Jump to content


Photo

Pertronix Ignitor, Ballast Resister Info


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 michigan dave

michigan dave

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 100 posts

Posted 26 March 2007 - 09:05 PM

I thought I would pass on a few notes concerning installation of a electronic ignition conversion. I went from
troublesom points to turn the key and ski. The Pertronix kit for my prestolite distributor was about 60 bucks and installed in about 30 minutes. You need to remove the points plate and the rotor. Pay attention to your rotor as some aftermarket rotors are not compatable. The folks at pertronix were good to recomend a rotor which would work.

The new plate installs with 2 screws. You need to index the plate depending on rotation.

The engine fired right up and I set Idle timing. After a short while running I noticed the coil was getting a little too hot for my comfort. This is also why my old points were fried.


I installed a 1.2 ohm ballast resister inline with the 12 volts going to the coil. Now the coil has about 10 volts running it and its only slighty warm after a hours worth of running. The resiter is also warm to the touch.

The resister I used was a auto zone part number CR 107 by wells.

I just thought I would pass on this info. The overall satisfaction of this conversion is very good

dave
dave hodson USCG Aux.
south haven michigan
1974 bluefin (avenger)
225 chevy.

#2 mictat2214

mictat2214

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 351 posts
  • Location:setauket, LI, ny
  • Interests:family-sports-boating/fishing-jeeps/corvettes.

Posted 26 March 2007 - 11:39 PM

I thought I would pass on a few notes concerning installation of a electronic ignition conversion. I went from
troublesom points to turn the key and ski. The Pertronix kit for my prestolite distributor was about 60 bucks and installed in about 30 minutes. You need to remove the points plate and the rotor. Pay attention to your rotor as some aftermarket rotors are not compatable. The folks at pertronix were good to recomend a rotor which would work.

The new plate installs with 2 screws. You need to index the plate depending on rotation.

The engine fired right up and I set Idle timing. After a short while running I noticed the coil was getting a little too hot for my comfort. This is also why my old points were fried.


I installed a 1.2 ohm ballast resister inline with the 12 volts going to the coil. Now the coil has about 10 volts running it and its only slighty warm after a hours worth of running. The resiter is also warm to the touch.

The resister I used was a auto zone part number CR 107 by wells.

I just thought I would pass on this info. The overall satisfaction of this conversion is very good

dave




hi dave... i have a factory installed chrysler 318 w / factory installed electronic ignition & external ballast resistor... the coil gets to hot to keep one's hand on... the boat runs very well at cruise but sounds like it's breaking up on acceleration... any ideas? thanx in advance... how's the bluefin coming along? mike.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#3 gerald

gerald

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1,685 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Potomac River

Posted 27 March 2007 - 07:16 AM

hi dave... i have a factory installed chrysler 318 w / factory installed electronic ignition & external ballast resistor... the coil gets to hot to keep one's hand on... the boat runs very well at cruise but sounds like it's breaking up on acceleration... any ideas? thanx in advance... how's the bluefin coming along? mike.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


does the advance work properly? is it correctly timed?

acceleration is bigest demandon spark. ck all the spark reduction things.
jerry
On the Potomac, 10 miles south of the capitol in a sea of hydrilla.

pennyan@slawecki.com

#4 Steve Lawson

Steve Lawson

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 380 posts

Posted 27 March 2007 - 01:27 PM

My Accel coil will overheat with 12 volts, despite it being a 12V coil. However, I found that 1.2 ohms was too much resitance and that .6 ohms kept the voltage between 8 and 10 volts (9 is ideal) and is what most coils run off. I'm running twin 360s.

As for the acceleration, hesitation or stumbling sounds like a fuel problem, rather than spark. I would take a close look at the accelerator pump on the carb. If it checks out OK, the springs for metering rods may need to be changed.

Steve

#5 michigan dave

michigan dave

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 100 posts

Posted 27 March 2007 - 08:02 PM

I hooked the garden hose up to her again last evening and just sat there for an hour listining to her gergle and purr. I tell you there isnt anything that sounds quite as nice as a v8 inboard running in the driveway. heheheeh. My wive thinks I been sniffing too much lacquer thinner heheheheh

dave
dave hodson USCG Aux.
south haven michigan
1974 bluefin (avenger)
225 chevy.

