A few weeks ago I posted that while test driving my '80 it decided to just quit. On the bright side, it quit just 100' or so short of the driveway. That was better than out on the main road where I was 5 minutes earlier. I could imagine waiting for a tow and then nonchalantly leaning on my windshield hiding the 2004 inspection sticker if the police arrived before the tow truck.
The cause of the failure turned out to be an Accel 300+ multispark capacitive discharge ignition module I had put into the car back around 2000. As I was looking for the cause of failure I pulled the original coil out of the original 300+ box which was conveniently right where I had left it 17 years ago - i.e. in the back of the vette. Nicely printed on the box was "lifetime warranty". The question of course was could I prove I was the original owner. And conveniently in the box was my faded receipt from Summit Racing.
So, after a few calls and redirects to different numbers at Accel/MSD, I finally found an actual warranty person. He informed me that their products have only 1 year warranties. I said that maybe so now, but my part was bought when it Accel offered a lifetime warranty. Yes, he said, but added we are MSD. Yes, I agreed, but added that when they bought Accel, they bought its liabilities. He checked with someone else and this lead to a few emails with documentation of the unit, the purchase, etc. They then informed me that the 300+ was no longer available nor could it be repaired, but that they could send me an MSD Digital 6-plus ignition control module instead. I just needed to send in the failed 300+. I did, and so if UPS is to be trusted my new MSD module should arrive tomorrow.
I have to say, I am impressed that they honored the warranty. Concerning the MSD Digital 6+, opinions? offers?
OK, so having received my free MSD Digital 6-plus ignition control module as a warranty replacement for my 17 year old Accel 300+, what is the general opinion on actually bothering to use it? One thing I can say for the original HEI, it's been banging away for 90,000 miles even with a 13 year garage hiatus. And when the 300+ went poof, had I just unplugged it and plugged all the original wires back into the HEI, which took all of 5 minutes, I could have just driven home.
But I would consider using the new module if it has a good reputation and as long as I can wire it in a way which lets me disconnect it and go back to the stock HEI in a couple minutes. And assuming I can find a place to mount it since it's about two and half times bigger than the 300+.
Vette(s): 1969 350 4 spd drop top
1972 350 auto coupe
That's great Vince but you know that guy that gave you grief didn't realize the value of honoring the warranty. Just your post alone probably provided more sales to MDS, where as if they were to deny it then it would have been a very negative statement. Your part didn't cost them much at all so they shouldn't have made you jump through hoops.
I just went around the Sears on their warranty on a new pair of work boots. They were stamped the wrong size, I had them more then 30 days and they flat out refused any refund or exchange. Sears was never like that but now their service plain stinks and lost me as a customer and probably a lot more people as well.
I like the GM part better. We had a MSD box fail 45 miles from home. This was in my son's 75 vette = me I still use points in my 69 & 72.
The reason I posted it was that I'm not afraid to gripe online when something isn't what it's supposed to be. I figure it's only fair to post when someone steps up. The hard part wasn't getting the needed info to them, it was just getting to the right guy. I guess nowadays with any of the Holley/MSD/Accel branded stuff you have to go to where you bought it to put in a warranty claim. That in itself is kind of strange. What does Summit or Jeggs know about deciding if a warranty claim is valid. But I could imagine going to Summit and telling them I want to send back an Accel unit I bought in 2000. That's why I called MSD directly. The problem there was there is no option to get to a warranty person. So I just picked tech support to get in the door. Once I had the right person, then it wasn't too bad.
On the issue of the units themselves leaving owners stranded, that seems to be a theme on the reviews. Basically they work great at smoothing out idle and such. And I know the only time I could push the timing up to 12 deg. per the L82 spec without using premium gas was when I had the 300+ installed. Without it the L82 pinged badly on regular at 12 deg. But when they quit they just quit. Maybe HEI modules are the same, but I drove the vette for over 20 years, probably 80,000 miles, without ever changing the module. Then it sat in the distributor for 17 years wihtou being used, but as soon as I plugged it back in the car cranked right up. The 300+ had less than 10,000 miles on it and a total of only 17 years of life, 4 active and 13 in the garage when it decided to die. Like all things, the more parts there are, the more potential failure points, the lower the reliability.
I'm in no rush to put the 6+ in, but if I do, the HEI module will still be under the rotor and it will be done with a harness that I can reroute on the fly to take the 6+ out of and the put the HEI module back into the circuit.
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