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Ignition frustration, losing ground

  #31  
Old 11-07-2018, 06:37 PM
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Thanks, Albuquerque. Am I correct that your name is Ross? I think you have helped me before, perhaps on a ‘51 I had back in Indiana about four years ago. I was trying to fit either brake lines or fuel lines and you came to my rescue. I was way over my head on a truck that was pretty far gone. Harleyman from Tennessee eventuallybought that truck and he is doing wonderful things with it.

Islrrady have some light wires with gator clips ready for testing. (Must have items for any MG owner’s.) I will try your suggestion of a temporary lead from a battery cable to the coil. Right now I’m am waiting for the obligatory (but unnecessary) Wednesday visit with the doctor after the radiation session. (Even when everything is fine and there is nothing to discuss, they have to get their consult fee.). It’s a 45 mile drive home, but I am highly confident that the jumper wire to the coil will have it running, at least temporarily. I should post again later tonight with a success story.

Thanks again for your help.
 
  #32  
Old 11-07-2018, 07:05 PM
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Just a note-

The photo below shows a SBF DIST (L) compared to a FYB DIST (R) if it turns out you have to go that far. The rebuilt FYB DIST are coming though assembled wrong. More info if needed after you test the electrical system.

 
  #33  
Old 11-07-2018, 07:13 PM
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Hey there Chris,

Running when starting, but dies when letting off the key is a classic ballast resistor issue. Here's a quick way of testing it. Grab an alligator test lead, and simply short the resistor out. If now it runs when you let off the key, you found your problem.

We're pulling for you buddy!
 
  #34  
Old 11-08-2018, 04:09 PM
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An “ah—ha!” moment has arrived

Ok, your many, many suggestions are yielding results. Yesterday I revealed that my engine fires and runs IF the the key remains in the start position with the starter spinning. Today, I attached a thin jumper lead from the hot side of the solenoid to the hot side of the coil.. Wallah! It starts and runs without keeping the starter motor running. I must admit to a little surprise that on turning to key to “off,” the engine continued to run.

Now for the ah-ha moment of discovery. Problem has to be in either the wires (which do look suspect) or the ballast resistor which some of you have suggested could be the problem. On removing the ballast resistor and turning it over, the core which looks like a threaded screw, is broken. Ah-ha! Now I will try to find a new ballast resistor and I should be up and running . . . . at least until the next malfunction which will certainly come along soon enough.

Here are some pictures, but before I try to upload, I again want to say THANK YOU to everyone for the wealth of helpful suggestions. FTE 48 - 56 forum, you are the greatest!





 
  #35  
Old 11-08-2018, 06:11 PM
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That's not a screw. That's a conductor wrapped around a piece of porcelain. The spiral builds heat. (This is why a coiled extension cord with a constant heavy draw can cause a fire) The porcelain absorbs heat. This expense of energy through the resistor, drops the voltage from 12 to around 6 volts.
This prevents burning of the points.
That ballast is burned.

That looks like the Chrysler style junk. If you use those, buy them by the gross. It needs to be on the firewall or even under the dash in a good spot...
Macs has the 56 F100 resistor or you may want to use 57? up Ford ballast wire. I know 61 up used the ballast wire.
The Ford ballast wire is more work to install but it's a good design that's pretty much trouble free.
 
  #36  
Old 11-09-2018, 01:22 PM
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Ready to finish, ready to run

After radiation yesterday I went to a couple of chain store auto supply places and as expected they had no ballast resistors. In the parking lot I had a conversation with another “old guy” (he was several years younger than myself). I am still learning the spots around Lewis County (bigger than some states). The gentleman I met suggested an older auto parts “mom and pop” store on Pearl Street in Centralia (Central Auto). Sure enough, they had ballast resistors. After looking through boxes, we found a match. Pictures supplied . . . .

Now, here is my question for the day. Will this “RU4” have the correct resistance for my application? The product box has no specifications and I don’t know what the ohms specs would be for a 292 engine. The size and the shape is nearly identical except for the original metal bracket. I am very confident that later today the truck will run with this part installed, but I would like to avoid more fried points, condenser, wires, etc.






 
  #37  
Old 11-09-2018, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by abe View Post
Does it really matter?

My 54 has the battery cable on one side and my 55 has it on the other post...
Well, yes it does if he's trying to use the remote starter switch.
 
