Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BlizzND

ballast resistor and a resistive wire 2003 Gary Orris

1 post in this topic

Mal-adjusted Mallory? March 17 2003 at 12:43 PM Gary Orris   (no login)
from IP address 12.102.77.42
I always thought that a ballast resistor and a resistive wire were about the same thing and went between the ignition and the + side of the coil. Additionally there would be a wire coming from start output terminal of the starter solenoid to the + side of the coil to aid in starting. The appropriate distributor wires would then be connected. With the Unilite, this would be the red wire to coil +, green to coil -, and brown to ground.
 
A bit of background info: The previous owner purchased the Unilite but had better success with a points distributor. Fearing he messed up, I purchased another module along with an active power filter.
Mallorys Unilite installation instructions seem to conflict slightly with the instructions that came with the module. Both schematics leave out the starter wire. The module instructions have the red distributor wire going to coil + while the schematic that came with the Unilite distributor has it going to the ignition. The one that has the red wire going to the coil + says that if the vehicle is difficult to start, then change the red wire to the ignition side of the ballast resistor. The other schematic that has the red wire already going there says that if you have loom resistance wire, then put the red wire to coil + instead! Whats that line I think, therefore I am confused? Well, Id like your thoughts.
 
Secondly, it seems a shame to throw away an expensive module based on an assumption. So about a year ago I managed with great difficulty do get in touch with a Mallory representative who gave me instructions on how to perform a test. My hastily jotted down notes read Negative side of coil, test on neg 8-12 volts. Slot off 1-2 volts. Okay, now its a year later and Im trying to make sense of them. Does this mean with the ignition on I should get 8-12 volts on the negative side of the coil and 1-2 volts when I put a piece of cardboard in front of the module? (Cap is off of course.) Also, is there any way of testing the old module without having to re-install it in the distributor?
 
Some final notes: www.bgsoflex.com/igncoil.html shows what kind of voltage is coming from the coil. For those who have the Mallory Active Power Filter (the Mallory guy said it wasnt that big of a deal) and dont want to mount it by the distributor, you should be able to go to an electronics store and for $3 get a set of connectors. This box says 618-3 tyco/electronics AMP General Purpose Connectors 3 Position Free Hanging 20-14 AWG Distributed by GC/Waldom I got mine at Sav-On Electronics. Dont forget a pin-out tool. And on a vaguely related note, for AC Cobra owners with the Lucas wiper motor, there IS a connector for it. (When Enzo at Finish Line told me that none existed or he would have it, the challenge was on!) www.autosparks.co.uk has it. Its part number C 805. I gave this info to Enzo and also to Shell Valley awhile ago so they might have it now. Moss might have it too, but I couldnt be sure from the picture. (161-780 #43) I got mine from a friends old, spare harness off of an E- type jag.
 
 
  Respond to this message   
Author Reply
joe
(no login)
208.11.16.32
Gary I have all the info you need, but not on me ... March 17 2003, 4:53 PM 
 
It's in the garage I'll report back tommorow .
 
  Respond to this message   
Dustin Ford
(no login)
63.184.104.5
The first part of your message, March 17 2003, 10:42 PM 
 
I understand. I have the same setup.However, you lost me on the second part of your message, and I didnt feel like trying to decipher it. So here goes. I think you're simply asking for how the unilite is hooked up, right? This is how i have mine. First off, you probably know that the unilite is a VERY sensitive peice of electronic crap. It is very precise when it comes to hitting the cylinder with a good spark at precisely the right time. Very sensitive to any voltage spikes. SO DON'T GIVE OUT JUMP STARTS UNLESS YOU CHARGE $97. If there is a short, its gone too. So when performing any electricl work, especially in the engine compartment, unplug the module first, or use a negative ground switch to kill power, preferably unplug the module. As for hooking it up, its simple. I have had two different stories told to me, but this is how I have it hooked up. I hooked the ballast resistor up to the ignition lead (12v) this should give you around 9v, give or take. If the wire should have less than 12v to start with, dont worry about the resistor, however, beware. If the current should spike, and you are already at 12v to the coil, you will more than likely lose the module. I've been told the spike protectors work, and also that they dont, so I dont trust them. Hook the other side of the resistor to the coil+ with the 9v lead, or whatever it is now. So, the red wire from the module(you have a green, red and brown) goes to the + on the coil. The green will go to the coil-. The brown will go to a GOOD ground. This should help. If you do have trouble starting, use a smaller resistor, but like i said, should you get over 12v to the module, bye-bye. When you're out in the desert, that isnt good. I always carry a spare. And, I dont give jump starts for less than 100$. As far as testing one, if its hooked up, and you daont have any spark, you can pretty much assume its crap. I would like to get the 13 cent part that burns up though, if anyone else knows, let me know. I have stocked up on the MSD-6A 2$ capacitors that blow when they are spiked, and a little solder> I suprisingly fixed one myself when I took the ground off of the engine while it was running. That was a mistake. Ok, I'll give the mike up now.
 
