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What's a good CDI box value these days?

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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V12MECH
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by V12MECH »

What is your engine exactly ? TPI ( port injection) or single TBI, ( throttle body). ' 89 , 454 trucks used sm. cap dist with 369 module, if you want c.o.p. ignition, MSD offers a kit for about $1400. But it is MSD, they have had some quality problems lately. Are you running a dedicated TCM for the 4L60? Was the original trans a 700? If a TBI unit you might swap to a FAST unit and check out Progression Ignition for an HEI distributor.Post a little more info , and the crew may be able to offer more advice.
V12MECH
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by V12MECH »

4L60 should come with TCM, did vehicle have a 60? Or a 700? Just another deal to work out if 700 was original trans. with check engine light.
Schurkey
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by Schurkey »

'89 is too early for an electronically-controlled transmission. I guess he plans to add one, though.

TH700R-4 and 4L60 don't use a trans controller. The only thing "electric" on them is the torque converter clutch and the VSS.

The 4L60E is solenoid-shifted, so the trans controller, or compatible OEM computer, plus the wire harness would have to be added. But at least you don't have to dick with the TV cable any more.
dfarr67
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by dfarr67 »

Stalled plan to convert to LS 0411 24X ecu. Have everything but the cash;( Had a timing issue where the new 24X timing cover doesn't support setting base timing so I had to reinstall old GM cover with tab. Truck is sporting a built 700R and if going 0411- might as well take advantage of the box and go 4L60E- the 700R governor is close- but is a pita. The TV is a Bowtie unit and is set by pressure- so far no issues there.
Running Walbro 250 pump which doesn't have a check valve in it- so you have to be quick on the start all the while losing prime pressure, set at 43.5psi.

Years ago I used the Edelbrock MPFI conversion kit- still wish I was running it- sans their pos chip. Wired into the TBI X2 injectors- bank to bank/batch.
https://www.dynamicefi.com/EBL_Flash.php
https://firstfuelinjection.com/shop-now ... -first-tpi

It starts...OK, I would prefer a faster light off.

Looking at DUI module and matching coil.
n2omike
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by n2omike »

I have three of the old MSD 6AL boxes that I purchased in the 1990's that still work perfect. All is see is problems with the newer stuff. Seems like people go through multiple digital boxes and have constant problems. As long as the old stuff works for me, that's what I'll continue to use.
tuffxf
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by tuffxf »

Exactly what I've seen also.
Those original old 6al's work great and last for years, the digital stuff Is unreliable and very susceptible to external interference
Cheers
1980RS
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by 1980RS »

In 1989 at the track I ran a back to back test with and with out an MSD 6A. The results were amazing, the car ran the same time and MPH. The only thing I have noticed from a CDI box is cleaner plugs at low speeds.
Bill Chase
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by Bill Chase »

Schurkey wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:22 pm
dfarr67 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:58 pm Loosely based 89 TBI:

- EBL/7747- port mod
- 385cid, AFR heads
- FIRST TPI
- bank to bank fire

- small cap hei, 369 module, oe coil, crane wires. Never had a reliability problem with GM stuff- whether it's running as-new I don't know, MSD/Accel- I have had issues.
What is a "FIRST TPI" "loosely based" on a TBI?
Aftermarket tpi intake, significantly addresses many of the OEM tpi shortcomings, to get stock or accel/this/Edelbrock tpi parts to perform at the same level would require cutting, welding, raising injectors up etc. A little pricey, but a nice piece, heard nothing but praise from the tpi crowd. Can have tpi low end tq and will wind to 6000 rpm making power. For the money I doubt its much better than a good old performer rpm and 4bbl tbi unit (modern sniper/terminator/msd/fitech/accel not old low pressure tbi stuff)

Kind of amazed so many people spend the money and time they do on tpi stuff, so much better available for less money, unless smog check and originality are a priority then the F.I.R.S.T. tpi makes sense. Does not have a carb approval number, but to the inexperienced it looks original,and has egr passages etc. Many have passed tail pipe check and cursory visual glance in states less strict than California, for Californians it seems heavily modified tpi pieces are the only option, not cheap or for the faint of heart.
rebelyell
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by rebelyell »

