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-   -   MSD coil problem found (http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=275119)

Paul P 12-14-2011 11:40 AM

MSD coil problem found and solved
 
I bought an MSD coil for my ZX3. I know it is not needed as per many posts. I did find out why after some period of time they really perform poorly. The aluminum standoffs that are included with the coil are a problem. If you think about it going from the steel coil core that needs to be grounded to the aluminum standoffs to the steel bracket to the aluminum head it is not a good setup.
Steel-aluminum-steel-aluminum is not a good ground path with galvanic action taking place here it is all bad. What I did was put some stainless standoffs in place of the aluminum ones that the coil comes with. Problem solved. Another good thing to use is the copper antiseize compound from Permatex. It provides good conductivity and protects against galvanic degradation of the parts. I decided that instead of bitching to MSD that their coil didn't work I'd try to see why it went from great to poor. Sure enough someone there wasn't thinking about the consequences of mixing aluminum and steel. Just thought I would point this out. I do have a note on my RMA about this. Maybe they will change the standoffs who knows.
Paul

pasta 12-27-2011 06:25 PM

thanks for the tip

Djzx3 12-27-2011 07:55 PM

So what your saying is, they aren't. Worth it?

Sent from my kindlefire.

Djzx3

sleepyboy 12-27-2011 08:19 PM

Good know, I was thinking the same thing on the SD coil. Though it doesn't need to be grounded to work from my experiences. My coil bracket broke and was just hanging there and it ran fine. Though it did start funny which lead me to look under the hood only to find it hanging there. Picked it up while it was running and no change in the way it was running. Though it may run like crap if I drove with it like that for sure. All the more reason why I want to upgrade to COP, that and it looks awesome.

sleepyboy 12-27-2011 08:22 PM

Wouldn't it be grounded through the bolt and not the stand offs and grounding itself to the coil bracket and then to the head?



Oh I don't run any stand off's on my SD coil, just set it in the bracket and snugged the bolts down.

Paul P 12-30-2011 09:03 AM

This is really a tip for those who have the MSD or even other aftermarket coils in their cars. It will perform better with less aluminum to steel mixed in the ground path. Electricity always follows the path of least resistance. The bolts are not the necessarily the best path to ground. In my case the aluminum standoffs that came with the coil have rust bonded to the end of them from the dis similar metals eating each other.

Providing a good ground for anything in the cars of today is a must. You said the coil was operating without being grounded and if you think about it the power/control plug was providing the ground and is probably not what you want.

They are worth it if installed correctly. It is a slight improvement likely due to the better spark plug leads used with this coil. You can however purchase the 8.5mm superconductor wires for the stock coil MSD 32949 to yield the same results.

BC_ZX3 12-30-2011 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul P (Post 3946047)
You said the coil was operating without being grounded and if you think about it the power/control plug was providing the ground and is probably not what you want.

What makes you think the body of the coil pack needs to be grounded?

teamDFL 12-30-2011 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BC_ZX3 (Post 3946096)
What makes you think the body of the coil pack needs to be grounded?

Agreed. AFAIK, a coil shouldn't be grounded through its body.

Paul P 12-30-2011 08:37 PM

Don't ground yours then. You can do what you want. There are some coil types that need that core grounded. This is one of them. One of similar design is a GM HEI where that core ground is important. If it is corroded the spark will be very weak. It makes a difference. Just thought I would share this tested true experience on the site.

iroc34 12-30-2011 11:20 PM

The biggest problem with the MSD , turn it over. Made in China. They used to make great products. Used them for years on many muscle cars . Not any more. The stock coils work great.


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