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Projects No spark from coil, no start

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Mister E., May 4, 2018.

  1. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    1. Hello, newb here. I'm working on a 1958 apache that has sat for a few years and it is getting the dreaded no spark out coil routine!

      Have changed the coil twice with same results. Also the ballast resistor was split in 2 so replaced it. Still no difference.
      I am new to working on these beautiful trucks, but have always wanted one since I was a kid. So part of My dream has come true lol.
      Anyway, its a straight six, starter button on the floor, with ignition/ key switch on dash. Manual transmission, looks to be a 1 ton chassis with heavy spring setup in rear.
      So here is My question, how do I get spark from coil? I know I need new battery terminals and cables since the originals are severely corroded and I'm sure there is a lot that I will probably have to do. But I would really love to get the ol girl up and running asap.
      Any help is much appreciated. Thank you in advance.
     

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    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  2. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 966

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    Do you have power at the coil from the ignition switch?

    Is your distributor still points? Is it working right

    Did you replace the coil with one that needs a resistor ?

    What is your battery voltage and cranking speed?

    A few more things to check before you start up the parts cannon


    Not much in the way of wiring on these trucks but you need good ground and wiring from the battery etc. For the system to work
     
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  3. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    We checked the coil from battery with a jumper and it would receive power but not send power to the other side. (Where the coil wire it self goes to the distributor. Nor sure about ignition switch it self but when put a rest light on it there is juice getting to it and from it on other side.

    Yes it is still a points distributor. Points look clean and snap back into position.

    Not sure if the coil needs a resistor. Mighthave to go to parts store and buy brand new one that does not need a resistor. We used 2 that came from running 56 and 60 chevy trucks so figured they would be ok.
     
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  4. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,791

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    watch the points while a friend cranks it over. make sure they are opening and closing. take some 180- 320 sandpaper and drag it thru the points to clean em. then do the same with a business card to remove any sandpaper grit from between the contacts.
     
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  5. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    I have to get spark from the coil before the points will even be a factor.
    If there is no spark from the coil to get to the distributor then it's moot.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  6. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,791

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member


    the points are what triggers the coil. you have it backwards. clean the points then start it up
     
    crminal, ottoman, Mister E. and 3 others like this.
  7. I bet it needs a good old fashioned tune up and changing the consumable parts.

    Condenser, points, rotor, cap, plugs and wires. Coil?? The right one and the correct ballast resistor.

    All that stuff needs to good
     
    Mister E. and chryslerfan55 like this.
  8. Friday night
     
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  9. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    Ooops. Ok. Will give that a try. We did try cleaning the points first but can look again and make sure the are clean.
    Thank you.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  10. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    I have thought of that also. Has fresh fuel already, might have to pull these parts and put new ones if the points thing doesn't work.
    Who knows but willing to try and trace the issue as I go.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.
  11. Vanness
    Joined: Aug 5, 2017
    Posts: 388

    Vanness
    Member

    Sounds like points issue. Moriorarity is right. Need the points to open to fire...even a test light works for this. Regardless. With power to coil and new coil, you should see spark if points are moving and opening. Sounds to me like they are closed.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    54vicky, Mister E., Truck64 and 2 others like this.
  12. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 2,365

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Beware new issue POS condensers from the auto parts stores. Put the original back in or grab one from the junk box and try that.
     
    bobwop, Mark Hinds, 6inarow and 2 others like this.
  13. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 2,365

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    A handy trick that works good. Soak a crisp US $1 dollar bill* in carb cleaner or lighter fluid. Drag it lengthwise through the closed points several times. May have to repeat the soaking, it will evaporate quick. US currency is made with linen so it's tough and has some abrasive to it without leaving anything behind.

    Technically emery paper or sandpaper is a no-go for points. At least, the ignition manuals say it is. I know, I know, what the hell do they know? Supposed to use a point file, or riffler file. But a dollar bill is usually handy.

    If you're running mechanical voltage regulators the points inside those need attention now and then as well. Nobody does this.

