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Post Info TOPIC: Need Help with Starter and Ignition Wiring


Poncho Master!

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Need Help with Starter and Ignition Wiring


I really need some help with wiring my new starter. I am fairly good at figuring out how to do wiring, even with the neither-wholly-Chevy-nor-Pontiac hybrid wiring of our Canadian Pontiacs (specifically my 56) - but this one has me stumped.

I went to hook up the wires to my brand new, high-torque mini (really does help with header clearance) starter, and ... only 2 terminals = one big one for the big fat cable to the battery, and one for the starting wire from the ignition switch.

NO "R" = Run terminal on the starter.

My original starter had 3 terminals:

1.      "B" = Battery (both big fat cable to the battery and fat black wire to the wiring harness that goes into the dashboard)

2.      "S" = Start, for the starting wire from the ignition switch

3.      "R" = Run, which feeds into the wiring harness that goes into the dashboard, and which also had the only wire on the car that went to the + terminal on the coil

The factory wiring loom that came from the cowl (and, of course, to the dashboard) and was hooked up at the starter, has 3 wires:

1.      Fat black wire, connected to "B" (along with the big fat cable to the battery)

2.      Purple wire, connected to "S"

3.      Green wire, connected to "R"

Here's what the starter wiring looked like when I got the car:

Starter Wire Connections.jpg

So, obviously, I hook up the fat black "B" wire to the big fat terminal on the starter (along with the big fat cable to the battery), and the purple "S" wire to the 'start' terminal on the starter ...

... but what the heck do I do with the green wire???

Factory wiring diagrams that I have found for 56 Chevy AND for 56 (U.S.) Pontiac do not show a green wire at the starter:

  • 56 Chevy shows "S" = Start = purple and "B" = Battery (to ignition switch)(also cable from battery) = black, and no "R" green wire
  • 56 Pontiac shows the same - see simplified diagram below:

56Pontiac starting and ignition system.JPG

Here's what my new starter installation instructions have to say on the matter:

New Starter 1.jpgOK, so I look at the next page, and ...

New Starter 2.JPG

Now it gets even worse. My BBC motor does have a Pertronix electronic (no points) distributor, so, if I just look at the first part of their "what to do" it seems like I should just ignore the "R" terminal at the starter ... but that still does not answer the question, if I do that, what the heck do I hook up to the + coil terminal???

Here's the Pertronix diagram:

Pertronix Distributor Wiring.jpg

I guess I could buy one of those extra solenoids, or a diode, and figure out where the hell to install it (since firewall room in the engine compartment is not exactly spacious, what with that big fat rat motor in there now), but I was hoping for a more elegant solution ...

Any ideas?

Please!

Thanks,

Dave

 

 



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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



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biggrin



-- Edited by 427carl on Sunday 28th of February 2016 07:07:59 PM

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Poncho Master!

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Was this car up and running and your only replacing the starter??


+ coil is where you attach the power wire.

As your car originally had an ignition ballast resistor, the wire that comes off it, powered when the ignition switch is on.

The green wire powers the coil only when cranking the engine, so it normally runs from the starter to the + coil only.

The green wire supplies a full 12v while starting only, after the starter releases, the coil receives its reduced power from the ignition resistor.

Depending on your ignition switch, some continue to give power to the coil through the ballast resistor, and some don't, when the ignition switch is in the start position.

If you have power while cranking you don't need to worry about connecting the green wire to anything.

The green wire will still be hot as its connected to the + on the coil so it's connector needs to be insulated.

Thanks
Randy









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Poncho Master!

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Good Grief Carl, that chevytalk stuff has me even more confused ... HEI (which I do NOT have) with already-made + links to coil (which I do not have) and 4 or 5 terminals (I have enough problems with the 3 I have) and different colored wires than I have ...

My Brain Hurts.jpg

Dave



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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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GLHS60 wrote:


If you have power while cranking you don't need to worry about connecting the green wire to anything.

