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MSD Ignition 6A (6201) and 6AL (6425) New style digital boxes have a problem. Any of these with a stamped date on the base plate earlier than April 2011 have a problem and will not work. The problem is it will not fire due to the engine cranking speed in most applications will not spin fast enough for the box to fire. MSD tech dept knows about this, but it seems that no one else at MSD or any of the dealers or distributors know.
 

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MSD Ignition 6A (6201) and 6AL (6425) New style digital boxes have a problem. Any of these with a stamped date on the base plate earlier than April 2011 have a problem and will not work. The problem is it will not fire due to the engine cranking speed in most applications will not spin fast enough for the box to fire. MSD tech dept knows about this, but it seems that no one else at MSD or any of the dealers or distributors know.
The current owners of MSD/Autotronics are really beginning to piss me off. It is crap like this, and boxes coming out with the trigger wires backwards, and internal fuses that seem to be blowing at a much higher rate than I ever remember in the past, and then charging for repairs that the original owners never did.
I understand things happen, but when you are aware of a problem and don't make your distributors and dealers aware of it, thats total bullshit.

Seriously thinking if switching to I.C.E., or even Mallory.



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Bob, Who is I.C.E ? I been in the market for a new ignition as well and don't trust MSD at all after some of the problems and lack of customer support with the newer owners. :mad:
 

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Bob, Who is I.C.E ? Ive been in the market for a new ignition as well and don't trust MSD at all after some of the problems and lack of customer support with the newer owners. :mad:
 

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Good news: the stuff kicks ass.
Bad news: it is Australian, and as far as I knoow there are no dealer distributors in the US yet. I would have thought Jon Kaase would be a dealer by now, and may actually be. He just doesn't post it on his website. But he definitely uses the stuff. You can get the stuff but only thru mail order, and you have to sent it back there for any repairs or warranty. But hopefully that isn't an issue with the stuff. Requires more components to accomplish the same tasks as MSD also. I.E., seperate rev limiter. But the stuff has proven time and again to make more power than any CD. Although the MSD may be a better street ignition where you idle alot, and the multi spark can be beneficial, I am beginning to think I would rather have a good strong, long duration anytime I am above 3000, which is our case is almost always. So what good is a multi spark to me if it quits being multi at 3000, and actually starts dropping strikes right around 900. and the fewer bsparks only get further apart.

LINK: Ignition components & electronics



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MSD Ignition 6A (6201) and 6AL (6425) New style digital boxes have a problem. Any of these with a stamped date on the base plate earlier than April 2011 have a problem and will not work. The problem is it will not fire due to the engine cranking speed in most applications will not spin fast enough for the box to fire. MSD tech dept knows about this, but it seems that no one else at MSD or any of the dealers or distributors know.
neil, the way i read what you said, the msd box must sense some minimum cranking rpm, or it won't fire the coil??? that doesn't make any sense to me, as in, why would anyone design a box that required a minimum cranking rpm, which would be some arbitrary number, to close some circuit inside the box so it will all of a sudden decide to fire? i don't get it...
i can think of some other reasons why it wouldn't fire at low cranking rpm, but some magic sensor/switch in the box isn't one of 'em...
 

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neil, the way i read what you said, the msd box must sense some minimum cranking rpm, or it won't fire the coil??? that doesn't make any sense to me, as in, why would anyone design a box that required a minimum cranking rpm, which would be some arbitrary number, to close some circuit inside the box so it will all of a sudden decide to fire? i don't get it...
i can think of some other reasons why it wouldn't fire at low cranking rpm, but some magic sensor/switch in the box isn't one of 'em...
So why can't you fire a box by rotating the dizzy body till the pickup passes the rotor spoke. I can fire a points and condenser that way, but a MSD will not fire just because the pickup passed the rotor spoke. It has to move quick enough to make the box fire. Is it the pickup, or the box? But the box will fire if you short the 2 pickup leads. So again, is it the box, or the pickup that needs a certain speed? I am guessing the pickup needs a certain speed to trigger.
Why the box would is an interesting question!



