In this Month's Shop Talk, we paid a visit to MSD Performance. MSD Performance is owned by Autotronic Controls Corp., (ACC) and was founded in 1970 as a research and development company by two engineers from White Sands (New Mexico) Missile Range. The men and their partners were working on a lean burn fuel system which they called the Electrasonic Fuel Induction System; a concept designed to help fuel economy of new and older automobiles. As the new fuel system was being perfected, the air/fuel mixture was becoming so lean that it was difficult for conventional breaker points and early electronic ignitions to ignite it.
The men of ACC then started investigating a new ignition system, which used a more modern technology called capacitive discharge (CD). The CD design opened another door for the ignition; the capability to spark multiple times. The high-energy spark of the CD design combined with multiple sparks resulted in a potent ignition. Not only did the multiple spark discharge (MSD) ignite the lean fuel mixture, it made overall improvements in the engine's performance! Improved starting, smooth idle, less emissions, and more power are benefits every car and truck can take advantage of—especially in performance cars.
Today, MSD Ignition is located in an 84,000 square foot building in El Paso, Texas. They have over 400 employees, including an excellent core of highly trained engineers, technicians, assembly specialists, and a host of performance enthusiasts. Together, their team designs, develops, tests, and manufactures the entire line of MSD products including Ignition Controls, Coils, Timing Accessories and Spark Plug Wires, and Accessories. The company is housed in three buildings, and the campus includes four engine dynos, two chassis dynos, complete CNC and machining centers, modern shipping and packaging areas, plus assembly and burn-in departments.
MSD Ignition products are the finest ignition components you can install on your car; whether it's a daily driver, lowrider, dirt tracker, 4-wheel drive, a seven second Pro Stock car, or even Big Foot! When you stop by at a show or at their headquarters to see MSD's full product line, or if you call for an inquiry, let them know that you saw them in Lowrider magazine!
The Master Designer
Joe Pando - Manager