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Bohdan
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Digital Distributor Reply with quote

MagnaSpark has a distributor that is digital. You can fine tune to your own spec's. Any opinions? Worth it? Thanks
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Glenn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here ya go: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=433282
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

$400...................and how much of a HP increase do you get?

The CB ad says there was "an increase in power" in a customer's Manx buggy and in the thread linked above, of the handful of people that bought one, not one did a dyno run with before and after results. I am extremely dubious. As I've mentioned before, I'd run a conventional distributor and take the $400 and add it towards a set of good heads. JMHO.
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Bohdan
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. Should have thought about that.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A high end distributor like that should be used as the finishing touch to a big bucks engine.

It's a lot of money with little return on investment.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Megajolt crank trigger can be done for a lot less. IMO the difference isn't so much seat of the pants (though there is a difference), it's more how much better the engine RUNS. You can tell a night and day difference in how stable it is, simply from the increase in accuracy.
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HBRag
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished dyno'n a NA 2276 engine with the CB MagnaSpark Digital Distributor on it. I did not do a pre/post test because the full load characteristics of the distributor are no different than any of the traditional models.

The unit has four pre-programmed curves, and four independent programmable curves. I only tested the default dual NA map. From looking at the map, it appears to be very close to the curve published the Dellorto Tech manual, which I would consider to be conservative on the advance curve. Once I get the car setup, I plan to dial in a custom map for the specific engine.

The way I see it the distributor has the following advantages;
1. Stable and consistent timing.
2. Electronically programmable curve
3. Laptop based programming and telemetry data (RPM, Vacuum, timing)
4. Uses MAP rather than ported vacuum for light load advance
5. Internet based tech support. CB will help you setup the distributor parameters and map for a nominal fee
6. Larger cap works well with higher discharge voltages
7. Can be run with either traditional Coil or CDI box

Does it perform better than the Mallory I already had? Most likely not, but I like being able to view the dashboard on my laptop while the engine is running. I think it is as good as it gets, until you go to crank triggering. If you have an engine configure that does not support Ported Vacuum, this is a great alternative to mechanical only solutions.

In the past year I've run a SVDA, Mallory Unilite (with and without CDI), CB Magnaspark, and have prepped the engine for crank trigger. There are pros and cons of each. Given that I can afford it, I will always lean toward a Mallory or Magnaspark. Both are just more stable and smoother running than any of the traditional solutions. If you have ported vacuum and not to crazy a cam the vacuum advance Mallory is a solid performer. Once setup the Mallory is a great distributor and can use all the stock wires and such. Thus, making parts generally available.

For those individuals that have the inclination to mess with setting up custom maps, the flexibility of the electronic options is a real plus. The Magnaspark provides an ignition map that will get you up and running quickly, and is purpose built our engines.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have it, and am still tuning with it. I'm a slow learner on this hi-tech car stuff, but the dyno will help me in the tuning. So far, a very cool piece.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With EFI you might gain a tiny bit of power. If your running carbs your wasting your money on all that hi-tech electronics.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwracerdave wrote:
With EFI you might gain a tiny bit of power. If your running carbs your wasting your money on all that hi-tech electronics.

I agree.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwracerdave wrote:
With EFI you might gain a tiny bit of power. If your running carbs your wasting your money on all that hi-tech electronics.



That's because carbs aren't accurate enough at metering fuel for the engine to care about how close the timing is. Wink

Once you get rid of the fudge factor of all the analog devices, you can begin to tune much closer to what the engine actually NEEDS, and get away from only being able to give it what you can offer within the confines of carbs and distributors (which is a lot of tuning ability, but not a lot of accuracy). EFI and crank triggered ignitions do have a lot to offer all engines, N/A or forced. But I believe like Dave that you will not realize the full potential of either until you use them both at the same time. That has been a very uphill battle (especially with the VW crowd), but I think people are finally coming around.
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniman82 wrote:
but I think people are finally coming around.

