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Dragstrip and Launch Techniques Discussion 1/4 mile, 1/8 mile, launch discussions.

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Old 06-23-2013, 10:10 PM   #1
Russell James


 
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BBC drag race motor MSD 7AL-2 Starter Cranking Question

Not sure where to put this question, but looking for someone with experience starting an old school big block Chevy drag motor using a MSD 7AL-2 box and crank trigger.

Its a 540 13.5 to 1 comp BBC. Its been through a few starters, tiltons, keeps tearing up the starter clutches.

I just put in a Powermaster Ultra Tq starter and don't want to tear this one up.

The crank trigger is set at 40 degs, so it wants to kick back and backfire sometimes through the carb trying to start cold. The timing so advanced is probably what is so hard on the starters.

The starter switch and ignition are on separate switches in a Painless switch box. I've always turned the ignition and fuel on before cranking.

So here's my question.... with a crank trigger and 7AL-2 box, can I get the motor cranking first with the starter switch and kick on the ignition switch while it's cranking? I know I can the way everything is wired, just wondering if I should?

Would this be easier on the starter, or a good way to break something?
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:25 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Russell James View Post
So here's my question.... with a crank trigger and 7AL-2 box, can I get the motor cranking first with the starter switch and kick on the ignition switch while it's cranking? I know I can the way everything is wired, just wondering if I should?
i was taught on these setups to switch fuel, hit the starter, after a couple seconds hit the ignition.

dont know if its "right" or not, but havent broken anything and seems to fire substantially easier

if your not on 16V already, may look into switching over. starts high comp high timing motors much quicker as well
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:50 AM   #3
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Thanks, I'll give it a try. I've got two real good 12v batteries, and huge cable, I think it has enough cranking power.

Just wasn't sure if that 7AL-2 box was meant to be kicked on while cranking. I don't want to fry anything in the middle of a race day. Maybe I'll give MSD a call and also see if they see any issue hitting the ign on while cranking.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Tally TransAm View Post
i was taught on these setups to switch fuel, hit the starter, after a couple seconds hit the ignition.
This. Get it cranking first then flip the ignition on. You can also buy a start retard module for it.

Edit: That may be too much advance too. Most race BBC's like 36 to 38 degrees.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:38 AM   #5
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Timing is killing your starters. 40 is a lot for a BBC.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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I've got a high gear 4 deg retard. This motor seems to like 40 degs in low and 36 in high gear.

Thanks for the tips. I may try to put in a start retard module. Maybe take out the high gear retard module and put in a multi retard module. Do both the high gear and start retard out of the same box.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:13 PM   #7
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Just get used to the crank and hit it method. Save some bucks.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:16 PM   #8
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Or dial back on that timing. Get off the kill tune.
We backed ours off from 38 to 36 and only lost 3 hundreds in the 1/4. Fattened the jets up 2 sizes and lost another 2 hundredths. Haven't hurt that motor in 13 years.
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