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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my truck two years ago it came with a edelbrock carb and a MSD box instead of the regular ignition controls. Thought that it was a bit overkill for a 318. Fast foward to now. My truck keeps cutting out like there is no spark. I think either the box is bad or the coil, the mechanic thinks it is the wires because they weren't insulated and now they are crapping out when it gets hot.

So my questions are should I go back to a standard ignition setup, replace the wires, MSD box and or the coil? Anyone else run into this?
 

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change your plug wires with spiral core wires only. I don't favor Accel wires very much. MSD ignition burns cheap wires out because the spark is so intense. Its not overkill for a 318 either. Every engine could use it. It helps burn the fuel better and helps with starting, better power and increased fuel mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I changed them a month ago, aside from them being NAPA have no idea what they are. When you say burned out do you mean like they work up to a point and then shut down or onced burned out they don't come back? Either way I will look at changing those around
 

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MSD kills crap plug wires, use msd spiral wires, as for your cutting out problem it could be a few things, could be a bad pick-up or coil or if you still have a resistor which you shoudn't could be that also
 

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Evildriver-3 said:
MSD kills crap plug wires, use msd spiral wires, as for your cutting out problem it could be a few things, could be a bad pick-up or coil or if you still have a resistor which you shoudn't could be that also
Definitely check to see if the MSD was installed with the ballast resistor still in place. If it is still there, get rid of it. The MSD does not need it.

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where would the ballast resistor be? It looks like a straight wire into the coil, but would this be acting up after so many years of it working? I leaning towards the plugs maybe coil - how hard is it to swap one of those out and is there a special one I need with an MSD box?
 

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The ballast resistor would be on the ignition wire going to the MSD box, on the bulkhead.
 

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If you are running Napa wires then get rid of them. Nothing against Napa but the auto parts OEM replacement wires won't cut it when using a MSD ignition. That could be why your cutting out. Any spiral core wire will say clearly on it that they are such. Check out any from MSD, Accel, Moroso Blue Max, Taylor spiral core wires, and Jacobs
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tip I will swap the wires and run the engine to see if that does it. What about the coil - would a bad coil just stop working or do the go in/out before dying?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok I went to three different auto parts stores. Got three different answers - advanced says no such thing as a spiral core, pep says yes they can order for $50/set, and NAPA says all of their plugs are spiral core. The guy at napa said my resistor maybe bad it is some ceramic piece with a wire in it (part icr23), but I don't know if that would still be since the previous owner pulled everything else out. Getting kinda confused, could use some clairification. Thanks
 

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The ceramic piece you descrive sounds like the Ballast Resistor (The are usually a small white ceramic box). If that is what you have, that is what needs to be taken out of the wiring.

As said above, spiral core wires will be labeled as such. NAPA most likely will not carry anything but solid core wires. The Pepe Boys quote for $50 for a set sounds about right for spiral core wires, I'd get that set. (Spiral cores are more expensive, but should last longer than standard wires).

If advanced auto is telling you there is no such thing as spiral core wires, I would never set foot in there again. Their view is obviously clouded by their head being too far up their butt to go and actually look up a part.

On your coil question, old coils can work fine when cold, and intermittently cut out when they heat up, so your coil could very well be your problem, especially if it is the factory coil.

Remove the BR from the MSD trigger wire (small gauge red wire), and put spiral core wires on first. If the problem persists, then I would start looking at the coil.

FWIW--I run an MSD Blaster2 coil with my MSD 6AL ignition. I have tried two separate NEW Accel coils with my MSD ignition, and the spark quality was terrible compared to the MSD coil. (As in, yellow spark from the Accel compared to bright blue from the MSD)

In general, I try to keep "clustered" electrical components made from the same manufacturer. In this case, I recommend using an MSD coil and MSD wires with your MSD ignition, but that is JMHO.

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks - Where can I get the MSD coil and plugs? If I replace the coil do I have to worry about timing etc or can I just slap a new one on there?
 

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Replacing the coil will not affect your timing.

You should be able to buy/order MSD wires and a coil from any parts store that carries/sells MSD products. Checker/Schucks/Cragan stores carry them up here.

So as to ease the shock, I'll warn you now. An MSD coild runs about $50 and the wires around $80. If you can get spiral core wires cheaper you may want to go that route.

If all else fails, you can always order direct. http://www.msdignition.com

-SM
 

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I had this same problem a few weeks ago. The first think i would check is your voltage regulator. I had a bad ground to mine and it would over charge the coil and there would be no spark. It's as simple as that. I now have 2 ground wires running fron my voltage reg. one going to the moter and one going to the frame. That solved everything. I also installed an MSD 6a, MSD Blaster 2 coil, and MSD 8 min supression heli core wires. The RC runs better now than it ever has.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Where is the voltage regulator? What is the difference between the MSD 2 & 3 coils? I am glad you mentioned the heli core wires as they are a lot cheaper.
 

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Try www.jegs.com or www.summitracing.com for the wires if you the parts store can't get it for you at a decent price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey Camo - I found the voltage regulator and checked out the coil - it is an accell but it looks like it has been there for awhile. I couldn't find the ground for the regulator, is it just the bolt to the frame? What/how did you run the second ground and even better can you send a picture of it to me? Thanks
 

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The Volatage Regulator grounds through it's case, so make sure the back of the case, and where it bolts to the firewall are clean. If the mounting bolts are covered in rust, wire brush them so fresh metal is exposed.

I think Camo was referring to running the engine ground strap and a new frame ground strap to the Voltage Reg. mount bolts. This would ensure a good ground for the Voltage Reg.

-SM
 
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