Pink-Resistance Wire

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Cam44
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Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:47 pm

Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by Cam44 » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:36 am

While working on the convertible top I left the ignition on and went to lunch. Half an hour later the garage smelled of burning wire. Disconnected the battery and traced the smell to the pink resistance wire. The insulation was burned from the ignition switch to the the plug on the firewall. Luckily no fire.

This car has a Pertonix ignition. While doing research on this issue 2 members with Pertronix ignitions indicated that they had disconnected the resistance wire and taped it off.
The wiring diagram shows the engine side of the plug has 2 wires 1st a red-green to + side of the coil and 2nd a brown to the starter relay.

Will taping/disconnecting the resistance wire affect the cars operation/performance.

Thank you

Cam

bbogue
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Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Thu Oct 03, 2019 12:24 am

Cam,
The brown wire from the starter relay provides 12 volts to the coil during startup. After starting, the coil is powered only by the resistance wire and red-green wire, with the resistance wire reducing voltage to about 7.5 volts. Pertronix Ignitor modules are designed for 12 volts but will function via the resistance wire at less voltage. Pertronix coils require 12 volts and since you’ve been running via the resistance wire I assume you’re using the stock coil. As far as I know, that’s fine. Lots of people have run the Ignitor this way.
If you bypass the resistance wire (and you may be able to do so by disconnecting the resistor wire at the bullet connector near the ignition switch and running a new wire to the coil), you will need a coil suited for 12 volts with the correct amount of internal resistance. Pertronix makes different Flamethrower coils depending on whether you have the original Ignitor or the Ignitor II or III. Supposedly, the II and III will not function without 12 volts so I assume you have the original Ignitor and would need the basic Flamethrower coil if you convert to 12 volts. I’ve been running an Ignitor and Flamethrower coil for about 5 years on my 61, powered at 12 volts (about 14 volts actually).
Best of luck.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

bbogue
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:36 am

A couple more things. Your Ignitor is probably burned out from leaving the switch on and will require replacement. Only the Ignitor II and III are resistant. Your coil may be toast as well. It can be tested. You’ll replace this old coil anyway if you bypass the resistor wire. Finally, you might be able to return your ignition to as-before by replacing only the resistor wire, Ignitor and possibly the coil. Again, good luck.

Bil
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

MN63Tbird
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:38 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by MN63Tbird » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:13 pm

I have been chasing down a rough running in gear issue the past week after replacing my starter. I have rebuilt carb checked everything for vacuum leaks and found none, Checked all plugs and wires and grounds and all good. I have a slight improvement but not all. Now chasing down electrical via coil and distributor. With playing with the starter and its replacement I may have fried the coil by leaving the ignition switch on too long trying to start the car.

I was trying to find out the same question Cam did. What is the resistance of the internal resistance wire? I have a Pertronix system with an Flamethrower II . Mine has a 3 ohm ballast resistor and a .6 ohm Flamethrower coil. I was trying to figure out why the PO installed a 0.6 ohm coil. Looks like that should be for a 6V 8n cylinder system but I have been running it for 6 yrs that way. Trying to find the total resistance if that wire is included to calculate amperage and check if my coil is toast also.

My research was showing that for a 63 Tbird with the 8 cylinder should have a 1.5 ohm Flamethrower II coil and does not need the l ballast resistor or the internal resistance wire. Is that what everyone with Pertronix systems is using?
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

bbogue
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:15 pm

MN63Tbird wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:13 pm
I was trying to find out the same question Cam did. What is the resistance of the internal resistance wire? I have a Pertronix system with an Flamethrower II . Mine has a 3 ohm ballast resistor and a .6 ohm Flamethrower coil. I was trying to figure out why the PO installed a 0.6 ohm coil. Looks like that should be for a 6V 8n cylinder system but I have been running it for 6 yrs that way. Trying to find the total resistance if that wire is included to calculate amperage and check if my coil is toast also.

