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Customs 6 volt points (negative ground) won't spark

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ArtGeco, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. ArtGeco
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 760

    ArtGeco
    Member
    from Miami

    41 Buick Super. Was running but I gave it a little tune up (rotor, cap, points and plugs) now no spark. I'm getting 6volts out of the coil but as soon as I attach the wire that goes from the distributor to the coil the gauge zeros out. That should remain hot, right? All the way down to the points? Or is it grounded until the points open? Regardless, I'm not getting spark at the points as it turns over. I know I'm just overlooking something simple. Ideas please. and feel free to insult, I already know it's a dumb question.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,861

    goldmountain

    Are your points opening up?
     
  3. cometman98006
    Joined: Sep 4, 2011
    Posts: 223

    cometman98006
    Member

    That car is POSITIVE ground
     
  4. ArtGeco
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 760

    ArtGeco
    Member
    from Miami

    Yes, and they are properly gapped
     

  5. ArtGeco
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 760

    ArtGeco
    Member
    from Miami

    Nope, negative ground. But Thanks!
     
  6. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 12,021

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    It shouldn’t be positive ground. I’ve owned several older Buicks, three ‘41, a ‘40 and currently have a ‘38 , all negative ground systems.

    To the OP, i’d Check carefully in and around the distributor for the problem. The coil primary system flows from ignition switch to coil + ....out of coil - to the distributor terminal on the side of it’s housing. That ‘thru bolt (screw)’ must be insulated from the housing...inside the wire from that connection goes to points terminal.

    When the points are open, that is the ‘end of the line’ and no current is flowing through the coil primary circuit. (However, a voltmeter or test light, with ign switch on, would show 6 V or light the test light) . When the points close, if everything is correct to that point, current should/will flow through the coil primary circuit IF the point plate in the distributor is properly grounded to the distributor housing (and on thru it to the eng block etc. back to the battery neg terminal)

    This last item can get overlooked. Sometimes that dist/point plate ‘ground’ is defective. In that case, even if everything else is correct, no current flows through the coil when the points close. Likewise, but opposite, if the coil - to the points is grounded before the points, say, at the dist case pass-thru terminal, the coil primary circuit will have current flow (with ign on) but the points can open and close til the cows come home and no spark will occur because the coil magnetic field is not being interrupted by the points.

    It is easy to to get either an ‘open’ or an unintentional ground in the distributor and that is where I would carefully focus attention. If you determine all is correct, I think it may be possible you have a defective condenser.

    Ray
     
    RMR&C, firstinsteele and egads like this.
  7. 54vicky
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 1,602

    54vicky
    Member

    one thing to do is make sure the points are clean or you will not see any spark.P.S. points do not care positive or negative ground they are a switch.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  8. ArtGeco
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 760

    ArtGeco
    Member
    from Miami

    Thank you very much. That gives me several things to look at. In regards to the negative/positive ground issue. I can only attest to how the car came to me 2 months ago and has been running negative ground without issue (until I had the genius idea of a tune up)
     

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