[Healeys] Engine dies suddenly--solved???

Michael Oritt michael.oritt at gmail.com
Fri Mar 22 17:24:30 MDT 2019

Rather than replacing parts on a wholesale basis without learning what was
the cause of the car's suddenly stopping my hope/goal was to find a
component/connection in the ignition system that appeared to be defective.

This morning I started at the key switch and it tested fine. I then moved
to the ballast resistor whose task is to reduce voltage to the MSD Blaster
2 coil and the Unilite ignition module. I wanted to check the ballast's
value with an ohm meter and because of where it was installed--just above
the starter on the inner face of the passenger toe box--I could not get the
probes to the contacts, so I removed it to check it on the bench. When I
unscrewed the bolt that held it in place a piece of its innards fell onto
the floor of the garage!

The Mallory 700 resistor, which along with the Unilite, has been in the car
for 10-12 trouble-free years. It is supposed to have a value of 1.5 ohms.
On examining its remains on the bench I could see that the coiled wire
appeared loose at one end and when I checked its value I got readings that
were all over the scale. Luckily I had a spare ballast on hand--this one
actually made by MSD and matched to the blaster coil--so I installed it in
place of the old unit. I'm "cautiously optimistic" that I found the issue
but of course that will have to be borne out by experience.

My wife likes to ride in the Healey and we like Richmond VA, which is about
125 miles from home. The route down US 301 will keep us off of interstates,
so we're heading down there in the morning for an overnight trip. I'll be
bringing along a multimeter along with a spare coil, rotor and Unilite
ignition module, wire and connectors, etc. Hopefully all will go well.
Fingers crossed....

Best--Michael Oritt
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