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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I have a 66 beaumont 396 with points plan to install HEI. Someone said a wile back to remove the balist resister. I cant seemed to find mine am i looking in the wrong spot or is there not one. Any replys would be helpfull. Thanks fellow cars buffs
 

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I belive you will find that the wire on the coil goes to the "R" terminal on the solenoid. HEI cars don't need the "R" terminal. They require a full 12 volts. Does that help?
 

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You still need the wire from the R terminal of the starter, it gives 12 volts to the coil for starting, even with the HEI.

You need to change the other wire from the old coil to the bulkhead conncetor on the firewall to give a full 12 volts for the HEI.

This wire will be one of the wires held in the terminal that is connected to the old coil positive side, and will have a silver stranded conductor wire, normal plastic insulation and a covering that is plastic, the looks like a piece of woven cloth insulation. You can ohm trace the wire from the coil to the connector. Replace the resistor wire with a copper stranded 14 gage wire.

It is easier to add a wire on the outside of the loom, not take the loom apart to replace the resistor wire, as the resistor wire comes from the connector, past the coil area, half way down to the starter, and loops back to the coil, a good 6 to 7 feet within the loom.

You do need the wire from the R terminal, AND the copper wire that replaces the resistor wire to make the system work on both start and run. Both of these wires go to the 'BATT' terminal of the HEI cap.
 

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Hey! IgnitionMan: What do you think of using a relay to put full 12 volts to the HEI? Your advice to replace the resistor wire is good, but why not get a more direct connection between the volts and the ignition?
 

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You shouldn't need the "R" terminal wire; you should have 12 volts at the Bat terminal on the HEI regardless if that wire is present or not, if you have replaced the resistive wire correctly as Ignition Man describes. My 68 with HEI doesn't have it and always fires right up. If you providing 12 volts through the new wire while cranking (which you should be), the voltage provided by the r terminal won't be gaining you anything.
 

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Although I'm not really familiar with the 66 Beaumont, I'm with Gene, I have converted three cars (69 & 70) to H.E.I.
I just replaced the restive wire in the loom from the bulk head connector to the dist. with # 14 wire and eleminated the bypass wire from the starter.

not necessarily disagreeing, I'm just curious here but......

I-Man, why would you still need the bypass wire connected if you have a good 12 volt source to the dist ?

JWagner, why add another source for future problems and make a simple job more complicated by adding a relay to the circuit
If you already have a good 12 volt source to the dist ?

(that's what the engineers at Carrier A/C used to do on their rooftop units, have a relay to pull in a relay, to pull in another relay)

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Dean Call
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Dean: My reasoning goes like this. These cars are pretty old and so is the wiring. The ignition switch was not really intended to provide as much current as the HEI will take. The relay will allow the ignition switch to see a smaller load, which may be a good thing. The total length of wiring (and a fatter wire)from source to HEI can result by using a relay. I agree with your thoughts on complexity and I think that the relay is a good compromise. What got me going in this direction was my experience with putting HEI on one car that had some pretty poor wiring. By going direct to the fuse block, I still had unreliable ignition--the relay has cured the problems related to old ,creaky wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I thought that if i were to install HEI that all i had to was to run one wire from the fuse block to the dist. So what about this r wire from the starter do i join it to something or tape it off.I had a 67 firebird that i installed HEI. Had a new harness made up. One wire went to the starter the outher was 12 volt. Is this the same way to do it on my 66.So what i am thinking is join the r wire to the new wire witch goes to the fuse boxs right or wrong. Thanks again for the help.
 

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No, you can't run to the fuse block. You need the power to come from the ignition switch. Otherwise you will have power to the HEI all the time. Maybe Ignition Man can explain why the "R" wire is needed to the solenoid. The "S" line engages the solenoid relay. Don't see the need.
My advise, unless someone teachs me something is this.
Don't tear up anything. Tape and tie back the existing + leads that went to the coil. Go down to the boneyard and find the best HEI conector and lead you can find. Cut the existing wire near the bulkhead connector and solder your found lead to it.
Late model cars are good for something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok but you can get power from the box with the key off
 

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As far as I have ever seen, if the system has an R terminal wire, then the voltage to start the engine comes from the R term, not the ign switch on crankover, then from the ign switch when returned to run.