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So why can't you fire a box by rotating the dizzy body till the pickup passes the rotor spoke. I can fire a points and condenser that way, but a MSD will not fire just because the pickup passed the rotor spoke. It has to move quick enough to make the box fire. Is it the pickup, or the box? But the box will fire if you short the 2 pickup leads. So again, is it the box, or the pickup that needs a certain speed? I am guessing the pickup needs a certain speed to trigger.
Why the box would is an interesting question!
all good points. but from what i'm reading, if it's cranking above some minimum rpm, it fires. if it's below a minimum, it doesn't? what would that minimum rpm be, and why would it even be there? doesn't make sense that it would be rpm related. plus, how would you know what the cranking rpm is?
neil says it's every box so whatever they did, they did it consistently..:D i'll go out on a limb with a wag (not wags), and guess that this is voltage related, some way some how....
 

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I think the question would be is this somehting that isn't suppose to be, and they are correcting it, or something they designed in, but the RPM is too high?
All I know is, when my boat starts a race, the flywheel moves and the engine starts. There is no minimum RPM involved. If it has to crank, it would be out of there. We just don't have that kind of time:D

The fact that my motor starts that quick has always made me wonder just how fast the rotor spoke has to move passed the pickup to fire. I am think not that fast, but faster than I do it when just rotating the dizzy body. Or maybe it needs two within a certain time. Don't know. But not some minimum cranking RPM. It would be in the trash already!



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I think the question would be is this somehting that isn't suppose to be, and they are correcting it, or something they designed in, but the RPM is too high?
All I know is, when my boat starts a race, the flywheel moves and the engine starts. There is no minimum RPM involved. If it has to crank, it would be out of there. We just don't have that kind of time:D

The fact that my motor starts that quick has always made me wonder just how fast the rotor spoke has to move passed the pickup to fire. I am think not that fast, but faster than I do it when just rotating the dizzy body. Or maybe it needs two within a certain time. Don't know. But not some minimum cranking RPM. It would be in the trash already!
i've been sitting on the rope before, with a 10 year old starter in the process of going away, and had the thing go, rrrrrrrrrrr..... rrrrrrrrr. not good. but it still started, turning over what seemed like 1 rev a minute. but i don't have a 6.
very strange...
 

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I was thinking the very same thing last night after I posted. I have seen even a 6al box fire an engine just when I figured the started wasn't go to move the engine another 1/4 turn. And BAM, it lit.
I will tell you this about MSDs. In that situation, it is very easy to blow the fuse. Your stealing all the power for the starter and the amperage draw of the MSD shoots thru the roof, and the fuse pops. Seen it way to many times.

I don't think this a design in deal where the required RPM is just to high, I think its a design oops. I seriouly doubt there is some minimum cranking RPM designed in, it is something in the circuitry they are just now finding, or is popping up due to a component change from the original design. Never the less, sounds like they are handling it badly, and is something that prbably shouldn't have happened in the first place. So much for extensive R&D:)sphss



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I was thinking the very same thing last night after I posted. I have seen even a 6al box fire an engine just when I figured the started wasn't go to move the engine another 1/4 turn. And BAM, it lit.
I will tell you this about MSDs. In that situation, it is very easy to blow the fuse. Your stealing all the power for the starter and the amperage draw of the MSD shoots thru the roof, and the fuse pops. Seen it way to many times.

I don't think this a design in deal where the required RPM is just to high, I think its a design oops. I seriouly doubt there is some minimum cranking RPM designed in, it is something in the circuitry they are just now finding, or is popping up due to a component change from the original design. Never the less, sounds like they are handling it badly, and is something that prbably shouldn't have happened in the first place. So much for extensive R&D:)sphss
:iagree: that's why my wag is voltage. the fuse the like a last ditch to protect the box from low voltage/high amperage. i just think it's possible that there's some "switch" within the box that, at a predetermined low voltage, the box says enough, which would be a quicker protection device than a fuse which has a time element.

there's no question that, if a starter is dragging azz, it's sucking some serious amps from the battery, which drags system voltage way down. data monitors system voltage, and it amazes me how much voltage drops when i operate/turn on certain things. it's not necessarily related to the "rated" amp draw of a component, but how the dumbdriver wired the whole thing. but everything usually works just fine, so it's ok :)

i've never turned the data on before cranking to see the effect on system voltage, but i can next time i start the thing up just for grins. starter is fine, spins about as well as any, so maybe the voltage drop won't be significant.

i just think it's a voltage thing, somehow...
 

