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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. So I installed an MSD distributor in my vehicle and unless I run a jumper from the battery directly to the (+) side of the coil, the motor will not run even remotely close to normal. If it would start at all, it would sound like a motor that has 2 wires crossed or running on only 5 or 6 cylinders. Attach the jumper, problem solved (temporarily). Remove the jumper while the engine is running, and it would more than likely immediately stall. When I measured the voltage at the battery, coil and coil while cranking the starter motor, I obtained the following reading: 12.82v/12.20v/10.88 respectively. So, I assume I need to bypass the resistor wire. I removed some of the factory tape covering the wiring harness coming from the bulkhead connector off the firewall. I can see the resistor wire about 5" from the connector. I can't get closer or remove the connector itself because the brake booster is in the way. I suppose I could remove the booster, but that's a pain in the butt. Can I just splice there leaving the 5" of resistor wire? If the resistance is made up from the entire length of the wire, will leaving that 5" be inconsequential or do I need to come up with a different plan? Thanks!
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

You can get in there. I promise. It's one bolt holding the wiring harness in.

If you google it you'll find how to remove the wire completely from the harness plug. If I recall it's a matter of using needle nose pliers and pushing in while moving it a certain direction then pulling out. Then get the part from NAPA they recommend and install the new wire.

I wouldn't use any of the resister wire if I were you. You'll just be cutting your voltage short to the distributor.

Another option might be a relay and direct run from the battery I suppose.

edit: http://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-157612.html

That give directions but the pics are kinda hard to see.
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

One of the most common mistakes when upgrading or Nova's from a point ignition to a GM HEI or any HP ignition system is not changing out the resistor wire so the HEI will receive the proper voltage needed to operate correctly.

I did this today on a GEN 3 so thought I would share.


This is not correct and what is mostly found.
A resistor wire with a pig tail for HEI power connection sliced in.
Not a good thing! :no::no::no::no:



First you need to remove the engine wiring harness from the firewall.
This will be located between the fender and brake master cylinder.
Power brake can make this aggravating to get to.

Remove the 3/8 bolt and pull the harness away from the firewall.



Notice how the harness will separate so you can remove only the engine part of the harness.



Now you have the harness removed from the vehicle, you need to remove the resistor wire & terminal from the terminal block. This is a easy, just trace the wire and lightly squeeze the terminal and push and pull it out from the back side.





Now we make up the new wire.
you will need 24'' of a quality 14ga stranded wire (I prefer red in color)
2 GM specialty terminals NAPA part number referenced.
Use a quality crimping tool.


It is also easy to remove the factoy alignment terminal housing used on the HEI. With a pin tool you remove the housing.




Make up the wire with the new terminals and plug them back into the harness terminal block and HEI terminal housing. Re-install the wiring harness and your set.


Terminal for dist.

terminal for factory harness


Installing the factory harness terminal is easy, just push it in. and make sure it is locked into place.



FYI
AL



PS: It took me more time to post and edit pics than do the work on the car!
I decided to repost it and add the image tags so you can actually read it. I wish someone had done the same for me...
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

A different plan would be to run a 12ga wire from the IGN terminal on the fuse block to coil+. Perhaps feed the wire through the speedo cable hole in the firewall, or drill a hole and use a grommet.
Isn't that fused to the turn signals as well? If you use that and blow it because of something stupid your car would shut off.

I've heard of using the IGN terminal and the factory resistor wire together but that sounds dumb to me as well because then you're bypassing the fuse for the turn signal.

The best way, as far as I can tell, to do it is to just replace the resister wire in full.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Resistor Wire

Hi George, this is great info esp with the pics! Do I need both of those NAPA part numbers or just the engine side ? #725145?

Thanks! John
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

Go back to BPOS reply #3 and do it like he says. Simple and works great. Also
Just fold resistor wire back and tape around so if you ever want to go back to
Point ignition again, the wire is still there. No need to remove old wire from
Harness.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: Resistor Wire

I really like the pulling the wire from the harness method. It's final and seems ultra secure. However, I just looked at the car and with the 11" booster, no way I'm getting it done without removing the booster first. Plus, I have to buy a whole pack (50) of the connectors to the tune of $45. Idk, I really don't wanna mess with the booster, at least not in the middle of summer. Plus, I'd like to find someone or a store that sells the connectors individually. I'll probably will go with Al's method. I can always rework it a bit if I want to at some point secure it into the harness. I've seen several mentions on using 12 ga wire. I have 14 ga on hand and the assembly manual says 20 ga was used for the resistor as well as the yellow wire that goes from there to the starter solenoid.Anyone see any reason not to use the 14 ga? Thanks
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

I was able to re-use the connector with a little gentle persuasion and a soldering iron.

I, too, have the booster. You can get in there with a socket, extension and a swivel or try from under the car.
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

Isn't that fused to the turn signals as well? If you use that and blow it because of something stupid your car would shut off.



The best way, as far as I can tell, to do it is to just replace the resister wire in full.
Yes it is.