  Respond to this message   
Dustin Ford
(no login)
63.184.64.254
Starter wire?? March 18 2003, 7:39 AM 
 
And I have never heard or seen someone running a wire from the + side of the coil to the starter, why would this help anything?
 
  Respond to this message   
Anton
(Login DoctorFortyForty)
Member
194.151.193.4
Ignition switch wire March 18 2003, 9:17 AM 
 
He probably meant the ignition switch wire. Here is how the Unilite should be connected:
-brown wire to ground
-green wire to '-' terminal of coil
-red wire connected with '+' terminal of coil AND switched 12V which comes from your ignition switch (meaning that coil and distributer are only powered when ignition switch is on).
 
From the Mallory website you can download a one page acrobat file describing the module test. All you need is a voltmeter but the module has to be in the distributer.
 
  Respond to this message   
Dustin Ford
(no login)
63.184.33.55
It is highly recommended that a ballast resistor be used.! n/m March 18 2003, 12:26 PM 
 
n/m
 
  Respond to this message   
Gary Orris 
(no login)
12.102.77.42
starter wire March 18 2003, 5:54 PM 
 
First of all, thank you. This site has to be the best. Okay, I agree with the wiring setup you describe. i was confused as to why Mallory had it both ways. As for the starter relay, I wish I could upload some documents. I'm looking at an example of this starter relay right now from some book with a chapter perhaps titled "TUNE UP SERVICE" or something because all I have is an enlarged zeroxed copy of the illustration. Another comes from "The Pantera Place." It says:
 
If your Pantera does not spring to life immediately when you switch the ignition to start, you might want to check out the ignition system wiring. Early Panteras used a ballast resister between the ignition switch power and the ignition coil. Later cars used a resistive wire rater than a ballast resister. For some unknown reason on the early cars de Tomaso did not use the wire that normally connects from the plus side of the coil to the start output terminal of the starter solenoid (this terminal is the small terminal next to large terminal for the starter cable.) When the ignition key is turned to the on position the switch applies voltage to the coil through the resistive wire or ballast. When the key is turned to start position and the starter solenoid energizes and the start output terminal applies full battery voltage to the coil through the wire. This direct voltage to the coil provides extra spark plug voltage for startup and compensates for the voltage drop in the power system while the starter motor is engaged.
If the starter solenoid does not apply battery voltage to the start output terminal, or if the wire is missing from the start output terminal to the coil the engine will exhibit difficult starting, e.g. the engine turns over many times before starting, starts when you let go of the key. Often the resistive wire on the newer cars has been replaced with a non-resistive wire and a ballast resister added near the coil. Make sure the ballast resister is wired correctly and the wire fro mthe starter solenoid is attached on the coil side of the resister.
 
Now from what I'm hearing, this extra wire might be dangerous to the module if it supplies more than 12 volts. Is that correct? As for the second part, it had to do with testing the module. I like your test where if there is no spark, then the module's bad! Can't get any easier than that. But what am I going to do with my volt meter?!! Does that 8-12, 1-2 test sound right? Wouldn't be ironic if a perfectly good module was burned up doing such a test! Sounds like something I'd do.
 
  Respond to this message   
Dustin Ford
(no login)
63.184.33.121
8-12v March 18 2003, 6:26 PM 
 
yes the test sounds good, because that is the required voltage for it to operate. it simply triggers the coil to fire. thats all it does. very accuratly, at that. I think what you are refering to is a little extra voltage to the coil, comming from the solenoid, which i think is not needed. Unless you are having some kind of severe voltage drop and a hard time starting. It does sound good in theory, but I have never owned a pantera. I doubt that the system would differ very much, same principle, right? I have a wire from my ignition 12v, reduced to about 10 to the coil and module. I have never had a problem, it fires the instant i turn the key. However...what about a full 12v to the coil, then a ballast resistor to the module..who knows. I just know how mine is hooked up and Ill leave it at that. I burnt two up messing around, and I am not going to do that anymore, its a very expensive lesson. Kinda like running bad gas through a 5000K motor. I learn these expensive lessons all too often it seems...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0