Hello all,

The PO of my 69 327Qs installed Mallory e-Spark breakerless ignitions along with ballast resisters.  I don't have a long history with these engines but I suspect my hard starting may be related to the low voltage at the coil.  I've read a few posts (DickM et.al.) talking about this and a custom circuit to put 12v to the coil on start.

I was thinking of a pre-wired aftermarket headlight relay hooked up to the start circuit and a 12v supply.  Does this sound reasonable?  Seems like hooking a wire up to any of the existing start circuit wires would wind up supplying voltage to those circuits after starting.

-steve

Portland, OR

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This is how your ignition is set up already.  Your ignition switch delivers 12 volts to your coil in the starter position.  Once the engine starts, and you let the switch revert to the run position, the hot wire runs through the ballast resistor.

Lewis

Is your hard starting occurring after sitting for a week or so? If so, your problem may be no fuel in the carb until the fuel pump fills the bowls again. However, here's an easy way to see if you would benefit from a starting bypass --- do it manually and see what happens. Take a chunk of 16 gauge or so with a couple of alligator clips at the ends. Clip one end to battery positive, and while someone else is trying to start the engine, you touch the other clip to the positive side of the coil. If it pops right off, yes, the headlight relay would work if you are capable with a little electrical work. Another possible, simple starting bypass is to find  the terminal on the back of your engine that goes hot when the starter is running. This is actually the start position of the ignition switch. Run a wire from this terminal to the positive side of the coil, and you will have a 12v supply during start. BIG CAVEAT !! You have to have a properly oriented diode in series in this line so that current can only flow to the coil, not backwards to the starter circuit. A little more dangerous if you're not really sure of your wiring skills.

a lot of starter solenoids have an ign. terminal which is hot only when the starter is energized which is ued to feed the coil directly. check with Mallory but often the ballast  resistor is not used on conversions - depends on the coil. The reason for the resistor was to compensate for the system voltage drop when cranking the engine-not really a boost in coil output. Voltage was decreased after stating to make the points last longer.It is hard to get acurate voltage reading at the primary side of the coil due to the pulsing of the coil ground from the dist.-but it would be in the range of 10-12V engine running

 

                                                                                    Doug

GOOD AFTERNOON. I HAVE A 1980 36 CHRISCRAFT. COULS SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE THE BALLAST RESISTOR COULD BE LOCATED ON MY ENGINES ? I SOMETIMES HAVE JUST LOST POWER IN A MOTOR. OR MY IGNITION IS JUST DEAD WHEN I GO TO START EITHER OR BOTH ENGINES. I HAVE CHANGED BOTH OF MY SOLENOINS. I THOUGHT THAT WAS IT. BUT IT JUST HAPPENED AGAIN WITH THE STARTING ISSUE.  I DO HAVE ELECTRONIC IGNITION FOR BOTH MOTORS AND HAVE FOR MANY YEARS. ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.  AUGIE

I have 1985 454's. The Ballast resistor is located on top of the engine near the distributor. should be a white ceramic part approx 3x1/2x1/2. (Although 1 of mine was painted crusader blue). Should have a wire at each end.  

Augie i just went thru the same issue with our 79 41 and it turned out that the solenoids there are 2 located in the 12 volt dc panel in the salon would get warm and loose the connection. I replaced both and no problem since. The 79 has the Total command system and I'm not sure your boat does

Thank you so much for the help. It sounds like we both have the same set up. I changed mine back when i bought the boat. Went to napa and theres worked for a while. Then I started to have the same problem again. Jumped on line and found the same but new and they are located in the pannel in the salon. And the motor didn't die on me. But I had nothing at the switch to start the moror. One lit up right away. The other was just dead. I left the key on and it finally came alive and started right up. Yes I have replaced all the swithes and even the ke switch.. One key to energize both motors. I did put a seperate start for both motors in the engine room. That bypasses everything. That I wanted anyway so we can start the engines if needed when we are working on them of when we do our winterization. Instead of yelling back and forth from the bridge. We even put in a light so we know when the distibutor in energized. But this ghost can come and go. I thought for sure we had it. With the electronic ignition we do not have any ballast resistors. And we have pulled off and cleaned evry wire that goes to both motors. Wiring issues are always fun when you can't find the obvious. Still love my chris... She just gets a little pissy with me sometimes when she doesn't get to see me... Thank you so much for the help. Or any future help. I'm located in waukegan,IL. Just south of the IL/WI border.  

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