Ingnition problem
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Ingnition problem

  1. #1
    Senior Member jimclauss's Avatar
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    Default Ingnition problem

    I have a problem with pontiac head, and big chief chev. alky injected engines ( three different ones) not starting properly or not at all, with a Magnito. vertex. and mallory super mags. compression not really that much on two of them . one 13 to 1 one 12 to one the other 15.6 to one . 112 and 114 center line cams. changed over to MSD ingnition no problem starting then. maybe somebody can put some light on this one, has anybody else had this proplem? thank you.

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    gn7
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    "Need For Speed" Gearhead's Avatar
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    Jim,

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    1) Generally the higher compression one goes with magnetos will also cause the need to close the spark plug gap tighter and/or to spin the engine at a faster rate. I don't know why this may be different on an 18 or less degree cylinder head style versus a 26 degree as you are experiencing.

    2) Another thought to consider might be the head gasket composition, etc. What I am eluding to is actual ground in the cylinder heads. On the A/Fuel car we use copper head gaskets and big 44 amp mags. Even with a copper gasket and a 44 amp mag, the heads are not grounded sufficiently and will begin to erode on the gasket to the heads. This seems to be even worse with aluminum blocks. So, we actually have a 10 or 12 gage stranded copper ground lead connecting both heads and also connecting the heads to the mag ground.

    This is not a bad practice in any race engine. Connect the heads with a large ground and also connect this ground to the ignition system and battery in a battery ignition system.

    It would be interesting to see if extra grounding may help in your situation. Easy to try. Let us know.

    Gear
    Last edited by Gearhead; 05-17-2011 at 09:06 PM.

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    Default

    Let's see. Problem 1.. mag. Use them as anchors. Leave in the MSD.

    OK, now for the helpful comments. Cranking speed. Is it cranking "slow"? Mags generate more voltage based on rpm. Or the inverse.. they put our crappy weak spark all the time, but even worse when engine is turning slow.
    Some guys use 16v batteries. Or 24, or whatever. I say leave in the MSD.
    Wags

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    Wags, don't hold back. Tell us how you really feel about mags.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    Jim,

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    1) Generally the higher compression one goes with magnetos will also cause the need to close the spark plug gap tighter and/or to spin the engine at a faster rate. I don't know why this may be different on an 18 or less degree cylinder head style versus a 26 degree as you are experiencing.

    2) Another thought to consider might be the head gasket composition, etc. What I am eluding to is actual ground in the cylinder heads. On the A/Fuel car we use copper head gaskets and big 44 amp mags. Even with a copper gasket and a 44 amp mag, the heads are not grounded sufficiently and will begin to erode on the gasket to the heads. This seems to be even worse with aluminum blocks. So, we actually have a 10 or 12 gage stranded copper ground lead connecting both heads and also connecting the heads to the mag ground.

    This is not a bad practice in any race engine. Connect the heads with a large ground and also connect this ground to the ignition system and battery in a battery ignition system.

    It would be interesting to see if extra grounding may help in your situation. Easy to try. Let us know.

    Gear
    To go one step even further..I just learned this... and that is to not use aluminum based antiseize on plugs, but a copper based.

    This stuff, courtresy Warp Speed:

    MolySlip Copaslip Anti-seize Compound
    If God is your co-pilot, change seats!
    Acts 2:38, the perfect answer to the perfect question.

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    Senior Member jimclauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gearhead View Post
    Jim,

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    1) Generally the higher compression one goes with magnetos will also cause the need to close the spark plug gap tighter and/or to spin the engine at a faster rate. I don't know why this may be different on an 18 or less degree cylinder head style versus a 26 degree as you are experiencing.

    2) Another thought to consider might be the head gasket composition, etc. What I am eluding to is actual ground in the cylinder heads. On the A/Fuel car we use copper head gaskets and big 44 amp mags. Even with a copper gasket and a 44 amp mag, the heads are not grounded sufficiently and will begin to erode on the gasket to the heads. This seems to be even worse with aluminum blocks. So, we actually have a 10 or 12 gage stranded copper ground lead connecting both heads and also connecting the heads to the mag ground.

    This is not a bad practice in any race engine. Connect the heads with a large ground and also connect this ground to the ignition system and battery in a battery ignition system.

    It would be interesting to see if extra grounding may help in your situation. Easy to try. Let us know.

    Gear
    tryed gapping plugs tighter to no avail,heads are o=ringed with copper head gaskets, never had a problem with a std head b/b but use mostly 110 c/l cam shafts also. seems like the 114 and even the 112 cam has something to do with it also. just guessing
    Last edited by jimclauss; 05-18-2011 at 06:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    Same kill switch used for the MSD and mag?
    no

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    Senior Member jimclauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wagspe208 View Post
    Let's see. Problem 1.. mag. Use them as anchors. Leave in the MSD.

    OK, now for the helpful comments. Cranking speed. Is it cranking "slow"? Mags generate more voltage based on rpm. Or the inverse.. they put our crappy weak spark all the time, but even worse when engine is turning slow.
    Some guys use 16v batteries. Or 24, or whatever. I say leave in the MSD.
    Wags
    run two starters and tryed 24 volt will start sometimes but kicks back etc.not relieable. MSD it starts right up. I think the weak spark and the fuel and compression is snoffing out the fire , I had that problem on a blower motor years ago when the boost went up to 26 lbs, at 6000 the motor litterly shout off with a stock ing. and started right back up again then I used a mag and it kept right on going. same on the dyno with MSD 7 box the blown alky motor drops hp at 6500, 28 lbs boost put a 10 box on and it keeps right on making hp.
    Last edited by jimclauss; 05-18-2011 at 06:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    To go one step even further..I just learned this... and that is to not use aluminum based antiseize on plugs, but a copper based.
    This stuff, courtresy Warp Speed:

    MolySlip Copaslip Anti-seize Compound
    you might have sometime here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wagspe208 View Post
    Let's see. Problem 1.. mag. Use them as anchors.
    But they worked so well in model T's

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unchained View Post
    But they worked so well in model T's
    hhmmmm... where's hass to enlighten everyone????

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unchained View Post
    But they worked so well in model T's
    Quote Originally Posted by bp298 View Post
    hhmmmm... where's hass to enlighten everyone????
    And Top Fuel Cars, and most really hard running blown alky stuff. But those guys only use'em cause they're silly like me


    As for the OP's problem, it must be from cranking speed , also the mags are probably locked out and the MSD probably has an advance in it that allows it to start without kicking back. My stuff is lower comp with conventional heads and I've never witnessed any kind of starting problems. I hear of guys having to get them cranking over & then turn on the ignition but like I said my stuff starts just as good as if I had an electronic ignition. And I'm starting this thing with a tiny azz battery about the size of a motorcycle battery. Been doing it for almost 3 yrs now with the same battery. Never failed.

    How long since the mag has been freshened up?
    Last edited by Hass828; 05-18-2011 at 02:28 PM.
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    gn7
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    Hass, they run them for 4.0 seconds and replace as required. They ran them at Indy, until they had to carry a battery, and then they threw them in the round file. Oh, hey, same with Henry Ford. No battery=magneto Battery=anything but a magneto

    Here is the best thing a mag is used for, and just so happens to be my favorite way to test a mag. Clip one lead to a hind foot, the other to the lower lip. Spin with 1800+ rpm drill motor. If it kills the sum bitch, your mag is good. If it only pisses it off and it goes ballistic on your ass, you need to send your mag in. This mag checked out good:




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    Last edited by gn7; 05-18-2011 at 03:06 PM.

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