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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2005, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ignition options?

Would it be possible to replace our coil-on-plug setups for the GM LS1 setup? That is, mount the GM coil on a custom bracket and have a short plug lead from the coil to the spark plug?

If it's possible to do this, then wouldn't it also be possible to use the MSD Blaster coil that is a replacement for the LS1 coil that provides a multiple spark instead of the usual one? On the surface it seems like it's a way to possibly improve mileage and power a little. Granted, the MSD coils are a little pricey at about $70/ea, but it's just something I was thinking about.

I'm not an electrical wizard, I don't know if this would be possible to do or not with the computer driving the way the coil fires. I'd like to try it, but I'm afraid of frying the computer if the LS1 coil does something wierd. Anyone know if the computer would die if I swapped the coils and tried this?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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Your theory is sound since the only thing you are doing is moving the coil pack and replacing it with a stronger model.

The problem is finding a suitable plug boot, mounting set up and finding coil packs that are compatible with the OE design (not sure how sensitive the computer is).
The only thing that leaves at a loss is the fact that if one was to do msd coil packs it'd be only worth it to progress to the next step of increasing the input signal with one of thier controller boxes and so far I've not see anybody find one and make it work (may have listed one that would work but not tired it).
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2005, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Right, the first two items you mention aren't as much of a concern to me as the last one, and that's why I was wondering if anyone had any idea on whether trying this would fry the computer. I'm willing to try it if I know the worst thing that could happen is the car doesn't start, or starts and runs very badly. I don't want to try it if it's going to cause permanent damage to other parts, especially if they're expensive.

The reason I mention the MSD Blaster coil replacement for the LS-1/LS-6 is because it doesn't need an additional module to run it, the coil itself is made to supply the multiple sparks at a higher output than the OEM coil. Which is probably part of the reason why these coils cost about $70 each.

I don't know what sort of input/signal the 3.5L coils are designed for, and I don't know what sort of signal the MSD coil is looking for either. I've tried to get some technical help from the MSD forum, but so far they have been slow to respond, and when they do it's very cut and dry. Reading between the lines all I see is "I'm sorry, there isn't a large enough market for us to give a crap about your inquiry. Please feel free to experiment at your own risk, and if someone works please let us know so that we can take credit and generate additional revenue. If it doesn't work and you break something expensive, we told you that it wouldn't work and we won't be held liable."

The coil lead and the mounting brackets are minor issues that can be resolved pretty easily, but the whole electrical compatibility thing has me concerned.

Any thoughts on where I might be able to find more information on either of these coils?

I've given thought of submitting this question to some of the car magazines like Hot Rod, Tuner, etc. to see what they're advice is, but I thought I'd try here first.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 02:34 AM
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You might want to look at this thread on the 300M Club forums ...

http://www.300mclub.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5054
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting...

Thanks for the link to the other thread.

I looked thru MSD's online catalog when I started thinking about this, and I read about the Stacker ignition and it seemed like a good idea, but when I submitted my question to MSD and they didn't mention the Stacker as an option, I just assumed that it wouldn't work for this application for some reason.

I did some quick checking, and the Stacker would be about the same cost as buying six of the MSD coils, but there's going to be even more expense with getting the coils to work because custom wiring harnesses, new coil leads, and probably brackets will have to be made to make it all work, and then there's no guarantee that it will work, or not fry something in the process and still not work.

Well, the Stacker is something to think about. I'll question MSD again about this Stacker box and see if they can give me any help here.

Anyone have a ballpark idea of how much of an increase in performance and/or fuel mileage this Stacker ignition will provide?

Last edited by 400Magnum; 09-24-2005 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Change the wording for clarification
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-24-2005, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400Magnum
Thanks for the link to the other thread.

I looked thru MSD"s online catalog when I started thinking about this, and I read about the Stacker ignition and it seemed like a good idea, but when I submitted my question to MSD and they didn't mention the Stacker as an option, I just assumed that it wouldn't work.

I did some quick checking, and cost wise the Stacker would be about the same as just buying six of the MSD coils, but there's going to be even more cost with getting the coils to work because custom wiring harnesses and leads and probably brackets will have to be made to make it all work, and then there's no guarantee that it will work, or not fry something in the process and still not work.

Well, it's something to think about. I'll question MSD again about this Stacker box and see if they can give me any help here.

Anyone have a ballpark idea of how much of an increase in performance and/or fuel mileage this Stacker ignition will provide?
As the thread I linked says - you won't see much (if any) performance gain unless you're building something else up (NOS, S/C, etc.). These engines - especially the 300M Special programming for them - are designed for performance. If Chrysler needed to change something to add a few HP's they probably would have done it ...
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-29-2005, 07:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I don't know about that. I know first hand that the car companies will sacrifice just about anything performance related in the name of improving emissions, reducing warranty cost, or decreasing manufacturing cost. They're all for maximizing performance on models that are made just for that like the Corvette and Viper, but again, they'll back off on anything that is going to cost them a lot of warranty repair work and expense.

