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General Inspection – BALLAST RESISTOR – if fitted

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PURPOSE
The bells resistor lowers the operating voltage to the coil from 12 volts down to 9 volts to maintain a low voltage to the points and condenser.  The bells resistor is bypassed when the starter motor is cranking the engine.  The bells resistor has a working life of approximately 10 years. 

THINGS TO LOOK FOR
Most bells resistors are open circuit making it impossible to start ..The most effective indication of this is when cranking the engine, the engine nearly starts and as you release the key, the engine will stop.  Using a test light, a faulty resistor will only have power to one side with the ignition on. 

IS IT EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR?
The bells resistor is probably the most inexpensive component to replace costing between $5.00-$15.00.

TEMPORARY REPAIR AND LONG TERM REPLACEMENT
A faulty bells resistor may be bypassed but don’t leave it as it will affect the ignition system.  The only time to bypass a bells resistor is when it needs to be tested to prove that it is the bells resistor that is faulty by connecting and bypassing it.

 
This article is found in the Virtual mechanic CD Rom
You can download it for the price of a latte, but you will learn not to buy a lemon
By Darren Gow-Brown, Melbourne Australia ©2009

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