Jump to content
perrymedik

No spark at points

Recommended Posts

Hello again to all!

 

After being away from home and the board for a while I am back for the moment.  I hope everyone is doing well!

 

My problem: When I try to start the car - it doesn't.  The area I am focused on is the Points in the Distributor as they have always given me problems.  I tried my usual fix of using sandpaper between the points to get them cleaned up, but this time no luck.  With the Distributor Cap off and trying to start the car I see no signs of a spark passing across the points at any point during their opening and closing cycles.

 

When I follow my voltage through the system I have the following readings, with the ignition on:

 

With the Points Closed:

From + Coil terminal to Breaker Point (Stationary) = 6.24V

From + Coil terminal to Breaker Point (the one that moves) = 000.1mV

 

From Breaker Point to Breaker Point (using the metal, not the points themselves) in the open and closed positions = 6.24V

 

My thought process is that the Point to Point reading is erroneous because I am bridging the material of the points that contact one another and providing a path for the voltage to flow through the meter.

 

It is my assumption that with the points closed I should get the same 6.24V when one meter lead is attached to the + Coil terminal regardless of which side of the Points I am on when they are closed.  

 

I do know that if i'm not careful with my meter leads I create a quick spark if I brush against something inside the Distributor that is grounded - so current is definitely inside the housing.

 

Again, the car was running fine before I let it sit for 6 months due to my absence, and I think the problem is the points.  No spark equals in the distributor would explain why there is no start at the plugs in my mind.  But again - it's been 6 months and even though you all helped me rebuild the engine and get it out on the road, I'm sure there is something i've forgotten.  

 

I have made no alterations or adjustments to anything.  I have a new set of Points on standby but wanted to get feedback before I changed them out and make problems for myself that weren't there before.  I have taken some pictures as best as I could of the points so that you could have visual of what is going on. When I compare the new points to the ones that are currently in place I think that they may be oxidized - but they could look normal to everyone else here that knows what a set of points that have been used look like.

Thanks in advance!!

 

Cory

 

P.S. Plymouth Adams - I did consult the Service Manual before posting! :D haha!

 

<a href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/perrymedik/media/1949%20P-18%20Rebuild%20Project/11BDFFC5-4770-4A0C-B74E-361DFF2A3E8C.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg48/perrymedik/1949%20P-18%20Rebuild%20Project/11BDFFC5-4770-4A0C-B74E-361DFF2A3E8C.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 11BDFFC5-4770-4A0C-B74E-361DFF2A3E8C.jpg"/></a>

 

<a href="http://s245.photobucket.com/user/perrymedik/media/1949%20P-18%20Rebuild%20Project/8E6AB7E8-18E9-4556-A627-5299D9BC6ABA.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg48/perrymedik/1949%20P-18%20Rebuild%20Project/8E6AB7E8-18E9-4556-A627-5299D9BC6ABA.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo 8E6AB7E8-18E9-4556-A627-5299D9BC6ABA.jpg"/></a>

 

8E6AB7E8-18E9-4556-A627-5299D9BC6ABA.jpg

 

11BDFFC5-4770-4A0C-B74E-361DFF2A3E8C.jpg

Edited by perrymedik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yah put the cap back on, and see what kinda spark you have to the plugs.

Put some gas down the carb and crank her to life. or is it flooding?

What should go wrong sitting for a short time, is your lead from the coil the dizzy shorting to ground somehow.

Power to coil, lead from coil to dizzy, coil high tension lead has power. points gap okay, what about the condenser?

Have you put the meter on the coil to check both primary and secondary windings to verify in spec?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cory..am glad you read the book..however, the book is lacking a bit in actual ignition troubleshooting...read this page and see if it will get you a bit closer to your ignition woes...

 

http://randysrepairshop.net/test-your-basic-ignition-coil-circuit.html

Edited by Plymouthy Adams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like there might be a small bit of transfer on the points and after them setting for a while, it's not uncommon for oxidation to build. you may need to get a bit more aggressive sanding the points. A point file would be a better choice than the paper if you have one. If the point file doesn't clean it up and get them working, the condenser would be my next suspect.

Edited by Dave72dt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The condenser is also my first thought after looking at the age of the wire coming off it. Points are strictly mechanical, where as the condenser can be intermittent and fail just from setting. You said you had problems before and cleaning the points would help. If your condenser was going TU, this may be one of the symptoms.

 

Joe

Edited by soth122003

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell you from experience that sand paper can leave a residue on the points which prevents electrical contact. a point file and aggressive cleaning is necessary. just change them if you have new ones, but you will get a better cleaning by removing them to do so.put the new ones in with the dist. out of the car for ease of installation, gap them per the manual and the car should start. you can fine tune the timing and dwell later. if the issue is elsewhere, new points are something that sounds like you need anyway. capt den

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd also suggest a points file rather than sandpaper.......and while your at it, replace the condenser..........andyd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the input.  I just got back home from a 36 hr shift.  I apologize for not getting to the board sooner.  I will take the time on Friday to read Plymouth Adams link, and apply everyones suggestions.  In the mean time I'll order a Points File.