Having said that, on cars like our LH's, it's a safe bet that they've compromised performance for cost savings on a common platform. I can't believe that we have the best possible ignition system around. I'm sure it's very good compared to some of the stuff that's been around for a while, but there's got to be room for improvement.

For myself, I'm not so much after performance as I am fuel economy. I need to squeeze as much out of my fuel as possible. I know, I know, if that was my main concern, why didn't I just get a Neon and be done with it. Well, two reasons, I wanted a larger car than that, and I couldn't find a Neon in as good a condition as my R/T for the same price.

I've talked to MSD some more, and they're opinion is that the Stacker probably would work, but they've never looked at configuring it for the ignition systems on our cars, so they don't have any idea how to best install it and make it work. On the other hand, they said that the multi-spark Blaster coils should work, but it's going to be a matter of creating custom wire harness connectors, spark plugs leads, mounting brackets, etc. The MSD tech said that he would mail me the pin-outs from the blaster coil so I could see what pin does what, and match that up to the Mopar units so that I could create a harness adapter that would make the coils work and not fry anything in the process.

My hope is that the multi-spark coils will increase low-speed performance and economy, and that's all I'm looking for. After getting to drive my car on my regular route for a few days now and keeping an eye on the tach, most of my driving is done at or just under 2000 rpm, which is where the MSD coil goes from a multi-spark mode to a single high power spark.

I'm going to keep my eyes open, and if I get a chance to experiment with this I'll report back and let you guys know what happens. Keep your fingers crossed!!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400Magnum
Well, I don't know about that. I know first hand that the car companies will sacrifice just about anything performance related in the name of improving emissions, reducing warranty cost, or decreasing manufacturing cost. They're all for maximizing performance on models that are made just for that like the Corvette and Viper, but again, they'll back off on anything that is going to cost them a lot of warranty repair work and expense.
What you say is very true for "everyday" cars like the Trep SE or even the R/T, which is really built up from 300M PHP (Performance Handling Package) parts. However, the 300M Special has several unique systems. The half-shaft ends and hubs have been up-sized to handle a larger torque load with less wear. The half-shaft upgrade is relatively expensive and, as far as we've been able to tell, is totally unique to just this one car. There are other, less expensive changes in the Special, too. The exhaust has 3" mandrel bend tubing instead of 2.5" like all other 3.5L's. The only reason I can see for that is a little bit better breathing for the engine (maybe sound quality improvement, too?). It also has shorter springs for a lower ride height and better handling. The 18" wheels and wider tires (also unique to the Special) help in this area. If there was some way to increase performance from the 3.5L HO with a simple ignition upgrade I'm pretty sure Chrysler would have done it for the Special.

If you really want to help on gas mileage get true CAI w/a K&N filter. Just adding the drop-in filter and better intake tubing w/ the stock box gave me a little jump in MPG ...

'72 RoadRunner . '02 R/T . '12 Charger SE

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Last edited by D76G12; 09-30-2005 at 12:14 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400Magnum
Well, I don't know about that. I know first hand that the car companies will sacrifice just about anything performance related in the name of improving emissions, reducing warranty cost, or decreasing manufacturing cost. They're all for maximizing performance on models that are made just for that like the Corvette and Viper, but again, they'll back off on anything that is going to cost them a lot of warranty repair work and expense.
Hmmm...I dunno...200hp from a N/A 2.7 is pretty decent performance, if you ask me.


Yeah...yeah...I know...you didn't ask me...
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-30-2005, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D76G12
What you say is very true for "everyday" cars like the Trep SE or even the R/T, which is really built up from 300M PHP (Performance Handling Package) parts.
Right, and that's the point I'm trying to make. For the vast majority of cars, they will sacrifice that tiny extra bit of performance that could be gained just because they don't want to add any more additional costs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by D76G12
... If there was some way to increase performance from the 3.5L HO with a simple ignition upgrade I'm pretty sure Chrysler would have done it for the Special.
Mmmm, not necessarily. Case in point, the V10 engine used in the truck did not have a coil pack made for a 10-cyinder engine, they used a coil pack from a four cylinder and a six cylinder. Does it work? Yes. Is it optimized for a V-10 in a truck application? No. Are they going to gain an appreciable amount of performance or economy by optimizing the ignition for the V-10 truck to offset the added cost? No. So there's no real point in doing it. What they did works fine for the vast majority of people, and that's okay, I'm perfectly fine with the economics of the whole thing. All I'm saying is that there's a chance that it could be improved upon. I don't know that for a fact, I'm just going on the fact that I know how other aspects of engine design are a compromise all in the name of cost reduction and/or reliability, so it seemed like a safe bet that the ignition system is a possible place to look for improvement. The multi-spark boxes out there exist for a reason, they were an improvement over what the factory offered at the time. They offered an increase in performance and/or economy over the OEM setup, for an additional cost. Most people don't have the desire or inclination to look for improving their car, they get in it, fill it with gas and go, and they're happy with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by In2Deep
Hmmm...I dunno...200hp from a N/A 2.7 is pretty decent performance, if you ask me.
I'm not saying that it isn't good performance, all I'm saying is that there's a chance to make it better with a little work to the ignition.

