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help No spark to plug 383 chevy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Carl E. Hagan Jr., Jul 5, 2011.

  1. My model A only has 5 wires to the new rebiult 383. Everything brand new and I got no spark to the plugs. Did the mallory unilite. Pulled it and put new stock dist. With pertronix kit. This is all on the 1st start of rebuilt motor never ran. Its not coughing or backfiring. Any help or recommendations. Still got 60days till greaserama. Carl
  2. Only 5 wires?:confused:
  3. 1 big power wire from battery to starter. 1small wire on starter cylinoid to starter switch. 1 black & 1 red wire out dist to plus & minus on coil. 1 ignition wire to positive on coil. Oh.1 wire on alternador to positive on battery. Carl
  4. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,899

    from Oregon

    Ok, so you've got 1 red wire that I hope is 12 volt to the + side of the coil, and the black wire shouldn't be grounded on - side. With Pertronix you need 12v. to +, then the red and blacks from the Pertronix to + and - on the coil, and you need a ground cable from the battery - to the block. DO NOT ground the - side of the coil!
    I've had the same thing on the last 3 engines I've looked at where people put new Pertronix in. They either grounded the coil - side, or left the battery ground off the engine.

  5. My battery neg runs to model A rear crossmember. Anyone else with any ideas on this. I really wired this motor the sae way the previous one came out. Thank you for any help with this
  6. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,496

    from Michigan

    Have another beer! :D
  7. d2_willys
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 4,165

    from Kansas

    Break out the test light or voltmeter and start measuring at +12V terminal on Pertronix unit to engine ground. No +12, no go! Sounds like bad ground or - of coil grounded.

    x2 on another beer!
  8. Ran full size battery cable from bateery negative to the block. Only wire on coil negative is the black pertronix wire. Any other input guys. I'm picking up a volt meter tonight. Thanks for any help on this
  9. Be sure you have 12 volts at the coil for starting and running. If you are running a wire from the ignition switch to the coil, it my not give 12 volts in the start position.
  10. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962



    I just went through this with my 350, wired exactly the same way as yours is. Turned out when I reassembled my dizzy I set the pickup too far back and it wasn't sending the spark signal to the coil. Two minute fix, 4 hour diagnosis. lol.

    So- here's an easy way to test it. Put a plug on the coil-out, ground the plug and crank the motor. See spark? No? Pull the distributor and check the pickup.
  11. davidbistolas
    Joined: May 21, 2010
    Posts: 962


  12. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,527


    Carl, if it gets too be too much of a pain, send me a PM. I'll come over and have a look this weekend. I'm pretty good figuring out the electrical stuff.
  13. mrconcdid
    Joined: Aug 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,157

    from Florida

    check for to see if when you turn the key to RUN you have 12v at the distributor then check again to see if you have 12v at the START position on your key.
    Some folks mis wire the key and dont relize it.
  14. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,517


    Ok you do have the black wire to the - side of the coil and the red wire to the + side as the instructions say to do?

    is the magnet sleeve installled correctly on the distributor cam?

    Did you put the rotor back on? It wouldn't be the first engine I have seen that didn't start because the guy working on it didn't put the rotor back on.

    I'm thinking that your ignition switch isn't sending power or 12V to the coil when you are cranking the engine. Some ignition switches are set up to work with a resistor bypass and the bypass wire is what gets voltage to the coil when the engine is cranking. Take a test light (or volt meter) and check for power at the + post on the coil with the key on. Then have someone crank the engine while you check for voltage to the coil.

