66 Impala won't start - Impala Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical problems

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Carolina
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66 Impala won't start

I inherited a 66 impala 4dr hardtop. I'm trying to get it running again. I know it ran when it was parked 10-15 years ago. I have replaced the coil and condensor and replaced the points with a pertronix ignitor. Now I'm only getting 6 volts to the positive side of the coil. No spark before all of that and no spark now. Any ideas where I may be losing the voltage?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 05:38 PM
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Welcome to the Team Josh!

Your question is asked often enough that at least ten people have asked the same question before you. You can read the archives (old posts) by typing a few words into the search button above. Google has indexed every word typed on this board (and only this board; so you get responses relevant to your Impala instead of a EFI late model Mustang). Here is some light reading for you. If will lead you in one direction or another depending upon your symptoms.


http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7732
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=6080
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3628
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7868
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?p=31597
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3168
http://www.impalas.net/forums/archiv...hp/t-3689.html
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=6606
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3735
http://www.impalas.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3655

Big Dave
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Carolina
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Thanks for the quick response. I've checked all those links and I still can't get a spark. The starter turns over I'm just not getting enough voltage to the coil. It really shouldn't be this complicated and I'm sure I'm just over thinking it and missing something simple. I just can't figure out where that voltage is being lost. I've checked all connections and wires and fuses.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 06:39 PM
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You are losing voltage because the stock wiring for the ignition provides resistance in order to not burn out the points. Either a resistance wire or ballast resistor. To get a full 12V that you need for your Pertronix, you need to run a wire to a source that is hot in "run".

Two doors, four doors, wagons, and ragtops.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Carolina
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Thank you. That's kind of what I was looking for. I know the pertronix rep said something about resistance wire but said I could just tie the positive side of the ignitor into another 12v source but that didn'tfix it. Do I need to bypass that resistance wire? If so how would I go about doing that? I'm usually pretty good with electrical stuff just a little rusty.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Carolina
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Ok, so after looking around a little I feel like if I take the resistance wire out of the equation that may solve my problem. Where does the resistance wire from the ignition to the coil start?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-28-2013, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
 
 
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I have traced the wire back to the harness on the firewall. Can I tie into that wire close to the harness with regular copper wire or do I need to completely replace the connection?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Carolina
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Problem solved. Took the resistance wire out of the picture and hooked everything up again. Turned the key one time and it fired right up. After a big cloud of black smoke cleared its running like a champ. Thanks
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:18 PM
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Depending upon which resistance wire you replaced you may have only temporarily solved your problem.

There is a forty to sixty amp fusible link (it is a piece of wire that is very thin and designed to burn open if too much current passes through it to protect the car's wiring). Each car has it's own fusible link that was sized according to the electrical load it had to carry (size of the alternator is a good clue but better to add up all of the fuses in the fuse box).

You can keep the solid copper wire if you add an automotive fuse rated for the correct capacity for your car. These are the type that I use in my race cars. This way I am never stranded on the side of the road because a fuse opened up or a fusible link burned open.

http://www.wiringproducts.com/conten..._breakers.html

If you have points in your distributor; and have not yet upgraded to an HEI module to replace them (from PerTronix or D.U.I.) then you will need to replace the resistor wire with a suitable resistor (they were sold as external ceramic parts that bolted to the fire wall from 1955 to 1957).

http://www.hot-spark.com/1-HS14BR.htm

Big Dave
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