Ballast issues with a Centech harness

Sideshow

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Long long story short; she starts, runs, warms up, then dies. Go ahead and laugh, but after replacing the coil, amp, distro guts, I found the Ballast bad. The problem is I keep smoken the ballast. I replaced the ballast with a coil specific amp rating (1.35). What I see is 12 volts in the ballast, 6 out when cold. When it hits 12 volt out, the eng dies. I've shot the wires, but all reads right - cant find a short. I have a Centech harness, but believe I've got it wired wrong. My rub, Centech provides a trouble shooting diagram that differs from the installation. Specifically, install shows violet (from ignition sw) to blue (Amp). Trouble shooting shows blue wire to the "S" post on starter solenoid. We've tried both, different problem with troubleshooting diagram; eng turns and fires, but stalls. Anyone have a clue?

 

Bully Bob

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Hi Sideshow, welcome...!

This sounds like a good one for SEABRONC but I can offer this; (don't know your rigs year.?)

The ballast is there to protect the points. Meaning you could take it out of the loop & the rig would run fine 'til the points wore down.

The newer (Ford pointless duraspark) dizzys run on full 12V

I believe yours may start on 12V.., run on 6V.

I'm drawing a blank as to what you're refering to as the "AMP" (amp meter?)

"12 volts in the ballast, 6 out when cold. When it hits 12 volt out.."

Don't see how this is possible. RU using the stock type, white porcelain ballast with the wire coil in the back..?

If the ballast fried, there would be "0" volts out.

Is the alt./reg. putting out the correct voltage.., not over charging..?

One rig I bought had a new wiring kit..., I found several of the crimped-on connectors loose. I checked & re-crimped all that were loose/important under the hood.

 

Sideshow

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Thanks Top Gun.

My apologies , let me clarify a couple things. I have a 1976 Bronco Explorer. Im slowly finding i have a "Jonny Cash 302 - put together one year at a time (1979 block).

When I said "Amp", I meant Ignition amplifier or Dura Spark module.

Last, yes we've gone to the ceramic Ballast. Now, I've heard several arguments towards whether or not we need the ballast at all ( coil rated at 12volts). Also, you hit one of the most confusing issues: how come a cool ballast (12v in -6out) runs, but a "bad module" (12v in/out- no ignition)

Thanks again

 

Seabronc

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Here is a wiring diagram for a Duraspark II. it is from the EVTM for an 83 bronco, however all Duraspark II's are wired the same. Check your wiring against this. The obvious is that there is too much current running through the resistor and it exceeds the rating. Why, I have no clue at this point. The Bronco doesn't use a ceramic resistor, the ballast is the resistance wire shown in the diagram. That wire is a long piece of special wire running from the ignition switch to a splice near the connector as shown.

My suggestion is that you make sure that all connections are the same as in this diagram.

Good luck,

PG24b.jpg

PG25b.jpg

PG26b.jpg

PG27.jpg

 

Sideshow

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After rethinking it, we walked it through one more time. Wires correct / no shorts. All components check good ( everything is new except solenoid & starter, which shouldn't matter -right). However, one thing continues to stump me: why does the Ballast rise to 12 v out and the eng dies? All three ballast still read 1.5 Omhs, regardless of cold/ hot, which leads me to now think that it's not the Ballast. However, I know that when I see 6 v out of the ballast, she'll start.

 

Sideshow

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I'll check the diagrams you sent - thanks. I have the old inline resistor, but the Centech harness changed it to the ballast. I believe that shouldn't matter. I'll try anything at this point. Thanks again.

 

Bully Bob

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As SB said.., Ford "switched" to a "resistor wire" from the "white" inline unit at some point... (I think it was the early 70's) (73 was the last yr. for bolt-on resistor)

Meaning there was NO LONGER a visible resistor. (My '66 had the white, bolt on ballast resistor.)

It's poss. Centech included all parts needed for '66-'77 Some you may not need.

I have no idea if you need the resistor with the Duraspark/module set-up. (maybe Centech can guide you)

My ignition is a GM 4pin module, wired to a Ford Duraspark dizzy. 12V to the coil & that's it.

(And, like yours the coil is a 12V coil with NO RESISTOR REQUIRED.)

Soooo..., someone on this board will have to "chime in" with info. about the specifics.

 
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Rons beast

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Hey SS,

While I will admit I don't have full knowledge of your particular harness, I agree with Bully that you may not need that resistor. A resistor was in the circuit to reduce voltage to the points so they would not burn up quickly.

A distributor using another trigering mechanism would not need the voltage reduction.

My thoughts are this: The wiring is done incorrectly, and as a result, the resistor circuit when it allows only 6volts has no effect on a transistor in the module. The 12 volts that the system works on is able to overcome the 6v "surge". That allows the system to work as intended. When 12v is allowed in the circuit, it interferes with the current flow through a transistor and the circuit will not opperate to allow a fire signal to the coil.