tuffxf wrote: Wed Oct 13, 2021 3:07 pm Exactly what I've seen also.
Those original old 6al's work great and last for years, the digital stuff Is unreliable and very susceptible to external interference
Cheers
Back when NASCAR CUP, XFINITY, TRUCK ran carbs & distributors: their analog MSD CD boxes (e.g. 6TN / 6ALN or Crane) were ALWAYS mounted in Pairs.
A-B switchable. With separate coils dedicated to each box. Distributors had TWO pickups; also A-B switchable. Unreliability was & is a given.
n2omike
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by n2omike »

rebelyell wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:35 am Back when NASCAR CUP, XFINITY, TRUCK ran carbs & distributors: their analog MSD CD boxes (e.g. 6TN / 6ALN or Crane) were ALWAYS mounted in Pairs.
A-B switchable. With separate coils dedicated to each box. Distributors had TWO pickups; also A-B switchable. Unreliability was & is a given.
Older 6AL boxes were FAR more reliable that today's finicky, Chinese digital boxes. The new stuff has more bells and whistles... as well as rotary dials to control rev limits, etc... but the old boxes definitely win the reliability contest. I have three boxes. One is on the mustang, one is on a 4 cyl Ford Ranger (got it cheap when a guy upgraded) and another is on my engine run stand. All have been in service since the 1990's. Two have been kept in a non heated/cooled garage through all seasons in WV. All still work great. I've had friends who have had nothing but grief with the newer digital boxes.
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by rebelyell »

n2omike wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:05 pm
rebelyell wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:35 am Back when NASCAR CUP, XFINITY, TRUCK ran carbs & distributors: their analog MSD CD boxes (e.g. 6TN / 6ALN or Crane) were ALWAYS mounted in Pairs.
A-B switchable. With separate coils dedicated to each box. Distributors had TWO pickups; also A-B switchable. Unreliability was & is a given.
Older 6AL boxes were FAR more reliable that today's finicky, Chinese digital boxes. The new stuff has more bells and whistles... as well as rotary dials to control rev limits, etc... but the old boxes definitely win the reliability contest. I have three boxes. One is on the mustang, one is on a 4 cyl Ford Ranger (got it cheap when a guy upgraded) and another is on my engine run stand. All have been in service since the 1990's. Two have been kept in a non heated/cooled garage through all seasons in WV. All still work great. I've had friends who have had nothing but grief with the newer digital boxes.
Mike, I've no doubt you've had 100% success with all three of your ANALOG CD boxes, and I'm glad you have. However, others have not had such success w/ ANALOG CD boxes' reliability; and that includes hi-profile professional teams as well as those in the shadows. I assure you, pro teams do not and did not needlessly expend time & expense on redundant ANALOG boxes if it weren't necessary; but they did! In fact, look at older in-cockpit video and see how the ignition TRAY (typically atop Dash but some on tunnel) has TWO ANALOG CD BOXES in Tray. TWO Coils usually in Tray as well, but sometimes clamped to the chassis' Petty bar. A-B switch on Dash. Two Hi-tension coil wires pass thru firewall and typically connect to MSD Automatic Coil Selector Switch and from ASC switch exits One Hi-tension coil wire which terminates at Distributor cap. Perhaps an MSD schematic of that still available on MSD site? Point is, even if ANALOG CD boxes are the more robust Nascar edition, and even if those ANALOG CD boxes have been "blessed" by the late great Nelson Crozier; even so, they run a double-redundant system with TWO ANALOG CD Boxes ... Because even THE BEST ANALOG CD boxes are Not so reliable. Those teams routinely sold their slightly used ANALOG CD BOXES; lotsa guys bought and used them again for whatever. Some lasted; others didn't. Fwiw, I have direct experience w/ this. And lastly, I would not recommend street cars rely upon any CD ignition; unless it's OE. But I haven't noticed widespread OE CD ignition yet. Have you? Even in this climate of seeking every teensy bit of efficiency; there's a reason.

NASCAR today:
https://www.mclaren.com/applied/catalog ... -tag-400n/
n2omike
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by n2omike »

rebelyell wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:26 pm In fact, look at older in-cockpit video and see how the ignition TRAY (typically atop Dash but some on tunnel) has TWO ANALOG CD BOXES in Tray. TWO Coils usually in Tray as well, but sometimes clamped to the chassis' Petty bar. A-B switch on Dash. Two Hi-tension coil wires pass thru firewall...
I'm sure they have redundant systems today as well. Same with airplanes.
dfarr67
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by dfarr67 »

Bill Chase wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:55 am
Schurkey wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:22 pm
dfarr67 wrote: Tue Oct 12, 2021 12:58 pm Loosely based 89 TBI:

