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Author Topic: No Spark  (Read 334 times)

Deano2002

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No Spark
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:25:58 PM »
Yesterday we had some strong winds here that knocked out electric in some parts of the RV park we stay in, ours was out. I was attempting to move rather than run the generator all night but, the old big block chevy would not start, I check for gas at the carburetor which it was getting. Next I pulled a plug wire off at the distributor cap and cranked, no snap or arching. I have had no signs of anything going bad so, where would you start, at the coil in the cap or other places? Can the coil be checked with simple multimeter? Thanks in advanced
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

sightseers

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 03:43:38 PM »
90% of the time it's the HEI coil pack inside the dist. cap.

here's a test video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEOdRoeS4mk


Deano2002

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 06:06:35 PM »
they give no warnings? It ran fine a 10 days ago, yesterday it tried to fire then nothing. I'll start there though
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Old_Crow

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  • Phormer Phantom Phixer
Re: No Spark
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2018, 06:17:32 PM »
If you change the coil, I'd get a new cap and rotor at the same time.  I've seen spark burn through the plastic of the rotor in search of a ground that was less resistance than the plugs.
Of course I'd also check to make sure the distributor is getting power at the 2 wire plug before I changed anything.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

sightseers

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2018, 08:18:55 PM »
they give no warnings? It ran fine a 10 days ago, yesterday it tried to fire then nothing. I'll start there though
Yes, good one minute and defective the next. Typically they last about 5 years.
I've had them go out when I turned the truck off at a friends house,  many guys carry an extra with them.

They go out so often most every chain auto parts store (Autozone, O'rileys etc) have new HEI units hanging on the checkout rack.

As I remember they run about $49.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 08:22:35 PM by sightseers »

Deano2002

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2018, 10:33:03 PM »
If you change the coil, I'd get a new cap and rotor at the same time.  I've seen spark burn through the plastic of the rotor in search of a ground that was less resistance than the plugs.
Of course I'd also check to make sure the distributor is getting power at the 2 wire plug before I changed anything.
cap and rotor has less than 3000 miles, I will check them just the same
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

Old_Crow

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  • Phormer Phantom Phixer
Re: No Spark
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2018, 09:09:05 AM »
When the cap and rotor was changed, did the little ground strap get transferred from one cap to the other.  I've seen them left out by accident, and the coil burns up rather quickly after that.
Wally Crow
Retired 30 year ASE Master Auto Tech
Y2K Bounder 36S F53
'03 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

catblaster

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2018, 06:29:27 PM »
Yes, good one minute and defective the next. Typically they last about 5 years.
I've had them go out when I turned the truck off at a friends house,  many guys carry an extra with them.

They go out so often most every chain auto parts store (Autozone, O'rileys etc) have new HEI units hanging on the checkout rack.

As I remember they run about $49.

Be more than a little leary of the chinese knock off HEI units. I have had several here that just aren't made to the standards the the OEM or quality replacement. Things like when installing the rotor cap it locks up the centrifugal weights or the bearings spin in the housing instead of being locked with the shaft spinning inside. Tiny differences in length can be a problem with pressure on the oil pump if the shaft is slightly longer.

I have extra HEI modules bagged in the tool box for several vehicles I own since they are a known source of trouble. Also If you buy a spare it is best if you know how many "pins" it has since there are different applications.

Good Luck, Will 
« Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 10:27:58 AM by catblaster »
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

catblaster

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2018, 06:33:26 PM »
When the cap and rotor was changed, did the little ground strap get transferred from one cap to the other.  I've seen them left out by accident, and the coil burns up rather quickly after that.

Been there and done that too. On one motor it would not fire until I let off the starter switch and as soon as I did she would start and run just fine. I tried everything and finally noticed a carbon track where it had bee shorting out to make the circuit.....put the ground bar with a new coil in and boat runs fine now
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

Deano2002

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 06:12:47 AM »
When the cap and rotor was changed, did the little ground strap get transferred from one cap to the other.  I've seen them left out by accident, and the coil burns up rather quickly after that.
I sure dont remember if I did or not, I did check that I have power to the coil and, I do.I will go with ACDelco unless Accel is the better choice
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

catblaster

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 08:11:41 AM »
I sure dont remember if I did or not, I did check that I have power to the coil and, I do.I will go with ACDelco unless Accel is the better choice

Rumor around has it that Accel quality has gone downhill since it was bought out by Mr Gasket (Mr. Crappy Gasket)  but in the last few years Accel, Mallory, and others including Mr. Gasket was bought out by MSD performance group. So there may be hope. That said, I havent had any problems with them lately.

Delco and Standard are still hard to beat for quality....JMHO
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

sightseers

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 09:52:51 AM »
Delco  :))

IMO.....OEM parts always fit and work best.

Deano2002

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2018, 05:14:34 PM »
New acdelco coil gives 454 life again
1989 Champion LaSalle 34' project

sightseers

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Re: No Spark
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2018, 04:04:21 PM »
New acdelco coil gives 454 life again

Glad it worked out  :)

(buy a spare)