MSD Performance Introduces MSD Ignition Boxes Designed for LS Engines

Click Here to Begin All images courtesy MSDperformance.com. For years, MSD has been the high performance ignition system of choice for hot rodders. Comparing MSD boxes and OEM ignition boxes is like trying to compare Coke and Jack Daniels. There just is no comparison - they both taste great, but when you really want to go somewhere, you need something like an MSD box to light your fires.

MSD Performance Introduces MSD Ignition Boxes Designed for LS Engines

Click Here to Begin

All images courtesy MSDperformance.com.

For years, MSD has been the high performance ignition system of choice for hot rodders. Comparing MSD boxes and OEM ignition boxes is like trying to compare Coke and Jack Daniels. There just is no comparison - they both taste great, but when you really want to go somewhere, you need something like an MSD box to light your fires.

MSD Gives Adjustability Where the Stock LS Ignition Controller Doesn’t

Every gearhead out there knows that no single ignition curve is perfect for every situation. Sure, using a computer, an expensive program and a data cable you can modify the stock controller’s tune/ignition curve to get you in the ballpark for drag racing, autocrossing, and circle or oval tracks, but you’re not going to get a single tune that makes your engine perform the best it can; it’s just not possible. That’s why MSD came out with the original 6LS Black and Red ignition boxes. We could install it and then fiddle with our engine’s tune as we hit the backstretch or between passes in an attempt to eke out every single available pony that our engines have to offer. You might be able to do something similar with a computer and tuning software, but you’re going to have to take your eyes off the road for that. With MSD’s 6014 (Red) and 60143 (Black) LS Ignition Control boxes, you simply dial in the preset timing curve that you want and you’re good to go. You’ve got six to choose from with these boxes.

If you’re ignition curve savvy, there’s also the included MSD View software that allows you to configure your own custom tune so you can set everything up the way you want it. The software lets you see the engine temperature (with optional GM coolant temperature sensor PN 12608814) and adjust idle timing. You can also adjust the timing on individual cylinders if you want. Even better, they’re compatible with both nitrous and boost and can be used on either injected or carbureted engines, with either 24x or 58x crank triggers using the built-in 2.5 Bar MAP Sensor.

Taking a Peek Inside the MSD Performance Ignition LS Ignition Controller Box

The LS Ignition Controller Box comes with almost everything you need for a complete installation except the tools and the optional GM LS Coolant Temperature Sensor, GM PN 12608814 and MSD PN 2279, the 24x Crank/4x Cam connector. You get the following:
• PN 6014 (60143) LS Ignition Controller
• Main Wiring Harness
• Crank/Cam Pigtail 24x
• Crank/Cam pigtail 58x
• Sub Harness
• USB Cable
• Mounting Kit
• MSDView USB (Flashdrive installer)

So, most of what you’ll need for the installation is included with the kit. However, you will need a few items. First and foremost is a 30 Amp relay for powering the box. Next is a small spool of black and red (or pink) 12 gauge wire for main power. Next, there is the optional coolant sensor and the 24x/4x cam sensor connector if your car is so equipped. Finally, you’re going to want a small package of blue or yellow spade lug connectors. Also, if you want to use the integrated MAP sensor, you’ll need to pick up a ¼ inch Camozzi fitting and some vacuum tubing to connect to the intake manifold.

Installing the MSD LS Ignition Controller Step 1: Install the MSDView Software

This is where the magic begins. Installing the MSDView software is the same as installing any other piece of software, with the only difference being the installation medium is a Flashdrive and not a CD/DVD or executable file on your hard drive.
• Insert the Installation Flashdrive in an available USB port in your computer.
• Locate and double click the “autorun.exe” file on the Flashdrive.
• Click on the “Install MSD View Software” button.
• Windows will ask you if you want to make changes to the computer. Click “Yes” in this dialog box.
• Click the “Next” button in the “Setup-MSD View” window that appears.
• You’ll be presented with the License Agreement, which you’ll need to accept to continue.
• Click to accept the desktop icon and then click “Install.”
• Click “Finish” to run the MSD View application

Step 2: Mounting the Controller Box

Since the MSD LS Ignition Controller allows you to make changes to your engine’s tune on the fly, it should be installed somewhere inside the car where you can easily reach it. This is why most people like to mount it on a plate between the seats or on the driver’s side of the drive tunnel right in front of the driver’s seat.

Although the controller is fully potted (protected from accidental dousing), it should be installed in a location where it won’t be subjected to getting wet on a regular basis. Some of the electronics inside the box are vibration sensitive, so you have to mount it using the included rubber isolators to keep vibrations to a minimum. It also must be kept from extreme heat. These are more reasons that most people like to install them between the seats on a raised plate.

Step 3: Run Power and Ground from Battery

Disconnect the battery, negative first. For best operation, power and ground should come directly from the battery. However, power should be switched through a relay that is switched by the key. You should never power the ignition controller directly off the ignition switch. You should use minimum 12 gauge wiring for power and ground. To connect to the relay, you should use spade lugs to ensure good connections and circle lugs for your battery side connections.

Refer to the image above for wiring up the relay (you need to buy this separately. They cost a few bucks at a parts store.) When making these connections at the battery, connect the wiring to the connectors, not directly to the battery, and don’t reconnect the battery until you have everything else connected and double-checked.

Step 4: Connect Controller Box to Coils, Cam, and Crank

Refer to the image and chart above when making these connections. The bulkhead between the engine and passenger compartments should have several openings through which you can route these wires. Some of these may be plugged and some may be larger than others. You can also carefully drill your own holes in the bulkhead. However you choose to route the wires through the bulkhead, be sure to use grommets in the bulkhead to protect the wires from chafing.

NOTE: The cam harness plugs directly into the cam sensor, whereas the crank harness plugs into the OEM pigtail.

Step 5: Reconnect Power

Go through the installation again. Double-check to make sure that every wiring connection you’ve made is solid, and that you securely mounted the relay and controller box. Connect the battery - positive first and then ground, making sure they are tight.

Step 6: Initializing the Controller and Software

After installation, your MSD View screen will look like this until you connect and power up your MSD LS Series Ignition Controller. Connect the supplied USB cable between your computer’s available USB port and the controller box. Turn the ignition on. Your MSD LS Ignition Controller will show up in the product window inside the software. Mouse over it and highlight it and then click the “Hide/View” button. Hopefully you have an active internet connection, because the first time you connect the unit to the computer it may ask to download and install updates.

NOTE: MSD says these two controllers are only supposed to be installed on either “race only cars” or cars that are not emissions controlled.

I’ll see you at the track!

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About Mike Aguilar 202 Articles
Mike's love of cars began in the early 1970's when his father started taking him to his Chevron service station. He's done pretty much everything in the automotive aftermarket from gas station island attendant, parts counter, mechanic, and new and used sales. Mike also has experience in the amateur ranks of many of racing's sanctioning bodies.
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