petronix is a smoking - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 01, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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My son has a 69 Nova. The guy he bought it from put a Petronix conversion kit in it. It worked great. A couple of days ago, when ever you would turn on the lights or push the brakes, the car would stop. I figured there was a bad connection somewere in the ignition system. I ran a from the battery to the ignition switch, problem still there. I ran a wire directly from the back of the switch to the POS side of coil. Car ran great until today. The kid said the car died. I open the hood and when I turn on the ign switch, its smoke galore from inside the dist. cap, smells bad to. I disconnected the batt and came inside, been a long day.

Anyone have some advice on were I went wrong and what I need to do to correct this problem?

Thanks abunch,
John
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 10th, 01, 07:18 PM
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Look at post by Rabid K9 ... He ran into loose wire contacting rotating assembly ... YOu may be experiencing the same problem ...
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 11th, 01, 09:47 AM
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Generally there is a ballast resistor in the wire to the coil, only bypassed when the car is started with a wire from the starter selenoid. By "hotwiring" the car you supplied full voltage to the coil, instead of via the resistor. That burns out coils sometimes, it may have taken the Pertronix with it. Probably replace the coil, the Pertronix and the ballast resistor (it may be a special wire, I'm not sure), fix the wiring, and everything should be fine.


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-ibjoe
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 01, 12:40 AM
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almost all breakerless dist. require a full 12 volts to the coil...with no ballast resistor.....found this out after many calls to the accel tech dept...the ballast resistor is there to stop the point from burning, breakerless modules require 12 volts
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 01, 07:11 AM
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Jblake, I must respectfully qualify your statement. It is true that the GM HEI system, which is breakerless, does require a full 12V on the coil. But not all breakerless ignitions need that. The purpose of the ballast resistor is to keep the coil from burning up, also makes the points last longer. If you have a coil that can take the full 12V, go ahead and use it, but most stock coils are not designed for that, and will die. The points, whether mechanical or electronic (e.g. Pertronix) are only there as a switch: when closed current flows in the coil and builds a magnetic field, when it opens the field collapses producing a high voltage on the secondary winding. Unless your coil is specifically designed to run with a full 12V you should retain the ballast resistor, no matter what kind of points you have (mechanical OR breakerless).

I have Pertronix on my dist, with a Pertronix "flame thrower" coil, I use the stock ballast resistor and draw a 2" white hot spark at idle.

-ibjoe
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 13th, 01, 07:56 AM
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As it turns out we are both correct..it all boils down to running the correct coil for the dist you have....a "points type" coil will have a primary resistance of about 1.4 or so ohms.....a "breakerless coil" has a primary resistance of under 1 ohm....you normally cannot run a points type coil with a breakerless dist...it will over heat the module and cause it to quit... the majority of breakerless dist's use a clean 12 volts....i don't want to argue with anyone...but if i don't believe me...call the manfacturers of various dist's ..i have. I did a TON of research on this when i changed mine over from a points type dist.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 01, 06:15 PM
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Several potential problems here. The Pertronix module requires a full 12 volts, so it must be powered direct from the ignition switch if the car uses a ballast resistor or resistance wire to feed the coil; if you connect the red wire from the module to the coil (+) terminal, it will only get 12 volts during cranking, and will get only 7-8 volts while running. Also, running the jumper wire from the ignition switch apparently bypassed the wiring problem causing the car to stop, but it also fried and internally shorted the coil; if the Pertronix module is connected to the coil (+) terminal [a no-no], then it probably fried too. The coil is designed to run on 7-8 volts continuously; if you give it 12 volts, it overheats, breaks down the insulation between the primary and secondary windings, and dead shorts internally.

First you need to find the short in the wiring that caused the original problem, then replace the coil (and possibly the resistance wire that feeds it from the ignition switch if that smoked too), then replace the Pertronix module and make sure it's getting full 12 volts.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Aug 14th, 01, 10:01 PM
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The Pertronix module requires 12V? I didn't know that.. I just wired it across the coil. I wish I could find the original install instructions. Also for the Pertronix "Blaster" coil, so I could be sure it is rated for 12V or not. The Pertronix web site is a brain dead joke, just a flash billboard with not a wiff of tech info. Oops, I was wrong, IF you enable java you get some tech info tidbits. Basically, they say not to exceed 8 Amps. That works out to 12 Volts and a 1.5 ohm coil. 9 Volts (about what you would get with the ballast resistor) is 6 Amps, some margin. They don't say what their blaster coil is, I'm going to measure mine. If it is 3 ohms I feel OK about going to a full 12 Volts, if 1.5 I'll leave the resistor in. I agree with you JohnZ, probably the extra voltage from bypassing the ballast shorted the coil, and then thence the Pertronix.. I'm disabling java in my browser now, for security reasons...


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-ibjoe
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