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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah sounds like your Alternator - have it tested but first check the belt tension. Also double check the Voltage Regulator connection harness for snugness.
I'm back to this again!

Took the alternator to have it tested.

It passed the Lamp/Diode Trio test
It passed the Rectifier test
It failed the Regulator test (which my guess is, it failed due to the regulator is external)

Here is the printout.
Battery Volts- High 15.7, Low 13.7, Actual 13.36
Ripple Volts- High 2.0, Low 0.0, Actual 1.85
Lamp on volts - N/A
Lamp off volts - N/A

So...Alternator seems okay. Still don't know why the car is cutting out when lights/radio etc are on.

Should I start a new thread on this since it's not related to the light relay harness install?
 

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Re: Putting headlights on relay...

It failed the regulator test, if it was bench tested as an external regulator that would indicate that the exciter signal sent to the alternator by the bench system failed to trigger a charge if I remember correct. Everett will step up on that subject if I'm wrong.

If it is that I'm right you may not need a new thread as you will have your answer - the unit failed and needs rebuild or replacement.
 

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Re: Putting headlights on relay...

Reading back over this thread, you have a 55 amp 10DN alternator, a VR715 reg, something other than stock headlamps, and the intermittent running.

First, on the SS VR install, '67's & '68's use rubber wellnuts for mounting the reg and a strap from the rad support to the VR chassis. Do one of two things, 1) remove the wellnuts and bolt the VR directly to the rad support with a star washer between the chassis and VR, or 2) install a ground jumper from VR chassis to rad support/ground. Alt case & VR have to be on the same reference for proper control.

Take the alt and VR to a dedicated Starter/Alternator repair and have them tested together, or take the Camaro to a shop having a VAT-40 tester and test on the car. View the results. The latter would be a better test.

A 10DN alt, or any alt, will show 12.5 volts at idle with a full load/accessories on. As long as voltage goes up as loads/demands are removed, the better. An alt, any alt, will provide max power at high rpms.

Does the Camaro run good with headlamps off? No intermittent action?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Car runs great with headlamps off. However, I can also get it to die turning on fan, radio and putting it in reverse. It usually fails in reverse with the lights on, this is intermittent though. I don't think it's related to the relay light harness, which I disconnected temporarily getting the same results with fan, radio and reverse. I checked idle (700 in park)...even bumped it up a bit temporarily, same issue.

I was having this issue before replacing the VR with the VR715 (had original points VR before). I used new rubber wellnuts as my originals fell apart when I unscrewed them.
The old original VR was gnded to the rad support with a wire from the same point the radio capacitor was mounted to the VR. I rewired the same way with the new VR. I even left the capacitor even though I read it was no longer needed with the VR715

Car wiring is all original, distributor is orgiinal (except Pertronics). Original am/am radio and a/c.

I do have an appointment at a shop on Thursday.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Everett wrote in PM:
Swap out the petronics module for the point set and try the same procedure - dies or not?
With the Petronics, did yuo run a new power wire from the IGN spade on the fuse panel or use the original cloth-covered wire?
Using the cloth wire, gives a reduced power and with all the accessories on, not enough power remaining to power the ign...Everett

I did not add the Pertronics. It was added when I had the car dyno tuned 3 years ago.
Tuning/timing/carb adjustment are black magic to me.
I don't know if they added a new wire, I doubt they did. Perhaps this is the issue.

Is the Pertronics module worth having?

Forgot that the coil is aftermarket (an MSD Blaster)
 

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Usually the Pertronix Igniter (I, II or III) is matched to a corresponding coil based on ohm. Other coils can be used, but the system works best (per the manufacturer) when the ignitor and coil are matched. The ignition wire to the igniter is easy to view, either it's the white cloth covered wire, or it's something else.

What kind of electrical accessories do you have (head light type)?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Usually the Pertronix Igniter (I, II or III) is matched to a corresponding coil based on ohm. Other coils can be used, but the system works best (per the manufacturer) when the ignitor and coil are matched. The ignition wire to the igniter is easy to view, either it's the white cloth covered wire, or it's something else.