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:iagree: that's why my wag is voltage. the fuse the like a last ditch to protect the box from low voltage/high amperage. i just think it's possible that there's some "switch" within the box that, at a predetermined low voltage, the box says enough, which would be a quicker protection device than a fuse which has a time element.

there's no question that, if a starter is dragging azz, it's sucking some serious amps from the battery, which drags system voltage way down. data monitors system voltage, and it amazes me how much voltage drops when i operate/turn on certain things. it's not necessarily related to the "rated" amp draw of a component, but how the dumb driver wired the whole thing. but everything usually works just fine, so it's OK :)

I've never turned the data on before cranking to see the effect on system voltage, but i can next time i start the thing up just for grins. starter is fine, spins about as well as any, so maybe the voltage drop won't be significant.

i just think it's a voltage thing, somehow...
I think you guys are on the right track :)bulb

What I have found to work well is using large diameter welding cable to the starter motor

and block ground and all conections need to be soldered

Also I use power relays from a Mercury outboard trim circuit, they are weather tight Bosch

relays with output wires i.e. fuel pump

And never have wing nuts on a battery voids all Mercury warranties
 

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Discussion Starter #16
neil, the way i read what you said, the msd box must sense some minimum cranking rpm, or it won't fire the coil??? that doesn't make any sense to me, as in, why would anyone design a box that required a minimum cranking rpm, which would be some arbitrary number, to close some circuit inside the box so it will all of a sudden decide to fire? i don't get it...
i can think of some other reasons why it wouldn't fire at low cranking rpm, but some magic sensor/switch in the box isn't one of 'em...

Hi Bob,

I don't know if you have seen the "new" 6A and 6AL boxes. They are nothing like the old ones. They are digital. Don't know what the digital part is. They have a large pin connector at the box now with a red l.e.d. on top that flashes at every spark cycle. While cranking it would only spark once. I did like the old style and jumped the 2 pin connectors and again only 1 spark. Had to touch the connector many times to get it to spark. Never seen this before. Called MSD tech. Told tech what was happening and what I have done to test. He told me to turn the box over and look at the stamped date on the bottom. This one was Feb 2011. He told me they have an issue with them (dated anything before april 2011) and if the engine does not spin a certain RPM the box will not fire. (sounds like the pro mags!) I call back to my distributor and tell him what was going on and to see if they have any with the newer date. He calls back and tells me they have 33 in stock with all the old dates. He had not heard anything from MSD either. I call back to MSD and talk to Julie (sales mgr) and she doesn't even know about. She tells me she will find out though. Calls me back in 15 min and tells me a new updated box will be to me the next morning and it was. Just plugged it in to the "new" lg pin connector (which was very nice instead of cutting all the wires) and fired right up. Thats all I know! :D
 

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I don't know jack shit about the new 6al digital pieces.
I do know, however "digital" electronics are more voltage sensitive than older circuit board, whatever you call it.
1) As voltage decreases amperage increases. This will account for blown fuses. Why is it cranking slow to begin with? Low voltage most likely, or hack wiring.
2) Hack wiring... well, it is grounded to the engine block that is grounded to the frame rail that is grounded to the prop shaft that connects to the battery...
Wiring is probably 80% of MSD "problems".
Digital stuff has a tolerance of tenths of a volt. The older crap has a working range of volts. CONNECTIONS, proper wiring, etc.
I'd bet if you hooked up the "crappy" boxes to a different source that is a good 12v the piece will fire with the "slow cranking".
The days of the "I charge my battery and run all day with no problems" are over. You must maintain battery voltage with proper connections.
Or put another way: If you have a needle dick and try to use magnum condoms, they fall off when you ****.. you don't have a condom issue, you have an operator issue.

Wags
 

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Yes I have seen the new box, and the new connector. Wags is correct. The old analog stuff was pretty tolerent. Digital stuff tends to be a little bitchy. For years all our controls for work were analog. When everything went to digital, the capabilties of the stuff went thru the roof. So did the head aches and problems. Feed back, voltage spikes, voltage dips, line noise from the power company, filters, ferrite donuts, noise aresstors, on and on. Some guy fires off a hi freq welder a block away, and this guys AC starts up, or his fan turns off. :mad:

The new connector is nice when you change out a box. But none of this explains why the thing wouldn't fire. They have a problem. And it should be on the front homepage of their web site.



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16 volt when its dead/low state of charge it'll still start it & wont hurt the other electronics. U just cant charge with power supplied to ectronics. Ran one for 4 years
 

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Low voltage surely explains why it won't fire. What is the guys voltage when the engine is cranking slow? If it has proper voltage, WHY is it cranking slow? Wiring issue?

And after all that last post no one commented on the rubber statement. Hell, that was funny.
Wags
 
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