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TR parts and Triumph parts, TR bits, Triumph Car Spares and accessories are available for TR2, TR3, TR3A, TR4, TR4A, TR5, TR6, TR7, TR8, Spitfire and Stag and other TR models are available from British car spares and parts company LBCarCo.

Triumph TR6 - Electronic Ignition

I just ordered an electronic ignition and coil for my TR6 1971. Question is, Do I keep the white resistor that goes before the coil? Also, Do I have to regap the spark plug?
Angel L. Traverso

Angel
I also have a '71 and do not have the ballast resistor. Ballasted TR ignitions started around '73. I may be that PO added it to your car. In any event, if you purchased the Pertronix "IGNITOR" EI it says not to remove the ballast resistor....it can go in either ballasted or non. BUT some coils are for a ballasted system some are for non ballasted. What coil did you purchase (and what EI did u purchase)?
There are others on this BBS that have the resistor and can help you further whether you can safely remove or not.

Yes, with an EI and high voltage coil you can increase the gap of your plugs to 30 to 35 thou. To take advantage of all this you might consider upgrading your wire set to 8MM and also go with platinum plugs.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Rick C and everybody else,

I also just ordered EI (Moss must be having a sale!).

I also got the "stock" green wires from TRF, and have a stock, ballasted coil. Would using platinum plugs buy me anything? And I presume I should I stick with the normal recommended gap since I have the stock coil?

Ignatius
Ignatius

Ignatius--The green TRF cables I bought were crap. Be very careful when removing the boots from the plugs as nearly all of the metal clips on my set disconnected from the cable when doing so. If you experience the same, return them and get a set of fat magnecor KV85's.

Running stock coil keep the gaps at factory spec. I have Pertonix, Lucas gold, KV85's, and with Bosch platinums at 0.040 - 0.045.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Ignatius
No, you will get no advantage with the platinums other than longer life. Keep the gap at factory spec. as Rick said.
Rick C
That is a lot of gap Rick. I will have to try that next summer.
Rick Crawford

I have virtually the same setup as Rick O
(petronix, flamethrower coil magnecor wires and bosch platinum plugs) my gap is .035 and I have no ballast resistor I found that the wires made a big difference over TRF green, (off of a Rick O suggestion some threads back) not cheap but worth it ordered thru LBC or Moss check Item # and prices, I could not order direct from Magnecor.
Regards,
Keith 1972 TR6
K.B.Dixon

Rick C. I've been running with the 0.040 gap for 8K miles so far this year. Turnpike economy averaging 25 at 70 - 75 mph. Fires right up every time. The only advantage with the platinums is minimal gap erosion so they stay in a lot longer. Try this experiment: while running, see how far you can pull the coil tower cable back without losing the arc. Then do it with an expensive cable set; the difference will be obvious.

Rick O.
Rick Orthen

Hi All,

Ooh, I hope these green wires are not as bad as experienced. I was hoping to go more stock, but if these suck, I will probably follow the better coil, wires and plugs route.

Thanks guys!

Ignatius
Ignatius

I have my original distributor cap which I keep in my kit of goodies for concours car shows. The cap I run every day is not like the original but it works great. When I get to the show grounds, I swap over from the new one to the original one. Both are set up with cables so it only takes a minutes or so. And the judges see "originality".

So Ignatius, why don't you you run a cap with the wires that are efficient and works best for every day, and for a show, put on another distributor cap with the wires the judges like to see ?

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Don,

Good point! I am not sure why I want to stick with "stock" when I drive my TR almost everyday, even in the winter.

So I guess my next question is, will going with the better wires buy me anything if I stick with the stock coil?

Ignatius
Ignatius

Hi Angel and all,

Yes the better wires will get all the spark to the plugs Ignatius.

Ballast resistors of the type used on Triumphs for North America. Almost all came with them. Is a single pass allowing full 12+ volts no resistance to coil at cold startup. Engine warms up resistance increases dropping voltage to aprox. 8-9 volts to the coil.

If the coil was designed for it, use it as RickC pointed out. Most newer ones are not?

The idea was to increase your points life which it does. They were trying to extend tune up intervals. Points material of that era required replacement about every 3-4 thousand miles under great conditions.

IE. DonE on his cross country runs requires fewer tunes in a week. In England if you live in Southhampton/ South and the fire in your life is at U. in Lincoln/ North your points are good for a year. Yes I know PeterC and JohnD Newcastle is further.

Most were changed out on all manufacturers cars right at sale from the dealer in Canada. At least were I came from Saskatchewan Prairies North.

These were used by many manufacturers not just TR. If you have a 50 k wind blowing at minus 40 car only parked for 2 hours oil cold, battery cold, resistor nice and cosy sitting up on still warm head giving 8 instead of 12 volts to coil forget starting easy.

As far as winter driving goes Ignatius. CharlieB came over to the shop here in Canada a couple of weeks ago just before Roadsalt. With his superb Pearl white TR. Plates read TR-RIFIC. There was a light snow falling and the drive has Pines. An absolute postcard in my memory banks. Thanks Charlie.

Bill

B Brayford

Hi All,

I finally got time think about putting my EI in, was quickly confused, and thought I should post before I blow something up, like my EI.

On my 74, I have 1 wire from the dizzy going to the - side of the coil, then 3 wires going to the + side. Two of these wires are wrapped together and come out of the wiring harness. The 3rd comes from what I think is the ballast resistor. When I check resistance on the connections to the coil, I get zero, but when I touch the top of the resistor and the - side, I get about 2 ohms. I think the setup is boring/stock :).

So now my questions...

1.) From Bill's post it sounds like I get 12 volts when I turn the car on through the wiring harness, then the car hands things over to the connection to the coil through the ballast resistor? The Pertronix instructions show both the ignition and pertronix red wire going to the resistor first, then then coil. Why are there two wires coming out of the harness?

2.) To connect the Pertronix, do I just dohickey a connector for the red wires to screw that holds the ballast resistor to the coil mount?

3.) Since the resistor is hooked up to the engine on the + side of the coil and to the points (on the original system) on the - side, does this mean that the + side of the coil is connected to - ground? Maybe my question is, what do + and - mean for the coil? This is really tweaking my brain. I am scared to connect a red wire to ground? Where is the dizzy/coil connected to the + side of the battery?

