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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Id like some knowledge from the pro's on good, higher end ignition setups. Crank triggers to get a cleaner crank signal than the distribtor ala msd flying magnet.
Seen posts and video's about modifying distributor and adding a flying magnet on msd's site but no other elaboration past that. On their video they lock out the distributor fully advanced it looks like. Can you run a special distributor or a vacuum distributor and get advance function and run the crank trigger? Assuming I lock out the distributor and add a crank trigger for the ignition, what are ill effects on the street with this setup?
For a multi coil distributorless setup, what boxes would support either 8 individual coil packs ala GM coils, or 4 dual output coils or 2 4pot coil packs? I assume the MSD DIS4 is one option, what others are out there?

Setup is 408w carb'd

I have an MSD pro billet distributor PN 8578
MSD 6AL box
havent purchased a coil, or coil/s yet... Build is coming together fast and need some info to make some more decisions.

I dont think I will have an issue with the car running, but I will be spinning this to 7k rpm at times and eventually spraying or boosting it and will need a rock solid ignition system.

Thoughts and input welcome, thanks.
 

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Here's the setup I installed last year. Uses the Ford EDIS module, coil packs, crank sensor, trigger wheel, etc. Set your timing curve to anything you want with a laptop.
Megajolt/E | Autosport Labs
Bought used EDIS parts on eBay, have a grand total of around $350 invested. Sold all of my old distributor ignition parts, CD box, etc, for $300 so I basically have about $50 into it.
 

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'90 Windveil Blue LX (Dart Turbo T56)
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that's great info... thanks for sharing

here's some info I saved from a write up and install that alternative auto did years back...

Ford EDIS technical information
This page is intended for people who want to learn about the Ford EDIS (Electronic Distributorless Ignition System). The pinouts and diagrams are taken from How to Understand, Service and Modify Ford Electronic Fuel Injection & Electronic Engine Control by Charles Probst, the technical information on the SAW and inner workings of the EDIS module are taken from Ford Patent 4,922,874.
Introduction

The Ford EDIS system is an enhanced version of the DIS ignition system. The major difference is that the DIS system requires a CID (Cylinder IDentification; cam phase) sensor in addition to the crank driven toothed wheel. The EDIS system only requires a 36-1 toothed wheel and VRS (Variable Reluctance Sensor) crank sensor.

The EDIS system is comprised of an EDIS module, crank wheel, crank sensor, and coilpack(s). This system is completely standalone and will properly ignite 4, 6, and 8 cylinder engines using the wasted spark method. The system relies on the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) to control spark timing, but will function if no ECU is connected.

Without an ECU the EDIS system will fire the ignition at 10 degrees BTDC (Before Top Dead Center). The spark advance is controlled by the SAWPW line on the EDIS module. The SAW (Spark Angle Word) is analguous to the SPOUT (Spark OUT) line on Ford TFI-IV systems. The interface is different though.

Technical Background

Inside the EDIS module is a microprocessor, VR sensor input, and coil driver transistors. The VR sensor drives an input detector which fires on the falling zero crossing of the signal at -300mv. The module then uses this information to calculate the current crank position and speed. When the EDIS module determines the spark should be ignited, it fires the appropriate coil. The EMF flyback from the coil then triggers the IDM of the EDIS module and causes it to emit a tach pulse on the IDM pin.

The first thing the EDIS module does is sync up to the missing tooth of the wheel. The EDIS module keeps an internal counter of teeth, if for some reason the counter loses sync with the wheel, the module will attempt to resync.

Each EDIS module is hard programmed for the number of cylinders in the intended application. By knowing the number of cylinders, it knows how many teeth are between each cylinder on the crank wheel. When the number of teeth required passes the VR sensor, the EDIS module emits the PIP signal to the ECU. The PIP signal is emitted at the TDC of the cylinder.

The number of teeth between cylinders directly corresponds to the SAW signal sent from the ECU. Ford uses a very simple and robust mechanism for communicating the spark advance to the EDIS module. The EDIS module uses an internal 250Khz clock for clocking in the advance word. This means that there is a 4us or 5/32nd of a degree resolution. The SAW signal is essentially an enable line which the clock uses to increment a 16 bit binary counter. Since the clock rate is 250Khz, the counter is really a 9-bit effective counter. The counter is then multiplied by 4 (shifted left by 2 bits) and the high word is used as the integer number of teeth which must pass the VR sensor and the low word is the fractional tooth that must pass the VR sensor. The EDIS module counts the whole teeth, then loads an 8 bit counter with the fractional portion. When the counter expires, the EDIS module fires the coil. The period of the 8-bit counter is 1 tooth period at the given RPM.

