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forrestkhaag
Out of the blue my recent 6 build died. Here are the facts as I recall them...

Early one morning recently i decided to drag my car to our place in Scottsdale to do some desert driving as I am sick of the traffic in OC. I started the car as usual and drove it to the back of my tow vehicle. I hooked up the towbar and aux. lights (no attached to the 914's electricals).....

As I made my way towing the 914 up the grade up on the I-10 outside of Redlands, the serpentine belt and pulley gave out on the MBZ and proceeded to leave me going 65 in lane 3 of 5 surrounded by semi's and other vehicles that did not want to let me get to the shoulder. As i muscled the no-power steering and no-brakes conundrum toward the shoulder, the car spewed fluids all over the windshield because, by this time, a piece of the pulley went thru the radiator and windshield washer resivoir trashing them along the way to a fried engine.

I managed to get to the shoulder and calledthe car and A,.... then called AA then AAA............ Eventually Gomer and the flat bed showed up and picked up the dripping ML. He then headed back to Laguna while I prepared to drive the 914 behind him back home.

POPwrrrrrwrrrwrrrrwrrrrwrwrwrwrrrr,... WTF.gif
POPwrrrrrwrrrwrrrrwrrrrwrwrwrwrrrr,... WTF.gif

Dead............Plenty of turnover but no spark / or should I say one spark then no spark.. WTF.gif

For the first time in 3000 miles+, the 914 would not start. Normally 1st crank and it explodes into a nice roar then back to idle... Not this time. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.

Keep in mind, I drove the car to the back side of the tow vehicle quite fine. Towing it croaked it? WTF.gif

So I called AA then AAA again.... and low and behold, the same driver and truck came back to hitch my 914 to the back of the flatbed that had my toasted MBZ on it.

Long story but a longer day on the side of the freeway...........

Now the 914 is in AZ dead as a doornail. My pal Keith and I did much trouble shooting on the wiring / this,.. between the two transmissions that went into and one out of his car in the meantime.

All leads from the MSD plug to the P.K. wiring harness (that has been flawless for the past several thousand mile of seamless spark) show continuity. the coil is good to go - as proven by exchanging Keiths with mine and mine with keith's... His car runs mine doesnt.

We performed several Parts Classic tests to prove that the distributor is good and not fouled in any internal way. I replaced the 85 dollar little green wire (Pelican Parts... ridiculous WTF.gif ) then replaced the coil wire with another MSD unit with the "Power Tower" to allow a standard coil to mate to MSD proprietary wire ends.... another WTF.gif

anyway,... One of the MSD Tech guys was a smartass smug dipsey doodle talking down at Keith and I - and the second guy from MSD Tech that both Keith and I talked to (Joe) was a complete professional in style and manner of presenting a few tests to eliminate the coil and the distributor (ahhhgen...)

So my simple question for the folks out there is.. Has anyone with the MSD Digital AL6 experienced this kind of DOA mystery? the hills and mountain roads leading to the Grand Canyon are begging for an answer.

The simple way to add a week to no driving is to pack up the box and send it to MSD for a test / and I will do that if no sage advice comes from this lengthy narrative..

but there is always the hope (unfortunately).. that one of you guys has seen this issue before me and can relay some sage advice.

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Cairo94507
Oh man - sorry to hear that story X2. I hope you get this sorted and are back on the road very soon. Best of luck. beerchug.gif
drem914
Hang in there Forrest. I know you will get this sorted out. Hope to see you back on the road again soon.
forrestkhaag
Thanks Guys! Today I am going to take the entire wiring harness out of the car and put it back in step by step. That will tell me that it is time to send the MSD box back to the factory for inspection and testing.... or maybe I will get lazy, fo for a mountain bike ride and reverse the order stated above.......... confused24.gif
beerchug.gif

for general interest, a pic of our pal keith working on his car in the coveted upright position............

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Steve
That sucks!! Sorry to hear this. Positive note that the motor still turns over, so it probably is electrical / ignition which is not a major cost, just hassle.
BeatNavy
Forrest has in spades what every 914-owner needs: a sense of humor.

Rough day, Forrest, but hopefully it's nothing major.
Coondog
Sorry Forrest, was wondering where you have been. Banning pass is a brutal place to break down. Glad you are ok.
forrestkhaag
That stretch of highway has more potholes, potheads, and pot bellys on it than I hope to ever encounter on foot again. The god news is that I have time to systematically sort out the issue.

A question for MSD 6AL digital box people: Is there a rogue security feature kill-wire in the harness as delivered from MSD? I seem to remember something about using or not using a wire as a kill switch to ground...... maybe the white wire (unused in the diagram)

if so, that could be grounded somehow and simply killing my spark.
worn
QUOTE(BeatNavy @ Oct 24 2017, 08:32 AM) *

Forrest has in spades what every 914-owner needs: a sense of humor.