What is the result if you were to remove the balast altogether? (abandon that wire.)

Double check that the wires are on the proper terminals to the coil. Leads from the dist should be on the - side, as well as any tach leeds.

Final thought....the balast circuit may be intended for a fusable link, and be intended for a connection from the ignition switch and the starter solenoid.

Good Luck

 
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Bully Bob

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My next suggestion was/is to run a jumper wire from batt. positive TO the + side of the coil. (no other wires on that coil post)

Then start the vehicle. To shut it off..., you would need to remove the jumper.

For Ron.., to my knowledge, the fusable links didn't come into play 'til a few yrs. later.

The "resistor wire" fr. key to coil was simply engineered to replace the "bolt-on" tile resistor. One would certainly not need both.

Duraspark came to be in 1975--& to my knowledge, the "resistor wire" was then abandoned & a nornal wire carried 12V to the coil.

If SideShow has 12V at the end of that wire with KEY ON.., then that's the original stock wire. (But, check me on this...!)

 
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Seabronc

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That last diagram was the wrong one. It is for a hookup with an ECC module. I agree with Bullybob, if I remember right, when using a MSD system the resistance wire is eliminated. That wire was still therein 83.

PG18.jpg

 
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Sideshow

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To al, thanks for the help.

Work is slowing the process, but I'm getting to it slowly.

The Centech setup shows the resistor for both points or a module. However, from my research (but limited understanding) I feel like I shouldn't need it. The original coil is rated for 12v. I need to check the new Napa coil, but I specifically coordinated the resistor when purchased, so I assume I bought a 6 v. It states that it requires it.

The resistor is bypassed during the start sequence. The installation instructions cover that well. The wire harness removed the inline resistor, so all is new. Not sure if that answers Bully. I'm going to try the bypass and battery jump, but like I said my coils say to use an external resistor. Am I going to smoke the coil? Do I need a different 12v coil?

I'm to the point of upgrading to a Davis unified Distributor. Any thoughts, other than my wallet?

OBTW- cant find a Centech tech line and Jeff's Bronco Graveyard isn't answering. I appreciate that you'all are. Semper Fi!

 

Sideshow

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Bypassed reducer. Ran like a champ, died when it warmed up like before. Swapped to a second module and blew a ignition fuse in 30 sec of run. Swapped back to the new module and blew the same fuse on start up. We're shooting wires now.

Question, is it normal for my volt meter to fluctuate when reading inline ignition system, both with/without resistor. It's a digital reader.

 

Bully Bob

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"The wire harness removed the inline resistor, so all is new."

This sounds/is a good thing.

"like I said my coils say to use an external resistor. Am I going to smoke the coil? Do I need a different 12v coil?"

The way I understand it;

There's 12V coils, there's 12V coils with "internal resistors", there's more powerful/better cooling 12V coils, there's coils for "halls-efect" ignitions, there's coils for "capacitor discharge" ignitions..., & maybe a few others.

(I think 6V coils are rare & special order these days)

"Am I going to smoke the coil?"

Not likely...

"Do I need a different 12v coil?"

Very possible. Assuming your ignition is stock (Duraspark dizzy & module) then a stock coil (or an aft. mkt. coil with a bit more "umph" yet fits that year) is what should be in the loop.

"Question, is it normal for my volt meter to fluctuate when reading inline ignition system, both with/without resistor. It's a digital reader"

These style volt meters seem to "flicker" at times. I'm surprised a digital works. Is this the complete DIGITAL instrument cluster..??

"Swapped to a second module and blew a ignition fuse in 30 sec of run. Swapped back to the new module and blew the same fuse on start up"

Yep..., that FUSE is a clue...., some wire/connection is wrong. And as stated earlier.., I've not heard of the tile resistors smok'n/burn'n up. Worst case.., they may rot over time.

 
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Rons beast

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Hey Side,

Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

No doubt that there is something wrong with the wiring.

I know it's a PITA, but be dilligent and replicate the wiring according to Seabroncs second diagram.

I would not trust that the Centech harness is not without a fault here. Trace each wire.

When you say the truck starts then dies when it's warmed up, I get the feeling something is miswired to or from a sensor or such, and when the temp is reached, it causes an undesired short.

Good Luck

 

Sideshow

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We may have it. The ground wire from the coil to the module is shorting out. Still isolating it, but its working. What we found was the neg post had 12v when it died. Centech, focused us to green ground wire for the module. Jumped it , no probems.

FYI- Centech tech hates the Duraspark system. Recommend water proof plugs or HEI distributor.

Thanks to all - off to work

 

Bully Bob

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GREAT..!! Good job..! This was a fun one... >:D< <'>

Duraspark is pretty standard.., especially the dizzy.

However, there were some issues early on with the module, as I recall.

Frequent the board...!! Others on here may need your help with like issues.. :-"

 

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