Ballast resistor troubles!

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  1. Kern Dog

    Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    We have all heard or experienced some trouble with the Ballast Resistor in our cars, right?
    Me too, just not that often.
    A week or so ago, I was tinkering with the Charger trying to detect the source of a coolant leak. At some point, the car was misfiring at idle, getting worse under a load. I did the usual checks, wire connections secure, plug wires too. Cap and rotor looked good, air gap in distributor was within spec.
    I changed the orange spark box to another one and it ran normally...THEN I closed the hood and it stalled. Huh ?
    It then had no spark so I changed to another spark box. It struggled but did start and run, just not very well. I was at the end of the time I had so I just closed up and went inside.
    Today I looked a little deeper and found this:
    BR.jpg
    Okay, look a bit closer.
    BR.jpg
    That is a NEW one on me. I have never seen one break like that. This explains why it stalled when I closed the hood....
    The other Ballast Resistors I've seen have some sort of material covering the spring, this was one that came with the MSD Blaster 2 coil.
    It runs great now but I still have the coolant leak. I'll get to that next. BR 1.jpg
     
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    • moparnation74

      moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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      I personally have not had that happen....Vibration or a manufacturer defect could have caused that.....
       
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      • R413

        R413 Well-Known Member

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        So this is an MSD part gone bad, no just a ballast resistor. All this aftermarket “ good stuff”. Hot trick of the week stuff is just a bunch of crap.

        Buy the upper end MSD and it’s a different story. blaster 2 coils and boxes are a problem waiting to happen. IMO

        It’s not just a coil it’s a blaster 2! And ignitor was OK but ignitor II is so much better! What all this means I’d you got F’ed. This stuff isn’t any bett than he 1971 Chrysler electronic ignition with a magnetic pickup. It just has cool names to make you want it. LOL
         
        Last edited: Jun 14, 2019 at 5:49 PM
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        • oldbee

          oldbee FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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          OR, water hit it when it was warm?
           
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          • slimt

            slimt Well-Known Member

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            Ive had that happen a few times back in the day. But mine burnt black at the break.
             
          • WP29440SE

            WP29440SE Well-Known Member

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            I simply eliminated all that crap and use a little hei thingy with a heatsink. constant 12 v to the plugs. car starts within half a turn of the starter
             
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            • Kern Dog

              Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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              Hmm....Coolant leak, water pushed by the fan, maybe gets the BR wet...Maybe ???
               
            • Budnicks

              Budnicks You Can Just Thank Me Latter FBBO Gold Member

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              can you elaborate ?
              show what you have ?
               
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              • metaldad

                metaldad Well-Known Member

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                ill show you mine, if you show yours.............
                 
              • bearman

                bearman FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                thanks k dog great input
                 
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                • dadsbee

                  dadsbee FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                  1977 trying to leave Calabogie peaks after skiing. Dad drove us up and the '76 Fury Sport would fire and die. Boosted with a dozer.. and died. Luckily we grabbed the ski club bus home and went back a few days later to get the car. I was 14 at the time and haven't left home without 2 spare ballast resistors in the glove box since!
                   
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                  • moparedtn

                    moparedtn FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                    Some of you all might remember me going through all this with mine a few years ago.
                    I wound up with a factory electronic ignition distributor, my choice of orange box or store-bought control
                    box (I have 3 now :) ) and a Blaster II coil - and for some reason I can't remember, I wound up
                    changing out the ballast to something really low in resistance to get close to 12V to that coil.
                    Does that make sense?
                     
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                    • Cornpatch MO

                      Cornpatch MO Well-Known Member

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                      Personally, I don't see a need for a ballast resister , unless to retain the stock appearance...and you can fake that by by-passing it. I use a coil with a built in resister. Unless you gotta have the super bling, you can get a coil from any parts house that is labeled " no external resister needed" Pertronix has a black or chrome 40,000 volt coil that appears stock and no ballast resister needed...MO
                       
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                      • WP29440SE

                        WP29440SE Well-Known Member

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                        heres the diagram, the module screws down to a heat sink 1560574746994-1453785305.png
                         
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                        • moparnation74

                          moparnation74 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                          I carry a spare as well.....now 2 that’s and idea in case one fails...
                           
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                          • 91r/t

                            91r/t FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                            I had one do the same as well. Broke same exact way. I also has a coolant leak shoot a drop of coolant back and land on my Fusible link and melt that thing. Started smoking and thought I was gonna burn down my garage and my fresh resto on my duster. Original fusible link had a small cut in wire I couldn't see and it got wet from the splash and almost fried the car haha! Wasn't funny then, but I laugh now at how ironic one or two drops of coolant hit that one little spot.
                             
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                            • moparedtn

                              moparedtn FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                              I ask the question again, another way perhaps:
                              If you're running a 12V coil, do you even need a ballast at all?
                               
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                              • Kern Dog

                                Kern Dog FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                Well, since I am not as confident in electrical systems as I am with other aspects of the car, I have kept the system as close to what the factory did as I could with aftermarket parts. Rick Ehrenberg from Mopar Action magazine claims that the ballast is needed so I have kept it. To me, I just don't know enough to feel confident eliminating it....so far.
                                 
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                                • Darter6

                                  Darter6 FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                  Years back Mopar Muscle Magazine did a story on Mopar electronic ignition and whether you need a ballast or not. So I tried it but used the Pertronix 3 ohm primary resistance coil over the stock 1.5 ohm for peace of mind. 79 Chrysler 300 360 Hp.The car was always hard to start hot. After the change hot starts were gone.Drove it 2800 miles cross country and never skipped a beat.Drove it for a year or so.Sold the car a few years back so I can't say anything for longevity pro or con.Just a thought.
                                   
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                                  • cr8crshr

                                    cr8crshr FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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                                    Well EBooger has a wealth of input and knowledge concerning our MOPARS and such. But I have to disagree here Kern on that his claim of keeping it because he claims so, is bunk. I have a FBO electronic ignition box and eliminated the MOPAR Chrome box I was using. Has a built in circuit for a Rev Limiter that is built into it. They suggest by-passing the BR all together as it isn't required for their set up. So I just eliminated the internal parts of the BR and jumped the plug points with a correct gauge wire thus taking it out of circuit. It is still there for the aesthetics if you will, but doesn't come into circuit play at all. I also had FBO re-curve and set my distributor which is a MOPAR Electronic Distributor to a more friendly setting for my '66 Plymouth Satellite. I have zero problems with my ignition electronics. I would also suggest to stop using the Orange MOPAR boxes. They are not reliable and tend to fail at the drop of a hat. The Chrome MOPAR boxes are far better but they also have been known to fail. Although less frequently than the Orange boxes. I have a spare regular points/condenser distributor that I re-curved myself and a spare coil and BR so that I can re-install them in the event of total ignition failure. By the way I use a Pertronix top of the line Coil. I am some what of a self taught electrical geek and I fully understand how these systems for our MOPARS are wired together and how they operate. By studying this area, I pretty much get it when it comes to a stock correct look, and making the system far better than stock without degrading what most seek as correct. Seriously, take a look at the links her and upgrade to a newer, better, and much more reliable electrical circuitry. You won't regret it...cr8crshr/Bill:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::usflag::usflag::usflag:

                                    http://www.4secondsflat.com/ They have great stuff...IMHO
                                     
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