The Ford patent says that the SAW is communicated to the EDIS module approximately 10us after 10° ATDC. This is to ensure that there are no spark events occurring, since the SAW accumulator can not be set externally while it's being read or cleared.

The SAW can be communicated at any time other than during a spark event. Also, the SAW will be stored in the EDIS module so the advance does not need to be updated every cylinder event. The EDIS module MUST receive a SAW signal from the ECU within 5 cylinder events or the EDIS will default to LOS mode and 10° BTDC spark advance.

The EDIS module has the capability of performing recurring spark, more commonly referred to as Multiple Spark Discharge. The latter is usually associated with CD ignition boxes. This feature was introduced with the 1990 1.9L Escort/Tracer engine. The ECU enables the MSD below 1800RPM on these engines. To signal to the EDIS module that MSD is desired, the SAW is lengthened by 2048us on 4/6/8 cylinder units, and 1024us on 10 cylinder units. The EDIS module can achieve up to 3 sparks per cylinder event using this feature.

The IDM signal present on all EDIS modules is used as the factory tach output to the ECU. This signal is used to determine the welfare of the ignition system. If a coil primary opens or does not fire, the IDM signal is not emitted, and thus the coil is faulty. The IDM signal is triggered by the flyback voltage of the coil being fired. The EDIS module processes this into a 512us pulse on the IDM line during operation. When the engine is stopped, but the Key is turned on (KOEOff), the EDIS module emits a 64us pulse every 262.144ms to indicate proper operation. Because of this, any tachometer operation from this line must filter out the 64us pulses.

Spark Angle Word Calculation

The algebraic formula for calculating the SAW pulsewidth is:

SAW Pulsewidth (usec) = 1536 - (25.6 x (desired spark advance in degrees))
Range: 64 - 1792us (57.5° BTDC to 10° ATDC)
Resolution: 4us (5/32nd of a degree)

Example:

You want 29 degrees of advance.

PW = 1536 - (25.6 * 29)

PW = 1536 - (742.4)

PW = 793.6

You would send a pulse that is 793.6 microseconds long to the EDIS module.

The EDIS module will do all the work of timing the spark, you just send the advance pulse.

The EDIS has an advance range of 57.4 degrees BTDC to 10 degrees ATDC. These correspond to the SAW widths of 64 and 1792 microseconds respectively.

Physical installation

On 4 cylinder engines pins 10 and 12 are used for the 2 coils. On 6 cylinder engines pins 10, 11, and 12 are used for the 3 coils. On 8 cylinder engines pins 8, 9, 11, and 12 are used for the 4 coils.

On all engines the complementary coils are connected to the cylinders that are 180 degrees apart in the firing order.

Example: Ford firing order for HO 5.0L and 351 engines is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. You would connect cylinders 1 and 6 to the same coil, 3 and 5, 7 and 4, and 2 and 8. Follow the same approach on 6 and 4 cylinder engines.

Diagram of the EDIS system


PNG GIF Large TIFF

Here is the pinout of the EDIS control module. The signal names correspond to the diagram above.



Postion of VRS pickup sensor in relation to TDC of cylinder 1 Cylinders Degrees BTDC
4 90°
6 60°
8 50°
10 26°
On all EDIS installations, the missing tooth of the wheel is directly opposite (180 degrees) the VR sensor when the engine is at the above TDC value. This means your crank wheel needs to be aligned on the damper such that when the engine is N degrees BTDC, the missing tooth is located 180 degrees away from the VR sensor.

4 cylinder EDIS module pinout Signal EDIS Module Terminal
PIP (EDIS output signal) 1
IDM (diagnostic signal to ECU) 2
SAW (ECU spark control signal) 3
IGN GND (signal return) 4
VRS - (crank sensor negative) 5
VRS +(crank sensor positive) 6
VRS shield (crank sensor shield) 7
VPWR (ignition switched 12 volts) 8
PWR GND 9
COIL 1 (coil drive) 10
CTO (clean tach out) 11
COIL 2 (coil drive) 12


6 Cylinder EDIS module pinout Signal EDIS Module Terminal
PIP (EDIS output signal) 1
IDM (diagnostic signal to ECU) 2
SAW (ECU spark control signal) 3
IGN GND (signal return) 4
VRS - (crank sensor negative) 5
VRS +(crank sensor positive) 6
VRS shield (crank sensor shield) 7
VPWR (ignition switched 12 volts) 8
PWR GND 9
COIL 1 (coil drive) 10
COIL 2 (coil drive) 11
COIL 3 (coil drive) 12


