MSD ignition with no alternator....
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MSD ignition with no alternator....

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    Distinguished Member David 519's Avatar
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    Default MSD ignition with no alternator....

    Planning on switching from a mag to a MSD (Digital 6 or 7, not sure yet) in our drag boat... Hate to do it since we all know a mag is a better racing ignition (JK, we've been through THAT subject already!! )
    Unfortunately the mag won't clear our new tunnel ram and kinda nervous about not having a rev limiter. Based on the rated amp/hour consumption of the msd, it looks like we could run without an alternator. Interested to hear what most of ya'll are doing. Appreciate any input on this...

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    gn7
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    the spark energy will be less than if you had a alternator and an MSD right from start, because the MSD wants all the voltage it can get up to about 18V
    You might be better of getting a 16 v battery, never the less, even with no alternator the MSD will still kick the mags ass. I'd keep the battery charged up as often as you can between runs.



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    There are some pretty good 16v batteries out these days that will work well, and are fairly light weight also.

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    Senior Member stix818's Avatar
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    David I run a 7ML2 in mine with a Yellow Top Optima (going on 5 years old). I've never had a problem with it (knock on wood!!). This year I did wire in an Accuvolt to increase the volt above 13 volts regardless of battery input (minimum of 10v). I run a Barry Grant 400 fuel pump, electric cooling fan and electric water pump with no problems!! Works great!!!! I've even made a couple passes back to back (after it cooled) on the river.
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    Distinguished Member David 519's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    the spark energy will be less than if you had a alternator and an MSD right from start, because the MSD wants all the voltage it can get up to about 18V
    You might be better of getting a 16 v battery, never the less, even with no alternator the MSD will still kick the mags ass. I'd keep the battery charged up as often as you can between runs.
    Man, GN, you took it easy on me with the mag comment... thanks!! In a flat I like the "old school" look of an engine with only 1 wire going to it. We ran a MSD when we were racing cars and I do understand the benifits. Part of why I'm giving up the look and going with a bit more modern ignition.
    I had thought an MSD wanted as much supply voltage as you can send it and why I was wondering about an alternator. After I posted this, it occured to me to search MSD's website to see what they say about the subject. Here's what MSD has to say about supply voltage (cut and pasted from MSD's FAQ's):


    Race cars without charging systems must have a battery with a large enough capacity to power all the electrical parts. For example, an MSD 6 or 7 series ignition consumes approximately one amp per thousand rpm, so at 5,000 rpm the MSD alone is using five amps. An MSD is designed to produce full power sparks with a supply voltage of 10 volts, but if the supply drops below that, ignition output will suffer.
    An MSD can be used with 16 volt batteries, but no performance gain will occur because the output power of the MSD is regulated. The advantage of a 16 volt battery is increased electrical capacity. For more information on battery requirements with an MSD, ask your MSD Customer Support Tech for our Battery Tech Bulletin.

    I read that as no more HP, just longer running time before needing to charge the battery... I'm leaning towards using an alternator... Thanks!!.

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    Senior Member stix818's Avatar
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    Does this mean your close?? Just over a week to go!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by David 519 View Post
    In a flat I like the "old school" look of an engine with only 1 wire going to it.
    You ARE going with a crank trigger right???????

    It'll look like it has no wires!!

    AGAIN..........YOU ARE GOING WITH A CRANK TRIGGER RIGHT!?!?!?!?!?!

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    Distinguished Member David 519's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stix818 View Post
    Does this mean your close?? Just over a week to go!!
    Push rods will be here in a day or so. The rest of the engine is together and going back in the boat tomorrow night. Entry has already been mailed so I hope nothing goes sideways!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Warp Speed View Post
    You ARE going with a crank trigger right???????

    It'll look like it has no wires!!

    AGAIN..........YOU ARE GOING WITH A CRANK TRIGGER RIGHT!?!?!?!?!?!
    Sounds like you think a crank trigger is a good idea I'm still getting used to the idea of giving up the mag and you want me to add even more "problems"??
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    We haven't completely decided yet, but leaning towards the MSD digital 7/Crank trigger set up. We ran the digital 6 in our car (NHRA Super class car) and really liked the features/compact design of the digital series.

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    Senior Member stix818's Avatar
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    Right on!!!
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    Senior Member Red Rocket's Avatar
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    I have been running a small odyssey battery and no alternator with a digital 7 box with no problem. I have Data on the boat and the voltage trace never drops below 12.2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David 519 View Post
    Sounds like you think a crank trigger is a good idea
    If you monitor timing at each cylinder throughout the rpm range, with even the best distributor triggered ignition system just once, you would never run anything else but crank triggered. Especialy if it is a rear mounted dist.
    (Ford guy's will love hearing me say that!)

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    B.A.M aka "Black Azz Mike 396_Ways_To_Spit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    the spark energy will be less than if you had a alternator and an MSD right from start, because the MSD wants all the voltage it can get up to about 18V
    You might be better of getting a 16 v battery, never the less, even with no alternator the MSD will still kick the mags ass. I'd keep the battery charged up as often as you can between runs.


    This man is "on the money" with his statement.


    I ran without a alternator for years. I did notice at the end of the day I was loosing RPM's due to the voltage drop. Keep the battery charged and your off and running. You guys dont run that long so you will be fine.

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    They bout shit themselves when yelled in Messican, "No brakes no brakes."
    I showed them all the sticker on the side that reads "Driver Ricky Bobby" They just looked at me and nodded yes yes
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    B.A.M aka "Black Azz Mike 396_Ways_To_Spit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David 519 View Post
    I'm leaning towards using an alternator... Thanks!!.

    If you do this then get an alternator from a outboard motor. They are VERY small and dont weight hardly anything. Mercury uses them and they are badass. If you need any help locating one, let me knwo brotha

    Spitter
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    Quote Originally Posted by cave View Post
    They bout shit themselves when yelled in Messican, "No brakes no brakes."
    I showed them all the sticker on the side that reads "Driver Ricky Bobby" They just looked at me and nodded yes yes
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
    Some peeps just build it 1 part, 1 week, 1 paycheck at a time

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