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  #1  
Old July 19th 2004, 18:21
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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Distributor issues...I think

Last week I pulled my engine apart and replaced all of the seals along with the garbage pushrod tubes that were on it to try and oil-proof the blasted thing. When I went to put it back in I came upon something of a problem...it won't start. It turns over but there's no spark. I traced the problem to the distributor. Using a volt meter I found 12.4 vdc coming out of the coil (big black wire to distributor cap). The problem is that there is no juice getting to the spark plugs. The thing that doesn't make sense to me is the fact that it ran like a champ til the day I pulled it (except for the oil of course). I tried everything I could think of: checked a wiring diagram, adjusted the points, adjusted the timing, cleaned ALL of the contacts...I even tried a completely different distributor from a car my dad just bought. Nothing. I'm sure it is something simple like a wire in the wrong spot or something like that but I can't figure it out. I took the weekend off to clear my mind but I'm gonna jump back on it tonight but I was hoping I could get some direction before I wasted more of my time.

On a side note...I put on disc brakes and the calipers hit my wheels in a big way. I guess I have to get some tries mounted on the EMPI 8-spokes I have out back. Even then I'll still have to take the tiniest bit of material off the calipers. That bites. I better get back to work before I start to hate my car again...
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  #2  
Old July 19th 2004, 18:54
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NO_H2O NO_H2O is offline
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Double check the connections on the coil. You should have 12vdc to the + side of the coil and the trigger wire from the points/condenser to the - side of the coil. If it was reversed and you turned on the key the coil may be toast.
Also check the static timming and double check the firing order. turn the engine to top dead center and pull the valve cover(rt. side) and make sure both valves for #1 cyl. are closed. Then line the rotor(in the dist) up with the #1 plug wire in the cap twist the distributor body untill the points open and the rotor is still lined up. Snug down the dist. clamp and start the car. Warm it up and set the timing with a timing light to 28 deg at full advace (@3000 rpm).
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  #3  
Old July 19th 2004, 20:06
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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the coil may be toast?

Well I did have it hooked up backwards the first time we tried to fire it. Is there any way to test the coil to see if it is trashed or not? Just to add a new twist of weirdness I also tried the coil off my dad's car with similar results (no spark). The static timing is right on but at this point the timing isn't a huge issue since we have no spark at all. Even if it was out of time we should still be getting juice through the wires...just not at the right time.
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Old July 19th 2004, 20:16
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Try a new Condenser. It may not be any good and it will not trigger the coil if it is bad(open). I would not try to measure the voltage from the plug wires, you meter will not like it. The coil output should be 30,000 to 40,000 volts and it will destroy your meter. You can hook your timming light up and see if it strobes to check for spark. or see if you get a spark jump to ground at the end of the coil wire(it should be a nice blue spark, if it is week and orange the coil it week).
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  #5  
Old July 19th 2004, 20:19
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO_H2O
I would not try to measure the voltage from the plug wires, you meter will not like it. The coil output should be 30,000 to 40,000 volts and it will destroy your meter.
I would never <GASP>. I checked it the old fashioned way...stick a screw driver in the plug wire and see if it arcs to the header. Works like a charm...well at least if there's spark it does. I'll give the condenser a shot. Thanks a ton.
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  #6  
Old July 21st 2004, 21:03
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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no such luck...yet

Well I tried two different coils (see "huge box of parts that comes with the car") and a different distributor in various combinations....nothing. I double checked everything to make sure it was all as it should be but I must still be missing something. I had a painful recollection of a previous electrical disiaster so I double and triple checked the fuses...again, still nothing. Just to recap, here's the "state of the baja address":

12vdc into the coil, 0vdc out of the distributor (I'm tempted to put my tongue on the plug just because I can ). The car ran about a week ago so I have a hard time understanding how and when something would have broken unless it was something like juice running the wrong way through the coil (as noh2o mentioned....which I'm pretty sure happenned at some point). Rotor is good, points are good, timing *should* be good, etc.