The green wire will still be hot as its connected to the + on the coil so it's connector needs to be insulated.

Thanks
Randy








 x 2 Turn ignition to on/run, make sure you have 12v to coil if not running ballast resistor. If coil end of green wire can be disconnected at coil just leave it off at both ends(coil&starter) and wire will become dead,as Randy states if the green wire is attached to the coil the other end will be live when ignition is in the on/run position.



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Poncho Master!

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Well, the ballast resistor is still there, although I could remove it and connect its input and output wires ... but I still do no know what wire to attach to + side of coil ...

Dave

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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



A Poncho Legend!

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I have always thought it was this way, and I welcome correction if I'm wrong.

The way the factory did it, there were two wires going to the + on the coil.

-The wire from the starter (green on your car) gives the coil 12V when cranking, does nothing when you release the key back to "on" or turn it off totally.

-Other wire feeds 12V from the key, through either a ballast resistor or a resistor wire dropping it to about 9V which feeds power to the coil any time the key is "on".


How am I doing guys?

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


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I have spent some more time reading through all the above. I think I said basically the same thing Randy did, just worded different.

I didn't read it that way the first time I read it.

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R u running points or aftermarket electronic(pertronix etc) ign?

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A Poncho Legend!

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Close to the bottom of his post Jim, he says "My BBC motor does have a Pertronix electronic (no points) distributor,". I missed that first time around too, had to re-read!

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Poncho Master!

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Were all right!!

I'm trying to figure out if he is just replacing his starter or has freshly installed the BB in his 56 and trying to get his wiring sorted out.

"Well, the ballast resistor is still there, although I could remove it and connect its input and output wires ... but I still do no know what wire to attach to + side of coil ...

Dave "

Input comes from the key/ignition and out put goes to + on the coil.

Thanks
Randy

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A Poncho Legend!

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Yes, with the output from the resistor and the green from the output on the starter solenoid both hooked to the + on the coil, he's good to go, right?

I am thinking now we have explained it so he will get it hooked up and working.

Now we have to wait for him to wake up tomorrow and read this!

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"


Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Well if you have a 2 post starter your screwed to leave it stock. If you hook the green wire up the the "S" terminal you will get 12 volt to coil while cranking, but since the coil is live(12v) when cars running you'll get voltage feed back to the starter causing it to keep running. The only way I can think of is to put in a 30 amp relay(that can be mounted anywhere). Wire the relay power supply to the "S" terminal this will turn on the relay while cranking. Run a 12v in/out on relay to pos side of coil.This will give you 12v to coil while cranking and 9v while running.

      



30 Amp Relay With Pigtail



-- Edited by hawkeye5766 on Sunday 28th of February 2016 11:36:47 PM

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Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Think this is the starter hes running Carl.

New Starter 1.jpg



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A Poncho Legend!

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You are 100% right Jim, once again my speed reading bit me in the butt. I missed the part that he has no second small terminal on this starter.

And your simple relay idea is likely the simplest cheapest cure for his problem.

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Poncho Master!

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Some cars will still start and run fine without the S terminal hooked up, especially when converting to electronic, depends on the ignition switch.

Ones that don't require solenoids etc, but not all do.

I've been trying to find out if he's just changing starters or dong a build.

If changing starters just try it with the green wire off.

Or, if doing a build, it's easy to see if the ballast is still energized when the key goes to the start position.

I think Dave is making this more complicated than necessary, probably just tired, like me !!

Thanks
Randy

PS: Dave, the green wire turns into a black wire along the way.



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Poncho Master!

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OK I will try again.

1. This is NOT original 6cyl motor, I have replaced it with a bored and stroked 454 V-8

2. This is NOT the original points distributor, it is electronic distributor (Pertronix billet Ignitor II)

3. The old starter that came with the car had 3 terminals. The new high-torque mini starter I just installed has, to my surprise, only 2.

