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Old 11-15-2006, 09:38 AM
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should this happen?

Hello. yesterday I was installing a dist. in my stock buick special 215 ci 2v. When I went 2 drop the dist in ( I forgot the key on) the gear from the dist touched the timing cover and it shot a big spark from the end of the dist! .What happened? Bad ground? Is it supposed 2 do this? Thanks.
Keith

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Old 11-15-2006, 09:54 AM
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Did you have any wires to the distributor connected when it did this? If not, you have some serious problems. Are you sure that you didn't hit a live wire with something else on the distributor and it arced when it grounded?

Kevin
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Old 11-15-2006, 10:20 AM
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Shouls this happen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin45
Did you have any wires to the distributor connected when it did this? If not, you have some serious problems. Are you sure that you didn't hit a live wire with something else on the distributor and it arced when it grounded?

Kevin
Thanks Kevin for the quick response. I don't think there was anything connected as this is something (connecting the wires) I recall doing "after" i dropped the dist in. I have 2 take a neighbor on a errand but when i return i will re-trace my steps on the install. If not for inadvertently leaving the key on I would have never discovered this. What could this be? How would it effect the way the engine runs? BTW, i went ahead with the install and it started fine and ran ok (not great since i had crappy plugs installed so I could burn oil I had deposited in cyl). Later.
Keith
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:19 PM
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Doc here,

First off, is this a Points type Ignition? or An HEI< GM type Ignition? or an Aftermarket type HEI Ignition..Does the Car have a Computer? and an EST (Electronic controlled Timing ) system?

If Standard Points type, I doubt anything was damaged , other than you could see with the naked eye..(burned wires ect..)

If it was a Non Computer HEI, you could have damaged the module IF the car is not running up to par..in which case , pull the module and have it tested at auto zombie for free..GET AND USE heat-sink grease when re~installing OR it will burn out shortly..like a few days..

If you are running an HEI, Computer controlled , aside from the Module , you could damage the quad buffer / Driver in the computer.. again the car wouldn't be operating up to par..

IF you have an aftermarket Ignition , like a 6AL with Brain~Box..you may have damaged that..unless your intimate with component level troubleshooting and have the equipment to do so..like a 400 MHz O'Scope or better..) your best course of action is send it back with an Accurate written description of the problem..(Omit the "I shorted the Dizzy out with the key on" part if It's under their Dime)

So..Which is yours?

Doc
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Old 11-16-2006, 07:13 AM
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should this happen

Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

First off, is this a Points type Ignition? or An HEI< GM type Ignition? or an Aftermarket type HEI Ignition..Does the Car have a Computer? and an EST (Electronic controlled Timing ) system?

If Standard Points type, I doubt anything was damaged , other than you could see with the naked eye..(burned wires ect..)

If it was a Non Computer HEI, you could have damaged the module IF the car is not running up to par..in which case , pull the module and have it tested at auto zombie for free..GET AND USE heat-sink grease when re~installing OR it will burn out shortly..like a few days..

If you are running an HEI, Computer controlled , aside from the Module , you could damage the quad buffer / Driver in the computer.. again the car wouldn't be operating up to par..

IF you have an aftermarket Ignition , like a 6AL with Brain~Box..you may have damaged that..unless your intimate with component level troubleshooting and have the equipment to do so..like a 400 MHz O'Scope or better..) your best course of action is send it back with an Accurate written description of the problem..(Omit the "I shorted the Dizzy out with the key on" part if It's under their Dime)

So..Which is yours?

Doc

Hey Doc. This is a stock (Points) dist that I took from a parts car. The thing I am curious about is since the dist was not hooked up should it have arked like this? BTW, it was a very weak spark. No obvious damage 2 the dist but since the dist had "nothing" hooked up should it have shorted 2 the block like that? I reiterate, there was "nothing" hooked 2 the dist when this happned. In the words of Marvin Gaye "whats going on"? Thanks.
Keith
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budynabuick
Hey Doc. This is a stock (Points) dist that I took from a parts car. The thing I am curious about is since the dist was not hooked up should it have arked like this? BTW, it was a very weak spark. No obvious damage 2 the dist but since the dist had "nothing" hooked up should it have shorted 2 the block like that? I reiterate, there was "nothing" hooked 2 the dist when this happned. In the words of Marvin Gaye "whats going on"? Thanks.
Keith

Doc here,

If nothing was hooked up to the Dizzy, then the only thing I can think of is a fully charged Ignition Capacitor discharged when you hit ground from the points and made the arc..

Doc
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

If nothing was hooked up to the Dizzy, then the only thing I can think of is a fully charged Ignition Capacitor discharged when you hit ground from the points and made the arc..

Doc
Hey Doc! That might explain it but since this was a spare dist I had taken the capacitor out weeks ago so it did not have a capacitor in it. I put the capacitor in "after" I dropped the dist in. Any other ideas? Could this indicate a ground prob? Thanks for your help!
keith
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:56 AM
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Doc here,

It is not possible to have a "Ground" Issue with nothing hooked up to the Dizzy..

I'd be willing to bet you hooked a power wire and ground with the dizzy body and that was the spark you saw..I'd be looking for damaged harness wires around the area of the Dizzy..

Doc
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Old 11-16-2006, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

It is not possible to have a "Ground" Issue with nothing hooked up to the Dizzy..

