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Ford 9N, 2N & 8N Discussion Forum
:

No ballast resistor = beast mode

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Tony292

05-15-2019 14:45:56




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So I ve been battling a starting issue for 3years now. Basically I ve troubleshot spark for a while. Finally a week or two ago I isolated it to the ballast resistor. I even bought a new one. But the result is that no matter what I do, if I connect the coil to the ballast resistor, it won t fire, if I bypass the ballast resistor it fires up like a champ every time!




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doublebass73

05-18-2019 12:44:31




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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So true. Our eyes simply aren't good enough to determine whether the voltage level of a high voltage arc through air is high enough to start an engine or allow it to run properly.



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SkyWil

05-18-2019 09:38:02




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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Totally agree with that. When my 8N wouldn't start anymore it still appeared to have nice blue/white spark that looked strong and i denied denied denied there was anything wrong with it. It can definitely look normal and have no balls behind it.



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Hobo,NC

05-18-2019 08:33:50




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Even his spark may not be enoufh to fire it off... All his check is,is to confirm the event is happening does not prove it has good spark...
You need to back up and learn how to confirm a kill... For the next time :wink:
Several links in the post on spark check'N... Don't get ell bent out of shape It took me awhile to get it TOO! and a long time to beat into others heads... An adjustable spark checker set to the right setting will confirm a KILL I grantee it....

https://forums.yesterdaystractors.com/viewtopic.php?t=1318599&highlight=checker

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SkyWil

05-17-2019 22:11:58




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
I switched my 8N to to a pertronix 6v pos ground igniter when spark got week enough it wouldn't start. I couldn't get it to spark using the existing wiring and did the same thing and had great results as well. Igniter to coil straight to frame ground. Then I soldered a extension onto the other wire so I could run it straight to the ignition switch. It starts so well now it could be 15 degrees out and will fire right up without even using choke.

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Tony292

05-17-2019 20:25:29




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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I have a spark checker but don t use it as it is a POS Chinese made junk and doesn t work at all. I check spark with a plug and remove one wire and lay the plug against the block I specifically used this YouTube method of checking my spark:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=p-vrSWFJzqQ

. I know that the original no spark situation was not my initial problem. I decided to install the EI "while I was in there" kind of like you d expect if you changed a water pump on a car with 200k miles... while your in there you might as well install new thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses, etc. I d rather touch it all now than to have to keep on tearing it apart and touching all again.. and again, and again. . just my way of doing things, you have your own way too and that s great.

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Hobo,NC

05-17-2019 19:38:20




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
When I wire one like yours I put the resistor between the top post of the coil and chassis ground...

EI is touchy it needs a robust coil all in said and done the coil is your issue not the EI unit... You can run it without the resistor it will not hurt the EI its your call...
You need to refine your spark check'N the event was happing you had weak spark the EI unit was not your issue.... You could have suffered the same issue with a point system other than a points system may fire good spark on a coil a EI has issues supplying good spark...

In a nut shell your spark checker was not lie'N you failed to understand it... BTDT got the T-shirt...

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JMOR

05-17-2019 16:13:06




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeAs to you comment about having read on forums about burning up coils & modules when connected without a ballast resistor, yes, no doubt that you have, but don't make the often made mistake of assuming that one size fits all. There are different Pertronix kits for front mount, side mount, front with external coil and each of those for 12v-pos gnd, 12v-N, 6v-P, 6v-N, making about a dozen different configurations, before you toss in the use of 6 or 12 volt coils on any of the 12v conversions. So we are well beyond a dozen overall. Some will need a ballast, others maybe, others not. We haven't discussed your coil primary winding resistance & since it works for you, you probably want to leave well enough alone. But just FYI (for anyone reading), Pertronix recommends a resistor be added in that wire from top coil stud to ground as might be required to make the total of coil primary plus resistor equal to 1.5 Ohms. Some coils will be there without addition of resistor, some will not. I'm big on, " if it ain't broke, don't keep fixing it until it is".

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Tony292

05-17-2019 15:34:10




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
And that is why I was so surprised and happy to see that there were new wiring harnesses available for sale.



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R Geiger

05-17-2019 14:40:35




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
How do you troubleshoot with wiring this poor? I wouldn't, I would replace all wiring. a new wiring harness is not all that expensive and is easy to install. rusty bad connections are not conducive to a good electrical circuit.

Don't second guess the manufactures wiring instructions.



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Tony292

05-17-2019 14:08:03




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Pictures:

1 rusty original ballast resistor that despite being wire brushed, still made the fluke 77 multimeter jump around like crazy.

