Bad Coil, Very Bad Coil? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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What are the symptoms of a faulty external coil with a points distributor?
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 06:59 AM
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Often times, the car will break up when the coil gets hot. When hot, the winding's, if there is a break, will then open up causing a loss of voltage buildup. What symtoms are you experiencing?
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 07:00 AM
 
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Had one on the 1963 Merc. Meteor I bought off my Trooper buddy years ago. It would get warm and shut off. Cool down and run again until it would get warm again and short out.

No rhyem(sp.) or reason or time frame between doing it. Boy, it was frustrating til I just jerked the coil off and bought a new one the last time it did it.

Hope this helps. pdq67



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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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I'm going through the process of elimination to find out why my '69 Z11 is running like poop at low rpm's, at times backfiring. I checked the points, dist cap and changed out the plugs, fuel filter and it's still running rought at low rpm's. I will say that the plug wires don't look all that great and I'm installing a good set tonight. The car was seldom driven by the 2nd owner, about 2,500 miles the past 2 years! When I pulled out the plugs, 2 were somewhat carbonized and one was kinda black. Also checked the timing and it seems fine.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 07:45 AM
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You can look at the bottom of the coil and see if it is buldged of pushed out, which is a sign of an overheated coil, ignition left in run position for extended period is one way to do it. My own experence is the coil is very durable and it is usually some other component that causes a weak spark.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 08:15 AM
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It's been a long time since I worked with points. I had that problem on a points ignition which turned out to be the ballast resistor. Does your system have one? You can check your wires with an ohm meter to see if there's a wire or more that have significantly higher resistance. Did this problem just start? Also, what about the condenser? Was that replaced?
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 08:21 AM
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Backfiring? Sounds like some carb and / or timing trouble… maybe a powervalve… What kind of carb? A Holley…
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Sadly, I'm not a mechanic but I'm learnin! I have an Edelbrock Quadrajet carb and the car runs fine at higher speeds. I notice a problem between 15-35 mph. I have not changed the condenser because I have no idea where it is or what it looks like (shame on me). Also, what is a ballast resistor? Sorry! I know...you can only help me if I'm willing to help myself. Trust me, I am. Thanks for your help.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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I only did a visible inspection of the points and did not check or replace the condenser. My car does not have a ballast resistor. If all else fails, I'm still planning to goind with an MSD billet distributor with and external blaster coil.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 09:07 AM
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There is no ballast resistor on a stock 69 camaro, the resistance is built into the wire that runs from the ignition switch to the coil. It's purpose is to drop the running voltage to the coil to about 9 volts to prevent excessive pitting of the points inside the distrubutor. Ballast resistors are ussually big ceramic resistors (maybe 2" long and 1/4" in diameter) rectangular in cross section with one terminal on each end. They are installed when the original resistance wire burns up, shorts out, or some 16 year old kid thinks they are cool looking (sorry if there are any out there - I was one once upon a time).

Condenser is usually inside the distributor cap bolted to the points plate, sometimes they are outside the distributro attached to the base of the distributor body just below the cap. Condensers hard ly ever go bad.

How much dwell are you running? 30 degrees is correct (28-32 is the spec).



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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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When I checked it last, the dwell was @ around 29 1/2. The plug wires currently on the car look pretty shabby and I don't get a "snap" fit to the plug. As a matter of fact, one of the tips (inside boot)of the wire was "white" in color. I'll find out this evening when I put in a new set. Any recommendations?
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 11:09 AM
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Did you check how many volts the alternator was putting out? I had a loss of power in my 69 and the thing would not run right after 3000 rpms. A bad alternador was the cause of my problem.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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I'll add it to the list. Thanks.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 11:34 AM
 
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You checked that the plugs are wired up in the right order, didn't you Danny? Sometimes the simplest thing can give you fits because you overlook it. How did the old plugs look when you pulled them out?
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old Jan 22nd, 01, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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I had the guy from Sasche Rod & Custom take a look at my car. 3 of the original plugs were pretty bad. Whoever tuned it up last, did NOT replace 1 plug that was hard to get too and it was in VERY bad shape. 5 were Bosch Platinum and the 1 was an A/C Delco. Just to be sure what is the firing order?
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