And I'm not really looking for an increase in performance as much as I'm looking for ways to enhance fuel economy for my car. If performance happens to increase as a result something done to increase fuel efficiency, well then, so much the better.

I'm not trying to argue with anyone, I'm just trying to examine some possible routes to find additional fuel economy for our vehicles. Since the aftermarket doesn't really pay much attention to our Intrepids, it's up to us to do a little legwork and research and see what does and doesn't work. I'm just trying to help, that's all.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400Magnum
Right, and that's the point I'm trying to make. For the vast majority of cars, they will sacrifice that tiny extra bit of performance that could be gained just because they don't want to add any more additional costs.
I guess you missed the whole point of my post. Chrysler spent a LOT of extra money to make the 300M Special just that - Special. Considering the money you're talking about for an ignition upgrade I would think there are simpler options you could pursue that have proved gains in efficiency.

I have gone through the expense of before and after dyno runs on my upgrades to the 3.5L HO just so there are no questions about the gains to be realized from those modifications. If you want to pursue ignition upgrades just be sure to do the same thing so that all of us can benefit from your experience ...

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 09:35 AM Thread Starter
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No, I didn't miss the point that you were trying to make about the Special, I got it, they made some changes and improvements to it. But my point is that the VAST MAJORITY of cars do not have anything special done to them, for economic, reliability, and warranty issues, they will generally try to use as many common materials and parts as possible. There is always a trade-off between cost, efficiency, practicality, manufacturability, noise, emissions, reliability, etc.

It seems like I got off on the wrong foot and I've offended or insulted some people here, that was not my intention, and I apologize if that's the case.

My original intention of this thread was to find out if there was a way to improve gas mileage, and if performance happens to improve too, then that's just icing on the cake. I did some searches on this site and aside from debates over which spark plug is the best, not much was mentioned for ignition upgrades. Occasionally the MSD Stacker was mentioned, but I didn't really see anything with proven results saying that it was or was not worth the effort and money. Several posts saying that someone was going to try it, but nothing was ever posted to show results that I could find. So I started asking around, I am just trying to find out if this is worth pursuing or not. If it isn't then I'll stop because I sure don't want to spend $400+ for something that isn't worthwhile. Since it looks like my next job is going to be paying about half of what I'm earning now, I can't afford to pay that much money for an experiment.

Since my intent was really to improve fuel economy on my car, not just performance, so I won't be going to the dyno. I'm sorry, but I just can't afford to spend money on a dyno run every time I try something new.

So what are the simpler ignition options that have proven gains? I'm more than willing to go the route that has already been shown to be effective, I just haven't found anything to point me in another direction, so that's why I was headed down this path.

Last edited by 400Magnum; 10-01-2005 at 09:42 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D76G12
If you really want to help on gas mileage get true CAI w/a K&N filter. Just adding the drop-in filter and better intake tubing w/ the stock box gave me a little jump in MPG ...
Hey D76, what intake tubing did u use? I already have a drop-in K&N and want to retain the factory box, but want to ditch the "acordian" tubing. What intake tubing/kit did u use and got any pics?? Mine's a 2.7 by the way and I'm pretty sure the intakes (not the manifold) are the same or close enough.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 400Magnum
It seems like I got off on the wrong foot and I've offended or insulted some people here, that was not my intention, and I apologize if that's the case.
You didn't get off on the wrong foot with me - I have no problem with people expressing their opinion. It'd be a boring world if we all thought the same.

As for your pursuit for an ignition upgrade IMO - it's a dead end unless you upgrade the engine in some other way. But keep chasing it - it could pan out. Other than the previous link I don't know of anyone who's gone down that road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by froggy81500
Hey D76, what intake tubing did u use? I already have a drop-in K&N and want to retain the factory box, but want to ditch the "acordian" tubing. What intake tubing/kit did u use and got any pics?? Mine's a 2.7 by the way and I'm pretty sure the intakes (not the manifold) are the same or close enough.
I think the stock box is the same, too. I got mine from JoeKD but I don't know if he's still doing them or not. However, you can get the parts and make one yourself. Here's a link to Joe's page ... http://members.cox.net/j-intakes/ The stock box set-ups are about halfway down the page.

In addition to the tubing, I also decided to cut a 2.5" hole in the front, lower edge of the stock box to help the engine breathe easier. Don't know how much of a gain you'd see from that with the 2.7L engine, though. If you do it be sure to put some screen across the hole to keep the bugs out. Don't know about NY but in MO the bees & wasps just love to take up house-keeping in places like that ...

'72 RoadRunner . '02 R/T . '12 Charger SE

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-01-2005, 10:36 AM
 
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Yeah I've heard horror stories of rodents taking up residence in air boxes. Especially on stored cars. They get in there and chew up the filter to make a nest or bedding. I've even heard of people sucking them into the engine when they tried to start the car after it sat for months. I'm sure every mechanic loves finding mice sitting in the intake manifold!!!
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