MSD E-curve Distributor Set Up???

Mopar Performance Issues

  1. BrianT

    BrianT Let's go! FABO Gold Member

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    Does anyone have any experience setting up a MSD E-curve distributor? I bought one for my 408 build and was just going over the instructions. They are a little too complicated for me to comprehend.

    I have read that I should plan on running 36 degrees of total timing, with all of the advance in by approximately 2500 rpm. This distributor is all electronic with no mechanical or vacuum advance. You pick your desired curve by looking at the charts in the instructions. This is where I got lost.

    Here is a little lite reading for a cold winter's night if anyone wants to take a stab at it?

    [ame="http://static.summitracing.com/global/images/instructions/msd-8504_frm30103.pdf"]MSD E-curve instructions[/ame]

    Thanks for any help you can provide!
     
  2. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    I would lock it out with the exception of the Start retard function.

    Or you could give it an initial timing setting of around 20-22* and then choose an advance curve that would get you close to your 36* number at 2200-2500 RPM

    So say 20* initial on the timing light and then choose option setting K in the 15* advance setting so it all comes in before 2500 RPM. So you would be 35* all in at 2500RPM. Of course you want to verify this by revving the engine watching the rpm making sure it don't go past 35* at 2500 RPM.

    I would not use the option of any vacuum advance.

    So under K your Switch #1 would be set to #1 and your Switch #2 would be set at #1. Vac Advance disconnected
     
  3. GMachineDartGT

    GMachineDartGT Senior Member

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    I've been using this for years on my stroker. I'm not sure what you mean by complicated. I have mine set at 20 initial and chose at 15 degree advance program. I also chose the 10 degree vacuum advance. To me this is a breakthrough part that never got popular because its expensive.
     
  4. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    So with your set up your dials would be set like this. Lining up K and 3 on the vac side of the scale.

    Switch 1=5
    Switch 2=1

    20* initial, 15* advanced all in at 2500 rpm with 10* Vacuum advance built in.

    Of course you may have chosen a Longer or shorter curve so the switches may change.
    Just an example so BrianT will know where he should be.
     
  5. pishta

    pishta I know I'm right....

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    Thats cool, but no boost retard option? Its got just about everything else! $370 is a little hard to swallow but dang, you can dial that puppy in! Or go crazy on your laptop and use this...http://www.autosportlabs.net/Megajolt_Lite_Jr.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. autoxcuda

    autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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    I use one too.

    Only two gripes: 1) It's taller than stock and you have to remove two plug wire and loosen/turn the distributor to get the cap off (A-body only). 2) the later units will not work with a MSD Solid State coil, unless you can confirm they have fixed that with an MSD Engineer. Not a big deal, just run a Blaster 2.
     
  7. autoxcuda

    autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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    Summit has:


    -MSD 8534 Billet SB Chrysler Distributor for $207 but have no vacuum advance and you must run a ignition box (another 180 or $220 w/rev limiter). So total is $387 w/o rev limiter or $427 w/rev limiter.

    -MSD 8833 Billet "ready to run" SB Chrysler Distributor with vacuum adv. w/o rev limiter and no ignition box needed for $360

    -MSD 8504 Billet "E-curve" SB Chrysler Distributor with vaccum adv., with rev limiter, and no ignition box needed for $380

    E-Curve has built in Rev Limiter. Ready to run does not. And it would be a total of $427 for a MSD 8534 with rev limit, but with ignition box, but still no vacuum advance.

    I wasn't 100% sold on getting much benefit with a ignition box on my mild street stroker.

    I felt the E-Curve was the best value.
     
  8. BrianT

    BrianT Let's go! FABO Gold Member

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    Thanks everyone for their help so far. I'm going to show this thread to my builder and see what he thinks.

    I mean the instructions aren't very clear. I'm still pretty confused even after everyone's posts above.

    EXACTLY. I needed a new distributor and was going to run the MSD 8833. For $20 more I got the built in rev limiter and all of the programmable advance curves. Now, I just have to figure them out...
     
  9. BrianT

    BrianT Let's go! FABO Gold Member

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    Okay, I think I'm starting to get a grip on this now.

    What about setting my initial timing at 10 degrees BTDC and then using the C advance curve? That would give me 35 degrees total advance by 2500 rpm. I have no problem in not using the vacuum advance setting. That would mean setting switch one to position 0 and switch two to position 3.

    Am I looking at these charts right?!?
     
  10. Mad Dart

    Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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    Stroker motors like a lot of initial timing or it will run like crap. Your going to want it in the 20* + Degree range on the initial. If not it will be very lazy and not have that crisp clean snap when you stab the throttle. Kinda like it is Loading up at idle.

    Oh and YES you are reading the chart correct with your scenario above. You got it whipped now!!:D
     
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    • Muad'Dib15

      Muad'Dib15 Silly Basterd

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      So, if I was to put this on my 360 with the timing already advanced 4 degrees on the cam, I would want timing curve set at K, so it would be 14 at initial, and at like 29 at 2500? But then, what would I set the vacuum advance curve to since I only need another 5-7 degrees of timing?
       
