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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I apologize for another "no spark" topic, lord knows I have read quite a few. Our situation is odd it feels, compared to checks we have seen to do according to other forums/posts.

What we have is a stock 454, one day engine shut off, as if you turned off with the key. Of course it fires right up. This is my 18 yr olds rig, he didnt think to let me know, thought it was a freak isolated incident.
The next day, me not knowing this happened we changed out the vacuum advance. Test drive, it ran great! Then, intermittent stalls and after 5th time, done, nada, no spark.

We have replaced, after checking them but not knowing what else to do, the following:
Coil, rotor, module, and wiring harness. We have 12v power at the pink ignition wire in on position. During cranking it briefly drops to just under 10v.

Checks with results are below.

Test W & G on pickup coil= .868 ohms
Test Green wire to ground (dizzy body) = OL
As mentioned, new coil and module, theres even 12.6v through pink wire, through cap down to module.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the long post.
 

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True Hotrodder
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Not sure exactly where you tested the ground but I had one years ago on a Buick that gave me fits for a bit of time. It ended up being the ground connection inside at the base of the distributor was cracked. Problem was I would put a test lead on it and of course a bit of pressure and it would test okay but once it was running, the connection was opening and closing at random. Sometimes it would start, sometimes not but even when it would run I was getting an occasional miss in the engine. I ended up soldering the connection once I discovered it was the issue and that fixed it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We ran the positive lead on the volt meter to the green wire of the pickup coil, black to the body of the distributor. Wiggled, shook, poked and tap danced on the green wire and it showed no change, still OL on the meter. IIRC that would mean the "circuit" was open, no ground fault. One test we also ran on the pickup coil was a test light from the hot on the alternator to the green wire terminal, when lifted no spark. Read that no spark=no ground fault and it should be good.
My son already ordered a new distributor, I absolutely hate giving in to problems I should be able to fix but this one may just win. My fear is a new dizzy is going to have the same problem and he's out another couple hundred bucks.
 

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True Hotrodder
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I usually test for closed circuits using the Ohmmeter portion of the test instrument. "OL" I know stands for Overload and in the case of testing for resistance then your test is accurate, just an unknown number. Hope the new part resolves the issue.
 

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I had a similar symptom like yours before and I for the life of me could not figure it out and I had my truck running and then just one day I had no spark period. I checked the coil and the rotor and I had an ignition box hooked up to it and all things checked out. I tried to get it working and it just would not run period. I then unhooked the ignition box and put it back to using a regular control module and I still had no spark. I did the tests on everything and all came out fine with out anything showing that it was bad.

I tested the magnetic pickup coil and it said it was good but I even put on a whole cap and ignition coil and a different control module from spares that I had which were brand new and still no spark. I took out the distributor and put a new one on and just to rule things out I put the whole cap and control module that I had in the previous distributor just to see if it worked and sure enough with the other distributor I had spark and it ran again so for some reason it most likely was the magnetic pickup coil that was junk even though it showed fine on the volt meter on resistance and I moved the wires back and forth and there was no break in connection that showed up.

I have been running the same setup for the last two years give or take a little. Sometimes the magnetic pickup coil can just go bad and leave with no spark and you can check everything else and somehow it can just throw you off. I don't know why it tested good but it had to be the culprit cause all else was good and still running till this day.
 

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Best way I have found to get one firing again is to hold the spark plug terminal in your hand while cranking it over......

Seriously though, I would check your wiring connections very carefully not just for a loose connection but for a loose wire within the wire lug. An intermittant connection can drive you nuts.
Had a friend who tried "everything". Gave up and towed it to a shop. They charged him $$$ and got it going. A few days later, same problem. He was just getting ready to take it to another shop when he found the loose connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I appreciate the responses. It turns out, as best I can figure it was the pickup coil. The new dizzy came a day early so we yanked out the old one tonight and put in a new MSD Street Fire 8362. It fired up after one crank and has never run smoother.
Once we had the old generic dizzy out I spun the shaft and it was periodically stopping, as if it was hitting something. The coil was actually coming into contact with the stationary points on the outer ring. Just worn out trash.
It is up and running again, thanks again for any advice, good people and a good forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a similar symptom like yours before and I for the life of me could not figure it out and I had my truck running and then just one day I had no spark period. I checked the coil and the rotor and I had an ignition box hooked up to it and all things checked out. I tried to get it working and it just would not run period. I then unhooked the ignition box and put it back to using a regular control module and I still had no spark. I did the tests on everything and all came out fine with out anything showing that it was bad.

I tested the magnetic pickup coil and it said it was good but I even put on a whole cap and ignition coil and a different control module from spares that I had which were brand new and still no spark. I took out the distributor and put a new one on and just to rule things out I put the whole cap and control module that I had in the previous distributor just to see if it worked and sure enough with the other distributor I had spark and it ran again so for some reason it most likely was the magnetic pickup coil that was junk even though it showed fine on the volt meter on resistance and I moved the wires back and forth and there was no break in connection that showed up.

I have been running the same setup for the last two years give or take a little. Sometimes the magnetic pickup coil can just go bad and leave with no spark and you can check everything else and somehow it can just throw you off. I don't know why it tested good but it had to be the culprit cause all else was good and still running till this day.
So frustrating when things check out but still wont run. Once the old distributor was out it became obvious the pickup coil was trash. Some no name ebay special the previous owner slapped in there.
 

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Yeah I know your pain. The distributor I had though did not have to many miles on it though. I think I had it for maybe less then five years and I have only put about 6000 miles on my truck over the last 5 year period and the distributor had just about I would say maybe 4 thousand on it out of the near 6000 miles I am approaching. I had to replace it about almost two years ago if I can remember correctly and the distributor was a brand new one I got from summit racing for $90 bucks and was nothing overly special but I thought it would have lasted more then that but o well. I kept all the good stuff from it and threw the rest away in the trash.

I currently have a regular ebay one that is an old Skip White special that has lasted so far and has been bullet proof so far and still using the old stuff from the previous distributor on top still since it was all still good. Glad to hear you got it back running again.
 

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I had a after market China el chepe once, I could not get a steady idle. I found a guy who I now call friend with a distributor machine, the plan was to curve it for the car. He mounted the new dist in machine to give it a look over and the thing was all over the place, timing would have been very-able. Put old GM in and it was steady and stable, we used GM unit.

The problem with the el chepo was the weight pivots and weights were slow sloppy they were bouncing around inside, and they were very light weights.

Morale of the story we all have learned “you get what you pay for”
 
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