ignition upgrade? Monday, 07-Aug-2000 09:54:13 Message: writes: i am aware that there is a similar post couple of days back , i hope i dun offend anyone. i am using Bosch Blue Coil, 009 with Ignitor and Beru plug cables with Hella plug sockets( changed with the Beru unit) . John Conolly did mention in his reply to Matt Harris that it is possible to add a CDI unit to a similar ignition setup like mine. Sounds like a MSD unit i think. question is what MSD unit can i add to my setup without changing the 009.i would like to retain the Ignitor too. what difference should i expect. thanx. leewallace

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Here's your info... (John Connolly) (07-Aug-2000 11:20:32)

Holy crap, John what a reply!!! Good info! I sent you some more mail. :) (n/t) (Matt Harris) (07-Aug-2000 13:19:41)

one more thing (John Connolly) (07-Aug-2000 13:35:00)

Hey Lee!! I ordered my CDI and megavolt wires last night from John at Aircooled.net.......(more) (Matt Harris) (07-Aug-2000 13:13:08)

Thanx for everything guys, i appreciate it. (n/t) (leewallace) (07-Aug-2000 18:55:55)


Here's your info... Monday, 07-Aug-2000 11:20:32 writes: MSD stands for Multiple Spark Discharge. MSD holds a trademark on the name but NOT THE APPLICATION. In fact, multiple sparks is characteristic of ALL CDI (Capacitive Discharge Ignition)systems, so MSD's claim to fame is just a marketing ploy. Our Generic CDI is a whopping $90, and does everything the MSD does UNLESS you want rev limiting capabilities, or to signal other devices at a certain RPM amount. The MSD can be used with points or other methods of triggerring, but the MSD has a couple issues. It's pricey (you have a lot of expensive advertising to pay for), and it's VERY sensitive to voltage fluctuations. Simply jump starting your car can fry a diode requiring MSD to repair it (and you are without it in the meantime). The addition of a CDI allows you to open your plug gap to around .040-.045", which has a higher likelyhood of actual ignition. WAY faster starts, and more power (climbing hills in 2nd that used to require 3rd, for example), and 3-4mpg are normal improvements. Wiring our CDI is a whopping 5 wires; one ground, two to the coil, one to ignition, and one to the condensor (or pertronix/compufire). Inside the unit (3 X 4 X 6")is a step-up transformer, which transforms a small AC voltage on the primary winding into a larger AC voltage on the secondary winding. A simple oscillator circuit on the primary side begins generating an AC voltage when the ignition is turned on. This small AC voltage on the primary side of the transformer produces an AC voltage in the secondary side of the transformer as if by magic (but it's really electromagnetic induction, magnetic flux linkage, Lenz's law, flux leakage, eddy currents, etc). The amount of secondary voltage produced is based on the ratio of turns of between the to windings. More windings on the secondary side than on the primary side and you have a step-up transformer, which is just what is needed here. Anyway, the large AC voltage on the secondary side is turned into a DC voltage by a simple bridge circuit (diodes and stuff), this voltage is dumped into a large robust capacitor which is standing on it's hind legs begging for more. This capacitor, which is connected to your ignition coil, is loading itself up with approx 400 volts, which ends up on your coil's PRIMARY. Your points are connected to a triggering circuit (more diodes and such like that) which only needs a tiny amount of current to trigger the capacitor. So when your points open, 400+ volts are placed across your ignition coil, instead of the normal 12+ volts. Your ignition coil also being a step-up transformer, rises to the occasion and generates a massive voltage for the plugs. With a true CDI system you will see a slight increase in rpms, better gas mileage, cleaner plugs, cleaner cylinders, no wear on the point contacts and a car that will practically start underwater with a near dead battery. I laugh when I see a "high performance" engine that's being run with a set of points and a coil. They are losing 10hp from 4K up in almost all cases. There are two problems with a CDI you need to know. 1) the CDI has a slight high pitched whine during operation. I recommend to install this in the engine compartment, and you wont' hear it while the engine is running. 2) the CDIs spark is so big, stock wires will fail quickly. Good wires are a must. In addition, if you have a stock distributor, you must remove the resistor in the rotor (it will burn up), and replace it with soldered brass. A couple holes in the distributor cap help vent the Ozone too (which will create misfires). Hope this helps. John Connolly


