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The rotor spins inside the distributor cap. At the end of the rotor is a curved metal piece. At each spark plug, inside the distributor cap are metal posts that are cut out. When rotor spins inside cap a spark jumps from the rotor end to the post, to the plug wire ,to the spark plug.The space between the rotor and post in the cap where the spark jumps, is the air gap.
I did this also recently, but I also changed the distributor cap and rotor. THAT was my problem....Distributor screw tabs on distributor are plastic and can break off.....1st...Make sure you installed the wires in the right firing order. If they're correct, check your cap and rotor and make sure they are seated correctly. If the tabs broke off, Napa makes a metal U shaped piece that fixes this.
If you have spark on the high tension lead from the coil tower, then there must be a problem with the distributor cap or rotor. The cap may be cracked. Look for black fine lines on the cap. The rotor button may be worn, and not making contact, or the rotor arm may be worn. New cap and rotor!
Your spark plug wires, are they still good? Still supple (not brittle or cracked)? You can check them with an ohmmeter to see if the resistance is still within acceptable range.
Change cap and rotor and test the coil. Also make sure all wire connections to the cap are good...filing may not be solving the problem but removing and plugging back in may be. Also check internal dist wiring for breaks, especially pickup coil wires from under breaker plate.
there should be 2 clips on from the rotor housing to the cap, pull the clips off and lift the cap, you will want to change the rotor inside as well. do not remove the spark plug wires from the old cap yet...replace the rotor, it will only go on one way, and put new cap on, it too should only go one way. now, one at a time, pull the plug wires and put them on the new cap that is mounted. this will ensure that you have them in the right order.
1. Double check the connections at BOTH ends of the wires- at the distributor and at the plug.
2. Make sure each spark plug boot has proper connection.
3. Double check the plugs to make sure that they are all gapped correctly and no contamination.
4. Hold each spark plug upright and make sure that the ceramic insulator near the tip isn't loose and sliding down and possibly covering the metal tip..(had this happen more than once)
5. Check for spark at each plug (be careful)
6. Open the distributor cap and double check all the exposed metal connectors are clean.
7. buy one extra plug and change out the suspect plug.
Fouled spark plug? Bad wire? Rotor / cap new? Check those things out, wear a thick rubber glove, take the wire off the non working plug, put a screwdriver next to the wire (while car is running) and see if a spark is made. If it is, your plug is bad. If no spark, replace wires. Still no spark? Change your rotor and cap. Still no spark? Ignition module. Following those steps will save you some green.