NTPOG 5th Gen Ignition Installation

Author: Mark Higgins

Before You Start...
Be it knownst that NTPOG isn't responsible for your own intelligence (or lack thereof). Practice common sense when working with power tools (or non power tools for that matter) and around jacks, lifts, etc. One further note: This modification was not performed, supervised, or tested by any member of the NTPOG staff. It was graciously contributed by a non-member. That being said...

An aftermarket ignition system increases spark energy, which is needed to punch through a more dense air/fuel mixture. This modification does little to help non-modified or even mildly modified engines. The pictures can be a little blurry; my Casio digital camera really bites.

Installation Note
This write-up is based on an MSD-6AL ignition box with a MSD Blaster 2 coil. Different models/brands will probably be slightly different, but it's a similar process for most ignitions.

MSD-6AL Ignition Box Installation
Before starting on the electrical system, disconnect the negative battery cable to keep from getting any surprises. After that, the first thing that needs to be done is to mount the ignition box.

Your two options for location are in the engine compartment or in the passenger compartment. Space is at a premium in the engine bay, so some people will choose to go through the firewall and place the unit in the glove compartment or along the passenger side of the center console. The box makes some intermittent clicking noises which I didn't want in the passenger compartment, so I found a spot in the engine bay. I happen to have a AEM cold air intake already installed, and it opened up some space beside the battery, so it wasn't necessary for me to relocate the battery (another option), which I will probably do in the future anyway.

I opted to bolt the unit to the plastic battery box. I took out the battery and drilled two holes in the box as far back as possible, to bolt the MSD unit into. I bolted the box through the two holes, put the battery back in, and secured the other side of the unit to the battery tie down with a zip tie.

This is only a temporary place for it until I relocate the battery, but it's more solid than I thought it would be.

Make sure you snip the two wires under the cap on the side of the unit (so the unit knows your car is a 4-cylinder) before mounting it. I made sure I mounted the side with the rev limiter plug-in facing up, for easy access.

Blaster 2 Coil Installation
First, you have to remove the old coil. Remove the wire harness on the bottom of the old coil, and the cable from the top. I chose to remove the entire bracket that the coil was mounted on.

All you need to do to accomplish this is to remove the two bolts and squeeze out the little wire mounting clip that's attached to it. After that, I mounted the new coil using the top bolt that the old coil bracket used. I had to bend the new MSD bracket a bit in order for the coil to fit properly. I only mounted it using one bolt, but it is sturdy enough for the job.

After the installation, the wiring is simple. Here are the wires and where they go:
MSD Thick Red - battery positive (+)
MSD Thick Black - battery negative (-)
MSD Thin Orange - coil positive (+)
MSD Thin Black - coil negative (-)

Here is the only wiring part that is specific to the 5th Gen (4th Gen is the same with different factory wire colors) You need to connect the spade connectors that came with the MSD to the thin red and white wire from the MSD. One of the white spade connectors must be snipped and sealed, I just temporarily sealed mine back with tape in the picture.

Now, the two red and one white spade connectors will fit in the wire harness that used to go in the bottom of the old coil.
MSD Thin Red wire 1 - matches with the black wire with yellow strip (this is the key-on positive wire)
MSD Thin Red wire 2 - matches with the solid yellow (This wire powers the Ignition control module)
MSD Thin White wire - matches to the solid green wire (This is the trigger wire)

At the end of it all it should look like this:


Make sure the wire has at least been taped up with electrical tape and you're ready for a test start. Reconnect the battery terminals and start the car.

I was actually surprised that I could easily tell the difference with and without the new ignition plugged in. I don't think it added any power, but the engine is more responsive now. There is no hesitation and it's more difficult to stall the car at really low RPM's- which is good when your girlfriend is learning to drive manual. : )

Follow Up
You may want to get rid of the MSD connectors and solder and seal everything together, or at least seal the connectors using heat shrink tubing and bundle the wires together using a plastic wire loom. Make sure all the wires are routed away from hot pipes or metal edges that may cut into them. It might not be a bad idea to follow this modification with some aftermarket wires. Magnecor KV85 8.5mm plug wires are highly recommended (Part #45188 for Gen 5 Prelude). You should also get some copper NGK spark plugs. If you're naturally aspirated you can gap them .010 over stock. When you put on a blower or nitrous you'll need to use the stock gap or probably a little less than stock.

Questions or comments?  Email me.

This page last updated 4/3/01.