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Thread: e curve distributor not firing after running good for years

  1. #1

    Default e curve distributor not firing after running good for years

    Hello everyone. New to this forum. I've searched e curve looking for solutions to my problem, but the response is usually 'send it in using an RMA number'.

    Enjoyed the adjust-ability on my e curve for many years. 1977 SB Chevy. MSD Blaster SS and e curve distributor. Started the car for the first time from winter storage and was running great. Restarted a few times while moving stuff around in the garage and eventually took a short trip to the gas station. Car was running perfectly on the way. Would NOT restart when we finished at the gas station. Never even tried to fire.

    Trailered it back to the garage. Checked for spark from distributor and coil. Nothing either place.
    Checked voltage to the coil and distributor. Solid 12V and about 11V when cranking.
    Checked physical parts like cap, rotor and carbon button. All look like new. No arc trails in the cap.
    Replaced the MSD Blaster SS coil and no spark. Exact same symptoms.

    Is there anything I can check in the distributor with a meter?


    Rich

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    49

    Default

    You can try the jumper cable to the body of the distributor, the other end goes to the battery negative terminal, trick....if it works, add some grounds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BITE_ME View Post
    You can try the jumper cable to the body of the distributor, the other end goes to the battery negative terminal, trick....if it works, add some grounds.
    There's only three wires, one black already goes to ground, why would you add grounds to the distributor body?
    Check the black to ground is clean and tight.
    Gary
    Regards

    Gary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    49

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    Just to let you know. Most engines are assembled with a item called gaskets. These gaskets are not a good conductor for electricity.
    Then you have another item that is commonly used in the assembly of engines that are called fasteners. You might know them as nuts, and bolts. Some use a sealant, or have a coating on them. Both are also not a good conductor of electricity.
    Do to the fact the original poster is having a no spark condition. Electricity is the fuel used to make a spark.
    So. If the electricity can't get to the sparkplug properly. Then damage could happen to any of the electrical components in the chain.
    A good test to see if the electrical components are getting a good power source, is to add additional wiring.
    So using jumper cables is a good test to see if the engine has bad grounds.

    Note to self: See if this forum has a ignore members setting.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the idea. We jumpered all the power wires. I can try the same for the grounds.


    Rich

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BITE_ME View Post
    Just to let you know. Most engines are assembled with a item called gaskets. These gaskets are not a good conductor for electricity.
    Then you have another item that is commonly used in the assembly of engines that are called fasteners. You might know them as nuts, and bolts. Some use a sealant, or have a coating on them. Both are also not a good conductor of electricity.
    Do to the fact the original poster is having a no spark condition. Electricity is the fuel used to make a spark.
    So. If the electricity can't get to the sparkplug properly. Then damage could happen to any of the electrical components in the chain.
    A good test to see if the electrical components are getting a good power source, is to add additional wiring.
    So using jumper cables is a good test to see if the engine has bad grounds.

    Note to self: See if this forum has a ignore members setting.
    The distributor body does not need a ground to function in this case, and many other cases for electronics distributors.
    Only points distributors need to be grounded.
    Regardless, all distributors are grounded via the mechanical path within the engine.
    Get an ohmmeter out one day and measure from the distributor body to ground.

    We are all here to help others, I've been a mechanic for 35 years.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gaz64; 05-22-2018 at 07:16 PM.
    Regards

    Gary

  7. #7

    Default

    First call to tech line...too early.
    Second call...lunch time
    Third call...ten minutes hold, music stopped, then a click and disconnect.
    Fourth call...three minutes hold, music stopped, then a click and disconnect.

    Looks like I'm installing my HEI this weekend.


    Rich

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