Electrical Need Help With Msd Ignition. Thanks For Looking.


Aug 30, 2013
Phoenix, AZ
So I just of recently picked up a 1995 cobra with a stock 5.0L OEM cobra everything on the motor as far as I know, but I noticed it had an msd box of some sort that connects to the distributor and then inside the glove box there is a little dial.. what should this dial be set to? the guy that I traded says he accidentally hit it one day and didn't know where it was set at before.. any help would be appreciated thank you so much!
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I would be inclined to remove it and return to stock configuration. Leaving it in when it's purpose is unknown is inviting trouble. It's probably a timing advance/retard control but that is a 100% uneducated guess.
Was the car ever supercharged or running nitrous at any point? Otherwise, I can't foresee any reason the previous owner would have installed it?

Does it look anything like this by chance?

Well....it's possible that this guy was just really, really lazy and didn't like the idea of popping his hood and rotating his distributor when he wanted to advance and retard the timing. Most people won't spend $150 on a controller though?
I've never used an MSD unit before, but I'm assuming the number on the dial indicate how many degree's of timing the engine gets? In which case...10-degree's is stock. Feel free to increase the timing as desired. Listen for detonation (pre ignition). If you start to hear it, back it off a degree. The more octane you have in your fuel, the more timing you'll be able to run.
Like suspected it's a timing control device. There is no way someone with a stock engine would install a spark controller. My guess is the module died and a previous owner removed and sold whatever device (nitrous kit?) that was installed and that's why changing the dial setting isn't doing anything. If the timing was being either advanced or retarded you would be aware if it. Advancing the timing at idle will speed up the engine and retarding would slow it down. You couldn't miss that.