Re: Ballast resistor location
Your assumption is correct, that aftermarket mini-starter solenoid is missing the terminal that the yellow wire would normally connect to. The ballast resistor (or resistor wire if you were using that approach instead) reduces the voltage to the primary side of the ignition coil from the full 12-14 volts to 7-9 volts which reduces the arcing and burning of the ignition points, but in doing so creates a weaker secondary high voltage to fire the spark plugs.
Normally during engine cranking the yellow wire would send the full battery voltage to the primary side of the ignition coil creating a higher secondary voltage spark to cause the cold engine to start a bit easier. As soon as the engine starts and you release the ignition switch from the crank position to the run position, the ballast circuit provides the lower voltage.
You have at least the following four choices;
1. Tape off the end of the yellow wire that you have no connection point for with that mini-starter and if the engine starts okay on the resisted primary ignition coil feed, you are all set.
2. Replace the mini-starter or the solenoid on the mini-starter with one that has the extra terminal/connection point for the yellow wire and connect the yellow wire to it so it will function as the original GM designers intended.
3. Run the yellow wire to a momentary push button switch mounted under the dash that is supplied with full battery voltage so when you crank the
engine to start it, you can push the momentary switch causing full battery voltage to go to the ignition coil - you would be manually performing the function that the starter solenoid with the extra terminal does in this case allowing for a hotter spark only while pushing the momentary switch.
4. Get rid of the points and condenser ignition setup and replace with an electronic ignition system that uses the full 12-14 volts of the electrical system and in so doing, you will also eliminate the yellow wire and the ballast resistor.
Hope this helps,
69 Camaro Z/28 RS, original Azure Turquoise, M21 & 3.73 12-bolt posi. NOM 406ci, AFR 210 heads, Straub hyd. roller cam & Dynatech 1-3/4" > 1-7/8" headers, QuickFuel 750 Annular. Photos at:
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