4. Factory wiring loom to the starter has 3 wires = #1 to provide battery power to the interior (under dash through firewall), #2 from the start switch (which energizes the starter to crank it over), #3 "Run" which is the green (at the starter) mystery wire, which was attached to the "R" terminal on the old starter.

5. I believe that someone in the past modified the wiring, running a wire from the #3 "Run" terminal direct to the + coil terminal - this was the ONLY wire that attached to the + coil terminal; from which I conclude that the normal connection to the + coil terminal via the ballast resistor was removed. I am trying to find out from the 55-57 guys here what the normal connection to the + coil terminal was.

6. SO my dilemma is, there is no "R" terminal on the new starter, so (a) I can't replicate the wiring that came with the car, (b) what should I attach to the + coil terminal, and (c) what to do with the #3 "Run" green wire from the factory loom at the starter.

If worse comes to worst, I will find somewhere that is hot with the ignition on (and also is hot with the starter on) and just run a wire from there to the + coil terminal, and snip off and insulate the #3 "Run" green wire from the factory loom at the starter. And I will just eliminate the ballast resistor, since, as near as I can tell, it was only for old points-type distributors.

Dave


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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



Poncho Master!

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"If worse comes to worst, I will find somewhere that is hot with the ignition on (and also is hot with the starter on) and just run a wire from there to the + coil terminal, and snip off and insulate the #3 "Run" green wire from the factory loom at the starter. And I will just eliminate the ballast resistor, since, as near as I can tell, it was only for old points-type distributors."



Dave this is a situation everyone who has ever replaced an original starter with one without the run terminal.

Perhaps the "run" term has you confused.

The "run" terminal only feeds power to the coil when the starter is cranking the engine, not running.

Otherwise, the coil gets its power from the ballast only.

The ballast gets its power from the ignition switch when the ignition is on.

The green "run" wire sometimes goes directly to the + coil but more often it junctions with the power wire between the ballast and the coil.

I would unwrap the starter harness to allow the green wire to be separate, and have it available up top in case you need it later. Also trace the purple s wire as you may need to tap into in later, but up top where its easier to work with. Wrap the starter harness back up, install it and hopefully never have to work on the lower end again!!

The - at the coil goes to the points. In your case you have the added complication of pertronix.

The pertronix replaces the points and the - coil wire now goes to the pertronix and another goes from the pertronix to power as it needs power to operate.

So, do you have power at the ballast?? It should have power anytime the ignition switch is on.

One side of the ballast should have 12v coming from the ignition switch, and the other side should have reduced voltage going to the + coil.

Its a step by step process, starting from power to the ballast.

Do your pertronix instructions say to eliminate the ballast, some say to keep it.


Thanks
Randy


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Poncho Master!

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GLHS60 wrote:

Dave this is a situation everyone who has ever replaced an original starter with one without the run terminal.

Yah, from old to new is not always straightforward, eh smile

Perhaps the "run" term has you confused. The "run" terminal only feeds power to the coil when the starter is cranking the engine, not running.

I do understand that

Otherwise, the coil gets its power from the ballast only. The ballast gets its power from the ignition switch when the ignition is on.

Yes, I know that too - however, there was only one wire to the + coil terminal, nothing I can see that could come from the ballast

The green "run" wire sometimes goes directly to the + coil but more often it junctions with the power wire between the ballast and the coil.

If there is a junction somewhere in the harness, I cannot tell where it might be (or even if it exists) and there was a wire (apparently added by some prior owner of the car) from the starter terminal with the green "run" wire, direct to the + coil (the ONLY wire to the + coil)

I would unwrap the starter harness to allow the green wire to be separate, and have it available up top in case you need it later. Also trace the purple s wire as you may need to tap into in later, but up top where its easier to work with. Wrap the starter harness back up, install it and hopefully never have to work on the lower end again!!

The - at the coil goes to the points. In your case you have the added complication of pertronix. The pertronix replaces the points and the - coil wire now goes to the pertronix and another goes from the pertronix to power as it needs power to operate.