 

As for the plugs, carb, fuel etc, I didn't look at those yet.  I did put an inline bulb between the Plug and Distributor, but it never flashed which is why I started looking into the Distributor.  Since I'm not getting any spark at the points I am assuming the problem lies in there somewhere.  

 

The Condenser is probably about 5 years old, but has very few hours of running time - so I could consider it new-ish.  

 

I'll get into the reading tonight and the practical application on Friday and return with updates.

 

Thanks to all for the help!  I'll be back soon!

 

Cory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the input.  I just got back home from a 36 hr shift.  I apologize for not getting to the board sooner.  I will take the time on Friday to read Plymouth Adams link, and apply everyones suggestions.  In the mean time I'll order a Points File.

 

As for the plugs, carb, fuel etc, I didn't look at those yet.  I did put an inline bulb between the Plug and Distributor, but it never flashed which is why I started looking into the Distributor.  Since I'm not getting any spark at the points I am assuming the problem lies in there somewhere.  

 

The Condenser is probably about 5 years old, but has very few hours of running time - so I could consider it new-ish.  

 

I'll get into the reading tonight and the practical application on Friday and return with updates.

 

Thanks to all for the help!  I'll be back soon!

 

Cory

What kind of bulb? I think you are not looking in the right place. Distributors normally do not fail when sitting idle. But fuel systems do. I hope you have not messed up your distributor to the point where you now have multiple problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

99% of the time when I find no spark on an old Mopar   (usually sitting  outside) it's just the slightest build up of corrosion or oxides on the point contacts.

Clean em carefully and thoroughly and there will be spark.

New distributor condensers from the common parts stores lately been of very poor quality and fail quickly or do not function at all..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dodgeb4ya, on 29 Dec 2015 - 4:30 PM, said:

99% of the time when I find no spark on an old Mopar   (usually sitting  outside) it's just the slightest build up of corrosion or oxides on the point contacts.

Clean em carefully and thoroughly and there will be spark.

New distributor condensers from the common parts stores lately been of very poor quality and fail quickly or do not function at all..

Just had to clean the points on a 1957 Dodge Sierra 325 cuin. v/8 project this summer. The car never failed to start for me, let it sit for a month and no spark/start. Filed the points and it started immediately. This car also sits outside, for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You mentioned that you had the same voltage across the points whether open or closed. This means the points never closed (electrically speaking). Just like you would have full voltage across an open switch in a circuit. Either file or replace the points.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that you have a short inside the distributor. Might be time to remove the entire unit and give it a close inspection. Could be a bad wire? A good clean up and testing on the bench may be in order.

Make sure to make a note of where the rotor is pointing if you do this.

 

Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

check the small wire going to the points that is resting against the dist. body. it can have the insulation worn down making a direct short to ground,then the engine will not run. capt den

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

**UPDATE**

 

It is alive!!  After carefully reading all of the posts, recommendations, and supplemental site info (provided by Plymouth Adams), I was able to head out to the car this afternoon and put it all into action.

 

The first thing I did was take the brand new Point File that had been recommended (I try to avoid passing up any "tool buying opportunity") and gave the points a good cleaning, closed everything back up, hooked up the battery and turned the key.  Much to my surprise she tried to cough and start right away!!  A couple more tries to get the fuel flowing and she started running as smoothly as the day I parked her!  

 

After a good warm up period at idle I took her for a drive down to NAPA to pick up some Motor Oil and Cooling fluid as it was time to change them both after the break in period from the rebuild.  I want to make sure I don't have any gunk left rattling around in there.

 

I did notice that my Column shifter is very 'tight', or rather there is much more resistance when trying to move it between gears regardless of speed or being stopped.  I'm thinking some wet graphite down the column might be in order, but I need to research it first.

 

Thanks to everyone that helped me get her back up and running again!  I have set a calendar reminder to start her every 5 days.  I'm also going to look at switching over from points to solid state so that I don't run into this particular problem again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that solid state is a bad idea, but I put my car away for the winter (3 months minimum) for over 10 years, and never had to put a file to the points to get started :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that solid state is a bad idea, but I put my car away for the winter (3 months minimum) for over 10 years, and never had to put a file to the points to get started :)

Well. . . . . . I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I keep mine an a portable garage with a fan running, but not much else I know to do about the humidity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So once you got fuel flowing it started right up.

Well, the fuel was always flowing. But once I got spark back, the fuel that was flowing would finally ignite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×