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Username Post: Mallory Unilite installation        (Topic#245968)
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-20-10 01:13 PM - Post#1948311    

Does anybody have experience installing a Mallory Unilite distributor in a ’56 Bel Air running a 350 crate motor? The tech support folks at Mallory say to relocate the stock dark green wire running from ignition switch position 2 to one side of the ballast resistor and move it to the other post on the ballast resistor which already has the stock brown wire running from ignition switch position 1. Does this sound safe to do or might it cause a melt-down in the ignition harness? Mallory says the red wire from the Unilite harness will also connect to that same side of the ballast resistor and that a new 12 gauge wire needs to connect the other side of the ballast resistor to the positive side of the coil. There is a second dark green wire from ignition switch position 2 that currently connects to the positive terminal on the coil. Should this be eliminated? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

 
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56driver 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 338

Loc: Charlotte, NC
Reg: 02-26-06
07-20-10 02:39 PM - Post#1948353    
    In response to plumcrazy

I'm pretty sure the original circuit would have provided full 12V to coil during cranking and reduced voltage during running (the coil supply would be from the dark green to coil (+) wire, but either routed through the brown wire and resistor or not depending on switch position):

56 Wiring Diagram

It sounds like Mallory basically told you to cut the resistor out of the #2 switch position circuit, but then power the coil (+) so the coil is always in the circuit?

As far as I know, the coil/resistor circuit should be as stock, and then the unilite needs full 12V power (red), ground (brown), and coil (-) connection (green). That is what this wiring diagram says:

Unilite wiring diagram

I did mine by the diagram and it seemed to work fine.
Jonathan Hines
Charlotte, NC
56 BA 4DR sedan undergoing rebuild


Edited by 56driver on 07-20-10 02:43 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56driver 
"4th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 338

Loc: Charlotte, NC
Reg: 02-26-06
07-20-10 06:42 PM - Post#1948457    
    In response to 56driver

I meant to say "so the resistor is always in the circuit", not "so the coil is always in the circuit".
Jonathan Hines
Charlotte, NC
56 BA 4DR sedan undergoing rebuild


 
6-bangertim 
"3rd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 2094

Age: 56
Loc: El Cajon, Calif.
Reg: 11-30-08
07-20-10 09:52 PM - Post#1948547    
    In response to plumcrazy

Before you install the Unilite, I highly recommend using BLUE LOCTITE on the screws that hold the trigger wheel. If it starts to come loose, it could take out the light and leave you stranded. Used the Unilite / Hyfire combo in my stock car 20+ years ago with no other issues, worked very well for us for 7 full seasons. Just be sure the wires are protected from heat and use a hi-quality heat resistant plug - should you need to disconnect to yank the distributor. Just my .02...

Good Luck, Tim
Too Poor to Restore...My Nifty 150!
Proud owner of MISS NOVEMBER - 2011 Tri-Five Calender


 
Farm boy 
Contributor
Posts: 449
Farm boy
Loc: Central California
Reg: 11-03-07
07-21-10 12:58 AM - Post#1948570    
    In response to plumcrazy

The only problem with wiring it the way tech support suggested is you will have reduced voltage at the coil while cranking which may cause hard starting. One way around this is would be to run an 18 gauge wire from the “R” terminal on the starter to the (+) side of the coil. This wire would provide 12v to the coil while cranking.

Another way to wire it would be to leave the stock wiring in place on the coil and ballast resistor. Simply run a new wire from the “R” terminal on the starter to the top terminal (where the brown wire is connected) on the ballast resistor. The only thing left to do is connect the wires from the Unilite harness to the top of the ballast resistor and the negative (-) side of the coil. If wired this way the new wire from the “R” terminal will provide a full 12v to the ignition module while cranking. IGN1 will provide 12v to the module and reduced voltage to the coil through the resistor in the run position, while IGN2 will supply a full 12v to the coil while cranking.
Steve
1967 Camaro
1956 Bel Air


 
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-21-10 03:56 AM - Post#1948589    
    In response to Farm boy

Thanks a million for your help with this matter. It is greatly appreciated.

 
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-21-10 03:57 AM - Post#1948590    
    In response to 56driver

Thank you very much for your help with this problem.

