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My original MSD 6AL box went out. Not looking forward to fishing out the box and wiring to replace it so I bought the new Digital 6AL that MSD came out with. The main benefit that I see is that they finally came out with a harness plug so you can easily remove the box without fishing out the wiring. You don't have to stick a pill in for the rev limiter either, it has two dials in front to adjust to your taste.

After trial fitting the box and harness, I ran it to make sure everything ran. I then pulled the new harness back out to cut to length and wrap before putting it in permanently.

I wish they made them originally with this plug a long time ago but then, I guess, they would have people like me buying this new box instead of having their old box sent out to be fixed.

Oh well, I'm supporting Made in USA Smiler


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Originally posted by JTpantera:
I hope that your experience with the digital 6Al is better than mine. After 2 returns to MSD, I went back to the analog 6AL. Keep us apprised. I've got a new replacement digital 6AL on the shelf in my garage for when I get brave again.


This is my first experienced failure with the Analog 6AL box. As I said, the only reason I went with the digital device is because of the harness plug to make it easier to swap out if I suspect a fault.

Why do race cars I see that use MSD ignitions run parallel systems (one primary and one back-up)? They realize the benefit of MSD system too but don't trust it either. They also place the boxes in the cabin not the engine bay also even though MSD insists that the box is designed to work in the engine bay. Go figure Smiler

My MSD box is mounted on the firewall. Where's your's mounted?

Initially, the digital box worked great - no issues. After 50 miles while driving with a friend following me at 40 mph, the Pantera died. Towed it home, extracted the unit from the vehicle and returned it to MSD.

Reinstall returned unit and it functions properly for about 10 miles. The car begins running rough and backfiring. I make it home.
Talk with MSD, send the unit back.

Reinstall 6AL2 with unit's main ground wire directly to negative battery terminal. Pantera starts and works fine for a couple of miles, then car begins to run rough and backfire. Pantera dies half mile from my house. David Bell and I push it home - Dave is sweating profusely and almost suffers a heart attack. I remind him to get more exercise.

Call MSD and send unit back.

In the meantime, I install a new analog 6AL that I have as a back-up on a shelf. Car starts immediatel and runs perfect; actually it is still running fine.

MSD claims to bench test the unit for 8+ hours and calls to tell me they could not replicate failure mode. I suggest it may be heat related and that the 6AL I have since installed has the car running fine. The problem is obviously the 6AL2

MSD apprises me that they will replace the unit with another 6AL2 and offers me no guarantee on the new unit.

Of course, I was not pleased with that offer; felt I had no reasonable alternatives short of litigation. Thus a new unit in the box sits on a shelf in my garage.

I surmise they felt that I must have performed an unsatisfactory installation. They were adament on the tech line that the 6AL2's ground wire go directly to the negative terminal of the battery. I pointed out that their instruction sheet does NOT state that as a requirement, It illustrates a chassis ground as sufficient. I had initially used a convenient chassis ground - the same one I had used on all previous 6AL installs that I had performed.

Upon the units first return from MSD, I subsequently ran a ground wire directly to the battery. It made no difference and I informed them of that.

It was a frustrating experience because MSD refused to believe the unit had a failure since they could not replicate it on their test machine. I have read on forums of others experienceing this problem with the unit.

So, I naturally believe this failure mode still exists in this model as it appears MSD has not acknowledged it.

If you are experiencing problems with the 6AL2, the box I'm installing is theI guess the newest one, the Digital 6AL. The one without the laptop interface. I am definitely hoping to have better luck with this unit since noone else has installed it in a Pantera yet. I should go ahead and buy a back-up unit in case. Ain't that a beotchhh! They run them in a lab environment that is supposedly more harsh than the box would run into in the real world and real people in the real world have to be the guinea pig for product testing.

Oh well... definitely wish me luck... good luck with yours. Smiler
Originally posted by 4NFORD:
Just make sure to mount it away from any heat source or shield it well. From what I've read even seemingly mild radiant heat takes its toll on the box with time.

Hey Dennis,

I have thought of putting a heat shield or air ducting to scoop cool air from underneath but it may be a wait and see first. I was tempted to install the box under the passenger seat but I don't know if this box is prone to emitting a high pitch tone like the 6AL that you had installed in the cab and subsequently had to relocate. At least you know that your hearing is still good. Kei said he has a 6A in installed in the cab of his Cobra and it doesn't put out a tone. I told him he may just not be hearing that frequency anymore Smiler
I have an older 6AL in my GT40 and it is in a very harsh environment. Lots of heat, vibration and other environmental assaults. It has worked solidly for many years (and is chassis-grounded).

I have had an experience with computer equipment failure related to heat-expansion on a motherboard. When the board reached a certain temp, one connection became unreliable and when the board cooled (shrunk slightly) the connection became effective again. The fault was impossible to trace under normal test conditions because the box was open and well-ventilated during testing and the fault wouldn't show up. I wonder if it is possible that there is a poor connection within your box that is acting in a similar manner? If so, relocating it to a cooler zone might help. Even so, like you, I would never again trust a box that has failed once.

It would be interesting to know if MSD's lab actually simulates an real world environment when testing a questionable box received from a customer for testing/repair. The only picture I've ever seen of their boxes being tested was in one of their brochures showing a wall of boxes at were supposedly being tested after the manufacturing process as a finally Quality Control before the product is packaged. My suspicion is that MSD, as manufacturer, will likely just do the same quick check of a suspect box then call it good rather an indepth test since they can potentially find a defect in their product line that they would have to recall. It's cheaper to replace the few from people that actually complain. People like me, who tend to just buy another one and throw out the defective one, they never hear from.

Oh well.... I'll see how the new box fares when I take my drive this weekend.
Hey guys. I am not wishing you ill; On the contrary, I have a unit w/o warranty, new in box on the shelf, that I hope to install someday.

BTW, I posit that the attached pic illustrates the best location for the MSD box. It is below the heat, protected and easy to access. On my L pictured here, I run both the 6AL and 7AL switchable from the center console. However, it is the position of the 6AL that I am endorsing. I run different rpm chips in both.


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