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  • Pink wire / Ballast resistor

    Morning all
    I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on a bit of a puzzle I have uncovered. I have a 1960 hard top and I have been reading up on converting to electronic ignition. All seems fairly straight forward and logical, scoop out the old points etc add new trigger and new coil and bypass the pink resistance wire. I had a delve into the engine bay and after a bit of digging around I found the pink wire.
    Then I notice the ballast resistor...! (lovingly tie wrapped to one of the AC hoses by a previous owner !) The wires from the ballast resistor disappear through the firewall. So I have a ballast resistor and a pink resistance wire ! The wiring loom has been modified over the years, electric fuel pump / washers / wipers, but it looks original. Anyone have any thoughts as to why it would have both types of ignition resistor ? Thanks in advance

    Jon
    (BTW the car is a work in progress so master cylinder and brake light switch are due an overhaul)
    Attached Files
    Jon
    Deepest Hertfordshire
    Old enough to know I'm right...
    1960 Hardtop T'bird
    1961 Hotchkiss M201

  • #2
    You should only have the pink resistance wire on your '60. My guess is that the resistance wire went bad and rather than replace it a previous owner took the cheaper route and went with the ballast resistor instead. The ballast resistors are a lot easier to find than the resistance wire.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      That makes sense John. when I get a moment I'll stick a meter on the pink wire and see what it gives.

      Jon
      Jon
      Deepest Hertfordshire
      Old enough to know I'm right...
      1960 Hardtop T'bird
      1961 Hotchkiss M201

      Comment


      • #4
        A previous owner probably had a Chevy mechanic work on the car, not knowing that Ford used a resistance wire buried in the harness instead of a resistor that is more easily replaced.

        Best to run a new #12 wire directly from the ignition switch to the new coil that is matched to your electronic ignition trigger.

        Comment


        • #5
          I commend you for standing on your head while taking this picture:



          Your post begs more questions than you ask and this picture fascinates me.

          The two green wires originally went to your stop lights switch. Stop lights are not controlled by the key switch so one green wire is fused but 'on at all times'. The other green wire is switched with brake fluid pressure. In this picture, one green wire is connected to the ballast resistor. I assume it is the 'power' wire. The other green wire, hanging off your brake light switch looks like it is broken. I would be surprised if your brake lights work at all.

          This ballast setup would drain the battery if the engine came to rest with the points closed because current would drain through the coil.

          Since both green wires are not connected to the brake switch, what does the new red wire control? By chance, does your brake pedal also have a mechanical brake light switch?

          Whether you use a pink resistance wire or a ballast resistor is personal preference. For 1960, the pink resistance wire is correct BUT the ballast resistor does the exact same function IF the feed comes from your key switch. Ballast resistors are probably much more available in the UK.

          You should add a wire under the hood that is fused and controlled by your key switch. Yes, the pink wire closely resembles this but that wire is NOT FUSED! - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

          Comment


          • #6
            Dave

            I need to have another look and do a bit of tracing. In the picture the AC hose is right in the way..!! The green wire from the resistor either goes under the hose and into the taped up section of loom with the brake switch wire, or, it continues down into the engine bay. I had noticed the brake switch connector looked a bit fragile. The brake lights do still work but it wouldn't take a lot to separate that wire from its connector. Your comment about battery drain is interesting, the previous owner has fitted a battery isolator switch as they found that the battery would sometimes drain when it was left standing but they couldn't find a reason. Not complaining though, a battery isolator would have been one of the first things that I would have fitted anyway.

            Jon
            Jon
            Deepest Hertfordshire
            Old enough to know I'm right...
            1960 Hardtop T'bird
            1961 Hotchkiss M201

            Comment


            • #7
              Jon, let's do a bit of tracing using the wiring diagram from our TRL:
              http://www.squarebirds.org/Diagrams-...ingDiagram.jpg

              Let's start at the beginning; a YELLOW wire on the 'battery side' of the starter relay. This UN-fused wire feeds your headlight switch (B) terminal, then jumpers over to the key switch (B) terminal. All this way it is still un-fused. Why? Because Ford would rather burn up the wires to get you 'off the tracks' than depend on a fuse. All Ford cars and trucks are this way.

