Why does this have a resistor?

August 1, 2010 | By Richard Prince


I have a 1948 Ford Flathead that is all original. Ford installed an ignition resistor between the ignition switch and the coil on all 1932-1948 vehicles.

I understand the reason for the resistor in a 12-volt system but why is there one in a 6-volt system? The car will still run with or without the resistor.

I am sure Ford Motor Co. had a good reason for installing the resistor but I just can’t figure out what it is. Do you have any ideas?


I assume the resistor is there for the same reason it’s used in a 12-volt system, to reduce the voltage while the engine is running in order to prolong the life of the ignition points.

If any readers have some insight regarding this question we’d appreciate hearing from them.