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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just installed a Hitachi starter and I think I did everything right but I want to make sure. The new Hitachi only has provisions for two leads (battery and ignition). My car has two small leads and the battery lead. I am using a Mallory electronic distributor.

One lead is fatter than the other and goes into the firewall so I assumed that was the ignition lead. The thinner wire I left unconnected. The other end of this wire gets spliced into the distributor leads. My car already had this electronic Mallory distributor installed so I don't know exactly what it is spliced into. The ditributor has a simple 3 wire harness that plugs into either terminal of the coil and a ground on the coil bracket. There is no ballast resistor from what I can see.

The car cranks really nice and sounds pretty cool to boot. My question is what was this extra wire for and what was it for in the first place. I am concerned because although the car cranks it doesn't fire up. It's been sitting for a month so I may have another issue. I only cranked it 4 times then let it be till I could post this message.

I guess I never though about it but what exactly tells the distributor to start generating spark when you turn on your car?
 

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Sounds like you are talking about the Yellow bypass wire that originally went from the starter's "R" terminal to the coil's + terminal.

It's job is to send full 12 volts to the coil but only during cranking to bypass the original resistive wire from the bulkhead connector to the coil's + terminal which only supplies 9 volts to the coil when running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes! That is the wire I am talking about, the R or "Motor" terminal.

So,

Do I need that wire or is it unnecessary with my electronic ignition?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I may have found the solution. I ran across this from Jeg's:

What do I do with the wire that connected to the “R” terminal on the original starter
(on part nos. 10001-03, 10020-22 and 10040)? In vehicles originally equipped with a breaker
point ignition, the wiring harnesses “R” circuit was a ballast resistor bypass. This terminal is “no connection”
when the starter is at rest and is +12VDC while cranking. This circuit provided +12VDC to the ignition coil
during cranking for easier engine starting. Cars that do not have a ballast resistor
(ie: HEI, MSD or other aftermarket ignition systems) should not need this
connection. In most cases this wire will be eliminated. However, cars equipped
with a ballast resistor (ie: Breaker Point or Mallory Unilite)
may need this harness.
If the engine has no ignition during cranking, then the wiring of the coil is going to
require an “R” terminal signal. To accomplish this, install an “R” Terminal Diode Kit,
part number 555-10038, sold separately.

I AM using a Mallory Unilite so I guess I need that Kit. This is what the kit looks like:




Is there something special about that wire? WIth the exception of that black shrink wrap it looks like a plain old 14ga wire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just got off the phone with Jeg's, they said it is just a regular wire. Will post the results...off to my car!!!
 

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It's say it's a diode kit. Probably whats under the shrink tube. May be designed to send 12v to the coil while starting but prevent voltage from going from the coil to the starter once the car is running?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you're right. I would sure love to crimp one in myself to get up and running. Running a straight wire didn't work either.

Here is what I have found out:

My (stock) coil has two wires on the + side. One is from the distributor and the other is from the firewall (ignition switch). The - side only has 1 wire connected, the green wire from my Unilite distributor.

With a voltmeter the + side reads nothing till I turn the ignition switch to on where it gets only 6 volts. Cranking the engine gives me the same 6 volts. I do not get spark this way. I assume the coil does not have enough juice. I assume this is what they call a "resistor wire" setup.

With the extra "diode-less" wire I ran I get nothing at all on that wire alone UNTILL I crank where I get a full 12 volts. Here is the scary part. When I hook up the "diode" wire to the + on the coil with the other 2 wires I get 0 on the meter in both ignition on and off positions. Worse yet, if I leave the ignition in the on position it starts to smoke!

Obviously I disconnected that wire and ran right back to my computer.

Help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm , I see that a diode is a unidirectional device. I really think I need one now. Does anyone know what value diode is in this wire?
 

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Originally posted by dizzyzuma:
Hmm , I see that a diode is a unidirectional device. I really think I need one now. Does anyone know what value diode is in this wire?
Yes it is unidirectional, if you have 6v at the coil it has to be rated at 6v, you'll want to go higher. Also has to handle the current demand of the coil while cranking, don't know what that is. It doesn't hurt to oversize it, like 20v 20 amp or 15v 15amp should handle it. You don't want something too big in size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ha! I found this page:
(http://www.powermastermotorsports.com/faq_s_-_starters.html#starter6)

The key text is as follows:

If the engine has no ignition during cranking, then the wiring of the coil is going to require an ‘R’ terminal signal. To accomplish this, connect a 3A/400PIV diode (or Powermaster part # 600 ) in line with the MOTOR SIDE of the solenoid. (Note: This is the terminal on the solenoid which has the cable from inside the starter motor connected to it. It is opposite the BATTERY terminal on the solenoid. The cathode or banded end of the diode goes toward the starter. This allows current to go from the starter to the coil and yet not from the coil to the starter.)

