can I ground out an ignition coil and expect a spark

Discussion in 'Electrical and Ignition' started by perko, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. perko

    perko Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    21
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    Location:
    Seaside, California
    Local Time:
    5:11 PM
    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

    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    619
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Location:
    Melbourne FL
    Local Time:
    8:11 PM
    yes
     
  3. Tooljunkie

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

    Messages:
    6,071
    Likes Received:
    4538
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2017
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Local Time:
    7:11 PM
    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

    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    15
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2018
    Location:
    Vancouver Washington
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    5:11 PM
    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

    Messages:
    37,712
    Likes Received:
    5377
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Idaho
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    5:11 PM
    "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
     
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Dana67Dart

      Dana67Dart Most undignified way to get to Colorado!

      Messages:
      1,376
      Likes Received:
      503
      Joined:
      Jul 16, 2017
      Location:
      Northern Colorado
      Local Time:
      6:11 PM
      Yes but..... Grounding charges the coil, ungrounding causes the spark.

      upload_2018-10-30_20-48-17.png
       
      Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
      • Like Like x 1
      • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
      • BillGrissom

        BillGrissom Well-Known Member

        Messages:
        7,184
        Likes Received:
        319
        Joined:
        May 10, 2009
        Location:
        Sacramento
        Local Time:
        5:11 PM
        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.
         
        • Agree Agree x 1
        • AUSA66

          AUSA66 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

          Messages:
          20
          Likes Received:
          13
          Joined:
          Nov 20, 2014
          Location:
          Perth
          Local Time:
          9:11 AM
          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
           
          • Agree Agree x 2
          • Tooljunkie

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

            Messages:
            6,071
            Likes Received:
            4538
            Joined:
            Jul 22, 2017
            Location:
            Manitoba
            Local Time:
            7:11 PM
            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.
             
            • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
            • AJ/FormS

              AJ/FormS 367 FormS clone 3.09-1.92-1.40-1.09-.78od 3.55s

              Messages:
              14,436
              Likes Received:
              3761
              Joined:
              Jan 19, 2014
              Location:
              South-Central Manitoba,Canada, 900ftelevation
              View My Photos
              Local Time:
              7:11 PM
              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.