I have seen some circuits that have both the start and run voltage in the ign switch, but all the cars I have seen with the R wire need it to energize the coil for start up, and although they were GM, they weren't Chevrolets.

If the coil needed the power from the R terminal with the point system to give it voltage on start-up, why then doesn't it still need to be there by just changing one resistor wire to copper conductor?

The S and T terminal wires cannot be connected together, or the soleniod would stay engaged when the key was in the run position. This would happen because the R wire is connected to the coil, which is getting a resited voltage, and would keep the starter motor engaged.

If GM put the starter R wire position in the ign switch, then why did they add the R wire, and why doesn't the R wire come from the bulkhead connector instaed of the starter soleniod?

Pontiac people use the fuse box to run HEIs when they convert them over, they just find a switched voltage that is hot in start and run. Some of their cars even came with the right wires for both HEI and points, as they had an optional predecessor ignition to the HEI at one time, same time they had points ignitions too.

[This message has been edited by IgnitionMan (edited 03-17-2000).]

[This message has been edited by IgnitionMan (edited 03-17-2000).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok Ingnion Man how do i wire it up do i find the r wire what colour is it.Also ithink i would join it to the 14 guage wire at the dist then where would the power come from.THanks.
 

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Ignition Man
The "R" wire does come from the bulkhead. I suggested cutting the wire at the bulkhead and soldering a new lead with a HEI connector on it, leaving the rest of the harness alone. Are you saying that there is no power on that lead when the key is in the start position? Only in the run position?
If so, Chevy must have redesigned the ignition switch in 74 to change this. Maybe I learned something.
Yes, do not short the "S" or "R" lines. together.
 

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Ok I see your reasoning no Dave, If there was no power from the ignition when in the cranking position, that would sure make sense.

The origional bypass wire from the starter was for the purpose of bypassing the resistance during cranking so the coil would get a full voltage for better starting.

I do know from experience, on a 69 & 70 Chevelle, there is power from the ignition switch in the "crank" position.
don't know about other cars though


JWagner, that makes a lot of sense too but alls you need to do is make sure you have all good clean connections and wiring everywhere. Wouldn't the relay make a car little easier to hot wire and steal ?

(still thinking)
and thinking and thinking and........



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[This message has been edited by Dean (edited 03-19-2000).]
 

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OK, basic R terminal information.

On those vehicles that have a wire connected to the R terminal of the starter solenoid, yes, the R terminal does connect to the bulkhead connector, but only this way:

The R wire rins from the R terminal on the sloeniod to the ignition coil (on point systems)and is captured in a coil terminal with the resistor wire, then the resistor wire runs to the bulkhead connector.

This system works this way: When the soleniod is energized by the key, the R terminal is connected to the main battery feed inside the solenoid, and sends full battery voltage through the R wire to the positive side of the coil for starting, voltage is also transferred into the ignition switch in the run position by backflow through the resistor wire.

When the key is teturned to the run opsition, voltages change and their paths change somewhat. The R terminal and wire are now disconnected inside the soleniod, and full voltage to the coil is stopped. The resistor wire from the run side of the ignition switch is then connected, to the coil through the bulkhead connector, and supplies resisted voltage to the coil for resisted running, and the R wire and terminal now carry resisted voltage since they are connected at the coil. The R terminal remains resisted as long as the key is in the run position, but is not connceted to anything when the engine is running.

HEI needs the same voltage paths, just not the resisted voltage to feed it in the run key position, so, the only wire that needs to be changesd is the resistor wire from the bulkhead connector to the HEI BATT terminal on the distributor, and retain the R wire for starting.

As I said, I have seen GM vehicles with only one wire to the point system coil, and no R terminal on the solenoid, but not any Chevrolet I have worked on, now I only work on early vehicles, 1974 and earlier, but the single wire could exist on some I haven't seen, only-I haven't seen one.

