Best way to wire up my 440 for break in?

Isaiah Estrada

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Welcome one and all to my never-ending shenanigans! Been thinking about it, would like to know what you seasoned vets think is the best way to wire up my 440 for break in. I've got my distributor situation figured out, have a new battery, starter relay and a remote start switch aka the fabled lone wolf 9000. FSM isn't so helpful in this situation, as it involves wiring up the entire charging system. I am only trying to do a quick break in and make it run from a gas can.

I appreciate any help you guys can give me. I know many of you were saddened to hear about me wanting to part with the 68. There may be light at the end of this confusing tunnel after all. I've been thinking of many scenarios to where I can keep this car, and one plays out very nicely.

Basically, keep the car but wait 'till I'm older and can save up for a gorgeous paint job ($10k+) , re-do ALL the chrome, and finish some other mild custom stuff I had wanted to do! For now, I'll keep it how it is - but I will likely be sending her to LA for a little paint makeover. A guy I know who specializes in paint restoration sees great potential on the PP1 paint the car has left behind. If I can get it together and running by Feb, shoot the roof in silver metallic flake - he can buff / re-clear the original paint and make this car shine once more. I believe he also polishes the chrome. I'm liking that idea - especially since from the get go the though of selling it ripped my guts out (family in complete opposition of me selling it.) It looks like for now, she'll be staying. Hoping I can work around this and get to keep my beloved car. My plan also involves still bringing the 62 home soon. Just going to be putting in more OT at work and pinching more pennies. It's worth it in the end!

But for now, the most important thing is to make the old girl run. I've had so many setbacks with this car. Our theme seems to be 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards, but I'm too stubborn and persistent to let that deter me from finishing this car one way or another! Will keep updating regularly on here.

Funny side note, as many of you probably know - I'm the only Mopar guy in my family. My car "heritage" has always been GM cars. A lot of Chevy lowriders. My dad was a teen in the '90s and grew up around mostly the west coast lowrider scene we had going on. So when I told him I was in love with this cool old Chrysler, he wasn't a big fan at first. "Son, that's a Chrysler - you really like that?" - YEP I DO! Well long story short, he eventually warmed up to this car and has also fallen in love with it. He tells me I better let him test out that 440 on the freeway. Him of all people seemed the most sad when I told him I think I should sell it. His first words were "Son, don't do it." I believe he's right. Everything in the universe keeps telling me NO. So I believe I should listen to the signs...

So, things may slow down on the NY, but for the best as always! If I keep it, there's no rush to get it done. It'll be "finished" when it gets there. I want to do this car right. If I get to enjoy it now and wait some years before I tear into her again and make her GREAT then so be it:)
 
I've had the car wired completely when I did mine. But a fresh, fully charged battery will last longer than you'll need for break in.
 
Yep, I agree with everything said in the first post and with what Scott said. If you have the engine harness it’d be much quicker plugging it in than making up some temporary harness just to run the car for 20 minutes.
 
Welcome one and all to my never-ending shenanigans! Been thinking about it, would like to know what you seasoned vets think is the best way to wire up my 440 for break in. I've got my distributor situation figured out, have a new battery, starter relay and a remote start switch aka the fabled lone wolf 9000. FSM isn't so helpful in this situation, as it involves wiring up the entire charging system. I am only trying to do a quick break in and make it run from a gas can.

I appreciate any help you guys can give me. I know many of you were saddened to hear about me wanting to part with the 68. There may be light at the end of this confusing tunnel after all. I've been thinking of many scenarios to where I can keep this car, and one plays out very nicely.

Basically, keep the car but wait 'till I'm older and can save up for a gorgeous paint job ($10k+) , re-do ALL the chrome, and finish some other mild custom stuff I had wanted to do! For now, I'll keep it how it is - but I will likely be sending her to LA for a little paint makeover. A guy I know who specializes in paint restoration sees great potential on the PP1 paint the car has left behind. If I can get it together and running by Feb, shoot the roof in silver metallic flake - he can buff / re-clear the original paint and make this car shine once more. I believe he also polishes the chrome. I'm liking that idea - especially since from the get go the though of selling it ripped my guts out (family in complete opposition of me selling it.) It looks like for now, she'll be staying. Hoping I can work around this and get to keep my beloved car. My plan also involves still bringing the 62 home soon. Just going to be putting in more OT at work and pinching more pennies. It's worth it in the end!

