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Re: [oletrucks] Balance resistor

To: oletrucks@autox.team.net
Subject: Re: [oletrucks] Balance resistor
From: B&A Kettunen <bekett@uslink.net>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 1999 20:51:06 -0600 (CST)
>Hi all
> The other day I went to start James (too old to be called jimmy) and crank as
>much as I would, no start. Not even a pop. All I got for my trouble was the
>smell of raw fuel.When I got to investigating I put a jumper wire across the
>resistor and it fired right up. On further investigation I found that there
>was no by-pass for the resistor. This truck has a 1981 chevy truck 350 block
>with 1968 chevy 327 heads. In the manual that I have(reproduction) there is a
>call for a by-pass from the solenoid to the primary lead of the coil, for
>cranking only. I am assuming that the starter is of a later generation and
>that the solenoid is too, because I added a by-pass to the switched side of
>the solenoid up to the primary pole on the coil. Now it will start but as soon
>as I release the key it looses ignition spark and dies. The manual shows a
>by-pass ativation system on the origonal style solenoid. My question is this,
>will the older style solenoid interchange with the newer ones. or should I
>just try to install the extra HEI distributor I have in the shed? At this time
>I am not sure that there is enough clearance for the larger diameter of the
>HEI distributor. Any and all suggestions will be apreciated.
>Perry Smith
>'58 GMC Fleetside
>Phoenix, Arizona
Sounds like all you have is a bad ballast resistor.  The way all that
works, when the key is in "Start" there should be power to both the
resistor and the bypass, allowing the coil to see 12 volts.  This makes the
truck start easier when it's cold.  When the key is in run, there should
only be power to the resistor, allowing the coil to see only 6 volts or so.
This is more than enough to run the engine and makes the points last longer.

On a '57, the bypass comes from a dedicated terminal on the solenoid to the
coil side of the resistor.  This is only energized when the switch is on
and the solenoid is pulled in.  This system was used into at least the late

I don't remember the details, but  by '81, didn't GM trucks already have
some kind of pointless ignition system?  Maybe someone else on this list
can tell you if that system needs a raw 12 Volts or a resistor in the

Bruce Kettunen
'57 3100

NAPA or someone should have a ballast resistor.

oletrucks is devoted to Chevy and GM trucks built between 1941 and 1959

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