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    1. 09-29-2017 11:37 PM #1
      Was wondering if it is possible to run only a msd 6al and no factory ecu ecu. Id like my bay to be wire free pretty much. I don't mind using aftermarket gauges and putting lights etc on toggles.

      Any help appreciated also how to wire the msd to an 85 1.8 8v

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    3. Geriatric Member need_a_VR6's Avatar
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      09-30-2017 08:00 AM #2
      Possible, yes. Practical, meh. If you have a cis-e car with the knock box and you delete it you end up with fixed timing advance. To use just an msd you should use a programmable one with your stock distributor. Or change to a vac/mechanical distributor.

      No matter what you have three wires to the hall sender and two to the coil so it really makes zero difference in the wire count any way you cut it.
      -Paul
      1992 Corrado - ALL MOTOR Drag Project [email protected] and falling
      KPTuned - Official MegaSquirt: Sales - Repair - Installation - Tuning

    4. Member kirochan's Avatar
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      10-03-2017 06:45 PM #3
      I actually just bought a 87 GTI with this setup. Somehow I drove it home 3 hours with no problem, but the next day I had some. The car would just shut off on me and I got lucky if it would start back up. I actually ended up just towing it home. I realized later that the PO wire the positive on the distributor straight to the starter (always hot). Also, the timing jumped on me since I popped the clutch to get it going one too many time. The tensioner was actually loose I found out later.

      Current set up on the car is:

      Holley carb
      MSD 6al
      MSD blaster 2 coil
      no ecu, ICU, knock box, sensor or anything.

      Just straight, fuel tank, pumps, carb, distributor, MSD. Everything works inside other than the tach at this time. After I change the belt and distributor I will let you know if it works or not. If you figure something out please let me know.

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    6. Member kirochan's Avatar
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      10-07-2017 09:07 PM #4
      So, I finally got it running. I have no idea how I made it home from a 3 hour drive setup the way it was. The guy before me did a bad job cutting away the wires and the ECU, ICU, and Knock Box. Also did a bad job wiring in the MSD 6AL (pn 6425).

      Anyway, after getting it home, I had trouble the next day with keeping it alive while driving and it shut off on me several times. For the most part it did start back up with a lot of trying until the last time it did not start up that day. That is when the timing skipped a couple of teeth. Think that was from popping the clutch and a loose tensioner.

      After putting a new timing belt on it and retiming it several times cause it would not start I realized I was not getting spark. Changed out a known good distributor (vacuum type) from my 87 Jetta (webber carb setup) and it ran for about 5-7 seconds. I was convinced I just needed a new distributor. I ordered one of Ebay and when it arrived to my house I installed it. Same thing, no spark at all. I put that in my jetta and it worked just fine. I retimed my engine and installed the distributor from my jetta and I had spark but no start. I figured the hall sender on the distributor was not able to give a proper signal to the MSD box so I wired in the ICU (ignition control unit). Once that was wired in (properly the second time) it started up like a champ.

      So, with no ECU and Knock Box and with the wiring out, it does work. But you still need the ICU to send a proper signal to the MSD. Current setup is: 87 GTI, 1.8. 8V, MSD 6AL, MSD Blaster 2, ICU wired in, vacuum distributor, and Holley Carb.

      Hope this can help the next guy who buys a VW like me with a carb and crappy install. I save pics for the wiring of the ICU to the MSD/Distributor in case anyone needs them. Just hit me up and I will send them. I just cant figure out how to put a pic here lol.

    7. 05-28-2018 06:34 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by kirochan View Post
      So, I finally got it running. I have no idea how I made it home from a 3 hour drive setup the way it was. The guy before me did a bad job cutting away the wires and the ECU, ICU, and Knock Box. Also did a bad job wiring in the MSD 6AL (pn 6425).

      Anyway, after getting it home, I had trouble the next day with keeping it alive while driving and it shut off on me several times. For the most part it did start back up with a lot of trying until the last time it did not start up that day. That is when the timing skipped a couple of teeth. Think that was from popping the clutch and a loose tensioner.

      After putting a new timing belt on it and retiming it several times cause it would not start I realized I was not getting spark. Changed out a known good distributor (vacuum type) from my 87 Jetta (webber carb setup) and it ran for about 5-7 seconds. I was convinced I just needed a new distributor. I ordered one of Ebay and when it arrived to my house I installed it. Same thing, no spark at all. I put that in my jetta and it worked just fine. I retimed my engine and installed the distributor from my jetta and I had spark but no start. I figured the hall sender on the distributor was not able to give a proper signal to the MSD box so I wired in the ICU (ignition control unit). Once that was wired in (properly the second time) it started up like a champ.

