Shocking MSD Question-kind of stupid... - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Shocking MSD Question-kind of stupid...

I have this adversion to electric shock...

The warning on the back of my MSD 7AL-3 says not to touch the coil wires during operation.

So...

What is the best way to time the beast? I would have grabbed the top of the cap & twisted until it timed where I want it. Do you judiciously grab the plastic base & try to rotate it? shut it off, move it a bit & re-start?

Yeah, it sounds stupid...

John.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-17-2008, 11:47 PM
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I'd just grab the top anyway. If the wires and boots are in good shape, the juice should take the path of least resistance and leave you unscathed. It's probably just some liability reason they put that warning there.

If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 01:32 AM
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Becarefull my my Mark got nailed by one sent him to the ground fast and it took a while to shake it. :shock:
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 08:09 AM
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A heavy leather glove may also give some added protection....
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 10:34 AM
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This is something that I wondered about as well. If you look at the specs on pretty much all the MSD race coils and a few of their other coils they claim output currents up to 2 amps and that is certainly enough to kill.

When you look at the specs on the ignition boxes themselves, the the MSD 7AL is rated at 160 mJ (mili Joules) PER SPARK and the Digital 7 at 190 mJ.

From what I read it could take at little as 20 Joules to cause ventricular fibrillation. A Taser X26 delivers 50 mJ PER PULSE so there's something for comparison! If you do get shocked by your MSD it's going to hurt.

It is probably safe to manually adjust the distributor position if:

1) The cap, wire and plugs are in good condition.
2) You are wearing non-conductive shoes with oil and water resistant soles that are in good condition.
3) Your hands are clean and dry, not sweaty because you're nervous!
4) You are not touching a grounded metal part of the car with another part of your body. (Keep that other hand in your pocket or behind your back.)

You could always get yourself a set of linesman electrical glove with the leather outer gloves. They are not cheap but they will give you extra protection from shock.

Leather gloves in themselves should be considered only to provide mechanical protection, not shock protection.

BTW, I have adjusted our Digital 7 with HVC II coil using the procedures described above with bare hands with no hint of shock.

Hope this helps.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 10:57 AM
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John, If your wires are in good cond. you won't get shocked :shock: If you don't run a fan ,you can probably use channell locks or vice grips around the skinny shaft of the dizzy to turn it. I was working on my sonin laws mustang one night. I was showing him how to check the box (MSD)to make sure it was good. I told him to disconnect the wires to the dizzy to the box and put a clip in there to check for voltage, then grd. the coil wire. Well, he did it the opposite way :shock: :evil: After I helped him from the floor, I laughed so hard I almost peed my britches :lol: He for some reason don't trust me anymore. :? Rick

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-18-2008, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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I got hit by my Acell super coil years back. I unhooked the coil wire from the coil to do a compresion test on my Mustang. My arm was holding the gauge in #1. it was about 2 inches from the open coil end...

Yes, I got bit & hard. hurt like a MOFO. my arm was grounded to the fender panel, I'm trying to prevent this from ever happening again...

I think I'll enlist my brother to time the car & I'll sit in the driver's seat when we start it. That's what the rule book says...

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-19-2008, 06:10 PM
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Strap wrench

I don't particularly care for getting fried either. I use a strap wrench...the ratcheting kind that stays tight in either direction.

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