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Old 06-23-2012, 05:11 PM
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1970 Olds 455 not sparking

Hi guys. I am completely stumped and need help. I have a Olds 455 engine with points in a 79 Trans Am that has no spark. Originally, I pulled the distributor to take off the vac advance can so I would have more adjustibility to the timing, but I accidently pulled the wire off the points. I've never worked on a points distributor before, so I hooked the wire up wrongly, causing an overload which melted down my 2 fusible links behind the alternator, the coil, and the points and condensor. I bought a new distributor, cap, rotor, wires, coil and put in new fusible link wires. When I hooked up the grounds to the new coil and distributor to my firewall 4 way ground, it got extremely HOT!

Figuring I burned the 4 way ground out, I made 2 new ground wires and ran them to the battery ground. I have 11.34v at the coil, but no spark. I replaced the new coil with a newer coil, no spark. I set the points at .018, nothing. The timing is set perfectly, but I just can't get the thing to fire. I have pulled the plug and grounded it to an exhaust manifold while the wife cranks the engine and I don't see a spark.

Do you think I might have burned out the condenser when I had it hooked up to the bad ground? How do I check if I have power to the points? Am I missing something? Really at the end of my rope. I'm disabled and on a limited income, so I don't want to take it to a shop.......Thanks for all replies, Tony...

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Old 06-23-2012, 09:24 PM
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With a point ignition you have a START wire which feeds 12 volts to the points for starting ans a RUN wire (resister wire) to drop the voltage to the points to about 7 volts. My guess would be that you burned the start and run wires up. The way I've always fixed this was to run a new SWITCHED wire from the fuse box to an old style Chrysler ballast resistor and then to your ignition system.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:31 PM
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Several Q's.
Do you have 12 volts to the coil while cranking it over?
How do you know the timing is set perfect if you can't get it to run?
Did you install a resistance wire to the coil or a ballast resistor when you put the points dizzy in?
Why the points dizzy? An hei would work better.
Do you have a wire run from the solenoid on the starter to the coil?
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg T
With a point ignition you have a START wire which feeds 12 volts to the points for starting ans a RUN wire (resister wire) to drop the voltage to the points to about 7 volts. My guess would be that you burned the start and run wires up. The way I've always fixed this was to run a new SWITCHED wire from the fuse box to an old style Chrysler ballast resistor and then to your ignition system.
Are these the 2 wires that come from the back of the alternator? The way it was hooked up before was the hot wire and the red pigtail wire were hooked together, then run into 2 fusible links which had thier own wires that ran into the wiring harness. Thinking about it now, I wonder if one of those fusible link wires isn't connected as solidly as I thought. I'll check it out soon and let you know.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWENUTS
Several Q's.
Do you have 12 volts to the coil while cranking it over?
How do you know the timing is set perfect if you can't get it to run?
Did you install a resistance wire to the coil or a ballast resistor when you put the points dizzy in?
Why the points dizzy? An hei would work better.
Do you have a wire run from the solenoid on the starter to the coil?
WHen I burned my fusible link wires, I tried to replace everything the way it was before. It has 11.34 volts when the ignition is switched "on". I set the timing by getting #1 up to TDC and setting the rotor to #1 location on my dist. cap. The car cranks great, so I think the only wires I blew are those fusible links. Since I don't have any electrical tools, I crimped and connected everything together with blade style male-female connectors and electrical taped the connectors to insulate them against grounding out.

I know that an HEI dist. would be better, but I'm intimidated about wiring that in. It ran well before, but that old points dist was worn out. The new one was only 50 clams.............
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Old 06-24-2012, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trans Am Tony
Are these the 2 wires that come from the back of the alternator? The way it was hooked up before was the hot wire and the red pigtail wire were hooked together, then run into 2 fusible links which had thier own wires that ran into the wiring harness. Thinking about it now, I wonder if one of those fusible link wires isn't connected as solidly as I thought. I'll check it out soon and let you know.
Power to 1 of them is 0 when ign is off, 12.34 when on. The other one is 12.34 at all times. Is there an ignition fuse in the fuse box? I'm disabled, so its VERY hard for me to check the fuse box with it being so low under the dash..........
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trans Am Tony
Power to 1 of them is 0 when ign is off, 12.34 when on. The other one is 12.34 at all times. Is there an ignition fuse in the fuse box? I'm disabled, so its VERY hard for me to check the fuse box with it being so low under the dash..........
All fuses in the fuse box are good. Just to test, I took the resistor out of the distributor and tried to start, again nothing. Jeesh............
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Old 06-24-2012, 10:18 AM
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Resistor in the distributor? Please explain.





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Old 06-24-2012, 12:09 PM
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When I started working on cars everything had points and there were instances when I had to take a points file and clean the point gap on brand new points because some type of corrosion or coating prevented any current flow and would yield a no spark.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:49 PM
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Run a 10 gauge wire from the battery positive post to the positive post on the coil.
If it runs then you'll know the wire from the solenoid on the starter to the coil is broke.
Don't run it long like that or you'll burn out your points or fry your new coil.
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trans Am Tony
Hi guys. I am completely stumped and need help. I have a Olds 455 engine with points in a 79 Trans Am that has no spark. Originally, I pulled the distributor to take off the vac advance can so I would have more adjustibility to the timing, but I accidently pulled the wire off the points. I've never worked on a points distributor before, so I hooked the wire up wrongly, causing an overload which melted down my 2 fusible links behind the alternator, the coil, and the points and condensor. I bought a new distributor, cap, rotor, wires, coil and put in new fusible link wires. When I hooked up the grounds to the new coil and distributor to my firewall 4 way ground, it got extremely HOT!

Figuring I burned the 4 way ground out, I made 2 new ground wires and ran them to the battery ground. I have 11.34v at the coil, but no spark. I replaced the new coil with a newer coil, no spark. I set the points at .018, nothing. The timing is set perfectly, but I just can't get the thing to fire. I have pulled the plug and grounded it to an exhaust manifold while the wife cranks the engine and I don't see a spark.

Do you think I might have burned out the condenser when I had it hooked up to the bad ground? How do I check if I have power to the points? Am I missing something? Really at the end of my rope. I'm disabled and on a limited income, so I don't want to take it to a shop.......Thanks for all replies, Tony...
Wiring diagram:

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Old 06-24-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg T
Resistor in the distributor? Please explain.





.
Not quite sure what it is, a little silver cannister with 1 wire. Don't worry, I put it back in when it wouldn't start (lol)..........
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWENUTS
Run a 10 gauge wire from the battery positive post to the positive post on the coil.
If it runs then you'll know the wire from the solenoid on the starter to the coil is broke.
Don't run it long like that or you'll burn out your points or fry your new coil.
Thanks. I'll try that soon and let you know what I find out.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trans Am Tony
Thanks. I'll try that soon and let you know what I find out.
Thanks for all the replies. I tried the jumper wire, still no spark. I have 11.34v with the ignition on, and 8.9v while cranking. I called the parts store and told them about the problems I've been having, and they said the points may be bad. So, I think it all might be a bad reman distributor........

"Hencho in Mexico"..............
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Old 06-25-2012, 09:22 PM
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Thats a condenser and it needs to be there for spark. You should either pay someone to fix it or install an HEI.



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