#6 mictat2214

mictat2214

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 351 posts
  • Location:setauket, LI, ny
  • Interests:family-sports-boating/fishing-jeeps/corvettes.

Posted 27 March 2007 - 11:07 PM

I hooked the garden hose up to her again last evening and just sat there for an hour listining to her gergle and purr. I tell you there isnt anything that sounds quite as nice as a v8 inboard running in the driveway. heheheeh. My wive thinks I been sniffing too much lacquer thinner heheheheh

dave



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

dave...i hear ya... especially with those straight thru dual exhausts... no penntone on that baby... most women refuse to understand what really turns men on... lol... mike.

fellas, thanx for the replies re: the breaking up prob... i think it is ethanol laden fuel ( 10% ) in a seldom used boat... should the coil get so hot that it is almost untouchable???

#7 Bob Sullivan

Bob Sullivan

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • Pip
  • 4,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampstead NC
  • Interests:Fishing- Former diver (hard Hat +)

Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:07 AM

The Alcohol in the gas is something we have to learn to work with. I have started to use gas preservative to it even when I am going to lay it up for only a week or so. I believe this is a solution to leaving the boat idle for lengths of time. Given the price of fuel we all will probably do less boating on a lark, but mostly when we have a plan. It sure is discouraging when we want to go out and have trouble.

You can still add more alcohol to replace that alcohol that is tied up by water. If moisture is a problem, that alcohol is still tied up with that water and no longer is available to be used as an oxygenate.

Reliable information right now is hard to come by. We can help each other by relaying information on this site.
Sully

#8 Seafoam

Seafoam

    Up Oars!

  • Moderators
  • Pip
  • 4,674 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Keystone Heights, FL
  • Interests:two 72' PY Avenger 235

Posted 28 March 2007 - 07:20 AM

I just use more Crown (alcohol) and less Coke (water). Works for me.
Seafoam
"Beer, it's so much more than just a breakfast drink"
Don't take life to seriously...you'll never get out Alive!
Just Another Day In PARADISE

#9 Seahawk

Seahawk

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 88 posts
  • Location:Windham, New Hampshire
  • Interests:Boating, Fishing, and restoring my Penn Yan

Posted 28 March 2007 - 09:24 PM

Interesting topic!

I just bought new on e-bay a "Sierra Conversion Electronic Kit" for my 1975 Ford 351 / 233 hp engine which I planned on retrofitting this season.

I’ve noticed the coil already has what appears to be a ballister block with the original point set, but I've never bothered touching the coil to see how hot it was under normal conditions.

Is it possible from what I'm reading here, that I could perhaps expect problems with the new electronic conversion kit and the old coil?

#10 michigan dave

michigan dave

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 100 posts

Posted 28 March 2007 - 10:04 PM

I think a new coil might be a good idea. You will love the electronic ignition. The idle is smooth and the starts are instant. I also changed the plugs for good measure also.
dave hodson USCG Aux.
south haven michigan
1974 bluefin (avenger)
225 chevy.

#11 mictat2214

mictat2214

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 351 posts
  • Location:setauket, LI, ny
  • Interests:family-sports-boating/fishing-jeeps/corvettes.

Posted 29 March 2007 - 05:16 AM

ATTN: is it normal for a coil to get so hot that it is not touchable??? thanx in advance for any help on this matter; or maybe just a yes or no... mike.. ;)

#12 Bob Sullivan

Bob Sullivan

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • Pip
  • 4,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampstead NC
  • Interests:Fishing- Former diver (hard Hat +)

Posted 29 March 2007 - 07:45 AM

Mike,
Heat is the single most destructive thing when it comes to electricity. It's just like a blocked artery in your ticker. The more heat the more that is created by all that electricity trying to get to where it is needed. The law of diminishing returns come into play. Make sure you have all good connections no green crap. Set the plug gap to what the book says same applies to any gap or timing issues.
I only know enough about this to get myself in trouble. But I wouldn't think having a coil sooooo hot you cannot touch it can be good.
This is one place in a boat that a good automotive electrician can be a lot of help. Especially one who does something like race cars. Usually the car guys don't readily cross over well, they want a different result from their engines. But electrical power doesn't know the difference.
Sully

#13 michigan dave

michigan dave

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 100 posts

Posted 29 March 2007 - 08:23 AM

Here is my take on the hot coil issue. A ignition coil needs some resistance in the circuit else it will get hotter and hotter till it starts to break down, leak oil, spit and sputter and finally burn out. While the engine is running at a high idle I like to measure the voltage from the positive coil terminal to ground.

