Ignition for 360 magnum

Magnum Engine Swaps

  1. Robert Corrigan

    Robert Corrigan Detroit Rob

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    I have a 1965 barracuda and I am putting in a mag 360. It will be carburetor and electric fuel pump, short snout comp. cam. I have read a lot about HEI type distributors but I also understand they are tight under the hood. I think I am gonna use an electronic distributor from a 73’ duster, a gm 4 pin hei module, and a blaster coil. I’m confused do I need an msd ignition box as well? Also I saw something from pro form that is a distributor, module, and box? Like the idea it’s all inclusive. Wondered what others think? I know it’s been talked about a lot and once I felt I had a direction I’d read about another option. Thanks everyone. Gathering parts to put the engine back together.
     
  2. RammerJammer75

    RammerJammer75 Well-Known Member

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    What about a stock style distributor and box? MSD is expensive, but it's good stuff. I've heard about clearance issues with the HEI, but I can't tell you any fixes.
     
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    • AJ/FormS

      AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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      For an electronic Ignition System, you need four parts;

      1) a distributor with both a mechanical and a vacuum advance system
      2) A signal generator
      3) an amplifier
      4) a coil

      The signal generator comes in several forms, and is just a switching device.
      The amp is a device used to receive the tiny signal from the generator,and convert it into a form that the coil can use.
      Some signal generators come with their own amp.
      The coil usually requires a ballast resistor while running, and should be bypassed during cranking.

      Instead of a signal generator, a points and condenser can be used and then the amp is no longer required.
      For a street machine operating at under 5000, a point system is fine. For up to 6000, a dual point system is fine.
      The biggest downside to a point system is maintenance.
       
    • rumblefish360

      rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

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      The stock style distributor and the 4 pin HEI module is all you need. The MSD would be an add on not needed to run the car. Helpful? Only in low rpm settings. AKA, start up. slow cruise, low rpm Hwy driving.

      Rammer Jammerthinks there good stuff, I have nothing but piles of MSD junk that has left me stranded multiple times per box.
       
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      • RammerJammer75

        RammerJammer75 Well-Known Member

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        I hate that. I've had two boxes and coils for several years without issue. I actually had more issues with the Mopar orange box than anything.
         
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        • AJ/FormS

          AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s

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          The idea of a multi-Strike system appeals to me.
          The Capacitive Discharge system is a proven warrior.

          But like @rumblefish360 says,
          the track-record of the MSD seems to be, less than stellar. And for the buy-in price, they should include a hotel stay and a paid return trip for both you and your car, from wherever their system breaks down.

          I have used the Orange box, in the past, without issue. The nice thing about using the Mopar system is that in a pinch, any ECU from any Mope, will plug in and get you home. But the O-box durability seems also to be less than stellar.

          I have not used the Hei system

          A trouble-free coil that I highly recommend is the Big Yellow Square-top, Accell, with it's matching ballast resistor. Mine was new in 1999. Follow the included mounting instructions. That coil runs hot, is internally oil-cooled, and must be mounted with that in mind. It does not mount on the hot intake. This coil is not for use with a CDI system. A CDI system works best with a matching E-core coil. The E-core coil is not for use with a non CDI system. You can make it work, but the output with 12/13 volts is miserable.
           
          Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
        • Robert Corrigan

          Robert Corrigan Detroit Rob

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          Ok so I am thinking I need:
          1. Stock style vacuum distributor.
          2. Gm 4 pin hei module
          3. Coil?
          I’m missing something? Rumblefish is close to the setup I was thinking. I’ve seen sketches of the above components. Also do I need a top grade distributor like an msd? My friend has been adamant on msd but everything is made in China now. I can get a $40 distributor off eBay if that works. Goes against my philosophy that you get what you pay for.
           
        • rumblefish360

          rumblefish360 So close, yet so far away FABO Gold Member

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          OK, your reading comprehension is low....
          Answer given....


          I only had 1 orange box fail. It would start the car once and only once unless you disconnected the wiring harness from it and then Reinstall It. Then it would start the engine once and only once again. I was refunded my money!

          Went to the chrome box after that. Zero failures.

          Last count for the MSD failures was 12. The only one that works has been working approximately 28 years. I think the aluminum housing is about to oxides through.
           
        • moparmarks

          moparmarks zippindippintie FABO Gold Member

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          And see its the other way for me. I've never had a problem with MSD. Have ran them for years and never a failure.
          Now the orange box on the other hand has left me stranded twice. Both were new boxes in different cars and both failed with in a couple weeks. Replaced them with a 30 year old original black box and am still running on them years later.
           
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          • RammerJammer75

            RammerJammer75 Well-Known Member

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            I thought that top portion was for me! Lol the orange box would idle all day long, but it would break up around 1500 like it had a rev-limiter set that low. Swapped to the chrome box and had zero issues. That may be so with the oxidation.
             
