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Pontiac Forum: No voltage to the ignition coil '65 Bonneville
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  #1  
Old October 25th, 2017, 03:24 PM
BillyJack BillyJack is offline
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No voltage to the ignition coil '65 Bonneville

Hello,
I have a '65 Bonneville convertible which I purchased a few weeks ago. The car will NOT start. When I turn the ignition key, the engine cranks but there is no voltage to the positive terminal on the ignition coil and there is no spark at the plugs.
The wiring diagram shows one wire (BLACK-PINK) running from the (+) terminal on the ignition coil to a plug/terminal strip (the plug/terminal strip is located on the firewall in the engine bay). From the plug/terminal strip, the diagram shows two wires on the other side (YELLOW and WHT-ORG-PPL) inside the car going to the ignition switch. The WHT-ORG-PPL wire is identified on the wiring diagram as "RESISTANCE WIRE".
I'm thinking that there is either a problem with the BLACK-PINK wire or the WHT-ORG-PPL REISISTANCE WIRE. I put an ohmmeter from the (+) terminal of the coil to the other end of the BLACK-PINK wire and actually got an ohm reading of 4 to 6 omhs approximately if I recall correctly. I expected to see either a "0" or "1" on the digital ohmmeter/multimeter.
Do resistance wires burn out? I figure the purpose of the resistance wire is to reduce the voltage below 12 volts to the (+) terminal on the coil to prevent from frying the points. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, BillyJack
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Old October 25th, 2017, 04:00 PM
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melsg5 melsg5 is offline
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disconnect the clip from the positive coil, it should have two wires.
place the voltage gauge on the windshield so you can see it from inside the car and connect the red to the wire clip and the black to a good ground
turn the ignition key to the run position, you should get a couple of volts below battery, maybe 9 volts.
crank the engine and you should get full battery voltage 12+
the wire for full battery comes from the starter solenoid
the wire, resistance, comes from the switch.
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Old November 3rd, 2017, 07:44 AM
BillyJack BillyJack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melsg5 View Post
disconnect the clip from the positive coil, it should have two wires.
place the voltage gauge on the windshield so you can see it from inside the car and connect the red to the wire clip and the black to a good ground
turn the ignition key to the run position, you should get a couple of volts below battery, maybe 9 volts.
crank the engine and you should get full battery voltage 12+
the wire for full battery comes from the starter solenoid
the wire, resistance, comes from the switch.
Thanks for the advice. Sorry for the tardy reply. I hope to be working on the Bonneville again this weekend. I will re-check voltage to the positive wire on the ignition coil again.

Last week I checked the wiring from the switch to the coil and it passed the ohm meter continuity test (i.e. the wires are not broken). I also pulled the ignition switch and tested it and it appears to be in order. I must be close, and hopefully I'll get it to fire on Saturday!
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Old November 3rd, 2017, 09:43 AM
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melsg5 melsg5 is offline
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OK, let us know the results of the two voltage tests.
Do you own a dwell meter and if so have you checked the dwell while cranking?
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 01:05 AM
AfterDark3 AfterDark3 is offline
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Thought I aught to chime in, I too have had a similar problem with my 1965 Bonneville (which has yet to be resolved) and I am curious to see what your results are. However, my problem may be due to a faulty wire connector bodged into the wiring loom, as the wire to the coil is red, not pink and black.
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 03:17 PM
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melsg5 melsg5 is offline
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afterdark3, do you still have points inside the stock distributor?
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 04:12 PM
AfterDark3 AfterDark3 is offline
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I'm not sure if its the stock distributor, but it does have points and a condenser.
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Old December 4th, 2017, 10:00 AM
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melsg5 melsg5 is offline
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the wire going to the + terminal of the coil is a single wire?
what is the voltage at that wire with the key in the run position?
what is the voltage at that wire while cranking the engine?
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Old December 4th, 2017, 08:50 PM
AfterDark3 AfterDark3 is offline
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The voltage at run is 12 volts, not sure what it is at cranking, I presume 12 volts, although the wire was bodged so do not know if there was loose connections.
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Old December 5th, 2017, 11:00 AM
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there is no ballast resistor on the firewall? Points do not like 12 volts they burn out prematurely. Either there were two wires initially one from the ignition switch which was a resistance wire and the other from the starter solenoid which was a regular wire. During cranking the wire coming from the starter supplied a full 12 volts and once it started the other wire from the ignition switch dropped the voltage to about 9 volts. The other earlier method had one wire with some sort of resister to lower the voltage. Try to find a wiring diagram to see how it should be hooked up before you fry the points.
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