This should be around 9 or 10 volts. If you have the full 12 volts going to the coil while running then your
coil is gonna get hot, your points are going to arc and burn, your electronic ignition module risks failure ect.

Chrysler cars and trucks, always used a ballast resister in there ignition circuit back in the 70's and early 80's. These failed often in there cars and I expect they might fail in the boats. Lots of times a backyard mechanic will wire around the ballast resister and the car, truck, boat starts immediately. They think "cool" lets go fishing. From that moment forward the coil will run hot and burn out eventually.

Ballast resisters can be measured with a regular ohm meter. The primary resistance of a coil can also be measured with the same meter.

My coil measured around 1.5 ohms. The instructions from the pertronix igniter kit said not to use a coil with less than 1.6 ohms of resistance. It also said to use a ballast resistor if one was original to the application.
Well heck how do we know what was original after all these years.

There are coils that are designed with a internal resister. These dont work so well for automotive or marine applications in my opinion. My experience with these are that after install you might experience hard starts on a warm engine.

Most of the ignition circuits use a full 12 volts during the start cycle. This is accomplished by a separate wire from the "I" terminal on the starter solenoid over to the "+" terminal of the coil. This is very important during warm restarts. This is why the internal resister coils dont work well.

Did I confuse every body now?? Remember these are just my experiences, not Gospel Truth.

dave
dave hodson USCG Aux.
south haven michigan
1974 bluefin (avenger)
225 chevy.

#14 Bob Sullivan

Bob Sullivan

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • Pip
  • 4,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampstead NC
  • Interests:Fishing- Former diver (hard Hat +)

Posted 29 March 2007 - 09:48 AM

Dave,
I do agree with you. But I also remember that during some periods GM for one and some other manufacturers used a resistance WIRE this was sneaky because we won't have a physical ballast resistor present, that might be on or included in an automotive or original marine application. This could be why so many have problems after rewiring the engine.
Sully

#15 Steve Lawson

Steve Lawson

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 380 posts

Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:16 AM

I can't agree more that heat is electrical enemy. My coils get too hot to touch when they run at their normal 8-10 volt range. I tried running them direct off 12 volts (they are the Accel 8140 coils rated at 12V) and they overheated, resulting in an increase in resistance, followed by a decrease in voltage, resulting in engine failure due to lack of spark.

The ’77 and earlier engines used a 5 pole ignition module and a dual ballast resistor (four prongs, one side 1.2 ohms and the other 5.2 ohms). The ’78 and later modules had a built-in resistor in the ignition module, so the 5.2 ohm resistor was no longer needed. The 5 poles on the module was reduced to 4 and a single 1.5 ohm resistor was used.

Here's what I found with my engines. I won't say that everyone else will find the same, but it's worth checking out. In my case (with both of my 360s) the 1.2 ohms was too much and I only needed .6 ohms.

When the engines are hot and at idle the system/battery voltage is around 12.2 volts. At higher RPMs, it’s around 13.5-14.2 volts. According to Accel, I need 8-10 volts for my 8140 coil (despite it being listed as a “12” volt coil), so I’m looking for a voltage drop of 4.2 volts.

My coil without resistors draws 7 amps, so .6 ohms is my target resistance (4.2 volts / 7.0 amp s= .6 ohms).

My original 1.2 ohm resistor gave me the following voltage drop:

7.0 amps * 1.2 ohms = 8.4volts—way too much voltage drop! This resulted in about 4 volts being supplied to the coil during start, resulting in a hard start, after the key was returned to the run position. On Key Start, the full system voltage is supplied to the coil, which is about 12 volts, depending on the battery charge. Keep in mind that during crank, your starter is going suck a lot of juice so your voltage is going to drop significantly, down to about 9 volts. I would have to briefly rev the engines up to about 2,000 rpms to get a good start since the coil voltage was low, especially after a hot soak after a long run.