2. Corrosion on the original coil... so I replaced it... cost 23 bucks... not a big deal for me and I m not a fan of the popular approach on this site that says "we shall never replace an original pet not matter what" I ll happily replace a part that is bad "while I m in there".
3.look at the wiring in the third pic... can you figure it out? How does manure wiring like this help

Me troubleshoot? Looks lik Frankenstein went to electronics school...

4.rusted 75 year old wiring, again how do I troubleshoot spark when the most basic wiring is this poor?

5. Last picture... this is what the starter wire looked like when I bought this tractor.. the insulation was literally falling apart...

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Tony292

05-17-2019 13:59:54




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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Yes you are correct. Maybe I m wrong here but I swear I ve seen posts on this forum where people installing Pertronix EI have had to wire it up through the ballast... and if they bypassed the ballast it would burn up the Pertronix module... maybe I m remembering things wrong... but I was very hesitant to bypass the ballast because of what I had read here on this web forum.








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Tony292

05-17-2019 13:19:35




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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Yes you are correct. Maybe I m wrong here but I swear I ve seen posts on this forum where people installing Pertronix EI have had to wire it up through the ballast... and if they bypassed the ballast it would burn up the Pertronix module... maybe I m remembering things wrong... but I was very hesitant to bypass the ballast because of what I had read here on this web forum.

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JMOR

05-17-2019 09:42:01




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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" I think the Pertronix needs full battery voltage to run." You are correct on that point!
Only two lines in Pertronix 1247P6 wiring instructions and when you followed them all was well, but...............then when you didn't and started experimenting with the ballast resistor is when trouble began.

Don't do that.

Do exactly as instructions say.

WIRING:

1. Attach the ignition switch wire directly to the Ignitor black wire.

2. Use 18 ga or larger wire, connect the coil positive terminal (identified in instruction sheet drawing) to an engine ground.

You are done wiring.

No ballast resistor mentioned.

No ballast resistor needed or used.

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Tony292

05-17-2019 09:32:52




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Soooo, the ballast resistor was used in the old points system to drop the voltage to the coil. That old coil wire is disconnected now because with the Pertronix kit, the coils no longer connects to negative 6volts DC, the coil now connects to positive ground. So that old coil wire coming from the ballast to the coil has been disconnected on both ends and wrapped up with electrical tape on each end for now.

And the Pertronix instructions for their black wire just says to wire it to the ignition, it does not say to use or not use the ballast. So when I tried wiring to the ballast it won t start or run that way, I think the Pertronix needs full battery voltage to run.

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JMOR

05-17-2019 09:17:42




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeOK, so that means that the ballast resistor is out of the circuit. In that case how do you explain that "shorting the ballast resistor makes engine start better"?



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Tony292

05-17-2019 09:12:20




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
One side, nothing at all. The other side wire from ignition switch and Pertronix black wire.



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Tony292

05-17-2019 09:09:55




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
I will say that this has been a confusing project! Prior to all this the spark was enough that it would jump a gap, maybe not 1/4 and not bright blue but it would always show some spark but starting was very intermittent, it may start right up, or not at all, the resistance taken on a fluke 77 multimeter across the ballast resistor jumped all over the place I couldn t get a solid reading. Ballast was covered in rust so I bought a new one. Also cool showed corrosion on the tab so I bought a new coil too. I went with the Pertronix EI because I wanted to convert it and have more reliable.

Then I had the issue of some of the worst wiring I ve ever seen, factory stuff that looked like it was hacked up and spliced back together 40 years ago... Ive replaced some of the wiring due to the insulation completely falling apart. I also had to rewire according to the Pertronix instructions. Perhaps this kit which I just bought a month ago has some newer updates but yes, I did have to rewrite the coil wire to positive ground.... that is a big change from the original way the coil as wired. The complete lack of mention of the ballast resistor in the instructions was confusing. They didn t say anything about bypassing it or using it, just didn t mention or show it in the schematic at all. So that caused some confusion too.

In the end I have great spark and a tractor that starts very quickly and consistently.
I truly hope that Pertronix will update their instructions and schematics!!!