My research was showing that for a 63 Tbird with the 8 cylinder should have a 1.5 ohm Flamethrower II coil and does not need the l ballast resistor or the internal resistance wire. Is that what everyone with Pertronix systems is using?
I have no idea of the resistance of the resistor wire. Maybe someone will chime in with that.
By my research on the Pertronix website, the basic Igniter takes the 1.5 ohm Flamethrower coil (if wired at 12 volts).
The Ignitor II takes a 0.6 ohm Flamethrower II coil and requires wiring at 12 volts. If you have the Flamethrower II coil I assume you must also have the Ignitor II module in the distributor. If all this is correct, your engine appears not to need the 3 ohm ballast resistor. Perhaps it is a leftover from a previous owner’s different setup.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

MN63Tbird
Posts: 188
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by MN63Tbird » Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:49 pm

Well the necessity of not being able to start the car has forced me into digging into this much further. From my wiring diagram the pink resistance wire should be 1.3 to 1.4 ohms. Digging under the dash finds that mine has been removed and replaced by regular wire.

I popped the distributor cap to check out the Pertronix ignition which I thought was under the distributor since I had a Flamethower coil and found that the car has an Accel electronic ignition system instead. I was not aware of the brand and did some research and found that Malory and Accel are very similar. I tried to pull the rotor to check it out for wear and accidentally broke rotor shutter wheel. Thinking that this is just a plastic cap protecting unit did not think it was that important, however, it is. Apparently this unit works on an optics system on the wheel vs a Pertronix that works on a magnetic pickup. Without the rotor shutter the unit wont fire. One rotor shutter wheel is on order.

As for the ballast resistor the Accel or Malory systems recommend a ballast resistor in line with the coil. The Pertronix ones do not need one. That is why my car has a ballast resistor.

Anyone else have a Accel system?


MN63
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

bbogue
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:19 am

MN63,
Ok. I know squat about the Accel parts but maybe I can help a little.
Looking at the Accel 2020 Points Eliminator instructions, it requires a resistor. The one specified in the 2020 instructions is #150001 which has 0.8 ohms resistance. If the resistor is not used, coils of 1.4 ohm primary resistance are specified.
Are you sure your resistor is 3 ohms? A 3 ohm resistor plus 0.6 ohms internal resistance of your Flamethrower II coil totals 3.6 ohms resistance which I think would tend to throttle your coil. If, however, you have the 0.8 ohm resistor, this would add to 1.4 ohms, in line with the suggested Accel coils used with no resistor. So, the 0.8 ohm resistor and 0.6 ohm Pertronix Flamethrower II coil should be fine. I suggest using a multimeter to check the ballast resistor’s resistance before proceeding with any changes.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

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RedBird64
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Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by RedBird64 » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:04 pm

When measuring small resistance, make sure to measure your leads first and deduct that amount, if any, from the total.

Scott
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 42 years. It was my folks car before that (second owners). VTCI # 12013.

MN63Tbird
Posts: 188
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Location: Minnesota

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by MN63Tbird » Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:18 pm

Bill thanks for digging into what the total resistance of the system plus what the Ballast resistor # 150001 resistance is. I went and rechecked my ballast resistor with another meter and got 1.5 ohms on the ballast resistor and 2.1 ohms total resistance from the input to the ballast resistor to the negative of the coil. This still says I am running a little high on total resistance than the recommended 1.4 ohm. I found my local Auto Zone has a 0.8 ohm ignition ballast resistor. I will pick that up today.

My new rotor/shutter is due tomorrow. I need to go over again how to set that up from the instructions on line. Looks like I need to set the rotor to the #1 cylinder wire on distributor. Align the slit in the shutter with the optics. There is some more about setting to TDC. Which was confusing with the setting the rotor to #1 cylinder. I need to work that out.

I ordered a new Flamethrower II epoxy filled coil (0.6 ohm ) due today. My old coil was showing all the signs of a bad coil before my incidence with the rotor shutter. Poor starting, backfiring, and rough running. That is what started me down this rabbit hole.

MN63
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

bbogue
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Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:12 am

MN63,
One more thing you might check since you’re already well into it.
These newer ignition systems are sensitive to poor grounds. I don’t know about the Accel, but for my Ignitor, 0.2 ohms is the maximum resistance from the base plate inside the distributor to the battery negative terminal. Trying to achieve this led me to discover my distributor hold down clamp was upside down. Oops. But the real contributor to my poor ground was the little ground wire inside the distributor. It was black with corrosion which increased its resistance. Easily replaced. I’m a “belt and suspenders” kind of guy so I also ran a dedicated ground wire from one of the hold down screws of the vacuum advance on the distributor to a ground buss on my firewall which I installed for accessories. Overkill for sure but well grounded.
Later.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

MN63Tbird
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:38 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by MN63Tbird » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:22 am

Thanks Bill regarding the ground issue. I was looking at a number of comments and checked the ground and it was good. Mine is connected to one of the bolts on the valve cover.

