MSD DIS-2 Install


Yes we do have a retard able ignition that will work on our Saturns. First I would like to recognize Sean for discovering this and letting me pick his brain on how to get things up and working. I will be adding pictures to these instructions as I have them ready. MAKE SURE YOU READ ALL OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE YOU START ANYTHING.

I have since removed and sold the MSD system but this guide is here for others.

These are the parts you will need:

Now the instructions.

  1. Mark and unplug the 4 spark plug wires from the coils and set aside.
  2. Remove the bolts from one of the coils (2 total) and remove the coil from the ignition module. You will have to put a little bit of force behind it because the connections themselves are tight AND there are plastic clips holding the coils to the ignition module as well.
  3. Turn the key to the ON position and use your volt meter to verify which one of the terminals is positive. On the Saturns that I have seen and heard about the inside 2 terminals are the positive ones. Just check to make sure your Saturn is not different. If your positive terminals are not the inside 2 then stop reading because the wiring diagram is specific to those 2 being the positive terminals.
  4. Take one of your 8870's and clip/file off the 2 numbs next to the male terminals of the 8870. Connect the coil to the 8870 and make sure that the coil fits in with a little bit of resistance to show that the terminals of the 8870 ARE making SOLID contact with the female terminals of the coil. If the coil is not seating tightly (as was the case with 1 of Sean's modules) then you will need to file down more of the 8870 to allow the male terminals to extend more.
  5. Fit the 8870/Coil assembly on to the interface module and screw in with your new 6mmX65mm bolts. With the bolts I got the head was too large and I could not fit my socket around the head and fit in between the terminals on the coil. What I did to resolve this was carve a slot in the head of the bolt with my Dremel and screw it in with a flat head screw driver.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for the other coil. Again check to make sure the inside terminal is the positive terminal.
  7. The wiring below is read from the left white wire on the left interface all the way through to the right side white wire on the right interface. 

      Left Coil Right Coil
    Position 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
    Wire on Interface White Black Black White White Black Black White
    Wire on DIS-2 Umbilical Brown/White White Red Brown/Orange Brown/Orange Red Green Brown/Green

    If your interface (8870) has the 4 wires in a square configuration use the table below to identify their position for the chart above.
    Layout of Interface Wiring
  8. Using your crimper, crimp the butt connectors connecting the wire on the interface with the corresponding wire on the DIS-2 Umbilical. Make sure your connections are TIGHT.
  9. Using a lighter or other flame, heat up the plastic butt connectors to shrink the plastic and make the connection water tight. Be sure not to melt the plastic insulation of the wire itself and expose the wire.
  10. With the supplied loop back plug installed to the end of the umbilical try to start the engine. If it starts and runs then continue. If not, double check your connections.
  11. Route the umbilical to the place where you will mount your DIS-2 to make sure it will fit. According to MSD the material that the DIS-2 is manufactured out of the DIS-2 can be mounted in the engine compartment with out damaging the unit. I will be mounting mine under the dash in the drivers compartment.
  12. Mount your switches. Remember the Push Button/2-Step need to be accessible while you are staged without occupying one of your hands (close or on the shifter would be wise) UPDATE: If you want to tap into the clutch switch then skip the mounting of the Push Button switch. The starter kill switch should be hidden as this is a theft prevention switch.
  13. Connect 1 wire from your spare wire from 1 terminal of your switch (2-step or starter kill) to a good ground.
  14. Repeat for the other switch.
  15. Mount your DIS-2
  16. Connect the light blue wire from the DIS-2 to the remaining terminal of the push button/2-step switch. If you want to tap into the Clutch then connect the blue wire from the DIS-2 to the YELLOW wire coming off the push switch that gets pushed in when you press the clutch all the way in. See picture below of the Umbilical Route under the pedals for visual.
  17. Connect the brown wire from the DIS-2 to the remaining terminal of the SPST/Starter kill switch.
  18. Connect the Heavy Red lead from the DIS-2 (NOT the umbilical) to a power source that is always on (Battery)
  19. Connect the Heavy Black lead from the DIS-2 to a GOOD GROUND.
  20. Use the following table to set the switches on the DIS-2. A "O" in the position means the switch needs to be in that position. A Location without a setting is up to you on what you want it to be (Rev Limit, Timing Retard)
      SW1 SW2 SW3
      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    On       O                                        
    Off O O O   O                             O        
  21. Plug the Umbilical to the DIS-2, Cross your fingers, and start the engine. The car should start and idle the same as before. You will hear a clicking from the DIS-2 along with the Red LED on the DIS-2 Pulsing.
  22. You can now adjust your switches to what you want. Remember, when you change the switch settings the engine has to be started and turned off twice before the new settings will be used. On the 3rd start after switches were changed the new settings will be in effect.
  23. Be safe and Have fun

Here are some of the pictures I have taken.

Coil Assy from
Coil Assy from
Wires coming
off Coil
Umbilical Route
in engine bay
Umbilical Route
and Clutch Push
  DIS-2 Install


If you have anything you would like to add to this page please feel free to write me.


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