one more thing Monday, 07-Aug-2000 13:35:00 writes: the CDI uses the points ONLY as a trigger. This means the points only "see" 1/4 volt. You can imagine the "pitting" that occurs by 1/4 volt with almost no current compared to 12 volts (with all the coil's current passing thru the points). this means that your points last virtually forever (if you use them). the rubbing block wear is the only issue you have to deal with. John Connolly


Hey Lee!! I ordered my CDI and megavolt wires last night from John at Aircooled.net.......(more) Monday, 07-Aug-2000 13:13:08 writes: Lee, John was very helpful and informative in answering all of my questions about the unit. It sounds very functional and easy to install. I'm taking my ignitor coil back tonight. John is a real cool dude, and plus if you have any questions or help, he is always willing to lend a hand. He has allot of patience and true willingness to help. Cool guy!! Anyways, I ordered my stuff last night, so I should have it by tomorrow or wednesday, then I'm going to install that and just wait for the carbs to come back. I'll let you know how everything runs if you would like. Take care. Matt Harris




The best electronic ignition system for hot street cars.

Monday, 27-Nov-00 00:06:10 writes:

I'm leaning toward the MSD.

Jacobs has been around for awhile and I was wondering if anyone has experienced their performance and mileage claims. I talked to a Jacobs

salesman on the phone and he thought I would get a 16 hp gain! Dubious about that for sure. Bolt on their ignition and go from 190 to 206 hp!!

Hey, just think of all the money I would save on not having to use race gas. Thanks for listening.



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don't laugh; 7-8% increase is pretty easy if you are going from stock to CDI. I can give you a good deal on the Jacob's, give me a shout. (John Connolly) (27-Nov-00 00:48:29)

Re: I think Jacobs may have an OK ign. but after talking to their salesmen I didn`t want to buy anything. Can U say used car salesman. ( Mark H) (27-Nov-00 00:53:07)

I agree Mark,They will tell you Jacobs ignition will do everything even slice Bread & Clean your bathroom! Good used Porsche 911 is an alternative CDI setup.I have had good

success with MSD Control units but can't say much about thier Mexican coils. (n/t) (James Lutz) (27-Nov-00 09:59:11)

you guys spends money on engine then put cheap stuff, run the best if you got the bucks, electromotive crank fire. (n/t) (27-Nov-00 01:09:46)

Run the best, Motec :p (n/t) (Steve Arndt) (27-Nov-00 11:19:43)

Re: I don't think you can use the words "best" and "Motec" in the same sentence. (n/t) (FYI) (27-Nov-00 11:31:51)

Re:Having owned a Jacobs since the late seventis and having used it on 3-4 cars,this sssame system is now ready to be hooked up to my white car(WSS2L)>>>.... (Magoo) (27-Nov-00


Don't laugh Jacob's claims are for real. I found a Jacob's at the junk yard for 10 bucks and I was highly impressed by the results. As far as MSD is concerned I have put them on cars with

decent results but the Jacob's works the best. No problems at all. I have heard of alot of problems with MSD's (n/t) (Chuck) (27-Nov-00 12:06:54)

My experience with Jacob's.... (John Connolly) (27-Nov-00 13:50:31)

Sounds like a very good idea... (Greg Ward) (27-Nov-00 17:38:21)

I've been very happy with the MSD 6AL, but I've also heard a lot of good things about the Jacobs system...each offer different features, just depends on what you are looking for. (n/t)

(Craig Merrow) (27-Nov-00 19:00:16)

Re: I am happy with the Universal CDI that aircooled.net sells... (Jason M.) (27-Nov-00 22:50:55)


don't laugh; 7-8% increase is pretty easy if you are going from stock to CDI. I can give you a good deal on the Jacob's, give me a shout.

