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

WILLIAM B LAWRENCE ynotink at msn.com
Fri Mar 22 18:58:08 MDT 2019

a 250 mile test drive. You are a brave man. Healey on!

Bill Lawrence
BN1 #554
From: Healeys <healeys-bounces at autox.team.net> on behalf of Michael Oritt <michael.oritt at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2019 11:24 PM
To: Austin Healey
Subject: [Healeys] Engine dies suddenly--solved???

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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