Thanks,

Ignatius "probably need another beer" Rigor
Ignatius

Hi All,

I finally got time think about putting my EI in, was quickly confused, and thought I should post before I blow something up, like my EI.

On my 74, I have 1 wire from the dizzy going to the - side of the coil, then 3 wires going to the + side. Two of these wires are wrapped together and come out of the wiring harness. The 3rd comes from what I think is the ballast resistor. When I check resistance on the connections to the coil, I get zero, but when I touch the top of the resistor and the - side, I get about 2 ohms. I think the setup is boring/stock :).

So now my questions...

1.) From Bill's post it sounds like I get 12 volts when I turn the car on through the wiring harness, then the car hands things over to the connection to the coil through the ballast resistor? The Pertronix instructions show both the ignition and pertronix red wire going to the resistor first, then then coil. Why are there two wires coming out of the harness?

2.) To connect the Pertronix, do I just dohickey a connector for the red wires to screw that holds the ballast resistor to the coil mount?

3.) Since the resistor is hooked up to the engine on the + side of the coil, then to the points (on the original system) on the - side, does this mean that the + side of the coil is connected to - ground? Maybe my question is, what do + and - mean for the coil? This is really tweaking my brain. I am scared to connect a red wire to ground? Where is the dizzy/coil connected to the + side of the battery?

Thanks,

Ignatius "probably need another beer (or worse, had one too many)" Rigor
Ignatius

Ignatius
Here is reply to your e-mail...thought I would post it here so all could read it. There is a lot more to this story than meets the eye.

Hi Ignatius
Ya, I am still about.
( Did the TR6 ever come with green ignition wires??) I do not think so..green hoses yes.
There is an article on "Ballast vs. Non-Ballast Ignition Coils" by Dan Masters at the VTR site. You have to read it a few times but it gets the point across.
Simply put.
NON BALLASTED IGNITION SYSTEM ( no resistor): 12 volts is applied to coil ALL the time...it does not matter if you are starting the car or driving down the road it is still 12 volts.
BALLASTED IGNITION SYSTEM ( has resistor): 12 volts is ONLY applied to coil at engine start and while running coil gets around 6 volts. The resistor reduces the voltage while the engine is running. Purpose: longer coil life, longer points life, and longer condenser life and I think there is some thinking here of meeting CA emissions standards. When u start the engine, the ballast resistor is by-passed ( either with a starter relay or directly from the starter solenoid) to give the 12 volts to the coil to aid in cold weather starting. To some degree u are overloading the coil at starting of the engine but only for a short time. Understand that a ballasted system coil is different than a NON-ballasted system coil. The ballast coils primary winding has a lower inductance value (as compared to a non-ballast coil design), thus allowing the same voltage output through the secondary winding using only 6 volts instead of 12 volts. So in the end both coils are outputting 20,000 volts to the plugs. Now if we want higher voltage to the spark plugs from say a LUCAS Sport Coil, 40,000 volts, we MUST get rid of the ballast resistor....remember the drop to 6 volts!

Ignatius the Pertronic literature does not give you the whole story. Figure #2 ( Pertronics literature) shows the non ballast system..exactly what I have. Figure #3 is for ballasted systems but does not say that this is for a ballasted ignition coil design. You notice that Pertronics offers both a Ballasted coil design and non-ballasted coil design (Flame Thrower). The Lucas sport coil is for NON-BALLASTED systems only. Pertronics is selling you a conversion system from points to EI...they are not getting into higher spark voltages and thus say "do not change anything". They will sell you a higher output coil if you like.

DO NOT PUT RED IGNITOR WIRE TO GROUND!....POSITIVE TERMINAL ONLY ON COIL! and black wire IGNITOR to - coil terminal. This is the ONLY way to connect the IGNITOR (unless your a filthy rich). To un-tweak your brain do not think of the +and- on the coil like you would think of +and - Battery terminals. The +and- on coil are both the same voltage from the white wire to the coil and can be 6 or 12 volts depending if ballast resistor or not. Now this does not say that you can interchange the 2 terminals. The + is the input to the primary winding of the coil the - is output side of the primary winding and wether you have 6 (or) 12 volts on the + or - terminals depends if the points are open or closed. Obviously the main lead to the distributor is the secondary winding where the high voltage has been generated due to the colapse of the voltage across the primary winding (points opening and closing).

OK your wiring Ignatius: The one wire from dizzy to - coil is correct. The + side...well ya got me??? In your e-mail you said "Or maybe that thing that that is hooked up to the coil bracket is not what I think is the ballast resistor. Any thoughts?" well I think that thing is the resistor. The resistor is always connected "in series" with the coil wether it is a ceramic block attached to the coil bracket or a resistor in the line from the ignition switch.
So to by-pass (get rid of) the resistor go back to the Dan Masters article. Remember you will need a NON-BALLAST coil type as a standard coil will be putting out a little more than you want!!It will probably go the way of Chernoble (spelling) first though. I do not know if you have a starter relay or not so how u get rid of the resistor you will have to determine as to which Dan Masters suggestions u use.
The 2 ohms you read is the coil resistance and is correct. The ballast resistor has to have 2 connections to it (either end of the resistor).

TO CHECK TO SEE IF WE HAVE A RESISTOR OR NOT.

Connect a voltmeter (red lead) to coil + terminal voltmeter black lead to battery - terminal. Rotate engine over till points are closed (current flowing through primary winding). Turn ignition to on position and what is voltage? If it is 12 volts then you do not have a Ballast resistor ...if it is 6 volts you do have a ballast resistor. Remember a ballasted system supplies only 6 volts to coil when engine is running ( ignition in on position) and 12 volts for non-ballasted. To further prove this, disconnect the - lead from the coil ( the one that goes to the dizzy). Now turn the engine over by the ignition. If voltage stays at around 12 Volts then non ballast. If voltage goes up from 6 volts to over 10 volts then ballasted (remember resistor is by-passed at start of engine to give higher voltage to coil).
So Igy...you owe me a beer for this one.
Have fun and let me know.
Regards
Rick "hand out, waiting for a beer" Crawford

P.S. Bill B you can bet I did not do this one over a coffee.