Monday, 27-Nov-00 00:48:29 writes:

The main advantage to the Jacob's systems is the addition of theft control or RPM limitations.


Re: I think Jacobs may have an OK ign. but after talking to their salesmen I didn`t want to buy anything. Can U say used car salesman.

Monday, 27-Nov-00 00:53:07 writes:

I`d also like to know if anyone reputable has done any dyno or real world testing on Jacobs stuff. I`ve talked to the man himself and hes no

dummy, but he makes some amazing claims. I`ve seen a V8 mag. do a test once but it didn`t tell much. The jacobs ign. made a small

improvement so at least it didn`t hurt.

MSD does not impress me at all . You two units in my experience so you can replace the one that dies when your in the middle of nowhere.

Maybe all electronic igns. are like this ,but I`ve only seen MSD and Hays Stinger igns. die.

I like MSD distributors though. Its nice to be able to set you advance curve any way you want.

Mark H


Re:Having owned a Jacobs since the late seventis and having used it on 3-4 cars,this sssame system is now ready to be hooked up to my

white car(WSS2L)>>>....

Monday, 27-Nov-00 11:23:05 writes:

Used the Jacobs on my old '65 with 1835 ,mileage figures went from a 21.5 tpo a24.5 in daily driving averaging ten tanks both before and

after.You need good plugs gapped according to the instructions AND top shelf plug wires.....



My experience with Jacob's....

Monday, 27-Nov-00 13:50:31 writes:

I sell Jacob's products, and have used them for over 15 years, so their stuff is hardly new to me.

Their stuff works. However, the "training literature" is aimed for $7/hour salesmen, with "yes and no" questions for the prospective buyer, with

canned answers for whatever result the buyer gives you. It's really lame, and if you asked something NOT in that brochure, you very well may

catch the uneducated salesman with their pants down. :-)

However, their stuff DOES work, and I don't think 16hp is at all unreasonable for an engine that dyno's at 190 if it's using a stock coil and no

CDI; especially if it's got points! 10-15% misfires are not uncommon for conventional ignition equipped engines, even when they are in good

operating condition. The spark is too weak and short, and requires a small plug gap to keep from missing worse; that kinda' shows you how

much energy is in the spark.

Like I said before, the main advantage to the Jacob's ignitions is theft control. They offer either a pager to let you know when your car is getting

started, OR a system that stalls the car after about 10 seconds after starting, then after restarting stalls after 2 seconds, then right after starting,

etc. This makes it seem like the car is out of gas, and the thief takes off.

Another advantage is that most insurance companies won't pay for attempted theft if the car wasn't driven anywhere, and qualifies as

"vandalism" since it only has a broken window or hacked up dashboard" (regular alarm or theft control). In the Jacob's case, since the car has

been driven, it IS GTA, and you get full coverage on the damage, and prosecution for the bad guys.

The Jacob's stuff works, and is more durable than the MSD stuff I Have used and seen, but it IS more $. If you want the best for most

applications, Jacob's is it. The only time a Jacob's falls short is the MSD 10, which is a two coil combination capacitive/inductive spark, since

the Jacob's units are soley capacitive.

Hope this helps clear some stuff up.

John Connolly


Re: I am happy with the Universal CDI that aircooled.net sells...

Monday, 27-Nov-00 22:50:55 writes:

...it was real easy to add to my 009 w/Compufire pickup, Blue coil and Taylor 8mm wires. You have to grind out the resister in the rotor but it

was simple. I gapped my NGK's to .45 (vice .28 without it)and it fires up quicker, runs crisper and it was cheap compared to some other CD

ignitions. I like the fact that I didn't replace any parts that I already had.

oh, thanks John C.

Jason M.

Disclaimer: This information is presented strictly as a service to the VW community, by oceanstreetvideo.com. Most of these threads came from the old callookforum.com, which was hosted by Keith Seume. That Cal-look forum did not have message archiving or search capability. All copyrights belong to the original author(s) of the material. If you wish to have your public posting removed from this thread, send email. You may obtain copyright information at the "10 big myths about copyright" website.
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