          • Robert Corrigan

            Robert Corrigan Detroit Rob

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            I’ll own that I didn’t read carefully. Just thought the answer was too simple. Funny thing is I’m a teacher
             
          • Robert Corrigan

            Robert Corrigan Detroit Rob

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            Man I needed a good laugh.
             
          • 67Dart273

            67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            The CORRECT answer LOLOLOL is to use a 'stock type' Mopar dist driving an GM HEI module, either 4 pin or other. You don't need a ballast and you don't HAVE to use a special coil
             
          • Bobzilla

            Bobzilla Well-Known Member

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            Whenever I hear people say they have had lots of problems with one ignition or another, or have good experiences with one, I always wonder when these parts were purchased.
            I have been running a Mopar orange box and distributor since 1996 when I put together my first junker. Lots of street miles on this one. The orange boxes are now made in China. Not sure how well those hold up but who knows? I won’t buy one again.
            I have some MSD parts to use on a future build but it no longer says made in USA on the boxes.
            The next ignition I buy will be the Blueprint Engines ready-to-run distributor. @Johnny Mac is on here supporting FABO and supplying info. I will be buying one based on the customer service I have seen here. Part number BPP3603BK.
             
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            • 66fyssh

              66fyssh Don't Stop Believin' FABO Gold Member

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              Another option is Pertronix. I'm running a Pertronix Igniter II inside an original Mopar distributor. And I have a low ohm coil so I don't need a ballast resistor. It runs great and appears stock.

              I keep a spare Pertronix Igniter II and rotor in my bag of tools and parts... just in case.
               
            • triumphman

              triumphman FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Also:
              You may consider DUI( Davis Unified Ignition). They are out of Tenn. The distributor you get for a small block, from them has the module mounted on the front of it. Two wires go to the coil and order the 50,000 volt coil(looks stock). Eliminates all the wiring junk. I Have run the set up for 2 years, no issues.
               
            • Haney

              Haney www.carsonandironmt.com FABO Gold Member

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              Order (free shipping), Install (<2 hours), start, Done. Don't over think it. I just replaced a points system in a BB with the BB kit. Nice quality. What I like is that you get a distributor with a performance curve and you can get parts at any box store to get you home if it fails. If you are worried, but a spare box and ballast in the glove box. Many, many mopars have run this system for years.

              Proform Mopar Licensed Electronic Distributor Conversion Kits 440-426
               
            • fklskv

              fklskv Well-Known Member

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              6AA49010-E11E-4C39-8160-9DB5D33E8677.png
               
            • roccodart440

              roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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              MSD is good stuff. Easy hook up too. Lots of nice features. I've never had an issue with any of it with exception to their timing graphs being a little off in the instructions. I run the digital 6

              HEI, great stuff, convenient and easy,

              Mopar boxes....junk. Have left me stranded, bad ballasts, bad boxes, mopar dizzy's are junk too. Antiquated old junk that is now made in china.

              Personally, I embrace modern technology and superior design BUT.. to each their own.
               
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              • mopardude318

                mopardude318 Well-Known Member

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                • TrailBeast

                  TrailBeast AKA Mopars4us on Youtube

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                  Been running an 8 pin HEI setup with all it’s weatherpak connectors without a single problem for years in my daily driver.
                  Running a stock recurved and mechanical advance limited distributor at 18 initial and 34 total all in by 2500 rpms.
                  I like the fact that if needed I can get a replacement part anywhere and any day of the week without having to wait for a replacement to be shipped.
                   
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                  • Robert Corrigan

                    Robert Corrigan Detroit Rob

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                    I think I’m gonna go with the 4 pin gm style with coil and factory distributor. Thinking about going with the accel 4 pin. Distributor? There are cheapies and crazy money ones. Thanks for all the education from everyone. A lot of great info shared. Without this sight I’d be in a tough spot on my overall build.
                     
                  • TrailBeast

                    TrailBeast AKA Mopars4us on Youtube

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                    As far as I know there haven’t been any issues with the accel modules, but a stock factory repplacement would also be fine.
                    No point in paying extra for the yellow lettering.:D
                     
                  • 1994redram

                    1994redram Well-Known Member

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                    I'm using a factory Mopar distributor on my Magnum. I ran it on the 360 and now on my 408. Also using an Accel brand 4 pin HEI module. Its mounted to the bottom of my distributor with a really nice heat sink/bracket I bought from designed2drive. I also have a drop in limiter plate to set the timing curve. Its a fairly cheap and reliable set up. And VERY easy to find parts locally and quickly if needed.
                     
                  • subcom

                    subcom Well-Known Member

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                    When my 65 5.9 was N/A I ran one of those ready-to-run distributors with an Ecore coil and had no problems with it. Inexpensive and simple to wire.
                     
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