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Old 02-18-2004, 07:05 PM
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Lost spark

Alright, I'm working with a 1969 Firebird with a '68 350/TH350. Stock distributor with points and condisner. Car's never run while I've had it and probably hasn't run in a number of years.

Just installed freshly rebuilt motor, had it running rough trying to dial things in. Backfired through carb and died. Couldn't get it restarted. Getting plenty of gas so pulled the check to check for fire and have no spark. 12 volts comming into coil from ignition on positive terminal, 12 volts on negative terminal, but no spark on secondary wire. Tried new coil, new points, new condinser, no change. Brought number 1 cylinder to TDC, made sure rotor was pointing to #1 cylinder in distributor. Rotor turns when cranking engine. 9 volts to positive terminal while cranking.
Had test light on negative and got a steady bulb, no flashing while cranking. Also plugs and wires are new.

Searched forums and found similar problem, but solution didn't work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 02-18-2004, 07:10 PM
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Do you have spark now?

When you brought #1 to TDC, was it on the intake stroke?

Is it backfiring at all?
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:31 PM
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No, I don't have a spark, that's what I'm working on for now.

TDC on compression stroke. Rotor pointing to #1 cylinder in distributor.

No backfire, no nothing
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:45 PM
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Have you tried adjusting the points while you are cranking it. If everything is hooked up correctly, and the points are adjusted right (about 18 thou gap), you should be getting spark. Check your wiring, maybe a wire is broken or is grounding out.

Coil has a good ground?
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:57 PM
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My gap's set at 16 thou right now. My wires look fine from what I can see, but I'll have to take some things apart and make sure there aren't any breaks. My ground should be fine, I made sure of that about a week ago, but I'll double-check it soon.

In the post I was looking at before the problem (same as mine) was fixed with a new rotor cap, but no dice on that fix for me.

Also, I'd like to say thanks for the quick response. I'm just getting started on a working knowledge of cars and appreciate your patience. I'm glad I found this site, as I'll undoubtedly learn alot. Thanks again.

-SCFirebird
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Old 02-18-2004, 08:02 PM
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no problem......Not too many of us around here use points anymore. You could solve all this BS by going to HEI. Get a distributer from a post 75 Pontiac and you're all set. Might be worth it in the long run.
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Old 02-20-2004, 11:52 PM
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Double check the points!

Did you check the points AFTER you lost fire? I have seen them pit real bad. Could have also blown the condensor ( capacitor next to points). Replace that and see what happens.

That 9 volts while cranking seems low. Should be 12 volts while cranking and 9 volts running if I remember right.

Remove the distributor cap and have someone crank the engine over. You may just see what is happening. The points should be opening and closing and you will likely see some sparking if all is working right.

Double check the resistance in the wire from the coil to the cap as well. You are real close to the problem and are going about it the right way.

Steve
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Old 02-21-2004, 08:51 AM
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This site tells you how to test your "condensor", among other things: http://www.classictruckshop.com/club...e/ignition.htm

Good luck.
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Old 02-21-2004, 03:51 PM
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Alright! It runs!

I had some people that really know what they're doin come out and look at it. Turns out my spark plugs had something wrong with them and my distributor cap was bad. Double-checked the point gap, set the timing (still needs to be fine-tuned), and it's great. Fires right up now.

I was told I might have a bit of trouble in my starter because it keeps running for a few seconds after I cut off the engine, but no bigie.

Thanks everyone!
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