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Thread: electronic ignition help!

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    Tyre Kicker

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    electronic ignition help!

    Hey guys, I searched the forum but couldn't really find the info I was looking for so hopefully someone can help!

    I am fitting an electronic ignition. Currently there is a black wire from distributor to the coil and another wire from coil to the loom where it connects to two wires. Is this where a ballast should be and has been removed?

    The new coil has a red and black. If I put the black onto the negative coil, where should I join the red wire to?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Spanner Monkey

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    What car is it?
    What elec ignition?
    Most fords fron 1980's had ballast but could have been modified prev.
    Second wire in loom is to rev counter probably.
    Check voltage to coil to tell if Ballast is fitted.

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    71 escort 1300xl. The elec ignition is a lucas 45D. The car doesn't have a rev counter. One of the two wires in the loom that turn into one is bigger than the other. I don't have a volt meter to check if there is a ballast. I can't find any when I trace back the loom. I assume even with tape on the loom there will be a fat bulky piece where the ballast is. Is it normal that the two wires merge into one?

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Guess you are fitting a Pertronix or any other replica made electronic contact point replacer.

    Black goes to neg coil, red wire to the positive side of the coil. Now bring 12 Volt from contact to the positive side and job done. Don't use balast.

    If you make a mistake and the black wire comes in contact with 12 Volt (with coil fitted) the electronic unit will be broken, even if it was only one millisecond and net even cranked the engine !!!!!!

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    So in the loom its a fat red wire merging into a fat black and yellow wire, bothncome from the ignition.

    If I conect black from distributor to negative coil, red from distributor to positive coil and positive coil to this merged cable from ignition, would I be correct? Thanks a lot guys, this community is awesome!

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    Re: electronic ignition help!


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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    scrap that! I found out the black and yellow goes to a electrical unit that then goes to the starter motor. I think this is a ballast bypass. does that sound correct?

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    Spanner Monkey Tony B.'s Avatar

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Yes, but there several hidden joints in a Mk1 loom !. There certainly is a black and yellow going from the solenoid which joins to the coil black and yellow and serves as a ballast bypass on cranking only. Note that to avoid 12v "feed back" the ignition feed to the coil is cut when the key is in the start position. The ballast wire in the loom is usually pink, (it's a long one) and starts just after the bulkhead plug and usually finishes where the other two black and yellow wires connect inside the loom somewhere in the vacinity of the coil.

    If the unit is a Pertronix, it likes a 12v feed so you may be better off running a wire from an ignition live on the engine bay side of the fuse box to the red wire on the Pertronix, don't connect that to coil at all, only the black one.

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony B. View Post
    Yes, but there several hidden joints in a Mk1 loom !. There certainly is a black and yellow going from the solenoid which joins to the coil black and yellow and serves as a ballast bypass on cranking only. Note that to avoid 12v "feed back" the ignition feed to the coil is cut when the key is in the start position. The ballast wire in the loom is usually pink, (it's a long one) and starts just after the bulkhead plug and usually finishes where the other two black and yellow wires connect inside the loom somewhere in the vacinity of the coil.

    If the unit is a Pertronix, it likes a 12v feed so you may be better off running a wire from an ignition live on the engine bay side of the fuse box to the red wire on the Pertronix, don't connect that to coil at all, only the black one.
    So does that mean that there is nothing connecting to the postive side coil? I have found the pink ballast wire that connects to the black/yellow near the coil. Where will the other end of this wire be? Is it best If I rewire? Im thinking of putting a new solinoid in and have the option off non ballast or ballast.

    Thanks for your help!

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    Spanner Monkey Tony B.'s Avatar

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Hi Dave, we need to clarify the names of some of the items you are working with. The starter solenoid is the item that has the two fat red battery cables connected to it, it should also have a black and yellow and a black lighter duty wire connected to smaller terminals (one round, one spade). The other item is the ignition coil which is usually mounted low in roughly the middle of the inner wing on the distributor side, that will have two electrical connections, one is a black and yellow wire from the loom and the other usually a black (or possibly green) wire to the distributor. It also has the King Lead which is fatter and carries the high voltage spark from the coil to the centre of the distributor.

