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Classic/Antique Car Repair/1961 ford e100 econoline starting problem



You recently posted a question to Robert Russell in category Classic/Antique Car Repair:

when you turn the key to start the engine, it fires rite up, but the moment you disengage the ignition's start mode it dies as you release the key to run mode. we have replaced the ignition & solonoid & its doing the exact same thing. could you help us please? so confused...

This appears to be a simple problem in what we call the starter by pass circuit. When you turn the ignition to start position the voltage to the ignition coil is supplied by the starter solenoid. This  bypasses the ballast resistor in the ignition circuit for easier starting. When you turn the ignition switch from start to run the electrical circuit then runs from the ignition switch through the ballast, which is buried in the wiring harness, to the coil. This drops the voltage for running so that you don't burn out the points. In cases like this back in the day we ran a new wire from the run side of the ignition switch and used an older model ballast resistor, like on the old GM and Chrysler cars, running it to the + terminal of the coil. Leave the existing wires on the coil. This should make the rig run.

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Brad Sears


All automotive including antique and collectible. However if the car has been modified I can only answer in general terms and maybe get you pointed in the right direction.


Automotive tech instructor. Syndicated auto columnist 1970's though the early 1990's. Syndicated auto radio talk show, Ask Brad About cars, CBS Radio 70's through 90's TV Show "Last Chance Garage" 1980's PBS-TV syndicated. Auto instructor for the following companies: Fram Autolyte Holly Carter AMF Ford Motor University Of Conn Blue Hills Technical School Sugar River Technical Center Grew up in a family garage in Needham Mass and turned wrenches from the age of 14.

Manchester Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Motor Service Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Popular Mechanics (Saturday Mechanic early 80's), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and lots more.

More than I care to remember. Basically Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State Teachers College, Tufts University, and a lot of factory schools along the way.

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Moto Award winner. And much more.

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