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Discussion Starter #1
OK.. so the 76 nova I bought had a new coil in the car.. old coil was arcing out due to nasty/carbon streaks. So I installed the new coil and it runs much better. However, the power to the coil is coming straight off the fuse block, no resistive wire. Also, the new coil says specifically it must have a ballast resistor. I went to advance auto and tried to get a new ballast resistor when I bought the new vaccum advance, and it's not available.

OK many questions here:
If I run the coil with no ballast resistor, it will burn up right?

If I run a ballast resistor, I will have to run a 'bypass' circuit to put full 12V to the coil during start?

What about running a performance coil, which does not require a ballast resistor? Anyone got a 'stock' coil part#/ vehicle year&make I can refrence?

Thanks
 

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Which system do you have?

Hello. As I recall the 76 NOVA'S came equiped with the HEI system. The CONCOURS model I used to own had the HEI. HEI SYSTEMS had the coil in the dist. cap. The ignition system you have described sounds like a points ignition. A Points system does require a ballast resistor + the proper low voltage wiring setup. Such setups were used from 1955 to 1973/4???? 6 cyl & 8 cyl. I am not exactly sure which year the changeover occured but it was in that time frame.
During this time frame GM incorporated peanut sparkplugs, HEI ignition systems, & Self regulating alternators.
If your engine is not the stock engine someone may have transplanted an earlier engine into your 76.

HOPE THIS MAKES THE MUD A LITTLE CLEARER.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
dunno if the engine is a transplant, but the distributor is of an earlier model.

yeah, $90 sounds cheap, but I don't even know if this engine is any good yet. Would like to get it on the road a bit before I spend any money on it. This is a true 'beater' project. In fact, I have maxed out my 100$ budget. Besides, I just spent $10 on a new vacuum advance. Maybe I could sell the dist on ebay and recoup that $10, should I replace it with an HEI.

only one thing to do:

GO OVER BUDGET

Hell, it works for the government, right?

If I dig hard enough, I should be able to find a ballast resistor around here somewhere...
 
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