      So, with no ECU and Knock Box and with the wiring out, it does work. But you still need the ICU to send a proper signal to the MSD. Current setup is: 87 GTI, 1.8. 8V, MSD 6AL, MSD Blaster 2, ICU wired in, vacuum distributor, and Holley Carb.

      Hope this can help the next guy who buys a VW like me with a carb and crappy install. I save pics for the wiring of the ICU to the MSD/Distributor in case anyone needs them. Just hit me up and I will send them. I just cant figure out how to put a pic here lol.
      I would defiantly be interested in info regarding your setup. Looking to do something similar with my 87 golf gt. Thanks!

    8. Member kirochan's Avatar
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      06-05-2018 08:56 PM #6
      [IMG]





      [/IMG]


      The ICU has 7 pins (they are numbered 1-7)
      1. Goes to the white trigger wire on the MSD
      2. Goes to ground (battery or chassis)
      3. Goes to ground on distributor connector (I used this at first but it did not work for me, I just took the ground wire from the distributor and ran it to the battery ground and did not connect this)
      4. Goes to positive 12volt remote. Find a wire that has 12volts when the key is in the on position and zero with no key (just like a car radio or amp)
      5. Goes to the positive on the distributor
      6. Goes to the middle wire (trigger) on the distributor
      7. Is for tach and does not get used. Both of my 87s did not even originally have anything hooked up. However, later I will see if it works. With no ECU there is no tach.

      The distributor has 3 wires. If you are standing by the D/S fender looking down at the distributor the far left is ground, middle is trigger, and far right (closest to engine) is positive
      (+). Connects to Pin 5 on ICU
      (middle). Connects to Pin 6 on ICU
      (-). Connects to Pin 3 on ICU (that did not work for me so I just grounded it to the battery

      The MSD connects by:
      Big Red wire to (+) on Battery
      Big Black wire to (-) on Battery
      Small red wire to remote wire. 12V with key on and zero with key out. You can hook it up to same as Pin 4 on ICU. However, there could be a better spot, I just don’t know where. I do have “engine run on” when I shut off my key.
      Orange to (+) on Coil (No other wires connected, just this one)
      small black to (-) on Coil (No other wires connected, just this one)
      White wire connect to Pin 1 on ICU

      Hope this can help out. And I need to add, my ICU P/Ns I was working with are:
      0040401002 (ZM 002)
      211905351D

      I would assume that all ICUs from the generation would have different P/N but same wiring. I would just google yours and find a pinout to double check. The wording might be different but should mean the same, for instance, when I google my two P/Ns I get:

      1.Coil
      2. B-
      3. B-
      4 B+
      5. V Hall or Hall Supply
      6. Hall Input or -Input
      7. Tach

    9. Member kirochan's Avatar
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      06-05-2018 08:59 PM #7
      [IMG][/IMG]


      and I just wired them both inside the car since I did not have a rain tray. I cleaned up the heat sink and use same heat sink I use when building computer (CPU to Fan).

    10. Geriatric Member need_a_VR6's Avatar
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      06-06-2018 06:27 AM #8
      The msd should also have an output for the tach.
      -Paul
      1992 Corrado - ALL MOTOR Drag Project [email protected] and falling
      KPTuned - Official MegaSquirt: Sales - Repair - Installation - Tuning

    11. Member kirochan's Avatar
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      06-06-2018 08:01 AM #9
      It does have an output for the Tach, but could never get it to work. I never attached it to the coil, out of fear of course. I just tried tying it into the old tach wire from the coil, but that did not work (different kind of signal). I tried other things as well. I never really dug to much more into to it and never bothered too. I always wondered how to get the tach to work and if I did or did not need the MSD tach adapter. Either way, I don't have my VWs no more.

    12. Member Alderstorm's Avatar
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      01-20-2019 02:48 PM #10
      Here is the setup I'm running. The Daytona TCS-1 allows me to adjust the timing advance. I also wired in a Revolution Electronics fuel pump controller instead of using a fuel pump relay as the signal from the msd was not actuating the fuel pump relay.


    13. 03-22-2019 12:07 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Alderstorm View Post
      Here is the setup I'm running. The Daytona TCS-1 allows me to adjust the timing advance. I also wired in a Revolution Electronics fuel pump controller instead of using a fuel pump relay as the signal from the msd was not actuating the fuel pump relay.


      how does this layout change if im not using that Daytona ? Im about to wire my MK2 for 6al-2 with carbs ,so just wondering,
      thanks

    14. Member Alderstorm's Avatar
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      07-13-2019 09:46 PM #12
      White wire on MSD would go to pin 1 on ICM

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