  #38  
Old 11-09-2018, 02:31 PM
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I think youll be fine using it. I looked it up on the Summit website and it shows that it cross references for a replacement in a 1958 292. So I would think it will good to install and run. One of the reasons a resistor is incircuit is to help protect the points in the event the key is left on. Unfortunately in your case the repair shop left it on too long.
 
  #39  
Old 11-09-2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by brit_wheels_fan View Post
Now, here is my question for the day. Will this “RU4” have the correct resistance for my application? The product box has no specifications and I don’t know what the ohms specs would be for a 292 engine. The size and the shape is nearly identical except for the original metal bracket. I am very confident that later today the truck will run with this part installed, but I would like to avoid more fried points, condenser, wires, etc.


It's a package deal. So you have to measure to be sure. The primary ignition circuit includes the wiring, ignition switch, primary winding of the ignition coil, points etc. The coil winding and the ballast resistor together, drop the voltage in the primary circuit, but what's important here, is that the current is reduced. The smoked points in your pic attests to that.

About 3 amps flows through the primary ignition circuit when engine is running. Remember too the primary circuit resistance is divided about equally between the coil and the ballast. During engine START the ballast is bypassed, and full battery voltage is applied for a briefly hotter spark, and better cold engine starting. When the key is turned back to RUN the ballast is placed in circuit, dropping the voltage (and therefore the current) through the points.

It is likely the key was left in the RUN position for an extended period. If the points happen to be closed it can cause the coil to **** the bed and eventually spew oil and wire far and wide. The coil itself may be damaged.

Or - I don't know what ignition coil is installed - Make sure it is at least 1.5 ohms resistance. Disconnect all the wires and Measure between the + and - terminals. The ballast should measure about 1.5 ohms as well, and if so everything should be in good shape.

An incorrect low ohm high output ignition coil could have done the damage to the points too. Remember Ohm's Law is your friend here, points ignition doesn't want to see more than about 3 amperes through the primary circuit.

With the factory stock setup, leaving the key in RUN with the engine off, current flow is closer to 5 amperes, and will quickly cause trouble.
 
  #40  
Old 11-09-2018, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedster9 View Post


It's a package deal. So you have to measure to be sure. The primary ignition circuit includes the wiring, ignition switch, primary winding of the ignition coil, points etc. The coil winding and the ballast resistor together, drop the voltage in the primary circuit, but what's important here, is that the current is reduced. The smoked points in your pic attests to that.

About 3 amps flows through the primary ignition circuit when engine is running. Remember too the primary circuit resistance is divided about equally between the coil and the ballast. During engine START the ballast is bypassed, and full battery voltage is applied for a briefly hotter spark, and better cold engine starting. When the key is turned back to RUN the ballast is placed in circuit, dropping the voltage (and therefore the current) through the points.

It is likely the key was left in the RUN position for an extended period. If the points happen to be closed it can cause the coil to **** the bed and eventually spew oil and wire far and wide. The coil itself may be damaged.

Or - I don't know what ignition coil is installed - Make sure it is at least 1.5 ohms resistance. Disconnect all the wires and Measure between the + and - terminals. The ballast should measure about 1.5 ohms as well, and if so everything should be in good shape.

An incorrect low ohm high output ignition coil could have done the damage to the points too. Remember Ohm's Law is your friend here, points ignition doesn't want to see more than about 3 amperes through the primary circuit.

With the factory stock setup, leaving the key in RUN with the engine off, current flow is closer to 5 amperes, and will quickly cause trouble.
Great write up and explanation Tedster!

Here is a You Tube video that's pretty good. The guy explains how this all works quite well, if you can ignore the constant banging of the screwdriver he is using for a pointer!
 

Last edited by hooler1; 11-09-2018 at 05:33 PM. Reason: adding link
  #41  
Old 11-09-2018, 10:38 PM
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Success, sweet SUCCESS!



First things first:
hulleywoodworking
Mixer man
1954wrecker
hooler1
Tedster9
ALBUQ F-1
Oldb
tascon
ben73058
DR Smith
abe
KULTULZ
and
F-ONE

THANK YOU, THANK YOU everyone. You have stayed with me on this, some offering multiple replies, many with wonderful pictures and suggestions.

As I anticipated, on installing the ballast resistor (after new points, condenser, rotor, coil, and solenoid) the truck runs and runs quite well.