 
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-21-10 04:00 AM - Post#1948591    
    In response to 6-bangertim

Thanks for the suggestion, Tim.

 
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-21-10 06:24 PM - Post#1948986    
    In response to plumcrazy

Regarding your suggestion to run a wire from the "R" terminal om the starter to the top terminal on the ballast resistor (where the brown wire is connected), I have two questions: (1) My starter/solenoid has no "R" terminal but I was told by the starter manufacturer that the terminal on the solenoid that has the hot lead connected to it from the starter motor at the factory will serve as the "R" terminal. This sounds right to me...do you agree? (2) Powermaster and Ron Francis suggest connecting a 10A/250V diode in the line from the R/starter motor terminal to the top of the ballast resistor with the cathode or banded side of the diode toward the starter so current is only allowed to go from the starter to the coil and not from the coil to the starter. Again, this makes sense to me but I wondered whether you agree. Thanks for your thoughts and help. -Michael

 
Farm boy 
Contributor
Posts: 449
Farm boy
Loc: Central California
Reg: 11-03-07
07-21-10 09:55 PM - Post#1949130    
    In response to plumcrazy

The “S” terminal receives power from the ignition switch in the start position to power the solenoid coil. The (S) terminal is not a good place to get power for your ignition module because the ignition voltage will feed back to the solenoid from ING1.

Aftermarket replacement solenoids are available for 1955-56 starters with an “R” terminal. The one in this picture is on the starter in my ’56. None of the other terminals on the solenoid will work without a feedback problem. A diode would work on the field terminal but an aftermarket solenoid with an “R” terminal is the cleanest and best fix.


Steve
1967 Camaro
1956 Bel Air


Edited by Farm boy on 07-21-10 10:15 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Farm boy 
Contributor
Posts: 449
Farm boy
Loc: Central California
Reg: 11-03-07
07-21-10 11:40 PM - Post#1949157    
    In response to plumcrazy

You can also pick up a solenoid repair kit which is an easy and cheap way to add an "R" terminal to your solenoid. Napa has these kits for $12.49 and O'Reilly has them for $10.99. When you wire the "R" terminal to the ballast resistor there is no need for a diode in the circut.

http://www.napaonline.com/Search/Detail.aspx?A=ECHSTK2_0177075766 &An=599001+101956+500 12+2012002#

http://shop.oreillyauto.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MfrCode=BOR&MfrP artNumber=SR12
Steve
1967 Camaro
1956 Bel Air


 
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-22-10 06:43 AM - Post#1949226    
    In response to Farm boy

Steve, once again thanks for your advice. It's so refreshing to get such in-depth knowledge and support, including pictures and links. -Michael

 
doobie's taxiola 
Senior Member
Posts: 1471
doobie's taxiola
Loc: New Jersey shore
Reg: 02-27-03
07-22-10 01:19 PM - Post#1949366    
    In response to plumcrazy

I have the Mallory Breakerless Dizzy and Mallory told me to change the stock ballast resister block to one they recommended. I forget if it was because of higher or lower resistance. You may want to touch base with them on that as well.

 
plumcrazy 
Forum Newbie
Posts: 18

Loc: MD Eastern Shore
Reg: 08-29-07
07-22-10 02:13 PM - Post#1949389    
    In response to doobie's taxiola

Will do. Thanks for the head's up.

 
beejay 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 12599
beejay
Age: 78
Loc: Pflugerville, Texas
Reg: 06-01-04
07-22-10 02:44 PM - Post#1949400    
    In response to doobie's taxiola

Doobie,

There's been posts to DOUBLE the resistance of the ceramic resistor, ie, put two inline. To me, your're gonna lose something somewhere in that circuit, either voltage or current, most likely current. Mine? I just wired it just like the points were basically wired. Been working for 7-years now.
Bruce

'56 4-door BelAir, 350, Holley 600, Eddie intake, TKO 600, CPP P/S and A arms, Sierra Gold & Adobe Beige
2010 VW Jetta S/W, 2.5, 5-cyl,6-spd auto.
'87 Elkie, 350 with 700r4 tranny B&M floor shift
http://www.picturetrail.com/beejay3/"


 
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