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Thread: Trying to install a 6AL in a CA emission 1983 Ford Bronco

  1. #1

    Default Trying to install a 6AL in a CA emission 1983 Ford Bronco

    Hello. I need help as I am a little lost trying to install my 6AL system into my 1983 Ford Bronco 5.0L that has an unusual ignition system from the factory. I’ve owned 4 other Broncos and have never seen this, but mine has a factory crank trigger ignition, and the distributor has absolutely no electronics inside of it. Most of the original emissions parts that provide feedback to the powertrain control module on air/fuel ratio and performance are missing in its current state, as the previous owner installed an Edelbrock carb & intake and removed several sensors and didn’t reinstall them.
    OK, thanks for reading that long intro. My question is, will the MSD 6AL work on this application? If so, do I use the white wire or purple & green wires, and what do I connect them to? When I mechanically advance or retard the distributor now, there is no response from the engine, so I don’t think timing can be adjusted either. Would I be better off ditching the 36 year old remaining electronics and swapping in a trusty Duraspark magnetic pickup distributor I have for this engine and running it that way? I do think the factory crank trigger is cool, but does MSD have a way for me to make this work? Thanks!

  2. #2


    Can you provide a picture of the crank trigger setup? So that way we can look more into this to see if it will work.

  3. #3


    Here's a diagram of the system from my Ford service manual. I also included a picture of what it looks like. I tried taking photos of my Bronco, but this forum won't allow those to be posted.
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    This is a view of the 36 year old sensor mounted into the timing pointer housing by design. There is one bolt that holds it in, and the three wires that come out of it are the ground in it's own connector, and then blue & gray wires in a separate connector. Let me know if you need more info, and thanks for any help you can offer me.
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  4. #4


    In case this will help to see if I can use the MSD 6AL with my Ford's Duraspark 3 system, here are some more diagrams:
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  5. #5


    To give you an update, we're still looking into this, as some of us haven't seen this type of setup, so we are researching this to give you an answer.

  6. #6


    That’s awesome, thank you! I do have a distributor from another Duraspark system that will work on this setup, that I can run straight off the MSD box and bypass all of the Ford electronic timing controls, in case there isn’t a fix. Thanks so much for your time!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by RJs83Bronco View Post
    ...mine has a factory crank trigger ignition, and the distributor has absolutely no electronics inside of it.
    That's because the crank trigger takes the place of the magnetic pickup that would normally be in the distributor. Just curious, what's the tooth count on the crank trigger unit (pulse ring)? 36-1? And is it a VR/Magnetic (2-wire) sensor or a Hall-Effect (3-wire) crank sensor?
    For Reference: (MSD Wiring Diagrams & Tech Notes)
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
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  8. #8


    Thanks Danny! It’s a three wire CPS, but I couldn’t find a way to see the pulse ring good enough to get a tooth count. I’m guessing I could use my 6ALs purple & green wires to go to the CPS wires, but I’d still have to rely on the aging and incomplete Ford ignition control modules to handle the spark timing a& advance. I may look into one of your timing control devices, or just go for plugging into my trusty Duraspark distributor and then being able to set timing where I want it to be. Thanks very much for your time & advice!

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