can I ground out an ignition coil and expect a spark

Electrical and Ignition

  1. perko

    perko Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone, i'm trying to figure out a no spark problem i have. If I were to ground the ignition coil wire that leads to the distributor should I expect it to spark kind of like testing a spark plug?
     
  2. mderoy340

    mderoy340 Well-Known Member

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    yes
     
  3. Tooljunkie

    Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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    Can use a spark plug for that matter.
    To test coil without points or ecu, battery pos to plus side of coil and scratch a ground across neg side of coil.
     
  4. Christine&Rusty

    Christine&Rusty Driver for Wile E Coyote, Genius, CEO ACME Inc. FABO Gold Member

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    So it runs or no??? No spark at the plugs??? It's on correctly-POS to wire from ignition, NEG grounded to block?
    Dumb questions, but sometimes they are never asked.
    Easiest thing in the world to do here.
    #1-Make sure the hot is hot, and the ground is not. (Can quote me on that one)
    #2-If you have a neighbor you don't like or a "Village Idiot/Village Drunk", make sure #1 is done correctly, then have someone-one of the previous designees-pay them $5 if you need to- and when they are holding on to it, crank it!!! (They should have negatively grounded themselves also-reaching for a beer and bare metal works good)
    That charge from the coil WILL light you up, so go easy on #2, I can get away with it except that 4 hours a month when Village Drunk is sober.
    OK, 1 wire leading to the coil should come in hot, and the other side is ground, thats the same pole most tach's hook to.
    I honestly don't remember one sparking when connecting the wire-I disconnect BAT.
    A new one might be what you need.
     
  5. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 Well-Known Member

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    "It ain't" (always) that simple...............

    Is this a breaker points distributor? If so, the distributor might have an internal problem, IE the condenser/ capacitor is bad and THAT might prevent a spark
    The dist. points wire might be grounded

    DISconnect the dist wire, but with points ignition (which requires a good condenser) don't expect much of a spark if you ground the coil and have no cap connected

    Some more:

    Turn key to run, check coil + and coil - voltage, making sure points are closed You should see somewhere between 6--10V at coil + and less than 2 volts, less the better-----on the neg terminal

    Open points, both readings should go to "same as battery"

    Put your meter on coil + crank engine, read meter. With engine cranking, you should see at least 10V or more
     
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    • Dana67Dart

      Dana67Dart Most undignified way to get to Colorado!

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      Yes but..... Grounding charges the coil, ungrounding causes the spark.

      upload_2018-10-30_20-48-17.png
       
      Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
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      • BillGrissom

        BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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        Yes, post #6. And don't get your fingers close when holding the wire. Even on the lower-voltage "primary" side, you can get a good shock from the coil.
         
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        • AUSA66

          AUSA66 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          I found by connecting an old file or rasp to ground then run the ground wire in post 6 up & down the file sort of simulates the point opening & closing
          The spark will be quite feeble as the condensor is not in circuit but enough to prove the coil is could sort like a poor mans defib
           
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          • Tooljunkie

            Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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            I pulled a plug wire off a running gm with hei,and bad wires. I got a jolt,through the fender. When leaning on a fender guess whats closest..
            Been extra careful since.
             
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            • AJ/FormS

              AJ/FormS 68 B'cuda fb, Form S clone ... 367/A833/3.55s FABO Gold Member

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              Man I never saw that coming; I laughed so hard.
              I suppose A bolt of lightning to the lightning rod, could be a prick of a thing;
              better you than me that's for sure,lol.
               
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