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Starter wiring


I hate to sound stupid, but can anybody explain how to wire one of those new mini starters with only two wires needed. I just can't seem to grasp the electric stuff. It will start until I release the key from the start position and then just die. The spark just falls off and it stalls. I had to install my old original starter to at least start and break in the engine. I have a Mallory unilite distributor using a 12V ballast. This is on a 383 Stroker Chevy engine. HELP an electrically challenged person, please and thanks.
I will have to crawl under the car again and retrace the wires. I have looked at them so many times, but I can't remember just where the wires go. (I will try from memory because I am at work now) I do know that there is a small red wire from the ballast to the starter and then from the ballast up into the car, assuming to the ignition, one red wire to the starter which attaches with the battery cable to the starter and one white wire which I believe goes to the alternator. Again I assume The ballast gets it's power from the fuse block because there is a wire from one side it that goes up thru the floor board. So in conclusion, it is a four wire harness to the starter. Two reds, a white and the battery cable. I hope this did not confuse you more than I did at first.
maybe this will help
Thanks, I was stumbling around the web site and found this same diagram. It should send me off in the right direction, I appreciate your help. I guess when you own one of these you didn't build yourself, you learn any way you can and be thankful there are others out there that have been thru the same problems at one time or another.
Just a note on the side... I have found over the years, that a lot of engines will not crank over real good using a key starter. Almost seems like a low battery, anyway, I found a real simple cure for this.. Using either #10 or #12 wire will work, run one wire from a Battery post, either on the starter or the battery, then to a Heavy Duty starter button, then back to the starter solenoid. Pops off real fast every time this way. If you want to test it to see how great this works, install it right along with what you have now, try the key. then try the botton, big difference.
I used a ford solenoid so the key only sees the current from the solenoid coil. So cable from Battery to the solenoid then to the starter. Then add a jumper at the chev solenoid between batt and start . I have a seperate ignition circuit . Also the cable from the solenoid under my seat to the starter is only hot when solonoid is energized. Safety first.
Thanks to all for the help. Right now I have a GM steering column and I don't have a bit of trouble with slow cranking, I just needed to replace the starter and the mini starter seemed the way to go, less weight and more room. I will keep the remote button idea in mind in case I need it in the future, thanks again.
Ted's right, unless that solenoid slams in real good, she'll give a lazy crank. While the solenoid's in motion, it wants a lot of current and too small wiring won't deliver it. Teds test is definitive.

I am sure I mentioned this before. With ref, to the drawing. If you got a ballast resister coil, run a wire from the starter solenoid terminal to the coil side of the ballast resister. This way when you crank the coil gets the full battery voltage because the ballast is by passed, good hot spark to light the fires, but only for short time so no coil overheat.

T-4-2, sounds like you are feeding the coil with the ballast bypass when she cranks but the juice from the switch isn't there when you stop cranking.
You may want to check that ballast resistor and see if it is any good. I have had to replace bad ones. The symptoms are the engine will start and run as long as the key is the start position, release the key the engine die's. Easy to check, use an ohm meter and check for resistance across the resistor, if there is infinite resistance - it is bad. When the starter is engaged the ballast resistor is bypassed and coil gets it power from terminal "R" off the solenoid, release the key voltage then goes thru the resistor to the coil.
Again, thanks to all for the great info, I have it figured out, the ballast resistor was bad, (almost burnt the car down) I replaced it. Still one thing that bothers me, I am using a Mallory unilite Distributor and the ballast resistor was still configured in the system. I don't see why it is needed as all I have read says that if you have HEI (pointless dist) you do not need it. But when I bought the car it ran fine that way. The problems all started when I replaced the engine and used the mini starter. I have since bought a new module for the dist and a new mallory coil to match the dist. I will try and get it going this weekend and let all know how it goes. Thanks again
ballast resistors are usually screwed to the firewall. If you fasten it to plywood i would make and aluminum back up heatsink-fire protector. after wood dries out and bakes it will ignite at 400 degrees.
Couldn't he eliminate the resistor and just joined the two wires together?
I would not take out the resistor. On the Unilite Distributor it uses the resistor to keep from overheating the coil and also protect the optical pickup. They call it pointless ignition but does use a point module or optical pickup. The resistor just drops the voltage a few volts going to the coil. The Resistor will get very hot and it will burn the piss out of ya, Long story on how I figured that out. :eek:
Ok, if I leave the ballast resistor in the circuit, how do I wire it to the new mini starter with only two poles. The battery post and a small pole on top for the ignition (start) wire, there is no provision to connect the wire that goes to the resistor. I tried not using the resistor and the coil got so hot You could not touch it. So I believe I fried the module in the distributor because it will not even fire now, it just turns over and acts like it has no spark. Thanks again for all the thoughts, sooner or later with all the help I will get it figured out.
I got it everybody, if the engine has no ignition during cranking, then the coil is going to require an "R" terminal signal. This can be accomplished by using a diode in line from the starter motor terminal to the coil. This will allow current to go from the starter to the coil and yet not from the coil to the starter.For further reference if anybody else has this problem, the diode is a 3A/400PIV. Thanks again every body.
Yep thats one way of doing it. That 3A diode stops the alternator back feeding the coil when the engine is running.
Nutting stuff like this out yourself makes you feel you deserve that shot of Jack with your pre supper beer.
It was 4 pre supper beers before I got this figured out. The more I look the more I feel this thing needs a complete rewire, but that is another next winter project. Thanks

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