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Discussion Starter #1
My car wont start. I dont have spark. My power lead to the distributor is read 11.60 volts. I replaced all but 10 inchs of the resistor wire a while back. Ran a 12 or 14 gage wire to it. Is this normal voltage for a car that is not running? Any other thoughts on why the car wont start. Obviously it is ignition?
 

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I bet your joint is bad youll have to solder the power wire again.
using those cheap squish type splices will corrode over time.
what are you getting for voltage on the - side of the coil/
mine doesnt have any voltage going to it not running in the off or accesory position
I get 12.5 in run (same as voltage on the battery)
 

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Did you attempt to solder a wire to the old terminal? If so, you probably have a bad connection there. Despite what others say, my advice is to not solder the connection. Get a new connector and crimp it. Solder doesn't adhere to brass very well.

To find out if you're losing voltage, measure from the coil hot to the battery + post. You should see less than 0.01 volts or so. Then measure from the distributor body to the battery - post. Again, you should see less than 0.01 volts.

You didn't say what your battery voltage was when you read 11.6 at the coil. 11.6 should be high enough to generate a good spark. But if you have a resistive connection, when the ignition module closes the circuit with the coil, your voltage may be dropping much farther causing a no spark condition.

A typical fully charged battery at rest should give you at least 12.0 volts. If that is the case with yours, you're loosing 0.4 volts somewhere. That's a sign of a poor connection somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I did replace the plastic splice connector with a soldered connection. I also replaced the distributor cap and rotor. I also replaced the electronic module inside of the cap recently. Any other ideas? Could it be the coil or a ground problem? Oh yah my battery voltage is 12 volts . I still have about 1 foot of that resistance wire in the wire.
 

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You might coil back and insulate the existing wire and run a new 12AWG from the IGN spade on the fusebox just for giggles.

Yes, it is hard to solder to an OE nickle-plated wire, brazing is the key.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I think I have enough voltage at the distributor unless someone tells me otherwise. When I crank the engine over it doesn't even fire once in a while. Just nothing. Tells me it is not a spark plug or spark plug wire. Need to get it fixed to bring it in for alignment Saturday. Any other ideas? I may run a wire from the fuse panel to the power connector. Which lug on the fuse box would I attach it to? I ran a separate wire from the fuse box and it measured the same voltage at the other end. What else can go wrong inside the distributor?
 

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Have you checked the pick-up coil in side the distributor? I have seen the wires break inside the dist. between the pick up and moduale
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I am not sure what it looks like. Is it connected to the C shaped electronics module? Thats about the only other thing inside the distributor? Correct
One other idea. what if the ignition was to far advanced?
 

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Nice ride, very nice ride. You might check timing while you have another cranking to check timing and see if you have spark, timing light will flash.

Inside the dist cap, you will see the module, the C-shaped item. The pick-up is the device around the shaft in the middle of the plate. Coil resistance is usually 1K-1.5K. You said you changed the module, did you smear all of the dielectric grease on the bottom of the module? Very important to do so, it provides a path for cooling the module.

With 11.6 V at the end of the wire, voltage may not be there in the START position of the key. The ign switch may have burnt contacts and replacement may be the next step. Fortunately, the switch is at the top of the column just above the brake pedal and not in the dash. Just thinking here, you might need to adjust the switch at the column to make contact when in the START position.

Usually, HEI's are infallible. To get another source of power during ign, look at the fusebox and look for the single/labelled spade IGN on the far right of the box. As I suggested before, run a wire from this IGN terminal.

Let us know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Everett #2390
You may be onto something. Is this switch sense the brake pedal position also. There is a switch on the column attached to the brake pedal. This is the only switch looking device I noticed on the column near the brake. One other thing I noticed. When I turn the engine over the tach is reading normal then bounces up to 2K to 3K RPM. Obviously the motor is not turning over this high. Is this normal?

With 11.6 V at the end of the wire, voltage may not be there in the START position of the key. The ign switch may have burnt contacts and replacement may be the next step. Fortunately, the switch is at the top of the column just above the brake pedal and not in the dash. Just thinking here, you might need to adjust the switch at the column to make contact when in the START position.

Usually, HEI's are infallible. To get another source of power during ign, look at the fusebox and look for the single/labelled spade IGN on the far right of the box. As I suggested before, run a wire from this IGN terminal.

Let us know what happens.[/QUOTE]
 

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Get a test lamp and remove power from the distributor and substitute the test lamp. This will tell you if a load pulls down your 11.6 even lower. The ignition module won't load the circuit very much unless it's in the dwell cycle. If you have a bad connection, you can get near full voltage when there is no load and dang near zero volts when loaded. The test lamp should give you a better indication of how healthy the power feed really is.
 

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Everett #2390
You may be onto something. Is this switch sense the brake pedal position also. There is a switch on the column attached to the brake pedal. This is the only switch looking device I noticed on the column near the brake.
No, the ignition switch, the electrical part of it, is bolted to the top of the column and long in length, about four inches maybe. Ign switch would be between the brake switch you found and the steering column clamp to the bottom of the dash.
One other thing I noticed. When I turn the engine over the tach is reading normal then bounces up to 2K to 3K RPM. Obviously the motor is not turning over this high. Is this normal?
No, troubleshoot the ign power wire using a test light as dnult suggested. Should be relatively bright when cranking.
 

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I still have about 1 foot of that resistance wire in the wire.
That is not the correct way to do it. The wire may show voltage when there is no load, but will decrease under load.

Hook the BAT wire directly to the + battery post and she if she'll fire.

You can buy a pre-made wire that snaps right into the bulkhead, and is very easy to install.


****EDIT***

What distributor are you running? My post assumes HEI.
 

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1 foot is a bit on the long side, but it should still work. I don't recall what the factory resistance wire resistance is. I think it's something like 2 ohms. There was about 6' of wire in the harness so that would be something like .33 ohms per foot. I'd prefer less, but that shouldn't prevent the car from running reasonably well.
 

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I agree with Dave.
While it's not the right way to do it, HEI's have been connected to the entire length of the resister wire, and the car still runs.

Has the car ever run with this HEI in it?

If yes, do you know the timing is still set right?

Are we dealing with "the car ran last week, and won't run this week, I touched nothing"

or

I put this distributor in a month ago, and am just now trying to start it for the first time"
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I ran a 12 gage wire from the ign fuse spade to the distance of the distributor. It read exactly the same 11.6 volts. Jim M told me about the resistence wire issue about 2 months ago. It ran for the year I had it with a full length resistence wire. It ran for a month or two with the shorter wire. It is a HEI distributor for over a year at least, as long as I have owned it.. I have a new ign switch that was laying around and may install it. However I think if I run a 12V signal right off the battery it should fire right? Any problems doing this to test? I have changed everything in the distributor now except the Capator and the electrical interconnect the connects to it and the module.
I installed a new pick up in it last night. Pretty sure I oriented the gear right. Anybody know how the gear orientation is?
 

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Is this a GM HEI?
I've seen the wires break in the cap where the coil leads connect.
You've probably checked that...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Been there done that on the coil wires. I have not replaced the coil in the cap. However it is only 1.5 years old. Yes it is a GM HEI.
 

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Won't hurt anything to run a wire from the battery to the BAT connection and will rule out a lot of stuff.

If it ran and then it doesn't, we can rule out installation related troubles, timing, stuff like that.

If it's not the module, and the rotor isn't burned thru, then the only thing left is the pickup coil.

You sure it's not out of gas?
 
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