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Thread: 63 Lark ignition problem

  1. #1
    Champion Member
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    63 Lark ignition problem

    First of all thanks for letting me join the drivers club here.I appreciate all the knowledge that this forum has to offer.I have a problem with the ignition .I am a stern believer in points and condensers.Parts are always readily available.My problem is I have to let off the start position or cranking for the car to fire up.I am thinking condenser.or maybe something else.When I put the coil wire to metal I get a weak yellow spark.Its been a while since I worked a point system over so just needing some suggestions.The last point car I had was my 48 crosley,it didn't give me this much trouble though.
    Thanks
    Bart

  2. #2
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    Your car is designed so that during normal operation, your point and coil only see about 9 volts or so. That is achieved by a resistor wire built into the wiring harness. That is to ensure long point life. For starting, there is an extra wire that goes from one of the small terminals on the starter solenoid over the coil. It is green if I recall. During cranking that is supposed to send 12 volts directly over to the coil for easier starting. Check to see if that wire is missing or disconnected at either end.

    Inside the solenoid is a rather delicate looking contact that picks up the 12 volts while the solenoid is activated. I have seen these break off and then hard starting ensues. Check with a test light that that terminal becomes hot while you are cranking the car. The other small terminal on the solenoid, white, I think, is the signal that operates the solenoid and is coming from the start terminal on the ignition switch. While you are looking at this clean every cable end in the starting circuit and both ends of the ground strap.

  3. #3
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    Very good info thanks

  4. #4
    President Member Dwain G.'s Avatar
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    The ignition switch or the pink wire from switch to coil + could factor into this too.

  5. #5
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    An easy way to check this would be to use a test lead with alligator clips on each end to temporarily connect the coil (+) terminal to the battery (+) terminal. Then crank the engine using the ignition switch. If the engine starts readily, and continues running once the clip lead is removed, then something is wrong with the resistor bypass function.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  6. #6
    President Member bensherb's Avatar
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    That pink wire from the ignition switch to the coil IS the resistor wire that drops the voltage for normal running.

  7. #7
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    This might help you if you want to check the resistances.


  8. #8
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    Sounds very much like a faulty ign switch,releasing from the start position and engine starts, my 53 is like that. if you barely twist key to start position you are OK but if you twist it all the way over to start it just spins the motor over and no fire. i believe its a bad ignition switch,mine is a repop and several years old. i will fix it some day but for now its a cheap anti theft device!!!Luck Doofus

  9. #9
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I like those SUN tune up cards. They have a lot of good information all on one page. I bought mine off ebay.

  10. #10
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    The pink resistor wire is Nichrome wire and the terminal is crimped on.
    The wire gets warm and the warm to cold cycles deteriorates the continuity.
    I normally solder these.
    https://electronics.stackexchange.co...ome-wire#29275
    Last edited by rkapteyn; 11-06-2018 at 09:14 AM.

  11. #11
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    I thought solder doesn't stick to Nichrome.

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  13. #13
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChamp View Post
    I like those SUN tune up cards. They have a lot of good information all on one page. I bought mine off ebay.
    These come from Bob Johnstone's site. He has scanned many of them: http://www.studebaker-info.org/Tech/.../sun60x66.html

  14. #14
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    Just went thru a long week trying to figure out what was going on with Ceci's 53 Champion. We found that the 12v conversion car was only reading 5 volts on the ignition terminal of the solenoid. It was fairly new and name brand. Never have ever run across anything like this before so I thought I should throw it out there . It is likely not an isolated occurence.

  15. #15
    President Member TWChamp's Avatar
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    Is that 5 volts while the solenoid is engaged?
    Normally I'd expect about 7 volts to the coil, with the resistance wire dropping about 5 volts (key on and points closed), and 12 volts with the solenoid engaged.

  16. #16
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    Connect a ground jumper cable direct to the starter and see if that changes anything.

  17. #17
    Speedster Member
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    The last time I had this problem in my Avanti the car ended up "dead" on the side of the road. I knew it was going to happen because I had the same symptoms as the OP but I kept putting off the fix. After finally getting the car home I simply replaced the ignition switch. I had an old Lark switch on a shelf so I pulled the key and tumblers out of the failed switch and put them in the "new" one. All is good now and I am even using my original keys.

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