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Old 11-03-2003, 10:41 AM
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no spark-283 Chevy SB w/points

Just replaced a bad universal ignition switch and accidentally cooked the ignition coil on my rod by leaving the ignition in the on position while I was out getting the new switch. The coil was super hot when I got back and oil was bubbling out the top. The points were not fused, so I think they are ok.

I went and bought a new ignition coil and hooked it up, but now I get no spark from the plugs (ignition wire is connected from switch to postive terminal and wire from distributor to negative terminal). I pulled off the wire from the coil to the distributor and tried grounding it to the frame and still no spark. I checked the continuity of the wires (terminal wires and coil-to-distributor wire) and they seem fine. I checked the terminal with a voltmeter and there's 12volts going into the positive terminal of the coil and 12volts coming out of the negative terminal.

I'm stumped. I'm figuring that the brand new coil is bad, but that seems very unlikely. Any suggestions?

Also, any suggestions on where to get a better quality universal ignition switch? The only one available at Pet Boys and Autozone is really made like crap--what should I expect for $8, right?

Glen
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Old 11-04-2003, 10:48 AM
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I just had the same problem and it turned out to be my points...change them out ...thy only cost about $10-$15 the coil should be fine......
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Old 11-04-2003, 07:22 PM
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I was figuring that I should have at least seen a spark coming out of the coil wire when I ground it to the frame even if the points were fused?

What do you think?
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Old 11-05-2003, 04:49 PM
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Replace the condensor.

Kevin
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Old 11-05-2003, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
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Replace the condensor.

Kevin
Ditto!!!
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Old 11-05-2003, 05:05 PM
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sparky

whenever i change points I replace condenser also , also check wiring for burn marks to distributor & coil. jwart
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Old 11-06-2003, 03:38 PM
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try a different coil wire and see if it sparks
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:07 AM
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or, throw the points in the trash where they belong and get a electronic conversion kit. points ignitions are pretty much a thing of the past as far as performance and economy go when compared to electronic. Pertronix carry`s several conversions, check them out and see if they have one for your application, and the guess work, setting points and dwell will be a thing of the past.
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Old 11-26-2003, 08:02 AM
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I'm still trying to get my ignition system going. I still can't get a spark across the points.

new ignition switch, new coil (tried 2 different ones), new coil wire, new ballast resistor, new points, new condenser

Have voltage into the coil, but no spark when I ground the coil wire to the chassis.

help
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Old 11-26-2003, 08:34 AM
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Just a thought, but I've seen cases where the lead that hooks up to the points is touching the distributor body or a part of the points assembly, grounding it out...
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Old 11-26-2003, 09:31 AM
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There were 2 wires connected together to the points. One was from the condenser and the other came from inside the distributor. The new points I got has the condenser actually on the points assembly. There was no place on the assembly to attach the distributor wire, so I put it under one of the assembly screws which I guess would in effect be grounding it to the distributor. I kind of figured that was supposed to be a ground wire? What is this wire and where is it supposed to go?

I'm actually going to return the combined points/condenser and try to get the separate points and condenser parts to set it up like I originally had it. The combined setup made it so that I couldn't even get the feeler gauge in to adjust the points properly. The points were opening on the high point of the distributor lobe.
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Old 11-26-2003, 10:24 AM
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That wire should go to the little screw with the insulator pad on it (should be connected to the swinging point arm). And yes, trash the unipoint setup, they are junk. Some of them don't even have a screw to hold the terminal (probably what you have). It's been a while since I bought any points, but if I remember correctly, the best ones are called Bluepoint or Bluestar or something like that. They have strong springs and phenolic rubbing blocks, and they last the longest. Yep, if you put the terminal under the points, it's definately grounded.
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Old 11-27-2003, 11:30 AM
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As I recall, some of those cheap unipoint sets the wire just goes under the spring(band). Has nothing to tighten it in place except the pressure of that spring. You need to also check the voltage at the coil when the engine is cranking, not just the key on. You can also check to see if you get a spark at the points by prying them open(make sure they are actually closed all of the way and sometimes you can manually turn the rotor by hand far enough to open them) with the key on. That will tell you if you have power getting to them when the key is on. The points are internally grounded, meaning that there is no ground wire going to them. The wire inside the distributor is the one coming from the coil. I would also check to see if you get a spark from the coil wire to ground with the key turned on, by just opening and closing the points. You may have wired the switch wrong and not getting power when cranking.

Good Luck
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Old 11-28-2003, 04:42 PM
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Finally got it running!!

changed to the separate points and condenser setup like I originally had, added the new rotor cap, turned the key and presto chango--it worked!

Thanks for all the help.

Btw, what is the "C" terminal on the solenoid? I know it stands for common. Does that mean it always has 12volts available at that terminal even when the engine is not cranking?
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Old 11-28-2003, 11:40 PM
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The "c" on the solenoid

The "c" on the solenoid is for a direct wire to the positive side of the coil. During the starting of the engine the voltage in the battery drops to about 9 volts because of the starter draw. Under normal running the wire from the firewall should have a resistor before the coil or built into the wire itself that drops the running voltage to 9 volts. This resistance allows the points to last longer that if 12 volts was applied to them all the time. Some solenoids have a "R" on them and it is for the same purpose. The voltage is only present on that terminal when the solenoid is engaged to start the engine during cranking. If the voltage through the resistance wire is the only source for the coil during cranking the coil only sees about 6 volts and sometimes that isn't enough to get enough spark to fire the engine.


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