Spares - DSII Ignition System

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dan240
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Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #1 by dan240 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:58 pm

I am probably just being paranoid but I was curious who carries spare ignition system components and what they carry with them.

I have an 83 Ford Bronco with all original DSII ignition system (except coil, plugs and plug wires). The truck has 110k miles on it but its 35 years old. We use the truck for camping and offroad and I am not always close to a parts store. I actually bring a spare carb and carb parts, among other things when we are out. Its nice being able to carry most fuel and ignition parts for the whole truck in a small tool box.

Should I worry about the distributor and ignition box or am I worrying for nothing? An aftermarket distributor is ~$80 and a DSII module is ~$30. I think I'd want to run Motorcraft parts if I'm replacing stuff, which would cost quite a bit more but maybe buy lesser parts as spares.

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #2 by SteveP » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:08 pm

I've owned a bunch of vehicles with DSII ignitions and I learned a long time ago to carry a spare module. I've never had a distributor fail but I've had several modules die suddenly.

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #3 by Fordman75 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:13 pm

I like to carry spare parts too. I like to be able to fix something if I need to. That being said the best thing I carry is a AAA card! :D Don't need to use it very often. But it's awful nice to have when something breaks that isn't real easy to fix away from home.

I've never had the distributor itself fail. But I have had the drive gear roll pins break. and have had the magnetic pick up coil fail.

For spare electrical parts I carry a starter solenoid & ignition switch ( some times a starter ) and alternator. I don't carry a spare distributor but I do carry a replacement magnetic pick up coil, cap, rotor & spacer/cap adapter and some kind of material to replace the distributor drive gear roll pin, Ignition module, coil and plug wires.

I like to stay with Motorcraft parts. Some of my spares are good used parts. Sometimes used parts are better then the new stuff they sell.
Ted

54 Ford F100/F150 4x4
300, NP435 4spd, NP205 transfercase

jason832
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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #4 by jason832 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 11:18 pm

-Module for sure.
-Distributor since I'm too lazy to carry just pieces of it.
-Starter since header heat and high compression takes a toll on them.
-Instead of carrying a spare alternator I just have a massive battery (1100 CA 900 CCA and massive capacity) and a voltmeter in the dash. If it's low I head to the nearest store or help. Massive battery is a must for me in Canadian winters though...
-lots of permatex ultra black gasket maker, jb weld, zipties, multimeter, wiring connector kit, booster cables.

Sounds like a lot but it all fits in a small chest just fine. In the 6 yrs of daily driving the 85 I've saved two calls for help with a few minutes of work. Nice to have a truck you can fix, and most situations covered with a small chest of junk.

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THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #5 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:04 pm

jason832 wrote:... Nice to have a truck you can fix, and most situations covered with a small chest of junk.


I miss that.
But the reliability and creature comforts of my computer controlled world are nice to have too.

I do carry a small kit in my street rods, including a one-gallon gas jug with a quart of fuel in it - enough to prime the system and get me off the freeway or whatever.
FORD 300 INLINE SIX - THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN DRAG RACING

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #6 by sdiesel » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:40 am

jason, what part of Canada are u in?
when in quebec I carried all I could including cold weather gear, but the Temps often made a repair unrealistic.
I switched to HEI MODULES. for the very reason of on road security.
a Ford headlight switch is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY.
a long love affair with the 300 six.
my lastest and final fling is a fresh 300 in an 88 ford f350 dually 4X flatbed

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #7 by jason832 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:13 am

I'm in Ottawa. I find once I get the truck started and warmed up to driveable in the winter I have next to no problems. Nothing will overheat (module, engine, drivetrains, brakes...)

Gotta love when its so cold the np435 starts walking away in neutral thinking ots an automatic with 75w90 and takes Godzilla to shift it :mrgreen:

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #8 by Lazy JW » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:48 am

jason832 wrote:...
Gotta love when its so cold the np435 starts walking away in neutral thinking ots an automatic with 75w90 and takes Godzilla to shift it :mrgreen:


In my experience that starts happening around -20°F :evil:
"The White OX" 1974 F-350 300-6, Stock single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18A, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox" (Proverbs 14:4)
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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #9 by powerband » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:55 am

switched to HEI MODULES. for the very reason of on road security.

I use a DS I distributor with HEI trigger with ZERO problems, but for security I have a spare module on opposite side of the heat sync - as learned in the B.S's.: BE PREPARED ...
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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #10 by 1986F150six » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:45 am

Clean and compact installation!

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #11 by Lazy JW » Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:50 pm

1986F150six wrote:Clean and compact installation!


Indeed. Powerband's workmanship is truly exemplary :thumbup: :nod: :D
"The White OX" 1974 F-350 300-6, Stock single exhaust, Carter YF, T-18A, Dana70 w/4.11, Flatbed dually w/dump bed. "Where no oxen are, the crib is clean, but much increase is by the strength of the ox" (Proverbs 14:4)
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broncr
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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #12 by broncr » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:10 pm

I have to admit, I'm a bit lost when it comes to spark control options/measures. I have the stock diz on my '82, and the original DS module is still attached to the inner fender

I bought an MSD6 control module & coil quite a while back & it appears to be wired/plugged into the stock harness. I'm not sure if the DS is still needed. I just left it there because there's a small bundle of wires coming & going, and it appeared it would be very easy to switch back if the MSD ever failed.

As best I can guess, the original has ~3-400,000 miles on it, but there have been a couple engine swaps on my watch.

As I said - I'm a bit lost, but this one hasn't failed me. If someone were to try to school me on the foolhardiness of my ignorance ( or not?) it would be welcomed.

