trouble free for about 10 years(stock Ford distributor). I run an MSD 6A, MSD Blaster coil and MSD Super Conductor plug wires, in my opinion they are top notch. I have had two failures in the box in 20 years of use. They repaired one free(after the warranty period) and it was 35$ the second time. You can bypass the MSD box and run on just the Ignitor if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Putt said:
I have no idea what they mean by the vacuum advance statement because at WOT, there is no vacuum and therefore no vacuum advance, it makes no sense to me!! A point style distributor has as much adjustability as an OE Ford electronic version, so it sounds odd to me.

Mallory makes some nice pieces, like MSD, but to use their hi output ignition requires a separate box, not a big deal to me. I would suggest whatever brand you feel comfortable with that offers a multiple spark output at lower engine speeds(ie. the MSD 6A, Crane HI-6, Accel), it makes for easier starting and improved idle and mileage. It also virtually gaurantees that the spark plug will light the fuel mix in the chamber, so no misfires, you burn all the fuel.

My only Mallory experience was a Unilite conversion on my F100, it failed in the middle of the winter at about 4 or 5 years old. I did not like the special rotor that it required(expensive and hard to get), so I installed a Pertronix Ignitor and it has been trouble free for about 10 years(stock Ford distributor). I run an MSD 6A, MSD Blaster coil and MSD Super Conductor plug wires, in my opinion they are top notch. I have had two failures in the box in 20 years of use. They repaired one free(after the warranty period) and it was 35$ the second time. You can bypass the MSD box and run on just the Ignitor if needed.

Hey Putt, have you heard of 4secondsflat.com? I saw a link to them on this website and they sell an FBO ignition system that claims it is better than MSD. The only they use from MSD are the spark plug wires. They their own electronic distributor and coil all for 362.00, is it a good price?I was wondering if you knew of anybody who has had any experience with it or tell me what you think of them. They are located in Beaverton, Oregon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ignition update

Hey Putt, I've decided to go with the Pertronix ignitor module for a Ford 351 Windsor points distributor and alongside I purchased a remanufactured Ford points distributor at my local auto parts store. All I have left to buy is the Pertronix spark plug wires, cap, and rotor. If I can't get Pertronix, I'll go with Accel or Borg Warner. I will definitely need to swap out the cast iron gear and put in a bronze gear on the distributor I bought today because I've got a roller cam in my SVO sportsman block. Any ideas or tips on how approach this install? This will be my first installing this distributor in car, I've never done one before. Thanks.
 

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The FBO ignition seems to be a Mopar setup?...unless I missed something on that site.
The Pertronix will perform well I am sure. As far as the cap and rotor go I would not worry about the Pertronix brand, the the Carquest Gold, Echlin premium or the Borg Warner Nascar lines are of equal or better quality. The wires however are not...I have tried several premium replacement sets on a couple vehicles and have NOT been impressed. I would strongly suggest using some MSD, Accell, or Mallory spiral core wires, whichever brand you can get easiest.
The gear is pinned on with a roll pin thru the bottom of the shaft, hold the old gear in a vise and carefully drive the roll pin out with the proper size pin punch. Then the gear must be driven off the end of the shaft. Line up the hole in the new gear with the hole in the shaft and carefully press or tap it on until the holes line up and reinsert the roll pin. Do not damage the bottom surface of the gear, it rides on the block so must be smooth.
Is the engine presently in the car?
 
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