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Old 12-11-2006, 05:23 PM
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Ignition system- ZM jeeps or MSD?

I have a 75 Waggoner with a stock 401. I am thinking about replacing the BID ignition system with either the ZM jeeps HEI system or the system from MSD that includes a distributor and blaster coil. Aside form cost; what are some advantages and disadvantages of the two systems? Any opinions or personal experiences with either system would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:30 PM
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Other options?

I know this wasn't an option you mentioned but what about the TFI upgrade and Motorcraft EI?

Primarily I suggest this because of cost. I can get junkyard ignition modules for $6 each so I have a large stockpile of them in the garage, probably enough to last for decades. The TFI coil (or, perhaps better, an MSD Blaster 2 or other hot coil) will light things up quite well. The TFI cap/rotor and 8mm wires will ensure the max spark gets to the right plug.

So you get a fairly decent ignition system for a lot less versus MSD, HEI, Jacobs, etc., etc.

I have heard stories of folks with problems on their MSD or Jacobs units. For as much as those cost, that seems ridiculous. I have problems with my cheapo system every few years, but I have 3 ign modules in the back of the truck waiting to swap in at any time so it isn't really a problem.

I have heard from folks good things about Pertronix systems including high reliability and outstanding customer service. You'd take an earlier points FSJ distr. and get a Pertronix kit. Don't know how cost compares.

Michael
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Old 12-11-2006, 08:43 PM
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I ran HEI in Wagothing (my own ghetto fabbed garbage, not Zachs) and loved it. I'll be running HEI of some kind in every AMC I build from here on out, because I hate wires and electricity and if a diagram has more than two boxes, a battery and a switch, it's got too much for me to look at so one wire hook up is for me. 50K volts and cheap replacement parts is a major beni' too.

If you can afford to go with ZM jeeps please do so. The guy does a lot for the community regardless of profit (not saying he is or isn't making one, but his company name says it all, he's here for JEEPS!) so some payoff of customer loyalty is justified for a provider that's loyal to his customers.

Not saying anything bad about MSD though, I'm sure they're great too, but our relationship with ZM Jeeps is a little more personal.

Just my $0.02
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Old 12-11-2006, 09:38 PM
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Currently have about 1200 miles on the MSD offroad, blaster and billet dizzy. No compaints here. easy to install.
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:21 AM
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If you are runing a stock cam, then there really isn't a need for an MSD type system. It is a good CD style system, but - An MSD 6 series (and 7) is really designed to work well in the higher rpm ranges. The multi spark helps overcome both the inherent problems of both its on design and that of a cam with overlap at low rpm.

A TFI is probably your best bang for the buck, but an HEI potentially is also an upgrade for a stock system.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:41 AM
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If you go the zmjeeps HEI dizzy route, I would suggest calling first and seeing how long it would take to get to you. I ordered mine from bjsoffroad on 11/5/2006 and it is still on backorder.
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:18 PM
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Thanks for the input, I have been leaning towards the HEI from ZM Jeeps for several reasons. I will see how long it will take to get one from ZM direct. I don't mind waiting a bit. Quality takes time.
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Old 12-12-2006, 12:32 PM
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This may make me sound like a hypocrit, after plugging ZM Jeeps so hard, but there's a couple affordable ones from summit:

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=MAA%2D8560001C&N= 700+115&autoview=sku
The PRO to this one is that it's all new, not a remanufactured one. The CON of this one is that it looks like you lose the adjustable vacuum advance.

Here's another one from proform, same pros and cons but comes with a gear:

http://store.summitracing.com/partdetail.asp?autofilter=1&part=PRO%2D67185&N=700 +115&autoview=sku

I'm still planning to use one of Zachs, myself, but I do tend to be a "right here, right now" kind of shopper. Guess it's a good thing I don't need it just yet!
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:32 PM
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Usually I am in the same boat as "Need it right now"
but the project it is going into can wait a bit.
A couple other things have pre-empted it.

Maybe I'll get it in time to put under the Christmas tree.
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2006, 08:44 PM
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Go with the Z&M HEI!! Zack will not do you wrong. Just say no to f*rd parts. I do not care what j*nky*rd j*rk thinks.
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