View Full Version : shorting out

07-20-2009, 09:41 AM
sorry to do this again but maybe some has a clue as to why this is happening the dist keeps on shorting out every time i connect the lt terminal to it it shorts out .i turn on the key and have power to it and when i touch the dist body it shorts out what to do

07-20-2009, 10:06 AM
It would help to know if what the car is. But also check to make sure you have the wires set up right. Is this a neg ground or poss ground car.

A funny thing that happened in one of my cars is the ign light in the speedo was grounding out.

07-20-2009, 10:52 AM
Sounds like the bushings are bad in the distributor. I hade the same issue with a Rover 3500S points distributor. I replaced it with another and problem was gone. You can get the dist rebuild and new bushings.

07-20-2009, 11:00 AM
Randle will check in with his make sure you have the wire correctly placed in the dizzy too.

07-20-2009, 12:41 PM
the dist was rebuilt it was working before now i'm so lost not my first rodeo

07-20-2009, 04:10 PM
Do you have a short after working on or replacing the points? If so, you probably have the condenser and pigtail wires stacked up wrong where they attach to the points. You need to place a plastic washer on the spring attachment post with the smaller diameter upwards. Than the spring. Than the condenser and pigtail wires. Than the other plastic washer with smaller diameter downwards. Than the metal flat washer. and finally the metal nut. Also make sure the insulation on the pig tail wire is in good condition.

07-20-2009, 04:28 PM
Randle will check in with his make sure you have the wire correctly placed in the dizzy too. As I wrote in another forum, I don't understand the question. The distributor is supposed to ground the coil wire (intermittently), so I don't understand what is "shorting out".

If it's the spark being "shorted", then you have a bad rotor. Get another one, check your high tension wires for high resistance, and put your plug gaps back to stock.

07-20-2009, 04:30 PM
been in contact with jeff from advance the situtation is with the ignition on as soon as i touch the dist body it shorts out don't know where to start

07-20-2009, 04:38 PM

Please define "shorting out".

Thanks, Phil

07-20-2009, 04:42 PM
What shorts out? The ignition? The distributor? Maybe a better question would be "How do you know it's shorted out?"

The distributor is supposed to ground that terminal, when the points are closed. If it's grounding the terminal even when the points are open then something is shorted inside the distributor. Check that the point wire is correctly assembled to the points (as above). If so, then take the wire off the points and see if the short disappears. Could be the condenser is shorted, they do that sometimes. Could be the wire has a bare spot.

But if you mean that the power to the coil goes away, then the problem is elsewhere, like a broken ballast wire inside the wiring harness.

07-20-2009, 05:00 PM
ok lets get into it further condencer is out points are out when i turn on the key there is power to the lt terminal when i touch the lead to the dist it shorts out no power when i take it away the circuit is on

07-20-2009, 05:20 PM
Ok, so that says the terminal on the side is shorted somehow, or the wire to the points is touching something. As I recall, the terminal/wire assembly just slides into a slot in the distributor body, so pull it out and look for the problem.

07-20-2009, 06:18 PM
If it's a stock distributor, it does not involve rocket science.
With the contact set and condensor out, and the pigtail that went to the contact set isolated from the case at the end, and you still get a spark, it's in the insulator or close to it where the wires pass into the body of the distributor.


Either a slip-on spade terminal or bolt.
Could be a washer shorting out.
To have rubber insulator short, not likely, unless is has been damaged severly and the internal wires are bared against the ground of the housing.

Got an ohmmeter?

07-20-2009, 07:03 PM
nothing seems to work this is nuts a simple thing but its a mess

07-20-2009, 10:48 PM
Can you take pictures and post? This would help us help you.

07-21-2009, 12:03 AM
Does your distributor look anything like this?:


Have I seen what year and model this is?

If a TR6, look at part 9 in this drawing. Some have a screw through the insulator to hold things tight.
Look a lot like Bug parts if you've ever worked on a bug.

This part should slip straight up and out, and no wires should still be connected anywhere.


07-21-2009, 06:17 AM
Does your distributor look like the left one or the right one in TOC's first post with pictures or does it look like the one in his second post with pictures? I'm asking about the area where the low tension ignition lead (wire) goes through the metal housing. If it looks like the one on the right in the first picture take the fasteners off that hold the wire on the inside of the distributor.

Inspect the inside wires insulation and make sure it is perfect. If not purchase a new one.

Assemble in this order:
Place the inside wire on the screw
Place a plastic washer on the screw large diameter first
Place this assembly in the hole in the side of the distributor from the inside
Place a plastic washer on the screw small diameter first
Place a metal flat washer on the screw
Place a lock washer on the screw
Place a nut on the screw and tighten

You want plastic insulating all of the metal parts and the metal of the distributor.

07-21-2009, 06:40 AM
i'm really not sure what your trying to say its a tr6 dist i've tried everything the lt wire keeps on shorting out when it touches the dist i have to guess its some kind of ground ,i'm going to change the ground wire from the battery and see if that helps email me please

07-21-2009, 10:17 AM
I am going to put my greasy, old AP training hat on, the one I used to use with newbies in the shop.

Ground wire from the battery isn't going to change anything at the distributor.

We finally know it's a "TR6".

My guess is you really didn't remove the points and condensor. The insulator at the pivot bolt and end of spring is probably where you have an issue.

I am going to try to lay this out carefully.

1) Did the vehicle just stop running?


2) Did you do anything at all to the electrics between the last time it ran and the first time it did not run?


3) Did you really remove the points and condensor from the distributor prior to this test?


Are you touching the wire to the insulated wire connector on the distributor?


Are you simply touching the wire to the body of the distributor?


I believe the nylon/white plastic insulator simply slides up out of the body.
Have you had this part out prior to this?


If you have had it out, could you have re-inserted this insulator improperly, thereby shorting out the electrics?


THat should get us started.

07-21-2009, 10:23 AM
email me

07-21-2009, 03:55 PM
I PM's you earlier today.
Cannot find an e-mail for you.

07-21-2009, 04:26 PM

Andrew Mace
07-21-2009, 06:28 PM
I hope the solution (and what led to it) will be shared publicly. Please don't just leave us all hanging.... :wink:

07-21-2009, 06:33 PM
i hope so because if not i'll never be able to start the car

07-21-2009, 07:43 PM
Just started working it.

07-21-2009, 08:52 PM
Sent an e-mail over an hour ago.
Get it?

07-22-2009, 10:53 AM
it was a miracle on 34th street after alittle rest and checking everything it ends up being a bad fuel pump .i replaced the original with a new one and the new one was bad i put the old one in and its fine thanks all

07-22-2009, 10:56 AM
Simply amazing.