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 fried MSD 6AL
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frankie
Buffalo

USA
62 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2016 :  3:58:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
https://imageshack.com/i/pn4LYplhj this is a picture of the inside of my MSD 6AL. Has this happened to u too for no real reason?
I think it is toast and not worth sending in to MSD to repair. WTH, all i was doing is replacing a old external alternator with a new PowerMaster 100 amp single wire alternator>

Thanks guys

GtoGuy32
Cochise

USA
842 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2016 :  7:06:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it would be worth sending that image to MSD. Engineers are always looking to see how things fail, whether it is your fault or theirs. You might get surprised if this is a known defect and they replace it for you.

How old is the unit?

Was it wired properly beforehand (working with no issue)?

Does your new alternator have internal or external voltage regulation?

What prompted the alternator upgrade and how quickly after the upgrade did it fail?

Based on the red and black wires right next to the burnt mess, looks like a failure in the power circuit....potentially a blown capacitor.

Edited by - GtoGuy32 on 16 Mar 2016 7:08:54 PM
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frankie
Buffalo

USA
62 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2016 :  8:12:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The unit is only three yrs old and was working well before. The new alternator is a internal regulator without changing the wiring to the MSD
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GtoGuy32
Cochise

USA
842 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2016 :  11:11:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by frankie

The unit is only three yrs old and was working well before. The new alternator is a internal regulator without changing the wiring to the MSD



Sometimes these units fail out of the box. I have seen it a bunch with the delco-style box regulators, so I am sure it is possible for the alternator.

Seems too coincidental that you had this failure right after replacing the most integral part of your charging system.

I would take the alternator to a parts store to get tested. If it turns out the alternator is junk and is overcharging, then I would talk to them about footing the bill to repair your MSD box....might be a fight, but worth it if you can show them proof of your findings....
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Bentwings
Tribal Scout

USA
28 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2016 :  12:14:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi,
While not a Pontiac car I've three MSD failures in 20k miles. Luckily all have been in or at the shop.
My latest, I parked the car for the winter last Nov. it was running fine at the time. I put a new battery in it last week of April this year. The car normally starts in 1-2 revolutions as it is supercharged and has very good atomization and fuel distribution. Well I hit the starter and..nothing. I know this means problems. I checked the fuel pump and pressure....great. Then I got out the MSD instructions for testing. I had great spark from the white wire test but nothing from the magnetic pick up wires. A call to MSD said replace the coil. Yeah $65 later, still no spark. So I called again and they said replace the box. Yep another $265 plus tax and trad in muffler bearings. Well this time it lit right off. I them added the third cap and rotor. All in all I spent over $500 getting the car back on the road. I haven't added up the cost per mile yet but it took a good hit this year.

Why is it that the after market stuff that is supposed to be so good fails like this. I have an HEI that is 40 years old that works great and will probably out last me. My diesel truck has 400k miles on it and it's cost per mile is less than half of the street rod.

Edited by - Bentwings on 22 Apr 2016 12:15:07 PM
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Phil
The Great White Buffalo

USA
7222 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2016 :  1:43:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bentwings

Why is it that the after market stuff that is supposed to be so good fails like this. I have an HEI that is 40 years old that works great and will probably out last me. My diesel truck has 400k miles on it and it's cost per mile is less than half of the street rod.



For the same reason old wall air conditioners, washers, dryers and refrigerators lasted 40+ years but with todays stuff we are lucky to get 5-10 years out of it. And the electronics just add a whole other dimension of complexity and probability of failure.

I had a Kitchenaid dishwasher back in the 90's that had an electronic board control panel. It was replaced once a year for several years until the warranty ran out. A good friend at the time who was an electronics engineer gave me a handful of MOV's and told me to install across the hot and neutral wires supplying the dishwasher. It never broke after that. These things cost a few cents a piece yet the manufacturers don't put them in appliances which sometimes cost thousands of dollars to consumers.

I've used them on all of my appliances since that day and keep a stash of them in reserve. Takes care of excessive voltage spikes like those typically seen from the power company. Stuff like this could be causing issues with our aftermarket car electronics as well given the mindset by manufacturers to maximize profits and then blame everything on "hey, its a race part. What do you expect?"


Bowties are for Pee-wee Herman. "Chevy": even the name sounds cheap, but not as cheap as your Pontiac will be with an LS transplant.
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loosetappet
Sitting Bull

113 Posts

Posted - 22 Apr 2016 :  3:18:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ditto on the dishwasher board- total junk.

What's an MOV?
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Admin
Ye Olde Webmaster

848 Posts

Posted - 23 Apr 2016 :  09:25:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MOV=metal oxide varistor--designed to handle electrical surges so other components are not fried.

"Dedicated to keeping the classic Pontiac engine alive."

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