Only single wire setups (both start and run circuits in one wire) I have ever seen were on 1975 and later cars with factory HEI installed, not on earlier point equipped cars. Most HEI Chevrolet systems I have ever seen have two wires to the HEI BATT terminal, one from the soleniod R terminal and the other from the bulkhead connector, circuits just like the point system uses, but with copper wire in place of the resistor wire.
 

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I'm with ignitionman.

Years ago, I remember trying to start my '65 Impala that had been sitting for years. It had power to the coil and fuel, but it would not fire when cranked over. Checked the spark and none was present no matter how much I adjusted the points. The thing would spark, though, when I turned the distributer with the key just on. I finally found that the R wire was not connected to the solenoid.

I know my Beaumont is different that the Impala example though. I powered the HEI from a terminal on the fuse block that was switched power (had some kind of switched power marking) after a friend told me that was what he did on his 68 GM truck.

I think most replacement ignition switches have the ignition terminal live in the on and start positions. This will then work with points and R connection or with newer systems such as HEI. I have also seen ignition switches with two ignition terminals. One live in on pos. and other live in start pos.

Looking at the wiring to the fuse block from the ignition terminal on the ignition switch, I find the older points car have a fairly light wire. It looks to be 18 or 20 guage. I always am amused by the posts to replace the wire from the firewall to the HEI with a 12 or 14 guage wire when the wire from the switch to the firewall is only 18 guage. I am going to run my HEI wire with the oil sender line right to the switch on the Impala since It has a heavy power wire to it but I don't trust the origional ignition wires from it.

Peter
 

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It is my understanding that when you convert to HEI you can disgard the R circut, also known as the resistor bypass.

Could that be the reason why aftermarket mini starters don't have the R terminal on them.

I like the relay Idea, I wonder if you could wire the resitance wire to switch the relay, Will a relay switch w/ less than 12 volts??

If so it would make for a much cleaner wiring job.

As far as theft with the relay, the theif would have to recognize exactly what the realy was for and understand how it worked/ a long shot.

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IgnitionMan, Thanks for the explanation of the electrical paths, I never gave much thought about the back feed from the resistive wire to the starter and dead ending there.
We are very fortunate to have knowledgeable guys like you to keep us straight.


Like I said I know the original question was for the 66 beaumont and I'm not familiar with it's ignition.
But...
I do know for a fact you do not need to reconnect the wire from the "R" terminal on a 69 or 70 Chevelle as there is no need for it.
It won't hurt anything to connect it but it will do absoultly nothing either (unless there dose exist a voltage drop through the normal circuit)

Keep in mind that all three of the cars I converted had pretty much stock engines but they all started and ran fine with no bypass wire. Maybe not good enough for racing engines, I dunno ???


Peter F. - Good point about the smaller wire from the ignition, that would be a good reason to run the new wire from the fuse block.
I have read several times guys say to use a 12 ga. wire, one person I remember (I think)on the Chevelle mailing list said to use a 10 ga. wire.

onabudget, Yeah you are probably right about the theft idea. In fact a realy might make it a little more simple to install a hidden antitheft switching circuit while insuring max. voltage.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned though is you need to make sure the source from the fuse block is hot with key in the "run" and "start" positions and dead in "acc" the position (and "off/lock" too naturaly)



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Dean Call
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I see what Ignition man is saying. However, I still don't see the need to tear up the harness to make the change. This should work:
Leave the wires on the solenoid alone.
Disconnect the + wires on the coil and tape/tie them back.
Splice a new lead on the R wire at the bulkhead connector with an HEI connector. This will do the same thing as removing the resistor wire. It is quicker to do and a lot neater.
 

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Dean: As far as theft is concerned, I think that the relay makes no difference. There are many ways to supply 12v to the HEI and the relay would not matter when someone goes from the battery terminal to the HEI cap.It is more likely that a thief will break the lock on the column and turn the switch without a key.
For the part about cleaning the current fuse block, I think that mine is beyond that; it really needs to be replaced and I was in no mood for that (yet).
 
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