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 Ignition choice 
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Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:56 pm
Posts: 58
I am thinking about upgrading my ignition system. This is on a circle track car. 13:1 compression 355 SBC. I currently have an HEI with a performance coil and module.

Here are the ignition box choices that are legal per rules. Is there a big gain of one versus the other? I am leaning toward the Mallory CT Pro since it has a built in start retard which makes start up simpler with a locked distributor.

6AL - digital and older boxes are legal

Hyfire 6AL part # 6853M
Hyfire Offroad part # 6867M
CT Pro part # 6864M

HI-6N part # 6000-6410
HI-6RN part # 6000-6750

Wed Dec 24, 2014 10:35 am

Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:52 pm
Posts: 78 ... 024#p74024
shrinker wrote:
My advice is to get the Crane Hi-6 with the PS-92 coil. Crane will argue black and blue that the LX series coils are the best and they try to sell you the LX coils bundled in a kit at an attractive price. Dont believe them. The PS coil is internally different to the LX coils, they are not just a heat sink, they deliver a more stable arc than the LX coils. The PS-92 coil is the gun. It produces better combustion gases.
You may be happy with the MSD but I have never had any MSD outperform a Crane other than the MSD 10+ (no longer available)

The other day we were talking about ICE ignitions. well here is another story. I have just finished a job on a hotrod stroked to 393 3VCHI headed clevo that the owner had an ICE ignition on, I told him to go away and install a Crane and bring it back. He duly did that and I re dynoed the car. It made 13hp more at the wheels and the ignition was then good enough for me to obtain a further 42hp with carby tuning (it was a 830 demon). The ignition was not up to the task of obtaining that power with the ICE. I dont know what it is that people see in ICE ignitions, from every job I have ever done here they dont work as the optimum choice when you improve vaporization. ... 021#p74021 ... 793#p73793 ... 784#p73784
shrinker wrote:
I gas bench tested all different ignitions. I ran a series of tests on one engine of different ignition units all with their correct coils etc as per manufacturer spec. We observed the power changes and the combustion product changes of the different units. We observed the scope trace differences too and we could predict how each one was going to perform before we even looked at the dyno results. This stuff is so predictable and yet manufacturers cant get it right. The Crane HI-6 is the cleanest burning, most efficient combustion, low cost ignition there is. The 10 plus is slightly better but much more cost. The digital 7's are very poor at flame kernel formation and one unit is not the same as the next. You can see that on the gas bench results, the carbon gases go out of balance.
Ive dealt with a few digital 7's and some work well, some dont. Some cant even get much action happening inside the chamber. I dont know maybe their made in China or something. MSD stuff has gone to the dogs lately, well at least the stuff they send to Oz has. Their dizzys dont have correct spec advance slots in them, the end float is too loose, the bearings arent lubricated, the coils are junk. Have to go through 3 or 4 coils to get a good one now days. MSD deny that their stuff is made in China and yet its printed right on the coil MADE IN CHINA. When I contact their tech department they give me the run around. Ive never had a useful answer from an MSD tech.

The digital 7's need a different style of fueling the engine. They work if your going to shove lots of fuel through the engine, but that approach wears bores. Im not into wearing peoples engines out. I work on efficiency. The application of ignition energy into the chamber has to integrate with the fuel gasification level. Have low gas level and you can make more power with a low energy ign. There is such a thing as arc strike through a mixture, too much energy actually fails to ignite sufficient mass during the arc duration. The digital 7's have a place but its not in my world. ... 970#p68970 ... 966#p68966

Wed Dec 24, 2014 12:22 pm

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:56 pm
Posts: 58
Yeah I'm aware of the deficiencies of the MSD 6AL. I really wish I could find more info on the Mallory box and coil. I've basically narrowed my choices down to the Crane or Mallory CT Pro.

Do the Mallory distributors with a ford type mag pickup have any issue with retarding the timing with increased RPM? My HEI is terrible with this.

Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:47 pm

Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:41 pm
Posts: 375
Location: Phila. Penn.
mod71m wrote:
Do the Mallory distributors with a ford type mag pickup have any issue with retarding the timing with increased RPM? My HEI is terrible with this.

Based on Tuner's comments in the thread on advance under "light throttle", I would assume yes unless specific evidence otherwise. My understanding is that the electronics all take time to function. The delay is consistant, but as the rpms increase there is less and less time between each cylinder. The delay is fixed and result is increasing retard at high rpm.
You can either counteract the delay in the distributor with a super heavy secondary spring or with electronics that proactively offsets the retard. I see for example that Pertronix makes a claim to that effect with their Ignitor II.

For circle track, you might want to look at the more environment resistant boxes. MSD and Crane both have vibration resistant circle track boxes. I've been running a MSD 6T on the street for close to 100 k miles, with one rallycross and a bunch autocrosses and some 1/4 mile runs. Of course their quality too may not be what it was 15 years ago...

Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:24 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:56 pm
Posts: 58
Thanks for the replies guys. I believe I have narrowed it down to the Crane HI-6RC box 6000-6700 with a PS92N coil. This box has the start retard built into it and the coil has the heat sink built into the mounting bracket for endurance applications like circle track and road racing.

Does anybody know if shrinker's testing was on the older analog Crane boxes or the newer digital boxes?

Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:03 pm

Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:52 pm
Posts: 78
Newer digital ones. Not sure if he had tested an RC model though.

Fri Jan 02, 2015 4:30 pm

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:33 pm
Posts: 16
I have the ice ignition box and coil. can't figure out why 2 step will not work using a crank trigger. my Mallory box worked fine with it. thinking about switching over to crane Hi6drs, but it doesn't have start retard.

Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:13 am

Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:04 pm
Posts: 65
I took Bruces (aka Shrinker) advise and bought the Crane HI-6 6440 Ignition and PS-92 coil and the difference in idle was very noticeably better. I then gapped the plugs to 45 thou as per Cranes instructions and now she runs better than ever. :thumbr: It replaced an MSD 6AL and blaster 2 coil.

Your results may vary.


Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:24 am

Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:52 pm
Posts: 78
I got more power with Crane HI-6/PS92 immediately. Like Hysteric I've been using MSD6A for a long time (15 years). After recalibrating the carb I got better economy as well. The only thing an MSD box did better was start the engine after flooding the plugs :-)

Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:00 am

Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:41 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Metro Detroit
Crane Hi6R with PS-92 coil also.Always has worked flawless for me.

Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:18 am
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