Rick Crawford

Hey Rick

A correction, the TR6 did indeed come with green ignition wires in addition to the green water hoses. Unfortunately my original HT wires which were a darkesh green finally bite the dust and had to replace with ugly dull grey ones.
Steven

FYI

Your will not find an actual ballast resistor in the engine bay of a TR6 but rather, the resistance is in the wire burried somewhere deep within the wiring harness as a resistor wire. The Spitfire and GT6 had an actual ballast resistor piggybacked to the coil.

Unfortunately over time this resistor wire does fail and will leave you dead on the road usually miles from home (I was 113miles north of Toronto and had to get it towed back as at the time had no idea what was wrong and yes it was dark, cold and raining). I made the modification and now have an external resistor (Ford part 1959-1979) piggybacked on my coil with a new lead from the fuse box. I carry a spare in the glove box and 4 years later is still going strong.
Steven

Rick C., I think I owe you and everybody else a lot more than a beer. I think this is actually starting to gel in my head now.

A friend of mine thought that the stupid condenser looking thing may be a noise suppression gizmo for the radio. What do you guys think?

And from reading these last few posts, I am starting to think that one of the two other wires to the coil is for starting the engine, then the odd looking wire coming out of the harness with it may be the resistor wire for power while the car is running.

With the car running, I read 4-5 volts at the coil. This seems low? So maybe this wire is indeed starting to go. ...or I may not have done this right?

Steven, do you have the new lead from the fuse box with the external resistor hooked up to the coil in addition to the original 2 wires set coming out of the harness? I presume that this old wire will still provide the starting juice, while the keyed new lead will provide the sustaining juice. Do you remember how much resistance is on that Ford resistor? ...1.5 ohms? ...3 ohms?

So this is what is gelling... Please let me know if I am whacked: 1.) run a lead from fuse box to the coil; 2.) Hook up an external resistor to the coil; 3.) Connect the lead and the pertronix to the resistor. So I end up with something like this...

----old wires----------------- + side of coil
/
----new lead------resistor--/
/
----pertronix--/

Would you guys suggest connecting the lead to a keyed connector on the fuse box?

So in essense, the pertronix is getting power from the fuse box.

Thanks all!

Ignatius
Ignatius

Danged, my cute little wiring diagram that I spent hours on did not come through as expected. Well, the little lonely slashes in between the wires were supposed to connect to the wires above from the end of the wires below.
Ignatius

Ignatius
Read my other new thread.
I am surprised this has not come up before. It is not an issue with early TRs but is with later TRs ('73 and on).
Where does the RED IGNITOR wire get attached? As said, I am wired exactly as figure #2 from Pertronix literature (without ballast resistor) so not an issue for me. OK you guys where do you have the red wire attached????
Ignatius connect the black IGNITOR wire to the - terminal of the coil and that is done. I guess the big question is where is the resistor wire PHYSICALLY located in the wiring harness?? For sure to be safe, if you extended the red wire back to the ignition switch wiring you would be before the resistor.
I do not think you should add another resistor to your system as it sounds like you have a resistor in line considering your 5 volt reading while engine running.
Ignatius, the IGNITOR MUST be connected to power that is KEYED. It can NOT be connected to a constant live feed!
Also, yes, that sounds like a noise suppression capacitor. If it has one lead off of it then that is probably what it is. It can be eliminated.
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Hey Rick,

I was going to wait to reply to both your posts till I have had time to chew on the info. You have put a ton of thought into this, and the least I can do is sit down and try to digest it all.

My thought was to connect the red Pertronix wire and the new lead wire before the resistor in my diagram above to the fuse box since I have a couple unused slots, that seem to be on only when I have the key turned to on.

The one thing I did want to check though is where the starter solenoid is. Some stuff that I am reading seems to imply that this may be a good place to tap off of.

Ignatius
Ignatius

Ignatius
Now that I have my logic cap on instead of the dummy cap things have become a little more clearer to me. Where is the ballast resistor? I have been thinking it is burried somewhere up under the dash. Well it is NOT. If it was in the White wire(W) from ignition to fuse box (the "keyed" fuse..power only with ignition in the on and/or the starting position) then all accessories would have reduced voltage to them. Not desireable and not a logical design. If we put our ballast resistor ( as a resistive wire) from the fuse block (W) to the + coil then we have acomplished the ballasted ignition system.
So Ignatius, one of those wires connected to the + coil terminal comes from the "keyed" fuse ( the ballasted wire) the other from the starter solenoid or from a starter relay...not sure if you have a starter relay or not..you have not mentioned if so. This wire is ONLY supplied voltage when the key is in the start position. So during engine start the ballast wire is bypassed ( current ALWAYS flows in path of least resistance) and the other wire from??? supplies full 12 V to the coil...for a short period of time.
So remove the 2 wires from the + coil and the wire from the fuse ( should be white wires and may have a tracer colour). Read the resistance of the wire ( you are only concerned with the wire that goes from coil+ to the keyed fuse). If it is around .3 ohm this is no good. You will probable read slightly more than 1.5 ohms ( you better or my thinking just went down the tube :). If you have the wanted resistance then simply connect the IGNITOR black to the coil- terminal and the RED to the fuse where the white wire is attached...DONE! You can not connect to the coil+ as remember this is now a lower voltage point during engine running...you will have a low voltage problem.
WOW, that was easy once I had my brain in the correct gear.....DUH?
unsigned

Rick Crawford

Hi All and I do mean all :)And Seasons Greetings.

I think my post has screwed things up ballast resistor wise so I will attempt to correct. Stay with Rick on the rest I don't know the Pertronics stuff.


My late 72 has a single pass ballast resistor. One white wire in 12 Volts is reduced as temp increases to aproximately 8.5 at running temp. to coil. Both old Ford and Chrysler used this type like Stevens adaption. Some coils have an internal ballast and are marked as such. I believe temperature regulated as well. If it has been changed your coil should have Internal ballast resistor marked on it. You should have a constant battery voltage 12 to this coil with ignition at run?

The TR6 73? onward used a double pass system on export cars to North America. Probably due to erratic cold starting? I was not aware of this and apologise. Thanks Rick!