    The ignition coil is either ballast (9v) or non ballast (12v). As you have found the pink wire, you need a ballast one. If you follow my suggestion, you leave the existing black and yellow wire connected to the coil, add a new 12v ignition switched feed to the red Pertronix wire and connect the black Pertronix wire to the coil where the old wire from the distributor used to go. I think you need some help though, to find and run a new wire to the Pertronix needs a volt meter and it would be good to have someone check your wiring as a simple mistake will blow your new electronic unit.

    In terms of the pink wire, leave it be otherwise if you try to fit a Ford Rev counter in the future you will have great difficulty getting it to work !.

    PS you live in a beautiful place, we visited on a trip two years ago, absolutely loved it.

    HTH, Tony
    Last edited by Tony B.; 16-04-2018 at 07:09.

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed message. I know im lucky to live in a beautiful place like Wanaka! If you decide to come back for another visit I will take you for a spin in my mk1 ( if I dont blow the dizzy up)

    I understand the components at play but not so much the wiring. My coil is a lucas type r sports coil, 12V non ballast, therefore I believe I need to bypass the ballast in my car as my old coil was ballast. I cant find anything in the loom that looks like a ballast resistor, or is the pink wire the ballast itself?

    Is the 12V ignition switch feed the ballast bypass?

    I will take your advice and get someone to have a look as I dont want to break anything! Even if I really want this car on the road now!

    Thanks for you help! If your ever back in NZ I will host you with pleasure.

    Dave

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    Spanner Monkey Tony B.'s Avatar

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Dave, the pink wire is the ballast, it's about 4ft long and is a resistive wire. As you have that 12v Lucas coil you will need to supply a new power feed to it (and the electronic unit) from the fuse box, there should be a spare ign switched feed available but I can't be certain which it is, from memory it's one of the two lower ones. My car is in bits so I can't confirm.

    Here is the really good tip though, you must also replicate that black & yellow wire you have found from the solenoid to the coil because when the key is in the start position, it cuts the feed to the normal ign switched supply. If you don't do this the car will only fire and run when you let go of the key !, been there done that, got the T shirt.

    If in the future you ever want to change your two dial dash for a six dial with a Ford tacho, repost as you will need a lot of further advice.

    When we visited we used Wanaka as a stopping point on our way to Doubful Sound, whilst there we did swin in the lake and cycled around a fair bit of both lakes. Do you still have the problem with Didimo ?
    Last edited by Tony B.; 16-04-2018 at 18:45.

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Thanks Tony, Im getting a clear picture of how this system works now. Just one last question. If I run a new feed from fuse to coil and electronic unit and also replicate the black and yellow, do I then leave the original ballast wire and black/yellow unplugged? Or does this still need to go to the coil?

    Didymo is still a problem and I can't see it ever not being one. No research institution has figured a way to get rid off or even minimize. There are programs to stop the spread of it but the birds dont follow our lead. I work in the fly fishing industry so have seen the dammage. Ive notticed a decline in fish over the last 15 years in thr clutha river which flows from Wanaka. This is directly attributed to didymo as it suffocates the rocks where the fish main food source live. Its a shame but we have to move forward.

    Dave

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    Spanner Monkey Tony B.'s Avatar

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Dave, as long as you run a new wire from the solenoid to coil as well as the ign switched supply then yes leave it unplugged, the voltmeter should show 9v or less on that wire (unless cranking) so not enough to drive the Lucas unballasted coil or the electronic unit.

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    I got my electronic ignition wired up and adjusted the timing. Runs real smooth and starts at first turn of the key! Took the car for a spin around the block, first time in about 5 years! It is so slow! Its only a rebuilt 1300 with webber 32/36 carb and flows but I thought it might be a bit quicker!
    Thanks for the help guys.

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    Re: electronic ignition help!

    Dave

    Your ignition system cant be blamed so long as the coil is getting full battery voltage, base timing is correct, and the dizzy is advancing properly........maybe it is so slow.....
    Regards,
    Kevin

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