8 Cylinder EDIS module pinout Signal EDIS Module Terminal
PIP (EDIS output signal) 1
IDM (diagnostic signal to ECU) 2
SAW (ECU spark control signal) 3
VRS - (crank sensor negative) 4
VRS +(crank sensor positive) 5
VPWR (ignition switched 12 volts) 6
IGN GND 7
COIL 1 (coil drive) 8
COIL 2 (coil drive) 9
PWR GND 10
COIL 3 (coil drive) 11
COIL 4 (coil drive) 12


OEM EDIS module applications Cylinders Application Part Number
4 1990 Escort/Tracer 1.9L F1CZ-12K072-A
6 1990 Ranger, Bronco II, and Aerostar 4.0L F1TZ-12K072-BA
8 1991 Lincoln Town Car 4.6L
1993 Lincoln Mark VIII 4.6L F5SZ-12K072-AA

If you know any of this information to be incorrect, please email me at pedward (at) dainst.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wow, thank you for the wealth of knowledge. It was exactly what I was looking for...respect

On the trigger wheels, do those 5-6" ones fit our balancers pretty well? Im sure you have to test fit and make it work and whatnot. Do these need to be welded, bolted, or can they be epoxied onto the balancer? Some pics show balancers machined with teeth in them and rebalanced, which is not an option for me.

Found the ford DIS8 module, module pigtail, 4 pot coils, pigtails for coils, VR crank sensor, fab crank sensor mount, crank sensor pigtail, and special plug wires....thats the setup right? wire it up and have the trigger set up correctly and thats it, fire it up?

For a setup like this using MSD, you would run a flying magnet crank trigger, DIS2 or 4 box with 2-4 coils? Lots of fab work in the ford 36 tooth setup it looks like compared to the bolton msd system. Pricepoint using all used parts could make the fabrication worthwhile.
 

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'90 Windveil Blue LX (Dart Turbo T56)
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glad I could help
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Going to get a new gear, cap and rotor for this distributor and a harness to connect it to the 6AL box in the car currently, reuse the EFI coil to get it up and running. After I work the kinks out and break the motor in I will look at upgrading to one of these systems, puts a modern flare to old stuff, I like it.

The megajolt boxes required or just boost the spark to a multispark and adds the window switches and rev control and whatnot?
 

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Here's the setup I installed last year. Uses the Ford EDIS module, coil packs, crank sensor, trigger wheel, etc. Set your timing curve to anything you want with a laptop.
Megajolt/E | Autosport Labs
Bought used EDIS parts on eBay, have a grand total of around $350 invested. Sold all of my old distributor ignition parts, CD box, etc, for $300 so I basically have about $50 into it.
I'd love to see a write up on this. I have the msd combo with mega squirt and curious how I could get rid of all the clutter as well...any more pics and info?
 

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For a setup like this using MSD, you would run a flying magnet crank trigger, DIS2 or 4 box with 2-4 coils? Lots of fab work in the ford 36 tooth setup it looks like compared to the bolton msd system. Pricepoint using all used parts could make the fabrication worthwhile.
If you're talking about the MSD systems that only have 4 magnets the 36-1 wheel is way more accurate. And with 4 coils (wasted spark) each coil has more time to saturate and produce a longer, stronger spark than a single coil that has to supply all 8 cylinders. The timing is rock steady, unlike what you see with a distributor. I originally milled 36-1 teeth into the rear edge of my crank pulley but I didn't like where I had to locate the sensor to align with that. I found an aftermarket 36-1 wheel on eBay for $20, cut out the center of it and welded it to the rear of my crank pulley. Local auto machine shop balanced it for me. Then I made up a sensor bracket and welded to one of the alternator spacers. The coil packs are mounted on the center of my firewall. The EDIS module and Megajolt are mounted inside on the passenger's side firewall out of site.

The primary function of the Megajolt is to supply ignition advance curve based on rpm and MAP or throttle position. Without the Megajolt the EDIS will supply +10* advance all of the time (limp home mode) similar to an EFI distributor's SPOUT. The Megajolt also has other options, one is you can have two timing maps programmed in and switch between them on the fly. Wish I'd had that back when I ran nitrous.
 

