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10/22/08 2:24pm - Original Message: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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   I have a 1976 covette that has been sitting for 1yr - I went to start her the other day, but she will not start.  The car is turning over, but won't start - I did see that I am getting fuel, but no spark.  I have replaced the p/u coil, distributer cap, rotor, ignition module & ignition coil, but nothing has solved the problem - still no spark.  I also put a test light on the main iginition cable & I am getting power.  The battery is dead (of course) & I am trying to jump the car first, then I will purchase the new battery.  Please Please solve my problem.  Let me know if anyone requires further information.

 
Thanks for the help.
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10/22/08 3:05pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
Gunslinger
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Frederick, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1969 convertible L71 427/435 4-speed black interior

Joined: 9/8/2003
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I can only relate what happened to me and my '69 once. 

A similar thing occurred...no spark.  Everything looked correct but still no spark.  When I was inspecting everything, I had the chrome cover removed from the shielding around the distributor and coil, I decided to try again to start the car and it fired right up and ran fine...like nothing was ever wrong. 

To inspect everything again, I reached over the distributor...didn't touch it...and I got the electrical shock of my life!  I felt like I had to run into a dark room and check to see if my n_ts had turned into night lights! 

What had happened in my case at least, was a pinhole had formed in the coil wire boot and the spark was grounding out through the RFI shield cover instead of going through the distributor to the spark plugs.  When I had my hand near it the spark jumped to me. 

Replacing the coil wire boot fixed my problem.  I don't know if you have your RFI shield in place or not, so your problem could be completely different.  If your shielding is in place, try it without it.


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10/22/08 3:27pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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Yes,
 the shielding has been removed.  Thanks for the info though.
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10/22/08 6:24pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

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1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

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Your car has an HEI distributor.  This is fairly easy to diagnosis.
 
Disconnect a few plug wires and crank the engine to make sure there is nothing coming out of the distributor.  You could just have bad plug wires, or shorting spark plugs.  Either one can happen after sitting.
 
First test for power on the red wire on the side of the cap with key on.  If that's okay, leave the wires connected and remove the cap.  You may need to pull some plug wires off the cap, but keep the wires on the side connected.
 
Make sure all of the small wires are in good condition.
Put a test light or dwell meter on the brown wire next to the red power wire.  This is the tach wire.  Crank the engine.  If you get a dwell reading or the test light flashed, the pickup and module is working properly. 
If so, hold a jumper wire near, but not touching, the center contact in the cap.   Crank the engine.  If it sparks, the rotor is shorted and stopping spark from leaving the distributor.  If it does not, replace the ignition coil.
 
If the brown wire did not pulse, disconnect distributor pick up connector from the ignition module.  With the key on, use a jumper or screwdrive tip and repeatedly touch one of the contacts on the module, pulsing it to ground.  If nothing happens, do the same thing with the other contact on the module for the pickup.  If the coil now fires, replace the pickup.  If it does not, replace the module.
 
Just one addition.  If you did not get the spark, before replacing anything, disconnect the brown wire from the cap and crank the engine.  If you get spark,  something is shorting the brown wire to ground.
 
 
That is all there is to the HEI.  Fairly simple once you know.  Feel free to ask more questions, and let me know what happens.
 
 


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10/22/08 8:07pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
ebo Lifetime Member
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10/23/08 9:25am - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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Thanks for the information.  I have already replaced the p/u coil, distributer cap, rotor, ignition module & ignition coil, but will retry all these tests again tonight.  Forgot to previously mention that I had replaced several spark plugs & wires (the easiest ones to get to).  hopefully it is the brown wire you speak about.  I will try tonight & let you know what happens.  Thanks Again.
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10/23/08 12:15pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

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#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

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Make sure there is 12v+ on the large, red wire on the dist. cap connector while cranking. You can have voltage there with the key on, but loose it when you turn the key to the "crank" position. If you loose the voltage while cranking, you'll prolly need to check into the ign. switch, or a connector issue.

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10/23/08 6:54pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
acplus
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1972, 1980

Joined: 6/23/2008
Posts: 558
If you think that you have an issue with power on the red wire at the distributor you can pick up power using a jumper wire from the big red wire at the alt and connect it directly to the distibutor, this will give a test supply of power to see if it will start.
John


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10/23/08 8:00pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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I tested the large red wire to the dist & in the on position it gives me 12+ volts.  When the ignition is turned to start the voltage falls to 6 volts.  I assume this means the ignition switch is bad ? or could it be more than this ?  I was looking in a repair manual & on the '76 it appears I need to drop the whole steering column.  I guess my first step is to try the test suggestion from acplus prior to dropping the steering column ?