I found the diode at radioshack. Here are some relevant links:

http://www.radioshack.com/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=CTLG&category%5Fname=CTLG%5F011%5F002%5F006%5F000&product%5Fid=276%2D1144&hp=search

http://www.fairchildsemi.com/pf/1N/1N5404.html

It's amazing what a simple starter replacement can turn into. Believe me, I kicked myself for not just buying the stock replacement earlier today. Oh well, I am hopeful now.

I will post the results tommorow!
 

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Originally posted by dizzyzuma:


It's amazing what a simple starter replacement can turn into. Believe me, I kicked myself for not just buying the stock replacement earlier today. Oh well, I am hopeful now.

I will post the results tommorow!
Dude, go buy a car in boxes and piece's and try to restore it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dude, go buy a car in boxes and piece's and try to restore it.
I don't have that kind of time OR raw talent but I am into learning new things. An occasional challenge like this is enough for me thank you! :D
 

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Well looks like you have it under control now.

I learn from people asking questions here myself.

I didn't even know you could use a stock coil with that distributor and I didn't know that a newer style distributor needed a ballast resister rather than a full 12 volt supply.
The last Mallory distributor I had was on one of my old flat head Fords many years ago I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, it seems like everyone runs an HEI around here. I almost gave up and got one myself.

Another way around the problem is to use the Unilite with an ignition control box like the Hyfire series, MSD, Accell, etc. Apparently that would do away with the need for that extra diode wire.

The PDF I downloaded from Mallory states that the ignition module in the distributor will burn out if you don't feed it from a resistor wire or ballast. It does seem odd that you still need full power to crank but a reduced power for regular operation.

I'm going to buy the tech book from M.A.D. and try to educate myself some more.
 

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Originally posted by 71metbu:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by dizzyzuma:


It's amazing what a simple starter replacement can turn into. Believe me, I kicked myself for not just buying the stock replacement earlier today. Oh well, I am hopeful now.

I will post the results tommorow!
Dude, go buy a car in boxes and piece's and try to restore it.
</font>[/QUOTE]What's that mean? This site is about trying to help people? I've learned a lot here and I'm willing to share what little I know. I don't know everything and never will. dizzyzuma is trying to learn, did you start out knowing everything?
dizzyzuma
good luck.
 

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Originally posted by Dean:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Finally:
What's that mean?
They way I interpreted it, 71metbu was comparing what he, himself is in the process of doing to replacing a starter. </font>[/QUOTE]Then I apologize to 71metbu! I read it differently, sorry!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay guys, I installed the diode and still no luck. I'm thinking I might have shorted something out when I first tried the wire with no diode (because the brainiac at Jeg's told me I could!).

As a review... The only thing I changed on my car was from a dead starter to a Hitachi ProPlus. Since all these high torque minis lack a dedicated R terminal I realized that in my case I needed a diode wire. The Mallory Unilite distributor had already been working for years. This distributor must use a ballast resistor or resistance wire as a points type system does hence the need for the extra juice at ignition via the R teminal.



This is where I stand:

Major problem #1: Whenever I hook the R terminal (yellow) wire to the ignition wire I get a short IF the ignition is on the "ON" position. No short occurs if the ignition is off. I tested this with the wires both on and off of the coil.

If I leave the yellow wire disconnected there is NO short.

Possible problem #2: With the igniton in the "ON" position the voltage of the ignition wire by itself is around 11 volts. If I hook the ignition and the ditributor wire to the coil together I only get about half that voltage, 5-6 volts. (In this test the R terminal wire is completely disconnected.) Is that normal? Does the coil dampen the voltage like that?

Other observations:

My car cranks really nicely but I have no spark.

The yellow R terminal wire does not have juice unless the car is cranking.

The only thing hooked up to the coil negative terminal is the green wire from the distributor harness.

My headlights are nice and bright and my dash gauges, etc. seem to be working just fine.

-------------------------

If I went to HEI or a Mallory igniton box I wouldn't need that R wire BUT would I still have this problem?

Is there another way to get the coil the juice it needs? A relay directly off the battery maybe?
 

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Where's that red "distributor" wire go to?
Maybe your wire to coil (-) is green (normally black) but it should lead under the distributor cap to the points.
EDIT
I see what they are. Leave the yellow wire off. The car should fire without it by attaching only the resistor and Mallory wire.
 
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