Question about Cars & Trucks
You understand that the points are the ground point for the primary circuit to the ignition coil? When the distributor shaft turns and the points break contact, that cuts the primary current to the coil. When that happens, the secondary windings in the coil are induced to generate high voltage through the high tension cable out of the coil.
Are the points set to the proper opening gap? Here are a couple of checks you could make: With ignition key on, not start, the small wire to the coil's + terminal should have voltage-check with a test light or voltmeter. Or if you don't have a tester, take off the distributor cap and the rotor. Turn the engine till the contact points are opened. Or you could prop them open with a piece of cardboard or thick paper between the contact points. Turn the ignition key to on, not start. Take a small screwdriver and hold it on the moveable arm of the contact points set. Slide the screwdriver down and touch the base of the points set. If the primary circuit to and through the coil is good, touching the (grounded) base should cause a small spark at the screwdriver tip.
If you have current to the coil, but no spark, it could be a bad coil, but don't forget to check the secondary ignition: From the coil high tension wire to the distributor cap to the rotor to the plug wires and to the spark plugs. All of them need to be checked.
If I owned a car with mechanical ignition points, and planned to keep it more than a year or so, I would buy an aftermarket electronic ignition set up for it (like a Petronix kit, for one). I think you can buy them for under $100, and you will never have to bother with those old points again.
Posted on Apr 24, 2014
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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