Originally Posted by russxr67
Seems Procomp are diversifying .They are even making items such as roller rockers,alloy heads,main stud kits and the list goes on.Never used any of their stuff either.Some of the stuff seems awfully cheap as well. Has anyone used any of this gear and if so is it any good or is at CRAP?
Before buying my MSD distributor for my recently completed engine, I strongly considered purchasing a Procomp part. I called them at their California office, which is basically nothing more than a warehouse and sales office. The office appears to be ran by a Russian (or some other Slavic country) woman who did check with their staff regarding my questions. My questions were centered around the mechanical advance feature of their distributors and how they might be adjusted. The photos of them clearly show that they are not straight MSD knock-offs, but something more like a factory-style magnetic inductance triggered system with a reluctor (some may have called it a star wheel).
So, in my visualization of the process of what was happening on the other side of the line, the woman calls to the back to get a Mexican gent who sounded a lot like a shipping and receiving bloke. Apparently, he was her choice to try to answer my technical questions. Several times she had commented on how the parts were MSD compatible.
Part of the "good thing" about the MSD billet distributors are the engineering that went into them and the patented features of them. Just about anybody can hog out a distributor housing from a piece of cast or billet aluminum. The bodies do not even have to be a direct match in order to be visually similar enough to complete the charade.
The magnetics (electronics) of the distributors are rather trivial compared to the mechanical design of the adjustable advance system in the MSD. The simple design of using an adjustable stop and various (color coded) spring tensions are one of the outstanding and easy-to-use features of the MSD. I saw none of that in the Procomp part nor was I able to obtain any form of reasonable explanation as to how the adjustment would be made, if at all possible. The woman told me that she would research the question and call me back. It never happened. A few days later, I called her back and again she said that she would follow-up. Nothing.
That confirmed my choice of staying with MSD. I know their parts well and know how to change the advance rate in my sleep. The electrical connections are similarly easy. I cut the side out of an MSD distributor box and posted it on a wall in my trailer so that I may easily reference it, though I seldom need to do it. The box side with the diagrams of the advance rates is in color whereas the printed manual is in black-and-white making a bit more difficulty in reading it. A good bit of performance tuning is possible with just a couple of sane modifications to the advance curve and total advance.
In short, I don't think that Procomp has done anything of any sort of engineering work aside from basically copying a few of the relatively common themes seen around automotive circles. For that reason and the lack of any form of reasonable support, I'm hesitant to use their products. I can't say that the products are good or bad, just that I know what I've got with an MSD and a set of Crane/Comp/Crower roller rocker arms.
My outright guess is that the parts are "designed" in Russia and possibly manufactured in Mexico. Of course, I do not have any of their parts, so I can only speculate wildly. For a company to come out of the blue with so many new products so quickly and so cheaply, I further speculate that they must be heavily "borrowing" from the engineering of others. Kinda like a Chinese AK47 or MIG? History shows us that knock-offs tend to be of a lesser quality and made from lesser materials than those designed by the original engineers. Much of this is probably due to not having a full understanding of why the material choices were made while business methods try to cost reduce the parts as much as possible to maximize profits. Who needs support when your parts are half priced? ...just send another whenever there is a failure and quit worrying about it?
I don't know about you guys, but I can't afford the time or headache associated with part failures...and many of us here know that a part failing can lead to other part failures very quickly. Imagine a distributor gear sheering...suddenly no oil pressure at peak RPM and what happens next? Maybe the likes of Procomp will send out a nifty new distributor right quick, but how is that going to help the rebuild of your engine? I'm not ready to bet the farm on it just yet.