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No Spark from coil

1956 Chevy Nomad 327 small block, mallory magnetic breakerless dist., promaster coil, mallory 8 mm wires, recently rewired entire car during restoration. voltages check out ok with switch off no voltage on coil, with switch in on about 3 volts on + side of coil, when cranking voltage is ~12 volts but no spark have replaced the distributor (with new one) new promaster coil, rechecked ignition circuit wiring all per diagram. Still no spark. Pulled promaster coil from another classic car I have and put in and it started up. After shutting down it went back to no spark.

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  • StevefromTN Jun 08, 2008

    You are right it was 12 .5 volts, must of had a brain dead moment.

    if I can I will attach three diagrams of the wiring circuits (Word format)I used to wire and check.

  • Gregs 51 Jul 05, 2008

    Iam currently restoring a 1951 ford pick up . It has a big block chevy with Mallory unilite electronic ignition distributor and Mallory Promaster coil. The problem I am having is no spark. When the ignition switch is in the on position and the distributor harness (3 wires) is unplugged from distributor to coil, I get 12 volts to the ballast resistor and 12 volts coming out of the ballast resistor to the coil. I also get 12 volts at the negative side of the coil. When the distributor harness is reconnected to the coil, I get 5 volts at the positive side of coil and 1 at the negative side. Also the Ballst resistor gets real hot. I have already replaced the ignition module in the distributor, and I am still having the same problem. Please help, I am getting frustrated.

  • jsullivan18 Jan 03, 2009

    Ihave the same problem but even if Itake the ballast resetior out of the circuit Ionly have about 2.5 volts with the module plugged up but if I unplug the module volts goes to 12 volts



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I have problem with coil not working. In the morning,car with not start, but if I run a wire from battery to (+) to coil (+) will start. the rest of day no problem,car will start. but next morning same problem no spark from coil. c

Posted on Jun 14, 2009

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I don't beleve 3 volt is enaf for the coil it has to be at least 9 volts
if this car has a resistor on the car or on the circuit going from ignition switch to ignition coil replace it, but if it does not have one then it has to have one built in the circuit wish is going to be very hard to find i will recomed you to get straight ignition power from ignition sw, to an aftermarket ignition resistor and from there to the positive side of ignition coil,
but also let me know what promaster means? is that the brand? or is that a performance coil?
and does your car has elecgtronic? or points system ignition distribuitor.

Posted on Jun 08, 2008


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1977 c10 is not getting fire at all it turns over but won't crank

This is probably an old ignition system so tracing where power is, and isn't would be my approach.
- Spark at a plug lead?
- Is there a separate coil or is it a breakerless distributor with the coil ol top.
- If there is a coil, pull lead at distributor end, remove distrubutor cap, and manually open and close points (if there). may need new points and condensor OR
- If breakerless, sometimes the wires to the transistor will break and there will be no spark.
Here's a great link if you're into the technology.

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No spark

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Jul 18, 2013 | Cars & Trucks

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What do you remove to have access to spark plugs

Tools you will need before you start1. 1/4" ratchet2. 1/4" extention3. 10 mm socket, 1/4" drive4. small flat bladed screwdriver5. 3/8" ratchet6. 3/8" long extention7. 5/8" spark plug socket, 3/8 " drive8. air compressor with blow gun or can of compressed air9. long needle nose pliers10. 1/4" internal diameter rubber hose 8 inches long11. wire coat hanger12. neverseez lubricantProcedure1. Remove the two 10 mm cap nuts on the top plastic housing over the engine2. Remove the two fasteners on the back of the housing and remove the plastic cover3. You will see four plastic blocks with four wire clips on each block. These blocks are individual coils for each sparkplug.4. Use compressed air to blow out debris around the blocks5. Use the small flat bladed screwdriver to carefully lift up on the tab that holds the electrical connector onto the block and slide the wire clip off the block.6. Remove the 10 mm bolt that holds the plastic block onto the engine. Use the needle pliers to firmly grasp the plastic screw and pull straight up to remove it
7. Loosen the 10 mm nut on end of the plastic rail that holds the wiring harness for the blocks so that the round plastic washer on the bottom of the block will not break when you pull off the block8. Carefully pull the plastic block out of the engine. There is a 4 inch tube attached to the block that extends into the engine to the spark plug. It will take some twisting and pulling but you must be careful not to catch the back part of the round plastic washer that you cannot see, on the bottom of the plastic wiring harness.9. The spark plug is at the bottom of the 4 inch hole.10. Blow compressed air down the hole to remove debris11. Use a 5/8 sparkplug socket with a rubber collar on the 3/8" extention to remove the spark plug. The rubber collar will hold onto the spark plug as it is removed.12. The NGK website recommends making sure the spark plugs have the correct gap .044 but the spark plug box says not to adust the gap because you might damage the needle point iridium tip. The new spark plug has a protective cardboard tube that is removed.13. Spark plugs can stick inside aluminum heads and break off when you try remove them, leaving only the threads of the plug inside the engine which will necessitate removing the head to remove broken spark plug. Putting neverseez on the threads of the new spark plug will prevent that in future spark plug changes14. Now comes an interesting choice. You can use the rubber tube over the neck of the spark plug to slowly drop it down the hole and hand tighten it or you can use the spark plug socket with the rubber collar. If you use the spark plug socket, the rubber collar will stick to the plug and you will pull off the extention, leaving the socket in the hole. A pair of long needlenose pliers will reach into the hole and remove the socket, but the rubber collar may remain on the plug and you will have to bend a piece of coathanger with a short 90 degree tip to reach into the hole and pull out the rubber collar. The rubber collar is there to prevent you from cocking a regular 5/8" deep socket at an angle which will break off the neck of the sparkplug, necessitating another 10 dollars and another trip to the auto parts store.15. After the spark plug is hand tight, give it 1/2 turn more.16. Replace the square block, being sure that the black silicone gasket on the bottom of the round plastic washer does not get bound up on the engine post where the 10 mm bolt goes. Tighten the bolt17. replace the electrical clip.18. Go to the next spark plug and repeat the procedure.19. After the last spark plug is done, be sure to retighten the 10 mm nut on the wiring harness rail20. Replace the plastic cover over the engine and you are done

