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Ballast resistor fun #2666011
06/14/19 09:56 PM
06/14/19 09:56 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Frankenduster Offline OP
Moparts proctologist
Frankenduster  Offline OP
Moparts proctologist

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
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
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Frankenduster] #2666012
06/14/19 09:57 PM
06/14/19 09:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Frankenduster Offline OP
Moparts proctologist
Frankenduster  Offline OP
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Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Lookie a bit closer....

BR 1.jpg
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Frankenduster] #2666013
06/14/19 09:58 PM
06/14/19 09:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Frankenduster Offline OP
Moparts proctologist
Frankenduster  Offline OP
Moparts proctologist

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Never had one split like that. It is from an MSD Blaster 2 coil and ballast kit.
I swapped in a new ballast and all is right again.
This bad one though...I don't recall ever seeing them uncovered like that. The stock ones have some sort of material over the windings.

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Frankenduster] #2666014
06/14/19 10:00 PM
06/14/19 10:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Frankenduster Offline OP
Moparts proctologist
Frankenduster  Offline OP
Moparts proctologist

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
I guess when I closed the hood, the vibration moved the windings enough to lose spark ???
Strange....

Last edited by Frankenduster; 06/15/19 07:19 PM.
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Frankenduster] #2666015
06/14/19 10:01 PM
06/14/19 10:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 18,993
...to Paradise from ParaICE !
Doc Fiberglass Offline
Help! I've fallen and can't get up!
Doc Fiberglass  Offline
Help! I've fallen and can't get up!

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 18,993
...to Paradise from ParaICE !
......and a little bit cLoSeR .... boogie

BE76426C-F268-4125-8DDB-479F9B24C988.png

...... oh I’m UP ... BIG TIME ... alive and well ... the Noble Crusader !
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Doc Fiberglass] #2666024
06/14/19 10:13 PM
06/14/19 10:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,172
east side of Ohio
basketcase Offline
master
basketcase  Offline
master

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 7,172
east side of Ohio
I've owned Mopars since '83, and only had one go bad...in '84. I went to leave, started the car and the throttle cable broke. Swapped it out, then the car wouldn't start. Swapped the ballast and never had another problem with one.


Dave


1969 Plymouth road runner post 383 4 speed F8
1981 Dodge D150 360 auto
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: basketcase] #2666046
06/14/19 11:33 PM
06/14/19 11:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,519
Someplace you aren't
S
SomeCarGuy Offline
master
SomeCarGuy  Offline
master
S

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,519
Someplace you aren't
The blaster 2 can handle 12 volts, not sure why they offer the resistor for those. I’ve only had one ballast fail. When I last had a blaster two I bypassed the ballast as the guy that had the car before me left it in line. I thought the engine ran a little bit better, but nothing scientific on that. Just seemed to pull a bit cleaner.

Last edited by SomeCarGuy; 06/14/19 11:34 PM.

Forever in debt to your priceless advice...
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: SomeCarGuy] #2666091
06/15/19 07:15 AM
06/15/19 07:15 AM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,076
Greenville, PA
redraptor Offline
master
redraptor  Offline
master

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,076
Greenville, PA
I have never seen one with an open back.

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: redraptor] #2666118
06/15/19 09:13 AM
06/15/19 09:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 11,185
north of coder
moparx Offline
Dreaming of implants
moparx  Offline
Dreaming of implants

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Posts: 11,185
north of coder
i have a few stashed away that have the open back, and my one buddy just bought a replacement at the parts store, it was an open back as well.
i think it may have come from NAPA, but i'm not positive.
beer

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: moparx] #2666138
06/15/19 10:06 AM
06/15/19 10:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,010
Hunt Valley, Maryland
1fastrunner Offline
top fuel
1fastrunner  Offline
top fuel

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,010
Hunt Valley, Maryland
I had a problem with a ballast when I first got my car back. Actually the problem was it was missing. As I was leaving Moparfest, Canada finest were encouraging us to spin the tires a little. So I did, and the car stalled down the road. People stopped to help of course and we decided it was the ballast. I did not have a spare so they removed theirs to see it it was the problem and replaced mine. No change. Another guy came up and asked what was happening and he immediately said it's the ballast. We told him we had already checked that out. He looked under my hood and asked where it was. They had replaced the wiper ballast. The other one had been removed and the wires were wound together. When I left doing a burnout, the vibration was enough to loosen the wires.

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Doc Fiberglass] #2666185
06/15/19 12:57 PM
06/15/19 12:57 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,066
State of Jefferson
hooziewhatsit Offline
master
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master

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,066
State of Jefferson
Originally Posted by Frankenduster
I guess when I closed the hood, the vibration moved the windings enough to lost spark ???
Strange....

Yep, and annoying mad Or closing the hood was the proverbial last straw that finished off an intermittent connection.

Originally Posted by Doc Fiberglass
......and a little bit cLoSeR .... boogie


Ok, that got a laugh2


If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck.
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: SomeCarGuy] #2666241
06/15/19 04:49 PM
06/15/19 04:49 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,225
Rio Linda, CA
John_Kunkel Offline
Too Many Posts
John_Kunkel  Offline
Too Many Posts

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Posts: 20,225
Rio Linda, CA
Originally Posted by SomeCarGuy
The blaster 2 can handle 12 volts, not sure why they offer the resistor for those.


