View single post by Mark Rosenbaum
 Posted: 09-16-2005 06:26 am
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Mark Rosenbaum

Joined: 03-12-2005
Location: Kingman, Arizona USA
Posts: 532
Yes, the ballast (whether white ceramic brick or funny wire) reduces the voltage applied to the coil.  The original factory coil, whether Lucas or Delco, requires a ballast.  For all other coils, the manufacturer should state whether or not a ballast is required.  If you don't know, it's always prudent to assume a ballast is required, until and unless you learn otherwise.

Using a ballast with a coil that does not require one does in fact reduce the maximum possible high voltage available.  However, if the spark plugs will fire at a lower voltage, the system will never develop the maximum, and you will not see much difference between the 'high performance' coil and the factory one.  Where the 'high performance' coil does provide a benefit is in the total energy it can deliver to a spark.

If a particular coil type requires a ballast, leave one in place.  If a particular coil type does not require a ballast, then the ballast may be bypassed or removed.  Bypassing the wire type ballast does in fact require adding a wire from wherever it starts, to the ignition coil.

Coils that do not require a ballast do not need the extra wiring that runs from the starter solenoid to the coil.  This wiring can then be disconnected and tied off, though it's prudent to leave it in place in case a conventional coil is installed at some later date.