The resistor wire is protected via a fusible link at the horn realy bus. Take your pick.

If the OP were to splice a standard 12ga copper wire an inch of so from where the resistor wire exits the bulkhead connector I doubt there would be any appreciable voltage drop
 

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Re: Resistor Wire

If u replace the resistor wire, and want to use a points in the future... do the sensible thing that Ford , Dodge And GM Aussie Holden did... have a ceramic ballast resistor in the line...
 

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Oh, GEEZ, just do as recommended previously, remove the resistor wire at the coil + terminal, and tape it off, then, run it back into the harness. ADD a wire from the IGN terminal through the firewall at a place the wire can be run through it, preferably where it has an insulator, to the coil + terminal. Done, works right, no fuss, no muss, no stupidity to carry a porcelain resistor if points need to be put back into the system, NO WIRING LOOM ALTERING.

This IS what I do for a living, small-body HEI. The above is what I do to feed them with a full 12 volts, NEVER FAILED SO FAR, only about 40 years of doing it that way.

Many posts on this subject prove that there ARE many, many ways, to chase one's tail 'round and 'round in circles, and NOT get it to work right.

If one really wants to butcher up the stock harness at the firewall connector, the connectors are available form any GM dealer, and, a simple one bolt removal will allow access to the side of the holder the connector is held in by, so the old terminal can be removed, and the new one, with a copper stranded wire, can be installed into the resistor wire (silver stranded) for full volts to the coil.

SIMPLE AS THAT.
 

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It is only good common sense. IF the IGN wire is workable, tape the resistor wire off and leave it in the mix, add the IGN wire, done.

For those fatalists still intent on making things as hard as possible, ALL GM dealers have an electrical connectors section on their parts computers that lists new bulkhead terminals, like the ones for a resistor wire, so anyone can make a total disaster out of this extremely simple operation.
 

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In my experience when the ignition switch is in the crank position the ignition terminal at the fuze box is no longer hot ? you may want to check that . which leads me to my latest find which is that the monkeys I foolishly let work on my car some years ago hid the pigtail that looks like it should go to the distributor , inside the wire trough on the firewall ? I also came to find that in lu of using this said pigtail they spliced a hot wire from the ignitions switch . I also found that said wire from ignition switch that should supply the power to this pigtail is lying at the fuze box with no connector on it ? this can be reinstalled with the right connector .making the pigtail hot from the ignition switch. my concern is that the pig tail that would normally plug into the distributor has two wires ? a small yellow added to the heavy violate .?? I have never seem this before and do not want to set the car on fire !!!
Also does anyone know where the ground wire coming off the ignition switch actually is grounded ??
 

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This is so simple, and easy, and doesn't butcher up the resistor wire. Don't tell me it doesn't work, I have a few THOUSAND conversions working just fine this way.

Leave the resistor wire in place and connected at the bulkhead fitting. Take the resistor wire off the coil, tape the end terminal off, and put the wire and connector into the over the engne loom, still operative, and in lace if you ever need it later.

Then single wire frm fuse box IGN or IGNITION terminal thrugh the firewall (THERE ARE A FEW PLACES TO FEED THE WIRE THROUGH THE FIREWALL WITHOUT DAMAGE), and along the over the engine loom to the positive terminal on the coil, done.

Now, for those of you that still insist on doing things as hard as possible, the bulkhead terminal is still available from ANY GM dealer, and have fun with the wire.
 

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Oh, GEEZ, just do as recommended previously, remove the resistor wire at the coil + terminal, and tape it off, then, run it back into the harness. ADD a wire from the IGN terminal through the firewall at a place the wire can be run through it, preferably where it has an insulator, to the coil + terminal. Done, works right, no fuss, no muss, no stupidity to carry a porcelain resistor if points need to be put back into the system, NO WIRING LOOM ALTERING.

This IS what I do for a living, small-body HEI. The above is what I do to feed them with a full 12 volts, NEVER FAILED SO FAR, only about 40 years of doing it that way.

Many posts on this subject prove that there ARE many, many ways, to chase one's tail 'round and 'round in circles, and NOT get it to work right.

If one really wants to butcher up the stock harness at the firewall connector, the connectors are available form any GM dealer, and, a simple one bolt removal will allow access to the side of the holder the connector is held in by, so the old terminal can be removed, and the new one, with a copper stranded wire, can be installed into the resistor wire (silver stranded) for full volts to the coil.

SIMPLE AS THAT.
dave u sound like u r the most knowledgable here.I have a 68 camaro that I just put an hei system in and ran a 12 gauge wire from the IGN on he fuse block as u suggested ut when I hit the starter switch it stops getting voltage alltogether,any thoughts
 

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Realize this is an old thread, but figured I'd throw in my own experience for the benefit of others. I have Dave's HEI distributor and he is correct: red wire from the IGN terminal to the positive side of the coil does the trick. One important caveat though: the IGN terminal is protected by the turn signal fuse. If the fuse blows, the engine stops. Lesson: carry spare fuses. Ask me how I learned......
 
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