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Old 01-07-2004, 06:23 AM   #1
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Question 83-85 with duraspark and MSD: Did your tach work?

We are installing a MSD6-AL on my son's 85 GT and MSD can't seem to tell us if his factory tach is going to work. Have any of you done this and know if it will work or if you had to use their tach adapter. We just hate to get all the wiring for the MSD all run nice and neat and then find out we have to wire in an adapter. If you tell us we need the adapter, we can go ahead and wire it in as we go. Is there anything else we should watch for or do at the same time. We have the MSD6-AL and blaster coil( coil that uses the factory plug), and the harness that allows the msd to plug right into the distributor. Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2004, 10:59 AM   #2
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I have the same setup. My stock tach did not work after I installed the MSD box. I needed to get a 'tach adapter' from MSD. I emailed MSD and they told me which tach adapter I needed and I purchased it thru Summit Racing. I think it was about $30. It wires up easily and then my stock tach worked fine.

Good luck,
Paul
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Old 01-07-2004, 11:32 AM   #3
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Paul, I noticed that there are 2 different ways to wire the MSD. One uses the white wire trigger and the other one uses the magnetic pick-up trigger (the twisted 2 wires) We were going to use the magnetic pick-up version. They list the #8920 tach adapter if you use this method or the #8910 version if you do the white wire trigger. My understanding is if you do the white wire trigger, you have to keep your duraspark box, but if you use the magnetic pick-up version, which plugs into the harness coming out of the distributor, you can get rid of the duraspark box.Which method did you use. I hope the mag. trigger is O.K. because I purchased the #8920 tach adapter when I bought everything else just in case we needed it. Is this what you did? Thanks
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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Yes you need the tach adapter. No way around it if you use the stock tach. Go with the magnetic pick up and the #8920 tach adapter and lose the duraspark box. Makes for a much simpler and neat installation.
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:34 PM   #5
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We will go ahead and hook up the #8920 tach adapter while we are wiring up the msd then. Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-07-2004, 02:25 PM   #6
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Hmmm...My '84 LTD LX has an MSD 6AL, MSD Blaster 2F ( older female style coil ) and an '85 carb roller distributor. All I did was cut the tach feed to the stock harness and ran it to the tach port on the MSD. Tach operates just fine without the tach adapter.

I did not use the Duraspark box, just the MSD 6AL unit and fabbed my own harness as I had a 5.0 HO CFI setup before ( 2 hot wires, 2 ground wires, 2 to the dist and the stock tach wire to the MSDs tach port ).
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Old 01-07-2004, 06:54 PM   #7
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I elected not to buy the MSD tach adapter for my '83. Instead, I still retained my Duraspark box which signals the MSD 6AL box instead of the MSD box receiving the signal directly from the distributor.

My stock tach did not work by completely removing the Duraspark module on my '83 or '84.
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Old 01-07-2004, 07:06 PM   #8
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BP convt, I believe what you are talking about is what MSD told me. If you use the white wire trigger, it uses the duraspark box to signal the msd box when to fire, so you have to keep the box. If you use the magnetic trigger wires that plug into the dist harness with a adapter harness I assume the dist. tells the msd when to fire. With this method you can elimate the duraspark box. I already have the #8920 tach adapter, so we are going to go ahead and do the mag. trigger method and use the tach adapter. Hope it all works.
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Old 01-07-2004, 08:25 PM   #9
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XS,
I set mine up as you stated with the MSD harness/mag trigger/8920 with the Duraspark completely removed. I initially tried to connect the tach trigger wire to the white wire trigger port on my 6A as suggested by MSD but it would not work. I ended up using the the 8920 adapter. I'm not sure how LTD LX got his to work without a tach adapter - perhaps he has a 'magic' 6AL ot tach.

Good luck!

Paul
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Old 01-07-2004, 09:42 PM   #10
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Paul, Thanks alot for the help!
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Old 01-08-2004, 01:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul78Zephyr
I'm not sure how LTD LX got his to work without a tach adapter - perhaps he has a 'magic' 6AL ot tach.

Paul
Your close enough to come and see it !

Even MSD told at one time this would not work.

Must have to do with the car formerly being CFI, plus leaving the old harness/computer in the car and grafted my new ignition setup. All I did was remove all the CFI sensors, tied the old harness out of the way and disconnected the EEC ground.

All I know, is mine works and is pretty accurate on the Dyno Jet, much better than the Sun Pro tach I had. I have the MSD chipped at 6000 RPM and thats were the engine cuts out at according to the stock tach and my dyno sheets drop like a rock at 6000 RPM.

Must be like my bulletproof 7.5 diff, 50K+ miles with a full manual hard shifting transbraked AOD. I even assault NED at the FFWs and the Tasca day in the brackets. I blew an engine and broke an AOD ( twisted the 1/2 shaft ), but the 200k+ mile frail 3.27 geared 7.5 diff is still hanging in there and leaving two stripes.
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Old 03-05-2004, 03:11 PM   #12
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84 ltd: how hard was it to do this? would it be worth paying 40 for the adapter? or doing it this way.
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Old 03-05-2004, 06:43 PM   #13
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We finally got everything hooked up in my son's 85GT. We didn't want to get the MSD all hooked up and then have to rewire everything to install a tach adapter, so we went ahead and bought the tach adapter and wired it all up with the MSD all at the same time. The motor runs great and the tach works fine. The adapter was pretty easy to install too!
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