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10/23/08 8:36pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
acplus
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, - Canada

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1972, 1980

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When you tested the voltage did you have it plug into the distibutor? Unplug it and try it. Then go to the other test from the alt
Sometimes after years,,,the ignition switch rod doesn't have the switch make full contact, while stand on you head you can try to straight it out a BIT, or push it towards the switch or try turning your ignition cylinder(key) on and off a feww extra times.... also check the plug at the switch for burn markings. And if you can check your supply voltage to the switch.
John


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10/23/08 8:38pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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Thanks - will let you know the results.
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10/23/08 9:05pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
acplus
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, - Canada

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1972, 1980

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Let me know...good luck

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10/24/08 9:51pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
kstyer Lifetime Member
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CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH - USA

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1975 C3 Red, T-Tops, Black Interior. All I need is time and money! Getting there!

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IF you are dropping to 6 volts when cranking, see if you have the same voltage drop at the battery.  If so, you could just have a bad battery.  Or the starter is pulling WAY too much power.  Either way, the engine would be cranking slowly.
 
See if you have enough voltage at the battery connection at the alternator when cranking.  You need at least 9 volts at the dist and the alt both.  If not, but it cranks okay and the battery voltage at the battery is okay during cranking, then check the connectons at the starter and the fusiable links coming off of the starter.
 
If the alt voltage is good, but the dist voltage is low, look at the ignition switch.   At that point the suggestion of running a jumper from the alt to the dist would be a good easy test.


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On the "Tail of the Dragon"
(some day, no strike that, October 2008 it turned red, still in progress!)

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10/25/08 9:06am - Reply: 'no spark !!'
eddie20875 Lifetime Member
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Lanoka Harbor, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1975 metallic blue coupe with t-tops,L48, t/t steering, black leather interior. 1990 L98, white/red leather interior, auto,a/c

Joined: 12/21/2006
Posts: 828
try getting a new battery. sometimes with a dead battery such as yours a jump wont give it enough juice to start. i have had this happen on a couple of cars and once a new battery was in there was no problem. one car ran to auto store and would not start when i came out and it was showing spark. turned out the battery was bad and i even tried jumping it. good luck

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10/25/08 8:22pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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OK, here's the update.  Replaced the ignition switch - still no spark.  I tested the volts at the distrib. while jumping & the reading was 13 while on & then falls to 6 while cranking.  I received the same readings while jumping from the alt to the distrib.  I then removed the battery & noticed some corrosion.  I cleaned that up.  I went to the store & purchased a new battery on the advise from eddie20875 (thanks).  I replaced the battery & still no spark Angry.  I performed the same tets as above & the readings are now 11.75 while on & 9.50 while cranking.  I hope this info helps.  By now I think I've replaced everything except the wiring.  While it's been fun working on my baby, it's getting frustrating.
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10/25/08 8:52pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
acplus
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, - Canada

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1972, 1980

Joined: 6/23/2008
Posts: 558
Do you have spark at the plug wire terminal at the distibutor? Or no spark at the end of the wires? Need to maybe start to check for ground problems.... is the little wire that attaches to the coil with the 1/4" bolt grounded? and make sure that where the connectors go on are not bent over and not making contact.
John


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10/25/08 10:17pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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I have no spark at the plugs.  How should I test for spark at the distrib ?  The little wire appears to be grounded & I don't see any of these connectors being bent.  Is there a test I can do with my digital meter to make sure it's grounded properly ?
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10/25/08 10:28pm - Reply: 'no spark !!'
eddie20875 Lifetime Member
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Lanoka Harbor, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1975 metallic blue coupe with t-tops,L48, t/t steering, black leather interior. 1990 L98, white/red leather interior, auto,a/c

Joined: 12/21/2006
Posts: 828
is it possible you installed a bad ignition module? maybe too much of the diseletric grease or not enough? this is a strange problem. sorry that the battery advice didn't work

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10/26/08 12:00am - Reply: 'no spark !!'
vettemojo87
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Joined: 10/22/2008
Posts: 11

I bought the ignition module new from the parts store...I guess I could do a check on it to make sure it's good....I didn't use any grease...should I have ? where does the grease go...what is it used for ? no problem on the battery, I needed a new one anyway & right about now I'm willing to try all options.

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10/26/08 1:07am - Reply: 'no spark !!'
rraider1
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Woodland, WA - USA

Vette(s):
1977 T-Top,350,Auto Black Ruby Pearl,Steeroids R&P conversion

Joined: 10/14/2003
Posts: 1152
The greas goes on the back of the module, its helps tramsfer heat from the module to the case, you might double check the contact and seal  between the coil and the cap

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