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SpriteSpot.com • View topic - Ballast Resistor or Not?

Ballast Resistor or Not?

Have a Lucas question?

Ballast Resistor or Not?

Postby JSimmons » Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:12 pm

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Postby trevor » Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:30 pm

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Postby Bill Masquelier » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:23 pm

It PURELY depends on what type of coil you have, and both types will easily fit in a Sprite. As far as I know NO Sprite EVER came stock with a coil requireing a ballast resistor. The Sprite coils are all "12 volt" coils. A coil that uses a resistor is basically a "6 volt" coil and the resistor just cuts the voltage down to about 6 volts (not exactly but close). The reason for a ballast resistor coil is that the electrical system often drops to 6 or 8 volts during starter cranking and is insufficient for a 12 volt coil to give good spark. In this case (during cranking) the resistor is by-passed to give the coil full (8 volt) power which it uses well but then when the starter switch is no longer "on" the coil gets its power through the main system (including resistor) and again gets 6 volts. As you can see this gives a STRONGER spark at starting than even when running, which is good.
It is best to use a "resistor" coil when there is a resistor properly in the system and a non-resistor coil if there is no resistor.
I have a resistor system in my car (coil and resistor from a late '70's Honda Accord) with the main power coming from the normal system and the "starting voltage" coming THROUGH A DIODE from the starter. The diode stops the starter from trying to turn whenever the ignition is turned "on". This has worked great for many years.
Bill
69 Sprite MkIV
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Postby JSimmons » Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:25 am

Thanks for the info. I guess since my car never came with a resistor (in-line) that I should just purchase a stock replacement coil and start from there.

Thanks,
Joel
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Postby liamof » Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:03 pm

Joel,
Just checking if the stock coil with internal resistor solved your problems. I seem to have a similiar problem with my lucas sports coil with internal resistor being hot to the touch and can't seem to figure it out.
Thanks,
:?
Liam
1960 bugeye project
1957 MGA daily driver
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Postby Charlie Tolman » Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:53 am

If there is excessive current flowing in the primary circuit of the spark coil, the distributor points will be damaged (burned) in only a few hundred miles. Their degraded condition will be visually evident.

If this is the case, add a ballast resistor to the primary circuit, or replace the coil with one designed for 12 volt operation without an external ballast resistor. Also, replace the distributor points.

Charlie Tolman
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