That's one of the things I've always appreciated about FSP - there's a trustworthy expert on just about everything. :thumbup: :thumbup:
'82 FSP Bronco. Just about every mod ever mentioned. ( Too much to list - or remember...)

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #13 by Fordman75 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:39 pm

broncr wrote:I have to admit, I'm a bit lost when it comes to spark control options/measures. I have the stock diz on my '82, and the original DS module is still attached to the inner fender

I bought an MSD6 control module & coil quite a while back & it appears to be wired/plugged into the stock harness. I'm not sure if the DS is still needed. I just left it there because there's a small bundle of wires coming & going, and it appeared it would be very easy to switch back if the MSD ever failed.

As best I can guess, the original has ~3-400,000 miles on it, but there have been a couple engine swaps on my watch.

As I said - I'm a bit lost, but this one hasn't failed me. If someone were to try to school me on the foolhardiness of my ignorance ( or not?) it would be welcomed.

That's one of the things I've always appreciated about FSP - there's a trustworthy expert on just about everything. :thumbup: :thumbup:



The DSII module's are great until they aren't. They work until they don't. The stock Motorcraft ones seem to be a much better quality then a lot of the replacement ones. If you ever do have to replace one spend the money on the Motorcraft one. I also like to grab used originals from the salvage yard when I run across them. Most are usually still in good working condition but have damaged connectors. So I have a whole stack of them on a shelf. But these parts are getting old. And they can fail and do fail. Maybe you have just been lucky to have yours last so long. But having yours unhooked and running a MSD box instead is definitely going to help it last even longer. :wink: :D

The MSD6 set ups are nice units. But they have been known to just fail too. So keeping your original in place ready to be plugged in is a good idea. I had the same set up in a 84 F250 4x4 I use to own. I had the MSD 6AL hooked up with an adapter harness to a DSII distributor and had a DSII module on the inner fender ready to be hooked up if needed. Having a back up is better then being stranded.
Ted

54 Ford F100/F150 4x4
300, NP435 4spd, NP205 transfercase

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #14 by sdiesel » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:50 am

I abandoned the dsii with a msd
which is dyno-mite
abandoned it for HEI mounted on the aluminun
bracket on the serpentine system.
I use a TFI coil on factory mount bolted to the fuel pump cover plate. just in front of the dist.

finally. few wires, less clutter, simple install simple simple simple.
just like Me.
a long love affair with the 300 six.
my lastest and final fling is a fresh 300 in an 88 ford f350 dually 4X flatbed

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #15 by powerband » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:35 am

... simple install simple simple simple. just like Me.

I live by that mantra, it's the basis of my modification and fabrication projects ... . 8)

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #16 by bubba22349 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:17 am

Fordman75 wrote:
broncr wrote:I have to admit, I'm a bit lost when it comes to spark control options/measures. I have the stock diz on my '82, and the original DS module is still attached to the inner fender

I bought an MSD6 control module & coil quite a while back & it appears to be wired/plugged into the stock harness. I'm not sure if the DS is still needed. I just left it there because there's a small bundle of wires coming & going, and it appeared it would be very easy to switch back if the MSD ever failed.

As best I can guess, the original has ~3-400,000 miles on it, but there have been a couple engine swaps on my watch.

As I said - I'm a bit lost, but this one hasn't failed me. If someone were to try to school me on the foolhardiness of my ignorance ( or not?) it would be welcomed.

That's one of the things I've always appreciated about FSP - there's a trustworthy expert on just about everything. :thumbup: :thumbup:



The DSII module's are great until they aren't. They work until they don't. The stock Motorcraft ones seem to be a much better quality then a lot of the replacement ones. If you ever do have to replace one spend the money on the Motorcraft one. I also like to grab used originals from the salvage yard when I run across them. Most are usually still in good working condition but have damaged connectors. So I have a whole stack of them on a shelf. But these parts are getting old. And they can fail and do fail. Maybe you have just been lucky to have yours last so long. But having yours unhooked and running a MSD box instead is definitely going to help it last even longer. :wink: :D

The MSD6 set ups are nice units. But they have been known to just fail too. So keeping your original in place ready to be plugged in is a good idea. I had the same set up in a 84 F250 4x4 I use to own. I had the MSD 6AL hooked up with an adapter harness to a DSII distributor and had a DSII module on the inner fender ready to be hooked up if needed. Having a back up is better then being stranded.


X2 In a strictly stock replacement situation "all ICM's are not created equal!" Back in the 1980's I looked internally at some bargain auto parts brands of ICM's as well as the Motorcraft and NAPA units. The cheap knock off brands don't have all the parts inside them as those orginally used by Ford. Personally I never used or installed for a customer any the knock off ICM's and I also haven't had the problems with failures as others. As far as the HEI again I also won't use any of the cheap auto parts brands eighter. Good luck :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Spares - DSII Ignition System

Post #17 by woodbutcher » Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:48 pm

:hmmm: Can`t understand the number of failures with the DS2 systems.I currently have way in excess of 200K miles on two different DS2 systems with no failures.With ONE exception.
Lightening strike to a transformer on a power pole about 10 ft from where I was parked.That killed the ign box that was in use,plus the spare in my tool box.I use an extra ground wire from one of the mount screws to the firewall.Setting up the DS2 in my 84 F150 was very easy,as all of the DS2 plugs were in the main wiring harness in my truck.Just removed the computer for the TFI ign along with the all the wire for same.The DS2 system was a total PNP for my truck.Total cost for both DS2 systems was ZERO.The first DS2 was in my 74 F100 with a 302.
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
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