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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

i guess i should've known better, judging from past experiences with car electrics, but i just had to try...

So, i bought a Pertronix Ignitor II kit with a Pertronix Flamethrower II coil to replace my existing original setup with Marelli coil with external ballast resistor and a couple of transistors connected to it. Also replacing the old standard points and condenser in my Marelli distributor with the electronic module.

Installed the Ignitor module inside the dizzy, and hooked it up to the new coil per the instructions from manufacturer. And here comes the downfall...
As you can see in photo below, i had two green/green-black wires coming from the ignition.

What i did when i connected the wires to the new coil, was that i took both the green and the green/black plus of course the red wire coming from the electronic module inside the dizzy, and hooked them all directly up to the + side of the coil, old ballast resistor gone since the new coil has built-in resistor, and connected black, ground, wire from Ignitor module - (negative) side of coil.

I then started the car up and went on to set the timing after installing this electronic ignition. So i revved the engine up to set max advance at around 4500-4600 rpm, jammed the pedal there an quickly checked the ignition with a timing gun. But, i did not at first notice that smoke was coming up from near the firewall in the engine bay just approx mid engine... I rushed back in to car, saw that the Generator warning light had come on, and then shut off the ignition. Something had obviously melted or shorted out.

Next i try to start car, no red warning lights, but neither is there any reaction from any of the gauges (fuel, oil pressure and water temp gauge is stuck at around 150). Engine fires up nicely, (red warning light comes back on and stays on) but i check fuse panel under dash and see that fuse #6 (Indicating devices) is out. So i replace fuse, turn on ignition again, and same fuse blows again straight away.

So here i am; what could have gone wrong here? Short circuited voltage regulator? Alternator? Coil? Something else?
Can not find any wires with melted isolation rubbing against ground either.. Have dismantled lower part of dash behind center console to search for shorts.. :-(

I read in another article, afterwards..., a post from Alfaparticle saying that the green/black wire is the one to connect to + on coil while the solid green can be isolated off and and taped away. So i guess the correct wiring of the new coil should then be green/black from ignition and red wire from distributor directly to + on coil, and black wire from dizzy directly on to negative terminal on coil. Ballast is gone. This is correct??

Need some good advice here...
 

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The green wire is energized when the ignition key is turned all the way to start the engine. It is only to be used with a ballast resistor. The green wire is energized when the key is in the first, run position. When you tied them together you probably put a continuous supply to the starter which draws lots of current and can blow fuses. Separate the wires as I suggested, replace the fuse and see if everything is OK. If not you have some more troubleshooting to look forward to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Ed,
first time i've seen a clear and precise explanation of these wires :)

I will assemble all wires back together again and give it a try. I have also checked every earth/ground connection and tried to brush them up. So hopefully nothing is destroyed with my adventures in car electricity :)

Will update later.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Eric for the bump !
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now what..

Well, that was sort of interesting :)

Connected everything back as it was, and the moment i connect the battery, the starter motor engages. So somehow it gets power directly now. Disconnected red wire connected to spade terminal at the ignition switch, hooked up battery again and no power to starter motor now. Connected back the red wire and now disconnect the one next to it, a black/red wire. Hook up battery again, and no power to starter motor. So, conclusion from this?

One or both of these wires melted? Ignition switch toast? Starter relay issue?

See photo below, ignition switch from below.
 

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The red wire is the power into the ignition switch and the black wire is the power out to the starter solenoid. The green wire is to the ignition coil. With the key out of the switch only the red wire should have power to it. If the black wire also has power then the ignition switch is toast OR there is a short circuit in the wiring. Do you have an ohm meter?
If so, disconnect both the red wire and the black wire and measure the resistance between the two terminals of the switch that the wires were connected to. A resistance of a few ohms or less means the switch is bad.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Ok,
i measured it right now, battery completely disconnected , and meter shows 000.1 to 0. So there should be higher resistantance?
 

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The resistance should be infinite or at least megohms. You have a bad switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
New switch

Ok, so the new switch is in place after some fiddling.
The starter behaves and doesn't engage anymore when connecting the battery.
But, the fuse #6 still pops the moment i turn the ignition key one click.
If i disconnect the brown wire coming from the ignition switch at the top of fuse #6, the fuse holds up. Connect the brown wire again and fuse #6 breaks.

