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Old 04-19-2011, 09:34 AM
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67 chevelle ignition problem/no spark in "on" position

Any and all help would be much appreciated. My car just cut out on me while driving. All the lights and everything were still on, the motor just cut out quickly and all together. When i tried to start the car, it would fire up, but as soon as i let the key off the "start" position into the "on" postion, it would just die on me again. and again. and again. So from what i can come up with, the coil isn't getting juice when the key is in the on postion. What would cause that to happen suddenly like that? I'm using an HEI distributor w/ the coil in the cap. Thanks!

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Old 04-19-2011, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackStrat67
Any and all help would be much appreciated. My car just cut out on me while driving. All the lights and everything were still on, the motor just cut out quickly and all together. When i tried to start the car, it would fire up, but as soon as i let the key off the "start" position into the "on" postion, it would just die on me again. and again. and again. So from what i can come up with, the coil isn't getting juice when the key is in the on postion. What would cause that to happen suddenly like that? I'm using an HEI distributor w/ the coil in the cap. Thanks!
You originally had a resistor wire that supplies the coil w/reduced current for the engine to run w/the key in the "RUN" or "ON" position. With the points ignition, this wire is bypassed w/the key in the "START" position. If you're still using the original wiring, this would cause the engine to die w/the key in the "ON" position if the resistor wire was open.

Another way to accomplish the current reduction is to use a ballast resistor, shown in the diagram below. If you don't have a ballast (which you shouldn't if the car is original), the resistor in the diagram would be replaced by a length of resistor wire. You need to find out where the open circuit in that wire is at and fix/replace it.

Good luck.



BTW- this is NOT how an HEI distributor should be wired. The HEI needs full battery current w/the key in the "START" AND "ON" position. If you have the HEI wired correctly, disregard the above.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:06 AM
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no run in "on"

check for power on the pink wire into the distributor (at least it is pink in the car that the distributor came out of). it should have power in the run position as well as the start position, but not in the off position. if it doesn't have power then start with the fuses. was the car rewired for the hei distributor? if not , there may be a resistor inline on the run position because the old points system would fry the points all the time with a constant 12v in run. the cure was to drop the voltage in the run position with a ballast resistor. by the way, the wire to the distributor power should be a little larger gauge than the old style wiring was, for better spark. if you had a ballast resistor inline you will probably notice a better spark with 12v right off the bat.
the other thing it could be is a bad ign switch.
dsraven
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:08 AM
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I guess I was a little late with the post, good job cobalt. i forgot about the resistor wire thing, but the grey matter had the basic idea still......
dsraven
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:10 AM
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Nothing wrong w/your gray matter- I forgot to mention the switch could be bad!
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Old 04-19-2011, 06:43 PM
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67 chevelle ignition problem/no spark in "on" position

I converted my chevelle to hei and what I did was went to a junk yard and found the same terminal wire off of a 72 chevy pickup and got rid of the cloth wire altogether. The wire is 12volt behind the terminal block. So far so good. I also had a bad ign switch but it wouldn't even turn over when that went bad. Hope this helps.
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Old 04-19-2011, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevelle427Rat
I converted my chevelle to hei and what I did was went to a junk yard and found the same terminal wire off of a 72 chevy pickup and got rid of the cloth wire altogether. The wire is 12volt behind the terminal block. So far so good. I also had a bad ign switch but it wouldn't even turn over when that went bad. Hope this helps.
HEI didn't come out until '74. So the '72 wiring- if it was what originally supplied the points-type ignition coil- will be a resistor wire unless there was a ballast resistor in the circuit.

An HEI needs full battery current to perform at its best. That means no resistor wire or ballast resistor is used w/HEI. You might not notice the lack of energy from using a resistor wire/ballast until the secondary side of the HEI system degrades or the battery is low. Then you might have hard starting and missing, etc.

All that's needed is a good quality length of 12G primary wire (not resistor wire) w/properly installed terminals to get the job done. The replacement wire can be either spliced into the original wire close to the firewall connector, or a different circuit can be used that has sufficient fuse protection (15A is sufficient) like an accessory circuit at the fuse box that's hot w/the key in "Start" and "Run" positions.
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Old 04-19-2011, 08:12 PM
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67 chevelle ignition problem/no spark in "on" position

Sorry for the confusion. What I meant to say is that I cut the like terminals off of the column harness and removed the cloth wire on the engine bay side and plugged in the terminal from the one I got from the junk yard eliminating the resistor wire altogether. Hope I cleared the confusion.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:10 PM
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My bet is on the ignition switch being bad.
A switch went bad on me once, with the exact same
symptoms; vehicle would start but not run.

If the resistor wire has been bypassed with the
installation of the HEI, then it's almost certainly
the switch.

If the vehicle still has the resistor wire or resistor,
then it too could be the problem. The way to
find out for sure is locate the resistor (wire) and
take an ohm reading. If it's infinite resistance, the
wire is open; if reading is 1-3 ohms, then the switch is bad.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:14 AM
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Thanks for all the help- The wiring in this car is a mess! I'll let you guys know what it turned out to be after getting it fixed
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:37 PM
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"Two Minute Job"

If you want to check the ignition switch and its "ON position" wiring, simply run a jumper from the battery positive terminal to the coil positive terminal (i.e. "hotwire" it). Then the switch "ON" position is taken out of the picture. If the engine will now start- and stays running- it's the switch or the wiring between the switch and the coil positive terminal.

To shut the engine off you will need to remove the jumper from the battery.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:35 PM
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Wow, so one of the wires going to the starter had burned and shorted out on one of the primaries, that blew out a fuse i guess. So i rewired the starter and replaced the fuse, it turned over and ran fine. Problem solved right... wrong! I was starting and stopping the motor a lot while messing with idle mixture and the problem came back. Same deal- would crank and fire then cut out when key went to "on" position. The difference this time is that the radio and dash lights stay on after i take the key out! I tried jiggling it around to get everything to shut off but nothing worked, so i just unhooked the battery and called it a day. One thing after another! Thats got to be the ignition switch right?
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:15 AM
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I'd say you've got a starting point
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:32 AM
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Replaced the ignition switch this morning, and didn't fix the problem. It did do something though, before i replaced it i could jiggle the key around and get the dash, radio, and one indicator light to flutter around. It doesn't do that now with the new switch. It'll also start and run now, its just that somehow those dash lights are getting power when the key is off. I've been trying to think what else has recently changed in the car, that starter wire burned on the header and shorted out and blew a fuse. before that I put on new water pump and crank pulleys and before that i replaced the radiator. Thats all that has changed shortly before this problem started
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:22 PM
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Sounds like you're making progress.

I don't think the dash lights have anything to do
with the ignition switch. They should turn on and off
with the light switch, which has constant power even
with the ignition switch off.

Could the light switch be bad...?
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