View Full Version : MSD SCI Digital hickups - 2000 Honda Civic

06-25-2003, 12:46 PM
Hey...this new forum is a cool new feature!

I own the Edelbrock Honda Civic turbo showcar. The car has the Digital SCI+ ignition installed along with the Blaster SS coil and the wire set. A new cap and rotor was bought from Honda and modified with the tower adapter.

The system seems to run like a top, but it has shown a couple hickups every now and then. I am wondering if its just tach related or not. A Autometer monster tach is hooked up to the tach output on the ignition box. On occassion when the car is started and the engine revved up, the needle on the autometer tach will bounce violently and climb faster than the tach on the dash....and the MSD rev limiter would kick in when the dash tach was only like half way to redline. The car was shut off and then restarted and would operate fine. That has happened only a handful of times and the car has been driven for 6000 miles so far.

Lately I have noticed that above 5000rpm the tach needle on the autometer gauge bounces.

I have heard that in most cases its issues with the gauge itself, but you list that no adapter is needed with an autometer tach. I just want to share this info and get input on whether it could be the ignition box, or other issues. The car does have a oddessy battery installed, that does put out more cranking amps, but less capacity. I have heard that sometimes these things can be caused by low voltage.

06-25-2003, 03:22 PM
The problem that you are experiencing could be related to a couple of different situations, one being low voltage. The best way to determine this is to find a digital volt ohmmeter, check battery voltage, and make sure that it is around 12.5 to 14.3 volts with it running. Also make sure the MSD Unit is directly connected to the battery and not the alternator. The Ground is very important to the MSD unit as well as the tach and other accessories. Also a good idea is to wiggle and tug on all connections to the MSD unit, and see if you can find a loose connection or poor crimps. Also check voltage to the tach and connections as well. Make sure that the motor is well grounded to the battery and chassis and body.
One other problem would be a noise related issue, which could come from plug wires make sure to check them with an ohm meter, being that they are MSD wires they should have 40 to 50 ohms per foot. If you have a 2 ft wire the ohmmeter should read about 100 ohms. Also try applying some dielectric grease to the plug wires on both the plug side and cap side. This will help against EMI Noise.

06-25-2003, 03:42 PM
I'll get to checking all of that real soon. I know that the main power is pulled from the power distribution block on the passenger side. Should that be ok....or would it be better to change the connection to the batter post?

06-26-2003, 03:43 PM
As long as the power distribution block has a heavy gauge wire running to it you should be ok at that point.

MSD Tech1

08-19-2003, 01:39 PM
Thanks for all the help. I have been trouble shooting everything, and I think I found what the cause of the problem is. Since the MSD box was mounted under the passenger seat, all the wires were routed thru the firewall, where all the ECU wires are routed also. At high revs, I think there is just way too much noise in that area, causing all the hickups.

I think I'm either going to relocate the box closer to the distrubutor in the engine bay, or do some heavy sheilding and/or rerouting of the wires.

08-19-2003, 01:49 PM
That will be fine, just as long as it is away from direct heat, and is getting some type of air circulation.