Rough day, Forrest, but hopefully it's nothing major.

agree.gif
I would think you want to isolate the white wire, because in most MSD units that is for points. At least that is how I remember. Is it a 3.0? I am asking cause I just replaced the ignition box in my 911 with MSD. Digital is supposed to be more robust; I have an older one.
Good luck Forrest!
Elliot Cannon
That much trouble almost sounds like the "suby curse". av-943.gif
michael7810
Damn Forrest, that sucks. I have a 6AL on my TIV motor and can look how it's wired if you want...but the wiring didn't change by towing it. Hopefully it's something simple and you'll be back on the road soon. Send me a PM if you want to get together for a teener drive while you're in Scottsdale.
snakemain
Does yours have the LED that blinks when it first gets power? Just switched to a 6AL a couple months ago when my VR went to 17V and fried my Mallory Hyfire box, the Unilite module, and my new Odyssey battery. 4 things bad made it hard to troubleshoot. Chose the 6AL for the diagnostic LED and the quick-change harness if it goes bad again.
76-914
This is easy. The 914 went into shock as they are always in front of the MB's. Never behind. Console it and promise to never humiliate a Porsche again. That Suby curse that Elyut mentioned is as real as the Unicorn.
914_teener
QUOTE(forrestkhaag @ Oct 24 2017, 01:20 PM) *

That stretch of highway has more potholes, potheads, and pot bellys on it than I hope to ever encounter on foot again. The god news is that I have time to systematically sort out the issue.

A question for MSD 6AL digital box people: Is there a rogue security feature kill-wire in the harness as delivered from MSD? I seem to remember something about using or not using a wire as a kill switch to ground...... maybe the white wire (unused in the diagram)

if so, that could be grounded somehow and simply killing my spark.



Is that an indictment or an observation? poke.gif

Sorry about your troubles Forrest.
Jeff Hail
What kind of pick up are you using as a trigger? Magnetic or other?
mb911
I had that problem on a twin plug setup on my 3.2 ss that had 1 6al.. It overheated and would shut down.. Went to 2 6als and never had a problem again.. I wonder if you may have an impedance issue? Or something is not matched up properly?? Or just your ignition switch is toast.
plays with cars
Have you gone through the basics? Fuel, spark, compression? Are you certain that you lost spark? Did you pull a plug, lay it on the engine and crank to observe if you have a spark? Is there a possibility that you are not getting fuel? (I'm assuming you have compression. It's readily apparent when that unexpectedly goes away)
zipedadoo
You might try disconnecting the tachometer. I chased a problem like this once. Turned out the tachometer had shorted out, causing the ignition to miss-fire or not at all. This was on a 1980's chevy with a factory tachometer. So your mileage may vary....smile.gif
Elliot Cannon
QUOTE(76-914 @ Oct 24 2017, 03:50 PM) *

This is easy. The 914 went into shock as they are always in front of the MB's. Never behind. Console it and promise to never humiliate a Porsche again. That Suby curse that Elyut mentioned is as real as the Unicorn.


You DARE question the existence of unicorns?
euro911
I feel for ya, Forrest. 'Eileen' (Westfalia) is in the shop too, looks like she may have sucked a valve last night - engine only rotates 180° dry.gif

Hopefully there isn't any serious piston damage, but if she needs a total rebuild (167k on the ODO), we're going to 2.1L idea.gif

Hope you find the gremlin soon popcorn[1].gif
jkb944t
Sorry to hear about your streak of bad luck.

My -6 conversion ran for a month last fall with the MSD 6AL unit and then it failed on me. It was running fine in the morning and then I went to run an errand and it wouldn't start. I replaced the MSD 6AL unit with a new MSD 6AL unit since it was dead and it has run fine ever since.

Fortunately I live 20 miles from Summit Racing so I didn't have to wait long to get it running again.

Jeff B
worn
QUOTE(Elliot Cannon @ Oct 24 2017, 07:33 PM) *

QUOTE(76-914 @ Oct 24 2017, 03:50 PM) *

This is easy. The 914 went into shock as they are always in front of the MB's. Never behind. Console it and promise to never humiliate a Porsche again. That Suby curse that Elyut mentioned is as real as the Unicorn.


You DARE question the existence of unicorns?

