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I thought I was doing good


Jedi Trainee
I pulled the distributor and found the centrifugal advance mechanism completely frozen up. I freed everything up and put it back together. Now it won't start. I am pretty sure I got everything assembled properly. Since the distributor can only go two ways I don't think that I got it 90* out.

When I put it back in the car everything looked fine. The rotor was on #1 and the body lined up properly.

The timing looked pretty close while trying to start the car although the light looked pretty weak.

The plugs are wet so I know its getting gas.

What have I missed????


Great Pumpkin
hmmm - all the wires are back in and re-connected? Rotor back in?

Is the engine firing at all? Do you get a spark? (put one plug wire on a spare plug, hold it near the block, see if there's a spark when you crank it) Edit: don't hold the plug in your bare hand!

Was it able to start *before* you pulled the distributor?

Just a few thoughts ....


Deleted member 8987

or took the old points out while frring up the weights, re-installed, and, geez, which side did that insulator go on again?


Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
My favorite stunt is leaving the rotor on the inner fender; but putting the wires on top of the insulator is certainly popular too.

Mickey Richaud

Staff member
Country flag
TOC said:
or took the old points out while frring up the weights, re-installed, and, geez, which side did that insulator go on again?

Gets my vote - probably the most common boo-boo.


Great Pumpkin
I am quite familiar with Randall's rotor trick.

Is the lead to the coil on securely?


Jedi Trainee
I used the inductive timing light to check that there was fire from the coil and each spark plug wire. I did not pull the plugs and check if the plug was actually firing. I plan on doing this today.

I have pertronix ignition adjusted properly.

I did think about the rotor so I pulled the cap and it was on. (I too have made this mistake)

I will also re-check the coil lead.

Thanks for the input. I will check more today.



Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
Well, if you are getting enough of a spark through the plug wires to trigger the timing light, that lets out most of the common mistakes mentioned above. Wet plugs could be a problem though. You might try using another set of plugs, see if that makes a difference.

"Back when" we used to even take the plugs out and heat the tips up with a propane torch, to burn away any residual fuel and carbon. Anything that lets high voltage leak over the surface of the insulator can bleed away enough charge to keep the spark from happening (which might explain the weak light, too). Of course, don't make the mistake of trying to clean them with a wire brush!

I actually took the Pertronix back off of my TR3, as it seemed to be causing problems when starting. Possibly just my perception (or other problems), but with the Pertronix it seemed like the engine would only fire just as I let off the starter button. If I held the button down, it would crank forever and not fire. Switching back to points produced easier starts.

It still starts harder than it should IMO, so I've still got another problem (or problems) lurking. But I would have expected the Pertronix to help cover up any other shortcomings, rather than magnifying them.
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