What kind of electrical accessories do you have (head light type)?
When I get home, I'll take a look at the wiring to the ignitor.

As to the question, I only have the headlight relay harness pictured here...

http://www.camaros.net/forums/showpost.php?p=1863161&postcount=51

...and Silverstar bulbs.

As above...I disconnected the relay harness temporarily and am still having issues.

This issue may have been around for some time and I just never had it happen because I don't drive at night much and I rarely run the fan.
 

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Yes, it is a matched system if the same manf is used throughout the system, ie, module and coil.
One of two choices you can do, when you drive the Camaro, jumper a hot wire from the positive battery post to the coil + terminal as this will provide direct battery/electrical power instead of through the ign switch. If Camaro runs without interruption, then either a bad ign sw, the electrical part, as you can use the same tumbler for the new switch, faulty connection either to the ign sw, red wire power comes in, or a bad firewall connection from the ign sw to coil.

The other choice is rig a light bulb, such as a reverse light socket with bulb, ground one lead inside the interior and route the other lead of the socket to the coil + terminal and watch the bulb. If it glows intermittently, see faults listed in above sentence. If it glows continuously, then problem is elsewhere. Might attach the light to alternator BATT stud.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, it is a matched system if the same manf is used throughout the system, ie, module and coil.
One of two choices you can do, when you drive the Camaro, jumper a hot wire from the positive battery post to the coil + terminal as this will provide direct battery/electrical power instead of through the ign switch. If Camaro runs without interruption, then either a bad ign sw, the electrical part, as you can use the same tumbler for the new switch, faulty connection either to the ign sw, red wire power comes in, or a bad firewall connection from the ign sw to coil.

The other choice is rig a light bulb, such as a reverse light socket with bulb, ground one lead inside the interior and route the other lead of the socket to the coil + terminal and watch the bulb. If it glows intermittently, see faults listed in above sentence. If it glows continuously, then problem is elsewhere. Might attach the light to alternator BATT stud.
Well, I'm sure what I have is not matched. I had the MSD blaster coil before the Pertronics module was installed. Hmmm.

Here is how it is wired. Original factory harness brown wire tied to neg side of the coil.
Original factory harness whitish cloth covered black wire tied to Pos side of coil.
Yellow original factory harness wire tied to Pos side of coil (assume this is the tach)
Then the Pertronics module has a red lead to Pos side of the coil and a black wire to the Neg side of the coil.

Can I take battery power off of the horn relay to the Pos coil terminal? Reason being, I have no way of attaching a wire to the Pos batt terminal with the original style spring cables.
 

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Everett already stated that you need to have a full 12 volts going to that coil. "Original factory harness whitish cloth covered black wire tied to Pos side of coil. " This might be the resistor wire feeding voltage to your pertronix. Get a pertronix coil matched to that pertronix module (already stated earlier) and make sure you have a full 12 Volts going to that coil with ignition switched to ON.
 

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Which Pertronix ignition module do you have, the I, II, or III ?

I think maybe the First Pertronix offering could be wired either way (with or with resistor wire) but I can't remember about the second Pertronix ignition.

I know their latest offering, the III MUST have full battery voltage to their coil and the module to work properly. I installed one of these in my 69 this past winter. I went the extra step and ran a dedicated primary wire from the battery which is controlled by a relay triggered from the original wire that fed the coil. They sell a kit for this but I fabricated my own (which is easy and inexpensive to do).

I went a step further with an extra relay controlled by an idiot light oil pressure sending unit to kill all power to the coil and ignition module unless there is oil pressure present. Saves the engine in the event of a pump failure and prevents the coil from potentially being charged if key is accidentally left in the run position when engine is not running (which can but doesn't usually blow the module).

Get the matched coil for the Pertronix module you have and then wire it up properly to eliminate the ignition system from the list of possibilities.

BTW, my Pertronix Ignitor III module and coil have worked flawlessly since installation and I'm sold on the system. Like it 100 times more than the old MSD 6AL and distributor that was constantly corroding and rusting internally. The Pertronix makes it look stock, no UGLY MSD box bolted anywhere and it really works great!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Everett already stated that you need to have a full 12 volts going to that coil. ".
I understand that. I was just confirming how the ignition is wired right now.