The full 12 volts is passed to the coil only at ignition, starter engaged. When the car starts you get reduced voltage through resistance wire. If original your White/yellow stripe wire from connection c4 at your starter relay will pass 12 volts to coil only when starter is engaged. In run position the second wire has a resistance length that bridged from white is Pink/white stripe only on resistance wire itself not sure of coil connection colour that will have a reduced voltage at coil. Actual design output voltage I am not sure of?

So Ignatius with your problem. As your car is a 74. and hopefully has not been modified too much.

Resistor is ignition noise supression for older AM radios keep or lose unless you don't like the dirty stares from the old fellow next to you with original AM radio listening to Buddy Holly.

One wire white/yellow stripe should give you a full 12 volts at starting turning over. Your run wire white from connection 3 of ignition switch goes straight to coil/ "not through fuse box". Through Pink/white actual resistance wire probably not visible inside harness one of three per your post. Might be white coming out of harness? If its only giving 4-5 volts? From my experience thats very low. This type of device will increase in resistance with age to the point of burning out always at the wrong time as Steven pointed out. Steven can you check what your run voltage is with modification at run temperature? Bad memory but 8.5v aprox.I think.

My suggestions. Go to external ballister resistor. Steven can provide info? From various wiring schematics your white wire input at fuse box is also from c3 ignition switch without the resistor wire so pick up there. Pickup before fuse as ignition is already fused on way in. Cap and bypass both original. You should have one input +12 volt to ballaster and one output to + coil.

Or Buy an internal ballasted coil. Pick up 12v from same point.

I hope this makes things a little clearer for you.

Bill



Bill Brayford

Bill
Between the 2 of us we will get this figured out. Maybe u misunderstood what I said..Yes I agree the white wire does not go "through" the fuse block. It deffinitely is attached to the fuse block though(white wires one side of fuse green the other). This is how we get power to items that are only operational when the car is running (key in on position). eg. wipers, washers,heater,OD switch.
Bill the problem we have is that we do not know if Ignatius has a starter relay or not....So Ignatius the big question is..do you have a starter relay or not??? Also what would help a lot is the colour (and tracer colour) of the wires to the + coil. (eg. White with Yellow tracer).

The schematics I have say that 1974 and older DO NOT have the relay. From 1974 all the way back to the TR250 show a W wire from key switch terminal#2 to (not through) the fuse block and on same side of fuse a W wire going to the + coil. THIS is the wire that I think contains a "wire" resistor in it and have asked Ignatius to OHM it out in my last post.
Bill do we have different schematics???
Another schematic I have that COULD be 1975 and later shows a starter relay and a ballast resistor. I said COULD because it is the white soft cover "repair and operational manual" from BL and is copyright 1975...so is it 1975 AND 1976?? In any event, it shows a WR wire off of terminal #1 of the ignition and then changes to a WO colour (a multi-butt connection)to the relay. terminal #1 is "start" position. The stupid schematics stops dead in its tracks as it does not show what the relay energizes, it just has 2 stupid "dots" on the output side C1 and C4.
Now the intersting part. The resistor. From terminal #3 (run position) is a W wire that goes to a termination point (connector) that has 5 wires all connecting. The wire changes colour to KW pink/white and then shows the #9 above this wire that refers to the ...drum roll please...ballast resistor wire. The wire somewhere (with the magical aid of Monsieur Lucas)changes colour to WY as it goes to the + coil terminal. Oh ya, one of those 5 wires goes to the fuse block as a W wire.
Bill I agree with your suggestion. But the resistor has to be found to make sure it is removed from the circuit.
Yes Ignatius can buy an internally ballasted coil (Lucas Sport Coil, 2.6 ohms) but he will have to get rid of the resistor as per the Dan Masters article. This I think is going backwards though if you look at the specs at the MG WEB page.
Ignatius we need a few questions answered please.
Regards
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Hi Guys,

The 2 wires to the + side of coil are white with yellow strip, and mungey light brown which is covered of some odd "fabric" which I do not think is plastic. My guess this mungey wire is the resistor wire. The only other place that I can see this mungey type of wire is under the dash where it is connected to a few other white wires coming out of various parts of the harness. I am not sure if this is the other end of it or not (Short of chopping my wiring up, I can not think of a way to test this. Any thoughts?). And there may have been 5 wires as Rick notes from his schematics.

As for voltages, this is what I read with the engine off: 12+ volts at the end of the lead disconnected from the +side of the coil, 6 volts touching the +side of the coil with all wires attached, but this jumps to 12+ when I remove the -wire from the coil or when the points open. When the engine is running, I read 10 volts at the +side of coil. All readings where taken with the -wire from the meter hooked up to ground. (Please ignore my other voltage readings from previous posts. The wire on my meter had gone south.)

There is no resistance in the coil (read at posts with all connections removed).

Thanks for all the help on this!

Ignatius
Ignatius

This is from Pertronix.
Determining whether your car has a ballast resistor:
1. With the key off, connect a wire from the negative terminal of the ignition coil to the negative battery terminal or ground it to the frame.
2. Connect the black (neg) lead of a voltmeter to ground. Connect the red (pos) lead of the voltmeter to the positive coil terminal.
3. Turn the ignition key to the "on" position. Do not leave the ignition key on for extended periods without the engine running.
4. If the voltmeter reads battery voltage (approximately 12V),there is no ballast resistor in the circuit. If it is less than battery voltage, there is a ballast resistor in the circuit.
5. Turn the ignition switch off and remove the wire from the negative coil terminal. Remove the voltmeter.

My early '74 has the ballast resistor, though I've no idea where it is! Haven't gone looking for it and won't till spring. Shhh she's sleeping.
Merry Christmas all,
SC
Steve C.

Steve C.,

Following your instructions, I read 6 volts.

My TR is also an early 74. Do you have a Pertronix on your car? If so, where did you connect the red wire?

Ignatius
Ignatius

Ignatius
Thanks for the reply. You did not say if you have a starter relay or not. The relay is the same type as what was used on the horn or the hazzard or the OD. It could also be that your "bypass" is a connection from the starter SOLENOID to the + coil.