In other news, I get the aforementioned 8-spoke wheels back tomorrow with a bright shiny set of tires on them...it's amazing what $300 can do for a problem like that. I'm gonna be very angry if I get tires before I fix my spark problem...then I wouldn't have any excuse to complain to the wonderful folks at Wheel Works, and that would be a shame.
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Old July 22nd 2004, 18:07
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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I could really use some suggestions on this guys. I'm getting antsy to get it back on the road and knowing it's something simple is driving me mad . 2 hours and counting til work I get off work and the fun begins . Thanks!!
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  #8  
Old July 22nd 2004, 18:41
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NO_H2O NO_H2O is offline
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You have 12vdc to the + side of the coil?
You have the trigger wire from the points/condenser to the - side of the coil?
Static timing is good?
Firing order is good and in the correct rotation?
Distributor is rotating?
Coil/points/condenser are good?
ignition wires are good?
cap/rotor are good?
Plugs are good?
Engine/transaxle ground strap is good?
Fuel/compression are good?
Should run.
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  #9  
Old July 22nd 2004, 19:26
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO_H2O
Engine/transaxle ground strap is good?
How do I check that. It was good a week and a half ago so I'm sure it still is but just in case...Is there any way I can check the condensor? Same story...worked then, probably still does, just making sure. Thanks a ton for the help. At least the tires will look nice while it sits there
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  #10  
Old July 22nd 2004, 19:54
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To check the ground strap you must inspect it an make sure you have no resistance to the chasse and the bonding areas are clean.
Just repace the condenser, due to the fact that you hooked the coil up backwards I would go with a new one. I would susspect the coil might be damaged also .
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  #11  
Old July 23rd 2004, 15:50
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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no dice...

So far everything I have tried has done absolutely nothing. I still have 12vdc into the coil and 0 out of the distributor. After trying 4 coils, 3 distributors, and 3 condensors I am beginning to think that maybe that's not the problem. Is there anything else that might cause this to happen outside of coil, distributor, rotor, points, cap, points, condensor, etc.? I am absolutely mystified at this point. I'm gonna give my parts guy a call this afternoon to see what it'll set me back to get everything from the coil to the plug wires...definitely not looking forward to that. The thing that bothers me the most is that I know it's something so simple and I'm just missing it. I'm sure it'll be good for a laugh when I figure it out though.
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  #12  
Old July 23rd 2004, 18:05
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Are your plug wires good?
Is the distributor turning?
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  #13  
Old July 23rd 2004, 18:06
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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brand new and yes...I don't get it.
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Old July 23rd 2004, 18:25
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OK, sounds like it is time to check for wierd stuff. Do you have a tach? If so unplug it from the coil and try it. I have seen a tach or tach wire shorted to ground keep a coil from firing. If no joy is found there then get a wire long enought to go from the Battery to the + side of the coil and swap the original 12v wire to the coil with a temp wire from the battery. If the wire in the harness is almost open it will show 12vdc at the coil but will not carry any current and will have a bad voltage drop. When to try it make sure that ONLY the new +12vdc wire and the - wire from the condenser are connected to the coil. I once boght a cap and rotor and eithe the cap was too tall or the rotor was too short and it (my 73) wouldn't run, it took me a while to figure that one out so check that. If your old set of plug wires were working before this go back to them (sometimes new dosn't = good).
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  #15  
Old July 23rd 2004, 22:29
beesquad711 beesquad711 is offline
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now that it's over we can laugh

Well I got it to fire and I'm one throttle return spring away from being on the road . After chasing my tail for just about a week I have found the problem and solved it....the points. It's a little more complicated than what it sounds so here it goes...

First, I hooked up the coil backwards and unknowingly fried the points that were in the distributor. After noh2o suggested that points might be an issue I proceeded to gap/adjust the aforementioned fried points. Also following up on the advice that the coil and condensor were likely blown after hooking it up backwards I proceeded to try several combinations of the coils and condensors I had in various parts boxes around my garage. After ruling out those 2 parts as the source of the problem along with my earlier checking of everything else (wires, points, rotor, cap, timing, etc.) I began to look for weird stuff. One thing I forgot to mention earlier was that I also tried a second distributor. This is where the fun begins . Having adjusted the points on the first (busted) distributor, I thought nothing of it....even after I swapped out for a new dist. BIG mistake. I knew it had to be way too simple but the points in the second distributor were WAYY out of adjustment (less that 8/1000ths gap). After fixing that I immediately got spark, checked timing and firing order and fired it up. Man I can breathe a big sigh of relief. Thanks for the help noh2o!!!! You're a life saver .
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