MSD 6AL Wiring and Ballast

Electrical and Ignition

  1. moparspares

    moparspares Well-Known Member

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    I know this has probably been covered before but I need confirmation I am doing the correct thing. Can I just join all these wires together along with the Red from the MSD box. I am fecking hopeless with wiring and dont want any damage as I have screwed up a Ready to Run before. Before anyone says anything the wires were twisted together for the purpose of the photo.

    WARD5986.JPG
     
  2. WSUTARD

    WSUTARD Well-Known Member

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    I'm not entirely sure about the direct answer to your question. I am waiting to find out as well. However, I left the ballast on the firewall and run the MSD box off the brown wire that runs to the bulkhead. I tried taking the balast and the old electronic box off but the MSD wouldn't turn on when I did that so I had to put them back. The answer your your question should let me take the old stuff off.
     
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    • famous bob

      famous bob mopar misfit

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      I`ve run MSD 6`s on 5 diiff. cars, have never used the ballast on any of them.
       
    • Steven190

      Steven190 Well-Known Member

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      From what I remember is that two wires are needed. The start wire from the switch and the run wire. Need to look them up, The wire running to the coil is not needed, the 6AL has a wire for the coil.

      6AL
      2 heavy gauge wires go to Battery +,-
      2 wires in sheaf that go to +,- on coil, orange and black
      white wire to tach
      1 red wire to the switched 12 vdc, connect from car the brown and blue to this wire. Test with light that these two wire are hot when the key is turned and in the run position.
      you are done
       
      Last edited: May 3, 2017
    • mderoy340

      mderoy340 Well-Known Member

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      blue white tracer and brown from bulkhead to small gauge red MSD wire. You don't need and others that were connected to the ballast resistor.
       
    • SGBARRACUDA

      SGBARRACUDA ROY FABO Gold Member

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      Go to the MSD web site. You can print out a wiring diagram for any MSD product.
       
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      • WSUTARD

        WSUTARD Well-Known Member

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        I would love to get rid of the old stuff. But like I said, I did and the MSD wouldn't turn on. I have the MSD connected to the brown wire that comes from the bulkhead connector and nothing else. I don't know which other wire I need to connect, I'm sure its one of the 4 ballast connector wires (I have the 4 prong). The MSD schematic that I found didn't specify.

        I'm sure someone on here will reply with the correct wire combo that lets the OP and me get rid of the stock boxes.
         
      • Steven190

        Steven190 Well-Known Member

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        Read my above thread
        You need two wire to the MSD red wire, A run and a start. Use a light to check that you have the correct wires, There is no ballast resister needed, Just the wires from the ignition switch.
        It is easy and will run

        Are you using a Mopar distributor? On page 20 of the MSD ^AL instruction sheet shows the connections
         
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        • Steven190

          Steven190 Well-Known Member

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          Johnny is correct
          I used the two wires coming from the ignition switch to the power side of the ballast. The other side of the ballast is not used.
           
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          • WSUTARD

            WSUTARD Well-Known Member

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            Ok. I tested this all out and I can confirm that in order to run an MSD box in a 4 prong balast system, without the original balast or ECU, you need to combine the two wires on the power side of the balast with the little red wire going to the MSD box.

            This is what I have been looking for all along. I missed Steven190's last post which he identifies this.
            Unfortunately the MSD instructions do not specify this. They only state to use the + from the original coil.

            Here is my rudimentary jumper setup till I fix all my wiring. Use the wires on the power side (coming from the bulkhead, not the wires coming from the ECU).

            IMG_1953.JPG
             
          • moparspares

            moparspares Well-Known Member

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            Exactly what I did and fired right up.
             
          • 440DART1970

            440DART1970 1970 Dart 446ci Swinger

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            Stop looking at it so hard 20170514_055237.png
             
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            • 440DART1970

              440DART1970 1970 Dart 446ci Swinger

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              I wired this exactly the way it shows I did not use the white wire at all and I used the one brown wire that usually connects to the coil to power up to power the MSD...the MSD simply requires only Power alone to get fire and work..it has its own ignition and does not require anything extra from the Chrysler or Mopar system except power to work..
               
            • 440DART1970

              440DART1970 1970 Dart 446ci Swinger

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              20170506_212835.jpg
               
            • 67Dart273

              67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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              Some comments:

              If I was using MSD, I would carefully strip out the un-needed wires from the old ECU. Then you can tie the IGN1 (run) and IGN2 (bypass) wires together and run tie those to the MSD "small red."

