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521 is Alive !


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i just recently bought my first datsun let alone my first truck an was quickly face with a problem... turning on the truck i noticed that the key sat a bit low in the ignition it would turn on once i put a new battery in it but turning it off is a different story... because it didn't want to turn off ! ha so i had to turn it off by disconnecting a few of the distributor wires. im not the greatest with the electrics of a car or truck so wanted to get some imput on my situation. if this has happened to anyone else and see how they dealt with it. is it a simple fix like a bad ground or just need a new ignition ?

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Lets start with this.  A lot of the ignition switches in 521 trucks are worn, because the truck is 43 years old, and sometimes prevoius ownere hang 25 keys, some lucky charms, and other crap off the key ring. 


If the truck starts, and runs with the key, but turning off the key does not turn off the ignition, it means the coil is still getting power with the key off.  leaving the battery connected will possibly run the battery down too.   Two basic possibilities.  One, there is a short circiut in the truck, and something is feeding the ignition coil, with the key off.   Two, who knows what the previous owner did.  This is the more likely scenario.


Here is a 521 wiring diagram.



The basic ignition circuit is this.  Some of the fuses are always hot.  A fairly thick white wire goes from the fuse box to the ignition switch.  When the ignition switch is on, the power goes through the ignition switch, and returns to the fuse box, on a black wire with a white stripe.  This wire goes to a ballast resistor, a white ceramic thing by the ignition coil.  A black with a red stripe wire goes from the resistor to the coil positive.  The coil is grounded by the distributor, and when the points open, a spark is created.


There is also a black with a red stripe wire that goes from the ignition switch, directly to the coil, but this wire is only has power from the ignition switch when the key is in the crank position.   This wire will have power on it through the ballast resistor.


Try to be specific as you can when asking questions.  I know this can be difficult, with out understanding all the details of electrical circuits, but the more info we all get, the easier is is for us to help you.  Pictures are also a big help.   What looks normal to you, because this may be your first 521, someone will see a obvious to us, 'previous owner" hack job


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