Jacobs Ignition

There were several E-mail messages this morning concerning my recent post on the Jacobs Energy Team Ignition. Maybe others would like more elaboration as well?

Last year I saw an ad in "Grassroots Motorsports" for the Jacobs and gave the guys a call. By the time I had finished with the salesman the price had dropped considerably and I reluctantly let the numbers on my Visa slip off the end of my tongue - hey, after all - it had an unconditional money back guarantee (less tech and prep fee of $32.00) and a lifetime warranty.

The sales hype went something like this: "The doctor (Jacobs) has spent y*e*a*r*s researching ignition systems and has developed the best available at any price. We have dyno tested the V6 Fiero and recorded an increase of 24 HP! You will get better gas mileage, easier starts, NO misfires, cleaner emissions, longer plug life and all the sex you ever wanted from wife or girlfriend."

I told him to send it EXPRESS via FED-X.

The package included a new set of blue, silicone, 8mm, low resistance plug wires; a HUGE blue coil; THE Energy Team MSD Computer, wires, plug wire separators and an anti-theft ignition cut-off switch. I also ordered their rotor cap and rotor.

The "theory" they push is that their ignition wires deliver more voltage to the plug than any other available - with full radio noise suppression. Their super coil pumps out over 70,000 volts and the MSD computer actually measures the resistance of each spark plug at the tip, knows when there is still a useable fuel charge in the cylinder and will "restrike" the fire on the spark plugs over and over to assure all the fuel is burned.

Well, I'm a sucker for high tech electronics anyway - especially when it comes to my car. I was also going through a pretty tough divorce and the better sex part was enticing.

I carefully followed the directions and added some Virginia intuition. The blue plug wires didn't look as good as the stock reds - but they were OK. I pulled the factory coil off and tossed it in the junk box. The new coil was mounted on the trunk firewall, as was the MSD Computer. All the wiring plugged into existing sockets. The new coil only used two wires - don't know what happened to the other two. I followed their advice and opened the plug gap another 5 thousandths and snapped on their distributor cap and rotor. I ran a wire for the antitheft switch up under the dash and turned on the switch.

As I left the driveway I anxiously awaited the thrust of an additional 24 HP. When I tromped on the pedal everything felt the same - no rocket launch, no blazing tires. But wait! What is this? Rather than beginning to slough off at 5,000 the little 2.8 was beginning to sail - almost scream. The tach climbed steadily and rapidly to 6,000, AND KEPT GOING!

The only conclusion I can make is the old ignition would do as the salesman said - let the fire blow out at higher RPM. The new Jacobs didn't do that - it was keeping the fire lit in the upper RPM ranges.

If there is an additional 24HP it must be, as suggested, somewhere in the upper extremes. The gas mileage still isn't worth a damn and the car still doesn't want to start like I think it should. The sex is great.

Needless to say, I kept the unit. One other thing. I have the ADS chip in my ECM. As you know, the chip only works on WOT, the rest of the time it uses "standard" values. There is NO rev limiter on my 88 - maybe a result of the ADS chip? Anyway, if you push your foot to the floor & hold it there I believe the engine would fly into a million pieces long before the computer tried to shut off fuel and fire. Also, there is NO speed governor. This ain't no lie - on 64W coming out of Goshen there is a slight downgrade that goes for miles. I can pull all the way to 5000 in 5th gear - there may even be more there - but I quit. How fast is that? Well, set your car on 2500 in 5th - note the speed - now double it. Subtract a few mph for slip and you will be there. If the man with the radar gun had been at the bottom of the hill I would have gotten life +99 years with no parole - - - if he could have caught me. (-;

From: Randy T. Agee

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