But this is all irrelevant. It is so simple it is stupid. My problem is I did not notice the #9 on the schematic (1975-76 model years) saying it was the resistor wire. The schematic had a straight line and did not have the electrical symbol for a resistor. So the hook up for the Ignitor is very simple. Black to - coil side. Red to the fuse box.. specifically same place with the white wire before the fuse ( NOT on the green side ..after the fuse). This white wire is from the ignition ON position and this connection is BEFORE the ballast resistor. Remember I said the 5 wires all connected together from the ignition, well one (W) goes to the fuse box (as just mentioned) and one (WY) goes to the + coil side and contains the resistor wire. Voila..the Ignitor is before the ballast resistor. THAT IS IT!!!! Sorry for taking so long to figure this out. I was looking so deeply to figure this out that I did not see what was staring me in the face!!...something about trees and forest comes to mind here. You might notice this is the exact connection I said back Dec 17 but then I was looking for the DANGED resistor.

OK so now do you replace the wire resistor with a ballast resistor as Steven and Bill have suggested ? Well if you do then you have to find this resistor wire for sure. You should not have 2 resistors to the coil. You have 2 choices of wires it could be The WY wire at the + coil or the mungey light brown at the + coil. As said before, one is the resistor wire from ignition on position the other is from relay or solenoid and is from ignition start position. (you still have not said wether you have a starter relay or not...hint).
That mungey light brown wire I think is from the solenoid or starter relay. Brown, as a wire colour, is usually associated with battery/starter/alternator.
"How to measure it short of chopping up your wiring harness." Actually pretty easy. Make yourself up an "extension" wire with aligator clip both ends..mine is almost the length of my car. This "extends" your volt or ohm meter. Connect one end to black lead of meter the other to the point at which u wish to measure.(NOTE: measure the resistance of this jumper wire so u know what to subtract from an ohm reading...around .1 ohms). We do not want to include this natural resistance in our reading..not a big deal but we have a little more accuracy. Lift the WY wire at the + coil and attach either the red or black meter lead to this..your choice....I suggest the black extension end as u will probably want the meter with u under the dash. The other end..locate the W wire to the ignition. There will only be one W wire ( there will be a WR though). I know my setup but not sure of yours. You might be able to "probe" the white wire without removing it or is it butt connected to the wiring harness. If it is butt connected remove and take a reading. Set your meter on an OHMS scale capable of reading 2 OHMS. This will be the reading of the resistive (ballast) wire. To make sure I would connect to the other wire at the coil and do this again. In any event one will have a reading of say around 2 OHMS the other will be an open circuit (infinite resistance). Oh ya, the 2 wires at the coil must not be touching each other for these readings. Once u know which is the resistor wire, remove and tape it off. Install and connect the ballast resistor. You will need to run a wire (use white) from white fuse to ballast resistor and red IGNITOR wire then resistor to + coil.

Your voltage readings sound wierd. You should not have 12 V at the + coil. You should be closer to 6+ Volts for a ballast system..key in on position.. points closed...all connections attached to coil.

"There is no resistance in the coil (read at posts with all connections removed)." You should have at least 1.5 OHMS. Was your meter set to a scale capable of reading low resistance (one OHM??)

Rick C
P.S. Ignatius, a good publication u should get is the LUCAS Fault Diagnosis Service Manual(MOSS 990-035, $8.00). This subject is spelled out totally!!

Steve; My post of Dec.13 says exactly the same thing other than the points are closed ( same thing as the black jumper wire to ground from - coil). So now you know how to find the resistor wire. The 1974 (or older) schematics I have make NO mention of a ballast resistor or resistor wire. They all show a W wire from "on" ignition DIRECTLY to (not through) the fuse box and from fuse box (same side) a W wire to + coil. This wire is very easy to ohm out to see if it is resistive or not (read my last posting re this).
If someone would be so kind as to measure resistance of this wire (white wire fuse to + coil) then all u pre'75 owners would be assured you are connected at the correct place for your IGNITOR red wire.
I can not say if your red connection is simply to go to the white wire fuse. Good hunting and I shall keep quiet.
Rick Crawford

Ignatius
posted before I re-read the thread. 6 volts is correct. So throw it in and drive away.
Rick Crawford

I will check where that red wire is connected. I think its on the switched side (of the fuse box), at the hot lead that powers the starter. I'll get back to you shortly. The car is covered and it's cold this morning -15C.
SC
Steve C

Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the help and thought on this. I actually feel comfortable plugging my in Pertronix now! (black wire to -side to coil, red wire to switched side of fuse box. I may run a lead to the coil just in case I also need to put a new resistor in, plus it will look cleaner.)

Rick C., On checking the resistance of the wires in my harness. I guess what confuses me is how do I know that I am reading the resistance of just that one wire, when there could be a few paths that all connect the two points (i.e. lead to ~side of coil, and the 5 or 6 wires bunched together under my dash. These are shrink wrapped together. I guess I can cut the wrap, to check things and redo the shrink wrap.)

Happy Holidays!!!

Ignatius
Ignatius

Ignatius
You are welcome. I can not beleive it to me so long to find the answer...that forest and trees thing.
Ignatius do not connect up your extra wire until u decide on the new resistor or not ( if u connect it u will have bypassed the resistor wire...current flows in path of least resistance).
Yes some of those other connections go to ground (after a warning light etc)and if reading ohms on one critter on the ignition side of that 5 point connection and connecting to ground well yes you would read all of them for a total parallel resistance. If you went to the - side of coil(with points closed) then yup u would be measuring a lot more stuff to add up the resistance. Recall I said to lift the wires from the + coil when measuring so you are only measuring resistance for that one wire...all the other wires from that 5 point connection are "not in circuit".

Ha Steve, we just had rain....+5*C and lost all our snow. You guys must have sent us a chinock!

Time to say happy holiday season to all and a safe and enjoyable one with family. Prosperity to all and happiness for 2003.
Rick Crawford
Rick Crawford

I own a 73, Have know idea if it has a resister or not.
two years ago I bought the ignitor, i simply hooked the black wire up to the negitive coil terminal, and hooked the red up to the positive side of the coil, I left the white wire that was hooked up to the coil hooked up right were it was, on the positive side of the coil, I have not had a problem, car runs fine, however, upon reading the above i am wondering if i was supposed to run the red ignitor lead to the fuse box. If so, what difference would this have made?
Thanks
73 tr6
lionel

Lionel
Another Ontarioite!! You have the legondary RED TRV8 down your way. Where have you been hiding?


