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General Coil Question

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  • Ignition: General Coil Question

    At the risk of starting a redundant thread, and after looking at past threads on this topic, I am going to throw this out anew.
    My 1955 President has started becoming hard to start after sitting long enough to get cold. It starts fine when warm/hot.
    It started right up every time until about a week ago. The battery is less than 4 years old. It has a Pertronix Electronic Ignition installed. The carburetor seems to be working well. The last tuneup was about 3,000 miles ago. I can find no corrosion on the battery cables or the starter module. The coil is about 4 years old. I plan to get the battery checked to eliminate that possibility.
    Is it possible that I need a hotter coil since I am using an electronic ignition?
    Ed Sallia
    Dundee, OR

    Sol Lucet Omnibus

  • #2
    I use the Pertronix coil with the Pertronix module. Is it a 6v or is it a 12v module. I did not know that a 6v was available for your car. Most new coils are weak. You want resistor wire or resistor plugs---but not both! Check cap for corroded contacts. Choke adjusted properly?

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    • #3
      Jeffry, I am using Pertronix # 1183P6 which is for 6 volt positive ground. I will check all the items you mentioned. Thanks for your suggestions.
      Ed Sallia
      Dundee, OR

      Sol Lucet Omnibus

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      • #4
        I'm beginning to think that many (if not all) new coils are very poor quality.

        When I was trying to sell a fantastic '64 full package Daytona hardtop on eBay we ran in to problems with starting. It has been carefully maintained for over a long time (still looks like new). The seller can no longer drive and I was trying to help his daughter sell the car. However, it was giving us fits in starting it. Most of the time it wouldn't start. When the buyer came ready to pick it up, we couldn't get it started. My friend who pretty much built the car brought his test equipment and found that the coil was very weak. The buyer certainly wanted us to get him a coil, but we would have had some trouble getting the right coil early in the morning. My friend noticed that the '59 Lark sitting next to the Daytona had the same Petronix ignition and the same coil. He swapped the coil from the '59, fastened it in place and got in to see if that worked. Turned the key and it hit and ran beautifully on just two turns. Buyer got in, started it on two turns, backed out and drove it on to his trailer with no problems.

        Second example was a couple who drove their pristine '62 Cruiser to meet us to start the chapter tour this past weekend. When he got back in his car, it wouldn't start. He had it hauled back to his home, checked the new coil and it was bad. He pulled on old one off another Studebaker, installed it and it fired right up and made the tour with no problems.
        Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
        '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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        • #5
          Different coil maybe, hotter...no..!
          Doesn't sound lie a "coil" problem. Coil and condenser problems come up when hot (temp.).

          Mike

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          • #6
            I've had several Pertronix coils go bad in recent history with the car either being towed in or me going out with a good coil to get the engine started. I've had Pertronix coils start leaking oil or the primary winding burns up because the coil was installed upon recommendation from a Pertonix tech rep. I don't care what the tech guys say, a coil with a 1.5 ohm primary winding needs a 1.5 ohm ballast resistor installed to keep the voltage low enough to prevent the primary coil winding from overheating and failing. As far as ignition coils go on my own cars, I'm using old Echlin IC17 coils with stock ballast resistors. I've never had a problem with hard starting or random mis fires due to insufficient coil output when using a stock coil. I believe that all of the hype about super high output coils is BS in most instances on stock engines. We used to run a 70 Plymouth Barracuda at El Mirage and Bonneville with a seriously built 440 running 13to1 compression, 2 625 cfm AFB's on a tunnel ram manifold with an Isky roller cam with 610 lift and 310 duration. The engine would spin to 7300 rpm using a Prestolite dual point distributor, MSD 6A box and a stock Ford Autolite yellow top coil. We never had a misfire condition even at full load and above 7000 rpm using a used stock coil that was on the shelf. Bud

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            • #7
              if not pertronix, and using old fashion points, and new coils are questionable....why not go to the friendly vendors page and NOS....do coils go bad with time or use ??

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              • #8
                Ignition coils do fail occasionally and I guess it's possible for a coil to go bad just sitting on the shelf, but I've never had that happen. I've been buying NOS ignition parts for years and have had good luck when I use them with the exception of condensers which do have a shelf life. Ignition parts such as caps, rotors, points, coils, etc. shouldn't go bad if they are stored in a decent environment and aren't physically abused. I've had far more trouble with new stock ignition and electrical parts than I've ever had with parts that are decades old. Bud

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                • #9
                  I have done four Pertronix conversions and used the stock (Studebaker original) coil each time. All of them work great.
                  RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                  17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
                  10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                  10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
                  4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                  5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
                  56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
                  60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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                  • #10
                    My Sky Hawk sat for 45 years, inside a farm shop, covered with junk. The coil I'm using in it now is the Stock Studebaker coil which it came with. It works just fine...with a Pertonix unit, too...

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                    • #11
                      I really believe that Pertronix is using advertising hype to sell their coils to unsuspecting buyers. The Pertronix coil will not make a Studebaker engine run better than a good stock coil and given the track record of failures I've had with aftermarket high performance coils, I'll take a good stock Delco, Autolite/Prestolite or Ford coil any day over something that could leave me parked by the side of the road waiting for the flatbed. Bud

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                      • #12
                        We were always told the stock 60's Ford coil was "hotter" than the others. I always used them for performance. Don't know if it helped tho.- Jim

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                        • #13
                          I've not run into problems with Pertronix except for the time the lead wire wrapped around the distributor shaft of a Wildcat. They just said that it should not have done that and cheerfully replaced the module. Check resistances on a coil to determine if it works and if it is hot or not. Check primary and you should see 1.2 Ohms or close to it. The secondary should be in the 11,000 to 12,000 Ohm range I have seen new coils as low as 7,000 Ohms. ( These nos are for 12 volt coil)

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