    If there is full voltage both ways you have a different problem but if you don't have 12V to the coil when you are cranking you will have to solve that issue. There are two easy ways to accomplish that. one is to run a wire to the resistor bypass pole on the solenoid if the solenoid has one. If it doesn't you could run a push button switch that would get 12V to the coil when you pushed it while cranking the engine over. That might also serve as a bit of a safety or anti theft feature as the engine wouldn't start unless you pushed the button while cranking the engine.
  15. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers

    Also to add to all the others, make sure the coil is good and that the primary resistance is within spec. for the pertronix. If you're not sure CALL THEM . I had the same deal with my sbc and the kit to convert the points dist. was 1.5 ohm on the primary. Accel super stock coil is 1.2 and that's was close enough to work just fine. Good luck
  16. Ok, this thing is still not starting. The volt meter shows 12 at the coil positive. I figured the plugs weren't getting spark per the way it's not coughing or backfiring or anything, but pulled #1 & ground the plug against exhaust manifold & it's sparking. Pulled plug from other side of motor & it's sparking. Both plus spark at the same time as cylinder pressure blows my finger off the plug hole. I'm confident distributer is in correct just from experience. "I feel this has got to be something simple, but just cant figure it out." New ground from battery neg. to block too.

    At this point, I'm trying to start the car until the battery drains, which at that same time, the starter and coil feel hot to the touch.

    No keys, all toggles' and disconnect. Super simple and drove itself on the ramps before pulling the motor.

    Any idea's or anything else you can recommend for me to try.
  17. Butcher's Shop Customs
    Joined: Mar 11, 2010
    Posts: 373

    Butcher's Shop Customs
    from Paducah KY

    If it's sparking, and you're confident it's timed pretty close to correct, you can rule out a spark problem and move on. That leaves air and fuel, and it's getting air or it wouldn't be able to turn. So what about fuel? Are you smelling gas, after all this cranking and no start?

    Did you use a new fuel pump? Electric fuel pump that may not have gotten wired? Bad fuse on an electric fuel pump?
  18. mysteryman
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 253

    from atlanta

    make sure you have plug wires in proper firing order and your getting may also want to rotate dist.while trying to crank could be to far out of time
  19. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    I went through a similar situation with a regular dizzy.

    Air, Fuel, Spark....and COMPRESSION are needed to start an engine.

    good luck.
  20. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,527


    He must have some compression, because he said "cylinder pressure blows my finger off the plug hole".
  21. Hellbentrodder
    Joined: Aug 10, 2010
    Posts: 124

    from Cotati

    Try putting a little ether or fuel into the carb and then crank. Be careful of backfire! It should at least pop or something and then you know no fuel.
  22. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


    yes, I read that. But so did mine. Just not enough.

    while cranking it over, we dumped a quart of tranny fluid down the carb...slowly. The next morning, we pulled the plugs, turned it over for a bit, installed new plugs and it fired right up, well, sorta.

    Now it starts, runs, drives just great.
  23. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,762

    Black Panther
    from SoCal

    Are you sure your rotor is not off 180 degrees? If when you have TDC on number one and your timing marks are lined up at 0...where is the rotor pointing? You said you pulled the distributor out..just want to make sure...normally if you are in the ball park as far as timing goes it will do something...but nothing makes me think its off 180...
  24. "Thank you to eveyone who replied on this ordeal of mine, Thank you."

    Got it running this weekend. I'm still not real sure what was wrong. I do know once the starter got hot, then the motor turned slow and then drug down the battery something fierce.

    The only additional thing I did was run that addition ground from the battery negative all the way to the motor. Still didn't start right off, kept overheating starter & killing the battery.

    Saturday, I bought two brand new batteries & two new starters & decided to just keep rotating the motor and leave the distributer alone. I really thingkthe motor was just real tight.

    I rotated the starter & battery about six times Saturday and the thing coughed and then it started Sunday morning. "Probly charged both brand new batteries at least 4 times at Advanced A-P, and them guys were hating on me by 4 pm Sunday night.

    Eveything is new including clutch, pressure plate & flywheel, distributer (2 of them) and well....I think I just needed to keep keep'n on & keep turning the motor & it finally hit.

    I did learn & now consider myself pretty dang good with a volt-multimeter and timing light. Thank you guys for all the help. Carl Hagan
  25. Who'd a guessed! Glad ya got 'er runnin'.
  26. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,099


  27. ironpile
    Joined: Jul 3, 2005
    Posts: 915


    Just for insurance,add a direct ground from batt to engine.The other tips are good as well.:D

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