              Let's continue... For 1960, find an inline fuse also connected to your key switch (B) terminal. It feeds a green wire connected to your stop light switch. So, this wire is 'always on'. The other side of your stop light switch also has green wires. One splice under your dash, goes to your steering column and the other controls the stop lights. Why the steering column? Because your turn signal switch interrupts stop lights. You get ONE signal light but two stop lights on each side.

              So, all wires on the stop light switch are green. One is hot. That is the wire your previous owner used to power the ballast resistor. Is this bad? He should have pulled a new wire from the key switch (IGN) terminal so that the key can shut it off.

              Although unnecessary, I'm not opposed to a battery cut-off switch but his funky wiring is the reason why the battery was draining.

              If you have more questions regarding the wiring diagram, let me know. - Dave
              My latest project:
              CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

              "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
              --Lee Iacocca

              From: Royal Oak, Michigan

              Comment


              • #8
                Dave

                Just a thought on the non standard brake light wiring. In the UK I believe its illegal to have combined stop and turn indicators (no doubt others will be more knowledgeable), so possibly the loom has been hacked to pass UK lighting legislation ? I will grab an innocent passer by and get them to report on which lamp is doing what from the back.

                Jon
                Jon
                Deepest Hertfordshire
                Old enough to know I'm right...
                1960 Hardtop T'bird
                1961 Hotchkiss M201

                Comment


                • #9
                  Two points:
                  • I'm sure if your car originally came that way, it's legal. Think of it this way, if it WAS legal before...
                  • Your 1960 Thunderbird does have separate brake and signal lamps. If the signals are not on, you have two constant brake lights on each side. With the signals on, one side has two constant brake lights and the other has one constant brake and one signal lamp.

                  Yes, specifications change over time, but classic cars remain the same. There is another 'talking point' here. Your headlight switch...
                  • When pulled to the first detent, your parking lights shine.
                  • When pulled all the way out the parking lights go out and your headlights shine.
                  Over here, new cars cannot operate without 'corner markers', in case a headlamp burns out. - Dave
                  My latest project:
                  CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                  "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                  --Lee Iacocca

                  From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I may have just disproved my own theory in record time. This is a grab from a short video I took when I went to look at the car. Brakes are on, both sets of outer lamps are lit. Am I correct in saying that the inner lamps are reversing (backup) lamps only ? Why don't you go and have a look I hear you cry....well I'm sat at my desk and I'm supposed to be working, this is more fun.

                    Jon
                    Attached Files
                    Jon
                    Deepest Hertfordshire
                    Old enough to know I'm right...
                    1960 Hardtop T'bird
                    1961 Hotchkiss M201

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Had another look and the green wire from the ballast resistor doesn't go to the brake light switch, it disappears into the loom. No doubt things will become clearer at some point..!

                      Jon
                      Jon
                      Deepest Hertfordshire
                      Old enough to know I'm right...
                      1960 Hardtop T'bird
                      1961 Hotchkiss M201

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You might want to revisit my post:
                        Originally posted by simplyconnected View Post
                        ...So, all wires on the stop light switch are green. One is hot. That is the wire your previous owner used to power the ballast resistor...
                        Originally posted by mh434 View Post
                        Had another look and the green wire from the ballast resistor doesn't go to the brake light switch, it disappears into the loom. No doubt things will become clearer at some point..!

                        Jon
                        Did you look at the wiring diagram? - Dave
                        My latest project:
                        CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                        "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                        --Lee Iacocca

                        From: Royal Oak, Michigan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dave

                          I looked at the wiring diagram, I think I may have misunderstood your previous post though. The way I read it was that the green wire from the resistor should go to the brake light switch. As you correctly say there are two green wires to the switch coming from the loom, one of them on mine has been replaced with a red wire (I need to trace it) the other is disconnected and hanging free. I will spend some time on it soon, I'm a bit stuck for T'bird time at the moment as I have tendonitis in my left thumb, I know not the greatest challenge to the western world at the moment but its bloody painful and its amazing what you cant do if you only have one working thumb..!!

                          Jon
                          Jon
                          Deepest Hertfordshire
                          Old enough to know I'm right...
                          1960 Hardtop T'bird
                          1961 Hotchkiss M201

                          Comment

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