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Old 10-01-2010, 23:29   #1 (permalink)
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Is 9+ Volts into the Coil Too Much

I have been working on my friends ‘66 Galaxie FE (390 I think) basket case since spring; his wife has him on an allowance so we get a ration of parts on a monthly basis.

Here is the problem:

The car is idling on the rough side, which prompted me to check the plugs. 3 of them were wet (fuel). I checked a few things & found the voltage between the ballast resistor (mounted on the firewall) & coil was 3-3.5 VDC. I bypassed the resistor & I now have 9-9.5 VDC running into the coil at idle. The car came with a Mallory Unilite Distributor & Promaster 29440 coil, & I assume the resistor on the firewall is a Mallory as well.

I’ve heard that ignition coils only likes about 6VAC & exceeding that value could cause overheating & coil failure. does anyone else have a coil living happily on diet of 6+VDC. Any thoughts, observations, & or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-02-2010, 23:00   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Is 9+ Volts into the Coil Too Much

Hi, you should have a four wire starter solenoid on the inner fender. Two large wires; One from the battery positive and the other to the starter motor. Then there are two smaller wires; One from the ignition switch to activate the starter and the other one by-passes the ballast resister to give the coil direct battery voltage for start-up only.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:24   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Is 9+ Volts into the Coil Too Much

Bob Thank You for your reply, the ignition system is wired (rewired) correctly; Im assuming (unfortunately I do that allot on this car) the former owner had a shop/mechanic install the aftermarket distributor & coil. They wired an additional resistor (mounted on the firewall) in series with the stock pink wire resistor. Resistance being additive I was only getting 3-3.5 VDC feeding the coil, which I believe is too low to create an effective spark. Even when the solenoid threw a little extra juice at the coil during startup, it was reduced by the infamous “firewall ballast resistor”, in absence of said resistor I am getting 9.5 V @ idle cold, 8.7 V once the car warms up & the battery has charged, & a reading of 11.8 V maximum with the engine @ a high rev into the coil. The stock pink wire resistor should have a value of 1.30 to 1.40 Ohms, however I am too big & fat to get at it behind the dash to throw my multi on it. The Mallory web page suggest using the stock resistor (which Im doing now) or their variable ballast resistor 0.75-1.50 Ohms. Im getting 15+ volts after start up & a steady 14 volts at the battery once the beast warms up. The stock resistor should be in spec., however I was told that a standard coil only should only see 6 VDC.

My friends wife already hates me. He put her bedding accessory (I forget what they call it) on hold, then bought a bunch of parts for the Galaxie. Now that Im the guy standing between her & Martha Stewart; I don't want to detonate the coil at this stage of the project. I was just wondering what voltage the forum readers are running into their stock or aftermarket coils.
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