Steve
It’s also a double negative to tow a German car with a German car. You are tempting the gods of fate. How often do you see a Japanese courtesy vehicle?
hide.gif
DM_2000
Hook up a AC volt meter or oscilloscope to the distributor pickup wire then crank the engine. For a reluctor type you should be seeing 0.5 ish V AC. ( I think this voltage is correct, it's been a while since I've tested this )

Once you get things going, a 73 to 81 ish GM 4 pin HEI module bolted to a heat sink would be cheap backup.

jim_hoyland
Good luck on this one; when I previously ran MSD, I had two mounted in the trunk with a switch that could shut one down and turn on the other.
worn
QUOTE(jim_hoyland @ Oct 25 2017, 02:29 PM) *

Good luck on this one; when I previously ran MSD, I had two mounted in the trunk with a switch that could shut one down and turn on the other.


Did you turn to running something better?
porschetub
Seems a few folks have had issues with them and many more haven't ,during my research to find an improved system over stock I noted comments on failures ,then I googled ebay and found a fair amount of non operational units for sale....made me think,not dissing people who use them but I made a decision to go another direction based on my research ,purely that.
I don't know what MSD have as a "return" policy,but IMO it would be difficult to get a replacement of an item like this because they don't know how the customer installed it ,theres the issue really hence many companies not offering returns on such items (electrical) ,seems the norm these days dry.gif .
altitude411
QUOTE(Steve @ Oct 25 2017, 01:03 PM) *

It’s also a double negative to tow a German car with a German car. You are tempting the gods of fate. How often do you see a Japanese courtesy vehicle?
hide.gif



Excellent point (double positive)... you need to be cleansed immediately by a Judas Priest. aktion035.gif
whitetwinturbo
tow the MB with the 914 happy11.gif happy11.gif happy11.gif
Justin Fischer
I had an MSD die on me while driving one day, like some turned the key off. The newer version has a plug and play harness so swapping is quick. I ordered one in black (looks more stock) and now I carry a spare. That was also the first (and only) day I used my flat tow bar.

Was the 914 in neutral while being towed by the MZB? Have you pulled any plugs?
jim_hoyland
QUOTE(worn @ Oct 25 2017, 04:42 PM) *

QUOTE(jim_hoyland @ Oct 25 2017, 02:29 PM) *

Good luck on this one; when I previously ran MSD, I had two mounted in the trunk with a switch that could shut one down and turn on the other.


Did you turn to running something better?


I went back to stock set up, but installed the Mallory Unilite distributer. Engine accelerated evenly through the RPM range, ran cooler, and stopped pinging under load - like going up a hill.


76-914
QUOTE(Elliot Cannon @ Oct 24 2017, 08:33 PM) *

QUOTE(76-914 @ Oct 24 2017, 03:50 PM) *

This is easy. The 914 went into shock as they are always in front of the MB's. Never behind. Console it and promise to never humiliate a Porsche again. That Suby curse that Elyut mentioned is as real as the Unicorn.


You DARE question the existence of unicorns?

There were Unicorn's back when the Earth was flat. Forrest, it may be time to convert that thing to a Subaru 6. happy11.gif
forrestkhaag
Thanks for the advice guys / MSD has agreed to take the unit back and exchange it if it is the problem as it is less than a year old and I am the original confused24.gif owner........ I need this fixed to get back to my addiction to the sound of a 6 (not Suby poke.gif ) winding up to 7K.......


Sidebar: Kent: Please see reference Temeculites in the post on where the Rt66 should be held next......... poke.gif poke.gif

beerchug.gif
76-914
QUOTE(forrestkhaag @ Oct 27 2017, 09:11 AM) *

Thanks for the advice guys / MSD has agreed to take the unit back and exchange it if it is the problem as it is less than a year old and I am the original confused24.gif owner........ I need this fixed to get back to my addiction to the sound of a 6 (not Suby poke.gif ) winding up to 7K.......


Sidebar: Kent: Please see reference Temeculites in the post on where the Rt66 should be held next......... poke.gif poke.gif

beerchug.gif

I did. Please edit before any Wine consumption. I wasn’t sure what you were trying to communicate. av-943.gif
Justinp71
QUOTE(forrestkhaag @ Oct 24 2017, 01:20 PM) *

That stretch of highway has more potholes, potheads, and pot bellys on it than I hope to ever encounter on foot again. The god news is that I have time to systematically sort out the issue.

A question for MSD 6AL digital box people: Is there a rogue security feature kill-wire in the harness as delivered from MSD? I seem to remember something about using or not using a wire as a kill switch to ground...... maybe the white wire (unused in the diagram)

if so, that could be grounded somehow and simply killing my spark.


I do believe if you Ground the white wire it will kill the spark, I remember reading somewhere when I wired up mine (on a 3.0) that you can actually use it as an anti-theft device. Check around and make sure you don't have a loose wire somewhere. I installed my MSD 6AL in 2009 and it's been working great!
forrestkhaag
update: At 4pm MST today, MSD acknowledged that they received my 6AL on Tuesday. It is now in the cue for "testing".

