MSD Ignitions

The first multi-sparking capacitive discharge ignition was developed and offered by MSD. MSD 6-Series Ignitions are the premier after-market ignitions around the world thanks to their performance that has been proven in races and their reliability for daily street use. The 6-Series Ignition Controls have similar characteristics in terms of output for spark energy, spark series and voltage. The primary difference between then is an added built-in rev control, as seen in the 6AL, or a boost timing control, as seen in the 6 BTM. The added voltage that the MSD generates across the plug gap improves drivability and performance for everyone from daily drivers to racers! All the MSD 6 Ignitions are fit to install on 4-, 6- or 8-cylinder engines fitted with a 12-volt, negative ground electrical system and a distributor. These ignitions can be triggered by points, by electronic amplifiers, by magnetic pickups and even by other aftermarket distributors.

Capacitive Discharge

An MSD Ignition uses CDI technology (capacitive discharge ignition) to achieve a very high primary voltage. This high voltage is always available, whether you’re sitting at idle or tearing down a straightway at 10,000 RPM. A unique transformer steps up the voltage supplied by the battery and stores this high voltage in a hefty capacitor. The capacitor discharges this voltage to the coil when the ignition is triggers, providing full power primary voltage at any RPM. These powerful sparks create full combustion for the fuel mixture at racing RPM, and that creates more power!

Multiple Sparks

The MSD 6-Series Ignitions all generate multiple sparks at engine speeds of up to a minimum of 3,000 RPM. These multiple sparks, two or six in number, last for a full 20° of crankshaft rotation. In addition, each spark is generated at full voltage. These series of sparks improve start-up, quality of idle and response of the throttle. With a multiple carb that is set a little off at idle or with an engine that burns a bit of oil, the MSD’s multiple sparks prevent loading up of the cylinders. At higher RPMs, the plug only has time to fire once in the span of the combustion stroke, so a single spark is produced at full power at higher RPMs. Because of MSD’s CD technology, this single spark is produced at full power, at engine speeds through 10,000+ RPM, thus burning the fuel mixture efficiently and producing maximum power!


An MSD has primary wiring on a unique tinned conductor meeting MIL-86A specs. This conductor facilitates better crimps, and it combats corrosion. The protective jacket for this wiring resists high temperatures, friction and chemicals found under the hood.

Soft Touch Rev Control

MSD was the first to develop the adjustable rev control, and we have implemented it in most MDI ignition controls since then. The Soft Touch circuitry creates a smooth and precise limit without the cylinders loading up or creating excessive backfires. Even with a low-key street machine, a rev limiter is able to prevent costly engine caused by a driveline failure or a missed shift.


Another terrific point with the MSD Ignition line is that most of the accessories can be combined with your current Ignition Control. You can operate an MSD Ignition with a stock distributor, and upgrade later to a Pro-Billet or a crank trigger. There is no need to buy everything at one time or to spend on elements that you won’t use. For example, you might select an MSD Digital 6AL and later choose to add a nitrous system; in that case, you can add an MSD Timing Retard accessory easily. MSD offers a range of different timing controls, which ensures that when you choose an MSD Ignition, you will not be forced to pay for specs that you will not use!


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