How To: MSD Launch Master Installation.

Discussion in '2005 - 2009 Specific Tech' started by DarkFireGT, Jul 4, 2008.


  1. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    This how-to will cover the installation of the MSD Launch Master (Part No. MSD-8734) on a 2007 Ford Mustang GT 5-Speed Manual.

    Description from MSD:

    • Easily set a launch rpm for consistent holeshots
    • Connects to the factory coils for easy installation
    • The best way to launch hard
    The Launch Master connects right to your late model Ford to produce consistent launches and quicker 60-foot times by setting an rpm limit to stage with. When activated, the rpm will be held at a steady rpm and once the green light comes on, release the clutch and take off - but be sure to hold on! The rpm is adjusted with two built-in rotary dials ranging from 1,800 - 9,900 rpm in 100 rpm increments. A handy LED shows when the launch rev limit is active.

    Parts and Supplies Required:
    MSD-8734
    18 or 16 gauge primary wire
    (2) crimp ring terminals
    (1) magnetic reed switch
    3/4" convoluted tubing (about 3 feet)
    Electrical tape
    Add a link fuseable link
    wire zip ties
    3M tape
    Rocker switch and connectors (necessary for automatics only)
    Epoxy suitable for metal and plastic

    Tools Required:
    Wire crimper
    10mm socket or wrench
    Phillips screw driver
    Body pin puller (optional)
    Drill and 1/4" drill bit

    Notes:

    • For automatics, you will need to install a rocker switch on the activation wire, else the rev limiter will kick in any time you hit the brake. Of course, this is optional, but for safety, I do recommend it.
    • A reed type switch is a magnetic switch that opens or closes a circuit when the magnets get in range of each other. In this case, the maximum distance for activation is approximately .65 inches. Keep this in mind when mounting your switch. I purchased my switch here.
    • The unit can be mounted anywhere in your engine bay, just remember to have enough slack for all the wiring to reach, and that you can still access the adjustment dials.
    • The RPMs must be a minimum of 1000 below the set limit before activation, or activation will not be allowed by the unit. (I.E. if you set the limiter at 3000 RPMs, you must be below 2000 for it to activate.)
    [Engine bay prior to installation, for reference]
    [​IMG]

    Step 1:
    Connect the 3-pin harness to the 2-step and connect the Black wire to the good engine or chassis ground. I used the existing body ground. Remove the bolt with a 10mm socket or wrench. Slide the ring terminal from the MSD harness on the bolt and re-install the bolt.
    [​IMG]

    Step 2:
    Disconnect the 2-pin connectors from each of the eight ignition coils. Each connector has a small tab that needs to be pushed in to release the clip.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 3:
    Connect all eight of the 2-pin male connectors from the MSD harness into the factory coil connectors. Only connect to the factory coil harness, and not the coils at this time.
    [​IMG]

    Step 4:
    Plug the 8-pin connector with the single Red wire from the 2-Step to the connector with Black wires.
    [​IMG]

    Step 5:
    Turn the key to the On position – do NOT start the engine. Look at the LED on the 2-Step:

    • LED On – This confirms that the wiring is correct and you can move to step 6.
    • LED Off – The wiring is different for this application and needs to be changed. Turn the key Off, plug the 8-pin connector with the eight Gray wires into the connector with the single Red wire
    [​IMG]

    Step 6:
    Connect the 8-pin harness with the tan wires to the remaining connector on the harness. Once you've done this, go ahead and mount the unit. I held off on mounting to make sure the harness would reach and LED lit. You will need a drill to mount it, or optionally use 3M tape. If you use 3M tape, make sure you scuff the mounting surfaces well. I used a screw on the left, and 2 strips of 3M tape on the back.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 7:
    Connect all eight of the female 2-pin connectors from the MSD harness into the factory coils. At this point, the connections to the coil on plugs are done. You can begin cleaning up the wiring now, or wait until you're done.