Yes, I know that

So, do you have power at the ballast?? It should have power anytime the ignition switch is on.

I hope so and I will surely check that.

One side of the ballast should have 12v coming from the ignition switch, and the other side should have reduced voltage going to the + coil.

Yep, I understand that ... and if the 12v coming from the ignition switch is there when the key is turned to both 'on' and 'start' then I will just tap into that direct to the + coil (eliminating the ballast, see below) and I will be a happy camper

Its a step by step process, starting from power to the ballast.

I will start that process as soon as I can crimp the 2ga. positive cable from my trunk mounted battery and mate it to the starter to get power to the car (gonna be a while since we have company from Wisconsin, almost as cold as Canada, they are lovin' our 80 deg. F. weather here, eh? smile)

Do your pertronix instructions say to eliminate the ballast, some say to keep it.

Pertronix instructions say direct 12v no ballast

Pertronix Distributor Wiring from mfg.JPG

so pretty soon I will be offering up my Delco Remy High Performance (with the dot) ballast resistor for someone here who might want it smile

Thanks
Randy

Thank YOU, and Jim and Carl too, for your ideas

Dave


 



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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



Poncho Master!

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Right on Dave, I'm glad you got a handle on it.

As to the ballast, I looked up pertronix online and it depended on what coil you use.

The pertronix diagram you posted above shows the ballast too.

I wasn't trying to lead you astray, just mentioning it.

Keep us posted, with pics!!

Thanks
Randy

PS: Are your Wisconsin friends happy with Gov. Walker??
He seems very smart compared to Alta premier.

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I'd be worried about burning up the coil if it was made to run with a ballast and now it is fed a straight 12 volts. I was always taught that you could hot wire (12volts to coil) for temporary situations but if it was left like that, the coil would cook. I think it's the Ford coils that don't say "use only with external resistor", right? The GM coils usually have something like that on them. I don't mean the OEM GM coils, I am thinking of when you buy an aftermarket coil to replace an original GM points type coil. It usually says that right on it.

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Poncho Master!

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Funny you mention aftermarket coils Carl.

My neighbor built a really nice 350 powered T bucket and I wired up his G.M. dual point distributor for him. Went to the junk yard and stripped out some factory coil resistance wire so it wouldn't need an external resistor. Once he started driving around it would miss and stumble as soon as he got on it. Turned out his new shiny chrome MSD coil couldn't take the current draw of 2 sets of points. Back to the junkyard for a nice stock 1960's G.M. coil and away he goes!!

Did I mention I am not a fan of most aftermarket gadgets???

Thanks
Randy

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If there is a junction somewhere in the harness, I cannot tell where it might be (or even if it exists) and there was a wire (apparently added by some prior owner of the car) from the starter terminal with the green "run" wire, direct to the + coil (the ONLY wire to the + coil)

If this is the case the "run" wire must be spliced to another (Hot while key is on)wire other wise the car would shut off as soon as the starter was disengaged. Since you "run" wire was hooked up to the "R" terminal on starter and the only time the "R" terminal gets power is while cranking.

 

 



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Poncho Master!

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Carl Stevenson wrote:

I'd be worried about burning up the coil if it was made to run with a ballast and now it is fed a straight 12 volts.


I am using brand new Pertronix "Flame Thrower" coil - note that their instructions show straight 12 volts to the coil, no ballast resistor:

Pertronix Distributor Wiring from mfg.JPG

Dave



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56Pontiac  1956 Pontiac Pathfinder 2dr sedan, 496 - dyno'd 545 hp, stick shift, 4.11 posi - Hot Rod

  1964 Acadian Beaumont SD convert, 283 - factory 195 hp, Powerglide, 3.08 10-bolt - Cruiser

  2012 US-built crew cab truck - Daily Driver and Boat Trailering



A Poncho Legend!

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Then if you can find an ignition switch terminal with 12V output in both crank and on, a new wire from there should be all you need? Ignore all the original stuff and just run one new one?

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door sedan 283 "survivor"
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