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View Full Version : Getting frustrated: no spark, please help



CuriousGeorge
04-19-2009, 10:54 PM
I lost my spark, and I am not sure where the problem is since I recently worked on the ignition switch. I've replaced the condenser and rotor with new ones, and new points, but I'm shaky on setting the points. Ready to start from scratch, but don't know how or where to start? I am willing to follow any and all step by step directions if offered...

tdskip
04-19-2009, 11:06 PM
Are you sure you installed the points correctly? A common error, which I've made more than (cough) once is to install the points assembly incorrectly which will short them out.

DNK
04-19-2009, 11:15 PM
I lost my spark, ...

Dang, think I heard the same thing last night!

tdskip
04-19-2009, 11:19 PM
Not going to make any of the obvious jokes Don...

DNK
04-19-2009, 11:38 PM
Striped another bolt hole in the Wedge Tom!


Now back to your regular schedule show.

Perrymip
04-19-2009, 11:47 PM
Your work on the ignition switch wouldn't likely have any bearing. You changed the rotor, points, and condenser as a matter of routine? Or as an attempt to address the lack of spark at the plug? If the former, then assume that you likely introduced the problem; the solution would be found by going back over your installation. (Or, less likely, a faulty new condenser got into the works). With the points: even if you don't have the gap exact, you will still see a spark when you separate them. Check also that you didn't accidentally pull either end of the lead loose between the distributor cap and the coil.

CuriousGeorge
04-19-2009, 11:54 PM
I hope I installed the points correctly Skip, how to I check? Perry; I did the changes to address the problem. All the wires to the coil are secure.

Perrymip
04-20-2009, 12:05 AM
With no spark at the plugs nor across the points, wouldn't the next most likely culprit be the coil?

TR3driver
04-20-2009, 06:06 AM
My next step would be to use a test light or voltmeter to verify:

1) Key on, points closed, 12v across the two coil low tension terminals.

2) Key on, points open, 0v across the two coil low tension terminals.

If these two voltages are not found, then there is a problem in the low tension side; maybe the switch isn't wired right; or the points aren't. Check between the hot terminal & ground, if no 12v then the switch or wiring is the problem. If the point terminal is always at ground, or always at 12v, the points are wired wrong (or possibly had some sort of coating on the contact faces; or maybe the wire is broken internally, etc.).

However, if the low tension voltage goes up & down as it should, then the problem is the coil itself, or on the high tension side. My next step would be to test for spark directly at the top of the coil to ground. If no spark, try a different coil.

hondo402000
04-20-2009, 12:15 PM
try replacing the cap and rotor, My 6 quit running one night and repaced the cap and rotor and it solved the problem

angelfj1
04-20-2009, 02:14 PM
I lost my spark, and I am not sure where the problem is since I recently worked on the ignition switch. I've replaced the condenser and rotor with new ones, and new points, but I'm shaky on setting the points. Ready to start from scratch, but don't know how or where to start? I am willing to follow any and all step by step directions if offered...

George: there is anecdotal evidence that condensers and points have been bad "out of the box". So try another condenser and set of points that are known to be good.

NickMorgan
04-20-2009, 02:24 PM
George,
This recently happened to me and with the help of this forum I found that the contacts of the new points had a waxy coating to stop them corroding.
The other problem is often that the LT lead and condenser lead have been put on top of the bit of insulating plastic instead of underneath.
Nick

poolboy
04-20-2009, 06:03 PM
I too had this problem once. The cause: the rotor sitting on top of the battery.

martx-5
04-20-2009, 07:01 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: I've done it myself...probably on more then one occassion! :laugh:

StevenH
04-20-2009, 08:35 PM
I had a problem with no spark, turned out to be a very fine crack in the rotor causing it to arc and short out. The new rotors are junk. Try a new rotor.

Perrymip
04-20-2009, 09:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]problem is often that the LT lead and condenser lead have been put on top of the bit of insulating plastic instead of underneath[/QUOTE]

I've done this many times, as well as leaving the rotor out (as above). But my clumsy method has generally been replace this and that, with a modicum of logic, and hope for the best. Randall, above, gives the real advice. Use a VOM meter and isolate the actual problem.

I (among the few?) switched away from points and condenser a long time ago and (also among the few?) have never had a problem. I can remember so many times laboring, also frustrated, with similar puzzles to yours.

DougF
04-20-2009, 09:18 PM
Tdskip mentioned earlier the possibility of the points being installed wrong, allowing them to short out. Did you put the plastic insulator over the stud before installing the condensor wire and nut? Forgetting this insulator is a mistake that most everybody has made at some point and will cause the car not to run.

LarryK
04-20-2009, 09:18 PM
Make sure the spacer is under the points so the points are not grounded. Check cap to be sure the rotor is making contact with the center carbon. It is usually spring loaded. Check the inciter wire from the starter to the coil to be sure you have power after you release the key from start to run mode.

CuriousGeorge
04-21-2009, 12:21 AM
You guys are great! Thanks for all the advice! It was that I had the condenser and the coil wires on TOP of the insulator! ON THE ROAD AGAIN!!!! Thanks for taking the time to help, I really appreciate it.