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View Full Version : MSD ignition making car run hotter?


brendafw
07-23-2003, 11:33 AM
My husband has a 1966 GTO that already had an MSD distributor and ignition when he purchased it a few months ago. Now we are working on getting it to run cooler because in the hot weather it is running up to 235 degrees without even the a/c on. We're not sure if it should run that hot and don't really know how hot is too hot.

Everything in the cooling system has been checked and/or replaced and he's adjusted the timing which seemed to cool it down a little. It's not boiling over or anything, but he's afraid to run the a/c and cause it to run even hotter and maybe really overheat.

Some people we've talked to said that they didn't think it should run that hot, but I was thinking that maybe it's normal for it to run hotter with the MSD ignition, especially since it's an older car with a less efficient cooling system than newer cars have. Maybe with the MSD ignition, he'd have to upgrade to a more efficient aluminum radiator to get it to run cooler.

If anyone can clarify or confirm any of this for me, please do so. It would make me feel a lot better about spending the extra bucks on the radiator, rather than just waiting until it's installed and finding out it doesn't help or isn't necessary.

Thanks in advance,
Brenda

msdtech2
07-23-2003, 02:31 PM
What size motor is it? I have a co worker that has a Pontiac Lemans w/ a 455 and was having the same problem, engine was running hot, but not enough to overheat, he went through electric fans, different shrouds, his last purchase was buying a "Bee Cool" Radiator which brought his temperature down quite a bit. He also has MSD Distributor and Ignition as well.
Thanks,
msdtech2

brendafw
07-23-2003, 05:26 PM
The motor is a 389. We've heard from others that the aluminum radiator will bring the temperature down vs the stock brass radiator that it has, but I would still like to know if the reason it is hotter than it should be could be due to the MSD ignition.

Have you heard of anyone who had to upgrade an older cooling system after adding the MSD ignition?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Brenda

msdtech2
07-24-2003, 08:12 AM
No, I have never heard of an engine running hotter, just by adding the MSD unit or having to upgrade the cooling system. I know if the timing is not properly tuned, if not it could cause it to run hotter. Although the timing is something that you will have to play with in order to see where it will work best.
Thanks,
msdtech2

blwilliams
07-24-2003, 08:56 AM
I can personally vouch for the quality and efficiency of the Be Cool radiators. I was having a problem with my 86 Chevy Dually running extremely hot while towing my 42' trailer loaded down with two dragsters tools golf cart and so on.
Tried all the normal stuff like new thermostat, fan clutch and so on.
Finally bit the bullet and bought the new radiator. Temps dropped fro 245 to 170 with the AC running!

Bruce Williams

brendafw
07-24-2003, 09:00 AM
Okay, thanks. My husband is also working on the timing and when he adjusts the initial timing higher, the car does seem to run cooler, but if he adjusts it too far, as it was when he first bought the car, the engine starts pinging too much.

We're just learning about manually adjusting the timing advance by changing the springs in the distributor and he may need to do that to eliminate the pinging at higher rpm. Since the MSD ignition and distributor were already in the car when he got it, we don't know how the timing advance is set.

I think he's already ordered an instruction manual for the distributor and a better timing light so he can figure out the timing advance. He'll probably make the decision to go ahead and get the aluminum radiator, anyway. We live in the California desert near Palm Springs and there's no way we can ride in a car without running the a/c most of the year here.

We were also thinking he may have to adjust the timing according to the season, adjusting it higher in the summer to run cooler so he can run the a/c and then lower in the winter. Would that be harmful to the engine? The car is mainly for show and doesn't get driven a lot, anyway.

Thanks again for your help,
Brenda

msdtech2
07-24-2003, 01:33 PM
Changing the timing periodically will not hurt the motor, just as long it is to advanced causing the engine to ping. Thanks, for posting.
msdtech2

brendafw
07-24-2003, 03:26 PM
Excuse me, but did you mean to say changing the timing periodically is okay "just as long as it is NOT too advanced causing the engine to ping"??

I'm a little confused as to whether it would be worse to retard the timing until it doesn't ping but runs hotter or to advance the timing so that it runs cooler but pings some at high rpm. I don't think there is a point where it runs cooler and also doesn't ping, at least until he gets the aluminum radiator put in.

Thanks,
Brenda

msdtech2
07-25-2003, 08:23 AM
What I'm trying to say is that you are going to have to try different timing settings and find the best location for it, to where the engine responds best and runs good. When a motor is pinging or detonation, it can cause more harm to the engine than having it retarded.
Thanks,
msdtech2

brendafw
07-25-2003, 08:35 AM
Okay, thanks for all your help.

Brenda

msdtech2
07-25-2003, 11:05 AM
No problem, thanks for posting.
msdtech2