First off the black wire from IGNITOR in ALL cases of installation will go to the - coil terminal. It appears that the RED IGNITOR wire can go directly to the + coil ONLY if the ignition system is NON BALLASTED ( in the form of a ballast wire ((not visible)) or a ballast resistor ((visible)) )and that a BALLASTED coil is used. This statement should be re-read!

It appears that (from what I have read) the ballast resistor was used from '74 on. The resistor wire was used prior to '74 and not used at all (non ballast system) '71 and older. THIS STATEMENT DOES NOT take into account any modifications made by DPOs.

So it appears Lionel that you are in the years of a Ballast wire. You do not say what type of coil u have. THIS IS IMPORTANT!! Read the other thread "Ballast/non Ballast Ignition"(DEC,2002).
How to determine if your system is ballasted or not has been spelled out more than once in this thread.
Where this resistor PHYSICALLY is in the wiring harness, I do not know and there has been no post from anyone on this previously asked question. As far as schematics are concerned, it is shown in the '75/'76 schematic. Prior to that....????? NOTE: the schematics I have (Triumph TR6 Manual) for '72 to '74 wiring DO NOT show a resistor of either type...BUT there is said to be one!
From the Dan Masters article, it appears that the resistor wire is located AFTER the fuse box. In the white wire than runs from the fuse box (before the fuse) to the + coil terminal. This wire can be measured for resistance and read earlier posts for this. To me, this would be a logical place to put the ballast wire. Your coil can be measured for its internal resistance also...again read previous posts.
Lionel THE BOTTOM LINE....you must connect the IGNITOR red wire BEFORE the ballast resistor and have a coil that is not ballasted (internally)....it is that simple.

Your question "i am wondering if i was supposed to run the red ignitor lead to the fuse box. If so, what difference would this have made?" Yes you are suppose to run the red wire to the fuse box (read past threads). The difference is that you are BEFORE the ballast resistor. Where you are now you COULD ( I STRESS the word COULD) have double the resistance in your system. I have absolutely no way of knowing if your system is original ( ballasted) or if it has been altered (say non-ballasted). AND AGAIN I STRESS there is conflicting information wether or not your system was ballasted !! Only you can determine (measure) this.
FYI...I measured resistance in my W wire from the fuse box to + coil and it is 0.2 ohm. From ignition W to fuse box 0.1 ohm.(ALL ends lifted from terminals during reading). A non-ballasted ignition system.

Like I have said before, I am surprised this subject has not come up before.
You might want to consider relocating your red IGNITOR wire but do the 2 above resistance readings first and measure your coil resistance.
Let us know what you find out.
Regards
Rick C
It looks like this will become the record thread.
Rick Crawford

thanks Rick, I understand what was written. It is winter here so I wont be going outside in the cold to check the resistence until spring. I have a stock coil so this may mean i have hooked everything up ok. If it is like you said, perhaps I have double resistence since I hooked up the red lead to the coil, i think my car would lack power or run rough. It runs very strong and smooth. Maybe i am just lucky. Also, my car has the original wiring harnes so if it actually came with a resiter it is still in there.
thanks again.
lionel 73 tr6
lionel

went out today with my voltmeter. Could only find 12volts at the coil, at the white wire that feeds the + side of the coil. grounded the - terminal of the coil to the negitive side of the battery, put the voltmeters red wire + wire on the + side of the coil, still 12v. ran the engine, tested the voltage at the coil, also 12v, tested the white wire that runs to the coil with ignition on, still 12v.
am i correctly assuming that even though my car is a 73 and is supposed to have a resistor, that in fact in does not.
Have i over looked something.
If does not have the ballest resistor, can I go out and buy a hotter coil with no other modifications?
I an still confused.
lionel
73 tr6
lionel

Lionel
You are a typical TR enthusiast. You say one thing and do the opposite....meaning...you could not sleep at night till you answered that nagging question regardless of the temperature out where she is sleeping and spring just seemed to far away:) Not to mention you started her up!
Indeed, it sounds like you have a non-ballast(ed) ignition system. You voltage readings are say non-ballast.

NOTE: As said before, what I have read and seen is in conflict as to wether after '71...before '75 is ballast or not. The ONLY place there is no conflict is '76. It appears '75 is included here. Sorry for the constant disclaimer but there has only been a few post here that say "I have one"/" do not have one". Keiths and Rick Os are '72 and do not have...Steve from Calgary is '74 and has one...Steven from Toronto is a '75 and has one I can only go by what I read and see. Is it simply '74 and new are ballasted???? This thread definitely has enough information in it for anyone to determine what they have. It is looking that '73 (and older)did not have a ballast resistor. Enough said.

Loinel, do yourself a favour and do the resistance readings per my last post also. This is easier to do than your voltage readings...disconnect all wires before doing the readings.
So if you have virtually zero resistance in the wires then yes go out and get that Lucas Sport coil ( a coil designed for a non-ballast ignition system). Read above what Rick O has his plugs gapped too ( Bosch platinums)!!
See ya on the road next year!

Well this one is the new record.
Rick C



Rick Crawford

Thanks rick, I really appreciate it. Yes I froze my butt off, but your were right, I just had to know. Infact i am still not 100% sure that my car in not ballased.
I did try and do a resistence test both across the coil and from the white wire wire that runs to the coil. I an embarrased to say that i do not know how to read my meter with these low ohms.
there is a red wheel on mine it says for ohms, when i get a reading i can turn the wheel and the needle moves half way across the gauge. I could set it for about any reading i want using this wheel.
Needless to say, although there is resistence in both the white + white wire and across the coil, I do not know how to read it. (I quess I do not know how to work the meter).
Can you help me out?
thanks
lionel
lionel

Hello. This looks like a good place for me to jump in with a first post...

I also have a '73 TR6 and went through this same confusion. There is no ballast wire/resistor that I can find so thought there was none. However, the Crane EI installation book gives a quick test that indicates it IS ballasted:

1) Disconnect all wires from the coil (-) term.
2) Turn ignition ON, measure voltage from (+) to ground. It should be 12v
3) Momentarily ground the (-) terminal. If the voltage between the (+) terminal ground drops below 8v, there is a ballast resistor in place.

There is also this note in the manual: "If the XR700 runs very hot to the touch after 15 minutes of operation, you must add a ballast resistor." Mine stays fairly cool, even in summer. Hope the "quick test" helps.
B. E. Basham

Happy new year.