              BE CAREFUL not to cut loose any splice with the "run" wire as this supplies VR and alternator field, and maybe choke and smog goodies
              +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
              NOW:

              YOU DO NOT NEED to remove the ballast!!!!! YOU CAN ACTUALLY take the factory stock wiring and do the following:

              Hook up the large red/ large black as instructed

              Then take the OLD coil + wire and tie that to the MSD small red, LEAVING the ballast in place. IT WILL WORK JUST FINE

              Why? Why does it? Because the small red is a low current trigger wire, and because it is low current, it does not draw very much off the old ballast wiring.

              If you think you want to leave the old wiring intact in case of an MSD failure, this will work fine
               
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              • Mopar92

                Mopar92 Well-Known Member

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                Is there any harm in just taking power from the Ballast for your start and run wires and leaving the ballast hooked up? That seemed like an easy source for me to pull those two power sources and not cut anything. I hooked my main power Positive to the battery per the instructions. Can I just leave the wires on the ballast and use an “ add a spade” ?
                 
              • Steven190

                Steven190 Well-Known Member

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                Some people use the ballast as a connection point. I used terminal strip and placed it where the ballast is mounted. You can get a terminal strip at the auto parts store.

                terminal strip install.jpg
                 
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                • rweber254

                  rweber254 Member

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                  I really appreciate your information and expertise! I have the Chrysler electronic distributor and installed the msd 6a.
                  I installed the fat red and black wires. I just made the connections you mentioned using the small red from the msd to connect to the brown and blue going to my pre 1970 Electronic voltage regulator for my msd 6a installation. I have a 2 field alternator.
                  I believe one field should be a ground and the other field connected using green wire to the opposite side of the blue pre 1970 voltage regulator? Please help!
                   
                • Mattax

                  Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                  This should cover the MSD hook up on pre-70
                  Not charging after MSD 6AL installation.


                  Dual field is a misnomer.
                  There's only one rotor. What people call two field is really just two insulated terminals. Most pre-70 alternators had one of the brushes grounded to the housing.

                  So if you grounded one of the terminals, that's all that's needed for a positive controlling regulator.
                  upload_2019-4-13_15-33-27-png-png-png.png
                   
                  Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
                • rweber254

                  rweber254 Member

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                  upload_2020-3-25_10-35-35.jpeg
                  I am so appreciative for your help. It’s obvious you know what yer doing as its consistent with all I’ve been told thus far.

                  My alternator may be a post 1970 rather than pre? Both connections say field wire rather than a ground? Would I still ground one and connect the other field only connecting to the green wire going to the voltage regulator as shown in my picture??
                   
                • Mattax

                  Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                  Essentially yes.
                  Correct. Electricity flows through the windings on the rotor to create an electro-magnetic field.
                  When the solid state regulator was introduced to the entire Chrysler product line in 1970, they used a regulator that controlled the ground connection.
                  Think of the workings similar to the switch for the dome light. The dome light switches are all between the light and ground.
                  Your regulator controls the positive, as did most pre-70 regulators. When voltage was low, the points closed and current clowed through the spinning rotor creating a strong magnetic field. When voltage was high, the points fully opened and no current flowed, colapsing the magnetic field.
                  Yes. The regulator in the photo is an transistorized replacement for the pre-70 points type regulator. Mopar Performance sold them for many years. Most I had lasted a reasonably long time. If it dies, the one sold by FBO (on Ebay) looks promising. That's what I currently have as a backup.
                   
                • Mattax

                  Mattax Just the facts, ma'am FABO Gold Member

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                • rweber254

                  rweber254 Member

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                  Thank you. Very appreciative for your knowledge. I believe my alternator is for after 1970 with 2 field wires. I just used one to ground and the other to voltage regulator. See pic below.
                  I believe I would use both fields if I wanted to convert to the post 1970 triangle type connection voltage regulator? One field would connect as usual with green wire in my pic above. The other field would connect to the voltage regulator as well?

                  upload_2020-3-25_17-34-23.png

                  1F75978F-1B3D-476D-95B7-AA2A79737323.png
                   
                • rweber254

                  rweber254 Member

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                • rweber254

                  rweber254 Member

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                  I believe this is the correct alternator for 1968 as one connection is labeled ground and one labeled field. Rather that the one one I have where both are labeled field?

                  875C3FA9-BF64-4B9D-A666-FDFA5BDE071D.jpeg
                   
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