So, .6 ohms is my target resistance. I couldn't find a .6 ohm ballast resistor, I run two 1.2 ohm resistors in parallel to provide .6 ohms. There’s advantage to doing this: better heat distribution, longer life for the resistors and if one does burn out, the other will work in its place and not bring the engine to a stall.

Once installed, I found that if my system voltage was 12.2, the voltage at the coil was about 8.1. At 3300 RPMs (my max cruising speed), the voltage increased to 10.3. The amperage was cut in half—down to about 3.3. All is good now. My engines start right up (hot or cold) and run strong at the higher rpms.

Steve

#16 michigan dave

michigan dave

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 100 posts

Posted 29 March 2007 - 11:20 AM

Your right Bob, the resistance wire was a shiny NICROME wire and was the source of problems at times if it was cut or spliced or replaced. I bet they also used this in boats from time to time but not in a chrysler,
or ford application. I still prefer the ballast resister. much more easy to diagnose and replace. Wow were bringing back a lot of history here. heheh We are OLD>

Steve, great information, Im sure the chrysler guys will be able to use this to help. hopefully this topic will show up in the search functions when this subject comes up again.

dave.
dave hodson USCG Aux.
south haven michigan
1974 bluefin (avenger)
225 chevy.

#17 Bob Sullivan

Bob Sullivan

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • Pip
  • 4,203 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hampstead NC
  • Interests:Fishing- Former diver (hard Hat +)

Posted 30 March 2007 - 08:06 AM

OK lets give this some thought. A resistor drops line voltage and if the resistor drops it too low we get over heating and we also get over heating heating with too much resistance or too low line voltage what can cause both problems. I believe the answer is poor battery connections or dieing batt. cells this will also cause your alternator to put out more than the 13-14 volts that it is supposed to operate at. The voltage regulator is being lied to. Thus cancelling the proper resistance brought about by high voltage. The same thing applies to that nasty green corrosion on all your connections.

Of course an improper operating alternator will do pretty much the same thing. So while we are looking at the symptom we are not seeing the cause. I think this is worth a long hard look and guys please if you do this tell us all the results.

Steve gave us some good numbers to use. We should be able to use these to go through the engine electrical system to assure us these circuits are functioning properly.

Sorry about the rambling but it's my overactive but feeble brain trying to think again. :lol:
Sully

#18 D A Kahler

D A Kahler

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 825 posts
  • Location:Severn River, MD
  • Interests:Boating, Fishing, Hot Rods

Posted 02 April 2007 - 09:11 AM

Let me throw this at you. My boat came with a GM HEI coil on top distributor, these were typically found in late 80s GM cars and some trucks. The distributor has the ignition module built in so all that is required is power and ground. The timing curve is preset in the module so all you have to do is set the initial timing. This was installed by the previous owner, who was a very smart auto mechanic. He had the data for the different ignition modules and selected the timing curve to best suit the marine power needs. I think he said the module was for 3/4 ton pickups with 4 speed auto. The distributor was a direct drop in, because my engine has the meshed timing gears so the cam turns the same direction as in LH auto engines. The HEI systems were very reliable, and I've never had an ignition problem in the 4 years I've run the boat.
1981 30 Sportfisherman
Twin 255 Mercuisers FWC
and
1978 23 Avenger Flybridge
Fresh 350 in '05 FWC
I love this boat!!!!
See lots of pics here:My MSN Webspace

#19 michigan dave

michigan dave

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 100 posts

Posted 10 April 2007 - 09:05 PM

The gm HEI distributors were a great invention. Most of the large cap distributors had advance weights in them though. The exception is if a "ESC" dist. was used. Now while they make great distributors and work awesome they are not uscg approved and because of there super hot spark they might be more risky in a marine inviroment. I personally think there great but wont use one in a boat I am going to sell.

dave.
dave hodson USCG Aux.
south haven michigan
1974 bluefin (avenger)
225 chevy.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


The oPYnions expressed within the PY A&C BOC forum are those of their respective members,
not necessarily those of the club's membership as a whole. Your discretion is advised and appreciated

While we strive to ensure that individuals who offer items for sale or trade are legitimate,
the PY A&C BOC cannot/will not be held responsible for any monetary transactions or trades made via this Forum.