Not everyone Wink
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, let me rephrase: people who are not curmudgeonly old geezers are coming around.



















If you leave yourself open, I'm goona go for it! Laughing
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I just wanted to bitch but I'm getting no sympathy.


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Mooosman
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Digital Distributor Reply with quote

Bohdan wrote:
MagnaSpark has a distributor that is digital. You can fine tune to your own spec's. Any opinions? Worth it? Thanks


Might as well go with Megajolt ignition for that kind of money. Crank triggered, and more accurate than ANY distributor can ever be (no moving parts, no parts to wear out, and no drive gear slop to change your timing).

Infinitely tunable through a laptop, and takes off the shelf Ford EDIS ignition parts. It's a great setup:

http://www.autosportlabs.net/MegaJolt_Lite_Jr.


Someone even makes a readymade pulley that has been modified with the trigger wheel, though I don't have the website handy.

Nick
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniman82 wrote:
OK, let me rephrase: people who are not curmudgeonly old geezers are coming around.

"Hey you kids, get off the grass".
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Pat D
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vwracerdave wrote:
With EFI you might gain a tiny bit of power. If your running carbs your wasting your money on all that hi-tech electronics.
You might hold that thought until you actually drive a carbed car controlling timing. A dyno is not going to show driveability gains, fuel mileage gains only H-P gains. What is nice with the digital distributor is having the capability to have timing where you need it and less where you do not, like cruising verses WOT. The internal rev limiters and data logging are very nice features also. I have a guy racing in a Pan American race. When he gets into Mexico, he will be forced to run their gas. I made him a "mexican" timing map for their fuel. When he fills up, he is going to remove the distributor cap and select the mexican fuel timing map and drive off.
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JasonBaker
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sure as hell was overkill on my little mouse motor. But I wouldn't go back to an 009 for love or money. This stands out in my mind. It's someone's sig line. "Contrary to popular belief the .010 is not the sliced bread of distributors." I think all of you in here so far have far greater knowledge and experience than myslef. But the .009 is a POS. and the .010 has limited resources for parts and is difficult to find. And, No I dont need a link to the classifieds. The magnaspark is scalable to the size of the engine. When I build a bigger motor I adjust the curve. My only complaint is it came with vacum plates for dual carbs and I had to have my single carb intakes machined. So far I have installed and it has allowed me to dial in the carbs so much better. I haven't played much with the spark table, but if you have the $404 to have it delivered to your door, It's damn well worth it. You guys are complaining about a before and after run. Well put up or shut up. Run your shit with the crank trigger on the dyno and then put the magnaspark in and see what it will do... Oh and can the crank trigger be controlled via internet. Oh that's right, you'll all say you dont need that if you know what your doing....

Dont knock it, until you try it.
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JasonBaker wrote:
and the .010 has limited resources for parts and is difficult to find.

So you can go to any NAPA and get the cap and rotor for the Magnaspark?

If availability of parts is the deciding factor, i should get rid of my VW since I can't even get wiper blades locally.

BTW, i'm not knocking the product.

And YES, since its programmable it can be moved from engine to engine to engine. It's IS a "one size fits all".
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenn wrote:
JasonBaker wrote:
and the .010 has limited resources for parts and is difficult to find.

So you can go to any NAPA and get the cap and rotor for the Magnaspark?

If availability of parts is the deciding factor, i should get rid of my VW since I can't even get wiper blades locally.

BTW, i'm not knocking the product.

And YES, since its programmable it can be moved from engine to engine to engine. It's IS a "one size fits all".


I dont know, haven't tried. Really, you can't get wipers. I know it's wierd, But I shaved mine off. I got really happy with a welder. But nobody can rag my ass for having that clear distributor cap I loved so much. Wink And BTW, I keep that awful .009 in the trunk in case the electronic gizmo ever dies.
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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenn wrote:
I can't even get wiper blades locally.



Just cut a long one in half, like everyone else. Cool
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Glenn wrote:
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I just wanted to bitch but I'm getting no sympathy.


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