So after finally getting the Jeep back on all fours and the engine buttoned up the stupid thing refused to crank. So last night I started troubleshooting. My general plan was to turn the ignition on and see if I had voltage at the coil. If not I would work back from there.
I found no voltage at the coil and was just starting to work my way back when I saw smoke curling out of the ballast resistor. That was a big shortcut for my troubleshooting.
It took some careful work with Vice-Grips and a wrench to get the rusted terminal nuts off. I neglected to take pictures but here is me holding the resistor near where it mounts to the firewall. The green wires attach to the resistor.
And here is the problem. There is a break in the resistor inside the red circle. Sometimes the two halves touch each other and life is good. Other times the innards touch the metal bracket and short the ignition system to ground. I am trying to find a replacement. I hate to buy one because this thing is going to be bypassed when I get an electronic ignition installed. On the other hand it is a $5 part…