How to check for a spark? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 04, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11

Hey guys, well how would I go about checking for a spark at the plugs with points ignition? I just got all wiring fixed because the previous owner hacked it all up. So I can now crank the motor from the ignition, but it won't start. I want to make sure I have a spark. Also, the previous owner had the cap off, so I just placed it where I think fits.

Any suggestions on what to check so the motor can finally start?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 04, 08:54 PM
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Location: Monroe, NC
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First if you have a multi meter.. check that you have 7-12v dc going to the + side of the coil when the ignition is in run. if yes next step, if not check the ign fuse on the fuse block. If thats good check for voltage at the resistor located on the firewall with the ign sw turned to run. Check both sides for power to ground. if power only on one side then the resistor is toast.

If the resistor and fuse are good ->
pull the coil wire from the distributor and put a bolt in the end. hand it aboutr 1/2" from the block. Have someone else turn over the motor unless you can see it from inside.. A spark should jump from the bolt to the block.

If that works.. reconnect the wire and pull the wire from one of the plugs, placing the bolt in it as before and hanging near the block. turn the motor over. You should see a spark jump from the bolt to the block.

If no spark from coil, try a new coil first, or check to make sure that the points aren't welded together.

IF a spark from the coil exists, but not one from the plug've got issues in your distributor. Perhaps a bad rotor or cap.

See if this helps out at all.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 04, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 269

I just usually get the wife to hold onto the spark plug wire when I am cranking the engine over. When she hits the wall, I know I have a spark.

Note: This only works on one spark plug wire.

Just kidding - Randy
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 04, 06:37 AM
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That was a good one Randy, I needed that! [img]graemlins/beers.gif[/img]

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 04, 08:56 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
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A timing light is a good way of checking. No flash = no spark. Another trick you can play with breaker point ignitions is to power up the ignition and twist the distributor back and forth to open and close the points. It will spark each time the points open. In fact, this is a good way to set base timing. Align the marks and turn the distributor until it sparks.

68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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