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Discussion Starter #1
I have an MSD6AL that apparently has a short in it somewhere. Once the car warms up it starts cutting out and is very hard to restart. Once I eliminated the box, I eliminated the problem. The connections and wiring were all apparently in good shape short of a hidden break in the wiring that I could not see.

I am not particularly electrically inclined. I am curious if anyone has ever had one sent in and rebuilt? OR if they provide tech service for out of warranty items.

Thanks for any help in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
While that is some great information it doesn't really address what I asked.

My problem is an intermittent disruption when the vehicle reaches operating temperature. I know the box works when it is cold.
 

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intermittent while warm sounds like a coil going out on ya. When those things get old, or go bad, they don't like heat at all.

Do the checks on the MSD unit too though, you may find you have a problem there.

My money's on the coil though.

Is this in a HEI? may check the module also. It's under the cap and rotor. easy and cheap insurance (keep one in the glovebox!).

If you just want to ohm some wires to check for shorts then be my guest.
Here's a video on how to do that:

If you don't have an ohmmeter, you can use a test light, just make sure you know where you are grounding/pushing power to. Don't mess up that box! Follow the MSD instructions on testing it.
 

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MSD has a great tech department eager to help with any of their products no matter how old it is or how many owners its had.
 

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intermittent while warm sounds like a coil going out on ya. When those things get old, or go bad, they don't like heat at all.

Do the checks on the MSD unit too though, you may find you have a problem there.

My money's on the coil though.

Is this in a HEI? may check the module also. It's under the cap and rotor. easy and cheap insurance (keep one in the glovebox!).

If you just want to ohm some wires to check for shorts then be my guest.
Here's a video on how to do that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wslo0QSrs58

If you don't have an ohmmeter, you can use a test light, just make sure you know where you are grounding/pushing power to. Don't mess up that box! Follow the MSD instructions on testing it.
If it was hei the MSD box would eliminate the module some the box controls everything now.

But you could do some of the troubleshooting with a meter and see. But it is probably the coil or it could be the connections to the battery.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It is not an HEI.

If it is the coil why is the problem gone after I eliminate the box? I completely removed the MSD box from the system and am running straight stock ignition with no problems other than I can tell the MSD is gone out of the equation (HP loss).

I did call MSD and the answer I got was a very curt "Check our website for troubleshooting help"

Just a little frustrated at this point. I will try calling them again this week and see if I can get a different tech.
 

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I did call MSD and the answer I got was a very curt "Check our website for troubleshooting help"

Just a little frustrated at this point. I will try calling them again this week and see if I can get a different tech.
Yeah it sounds like you got the 1 guy that didn't feel like doing his job.
 

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Double and triple check all of your connections. Like others have said you can meter the primary and secondary coil resistance and see if it is within spec or purchase a new coil install it drive around and see if the problem is still there. If it is another place lo look would be the ignition input wire to the MSD like the manual and the box itself says it has to be connected to the ignition directly or a suitable ignition circuit. These need full current and voltage to operate properly. If this wire was connected to a resistor wire or even a questionable fuseable link when the engine compartment heats up there could be additional resistance on that input. I would get the car warmed up and hopefully duplicating the problem then measure voltage at the BATT input and the IGN input right at the MSD box with the positive probe of the meter. Place the negative directly to the NEG battery post you should have 12 volts on both. If the IGN input drops below 10 it can cause strange intermittent problems like this. Also make sure you have a good solid ground not under a chrome engine bolt or on a painted surface etc. Always make sure your grounds are to good clean shiny metal!
 

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I have ran them for years and the only problem I ever had with one was that the box wasn't grounded good. All of mine either worked or not, no in between. But to answer your question MSD will repair the box if necessary or at least they used to.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tips and help. I will definitely check the ground. I am certain I have a good one as I have run it for almost a year in its current location.

I think I am going to relocate the box inside under the dash as I removed the heater box and have plenty of room. I want to clean up my engine compartment so when I re install I will make sure I have a perfect ground.

Thanks guys!
 

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msd

Send it n to Msd they will repair it for u,, call them they will give u a rma number to put on the shipping box, if u dont put the number on the box they will charge u an additional $10 its like a 7 day turn around
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think since I have it removed I will do just that. I will call them in the morning and get a number. I would like them to go through it anyway and make sure it is reliable before I re install it. Even if it costs 20-30 bucks I will have peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
FOLLOW UP:

So, I called MSD and got a RMA and shipped it back. I had it back in less than a week....NOT repaired! They included a note stating the unit was non repairable because it has no access...its riveted shut! Why didn't they ask me this before I wasted $10 on shipping and a week of my time??! :mad::mad:

I guess now I have to consider other options and I am going to look HARD before I go with another MSD product. Any suggestions?
 

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This shouldn't be to surprising with MSD in the middle of bankruptcy. I would avoid buying any of thier products until we see what happens with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just did a little research on this. Yes, they did file bankruptcy but it was only for the purpose of restructuring. They had the go ahead from the board of directors to perform this action so as to not interrupt business. I think I may stay with them because even though this one box crapped out on me, it has been a reliable affordable product otherwise.
 

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I don't know how long you've had the MSD 6AL box, or if it came with the car when you bought it, just don't know. But in the latest Hot Rod mag I read an article about fake MSD boxes. Unless you knew exactly what to look for, they appear to be the same. They did say that all of the fake boxes seem to have same serial number on them. They showed inside pictures as well and it appears that the fake boxes probably work, but maybe not quite as well as the real MSD boxes.

I ran a MSD 6AL system I bought reconditioned from a local parts distributor and it was a great deal for me.

On my 392 hemi I converted it over to the small block Chrysler electronic distributor and then ran it through the MSD box. But to do this I had to buy a high output coil, 40k volts or higher if I remember correctly. Hey, it was 13 years ago and I have grey hair, so my memory is a bit sketchy from time to time.

I'm only throwing this out there, but what if your coil is a stock standard 12v system coil and the MSD box is kicking its butt after it warms up, but without the MSD box it works okay. I'm not sure if that's how it works, but just thought I'd mention it.

One other thing, but it's probably not your issue as the car continues to run fine without the MSD box, but coils do NOT like to be mounted upside down. I had a friend that mounted his coil upside down on his streetrod because if fit better for his layout. The coil went south very quickly.

The bottom line is that your MSD box needs attention like others have said. But if you haven't taken it appart before and used rivets to button it back up before you sent it in, why would MSD not be able to handle it with rivets as they are probably their rivets?

Good luck with your MSD issues.
 
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