Advanced Tech: Getting to Know MSD’s Power Grid Features

MSDbug2 Racers have long coveted a universal timing controller that would allow them to seamlessly merge various ignition controls and data logging functions with different racing applications. So it was no surprise a few years back when Autotronic Controls Corporation, better known as MSD Performance, came up with that very hardware. MSD’s versatile Power Grid system was originally conceived when turbo drag cars underwent a wholesale conversion from gasoline to alcohol in search of greater performance. Boost levels quickly escalated and engine builders began switching from Digital 7 ignition boxes to Digital 8s to ensure the spark energy required for richer fuel mixtures. To retain the full programmability found on the sevens, they had to merge the two boxes, prompting MSD to consider developing a programmable Digital 8 unit. Read more
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Kevin Volk’s New GT500 From Victory Racecraft For NMRA/NMCA Action

1656068_10152036412960835_698330446_n The NMRA’s Street Outlaw class is undergoing a resurgence, and Rhode Island’s Kevin Volk is smack dab in the middle of it with this gorgeous new GT500 Mustang built by Jason Enos, Bill Gilsbach and the fabrication team at Victory Racecraft in Massachusetts. You may remember Kevin as one half (along with his father, Karl) of the Karl’s East Coast Speed team from when they took their old Shelby into the eight-second zone way back in 2010. “When we left off with the other Shelby, it was fast, but it wasn’t built for a class, or anything other than to say that we had a fast Shelby. Now we decided to build for a class, with a set of rules, and compete against other people instead of just ourselves. With what we have learned from building the other car, we’ve been able to apply those ideas to the new combination in a top-notch car, and we plan to be competitive wherever we race,” says co-owner and driver Kevin. Read more
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TECH: MSD Crank Trigger Setup and Rotor Phasing

  1. Remove mechanical advance mechanism and/or lock it out on the distributor. You should not have any advance mechanism setup in the distributor! There are different ways to disable or lock out advance mechanisms, see your distributor instructions for details.
  2. Bring the engine up to TDC on #1 Cyl on the compression stroke.
  3. Roll engine on over to approximately 30 degrees advance BTDC, or whatever base timing you’re targeting for full advance on the engine.
  4. Crank Trigger wheel should be mounted so that one of the four magnets is lined up approximately with the sensor bracket hole when it’s in the center position in it’s travel. There is only about 20 degrees of adjustment in the Sensor Bracket, so setting the trigger wheel in this fashion should give you plenty of adjustment in both directions. Also make sure the Arrow on the trigger wheel is visible, it should face out (away from the engine). Failure to do so will have the wrong polarity on the magnets and cause false triggering at higher RPMs.
  5. Install Sensor into adjustable bracket. Sensor should be centered on the trigger wheel front to back. If it isn’t, you may have to add or remove shims from the adjustable trigger mount. You should have about .050 to .080 air gap between the sensor and the trigger wheel. Avoid using less gap than .050 as any radial run out in the balancer may cause the wheel to hit the sensor. Read more
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