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Hot Rods Fairlane I6, 170 ignition help

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by oakmckinley, May 25, 2015.

  1. oakmckinley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2012
    Posts: 241

    oakmckinley
    Member

    Okay I switched the rotor 180, and tried to start it but still no start? Maybe it's flooded now from me trying all morning?
    I'm gonna take a break for a bit and come back to it in a few hours.

    Any other thoughts as to why this thing isn't starting would be great!!

    Thanks!!
     
  2. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    Test light on neg on coil, the light needs to blink "on and completely off" steady as the motor is cranking.

    If it just dims; the points are not making a good contact. The NOS points could have a slight bit of unseen corrosion or oil film. They need to be very clean. Not supposed to use sandpaper as it leaves particles on the points. Any speck of stuff will prevent a good contact. Use a nail file, maybe, or if in a jamb, use a cuticle board but clean the point surfaces with clean lint free cloth or paper, matchbook type cardboard, etc

    Yes, you must check to see if it is 180 out. In hindsight, when you started the swap, you should have left the old dist in, then turned the motor till the rotor was at number one, and had the timing mark at TDC. Now, you need to backtrack a bit
     
  3. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,708

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Don't forget to put a flare-plug in, or cap the cut off line where the original Load-O-Matic attached to the carburetor.

    The new distributor, if equipped with vacuum advance, in this case, should be attached to manifold vacuum.
     
  4. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    Did you test to see if it was out 180, or did you not bother to verify TDC, and just took a chance?

    If you did not prove you were at TDC compression stroke, you are digging a grave here :)

    It does not take long to test it.


    Get it at TDC compression to know at least one thing is correct. Clean the points to get the light to blink steady. It must blink on and off.

    -after the points are clean and "blinking"..........

    -Here is how to set static timing when you drop the dist back in after finding TDC comp on number one:
    -set the front pulley mark at roughly 4 to 8 degrees BTDC. Now put dist back in with rotor pointing to number one wire.

    -put test light back on neg coil wire. Key is "on"

    - rotate the dist body in the direction that the rotor turns, until the light is out. Now slowly go the opposite way with dist body until the light just comes on. Do it several times to get it accurate, slowly. Now tighten clamp, and you will be close enough to start, if rotor is still at number one.
     
  5. oakmckinley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2012
    Posts: 241

    oakmckinley
    Member

    Well I tried the finger over the spark plug hole, but to be honest, being a female my thumb isn't big enough to completely cover the hole. I did make an attempt though.

    When I first started this I did rotate the engine to what I thought was TDC, timing marks aligned. Being a rookie, I didn't realize there was two parts in the cycle where it would appear to be at TDC.

    I understand timing and believe the engine should at least start if I have a spark, even if it is retarded or advanced a bit.

    My main concern now is, I can't confirm I'm getting a spark. I pulled the coil wire off and tried to ground it while looking for a spark but because I had to trim the ends of the wires due to this crab style cap? I wasn't even sure I was grounding it correctly? I saw no spark when tried? So I'm not even sure this NOS unit is working? Condensor wise?
     
  6. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 18,708

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There is not a whole lot going on inside that distributor, electrical wise. It's not an Atlas rocket.

    There is a condensor, points, and a wire running to the points. If it were a vacuum advance equipped unit, there would be another internal wire between the point plate, and the distributor body, which functions as a ground, as the point plate moves.

    Are the points clean? Do they open and close?

    Is the condensor attached properly? In other words, is its wire grounded out anywhere, like the spade connector at the end?

    What do you see at the points, if you crank then engine with the cap off the distributor? Anything sparking?

    After that, there are just plug/coil wire connections.
     
  7. oakmckinley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2012
    Posts: 241

    oakmckinley
    Member

    Thanks everyone, I'm sure it's frustrating trying to explain this but I appreciate it!

    Okay, upon clarification I attached a test lamp to the coil negative and a good ground. When trying to start the light dims, it doesn't flicker?

    I have checked the points, and yes they are opening and closing. I have already scuffed them with fine fine sandpaper thinking they may be contaminated.

    Looking back I know I had it set at TDC when I removed the original distributor.

    I'm pretty sure it's a spark problem. And I know it's not rocket science, if it were I'd have it whipped because I am a scientist and in fact I work on rocket fuel...haha

    I'm just gonna keep at it. I may buy a new condensor and just throw it in there to see.
     
  8. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    If it fails the blinking on-off with test light hooked between grounded metal to the MINUS side of coil, it's not going to spark or run. Is this your new coil or the old coil that ran up till the dist swap?

    The distributor points act as a "momentary grounding" of the minus side of the coil. I assume a NOS dist would not have a bad/broken ground wire on the points plate in there. And I am sure the dist is grounded good enough, just sitting in the hole. So, it is the points we need to look at. Do they close all the way, and do they open up with a obvious gap as it cranks over? They should have been factory set pretty close, IMO.


    other stuff: Finger won't fit? Tightly wad up newspaper, stick in hole tightly, and it will blow out on the beginning of the comp stroke. Then you will likely see that the timing mark on crank pulley still needs to go a bit more to get to the top of the comp stroke.

    How to test coil spark if you have an untested/unknown condition coil: Disconnect minus wire at coil, and put a jumper wire from a good ground, and with key "on": Take the other end of jumper and just keep touching the minus terminal on coil. Each time you do a cycle with the jumper, it will make a "good" coil send spark out of the main coil wire. Just set that coil wire close to, but not touching a ground. The spark should be able to jump at least 3/16" or more.
     
  9. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    I need to explain why a test light would blink each time the points open and close...

    The coil has a hot 12v going to the PLUS side of coil.,,with key on.

    The Minus side goes to points/cond.

    The coil momentarily "fires" when the minus side gets a grounding cycle.

    So, if your points worked OK, and if the points are closed, the test light, with one end grounded, can't light up because it's getting a "ground" through the closed points.

    If the points are open, the test light will light, because it is getting power from the minus side of coil, and it is now not grounded through the points....because the points are open.
     
  10. sunbeam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2010
    Posts: 5,331

    sunbeam
    Member

    If you don't have spark try this Take a test light one of the ice pick style with the switch on turn the engine to where the points are closed put the test light on the moveable side of the points the light should be out (if on points not making good contact ) . Now with the probe open points light should come on ( if not ether short in wire from coil or shorted condenser) I am assuming you are using the old coil and it's OK
     
  11. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,331

    Dan Timberlake
    Member

    ======================

    using an analog ohm meter ( not digital ) when the probes first touch the condenser lead and case the needle should swing up for less than a second and go back to zero.
    Reverse the leads and the needle should swing and return to zero again.

    I have not tried it with a digital VOM yet.
     
  12. oakmckinley
    Joined: Jan 21, 2012
    Posts: 241

    oakmckinley
    Member

    Ok I got it figured out.

    To make sure the engine was at TDC in the right place, instead of using crumpled up newspaper (since my thumb wasn't big enough to fit over the hole) I put a wine bottle cork in there. When cranking the first time it shot out and went about 3 feet, then I checked again and it shot out and went about 20 feet, I figured the 20 foot shot must be the right place.

    Then once I knew for sure it was at TDC, I moved onto the points as suggested. A closer look at them after I removed them revealed they were very oily. So I cleaned them up and the trailing set fired but not the first. So since I was installing the MSD I only needed one set anyway. Then after all that it fired up! Then I installed the MSD and it fired up again. Yay!

    So now I am just dialing in the timing.

    I really appreciate all of you guys help! I wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise.
     
    gimpyshotrods likes this.

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