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good Coil, Bad Coil

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Alpine James, Dec 31, 2006.

  1. Alpine James

    Alpine James Silver Level Sponsor

    Tried this a week or so ago but.....

    There had been several recent posts regarding ignition coils being a possible cause of poor performance. Is there a way that you can test an ignition coil to see if it is in fully functional condition?

    I am also a little confused by the "Ballast Resistor" that keeps getting mentioned in the literature and other places. I don't see it in the wiring diagrams. The coil in my car now states "use with external resistor" on it. I see that the parts suppliers sell them but I am unaware of it's possible location.

    The coil I have in my car now works OK I think, but when I change the distributor to one with electronic points, I get no spark at all. The manufacturer of the new distributor says to make sure I have a 12 volt coil with external resistor. The WSM states in one spot that for cold climates (Canada?) the coil is a 7 volt unit. Is there a way to tell if it doesn't say so on the coil?

    Thanks in advance for your help and have a happy new year.

    1961 SII
  2. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Donation Time


    James, after a few tries I threw away,,"not " I stored my ballast in a box. I haven't found any differences with out the ballast. I have pertronics and not a problem. If you are having a problem ,, most likely a step was missed with your install.
    I started with a ser ll engine generator, now have a 1725 with an alternator. But had a generator to start with.
    Some where there is a missed step in application. I thought that the ballast was for the radio,, not a problem due to the static i have on an internal atenana on am stations. We mostly listen to tapes so no question.
    I haven't seen a diagram with a ballast installed.. Period.

    Have a great new years to all..
    Chuck in Clackamas, Oreygun
  3. gordonra

    gordonra Donation Time

    While I am no expert, and someone please correct me if I am incorrect, however it is my understanding that the coils are typically 1.5 ohm and 3.0 ohm impedance. I believe the ballast resistor is supposed to reduce the 12 volt under normal conditions, and is bypassed for starting in colder climates. Bypassing provides a hotter spark, but is only intended for short durations. Running the coil without the resistor on a 1.5 ohm coil would probably reduce it's life expectancy.


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