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Dad Mechanic
Dad Mechanic, Mechanic
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Experience:  I have worked on everyting from Model Ts to 2012 Autos,
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Studebaker: I am working on a 1953 Studebaker truck. I cannot

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I am working on a 1953 Studebaker truck. I cannot get it to fire. I have voltage thru the ignition switch to the coil. There is no voltage from the coil to the spark plugs. I have run ground wires and cleaned off all ground connections. I am running the positive lead off the coil to the distributor (positive ground 6v system). What are the trouble shooting steps I must take to get it going?

Dad Mechanic :

Sorry for your problem. I am here to try and assist are you checking for voltage testt light or multi meter? Jim!!!

Dad Mechanic :

do you understand how a points type ignition works?

Customer: Voltmeter; understand points somewhat. What is function of wire from distributor to coil?
Dad Mechanic :

the only function of the primary wire is to carry high voltage from the coil to the coil tower on the distributer cap from there to each spark plugs by way of the rotor through the distributor cap. from here i usually hook a spark plug wire and spark plug to the coil disconnect the wire to the distributor. now take a test lead hook it to this terminal. strike the other end to ground. you should get 1 spark at the spark plug. gett back to me for more after that. Jim!!!


I think I am a little confused. I hooked all of the wires up; pulled a plug and tried to get a spark from the plug to a groud point when trying to start the engine. No spark there. The coil has two small wires; one positive and one negative. This is a positive ground system so I hooked the positive to the terminal on the side of the distributor. I get 6 volts from the negative side of the coil; small wire; when I turn the key on; just less than 1/2 volt from the positive side. I am not quite sure of the test you want me to do. Do you want me to disconnect the wire from the positive terminal of the coil and try to arc that to ground with key on? I don't really get the part about pulling a plug.

Dad Mechanic :

you take one of the spark plug wires and spark plug, place the wire in the center of the coil ground the spark plug too the engine disconnect the neg wire on the coil replace it with a test lead. leave the positive connected to the coil. turn the key on. i you want check the positive terminal for 12 volts. with the key on strick loose end of the test lead to ground you shoud get 1 spark at the spark plug. wait a few seconds and strick again you should get 1 more spark. get back to me with results. Jim!!!


I pulled no 1 plug; connected it via plug wire to coil. Disconnected negative wire on coil and replaced with test lead. I turned key switch on, grounded test lead and spark plug. I got no spark at spark plug but plenty at test lead. I got 6 v on positive side of coil.

Dad Mechanic :

If you connected like i said and got no spark and got no spark first thim\ng wrong is a bad coil. this may not be your only problem. coils are pretty universal any coil that is suspose to use a resistor will work for you. Jim get back to me if you need more help. you may also need to file the points if it has been sitting a while.

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