    • Mad Dart

      Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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      Cam timing has nothing to do with setting the ignition timing. You are talking about Valve Events when you say your cam is advanced. Ignition timing has to do with where the piston is at when the fuel ignites.
       
    • Muad'Dib15

      Muad'Dib15 Silly Basterd

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      Oh ok, so knowing that, I'd want mine set right about where BrianT's is then. C and depending on the in/HG, either vacuum setting 1 or 3.
       
    • BrianT

      BrianT Let's go! FABO Gold Member

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      I've been doing some reading in the meantime, and we will go with 20 degrees initial and 15 through the electronic advance. Thanks for the help!
       
    • jimmyray

      jimmyray Well-Known Member

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      FWIW, I run a FBO recurved mopar distributor with 16 inital, 34 total mechanical, and 12 vacuum.

      Starts easy, idles good (would like 20 inital, though!), and the ET/MPH (best of 12.003 @ 111 mph) are best at around 32 to 34 total.

      The Vacuum is great for cruising and highway. With my 408, a well tuned Thermoquad, 3.73 Dana, and a 727 witha 4200 stall convertor, I would routinely get 14.5 mpg. Now, with the switch to a TKO 600 with .64 overdrive, I have gotten as much as 24 mpg. So, IMHO, the vacuum advance is great for economy. Mine likes it, and I can definitely tell when it is disconnected. And once you go WOT, the vacuum drop to close to 0 anyway, and no vacuum advance.

      Oh, and I've been looking at that same MSD distributor for some time, just have not been able to rationalize it. Yet...
       
    • Mad Dart

      Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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      Sounds like your Distributor is not set up for a stroker. Sounds like you had that dizzy curved for a 340/360 and just used it on this one. Strokers like alot more Initial Timing than 16*. Reason I say this is I had Don curve diffferent dizzy's for different set ups and the one you are describing is for a Non Stroked motor. His Dizzy's done for a 410 of mine was Initial 23* with 11* mechanical "34* Total" built into it all in by 2400 RPM......I bet your car is pretty lazy down low.
       
    • jimmyray

      jimmyray Well-Known Member

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      I had a lot of trouble with Don's distributor initially. He had my full engines specs, and built it as I described. When I got the distributor, I could not get the engine to start. After running down the battery for the 3rd (!) time, I finally figured out he (they?) had installed the reluctor in the wrong position, Grrrr!! I disassembled and repositioned it, and the engine fired right up. Best part is that I was made to feel like it was my fault somehow... But at least the reluctor chewed up the magnetic pickup, and I had to retunr it for a rebuild after about 500 miles. I still can't figure out how the reuctor could have been off like tha if they had fully tested it.

      Anyhoo, that is how he built it based on the specs I gave him. It actually is pretty strong down low, idles at 850 with ~10 in vacuum. Like I mentioned, I would prefer 20 initial, and may try for it eventually.
       

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    • Mad Dart

      Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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      Thats funny cause my Reluctor gap when I got the dizzy back from Don was around .120 on the Dyno. It would not fire until we found the problem and closed up the gap. Only thing I will buy off Don any longer is Cometic Gaskets and his 10 & 14* bushings fir the MSD Pro Billet Dizzy...... He is a Jackwad know it all crackerrrr.:banghead:
       
    • jimmyray

      jimmyray Well-Known Member

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      Harsh?! Deserved perhaps.
       
    • Mad Dart

      Mad Dart Nothing to see Here!

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      He has made some claims that don't hold water.... Period! For example his fancy Carb spacer will get you 20 more HP on the dyno. I think mine made 20 HP less with it. Took it off and there was more power everywhere and torque than with the spacer. I told him that and man we got in a BIG hissy fit on the phone. I had the Dyno Sheets to back it up too. Salesman is all I can say.
       
    • memike

      memike Super Moderator Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    • TheMoparMan

      TheMoparMan Modifies everything

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      -MSD 8833 Billet "ready to run" SB Chrysler Distributor with vacuum adv. w/o rev limiter and no ignition
      box needed for $360



      Works good, I have used them in multiple cars. Hate getting a car and finding sh*tronix (per tronix) in there. Have had to swap them out of cars way to many times for people. The modules suck and the flamethrower coils are bad too. Mind you not every one is bad but since they went Chinese manufacturing the failure rate is too high for my taste. I always tell people to Go MSD and be done with it if possible. Accel does have a drop in module but again it's a drop in conversion and not the best way to go as those dizzy's were designed for points and the heat gets to the modules too easily
       
    • autoxcuda

      autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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      What do you do for a rev limiter?
       
    • TheMoparMan

      TheMoparMan Modifies everything

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      You can always add in an electronic rpm limiter to limit your revs.....
      Plenty of companies make them just google it or check with summit racing for an example
       
    • autoxcuda

      autoxcuda Well-Known Member

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      That's where I saw the value of the E-curve. For $20 more you can get an E-curve with the rev limiter built in. I don't think there seperate rev limiter on the market at that price.
       
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