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Thread: No idea what to try next...

  1. #21

    Default No idea what to try next...

    There is a good video on MSD's youtube site about properly Phasing your rotor.

    Here is the quick video of an improperly phased rotor:

    The real proper way to phase the rotor is to drill a hole approx 1/2" in the top of the distributor cap (an old one preferably) so that you can see the rotor tip as it spins. (or apparently chew a hole in it if you want to do it like the videos. ) Then you start the car and put a timing light on the closest plug wire and shine it into the hole so that you can see the position of the rotor in relation to the plug tower. You will then see the spark either leading or trailing the tower, then you can shut off the car and adjust the rotor in the direction of the tower so that the rotor will be as close to the plug tower as possible when igniting. When it is done correctly and the car is tuned correctly, blipping the throttle you should see the spark walk just a bit on the rotor electrode but quickly go right back.

    This might help:

    When I did this on my car after doing the static 15° adjustment I was off by about 2°. I pulled the rotor back to 13° and locked it down and checked again and it was just about right on. I don't know if there is a huge value in re-adjusting that 2° or if my situation is even close to standard, I just know that the static instructions related to fuel maps and timing for any injection system is just a guideline. There is no way that any company can give you exact settings for your car. PERIOD. It can't be done.

    Perhaps this will help someone. If I stated this incorrectly MSD, please correct.

  2. #22

    Default No idea what to try next...

    Does anyone have a video of their throttle body annular rings while their engine is idling to see how much fuel is coming off the bottom of the rings. Mine drips gas onto the top of the throttle blades at a fairly rapid rate which may/may not be correct, I don't know. I'm wondering if this is causing some of my plug fouling problems???

  3. #23

    Default No idea what to try next...

    Can someone from MSD tech support comment on what we should see for fuel dripping onto the blades on the throttle body at idle? Or better yet, a video?


  4. #24

    Default No idea what to try next...


    The Atomic throttle body controls the amount of fuel going into the annular rings. At idle, the air flowing through these rings is minimal so the fuel drips to the throttle blades. At WOT the air drawn through the rings breaks up the drips, similar to a carburetor.

    I'm sure there is a video posted somewhere, however I haven't found it yet.

    We have posted several videos on the Atomic, please check the link below:

  5. #25

    Default No idea what to try next...

    A good update on this thread. I'm finally getting somewhere with reasonable success.

    My two sons helped me install and set this up initially and we mistakenly set the timing on the harmonic balancer to 0 instead of the 15 degrees advanced that the installation manual calls for. The engine ran a little rough but I attributed that to the roller Thumper cam that I put in it. The more we messed with it the worse it ran so we started from scratch and discovered the error on the initial timing setting so we reset the timing to the correct 15 degrees advanced. From that point on it has been a nightmare and extremely frustrating.

    Today, I decided to go back to the 0 degree initial timing setting on the balancer. At this point I had no clue as to what the handheld should set at for idle timing so I started at 12 just to see what would happen. The engine ran considerably better right out the chute so I played with the handheld turning the initial timing up and down to see what would happen. Around 5 degrees and lower the engine didn't run well at all so that indicated to me that we needed more so I left it at 12 to try to set the IAC. The engine was now running much better but I couldn't dial in the IAC so save my soul. It was getting awful close to ripping the whole affair out and going back to a carb. Luckily, I experimented some more and figured out the initial timing on the handheld plays a part in the setting up of the IAC. At 12 degress, my IAC would sit at 0 and the engine would randomly start to idle down slowly and the IAC would step up to around 45. When IAC was at 45 the engine ran really crappy and would almost stall out (idle target is 950). The engine would recover and go thru the whole process all over again. This took approximately 3 to 4 minutes so it wasn't a fast process. This is about the time I almost pulled the plug and put it all up on ebay but I tried one more twist by turning up the handheld initial to 16 as a last ditch attempt to get it working before trashing it all. It worked! Now I can dial in my IAC (it slowly floats between 7 and 10), the engine runs smoother and all appears to good. Now all I have to do is wait for it to quit raining and I can experiment with the other settings.

    If anyone can explain what happened here I'd sure appreciate it because I'm so far off from the installation instructions but it works and I have no idea why. I have no kickback on starting like I started with and it doesn't diesel on shutdown so something must be close to right. Confused? You bet but I'm allot happier than I was 2 hours ago.

  6. #26

    Default No idea what to try next...

    Can someone from MSD Tech support please comment on the post above? I don't know why this worked but I sure would like to. Thanks.

  7. #27

    Default No idea what to try next...

    I've been poring over your posts trying to find an answer to this. Nothing you have posted or suggested in your setup or settings suggests anything was done wrong.

    The one and only thing that I can come up with to explain how zero degrees setup as initial could do this. That would be a timing pointer not set correctly or a spun balancer. Neither of these are logical but possible. 15* is a fairly big spin for the balancer to be off but the only way to check would be to get the car to TDC on #1 noted at the spark plug hole not the balancer and check to make sure the timing mark is spot on.

    Other than that man, you have done everything that I have done and you keep coming up a bit short. Maybe I missed something or blacked out while reading but I just can't come up with anything else.

  8. #28

    Default No idea what to try next...


    Go back and reinstall the distributor using the install procedure at 15°BTDC.

    RESET the Atomic Defaults (this will erase all previous learning with the incorrect set-up).

    Essentially you will be starting from scratch on the install.

  9. #29

    Default No idea what to try next...


    Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I have checked the balancer (which is new BTW) to #1 TDC and it is correct. I've also checked everything else a multitude of times and keep getting the same result so that prompted the radical departure that actually worked but I do not know why.

    MSD Tech,

    Start over again....Been there, done that way too many times and it just plain doesn't work. Can you explain why my setup works versus the instructions that don't? I'm sorry but telling me to start over again is absolutely no help whatsoever. I'm going to download the new firmware and see if it provides the silver bullet that I'm looking for.

  10. #30

    Default No idea what to try next...

    Did you reset the defaults when you switched to the set-up in the instructions?

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