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If the ignition key is turned on for a couple of minutes the wire to the coil will get hot enough to melt the harness, but when the car is running never a problem, the car is fully restored so all the electrical is in good shape any thoughts?
 

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What you see happening is excessive current being drawn due to the points being "closed" and allowing excessive current to flow through the coil. The coil presents a low resistance to the 12 volts DC. When the car is running, the action of the points opening and closing actually results in "pulsating DC", limiting the amount of current flow. Does the '66 have an external ballast resistor or does it use the "resistor wire" that later years use? Normally, the external ballast resistor will limit the amount of current flow through the coil, preventing what's happening in your case. Make sure no one eleminated either the ballast resistor or the resistor wire from the circuit. The ballast resistor or resistor wire should be in series with the + lead on the ignition coil.

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MalibuJerry350
Original owner '70 Chevelle.
500,000+ miles on car
 

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Had a similar problem with my Elcamino but I'm running a comp 9000 Mallory dist and 50,000 volt coil. I used the stock ingnition hot wire run to an external ballast resitor. Worked ok for a while but I noticed this wire getting very hot. The stock wire is only 18 or 20 gage so I ran a 16 gage wire directly from an ignition terminal on the fuse block to the balast resistor. This cured the problem.

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Life aint easy when you're fat and greasy!
 

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Usually if the resistor wire went south, it would open up completely or increase in resistance. With the car running, check the voltage on the + side of the coil with a voltmeter. It should be lower than 12 volts. If not, then something is wrong with the resistor wire. This was the primary reason that the "accessary" position was added to the ignition switch. In my '57 Chevy, the key has to be "on" to listen to the radio, and if the points are closed, you should feel that ballast resistor!
Not to mention the drain on the battery!

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MalibuJerry350
Original owner '70 Chevelle.
500,000+ miles on car
 
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