But for now, the most important thing is to make the old girl run. I've had so many setbacks with this car. Our theme seems to be 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards, but I'm too stubborn and persistent to let that deter me from finishing this car one way or another! Will keep updating regularly on here.

Funny side note, as many of you probably know - I'm the only Mopar guy in my family. My car "heritage" has always been GM cars. A lot of Chevy lowriders. My dad was a teen in the '90s and grew up around mostly the west coast lowrider scene we had going on. So when I told him I was in love with this cool old Chrysler, he wasn't a big fan at first. "Son, that's a Chrysler - you really like that?" - YEP I DO! Well long story short, he eventually warmed up to this car and has also fallen in love with it. He tells me I better let him test out that 440 on the freeway. Him of all people seemed the most sad when I told him I think I should sell it. His first words were "Son, don't do it." I believe he's right. Everything in the universe keeps telling me NO. So I believe I should listen to the signs...

So, things may slow down on the NY, but for the best as always! If I keep it, there's no rush to get it done. It'll be "finished" when it gets there. I want to do this car right. If I get to enjoy it now and wait some years before I tear into her again and make her GREAT then so be it:)
First, your father being a teenager in the 90's made me feel just a little older... My oldest son was a teenager in the 90's....

But anyway.... This is pretty simple. You have a remote starter switch so that will make things easier. Battery cable to the large terminal on the starter. Connect your remote to the two terminals on the starter, no need for the relay.

For the ignition, you'll need the proper ballast resistor. Connect a #12 wire from the battery to the ballast resistor and then from the ballast resistor to the + side of the coil. That is your engine "run" circuit. You can start it just like this... But if you add a jumper wire (or maybe even a switch) across the ballast resistor, that will bypass the ballast resistor. That would allow a little more current to the ignition and might allow it to start a little easier (hotter spark). Once the engine starts, you remove the jumper (or trip the switch) and put the ballast resistor back in the line.

You could just run a wire to the coil and not use a ballast resistor, but that's a little tough on the points and coil. For the time running, it might not make too much difference, but using a ballast resistor really isn't that much more work.

That is all you really need to start the car. You'll want to add an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge. Since your car doesn't have either one, you'll want to add some aftermarket gauges to monitor temperature and oil pressure. Adding mechanical versions will not require any wiring, but electrical versions are just wiring from sender and power to make them work.
 
Ignore charging stuff

Battery - Ballast (14awg)
Ballast - Coil (+) (14awg)

Battery Cable - Starter - Battery
Wire - Starter (small terminal) - This is your ignition switch, touch to battery (+) (12awg)

To stop, pull wire off ballast.


Alan
 
I've had the car wired completely when I did mine. But a fresh, fully charged battery will last longer than you'll need for break in.
Yep, I agree with everything said in the first post and with what Scott said. If you have the engine harness it’d be much quicker plugging it in than making up some temporary harness just to run the car for 20 minutes.

Thanks for the advice fellas! My plan soon is to get the dashboard back inside so we can start it with a key and be able to actually move this thing around. I think I may do some custom work to the dash. Not to change the look, but like upgrading the fusebox to the modern blade style type etc. This will allow me to fully wire the car and with the interior still gutted be able to keep things neat and accessible! I have a nice used engine harness from a similarly optioned car. I plan to combine my chewed up original with the nicer unit to have one solid harness up front. I also had Crackedback (FABO neighbor) build me a custom headlight harness with relays to allow me to switch over to halogen or LED. Thinking of going with the Hella headlight units. That or Holley Retrobrights, but those are expensive... Nervous about rewiring everything, but I have the FSM and some old threads here that make me feel confident to take on the challenge. Especially since I think I'm just going to keep the car - I can take more time to make sure the car has solid wiring.
 
First, your father being a teenager in the 90's made me feel just a little older... My oldest son was a teenager in the 90's....

But anyway.... This is pretty simple. You have a remote starter switch so that will make things easier. Battery cable to the large terminal on the starter. Connect your remote to the two terminals on the starter, no need for the relay.

For the ignition, you'll need the proper ballast resistor. Connect a #12 wire from the battery to the ballast resistor and then from the ballast resistor to the + side of the coil. That is your engine "run" circuit. You can start it just like this... But if you add a jumper wire (or maybe even a switch) across the ballast resistor, that will bypass the ballast resistor. That would allow a little more current to the ignition and might allow it to start a little easier (hotter spark). Once the engine starts, you remove the jumper (or trip the switch) and put the ballast resistor back in the line.