    Step 8:
    Choose whether you're going to use the ground activation wire or powered activation wire. Since I already had a switched wire run to the driver's side for my line locks, I tapped into that and went for the powered method. The powered activation wire is white with a blue stripe. The ground activation wire is blue. Clip the wire short that you do not intend on using. Otherwise, you'll just need to add an add-a-fuse link, which you'll see pictured below. I ran the activation wire through a hole below that battery and out into the wheel well. I pulled the passenger wheel off and pulled the rear fender liner out. I poked a hole through the large grommet and ran the wire in. Replace the fender liner and wheel.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 9:
    Run the activation wire behind the center stack of the dash to the driver's side. Run another wire along with it, and connect one end to the add-a-fuse. Do not install the fuse yet, but leave enough slack so that you can install it. As always, make sure to zip tie up the wires when you're done to avoid a mess and make for a nice, clean, factory looking installation. At this point, we need to install a crimp ring terminal connector to each wire, and connect them to the magnetic switch. The white/blue wire needs to connect to the output side of the switch. The powered wire needs to connect to the closed circuit side of the switch.
    (Note: The reed switch I used has a closed terminal and an open terminal. If you use the closed side, the unit will only activate when the switch is engaged. If you accidentally use the open side, the unit will be active all the time, and deactivate when the switch is engaged.) At this point, I plugged the fuse in and turned the car on. I had a helper watch the LED light on the MSD unit to make sure it came on when the magnet came close the the terminal piece of the switch. Once you confirm that the switch is working, disconnect the fuse and continue to the next step.
    [​IMG]

    Step 10:
    Mount both sides of the switch. You'll want to put the wired side on the firewall, and the magnetic side on the clutch pedal. I used a few spacers I had sitting around, along with a thin piece of plastic for a base. I used 3M tape to secure the spacers to the switch. I then epoxied the plastic base to the spacer and to the clutch pedal. I taped it all up and let it sit for an hour to cure. Of course, be sure to scuff any surfaces that will be taped or epoxied, and clean well for maximum adhesion. Again, connect the fuse, turn the car to On (do not start) and confirm the switch is working. If not, you may need to reposition the switch. Remember, the maximum distance for activation is about .65". Once you confirm the switch is working, move on to the next step.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 11:
    Clean up all wiring. I used some convoluted tubing and electrical tape in the engine bay, then zip tied it down to the existing tubing. Zip tie all wiring in the car, as well. Make sure that the wires are out of the way enough so that they don't interfere with the travel of the other pedals.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 12:
    Test it out and enjoy! Use a low RPM first to ensure it's working properly. I chose 3000 RPMs. Also of note, the dial closest to the LED is for 1000's and the dial further from the LED is for 100's.
    0=10,000 RPMs
    1=11,000 RPMs
    2=2,000 RPMs
    3=3,000 RPMs
    etc...

    <embed src="http://videos.streetfire.net/vidiac.swf?video=c2aad1e6-2a6c-4ad7-89a1-9acf013da0ec" width="428" height="352" allowFullScreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer"></embed><br/><a href="http://videos.streetfire.net/video/MSD-Launch-Master-2-Step_169789.htm?ref=007d7085-b6ac-4ae0-9d9b-9a7a013c92d1">MSD Launch Master 2 Step Test</a>

    Trouble Shooting:
    If the engine has trouble starting or running:

    • Check the switched 12V connection and the ground wire.
    • Check all coil connections and connections to the factory coil harness.
    • Try swapping the two 8 pin connectors, as outlined in Step 5.
  2. Towelly

    Towelly New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As always, awesome Write-up! When are you going to test it at the track?
  3. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    When ever you take my M&H's off my hands so I can get my M/T's. :nice: The rev limiter does me no good if I'm still bogging.
  4. Towelly

    Towelly New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This is true! No worries. I may still be able to in the next few weeks. We shall see. I need a daily driver before I start running DR's. I'm afraid I'm going to break something and be **** out of luck. I don't want to have to hitch hike for a ride to work.
  5. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    You shouldn't break something with what you have going on. How come you just don't use your wheels/tires you have now for daily driving?
  6. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    Step 10 updated with new pictures and instructions. You can find epoxy in any home improvement section that works with metal and plastic, and it holds very well.
  7. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    Here's a video of it in action at the track. Even with the 2 step, I'm still bogging with the 28" tires and 3.31's, so these tires have got to go. But I took the video so you can see how well it holds the RPM's.