- EBL/7747- port mod
- 385cid, AFR heads
- FIRST TPI
- bank to bank fire

- small cap hei, 369 module, oe coil, crane wires. Never had a reliability problem with GM stuff- whether it's running as-new I don't know, MSD/Accel- I have had issues.
What is a "FIRST TPI" "loosely based" on a TBI?
Aftermarket tpi intake, significantly addresses many of the OEM tpi shortcomings, to get stock or accel/this/Edelbrock tpi parts to perform at the same level would require cutting, welding, raising injectors up etc. A little pricey, but a nice piece, heard nothing but praise from the tpi crowd. Can have tpi low end tq and will wind to 6000 rpm making power. For the money I doubt its much better than a good old performer rpm and 4bbl tbi unit (modern sniper/terminator/msd/fitech/accel not old low pressure tbi stuff)

Kind of amazed so many people spend the money and time they do on tpi stuff, so much better available for less money, unless smog check and originality are a priority then the F.I.R.S.T. tpi makes sense. Does not have a carb approval number, but to the inexperienced it looks original,and has egr passages etc. Many have passed tail pipe check and cursory visual glance in states less strict than California, for Californians it seems heavily modified tpi pieces are the only option, not cheap or for the faint of heart.
I painted myself into the vortec corner years ago- so the superram is out, the hsr probably doesn't have the bottom end for a 4x4- so there's not much out there. This tpi is modified to use oem type tb- not the cheesy mono blade they supply, and oem type fuel rails/afpr. EGR is not functional and it was a toss up between surgery or live with cooler intake- btw if it was easier it would have been installed Edelbrock had it right in this case, I do favor egr integration. I view this tpi as close to the LS intake- but not folded over and compact.
Bill Chase
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by Bill Chase »

Edelbrock made a vortex tpi base that works with super ram upper, scoggin dickey did for a while as well (piece cast at Edelbrock) having an oem base welded up and redrilled for vortec might not be as bad as you think. Also, do not be so quick to sell the HSR short, there are runner spacer blocks available to get runner length comparable to OEM tpi to get the off idle grunt back if that's what you need for your truck. It is pretty amazing gm never put a tpi 350 in a truck, or offered it as an aftermarket option back then.it seems like a natural for a heavy vehicle ht383, mediocre heads/cam/compression and 474-500 fwhp is very doable with tpi on pump gas, even tuned for 87 octane and 210-220° it could still be a respectable combo in a suburban etc. Best gen1 sbc truck induction gm never actually put in a truck? 🤔
Bill Chase
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Re: What's a good CDI box value these days?

Post by Bill Chase »

n2omike wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:05 pm
rebelyell wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:35 am Back when NASCAR CUP, XFINITY, TRUCK ran carbs & distributors: their analog MSD CD boxes (e.g. 6TN / 6ALN or Crane) were ALWAYS mounted in Pairs.
A-B switchable. With separate coils dedicated to each box. Distributors had TWO pickups; also A-B switchable. Unreliability was & is a given.
Older 6AL boxes were FAR more reliable that today's finicky, Chinese digital boxes. The new stuff has more bells and whistles... as well as rotary dials to control rev limits, etc... but the old boxes definitely win the reliability contest. I have three boxes. One is on the mustang, one is on a 4 cyl Ford Ranger (got it cheap when a guy upgraded) and another is on my engine run stand. All have been in service since the 1990's. Two have been kept in a non heated/cooled garage through all seasons in WV. All still work great. I've had friends who have had nothing but grief with the newer digital boxes.
The basic msd 6a has no such bells and whistles, if used with a msd atomic/Holley terminator tbi unit or carb and vac advance distributor it's very simple, robust, and seems to last a long time. Love the old hei distributor with 5 pin module, trouble is the modules haven't been made in the states in over 20 years now, oem modules are getting old and harder to find, offshore modules are junk failure prone and makes stepping into a box make more sense don't you think? Funny, bet I threw away 30 oem hei distributors years ago, they were so plentiful and had about zero value. Have heard the poor reviews of msd 6a/6al yet the handful of guys I know running them on daily drivers have had them for years and zero trouble (the newer digital units). And the one guy that had trouble with his he just took it back to local parts store & showed the manager the receipt and got a new unit for free. Still pays to keep purchases local and support brick and mortar stores when they take care of you like that, even if you pay 25% more for the unit. Have you found a replacement 5 pin hei module that is worth a crap? Or a 7 pin module for that matter?
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