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Thread: minor(gulp)electical

  1. #1
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    Default minor(gulp)electical

    Hi folks. Jim Adams here, first post since the BB's been back up. First off, I hate electical problems, however I fear I have one. Seems that my rig is very hard on points so I checked the running voltage at the coil and it is battery voltage. Doesn't the voltage at the coil have to be ballasted down to insure proper point life? That said does anyone know if there should be an external resistor or a resistor wire and if a r. wire does it come off the ignition switch? Truck is a 1971 1110 4x4., 345, auto trans. Also, is it possible to use an electronic ig. distributor that takes battery voltage that could be found in a wrecking yard and be dropped in? I know you can get new elect. ig. distributors, however they're really expensive. Thanks, Jim.

  2. #2
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    For starters is your beast a "Gold Box Wonder". If it isn't you should use a resitence wire and possibly an external resistor so you don't burn your points quite so fast. One company that you can use to eliminate the points is Petronix, they make a reliable elimination kit that retails for around $100-130. With these you need watch out for "High Output" coils as it will fry the ignitor, I'm in the middle of re-wiring my ignition because of this. To avoid: add an external resistor and a stock coil or one that has more resistance than the MSD High Output. Hope this helps some.
    '71 Basterd Scout 2
    with a 258 from a '73 CJ5
    Intake manifold with NHRA markings....go figure

    "Its (scout) four-wheel-drive capabilities are equal to anything this side of full tracks"

    David H. Petraeus for President 2012

  3. #3
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    The voltage across the points to ground should be about 2-3 volts while running.
    The voltage across the coil should be about 5 volts while running.
    The voltage from ground to (+) coil should be about 10 volts while running.

    Yes, there should be a ballast resistance.

    If you decide to go with a pertronix ignitor, the primary resistance of the coil needs to be at least 1.5 ohms. The stock coil should work fine, but some aftermarket "upgrade" coils do not.

    The gold box was not used until 75. The distributor in the 71 is either a Holley points or Prestolite points unit. There are aftermarket ignition modules for both.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the tip on the Gold Box, never knew it was only '75 and later.
    '71 Basterd Scout 2
    with a 258 from a '73 CJ5
    Intake manifold with NHRA markings....go figure

    "Its (scout) four-wheel-drive capabilities are equal to anything this side of full tracks"

    David H. Petraeus for President 2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Default re: elect(gulp) problems

    OK, I guess maybe I'm okay. Checked the voltage to the coil running yesterday and the running voltage was 9.4. Didn't check across the coil, I'll d that today. When I checked the voltage the other day it was just with the key on, not running. Given that the running voltage is what it is should there still be a ballast resitor somewhere? Thanks, Jim

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by grnbinder View Post
    OK, I guess maybe I'm okay. Checked the voltage to the coil running yesterday and the running voltage was 9.4. Didn't check across the coil, I'll d that today. When I checked the voltage the other day it was just with the key on, not running. Given that the running voltage is what it is should there still be a ballast resitor somewhere? Thanks, Jim
    The stock ballast "resistor" is a piece of wire that has a nominal value of about 1.8 ohms. It's resistance wire, so unless you know it's there, it just looks like a piece of wire from the bulkhead connector to the coil. The wire from the solenoid to the coil is regular wire.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan E. View Post
    The stock ballast "resistor" is a piece of wire that has a nominal value of about 1.8 ohms. It's resistance wire, so unless you know it's there, it just looks like a piece of wire from the bulkhead connector to the coil. The wire from the solenoid to the coil is regular wire.
    Alan,

    Many thanks for that info. I've been tearing my hair out trying to figure out what an external resistor is. On my '74 SII there's a wire shrouded in white cloth that runs to the coil. This is the so called "reistor", correct? I bought a new coil today that, according to AutoZones finest, was the correct oe coil. However my old coil had printed on it, "does not require external resistance". The new one says, "requires external resistance". Well having read your post, I installed it and low and behold it appears to work perfectly. Would some of the recent issues I've had (loss of power, stuttering and backfiring) when the truck is up to temp be caused by having a resistor wire on a coil that doesn't require one? GRNBinder sorry to hijack but looks like the thread's been dormant for awhile and it was the only one I could find that definitively identified this "resistor". Alan, thanks again, and I promise, a manual is on order .

    Best,

    CMBN

  8. #8
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    Yes, that was most likely your issue. The resistance wire in the older rigs was just part of the wire loom. If you have a stock wiring harness, that's what's in there. If you replace the wire from the bulkhead to the coil, the ballast resistor needs to be added to take its place.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan E. View Post
    Yes, that was most likely your issue. The resistance wire in the older rigs was just part of the wire loom. If you have a stock wiring harness, that's what's in there. If you replace the wire from the bulkhead to the coil, the ballast resistor needs to be added to take its place.
    I do have the stock harness so I believe all is well... For now. One last question. In the mounting bracket above the coil, there is a small metal cylinder with a short black wire going to the coil + terminal. I was told this is to prevent static in your radio reception, is this true and is it necessary?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Combine View Post
    I do have the stock harness so I believe all is well... For now. One last question. In the mounting bracket above the coil, there is a small metal cylinder with a short black wire going to the coil + terminal. I was told this is to prevent static in your radio reception, is this true and is it necessary?
    yes, it's true, and it's only necessary on some radios, not all.
    Allan E.
    Curmudgeon Extraordinaire
    Charter Member, Old Hippie IH Club
    Old fashioned binder freak

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