MSD 6AL programmable ignition on a PRV
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  1. #1
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    Default MSD 6AL programmable ignition on a PRV

    Has anybody installed one? I need some pointers!

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  2. #2
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    Hi Thanos

    I believe Af member "Robs" has fitted megasquirt to a PRV V6.

    Whilst not exactly the same as you are doing. There has to be a lot in common.

    cheers

    Rob
    Mutual Respect is Contagious


  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Hi Thanos

    I believe Af member "Robs" has fitted megasquirt to a PRV V6.

    Whilst not exactly the same as you are doing. There has to be a lot in common.

    cheers

    Rob
    Thanks, Rob

    I have purchased and installed it, but it is not as plug and play as I was led to believe. I am looking for a step-wise procedure for imputing the ignition advance curve. I know the numbers I want to put in as a start, I just don't know how to do it.

  4. #4
    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThanosK View Post
    Has anybody installed one? I need some pointers!
    Heres a link to the instruction manual if you don't have already:

    http://documents.msdperformance.com/6530.pdf
    Regards Col

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Heres a link to the instruction manual if you don't have already:

    http://documents.msdperformance.com/6530.pdf
    Thank you, Col, we installed it based on this manual. We used figure 2, distributor with a magnetic pick up. We get the engine to start and we can see the tach on the laptop going, but the car won't rev up. The impression it gives me is that of very retarded timing. The way it is supposed to work, as I understand it, is that you set a maximum advance (in my case, my target is 32 degrees at 3000 rpm). Then you input the ignition curve by subtracting from maximum at each rpm. For example, I want 12 degrees at 1000 rpm so I retard 20 degrees from maximum. 27 degrees at 2000 rpm so I retard 5 degrees from maximum. And so on...
    The problem is, I cannot find the menu so I can get to set the max advance and start retarding. I am sure it is somewhere there hiding from me. It is also Saturday, so I cannot call the MSD tech support guys. If all else fails, I will try them on Monday. They are in Texas (8 hours behind Greece) so the three day wait is wearing on my nerves... :-)

  6. #6
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    Thanos,

    I'm sure you're on top of it, but I did have one problem with mine that might be worth mentioning: distributor phasing. At one stage it was running sluggishly, but surprisingly well, on one bank only. Hooking up a timing light showed the other bank sparking erratically and at the wrong times. Probably important that mine's an odd-fire using the Bosch single coil distributor.

    Seems less likely with a purpose-built distributor than my manually locked-up one, but you never know.

    Have fun,

    Rob.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs View Post
    Thanos,

    I'm sure you're on top of it, but I did have one problem with mine that might be worth mentioning: distributor phasing. At one stage it was running sluggishly, but surprisingly well, on one bank only. Hooking up a timing light showed the other bank sparking erratically and at the wrong times. Probably important that mine's an odd-fire using the Bosch single coil distributor.

    Seems less likely with a purpose-built distributor than my manually locked-up one, but you never know.

    Have fun,

    Rob.
    Thanks, Rob! I am anything but on top of it! The MSD is connected to an oddfire Works engine with a standard distributor. I have not done anything to it, is it supposed to be manually locked? How do I do that?

  8. #8
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    If I understand the setup correctly, the only input to the MSD unit is the distributor pickup -- no toothed wheel. If the distributor advance is working, this means that the MSD will get pulses anything between, say, 40 and 10 degrees BTDC. In that case, the MSD's advance curve should be set relative to the advance curve in the mechanical dizzy. It might be that trying an advance curve of all zeroes will get you running.

    Another complication is vacuum advance. You ease your foot on the pedal and the distributor will start sending pulses earlier than before. With no other input, the MSD unit can't tell whether the engine sped up for a moment or you've eased your foot on the pedal. You'd avoid this if you block off the vacuum advance and hook up a MAP sensor (if your MSD has it).

    I did have a fair bit of bother changing the Megasquirt from fuel-only to fuel+spark -- some noise problems, but mostly distributor phasing. And I went through it again when I changed to toothed wheel input. The odd fire angles make cross-firing all too likely. Anyone who suggested this would be plug and play is either way less experienced or way more experienced than I am!

    My advice is to try with an all zero map, and leave the distributor as it is for now. Check the timing with a light. If your pulley has the appropriate marks, it might be worth checking both 1 and 6.

    Have fun,

    Rob.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs View Post
    If I understand the setup correctly, the only input to the MSD unit is the distributor pickup -- no toothed wheel. If the distributor advance is working, this means that the MSD will get pulses anything between, say, 40 and 10 degrees BTDC. In that case, the MSD's advance curve should be set relative to the advance curve in the mechanical dizzy. It might be that trying an advance curve of all zeroes will get you running.

    Another complication is vacuum advance. You ease your foot on the pedal and the distributor will start sending pulses earlier than before. With no other input, the MSD unit can't tell whether the engine sped up for a moment or you've eased your foot on the pedal. You'd avoid this if you block off the vacuum advance and hook up a MAP sensor (if your MSD has it).

    I did have a fair bit of bother changing the Megasquirt from fuel-only to fuel+spark -- some noise problems, but mostly distributor phasing. And I went through it again when I changed to toothed wheel input. The odd fire angles make cross-firing all too likely. Anyone who suggested this would be plug and play is either way less experienced or way more experienced than I am!

    My advice is to try with an all zero map, and leave the distributor as it is for now. Check the timing with a light. If your pulley has the appropriate marks, it might be worth checking both 1 and 6.

    Have fun,

    Rob.
    Thanks, Rob. There is no vacuum advance on my distributor, and no map sensor. I will check timing as suggested.

  10. #10
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    Sorry Thanos, I only skimmed the blurb earlier. Now I've taken the time to look at it more closely, it doesn't look like it really supports an advance curve at all. It can delay the spark for rev limiting, launch control, etc., but otherwise behaves pretty much as a simple ignition module. That means it really should be pretty much plug and play and you definitely don't want your distributor locked up.

    Not too surprised the works engine has no vacuum advance; not exactly built for cruising!

    Checking the timing with a light still seems a reasonable thing to do.

    Have fun,

    Rob.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs View Post
    Sorry Thanos, I only skimmed the blurb earlier. Now I've taken the time to look at it more closely, it doesn't look like it really supports an advance curve at all. It can delay the spark for rev limiting, launch control, etc., but otherwise behaves pretty much as a simple ignition module. That means it really should be pretty much plug and play and you definitely don't want your distributor locked up.

    Not too surprised the works engine has no vacuum advance; not exactly built for cruising!

    Checking the timing with a light still seems a reasonable thing to do.

    Have fun,

    Rob.
    Thanks, Rob, this is what I suspected when I could not get access to the menu: a very expensive ignition module. But I still can't figure out why the engine will not rev up.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThanosK View Post
    Thanks, Rob, this is what I suspected when I could not get access to the menu: a very expensive ignition module. But I still can't figure out why the engine will not rev up.
    If the distributor hasn't been disturbed at all (e.g. rotated, or put in a tooth out), about the only thing I can think of is reverse polarity of the reluctor signal. But then I'd be surprised if it'd run at all -- unless you also turned the distributor about 30 degrees.

    Might be worth seeing if you can swap the wires around from the distributor pickup.

    Have fun,

    Rob.

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