Proper steps to check for spark? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 15, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Location: Redding, CA, 96003
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Question Proper steps to check for spark?

Car ran fine last night..went out to take it out of the garage and crank but no fire. Smelled fuel when I pumped the gas so I think it's spark.

Should I check for 12 volts at the + terminal of the coil...then take a plug wire off and check for spark at the terminal...then...??

I have an MSD distributor and ignition if that makes a difference.

Thanks for any pointers,

Donnie

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 15, 05:10 PM
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Darrell
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

They make a spark check tool that is installed between the spark plug and spark plug wire or you can pull the plug wire off and install a spark plug - make sure the plug it is grounded - and watch for spark while somebody cranks it over. Now if you don't see spark move up the ignition system ladder. I would pull the coil wire from the dist. cap and hold it about a 1/4 inch from a good ground to see if there is current there
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 15, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Okay, will do tonight when I get home. Thank you for the quick reply.

Donnie

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 15, 06:13 PM
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Al
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

You can just connect a timing light to any plug wire - see if the light fires when you crank it. If you have an MSD box, check all connections and keep your fingers crossed that it didn't go t/u, which isn't that uncommon.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 15, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Thanks BPOS, good to hear from you bro!

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 15, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Okay so I put a timing light on it and it didn't flash while cranking..checked the coil and there is NOT 12 volts when the key is on. The ignition fuse looked fine, pulled it out to check and the little red light on the msd box does come on when the key is on.
Any ideas as to where I can go from here to track it down? I was going to try throwing a coil at it tomorrow?

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Okay so what powers the positive side of the coil when the key is on? I have a new American Autowire harness not the old resistance wire type of it makes a difference.
Should I check the ignition switch be sending the power or is it more likely an issue on the engine side of the firewall?

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 09:23 AM
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Al
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Assuming that you have a 6AL box -

Your IGN wire routes from the ign switch to the box - the coil+ wire comes from the box.

I would check the red(?) wire from your ign switch to the MSD box. See if you have power there.

Some MSD distributors require the box in order to work - others can be used with or without. If you can determine that your distributor will work without the box, you can wire the distributor around the box and see if it works.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 11:12 AM
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Doug
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

I would check the red wire going to the MSD box for 12+ volts when the key is on. If you don't have 12+ volts find another source for 12+ volts. If you are using the two pin Magnetic Pickup of the MSD to trigger the ignition, follow these steps. 1. Make sure the ignition switch is in the Off position.
2. Remove the coil wire from the distributor cap and position the terminal so it is approximately 1/2" from a good ground.
3. Disconnect the MSD Magnetic Pickup connector from the distributor.
4. Turn the ignition to the On position. DO NOT CRANK THE ENGINE.
5. With a small jumper wire, short the Green and Violet magnetic pickup wires together then pull the jumper off. Each time the short is removed a spark should jump If spark is present, the ignition is working properly. If no spark Substitute another coil and test again. If there is now spark, the coil is at fault. If there is no spark still then the box needs to be checked. Send it back to MSD, the instruction are on their website. See this page. http://www.msdperformance.com/page.aspx?id=4209
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

What are the 2 pin magnetic pickups? Sorry for the ignorance.

I did get the distributor that can be used with or without the box. Basically got the box for the rev limiter.

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

I've got 12 volts to the box. Just not from the box to the coil. How do I bypass the box and run only the distributor?

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

I looked and that little connector with the purple and green wires is not connected to anything. It is just hidden behind the box.
Going to go grab a cheap coil and see if it happens to work. I tried texting the ohms of resistance through the coil with it off the car and it comes back no good I believe. It's just the no power to the coil + is what has me thinking it's the box.

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 02:32 PM
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Al
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Based on you've said I think it's a problem with box also. I don't see the need to buy a new coil yet - if there isn't power to the positive side the engine won't start.

You should be able to find wiring directions for your dist on the internet - just need the model #


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Don
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Ok right on. Thanks man, I didn't think about that.

68 Camaro - 540 HP AFR 412 CI, TH350 full manual, 3500 stall, 3.36 yukon gears/axles, 8.2" eaton posi, 17 inch Intro's. Jet black. Hotchkis sways, 3 in drop leafs/springs/bilsteins, G MOD, C5/4th gen brakes. 11.89 @ 119//2.01 60 ft
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 15, 03:38 PM
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Doug
 
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Re: Proper steps to check for spark?

Don, Check out the diagram on the bottom of page 10. This is the way you are suppose to have the box and distributor wired. http://www.msdignition.com/uploadedF...ions1/6425.pdf The violet and green wires from the box go to the distributor. Did you do the test like in post #9. This will show you whether the coil or the box is bad. Page 9 shows the test with pictures.
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