Anyone with hints/tips as to what my next step could be in tracking down possible cause?? How do i trace the fault?
 

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Fuse 6 powers the green/black wire (And some other things that you have not disturbed). What is the green/black wire connected to?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The green/black wire powers the coil, new Flamethrower coil. I tried to disconnect the green/black wire at the coil, but the fuse still pops when brown wire is connected at top of fuse #6 so i assume the coil is ok. The car starts and runs just fine, it's just that fuse and whats on it thats the problem.
As far as i can see, the other side of fuse #6 has one wire to the electronic interlock system (pink), one wire to FCS microswitch (white), one wire to reverse light switch (yellow/black) and one more pink wire that goes to console lights/dials.

I wish i taken a class in car electrics... :-(
 

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The green/black wire powers the coil, new Flamethrower coil. I tried to disconnect the green/black wire at the coil, but the fuse still pops when brown wire is connected at top of fuse #6 so i assume the coil is ok. The car starts and runs just fine, it's just that fuse and whats on it thats the problem.
As far as i can see, the other side of fuse #6 has one wire to the electronic interlock system (pink), one wire to FCS microswitch (white), one wire to reverse light switch (yellow/black) and one more pink wire that goes to console lights/dials.

I wish i taken a class in car electrics... :-(

I think maybe its time to carefully examine the harness . that smoke you saw could very easily have been wires melting themselves together such that , even if you have the connections correct now, you have created a dead short somewhere else when the wiring melted. smoke doesn't happen for no reason...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's frustratingly difficult to trace all wires. I thought i had gone over the wires but i agree; i must have missed something. Maybe the wire insulation are just partly melted making it hard to see the short. I will give it another go.
 

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It's frustratingly difficult to trace all wires. I thought i had gone over the wires but i agree; i must have missed something. Maybe the wire insulation are just partly melted making it hard to see the short. I will give it another go.
certainly correct me if i'm wrong, but when I did my petronix I recall it just being two wires... red one went to coil pos and black one to coil neg and that was that... nothing else needed to be changed. I can look later and confirm but im not sure how what happened to you could have occurred .


and the melted wires can be very subtle ... inside a wrapped harness , the wrapping will appear perfect but inside the wires melt together and unless you cut it open and look , you will never know.
 

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Disconnect all of the wires from fuse 6 except the brown and the green/black. Hopefully the fuse will not blow and you can drive the car. Then connect the others, one at a time and find out which one causes the fuse to pop. Then you can trace just that wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Steve,
you're right that there's only two wires from the distributor, but there is also green/black power feed from the ignition switch via top of fuse #6, which connects to battery side of coil.

I have tracked the faulty wire that's causing the fuse to pop, to the reverse light switch. A bit strange since as far as i can see that wire looks ok. Maybe the switch itself is causing the short? Fuse hold at least when this wire is disconnected from fuse #6.
 

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If you are willing to risk sacrificing another fuse disconnect the wires at the reverse light switch then connect it back to #6 fuse and see what happens. Blown fuse means a short circuit on the wire from the fuse to the switch. If the fuse does not blow connect just the wire from fuse #6 to the switch and see if it blows. If it does then there is a short in the switch. If it does not blow then the short is probably in the circuit between the switch and the reversing lights or in the lights themselves.
 

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Hi Steve,
you're right that there's only two wires from the distributor, but there is also green/black power feed from the ignition switch via top of fuse #6, which connects to battery side of coil.

I have tracked the faulty wire that's causing the fuse to pop, to the reverse light switch. A bit strange since as far as i can see that wire looks ok. Maybe the switch itself is causing the short? Fuse hold at least when this wire is disconnected from fuse #6.
this is off topic a bit but I have in my toolbox a little device that I made that is a 12 v circuit breaker . I bought a 5 amp marine circuit breaker and just attached 2 longish wires with alligator clips that I could attach to both side of the older type fuse holder.. and I had one with a late model type fuse jig as well... that way I didn't have to keep changing fuses when I was chasing stuff like this...
 

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Fortunately these are cheap fuses. I once blew many hundreds of dollars worth of high capacity fast acting fuses when I was starting up a UPS that another engineer had installed and then walked away from when it didn't work.
 
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