Good to Go: MSD’s Ready-to-Run Distributor for Your Conventional Chevy Engines

 

Text and Photos by Marcel Venable

Good to Go: MSD’s Ready-to-Run Distributor for Your Conventional Chevy Engines

Convenience is the way of the future, and can’t be more evident than in the latest electronics. Numerous examples can be found around your home but most important, convenience mixed with modern technology is paramount for a muscle car’s ignition system.

We have all heard of MSD ignition and are aware of the powerful spark of its ignition control systems. However, let’s say that you want the control of the good ol’ MSD box without the box on your firewall. Well, that’s just what the guys at MSD have engineered, an internal module distributor for conventional Chevrolet engines.

The Pro Billet Ready-to-Run distributor is the perfect upgrade for outdated points distributors or bulky HEIs. Simply install the distributor in the engine, connect three wires and the coil, and fire it up! A maintenance-free magnetic pick-up accurately triggers the module. The increased output of the amplifier easily outperforms stock ignitions and will smooth out the engine’s idle, improve starting and provide a much higher rpm range. The Ready-to-Run features MSD’s adjustable mechanical advance, which allows you to custom tailor an ignition curve to match your engine’s needs. There is also a vacuum advance canister to help improve economy and a built-in rev limiter.

Sounds easy, let’s see just how easy it is to install with a set of MSD’s 8.5 super conductor wires on this small-block Chevy.

 

 The Pro Billet Ready-to-Run distributor is the perfect upgrade for outdated points distributors or bulky HEIs. Simply install the distributor in the engine, connect three wires and the coil, and fire it up! A maintenance-free magnetic pick-up accurately triggers the module. The increased output of the amplifier easily outperforms stock ignitions and will smooth out the engine’s idle, improve starting and provide a much higher rpm range

Bring the number one piston up to top dead center, and turn the rotor on the distributor until it points towards the number one cylinder location. Next, using a large flat- blade screwdriver, align the oil pump shaft with the bottom gear on the distributor and carefully slide the distributor down into the block. Using a bit of assembly lube when placing the distributor gasket will make your life a lot easier because you might need to give it a few tries until it sits properly.

Using a Phillips-head screwdriver, secure the cap over the distributor by pressing down and turning the hooks in place. Then index where the rotor is aligned with the contact on the cap. That will be the number one position where the number one wire will be placed and run down to the number one spark plug.

Here we are with the first wire (number one) placed on the cap. Next, we’ll need to cut the wire to the proper length as shown in these photos.

 

With the wire cut to length, it’s important to fold over the core wire into the metal cap that is placed over the spark plug head before crimping them down using MSD’s crimping pliers. Next, using some dielectrical grease, slide the boot over the cap and place it over the spark plug.

 Repeat the process in the proper firing order for a conventional Chevy engine: 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.

Included in the kit are some wire separators that keep spark plug wires away from engine heat sources, and also keep the plug wires far enough apart to prevent inductive crossfire and actual spark loss. They will keep everything looking clean, maintain proper wire installation and last the duration of your vehicle.

 If you want to upgrade your stock coil, and complement the performance of your new MSD distributor, then the Blaster 2 coil is the right choice. It is designed with special 100:1 windings that are used to provide maximum voltage buildup. The windings are secured and kept cool in an oil-filled metal canister. The tower assembly is molded of durable alkyd material for its high dielectric characteristics, while widely spaced brass primary terminals prevent the possibility of spark. Most late model vehicles with electronic ignitions do not require a ballast resistor, but check your manufacturer’s specifications to determine if a ballast resistor is required in your application.

Molded into the cap are two bosses that allow you to screw down this cap wire hold-down plate. This plate reduces the chance that a wire will slide off during use. Plus, it looks good.

Finally, plug in the three wires, one to an ignition source (key), the coil and a ground. Now you can fire it up and time the engine to spec. You’re rolling big power now!

MSD Ignition
Msdignition.com

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