Ignition Box Shootout


Well-Known Member
May 24, 2001
Another good artcile in Car Craft: "Fire in the Hole: Affordable Ignition Box Shootout"

Car Craft tested five "entry-level" multi-spark ignition systems, meaning under $200. They tested each on a single engine and the result was (as with the carb Vs. EFI) another tie. All performed within 1/2 percent variation of each other. "The bottom line is basically this: Pick the box with the name you trust or the price you like"

Here's the candidates:

1) ACCEL 300+: $189.95, coil included
2) HOLLEY Annihilator 50: $175.39 (no rev limiter)
3) MSD 6AL: $173.95
4) MALLORY HyFire VI-A: $115.95
5) CRANE CAMS FireBall HI-6: $189.95, coil included

All have about the same dimensions. I know MSD has a boost retard model. I don't know if the others do.
I have tested all most all of them , They all have good power output with there macthing coils .

I like MSD , But there is nothing wrong with the rest of them.
Good point about the coils. Car Craft tested each with a new coil that the box maker recommended (their brand of course). So add a coil (if not included) to the price of the box. And add a adapter wiring harness too.

A Jacobs box wasn't tested. Too expensive.

I'm on Summit's page right now. The prices in the artcile are theirs, but when I check the website, the MSD 6AL is now $195.95. And the MSD 6 BTM is $325.95 :eek: The GM HEI coil is $69.95.
What about any of those boxes verses stock HEI? How much better does an MSD (or any other box) perform then stock?

I was contemplating buying a MSD 6BTM, but I want to make sure it's really worth the money :confused:

Thanks guys,

H.E.I run's out of steam above 6000 RPMs, Plus there is No Rev Limiter.

I run a MSD6BTM box with the 72381 Moroso coil & ultra 40 plug wires (works vary well with the MSD box's). I have run a gap as wide has .060 with 20# of boost . But I was replacing the cap & rotor every month . (burnt the tip right off the rotor). So I closed the gap up to .040.

The big thing with after market ignition , even though we do not rev are motor real high , is the Rev limiter & and Boost retard with the BTM unit. When you have alot of cylinder pressure you need voltage to get the plug to fire. once fired the current takes over. But if you don't have enough voltage to fire that plug with that increased cylinder pressure. (ie 20# of Boost) you have a misfire.

That my opinon :)