You could just run a wire to the coil and not use a ballast resistor, but that's a little tough on the points and coil. For the time running, it might not make too much difference, but using a ballast resistor really isn't that much more work.

That is all you really need to start the car. You'll want to add an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge. Since your car doesn't have either one, you'll want to add some aftermarket gauges to monitor temperature and oil pressure. Adding mechanical versions will not require any wiring, but electrical versions are just wiring from sender and power to make them work.

LOL at the first line - we are all young at heart! Thanks for that perfect explanation, this is exactly what I was looking for. I know I have the ballast resistor somewhere, I bought it like the same week I got the car. Now that I need it it's gone hiding. Went to O'reilly's and placed an order for 2 (I know I'll have to keep a spare.) Hoping I find the one I bought in early 2020, I believe that was from a Mopar parts supplier.

As for the gauges, I've got myself an analog oil pressure gauge and still looking for a temp gauge, preferably analog for this engine break in! Speaking of adding the gauges inside though, I think i may do some mild custom work to the drivers side of the dash. Going to see about relocating the odometer reset cable and mounting a clean looking gauge cluster near it's place. Would love to find some Stewart Warner styled units!

Looking forward to the startup. I feel like I overthink / do too much but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Very very appreciative to all the help you've given me throughout this project of mine!

Ignore charging stuff

Battery - Ballast (14awg)
Ballast - Coil (+) (14awg)

Battery Cable - Starter - Battery
Wire - Starter (small terminal) - This is your ignition switch, touch to battery (+) (12awg)

To stop, pull wire off ballast.


Alan

Simple, thanks!
 
If you plan on re-wiring the whole car, or at least the main feeds/controls - I wouldn't use the FSM to pattern after what the factory did. I would use relays and lower-amperage trigger circuits on teh critical and/or higher amperage stuff for sure. As you mention that you'll be customizing the dash, presumably you'll be adding some gauges - and hopefully a voltmeter and not an ammeter. (if you want an ammeter, a shunt-type installation is superior to the factory method)

Why I wouldn't use the FSM:
1. The factory has some ignition-fed circuits that have no fusing whatsover, and during a related meltdown repair on a '70 Chrysler I discovered that the FSM had a difference in it vs how my car was actually wired. (a simple inline fuse would've saved a section of the harness from overcurrent damage).
2. I've seen them combine circuits that should never be together**.
3. In the engineers' defense - factory wiring was done for low cost and 'acceptable' durability issues, ~50 years ago.

Now - if you're going to drastically depart from factory, you need to consider FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis). This means putting careful thought into 'if item A fails, what happens?' then item B, C, and so on. As an example - you could combine an EFI fuel pump and EFI ECU on the same fuse - if either one shorts out, the engine shuts off. But the O2 sensor - put that one on a separate circuit: a problem there will at least allow the ECU to have limp-home capability. Ideally, you'd make an excel chart of all your circuits/items and think about it over a month or so, and have other people review it with you (to make sure you haven't overlooked anything).

I am in the beginning stages of re-configuring a car to use a relay box to run my MSD, timing module, fog lights, cooling fan, interior lighting, USB charger, aftermarket radio, future EFI option, etc. I've collected the fuseblock, terminal strips, enclosure for the relays, multi-conductor cable, etc, and have figured out the general placement and layout. I've started an FEMA chart but it is incomplete***.

** An example of bad FMEA - when the door locks short out on an '80 Diplomat it blows the fuse. Brake lights are on the same fuse. When I was a young lad I drove around for several months not caring that the PDL quit (inconvenience), totally oblivious that my brake lights were also inoperative (unsafe).

***I spend 8 years designing add-on electrical systems for utility trucks. Although I am experienced at that, rewiring the backbone of a car is a different animal, so I need to put more thought into whatever I create, I want it to be error/trouble-free.
 
Made some progress today. Got my rebuilt distributor from Ray at Halifax Shop installed! I was really scared, but ultimately decided I need to get over my fear and just go for it. I removed the oil pump drive gear and filled the motor with 5 quarts of Lucas SAE 30 High Zinc break in oil. Oil pressure gauge hooked into the back of the block. Inserted priming rod and spun counterclockwise with a drill. Built oil pressure almost immediately! I didn't see any oil coming out of the rockers (I had the driver's side valve cover removed) so I bumped the starter in small increments. Finally after about 3 or 4 bumps I saw oil coming out of the rockers and quite fast at that!

