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Technical Hottest spark mag or electronic

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by birdman1, Apr 23, 2020.

  1. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 897

    birdman1

    Just thinking, all the mags used on race cars years ago. Is a wico mag still hottest spark? I got a jolt from the wico mag on my Wisconsin powered racer when I was about 10, still hurts when I think about it!!
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076

    squirrel
    Member

    If you're running a big load of nitro, then you need the hottest spark. Otherwise, you'll be ok with quite a bit less spark than you think you need.

    Getting bit by an ignition system, doesn't really have much relation to how well it will make your engine run.
     
  3. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,573

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    You could arc weld with ONE of the mags they run now. LOL.
     
    stillrunners and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  4. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 323

    jaracer
    Member

    With the cap off, I could put the stinger on my mag close to any ground (like a filing cabinet), give the gear a spin, and get a big blue 1/2 in spark.
     
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  5. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 897

    birdman1

    We had a neighbor that could kill a 4 cylinder tractor by putting a finger on each spark plugs wire at once
     
    lippy likes this.
  6. Like Lippy said,,,,these new mags in Fuel,,,,are terribly strong,,,,even dangerous !

    Tommy
     
  7. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,573

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    My Dad also told me you could kill a Model T by laying your arm across the plugs but he also said when you do you better plant your arm quick and hard. Don't let it arc, or you would pee pee your pants. LOL Lippy
     
  8. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,573

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    We put a model T coil on my 67 GTO hooked up to a toggle switch and ran it off 12 volts. Little ground chain off the rocker . Taped the coil on the side of the steering column under the dash and soldered the wires to the coil contacts. Pulled in our favorite cruising spot and unhooked the ground chain off the rocker and dropped it down then got in the car and waited for victims (I mean friends lol) to come lean on the car. :D
     
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  9. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 445

    badvolvo
    Member

    Dads joke was to hit us with an old telephone mag. Other than that, I know from experience an msd 7 will certainly knock you on your butt. I hide an msd 6 in my cars with points, they last along time using the msd.
     
    stillrunners likes this.
  10. The reality is the old vertex mags and others from that era on a good day might make one amp. When the Mallory mags came out they were better. They eventually went up to a five amp output. Modified they got a little more out of them. This was when alchohol and fuel cars started going faster. The limiting factor up to this point was the mag. The large amount of fuel under high boost would snuff out the engine. Then came the msd 10,20 then the big tower of power a 44 amp. Mine is a hopped up 44 that now makes 49 amps. The msd uses electronic points compared to mechanical that require servicing. Any mag that doesn't have permanent earth magnets needs to be re zapped to be brought back to full power. It's a good idea to have a few around to be rotated out when needed. Tire shake can knock out a mag in a second. The phazing can also get knocked out.
    Don't get me wrong mags are tough. The mags used back in the day were all they had. They work but there's way better parts today. The question is does your build need these parts.
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  11. Dave Downs
    Joined: Oct 25, 2005
    Posts: 864

    Dave Downs
    Member
    from S.E. Penna

    The secret to that trick is to ground your finger to the block first then touch the plug.

    No, I’ve never done it...,,
     
  12. 49 amps,,,,good gracious,,,that’s hot !
    I knew the others were 44 ,,,,but 49 ?
    Man,,,that will knock your socks off .

    That’s why when these top fuel cars come back for service,,the electrodes are burned off the ends of the plugs .

    Tommy
     
  13. The 44s need ground wires run from the clamp to each head. If the spark doesn't fire the plug the energy has to go somewhere. I have seen the spark jump tothe sleeve. The spark torched a groove through the sleeve over to the next sleeve torching a groove in that also. The 44s are no joke. Looked like a plasma cutter was at work.
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  14. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247

    oj
    Member

    back to the original question, the Magneto output is measured in amps, an electronic is measured in thousandths of an amp. An MSD 6AL is about 160 thousandths of an amp (.160) so even an old Vertex at 1 amp had 5X the power of the MSD 6AL.
     

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