Depends on what ignition system the coil is hooked to; some systems do require a ballast.


I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: John_Kunkel] #2667054
06/17/19 11:05 PM
06/17/19 11:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,225
Balt. Md
3
383man Offline
Too Many Posts
383man  Offline
Too Many Posts
3

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,225
Balt. Md
Originally Posted by John_Kunkel
Originally Posted by SomeCarGuy
The blaster 2 can handle 12 volts, not sure why they offer the resistor for those.


Depends on what ignition system the coil is hooked to; some systems do require a ballast.




That's true but I know if you run the MSD box you don't need an ballast in the system yet I see many still run them with MSD. Myself I use the MP orange box that I have run since 2001 and I run the old Accel Super Coil with no ballast. I have heard some run the MP ign with no ballast and I figure it depends on the coil you use and the ohms of it. So I tried mine without the ballast and the coil never got hot. So I carry a spare coil and ign box in the car. I have been running it like this with no ballast for over 3 years now and never a problem. You can just see the top of the Accel Super Coil next to my dist. My MP orange ECU is behind my air cleaner. Ron


[Linked Image]

Last edited by 383man; 06/17/19 11:09 PM.
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: 383man] #2667148
06/18/19 10:52 AM
06/18/19 10:52 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 32,933
Bend,OR USA
C
Cab_Burge Offline
I Win
Cab_Burge  Offline
I Win
C

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 32,933
Bend,OR USA
I had that happen when I was driving my Mothers 1957 Ford station wagon leaving Kingman AZ in 1963, I was 18 and had went with her and my sister to see if she would like to live there. She worked for Sears at that time in 29 Palms, CA and could transfer up there.
It was running good and then quit as we where leaving town on a Sunday afternoon to go home. shock It flat quit and we ended up needing it towed to a Ford dealer ship where they found and fix the bad ballast resistor the next morning.
She moved up there the next winter and I stayed in CA and went to work for the local telephone company as apprentice lineman in 1964 which led me to buying and driving my first Mopar, a used 1959 dodge Coronet with the 326 C.I. poly motor and two speed push button tranny which got me hooked on the Mopar brand motors work realcrazy whistling

Last edited by Cab_Burge; 06/18/19 10:53 AM.

Mr.Cab Racing and winning with Mopars since 1964. (Old F--t, Huh)
Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Frankenduster] #2667191
06/18/19 01:22 PM
06/18/19 01:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,932
S.E. Michigan
ZIPPY Offline
I Live Here
ZIPPY  Offline
I Live Here

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,932
S.E. Michigan
I drove older mopars every day for many years, and only had a couple ballast resistors fail to open circuit.

I did have one go intermittent which was not fun to track down.

Anymore myself I'd really rather use some other IGN that doesn't require a ballast resistor, but would consider leaving it bolted on +
some disconnected wiring for a stock look, if needed.


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Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: ZIPPY] #2667421
06/19/19 01:40 AM
06/19/19 01:40 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 27,225
Balt. Md
3
383man Offline
Too Many Posts
383man  Offline
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Posts: 27,225
Balt. Md
Rich you got me thinking as I have been driving Mopars since 1974 and honestly I don't ever remember having to replace a ballast on any of my cars. Don't think I ever replaced a bad ballast on any of my cars. Many don't know but Ford and GM also used a resister in the ign primary circuit when they used points in their cars. Mopar always had the firewall mounted ballast but Ford and GM used a resistance wire in the factory wire harness in the ign primary circuit to the ign coil. Ford even stayed with their resister wire at first when they went to electronic ign like Mopar did. But they did drop it later as Mopar did. GM stopped using their resister wire in the harness when they went to HEI ign around 1974 as that used a full 12 volts to it. Ron

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: 383man] #2667429
06/19/19 03:28 AM
06/19/19 03:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
Frankenduster Offline OP
Moparts proctologist
Frankenduster  Offline OP
Moparts proctologist

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 16,143
Granite Bay CA
I've had two fail in this month alone. The Charger and my 75 Power Wagon.
The truck had been hard starting for awhile. It would NOT start while cranking but if I let off the key just right while cranking, it would fire. Who knows how old the ballast resistor was though.

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Frankenduster] #2667458
06/19/19 08:18 AM
06/19/19 08:18 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 272
nowhere
S
Sniper Offline
enthusiast
Sniper  Offline
enthusiast
S

Joined: May 2019
Posts: 272
nowhere
Originally Posted by Frankenduster
I've had two fail in this month alone. The Charger and my 75 Power Wagon.
The truck had been hard starting for awhile. It would NOT start while cranking but if I let off the key just right while cranking, it would fire. Who knows how old the ballast resistor was though.


And the ballast is bypassed in start.

Re: Ballast resistor fun [Re: Sniper] #2667623
06/19/19 03:06 PM
06/19/19 03:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,932
S.E. Michigan
ZIPPY Offline
I Live Here
ZIPPY  Offline
I Live Here

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,932
S.E. Michigan
The couple that failed on me were both the open back type, and they were so rusty inside... the rust alone may have been the reason they failed.


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