I'd be willing to bet you hooked a power wire and ground with the dizzy body and that was the spark you saw..I'd be looking for damaged harness wires around the area of the Dizzy..Doc
Hey Doc. No wires damaged. Also, If I had hooked the wires up before installing the dist they would have been to short to raise the dist high enough to install so I am positive the wires were not connected plus it is easier to connect them "after" dropping the dist in. I must have had the capacitor in and it discharged like you said. Could/would this have damaged the capacitor? Thanks.
keith
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Old 11-16-2006, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budynabuick
Hey Doc. No wires damaged. Also, If I had hooked the wires up before installing the dist they would have been to short to raise the dist high enough to install so I am positive the wires were not connected plus it is easier to connect them "after" dropping the dist in. I must have had the capacitor in and it discharged like you said. Could/would this have damaged the capacitor? Thanks.
keith

Doc here,

Sorry, I used an unfortunate Choice of Syntax..

I should have said, "Snagged" instead of "Hooked"...

No, discharging an Electrolytic cap to ground will not damage it, only if you hook it up backward, over a short period of time it will explode..It is not possible to hook An automotive Type Cap up backward, UNLESS you install it in a positive ground Vehicle..

Doc
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Old 11-25-2006, 03:50 PM
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Should this happen? (re-visited)

Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

Sorry, I used an unfortunate Choice of Syntax..

I should have said, "Snagged" instead of "Hooked"...

No, discharging an Electrolytic cap to ground will not damage it, only if you hook it up backward, over a short period of time it will explode..It is not possible to hook An automotive Type Cap up backward, UNLESS you install it in a positive ground Vehicle..

Doc


Hey Doc. I was just running my car and I turned it off to hook my vac gage up. Upon re-starting the car, as I was cranking I saw a arch/flash (before it could start) come from where the dist goes into the hole Also, it was kinda dark in my garage so I was able to see this event very clearly. I checked for frayed wires and they are all like new. What in the world is going on?Could a missing dist gasket cause this? Grasping for straws I know but something is out of wack here!!! I might point out that my front glass is out and my hand was through the opening on the key meaning my head was in the engine bay a few feet from the dist. so I am POSITIVE this occurred. HELP!!!

Keith
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:18 PM
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Doc here,

Well, running without a gasket will lead to other problems..like oil all over the manifold..So I'd install that soon..

The only thing I can think of (given the set of circumstances) Is the cap is bad or the lead is shouting to something on ground potential...

With an DVOM, set to OHMS, scale at RX1, and calibrated to 000, measure between the dizzy body and the engine block, It should read 000. Then from there to the battery..It should also read 000. If not at the Dizzy, your spark is jumping ground at the Dizzy / Block mounting hole..

I revert to the cap, only because you said it did it while installing it, with no wires installed, and the cap is the only thing that will hold a charge..

Doc
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:01 PM
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Should this happen

Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

Well, running without a gasket will lead to other problems..like oil all over the manifold..So I'd install that soon..

The only thing I can think of (given the set of circumstances) Is the cap is bad or the lead is shouting to something on ground potential...

With an DVOM, set to OHMS, scale at RX1, and calibrated to 000, measure between the dizzy body and the engine block, It should read 000. Then from there to the battery..It should also read 000. If not at the Dizzy, your spark is jumping ground at the Dizzy / Block mounting hole..

I revert to the cap, only because you said it did it while installing it, with no wires installed, and the cap is the only thing that will hold a charge..

Doc
Thanks Doc. I think I found what caused the spark (it was more like a flash) at the base of my dist. I pulled the d-cap off and noticed that someone (not me ) had failed to tighten the screws for the rotor. I actually had it running like thatLOL!!! Would that be the culprit? On another note,what are your thoughts on this. After I screwed the rotor (I still don't know who left that loose) down and put another carb on I was able to get it to idle at 500 (which i was not able to do with other carb). Upon checking manifold vac it showed a rock steady 19 in. I then put the vac gauge on the ported side and it was reading 6-12. I know that there should be zero on the ported side (at low idle). Any ideas why I'm getting vac reading on ported side? I read on this site what the prob is but i forgot and can't find it. Thanks for all your kind help!

Keith
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Old 11-27-2006, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budynabuick
Thanks Doc. I think I found what caused the spark (it was more like a flash) at the base of my dist. I pulled the d-cap off and noticed that someone (not me ) had failed to tighten the screws for the rotor. I actually had it running like thatLOL!!! Would that be the culprit? On another note,what are your thoughts on this. After I screwed the rotor (I still don't know who left that loose) down and put another carb on I was able to get it to idle at 500 (which i was not able to do with other carb). Upon checking manifold vac it showed a rock steady 19 in. I then put the vac gauge on the ported side and it was reading 6-12. I know that there should be zero on the ported side (at low idle). Any ideas why I'm getting vac reading on ported side? I read on this site what the prob is but i forgot and can't find it. Thanks for all your kind help!

Keith
Doc here,

Could be a couple of things..

You THINK your on the ported side but are really on a manifold source..(any port on the carb at the base or throttle plate)...

OR:

You have the primary's jacked open wide enough at idle to send vacuum to the ported side..

OR:

You have a leaking Vacuum circuit inside the carb..(dried up gasket ect..)

Doc
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

Could be a couple of things..

You THINK your on the ported side but are really on a manifold source..(any port on the carb at the base or throttle plate)...

OR:

You have the primary's jacked open wide enough at idle to send vacuum to the ported side..

OR:

You have a leaking Vacuum circuit inside the carb..(dried up gasket ect..)

Doc

Hey Doc. I have the vac gauge hooked with the little tube (ported) on the carb above the throttle blades. The car is at a low (500rpm) idle and the blades are closed. I'm inclined to think it is your third option. I am going to work on it later. I need a new carb , but i have no idea what will work on it.Thanks for your time.

Keith

Keith
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