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This seems like a very simple and basic thing to know, and yet I cannot seem to find any consistent directions on how to do so, for any vehicle, anywhere online. I am installing a new ignition coil in a 390 fe on a 65 galaxie. Not electronic ignition, just the original replacement old-fashioned $22 coil. I have no reason to assume that it was wired correctly to begin with, but the car came with three wires attached to the coil:

one seems to be going through the firewall to what I assume to be the ignition itself
The second wire is going to the alternator
and the third wire is going to the distributor.

The original coil said "battery" and "dist" and the connection posts, and the new coil simply has a "+" and a "-".

Can someone please tell me the proper way to install this thing??

Thank you!
 

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Negative to distributor.
Positive to the wire running from the firewall.
Try it without the wire to the alternator. Can't figure what the wire is doing.
 

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Negative to distributor.
Positive to the wire running from the firewall.
Try it without the wire to the alternator. Can't figure what the wire is doing.
+1. Your original wiring shown below from the Ford Service Manual. Once that is done, you really need to figure-out what that extra wire goes to, so whatever it is remains working, or doesn't create a problem. The wires to your alternator in the charging and starting system are also shown below.

David

 

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If the extra wire is going from the + or battery side of the coil to the alternator it might be used to excite the alternator somehow? It would only see power if the ignition switch was on. Just a guess.

But if that's the case it may be trying to mask a problem with the alternator or the regulator.

In any case, you don't want any extra wires attached to the + side of the coil.
 

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I agree with falconfred that someone has wired it that way to hide a charging system problem. After you get it wired correctly and running see if the alternator/charge light stays on while running. If it does post up your results and we'll see if we can walk you through getting that part striaghten out.
 

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If the extra wire is going from the + or battery side of the coil to the alternator it might be used to excite the alternator somehow? It would only see power if the ignition switch was on. Just a guess.
but would that not short circuit ignition wire if going straight to alternator without a bulb or resistor .???... since idiot light wire is switched to ground until alternator is running
 

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Purely guessing at this point. Trace the wire. Confirm where it goes. It should make sense—or give a place to begin making sense—once that is known.

David
 
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