  8. Towelly

    Towelly New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nice! I'm still awaiting the pre-approval of a house loan so I can pick the tires up yet..... Sorry! :p But hey... Looks like you have the 2 step dailed in. I didn't expect it to be as smooth holding the rpms as it is. Looks like that is going on my "Mod. Wishlist"
  9. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    Ok. Ready when you are. Someone has some bias ply ET streets I can get for a good price if I get to them in time, so let me know. :)

    It definitely holds the RPMs like a MOFO.
  10. andyukok442@aim

    andyukok442@aim New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Victor, NY
    I definitely need this mod...I went to the strip for the first time and couldn't get a decent launch with this 5 speed. Best ET was a 13.73@101MPH I know my Nitto 555's (street not DR) aren't the best but I spin all the way in 1st and have no control over the launch RPM due to the pedal being so light...too little and it bogs and too much and no traction till I'm off the concrete...I definitely need slicks too as I'm getting 4:30's installed next week.
    Thanks for all your tips here...
  11. andyukok442@aim

    andyukok442@aim New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Victor, NY
    what tires were you running when you ran the 13.077@106?
    i've read about a "green" armed LED for the Launch Master, where is this as i haven't seen this mentioned in your installation guide?
  12. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    Yeah, with 4.30's, sticky tires will be a must.

    The armed LED is actually red, and you can see it's lit here:
    [​IMG]

    Once you get the 2 step working, and get your switch solidly mounted, it should work every time without fail, so an inboard indicator is not needed.

    The 13.077 is in my 2005 (the mineral grey one). I'm running M&H Racemaster 325/45/17 in those.
  13. blackjack21

    blackjack21 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    GA
    very impressive write up.......how much do you charge to install it?hmmmm
  14. timbostang

    timbostang New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Any reason you used a reed switch instead of the clutch switch?
  15. dumps

    dumps New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i was wondering the same thing, i wired my 2 step directly into the clutch switch. the only thing i don't like about my setup is that i have to drop the clutch from the bottom which is where the clutch switch activates the 2 step. my car lets out a nice bang from the rear when the clutch is dropped from the floor.
  16. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    If you lived around here, I'd install it for you for a case of beer. :)

    2 reasons to not use the clutch switch.

    1. I was told you have to disable the cruise shut off to do so, therefore the cruise control doesn't shut off when you push the clutch in.

    2. Just as stated above. The MSD disengages before the clutch does.
  17. timbostang

    timbostang New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My cruise control still works the same. And the MSD doesn't disengage until about 2 inches from all the way out. It sounds like yours is working well so I would leave it alone. It could have saved you some extra wiring though.
  18. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    Yeah, no big deal. I like the way this works and didn't have to fiddle with any factory wiring.
  19. autumn_again

    autumn_again New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    365
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Hamilton, NJ
    just got a question, so i figured i'd bump this thread.

    can i wire this to a switch some how so i can turn it on and off by choice? where would i put the switch in the wiring? i am an electrical noob, aside from wiring a few guitars i have no experience haha.

    i have a manual, but when heating the tires up i just rev it up to about 4k in second and let em rip. and i'd have the two step set just a little lower then 4k. so i figure hook it up to a switch panel so i can use it on command.
  20. DarkFireGT

    DarkFireGT Playing with my wife's really makes me want one. Mod Dude

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,689
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    59
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    For the 2-step to engage, it needs to be activated about 1850 RPMs below the point you set it at, so you couldn't rev it to 4k, then activate it to hold, if that's what you're wanting to do.

    Yes, you could wire in a toggle switch instead of the reed switch. You could follow my line-lock installation and do similar wiring for the 2 step. However, the other problem you will have is timing. The point of the reed switch is to reduce the amount of things you need to do at the tree so you can focus on launching. If you add in a switch to your launch, that kinda negates the need for it, as you could be using that focus to manually modulate the throttle. But of course, that's up to you.

Share This Page