I think I have climbed out of the rabbit hole finally! I cleaned the optical sensor unit which upon first look did not look too bad but when I ran a soft paint brush over it there was a lot of black dust. This was probably not helping the sensors. I would recommend for anyone with an Accel or Mallory unit to clean that sensor every few years. I would venture that dust build up on the sensor can cause some firing issues. Easy to do just pop off the rotor and shutter unit, but do not break the shutter as I did. I needed a screw driver to pry my unit up finally.

I installed the new rotor/shutter and new coil and the Tbird fired right up. I needed to turn out the idle screw to get the RPMs down when the car warmed up. I had not realized how far in that it was to try and keep the car running before. The Car drops into gear nice now without stalling.

Regarding installation of Accel units or the Mallory optical ones, If you have the optical sensor already installed and you break the shutter, you only need to pull the rotor/shutter unit off and replace it with the new one. Just line up the slot in the rotor with the one on the distribution shaft. Since the car was running and probably timed well before there is no need to try and move the rotor to the #1 cylinder or set the #1 cylinder to TDC. The instructions appear to be for pulling the distributor out and installing the unit. The rotor/shutter is one fixed unit. There are 8 slits in the shutter. The shutter slot to the right of the rotor that says FRONT is already a fixed distance from the rotor and cemented to the rotor. The unit fires when the light passes through the shutter slot. That said as I found you may need to adjust the idle speed and recheck timing If you have been trying to tune the car to keep it running when you experience rough idle or stalling when putting into gear and not having success.

I am using my old ballast resistor since the one I found is on back order and due in today. I will change that out later to make sure I am at the 1.4 ohm total resistance and help the life of my coil.

MN63
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop
1966 Mustang Coupe A code

bbogue
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:31 pm

Good job, MN. Time for a brewsky.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

Aaron65
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by Aaron65 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:58 pm

Where is the ballast resistor on a '63? I kept burning points on mine until I realized I had 12V at the coil, so I swapped in a Pertronix and it's been fine so far. I may swap over to a Flamethrower coil since I have nearly full battery voltage at the coil, but if I'm just missing a ballast resistor, maybe I'll just throw a resistor in there or something.
1963 T-Bird Hardtop
1965 Mustang
1965 Skylark
1965 Corvair Monza
1965 Dodge Dart wagon
1953 Buick Special Riviera
1974 Firebird Esprit

bbogue
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 am

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by bbogue » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:29 pm

Aaron,
I don’t believe there’s a ballast resistor with the stock wiring. The pink resistor wires were used for a lot of years. You say you have 12 volts at the coil. When running or just during startup? 12 volts is normal at startup via the brown wire from the starter solenoid then decreases to something like 7-7.5 via the ignition and resistor wire in the stock wiring arrangement. But you probably know all this already. Sorry to bore you if so.
Regarding the ballast resistor, my understanding is they may or may not be required after bypassing the resistor wire which results in 12 volts, full time. Depending on the ignition module used, a ballast resistor may be required if the selected coil doesn’t have sufficient resistance on its own. My Ignitor wired at 12 volts requires a Flamethrower 1.5 ohm coil. When the coil died, I ran it for a while with an MSD Blaster 0.7 ohm coil and 0.8 ohm ballast resistor with no issues. For what it’s worth, I think the coil resistance is specified in order to protect the ignition module. All this is my understanding and experience. Yours may differ.
Best of luck.

Bill
VTCI# 12145
1961 Thunderbird - Heritage Burgundy Metallic
Thunderbird Music...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-qNF ... zQ5c09UdEE

If there are no dogs in heaven, send me where they went. - Will Rogers

Aaron65
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:48 pm

Re: Pink-Resistance Wire

Post by Aaron65 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:33 am

Thanks Bill,

I do have 12 volts with the engine running. I'm guessing someone removed the resistor wire for some reason, but I haven't gotten around to checking it out.
1963 T-Bird Hardtop
1965 Mustang
1965 Skylark
1965 Corvair Monza
1965 Dodge Dart wagon
1953 Buick Special Riviera
1974 Firebird Esprit

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