Ask Sarah: MotoIQ “linked in”

Ask Sarah: MotoIQ “linked in”

By Sarah Forst


Why reinvent the wheel?  All the answers below also have links for more detail. It's MotoIQ extra credit!

I have a 1996 200SX and would like to upgrade the ignition with an MSD 6A box and external coil. Do I have to modify the stock ignition cap or is an aftermarket unit available?


The stock Nissan ignition is good enough for most setups.  If you're not boosting, squeezing, or exceeding the rpm limits the stock ignition can handle- typically around 8000rpm for the SR20DE- you shouldn't need to upgrade to an aftermarket ignition.  The stock SR20DE ignition can handle up to 16-18psi of boost or a 100 shot of nitrous oxide.  But once you get to that level of modification, the denser intake charge increases cylinder pressures and the stock ignition isn't capable of the ionization needed to produce a good enough spark to ignite the mixture.  This is when you'll need a high powered ignition system to prevent misfire.  
MSD ignition with external coil
Just make sure you're setting up your ignition for your power goals.  Sometimes the aftermarket ignition is too much for normal driving conditions.  I have a Digital 7 Plus with MSD external coil on my SR20.  I also set up the MSD tach adapter so my tach won't go beserk trying to handle the MSD's multiple sparks.  This ignition setup (and my spark plugs gapped at 0.021″) was essential when I dyno'd at 473 whp at 26psi, but kinda sucks for just driving around at low boost.  
The MSD 6A or Digital 6 is good for boosting around 20psi while the 7AL or Digital 7 can help with higher boost pressures.  On the 1995+ SR20DE engines which have an internal coil, MSD makes an external coil conversion for Hondas that will work with some modification.  You'll need to cut the primary conductor from the stock coil, solder in a wire that exits out the distributor, and fill in the hole in the distributor cap with silicone.  This wire will be used to trigger an external ignition system.  Jim Wolf Technology offers an awesome how to (with pictures!) on their website for modifying the SR20 distributor with internal coil.
Hi Sarah, 
I have attempted to find the answer to this question to no avail. Please can you help?  I have purchased a GL1 cable from GoPoint Technology for my iPhone. I am about to download DashCommand through iTunes, but I would like to know if the readings: fuel, etc can be switched to metric?  Eg L/100Km. Liters, Kilometers etc.  I have looked through your Web Site and could not find the answer.  I would be pleased if you can answer this for me.
Regards, Murray Kirkness
Dash Command dashboard
Dash Command dashboards are available on and can be customized to your preferences or you can create your own interactive dashboard for the settings you wish to monitor.
Dash Command offers both English and Metric unit settings.  Both units are visible in the Data View, but the dashboard settings must be changed to show metric units.  For the iPhone version, go into Settings, scroll to the Setup group and click on Units, then select English or Metric.  It appears there is currently an issue with the application reverting back to English settings if you try to go “back” immediately after changing this setting.  You may be able to get around this by selecting another screen within the settings menu and then going back.  I did confirm with their support team that they are currently working on a fix and hope to have an update available soon.  They actually have a pretty good forum that includes guides, troubleshooting, and more.  I suggest you keep checking there for when that fix is available.   

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