Kept on priming the pump some more with a drill and saw oil coming out very nicely and evenly. Once I was confident everything was primed, I went ahead and removed spark plug on cylinder #1 and with a friend helping, held his thumb over the hole until the compression stroke blew his finder out. Verified that the mark on my damper was aligned with the 0 on my timing cover marker. Both valves closed. Once I verified TDC, I moved the 0 mark on my damper to 10 degrees BTDC per this video I've been watching over and over again by Uncle Tony's Garage.



I followed his procedure pretty closely. I re-installed the oil pump drive gear and made sure it seated properly. Referring to the shop manual, I had it clocked as close as i could to how it showed in the picture. When I dropped in the distributor, the rotor wasn't pointing at where #1 in the FSM should be. I moved it over 1 tooth and when I dropped the distributor back in, I felt confident that I had the rotor pointing at #1!

I had seen the picture / section discussing this in my FSM before but could not find it for the life of me today. Google was my friend so I used this pic to refer to where my rotor should be pointing at #1. I felt like it was SLIGHTLY off, I'm wondering if this is because of the 10 degrees of advanced timing? Uncle Tony explains that when you have 10-15 degrees of advanced timing, the engine should fire almost instantly with a few cranks.

1669884009280.png


I installed the distributor with the pointer facing at #1 according to this diagram. Vacuum canister facing the same way it was before when I took it off 2 years ago. Please don't mind my messy messy wires, this is only a mock up before we get everything cleaned up and ready to go!

1669884108896.png


Before installing the distributor hold down, I made sure to grab hold of the rotor and rotate the distributor body until the points were just about to open up. Once I saw that, I went ahead and carefully secured it, so as to not bump it and move it from where I had it. After it was secured - I went ahead and followed the spark plug wiring diagram and collected each plug wire to their respective cylinder. Hoping and praying I did everything right. I guess there's only one way to find out! It either works or it doesn't LOL.


I will probably quadruple check like I do everything else because I tend to overthink. I'm quite confident everything is where it needs to be though...

Following Big John's advice, I hooked a #12 wire from the battery to one side of the ballast resistor, and another wire from the other end of the ballast resistor to the positive side of the coil. I hooked up the remaining distributor wire to the negative side. I'm pretty sure this is what is needed to make the engine run??

Tomorrow's agenda is to rig up my fuel system. Going to be running the car off a gas can for now until I get the actual tank plumbed back in. I have an Edelbrock electric fuel pump, and about 5 gallons of gas in a can to do this. Thinking of pumping into the inlet of the mechanical pump on the engine itself, and then from the outlet a soft line (for now) to the carb? Or does anyone have a better idea?

Also, my friend helping me had a spare exhaust (single pipe) from his wife's old '56 Olds. It has a glasspack, so I'm excited to hear how that sounds LOL. That will be going on the passenger side. Drivers side I've rigged up a flowmaster I had laying aroud (it was actually in the back seat of my uncle's bug.) Used some flex pipe specifically for exhaust purposes to rig that side up. I think for the break in it should be good enough. Hoping it is anyways...

A little nervous to continue on, but excited to see some big progress! I know many of you have been following along the almost 3 years I've been working on this car. Exciting to see how this will turn out. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly! I also need to get a mechanical water temp gauge too. We had one but the fitting wasn't the right size- so a trip to O'reilly's tomorrow is in order.

1669884718472.png
 
I'm pretty sure that uncle Tony is clocked a little differently than what is mentioned in the FSM as it looks like his vacuum advance can would otherwise interfere with his fuel line setup.

Someone will hopefully correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't it be better to drop in the distributor first at TDC and then rotate the engine back to 10-15 BTDC? At TDC the slot in the intermediate shaft should be pointing parallel to the camshaft.

Anyway, mine is clocked like this at roughly 15 BTDC (disregard the mess please)

20210225_130935.jpg
 
I believe that you are going to keep this car. If you don’t, it will kick you in the arse for the rest of your life. Once you fire it, you will be ‘sold’. Great progress and keep up the good work!
 
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