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Msd or Aerospace flying magnet FTW! And if you get the crank trigger distributor there is no modifying needed the 8.2 deck height part# is 8379 which they discontinued because you can just modify the Pro Billet but there are some floating around in the classifieds from time to time or the 9.5 deck height 8378 which is still in production. These distributors are low profile and look great vs the big bulky pro billet ones cause they have no guts! Here's a pic of my 8379
 

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Msd or Aerospace flying magnet FTW!
But you're still dealing with a gear drive and cap/rotor, things that are wear items and can cause timing inaccuracy.
 

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But you're still dealing with a gear drive and cap/rotor, things that are wear items and can cause timing inaccuracy.
Okay lets say carb application which is what the OP is asking about... Flying Magnet FTW! Also it's a different type of rotor vs the traditional style rotor and a cap and rotor every once and a while is no big deal in my book. My buddy has run the flying magnet for 10+ years and runs in the 8's with no issues so they are reliable... With the other design you are dealing with multiple coil packs and ect that could fail... Jon Kaase uses Flying Magnet on all his builds....:rolleyes: just saying!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The flying magnet is a good crank trigger, it gives you the piston position every 90degrees, 36 teeth are used because they use it on many cylinder configurations, all across their line, 4,6,8.. the module is only looking for that 90degree split (9 teeth) anyway. The disadvantage I see to the msd dizzy w/ triggered is that you're using one coil to fire all 8 cylinders so its getting a workout. Which is why I was looking for info on the dis2 and 4 as you can use msd 4 pot coils or waste spark coils. These ignition boxes are more than the entire edis8 system combined tho. Adding a flying magnet to a msd distributor setup will give you a rock solid crank trigger instead of using the distributors magnetic pickup, and that's a good mod or step up. A flying magnet is about $250, almost the cost of edis8.

The flying magnet with modified distributor if possible with the pro billet small housing dizzy I have is appealing. I don't need all the toys the megajolt offers YET, but I am preparing for that reality later with a power adder.
 

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It's not a big deal on the Msd Hvc coil's as they run 50% cooler than the cylinder coils and they put out more volts at the same time...
 

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I have mine wired for EEC V COP ignition. I had a lot of problems with a belt driven distributor, I found out my timing was varying by 20 to 30 degrees at 7000 rpm and above.
I have mounted a 4.6 crank trigger wheel on a underdrive crank pulley, made a bracket to mount the crank sensor. I made a cam sensor assembly using pieces of a Explorer cam sensor, 302 distributor and a 4.6 cam sensor. If I was not using the intake I have, I could have just used a two wire, Explorer cam sensor assembly. I had to make brackets for the COPs. It would be just as easy or easier and cheaper to use the earlier 96-98 coil pack ignition over the 99-04 COP ignition.
 

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The flying magnet is a good crank trigger, it gives you the piston position every 90degrees, 36 teeth are used because they use it on many cylinder configurations, all across their line, 4,6,8.. the module is only looking for that 90degree split (9 teeth) anyway.
Not exactly. The 4 cylinder EDIS looks for the missing tooth at 90* BTDC. The 6 cylinder EDIS looks for the missing tooth at 60* BTDC, and the 8 cylinder version needs to see it at 50* BTDC. The 36-1 wheel has more resolution than the 4 magnet types where the timing in between signals is calculated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not exactly. The 4 cylinder EDIS looks for the missing tooth at 90* BTDC. The 6 cylinder EDIS looks for the missing tooth at 60* BTDC, and the 8 cylinder version needs to see it at 50* BTDC. The 36-1 wheel has more resolution than the 4 magnet types where the timing in between signals is calculated.
I agree, 36 tooth is > 4. It is the setup I will build for sure after looking at the wiring. I am good with electrical and none of the edis8 setup intimidates me. But as an upgrade to the distributor pickup, a flying magnet is a ton better.
In my case I have the rest of the msd system (dizzy, wires, box) and a flying magnet is kindof appealing, as an add on. When I get the motor back from builder I will test fit a 36 tooth edis wheel on the balancer and get an idea how easy this would be before I fire it. If the balancer needs work now would be the time. Im using a new summit SFI neutral balancer.

Even with no megajolt, basic edis8 would work for me for now, as I will be babying this car for a while, with a T5z trans.
 

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'90 Windveil Blue LX (Dart Turbo T56)
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are there any ford oem vehicles i can snag the cam sensor for a 351W?
 

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No but you can make one by installing a 3.8 cam sensor shaft into the 5.0 cam sensor to get you the larger hex for the oil pump drive.
you just swap the shafts and it drops right in?

how difficult is it to swap the shafts? anything to be on a look out for?

thanks 66
 
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