Just when I thought that I had fiqured out that My 73 did not have a ballast resistor, I did one final check.
I tried the test that EB suggested. My voltage dropped two volts when I grouded the - coil terminal and touched the + coil terminal. All other tests show a full 12volts.
What makes this confusing to me is the fact that with all wires conected, the - side of the coil still reads a full 12 volts. I think that if I had the resistor the - side of the coil coil would be less then 12 volts.
Also, my cars runs very well even though I have the red ignitor wire attached to the + side of the coil, which is the way to hook it up only if one does not have the ballast.
I am so confused, I still can not determine if I have the resistor or not.
i am sorry to keep up with this, but it is really troubling me.
thanks.
lionel

Lionel
Gotta make this one short..I am off to Hong Kong.
Analog meters are more difficult to use...no need to be embarrased. You can pick up a digital from CDN Tire for cheep. On you analog you want to be at say a 20 OHM scale. I have not used analog meters in about 15 years so do not ask me to go back that far and remember the scales on one. I have said what you readings should be...remember to have both ends of the wire you are measuring disconnected. Reading across the coil..nothing connected...ignition off!!
What BE has said ( hi BE and welcome) is true for crane but sounds like it does not suite PERTRONICS applications. Read that......""There is also this note in the manual: "If the XR700 runs very hot to the touch after 15 minutes of operation, you must add a ballast resistor." " It appears that the issue of resistor or not has not been answered. Lionel, do not forget that in a non ballast system the COIL yes the COIL has the resistance internal. Read my thread on "Ballast/non-ballast" for the difference in coils. You said your car runs well....well probably you do not have the resistor wire. There should only be one wire attached to the -coil side that goes to the distributor. You still need to read the resistance of the 2 wires I have mentioned. Might I suggest you get yourself a digital meter (throw the analog in the garbage) and do these readings. This will give your definitive answer. From post so far, it looks like you are non ballast. Sorry but gotta go...maybe Bill can help you out over the next few weeks.
Good luck
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Hi Lionel and all the new faces happy New year to all.:)
Rick what a planner you are. Hong Kong at +20 for 2 weeks sure sounds better than -10 Ontario. Bet you'd be back in 3 days if it was Fairbanks Alaska.:)

Lionel
Your readings all indicate no external ballast resistor setup. Either modified or original. You would only have 12v to the + side of the coil when the engine is turning at start not at run position on key. The wire with no resistance comes from a terminal on the starter motor in the external resistance design. With the ignition at run position you indicate 12v at the + side of coil. Your done with the wiring.

Without getting into a lot on OHMs laws or coil theory your voltage will drop after you touch the negative to gound because the coil is recharging. When you touch to ground it is the same as your points closing or in your case Hall effect transistor. Coil discharges collapses/ makes spark/ then recharges.

Your red wire to plus side of coil gives the pertronics unit its operating voltage. You noticed the slight voltage drop at discharge which is normal for the coil. Picking up your power at that point might cause surges from charge and discharge and noise to the Pertronics shortening its life and could have a negative affect on performance? I would go to the fusebox giving it a bit of distance myself just to be safe.

Hotter Performance Coils will maybe compensate for bad plug wires/ worn engine ie. fouling?/ wrong temp. or bad plugs.

As far as better performance from coils go other than manufacturer claims. Higher voltage/ longer duration whatever coils on pump gas. All can have negative affects like pre-ignition. The best proven gain I know of in tests is 2/10ths of a second ET. over a 1/4 mile? Thats on a 650 hp fuely Hemi. Your TR might not notice an improvement?

If your coil is old. They do deteriorate buy a new one. If it happens to have super dooper performance on it, great! Bragging rights. As long as its internals live up to the advertising.

As for the analogue meter. One setting area will have a sign that looks like a pair of earphones thats OHMs resistance. Pick the smallest value for wire testing. On the display one of the various sections should show the same sign. A cheap analogue will actualy report voltage pulses better than a low budget digital. Personaly I use a digital due to close to 60 years and tri-focals. Widescreen will be next. Ahah look at that pulse.:)

Hope this helped and will follow the thread so let me know if you have questions..
Bill

Bill Brayford

Hi Lionel,
I've been reading this dicussion for some time and decided it was time for me to put in my $.02. I have a late 74 TR6 with ballast resistor (now disabled), Petronix ignition, and Lucas Sport Coil.
The balast resistor is a wire in the wiring harness, that was attached to the coil. This wire was covered with a woven fiberglass material, to reduce heat build up in the wiring harness. I simply cut this wire where it entered the wiring harness and ran another wire from the fuse box.
Regarding your ohmmeter operation. Use the lowest setting available, hold the test leads together, then using the adjustment knob (wheel) to put the needle on zero. Then you car use the leads to get a accurate reading. Do not use the knob (wheel) after the initial adjustment. Hope this helps.

John
CF25165UO
John

Thanks so much, I have been givin an lot of good advise. Bill you finally explained why I had a lower voltage reading on the negitive side of the coil. I finally feel confident about not having a ballast.
I will move the red ignitor wire to the fuse box. Does it matter where on the fuse box I hook it up to?
thanks again.
lionel
lionel

Hi lionel

You should have a red/greenstripe a brown and a white wire. Maybe one other. Go to the input side of the white wire only.

Be sure you can make a proper solder job with watertight connection before doing this or leave it on coil till you can. Not questioning your abilities. Just from 40 plus years of sometimes in a hurry cobbling something quick myself and having it come back to bite me a year later advice.:)

Bill
Bill Brayford

Bill do you mean by imput, power before the fuse box or after.

thanks
lionel
lionel

Hi Lionel

Before the fuse box. Take out that fuse turn the key to run. The side that has power attach to. Just incase previous modifications have been made.

A quick explanation follows.

That fuse also supplies the wipers etc. not sure what all right this moment. Wiper motors etc. are high current devices that can pop a fuse. Your EI will not. You don't want a short or jam in wiper/washer whatever to cause engine to die suddenly in the fast lane on the 401?

Besides Dr. Lucas the prince of darkness already has that job. :)

Bill



Bill Brayford

Thanks Bill,
just a bit confused, i think you want me to chose any other fuse that is on when the run position is on, but not the wiper circut.
is that right, i am easily confused, sorry
lionel
lionel

Hi

Pick up on the white wire at the fuse box.

