Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

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Casper393W
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Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by Casper393W » Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:55 pm

I was just curious but back when we had a choice (before MSD bought out Mallory) which did you prefer and why?

When I was coming up it seemed that Everyone ran Mallory or Accel products. When MSD really starting gaining ground around here in NC in the late 80's early 90's people switched to MSD... They made great products but I noticed "for me" their quality started going down hill in the mid 2000's to '10.

I was wondering if others felt the same about this.....
Now MSD owns the Mallory name and just released a new set of Mallory Distributors....that are made in China! Instead of Ohio...

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by Dragsinger » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:05 pm

another company to consider is http://www.daytona-sensors.com/home.html

These are former engineers and employees from Crane when Crane sold ignition products. My recent experience with the company is good.
Larry Woodfin, Flyn with the Race Bird

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by SupStk » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:14 pm

In the early 80's when getting into class racing was my first experience with MSD. Had a Mallory Unilite at the time which was a tach drive distributor. Used that to fire the 7AL box. Burned out several #605 modules. Mallory said the box was taking out the modules and MSD advised me to dump the Unilite. Put a Hays Stinger kit in a dual point Accel to fire the MSD and no isues after that.
I've used very little Mallory stuff since then.
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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by treyrags » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:36 pm

I've been beating on the same Unilite distributor, 685 box, ecore coil for over 10 years on my street car.

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by modok » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:54 pm

They both made their share of good and dysfunctional units in their long history.
In the history of ignition systems I don't think the -better- company has EVERY been the one to survive.
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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by Casper393W » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:10 pm

I tell you something I find funny!!! Now I have a Unilite that I'm using on my 393w build.. I have burned up a couple of modules in the past (due to my fault)

You have a group of people who hate them because they are Junk!!!!
The other group is Diehard Unilite fans that have never had any issues...

I like the concept of the Unilite plus it gives the engine a old school vibe... In looking at old Car mags from the 60's Mallory had a unit that used photo cells to trigger the ignition but it wasn't called UniLite

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by hoffman900 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:14 pm

Short of building a time machine, why does it matter?

Sorry to be a killjoy, but Chinese manufactured doesn’t mean bad...
-Bob

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by Casper393W » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:31 pm

I beg to differ.....it may be a decent quality product! But tell that to the employees who worked at the Mallory plant in Ohio.....

I understand the economics but until the American people stand up and stop buying these cheap Chinese, Mexican, or anywhere else for that matter products, jobs will continue to leave this country!

Maybe Im different but when I buy something, I always think about the person who made it. I want to support American Families!

Rant over

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by hoffman900 » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:36 pm

Casper393W wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:31 pm
I beg to differ.....it may be a decent quality product! But tell that to the employees who worked at the Mallory plant in Ohio.....

I understand the economics but until the American people stand up and stop buying these cheap Chinese, Mexican, or anywhere else for that matter products, jobs will continue to leave this country!

Maybe Im different but when I buy something, I always think about the person who made it. I want to support American Families!

Rant over
If it's not going to be foreign labor, it's going to be a CNC machine or some sort of automated set-up. Heck, it's a CNC machine or robot there...


If we're talking 1980s, don't forget Electromotive for the crank trigger set-ups. https://electromotive.com/ Their products are still made in the USA.

Here is how a coil is made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmnplLRDlpo
Here is how a spark plug is made: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nn6Se7OQJek

Not much in the way of human labor. Wait until they really get a handle on automated warehouses...
-Bob

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by 427dart » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:55 pm

Crane and Accel for me! Have had MSD and it's always junk especially distributors. Have used Mallory too back in early 70's.
Have the old Accel Billetech Race distributor in my 1985 Mustang now for years on two different engines...built like an anvil with 3 high speed bearings
and it was 10 bucks cheaper than the comparable MSD Billet distrib which had ONE real bearing and a bushing and sloppy as hell.

The Crane Hi-6 box has been working for a long time too!

It's a real shame when one company buys up all the good competitors and then shuts them down!

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by cuisinartvette » Sun Apr 08, 2018 4:22 pm

Casper393W wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:31 pm
I beg to differ.....it may be a decent quality product! But tell that to the employees who worked at the Mallory plant in Ohio.....

I understand the economics but until the American people stand up and stop buying these cheap Chinese, Mexican, or anywhere else for that matter products, jobs will continue to leave this country!

Maybe Im different but when I buy something, I always think about the person who made it. I want to support American Families!

Rant over
Same here. Everyone complains about price, wants quality then posts a link to some ebay trinket. Car guys are cheap, most of them

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by travis » Sun Apr 08, 2018 6:04 pm

I’ve used dozens of Accel distributors over the years...never had a single issue. The few MSD’s I’ve used corroded badly under the cap...one bad enough that it completely froze the mechanical advance before I caught it. The one Mallory distributor I have used has been on my truck for about 10 years now (85 series HEI for a 351w), well over 100k miles on several different engines. The bearings are still tight, but the module only lasted about a year. The original swelled up and fell apart when I removed it...I replaced it with one from one of my old junk GM hei’s (factory mid 70’s part!) and it is still going strong

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by Tuner » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:01 pm

I've repaired (or replaced with OE units) dozens and dozens, probably hundreds, of aftermarket distributors over the years because the advance mechanism either breaks or wears out. Obviously, OE stuff wears too, but OE lasts a lot longer, goes several times the miles before failure. Aftermarket junk is "engineered" by the marketing department. The closest some aftermarket junk has ever been to an engineer is if it was shipped by train.

Original equipment GM, Ford and Mopar distributors are superior to 99.44% of the aftermarket junk. The advance mechanism in OE distributors is much more robust in design and materials because OE distributors had to survive 5 year 50K mile warranty and emissions requirements.

The apparent difference in performance between OE and aftermarket distributors is in the advance curves. A properly curved OE distributor will last for lots and lots of years of daily driving. Whatever advance curve you have in an aftermarket unit, the parts will wear and distort and the curve will be different in less than 5000 miles, 1000 miles if you have a high volume high pressure oil pump, good luck with that.

The difference between inductive and CD spark can be debated on the merits of the basic electronics, but for the average gasoline burning street engine and the majority of race engines the inductive OEM systems are more than adequate. Particularly, the HEI delivers more energy to the plug gap than the "6" series CD boxes, just in a different form, not as much initial gap breakdown energy but with a longer arc duration.

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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by Walter R. Malik » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:06 pm

Personally, if it was not a very high power race engine, I preferred the Accel stuff if you simply need a great ignition and not all the other electronic type switches and features in the later units from just about everybody..

The Accel 300+ was a perfect ignition for most anything like that ... now their 250+ is the same thing but, without the REV limiter.
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Re: Back when we had a choice..MSD or Mallory ignition products??

Post by tenxal » Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:01 am

Casper393W wrote:
Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:55 pm
I was just curious but back when we had a choice (before MSD bought out Mallory) which did you prefer and why?
My preference was always the Accel stuff. Their distributors were reliable, steady and used common sense style replacement points sets and condensers (Delco style). The Accel Super Coils were reliable, affordable and simple. The goofy Mallory two screw plate on their Voltmaster coil was a PITA though in all fairness, they did work well.

When I stepped up to MSD's crank trigger setup, an Accel tach drive dist. with the mechanical advance TIG welded made for a simple and reliable spark director.

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