I did not install the module...this module was installed about 3+ years ago.
It was "professionally" installed by a dyno tuning shop...so apparently, they do not follow instructions if it's wired wrong. Car has run great for the years since installation.


Which Pertronix ignition module do you have, the I, II, or III ?

I think maybe the First Pertronix offering could be wired either way (with or with resistor wire) but I can't remember about the second Pertronix ignition.

I know their latest offering, the III MUST have full battery voltage to their coil and the module to work properly. I installed one of these in my 69 this past winter. I went the extra step and ran a dedicated primary wire from the battery which is controlled by a relay triggered from the original wire that fed the coil. They sell a kit for this but I fabricated my own (which is easy and inexpensive to do).

I went a step further with an extra relay controlled by an idiot light oil pressure sending unit to kill all power to the coil and ignition module unless there is oil pressure present. Saves the engine in the event of a pump failure and prevents the coil from potentially being charged if key is accidentally left in the run position when engine is not running (which can but doesn't usually blow the module).

Get the matched coil for the Pertronix module you have and then wire it up properly to eliminate the ignition system from the list of possibilities.

BTW, my Pertronix Ignitor III module and coil have worked flawlessly since installation and I'm sold on the system. Like it 100 times more than the old MSD 6AL and distributor that was constantly corroding and rusting internally. The Pertronix makes it look stock, no UGLY MSD box bolted anywhere and it really works great!
I am unsure which model it is...I don't see anything on the module itself and I received no paperwork when it was installed.

It says on the Pertronix website that the I model "works better" with their coil...but does not come with a coil. Perhaps I have a I model. I like your oil safety feature...that is slick.

Does the dedicated wire (like your install) have to come from the battery...or can it come from the relay horn buss bar?
 

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Does the dedicated wire (like your install) have to come from the battery...or can it come from the relay horn buss bar?
For this science project, the wire can be attached to buss bar.
Remember, when you shut it off, you will have to remove the wire/power as now not controlled by ign switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For this science project, the wire can be attached to buss bar.
Remember, when you shut it off, you will have to remove the wire/power as now not controlled by ign switch.
Got it. :thumbsup:


ONe more thing on my wiring. The original factory resistor is on the firewall...but is not connected.
 

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I understand that. I was just confirming how the ignition is wired right now.




I did not install the module...this module was installed about 3+ years ago.
It was "professionally" installed by a dyno tuning shop...so apparently, they do not follow instructions if it's wired wrong. Car has run great for the years since installation.




I am unsure which model it is...I don't see anything on the module itself and I received no paperwork when it was installed.

It says on the Pertronix website that the I model "works better" with their coil...but does not come with a coil. Perhaps I have a I model. I like your oil safety feature...that is slick.

Does the dedicated wire (like your install) have to come from the battery...or can it come from the relay horn buss bar?
Can you take the distributor cap off and take a photo of the installed module, that might help narrow down which one it is?

They all work better with their matched coil (at least according to the manufacturer), but are sold as separate items.

When I researched what to replace my old MSD setup with I read about many individuals having fried/blown modules (not just Pertronix, pretty much any/all of them including the GM HEU modules) that I decided a better mousetrap was called for. Oil pressure gauges are great IF YOU SEE AND CAN REACT TO THEM IN TIME but nothing beats the speed and repetitive functionality of time tested electronics. Preventing the coil from overcharging and potentially blowing the module is an added and equal benefit.

The dedicated wire can come from any full 12 volt source, I chose the battery as it was the shortest route/path to take and seeing that the idea of having a dedicated wire to the coil and ignition module is to keep current and voltage at maximum levels, a shorter and heavier dedicated wire is the best way. Pertronix told me the III module and coil use about 7 amps which is a lot to put through that 40 plus year undersized primary wiring and ignition switch.

If you run a temporary jumper, you'll need to disconnect it as Everett suggested to shut the car off but you'd only want to do that as a test, not a long term solution. The relay circuit is activated and deactivated by the ignition key so no worries there, it will function as a stock setup except there is an extra relay and dedicated higher gauge wire providing you 12 volts (closer to 14 in reality) to your ignition module and coil.
 