Contrary to my earlier conversations with Tech/MSD that they would send out a box when mine got to El Paso, I am now waiting for testing.

eeeerrrrrrrrr hissyfit.gif hissyfit.gif hissyfit.gif hissyfit.gif sheeplove.gif sheeplove.gif

What with Larmo's success with Clewett, I am wondering what a nice recurved 911 distributor, cap, rotor, coil, new stock wires, and a spanking new MSD AL6 Digital as a bundle would be worth to someone who............
a.) hasn't read this debacle of a thread,
b.) is not a member of 914 World, and
c.) has money to defray the relatively high cost of a hassle free Clewett system.

Hmmmm maybe Pelican 911 Parts FS, eBay, Craigs,..........

This spell of three+ weeks is the longest straight period of time w/o a functioning porsche in the stable since the seventies........... sheeplove.gif hissyfit.gif

I need to borrow Larmo's helmet to bang my head against the Arizona pavement!
porschetub
They are f ing with you Forrest that's why I mentioned their return policy,they would know straight off if the unit is faulty,not 3 weeks later,shame it has taken that long.
Lawrences setup is right up there cost wise but Richard @ Clewett makes great products that work hence my choose of his plug leads.
Carbs are really a bit of a hassle but IMO matched with a correct modern ignition really are not that bad.
Get on the phone to the buggers and TUNE them up.
forrestkhaag
Thanks to all for the support and information along the way to a solution. As w/ PorscheTub and others, the MSD box simply croaked. Not while driving but maybe when first starting to turn over the motor on the side of the freeway some weeks back when the ML Benz toasted its engine and totaled it life.

In any case, Joe at MSD apologized for a miscomm in the RMA department. (in the return) and he rushed overnight out a new AL6 Digital version new in box with all of the associated parts, new harness, etc.

It was plug and play / but........... I fubared the reinsertion of the dizzy by one gear tooth so performance, although running, was horrible / then off to determine the correct gear alignment on the dizzy R&I and VAROOM! The little beast is back to full power at all ranges of RPM.

Now that I am up and running in Scottsdale for the winter, I will have to learn the nz and outz of weekend drives and meets / or organize one or two.

Cheers and thanks again for the support.

beerchug.gif
Steve
Great news!! Missed you this weekend at the so cal events.
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euro911
Run Forrest, run ...

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forrestkhaag
Uhoh...................

I was driving along headed to Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles for a breakfast treat and LoLO and behold, the car died on me again - at about 50 mph / so there I was in the center lane without power steering, power brakes and without power...... Of course, I only had one of those three things to begin with.

I immediately feared another dead MSD box as it stopped firing instantly and yet when i rolled to a halt, the fuel pump was still working. Uhoh.....

So I did what every 914 owner has done more than a few times,.... I opened the hatch to view my dead engine and noticed the smell of electrical olfactory singisities imininating from the area of the coil. Indeed, the MSD "Power Tower" thingy that mates an MSD Coil wire to the MSD Blaster coil was laying on top of the coil but not connected and apparently the spark was arching between the top of the coil and coil wire to create that delicious smell. The good news is that it became a roadside fix and then an in-shop real-fix. Wheew!
76-914
poke.gif Eat a few more of those type breakfast and your heart is going to die.
Jeff Hail
QUOTE(76-914 @ Nov 10 2017, 01:28 PM) *

poke.gif Eat a few more of those type breakfast and your heart is going to die.


He will be just fine as long as he defibrillates while hanging on to the coil wire. If the MSD goes out again he's DOA again.
Larmo63
Does MSD stand for Multi Situational Disfunction?

stromberg.gif
914_teener
Forrest is not meant to die. piratenanner.gif
Elliot Cannon
None of us will die. It's only a transition. smoke.gif
914_teener
Nice seeing you at the G&R Ellyut.

porschetub
QUOTE(Larmo63 @ Nov 11 2017, 02:55 PM) *

Does MSD stand for Multi Situational Disfunction?

stromberg.gif


av-943.gif av-943.gif av-943.gif .
forrestkhaag
MSD M ine S imply D oesn't...........
MSD M ystery S uprise D aily
MSD M y S avings D wendels
MSD M e S usan D oused

I could go on......... but for ow I am back in tall cotton what with the machine running better than ever on a new MSD box / Which, BTW, confirmed that Perry's wiring harness was good to go all along / and I actually installed it correctly..........

beerchug.gif
Steve
There’s water in the desert?
Glad your car is running again. Hopefully that MSD issue is not the norm...
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