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JMOR

05-17-2019 08:58:23




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeI have no idea what you are "no, no, noing". Once again, in the instruction diagram that you posted, there is NO ballast resistor, so one more time, what do you have each end of your ballast resistor tied to?? Pretty please! :)



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Tony292

05-17-2019 08:57:09




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
So the ballast resistor effectively is not in use. The two fittings for the resistive part one a yellow wire coming from the switch, my black Pertronix wire goes there. That gives the Pertronix the entire 6 volts. If I try and wire it up to the other side of the brand new resistor, it does nothing it will not start at all.
And the Pertronix 2 pages of instructions plus schematic I posted do NOT mention the ballast resistor at all... anywhere. So I m not sure the ballast is even supposed to be used with the Pertronix 6v positive ground kit. I believe that if the ballast were intended to be used, Pertronix would have mentioned it somewhere or shown it being wired that way instead of just saying wire it into "ignition" switch.

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Tony292

05-17-2019 08:51:44




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
No, no,no. The Ignitor instructions and the schematic in those instructions I attached specifically state to connect the coil to positive ground. It s not wired like it was before the Pertronix. It won t run that way. It runs the way their instructions said to wire it.



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JMOR

05-16-2019 22:06:51




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeSorry, Den, both you and Tony are wrong. Tony says it is wired according to Pertronics instructions which he posted and that shows NO ballast resistor, so he is wrong on that. Den, you do not understand the Pertronix system, or you would not make the statement that you did related to the top of coil and ballast resistor. I am so tired of people giving advice on things of which they have no knowledge! It sure does not help anyone. Now, Tony, if you want to solve your problem, simply tell me where each end of your ballast resistor is connected, OK? Ultimately, I am likely to tell you to toss it, but, I will await your response. Otherwise go right ahead an listen to those not in the know. Have a nice day.

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Den N Ms

05-16-2019 23:12:15




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to JMOR, 05-16-2019 22:06:51  
JMOR,I have installed many/lots Pertronix igniter systems but not any 6 volt positive ground systems,with the black wire and black/with white stripe.So I admit I am wrong on the positive ground set up.Sorry,my mistake.



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Tony292

05-16-2019 20:48:22




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Replaced the old coil with new today and tried again

Post ballast resistor (brand new one from this site) and it wouldn t start, swapped it back over to pre ballastand fired right up.

The Ignitor instructions are vague, they don t mention the resistor at all! They don t say bypass it they don t say to use it they just skip it all together. Also the coil is rewired as per their instructions to positive ground to the coil.


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Den N Ms

05-16-2019 21:51:35




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-16-2019 20:48:22  
No,the wire to the top of the coil has to come from the ballast resister,that is fed from the ignition switch.Not a wire from the chassis ground



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TheOldHokie

05-16-2019 09:10:55




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Down in the middle of the thread:

Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

TOH



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Jim L WA

05-16-2019 09:02:39




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
I don't see any mention of a Pertronix in your original post. How long ago did you install that?



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JMOR

05-16-2019 08:09:43




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
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Where in the circuit is the ballast resistor?



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Jerry9N

05-15-2019 20:44:00




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
I do not believe that you could burn up the Pertronix unit, if anything you would burn up the coil. Iím going with Den on this, check the coil resistance.

Jerry



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Tony292

05-15-2019 18:21:47




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Yes, the Pertronix is wired correctly as per the instructions.



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deanostoybox

05-15-2019 18:15:03




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
You do have the "hot" wire to the Pertronix unit going to the switch side of the resistor rather than the coil side right?



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Tony292

05-15-2019 17:39:46




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
no I have not replaced the coil yet. I did buy a new one because the old one had some corrosion. On the tab. I ll install the new one tomorrow and see if that fixes it. I don t want To run without the ballast and burn up the Pertronix EI.



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Den N Ms

05-15-2019 17:08:47




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Tony,Did you replace the coil 3 years ago and got a 12 volt coil by mistake?You need to check the OHMs of the coil and post back your readings.



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JMOR

05-15-2019 17:05:32




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to seeI have seen that before, too.



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Tony292

05-15-2019 16:33:24




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
I m serious guys, I mean it s a huge difference.... ballast resistor = very little to no spark, bypassed = great spark and starts almost immediately!



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Tony292

05-15-2019 16:25:00




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Nope, no other resistor than the ballast resistor. Installed a brand new one from this site and no start... bypassed, it starts like a champ every time!



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R Geiger

05-15-2019 15:33:30




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
Is there any other resister inline with the wire from ballast resistor to the coil?

If you convert from a 12 volt system to a 6 volt one, is the coil a 6 volt coil?



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Tony292

05-15-2019 15:04:30




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
It s now a 6V positive ground. System.



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Jim L WA

05-15-2019 14:54:02




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 Re: No ballast resistor = beast mode in reply to Tony292, 05-15-2019 14:45:56  
6 volt or 12 volt conversion? What voltage coil are you running?



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