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Got it. :thumbsup:


One more thing on my wiring. The original factory resistor is on the firewall...but is not connected.
I wasn't aware 1st generation Camaro's used a ballast resistor, so it sounds like a custom addition at some point in time. They used resistor wire instead, if you remove the wire from the positive side of the coil and measure with a volt meter when the ignition is in the run position, you'll either get battery voltage (12-13 volts), or battery voltage minus 3 to 5 volts (or 7-9 volts) which will tell you if it is being powered with a resistor wire.

Keep in mind that 9 volts is a long way from almost 14 volts (7 is almost half the voltage of the electrical system when engine is running), and that doesn't even bring available current into the discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Can you take the distributor cap off and take a photo of the installed module, that might help narrow down which one it is?

They all work better with their matched coil (at least according to the manufacturer), but are sold as separate items.

When I researched what to replace my old MSD setup with I read about many individuals having fried/blown modules (not just Pertronix, pretty much any/all of them including the GM HEU modules) that I decided a better mousetrap was called for. Oil pressure gauges are great IF YOU SEE AND CAN REACT TO THEM IN TIME but nothing beats the speed and repetitive functionality of time tested electronics. Preventing the coil from overcharging and potentially blowing the module is an added and equal benefit.

The dedicated wire can come from any full 12 volt source, I chose the battery as it was the shortest route/path to take and seeing that the idea of having a dedicated wire to the coil and ignition module is to keep current and voltage at maximum levels, a shorter and heavier dedicated wire is the best way. Pertronix told me the III module and coil use about 7 amps which is a lot to put through that 40 plus year undersized primary wiring and ignition switch.

If you run a temporary jumper, you'll need to disconnect it as Everett suggested to shut the car off but you'd only want to do that as a test, not a long term solution. The relay circuit is activated and deactivated by the ignition key so no worries there, it will function as a stock setup except there is an extra relay and dedicated higher gauge wire providing you 12 volts (closer to 14 in reality) to your ignition module and coil.
I will take a pic tonight and post it up. Funny...my invoice of the work done says Per Lux Ignition...not Pertronix.

I just don't have a way to connect a dedicated wire to the Pos side of the battery. I'm using the factory style spring cables.

As for the resistor...this thing is mounted on the firewall and is about 3-4 inches long, square and has a capacitor (like the one on the Voltage Regulator) on one end. Looks pretty original to me....I'll look at the Assembly manual tonight.

Lot of good info from you guys...thanks!
 

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I just don't have a way to connect a dedicated wire to the Pos side of the battery. I'm using the factory style spring cables.
You can go the pos batt cable at the solenoid - 3/8" ring terminal. Be sure to use a relay as said. OR I'm pretty sure 1968 had an IGN spade on the fuse panel that's hot when cranking OR if your car originally had an anti-diesel solenoid and the wire is still there (red) that's an excellent choice for a key-on 12v source for ign (that's what I use)
 

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I will take a pic tonight and post it up. Funny...my invoice of the work done says Per Lux Ignition...not Pertronix.

I just don't have a way to connect a dedicated wire to the Pos side of the battery. I'm using the factory style spring cables.

As for the resistor...this thing is mounted on the firewall and is about 3-4 inches long, square and has a capacitor (like the one on the Voltage Regulator) on one end. Looks pretty original to me....I'll look at the Assembly manual tonight.

Lot of good info from you guys...thanks!
Well they definitely made a typo on your invoice :p

If you just want to try a temporary test, make up a test wire with a large spring battery clamp on one end (like a battery charger cable would have), and a smaller alligator clip on the other end (both items available at Radio Shack for a few bucks). Then connect the test cable from the positive terminal of the ignition coil to the positive post of the battery and without delay start the engine and take for a test drive and see if your problem has been eliminated. When you are done with the test drive, turn the ignition key off and then disconnect the test cable from the battery and the the ignition coil to shut the engine off. This way you'll know if your supply to the module and coil is causing your troubles.

If you can snap a photo of the ballast resistor, that would be helpful as well.
 
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