Bill
Bill Brayford

Hi Gang
My body not sure what time it is so I thought I would see what has been posted and check e-mail for spam.
As usual, bill has done an excellent job. Lionel to be absolutely sure u are on the input side, do as Bill said...pull the fuse and do a voltage reading on both the clips that hold the fuse ( ignition in on position). Side with 12V is side to connect to...white wire side. There is only one fuse that is controlled via ignition (power to it when ignition is in on or start position). Like Bill said, the fuse you want is the one with white wires one side (input) and green (output/fused) the other. You want to be on the white side. Bill when you buy your pertronix you will see that the power connector has a "piggy back" spade connector on it so no need for soldering...they did their homework. Lionel the white wire side is not fused and as Bill said this is the side to connect to as the other side is fused.
Hope it is all clear to u now.
Rick C
P.S.Bill Yes it was warm in HK but also traveled to north China and was around 0*C. Wish I was back there as it is ,shall I say, a little nippy back here in Canada.
Rick Crawford

Thanks so much for all you helpful info. I will get right at it as soon as the temp. gets better outside. today its -21.
lionel
lionel

Damn, it got down to 60 degrees last night, was freezing! Joking aside, my (very) early 74, (built Nov 73), does NOT have a ballast resistor or wire, neither is one shown in any wiring diagram that I have. Does this help or confuse. Peter G
Peter G

Peter
It helps
Got a heat wave goin' Up to 0*C today!! GET THE SHORTS OUT!
Rick Crawford

Hey I thought that from 73 on all 6's had the resistor. If peter's 74 does not, what is the explaination. It may be a fact that my 73, built in oct. of 72 does not have one. Right?
Lionel
lionel

Lionel
It appears I was a little hast in saying "It helps" my appologies for that.
Earlier on in this award winning thread, I said:

"Where this resistor PHYSICALLY is in the wiring harness, I do not know and there has been no post from anyone on this previously asked question. As far as schematics are concerned, it is shown in the '75/'76 schematic. Prior to that....????? NOTE: the schematics I have (Triumph TR6 Manual) for '72 to '74 wiring DO NOT show a resistor of either type...BUT there is said to be one!"

At this point I call upon Mr. Brayford to entertain us with his usuall comments on the British way of doing things:)
It appears that it could be as you suggest...not the year of the car but the build date. So sorry Lionel you are not going to get a " right" from me.

It is a simple exercise that has been spelled out a few different ways in this thread as to : how do I determine if I have the ballast resistor or not? Personally, I suggest the actual measurement of wire resistance to see if you have approx. 3 ohms in the wire from ignition key to/past the fuse box to the + coil side. There is absolutely no point guessing. It takes about 5 minutes to do this exercise. If you have 3 ohms + you have a ballast resistor. NOTE: you MUST disconnect both ends of the wire you are measuring from its " to" connection. If you resistance measurement is 0.2 or 0.3 ohms then non- ballast. The final point is make sure you get the correct coil for a ballasted or non-ballasted system.
I think this is the point of saying " enough said".
Rick C

Rick Crawford

Being VERY careful before first startup, with an untried (Pertronix) el, spent some time running every test mentioned in this thread and ironically, when I ran the Pertronix test as listed above but NOT included w/ my el, it clearly showed that I DO have a resitor wire where ALL other tests did not.Disconnect coil -, attach to ground, meter to coil +, turn ign on, 8v, turn to start position (starter disconnected) 12v - cannot be any clearer ! Now here's the odd thing, (and there are no sign of wiring alterations anywhere on car) the color code agrees w/ that listed for RESISTOR wire on 75/76 cars (mine is Nov 73 [74 model]) and is shown as W/Y,where in fact that wire comes from starter relay to provide full 12v and the RED wire is the resistive one, but NO red wire is shown for ANY model year as going to coil !! Is this why my hair is falling out?? The brits are a weird bunch. I am one, so I know. At least it was worth the trouble to know how MY car works.Hope this helps the confusion. Now I can remove it and get a hotter coil, YES?? though some Q's have been raised on that issue too, in this marathon thread.
MR LUCAS, ARE YOU UP THERE SOMEWHERE_DO YOU HEAR OUR PRAYERS?? Peter G
Peter G

Peter
Now you have really stired the pot! The only place I see a relay in the ignition system is 75-76 and u say yours is an early '74!!! I think it is fare to say that any TR6 with a starter relay is a Ballast system.
Sorry Peter but I stand by my method as the most accurate and simple method of determining resistor wire or not.
Oh Ya, we know Mr Lucas has not given you his full blessing yet:)
P.S. Peter you do not need to remove the resistor wire. You can still get the hot coil with a ballasted system. Read my other thread "Ballast/non Ballast Ignition"(DEC,2002).
Please the next person to post to this thread,start ELECTRONIC IGNITION #2...the scroll bar has worn out the right side of my screens phosphor:)
Rick C
Rick Crawford

Rick C.....Sorry, but I had to add one. The new harness that I installed from TRF has the resistor section in it. That may not be as surprising as the fact that the harness we took out had one in it. Car was built 1/74. With starter relay. As I mentioned on another thread, none of the schematics I have seen yet are correct for this car. Had to call TRF about a couple of issues...Dave was right on top of it, and started answering the questions almost before I asked 'em. All the pieces fit together, just not quite like the diagrams show. To all that posted info on this thread, I appreciate it, as I followed with a high degree of interest. Pertronix & sport coil / no ballast, though it seems the ballast might have been a better way to go....already had parts bought prior to the beginning of the thread.

happy moToRing!!!!

Rod
Rod Nichols

GEEESS Rod you are worse than Peter in stiring the pot!!!just kidin. And look what you made me do...add another to this thread!
Ya I agree if you went to that WEB page I have mentioned, the ballast system has slightly better specs. I really do not think any of use will ever notice the difference. At least we are all getting rid of the points and offering the plugs a little more spark for the go go juice.
Rick
Rick Crawford

HEY- How qbout starting another thread on this subject. It takes an eternity to load all this info with my 56K modem
Don K.
DON KELLY

This thread was discussed between 22/11/2002 and 04/02/2003

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