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Old 04-01-2004, 01:05 PM
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Ballast resistor heat / fiberglass body

I'm planning on putting my coil and ballast resistor on the inside of my '32 fiberglass roadster (I want the engine compartment and firewall as clean as possible). I'm going to build a small metal framework under the dash to hold the ignition switch, fuse box, coil, ballast resistor, light switches, etc.

I plan on mounting the coil and ballast resistor to a piece of flat plate that is away from the fiberglass by a few inches.

The area under the cowl and between the dash and firewall will not be completely enclosed underneath, mainly because of heat issues that I think may arise from the ballast resistor.

All that being said, how hot does a (properly wired) ballast resistor get? Would I be OK completely enclosing the under dash area with maybe a few vent holes? Or, should I scrap the idea and mount the coil and resistor outside on the firewall? Seems to me the metal plate would dissipate heat well, and the resistor may get hot enough to mess with the firewall paint / fiberglass if I mount it on the firewall.

Thoughts?

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Last edited by McDeuce; 04-01-2004 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 04-01-2004, 02:29 PM
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those ballast resistors get pretty hot. i think it would be alright inside if it had some airflow. maybe you could get a small muffin fan that doesn't draw a lot of current to keep the air moving around those parts. a fan should only be $20-$30 i would think.

JB
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:50 AM
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ballast resistor

If you use an enos wiring board they have the resistor mounted right to it and you can put it anywhere you want and the board is made for your car, with the engine you are using and everything else. they work slick and you can mount them anywhere. I have done a few and mount them on a plate between the dash and firewall, mount it to the dash where the steering column mount if there is enough room.

later 35terraplane
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:43 AM
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Another thing to consider is converting to an HEI distributor. Since !975 GM has been using them. Others changed over about the same time. The coil is in the cap with 1 wire from the ignition switch and no ballast resistor.

vicrod
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Old 09-17-2010, 01:23 PM
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You are right, with the Enos board you can use it or not it is still there, they come with the board.

later 35terraplane
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:45 PM
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You can use resistor wire. A lot of the chevy cars use resistor wire that run between the junction fuse box to the coil. No ballast resistor is used.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:50 PM
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The resistor wire is a good option

You could also mount the ballast resistor to an aluminum plate/heat sink and install any 12v fan (like from a computer). The computer fans are silent and small, some are 2" square. Mount the fan on one side and holes in the other side of the box and you'll have circulation.

Or go nuts with one (or two in parallel) of these big 9" suckers that wont cook: 500W power resistor
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:17 PM
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ballast resistor

Why go through all that when the Enos wiring board has the resistor right on it mounted to a circuit board mounted to a Alum. plate on pegs so air can get around it and you can either use it if you have to or just let it sit if you don't need it, no fans no buying of extra wire ,it's out of sight on your board, simple and clean, I have used around 200 of the boards never a comeback. And from the first board to the last I never had to call to ask for help.

Later 35terraplane
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35terraplane
Why go through all that when the Enos wiring board has the resistor right on it mounted to a circuit board mounted to a Alum. plate on pegs so air can get around it and you can either use it if you have to or just let it sit if you don't need it, no fans no buying of extra wire ,it's out of sight on your board, simple and clean, I have used around 200 of the boards never a comeback. And from the first board to the last I never had to call to ask for help.

Later 35terraplane
One reason could be that the Enos deal is $150.

Unless he wants/needs to buy a preassembled board complete w/the fuse block, flashers, horn relay etc., that's a lot of coin- when a length of resistor wire is <$5.
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Old 09-18-2010, 11:52 AM
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resistor

What you say is true, but it sounds to me that he is just building the 32 so he will need a wiring board. If he has the car built and changing to points and coil and resistor then there will be a lot of heat inside the car. I would think the H.E.I. would be way better, but there might not be room on the firewall. A 32 is pretty cramped up under the dash, although with a roadster I don't think air will be used, which makes for a lot more room, still have the heat. There are a lot of things to think about, good reason to plan ahead.

Later 35terraplane
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:25 PM
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Don't get me wrong- I'm thinking the Enos piece is a good one. If he needs all that it offers, the price isn't out of line. I'm going by him "only" needing to sort out the resistor or wire w/resistance for an ignition system.

BTW, the resistor wire also gives off heat- no free lunch. But the heat isn't as concentrated as w/a ballast.

The wattage of the ballast resistor can be easily figured if you know the ohms and voltage.
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Old 09-18-2010, 01:17 PM
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resistor

I agree, I guess the best thing is to ask him. I don't think I would put the coil under the dash, he wants a clean firewall, which means one hell of a long coil wire, I would think he's taking a chance on a voltage drop, maybe not but it still would be one long wire. Oh well build like you want to, just get her done.

Later 35terraplane
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