I was feeling some pressure because the house & garage I had purchased primarily for “toy storage “ was sold and closed on October 17th. Initially the lady who bought the property was going to rent the garage space, but her family had more belongings than she thought and they need the space. So, the ‘56 Effie is back in the garage along with my MG. The daily drivers (Mazda and Subaru) on outside on the driveway, son-in-laws boat is back in a shed at his house. Only my 4x4 compact diesel tractor / tiller need to be moved.

Son-in-law has inherited a few acres from his grandfather’s mini farm. It’s 40 miles away and the barns / buildings are in poor shape, but one is suitable for storage and the truck will go there on Sunday. We will eventually build a new house there in a few years and move to that location.

I am providing some photos of the truck with the MG garaged st our house and a couple of the truck “down on the farm.”

Although the truck starts and runs quite well, I will be hooking up my old engine analyzer to check dwell and I will use the multimeter to test volts, ohms, etc throughout the different parts of the ignition system.

FTE and the 48 - 56 forum certainly makes it possible for novice owner / enthusiasts to keep their trucks up and running. The things I see others doing on the forum are absolutely amazing. Unlike so many of the big money, heavily edited restoration / restomod tv programs on Velocity Channel, the FTE crowd is REAL and I am grateful for the willingness of members to help one another. Again, THANK YOU!



 

Last edited by brit_wheels_fan; 11-09-2018 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Adding more photos
  #42  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:23 PM
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For future reference, sorry I was away from my computer a couple days:

-- The Bosch blue coil from Amazon # 00012 / 9220081083,
Amazon Amazon
is a 3.0 ohm internally ballasted coil, very high quality, and will eliminate the external ballast

-- Napa Echlin Coil IC14 is an internally resisted coil AND it fits in the original coil holder (at least on flatheads), https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ECHIC14
(NAPA is not listing the specs, so it would be worth verifying they haven't changed anything)

NAPA ballast resistors:
ICR13 ballast resistor is 1.8 ohms, ceramic body
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ECHICR13

ICR23 ballast resistor is 1.2 ohms, ceramic body
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ECHICR23

ICR37 ballast resistor is 1.6 ohms, ceramic body, metal mounting bracket
https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ECHICR37

PS -- nice looking MGB, I had an Early ('65) roadster and a '69 B/GT, very nice cars!
 
  #43  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ALBUQ F-1 View Post

-- The Bosch blue coil from Amazon # 00012 / 9220081083, https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-00012-9.../dp/B001CO4WA2
is a 3.0 ohm internally ballasted coil, very high quality, and will eliminate the external ballast

-- Napa Echlin Coil IC14 is an internally resisted coil AND it fits in the original coil holder (at least on flatheads), https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ECHIC14
(NAPA is not listing the specs, so it would be worth verifying they haven't changed anything)
Minor quibble, I don't believe ignition coils have internal resistors, they have a different resistance, depending on the number of primary windings?

The 3.0 ohm Bosch coil is a good one but deleting or bypassing the external ballast divider, might that not cause harder starting in cold weather? Or hot weather even?
 
  #44  
Old 11-10-2018, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedster9 View Post


Minor quibble, I don't believe ignition coils have internal resistors, they have a different resistance, depending on the number of primary windings?

The 3.0 ohm Bosch coil is a good one but deleting or bypassing the external ballast divider, might that not cause harder starting in cold weather? Or hot weather even?
Internally ballasted coils aren't just a different primary winding resistance, it's a temperature-sensitive resistor just like an external ballast.

You are correct, it would be "pointless" to have the wire from the "I" terminal with an internal ballasted coil.
 
  #45  
Old 11-10-2018, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ALBUQ F-1 View Post
Internally ballasted coils aren't just a different primary winding resistance, it's a temperature-sensitive resistor just like an external ballast.
Really? There's a wirewound resistor inside them? I've never seen one but I haven't torn apart many coils.

You are correct, it would be "pointless" to have the wire from the "I" terminal with an internal ballasted coil.
No, a 3.0 ohm coil is going to mean a reduced ignition voltage at START (as well as run). The stock ignition circuit uses a 1.5ish ohm ignition coil and then bypasses the ballast for easier starts. I don't really know if it makes that much of a difference, but they did it that way for a reason.
 

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