Nov 09, 2011 | Toyota Cars & Trucks

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Where does the number 1 plug wire go on the dist cap for a 87 chevy van with an hei system

Insert the number eight spark plug wire next and route it to the corresponding cylinder. For this example we use a Chevy small block firing order, which is: 1, 8, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7 and 2, rotating clockwise. The wires must connect to the corresponding cylinder numbers which are: left bank cylinders (viewing from the driver's seat) 1, 3, 5 and 7; right bank 2, 4, 6 and 8. Low numbers begin in the front of the engine.

Oct 03, 2011 | 1987 Chevrolet G20

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Not getting fire to plug wires. I have replaced coil pack, module, dist pickup,and cap. I have tested and have fire to dist but nothing coming out. This is an 86 2.8 comanche 4x4 w/ 4 barrel Holley carb...

You have spark on the coil wire but not coming from the cap. You replaced the cap right. Did you replace the rotor too. Sometimes the rotor burn in the center and the spark goes right thru it in to the distributor shaft.

Aug 11, 2010 | 1986 Jeep Comanche

3 Answers

Firing order on a 305 on the cap. Got the wires all messed up...

This method is good for the firing order on all chevy small block v8 engines from 265 cubic inches to 400 cubic inches. This would include 265, 283, 305, 327, 350, 400 cu. in. chevy small block v8 engines.

Let's cover some safety concerns first. If you try to troubleshoot a mixed up firing order with the engine running, you could be in for a serious shock,.. literally. You can do it, with certain precautions, but you really don't need to check the firing order with the engine running. You definitely don't want to try checking the firing order if you are wearing any kind of pacemaker or sensitive electromechanical prosthesis. The voltage coming out of the ignition coil is in the thousands. Common sense dictates that you wouldn't stick a knife in an electrical outlet, so you wouldn't want to take chances with being shocked by the electrical discharge from your classic chevy's ignition coil either. See the diagram:


The firing order, which should be cast into the intake manifold, for the chevy small block V8 is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. The firing order is the numerical sequence in which the spark plugs are fired. The insertion position of each spark plug wire around the circumference of the distributor cap can be found according to a clock face. The insertion sequence determines the firing order. The firing order is followed clockwise around the distributor cap starting from the 6:30 position with the 6:30 position being the number one cylinder spark plug wire.

On classic chevy small block engines that use ignition breaker points instead of electronic ignitions, the number one cylinder is the one immediately clockwise of the small metal sash cover on the distributor cap. The firing order starts here. There is no sash cover on the distributor cap for GM HEI electronic ignitions, and the firing order is the same, but starting at the 5:30 position.
The firing order makes sense if you know how the cylinders are numbered. The number one cylinder is the front most on the drivers side and 2 being the front most on the passenger side. From front to back, the cylinders are odd numbered on the drivers side, and even numbered on the passenger side.

Additional details HERE.

Hope helps (remmeber rated this).

Jul 12, 2010 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have no spark at the plugs when cranking the engine.

could be a bad pickup coil in distributor or a bad ignition module
hold dist. end of coil wire near like 1/8 inch away from engine block. turn key on ond off while watching for a spark. if you see one then i would try a pickup coil first
also make sure dist turns when you crank it

Mar 25, 2010 | 1983 Dodge Ram Wagon

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