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No spark, rotor pointing

Hey guys, Still working on getting her going. 2 new issues.

I am not getting any spark to my plugs. I pulled 2 of them and ran a separate plug to the motor and nothing. On doing a search and reading up, the black/purple wire that I guess is for the tach was attached to the + side of the coil. I should be on the - side so I switched that. The red/black with is going to the + side. The green wire from the distributor is going to the - side of the coil. I think that is all correct now. I do need to check to make sure I am getting 12 volts from the red/black wire. I figure it has be when it is turning over to get a reading or the ignition on.

Please correct me if I did something wrong above.

The second issue is the rotor pointing to nothing. Should it be pointing the the #1 cylinder plug? Can I pull out the distributor and rotate it or is more involved?

Again, I am not getting any spark and this is a new coil.
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1972 914/4
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1999 Lamborghini Diablo (build)

Last edited by surfdogskier; 05-15-2018 at 03:38 PM..
Old 05-15-2018, 02:34 PM
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Where the rotor is pointing doesn't have anything to do with if there is a spark or not. It does have something to do with ignition timing, but that's after you actually have a spark. So don't mess with it just yet.

Leave the black/purple wire unplugged; it won't hurt anything to do so unless you really need to see your RPMs on the tach. Make sure you haven't confused the black/purple and the black/red wires; the power wire is thicker than the tach signal wire.

Make sure you have +12V on the power wire when the key is on.

If it does, then try the following:
- Set up an extra spark plug with the outer end grounded; taping it so the threaded part is on the crankcase will work.
- Plug one of the car's plug wires into that plug.
- Unplug the green wire from the coil.
- Turn the key on.
- Take an extra piece of wire and touch it to both the battery (-) terminal (or some other ground away from the spark plug) and the coil's (-) terminal. Then pull one end of the wire away from what it is touching, quickly.

There should either be a spark when the wire is pulled away, or when the (-) terminal of the coil gets grounded; I forget which way it goes.

If you don't get a spark that way, your new coil is toast. If you do get a spark that way, then the suspect is in your points/condensor end of the circuit. There is a braided bit of wire inside the distributor (under the rotor) that connects the point that the plates ride on to the body of the distributor, and that provides the ground for the points. It can break after many years....

Your points may also not be opening or might not be closing. Check that if you figure out the points circuit is the problem.

One word of warning: Don't leave the key on for longer than necessary; you can overheat stuff in the ignition circuit if you do and you get unlucky.



... Oh, and if you have a Pertronix ignitor making the sparks happen in your distributor, you've fried it and need a new one. Those things hate being hooked up wrong, and let the "magic smoke" out if you do. Or if you leave them powered for too long without the engine running.

--DD
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:15 PM
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Just wanted to follow up.

1. I am getting 12v to the black and red wire when the key is on.
2. I did the spark you mentioned when I took the green wire off the coil and put it to the battery. So coil should be good.

I tried testing another plug to see if any spark and still didn't have any.

I pulled my distributor out and took a picture. The braided wire is good. I replaced this part because on the previous one, I ended up breaking it. I replaced the entire plate. Enclosed a picture below.

One thing I did notice is the distributor trigger switch that plugs in to the distributor was full of oil. I cleaned the plug area but need to test the voltage. According to Jeff Bowleys diagram, they are wires 21, 12, 22. I check this switch for voltage with the key on and when it was cranking and I got nothing much at all. Less than a volt to each wire.

Also, I noticed I have a huge gap at the breaker point. About 3/32 of an inch at its closest turn. From what I read, these should be not much thicker than a screw driver head space. They just look off.



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1972 914/4
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1999 Lamborghini Diablo (build)

Last edited by surfdogskier; 05-21-2018 at 04:48 PM..
Old 05-21-2018, 01:23 PM
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The trigger points in the bottom of the distributor don't have anything to do with the spark. They don't carry much power and I'm not sure they have much voltage across them either. They're a red herring in this case. (Though full of oil is a bit disturbing!)

The gap definitely looks excessive. The points there should close all the way, and at their widest apart they should be about 1/16" apart--a business card is actually a good first approximation!

Looks like your points never close at all, which would definitely prevent any spark from happening. Correct that gap (no gap at all when the distributor is as pictured; 1 business card thickness when the cam has pushed the points all the way open) and chances are pretty good that you'll get spark.

Then you get to re-time the ignition, since any real change to the point gap changes the timing pretty significantly.

--DD
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:33 PM
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