    * $20 bill for Alaskans, Californians, NYers., etc.
     
  14. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 4,537

    BJR
    Member
    from Minnesota

    After you clean the points, spin the motor with the distributor cap off until the rubbing block on the points is on the flat spot on the distributor cam. The points should be closed. Turn the key to the run position and check for 12 volts at the coil terminal that goes to the switch. Now pull the coil wire out of the cap so it is just in the coil. Hold the coil wire about 1/4" away from the engine block and snap the points open and closed and see if you get a spark from the coil wire. If no spark, change the condenser, and try again. If you can't get spark this way check the wiring from the coil to the points and check to make sure the distributor is grounded. Report back.
     
  15. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    Thank you all, I will be checking and let you know as soon as I am back in the yard to work on it.

    Thank you for all the responses
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018
  16. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,459

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The points are just a switch. They ground when closed. You can check them with a 12v test light. When they sit around for years they sometimes get a white fur on them that prevents them from working, easy to clean off with 6oo wet or dry sandpaper.

    If the points are working and switching the power the coil should fire, you can check by sticking a spark plug wire into the coil and see if the plug fires. If not you could suspect the condenser or coil. A coil is supposed to have a certain amount of resistance, you can check this with a multimeter. If it is not open or shorted it is probably ok. If you suspect the condenser it is easy to put on a new one.
     
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  17. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,557

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    31 is correct....a while back my brother bought an old pickup that had sat for 16 years, after draining the tank, carb and blowing out the fuel lines we loaded it with fresh gas and tried to start it....no spark and no go.
    We had a known good spare coil and tried it, still no spark.
    So we quit messing around went all the way points, cap, rotor, condenser, plugs, and wires, Fired right up.
     
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  18. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    Ok everybody, I'm back at it today. I just bought new points and condenser. Rather than picking used parts, I want to guarantee that I get her running with good parts. So here goes everything, I'm praying this works and we get spark and a start today!

    Will post later today/tonight to let you all know how goes.
     
  19. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 1,815

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I didn't see it mentioned (or I missed it), but you have to set the point gap properly. .016 sticks in my mind for new points for that engine. Look at your manual to verify.
     
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  20. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    Ok I will check once I get set up at the yard and have a look at the new ones compared to the ones currently on the engine.
    Thank you
     
  21. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    I know this will sound dumb, sorry. What side does the coil condenser attach?
    I believe the positive terminal on the coil but if I am wrong then please excuse My ignorance
     
  22. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,791

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member


    here is a pic. looks like the plus side original engines 3.jpg
     
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  23. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    Thanks.

    Before I install anything I AM getting power now to the distributor.. But the light on the tester stays on even when the points close. What now??
     
  24. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

    Ok here's what I got so far.. Pics with test light .. Lights up on both positive and negative but NOT center. STILL no spark.
     
  25. Mister E.
    Joined: May 4, 2018
    Posts: 79

    Mister E.

  26. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 1,815

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    the condenser bolt into the distributor. Are you asking which side of the coil goes to the distributor? that would be the - side.
     
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  27. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 12,791

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

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  28. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 1,815

    Budget36
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That's a good way to kill that test light. You're going to get 20,000 volts out of there if it fires-coil wire hole.
     
  29. VANDENPLAS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2009
    Posts: 966

    VANDENPLAS
    Member

    You should have positive on both sides of the coil with the points closed.

    Your saying you still have no spark.

    Try wiring your coil instead of off the ign switch go directly to your battery and try.

    What does your cap and rotor look like?
    Remember this is the path the spark had to take from coil to wires to plugs.

    How are you checking for spark?
    Usually I stick a spark plug or screwdriver in the end and lay it close to steel and see how fat a gap the spark can jump.a test light will show you nothing and quite possibly shit the bed looking for coil secondary voltage (12v compared to 20,000 !!)

    Is the distributor rotor even turning?

    Did you replace the condenser ?
     

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