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Mike S.
Mike S., Classic Car Mechanic
Category: Classic Car
Satisfied Customers: 6925
Experience:  A.S.E. certified with 25+ years experience.
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I have a 73 Camaro with a 350 and hei distributor. I

Customer Question

I have a 73 Camaro with a 350 and hei distributor. I replaced the hei dist with a new one as I had some dead/cold cylinders. New dist would not fire. Reinstalled old dist. Would not fire. Retimed with #1 at TDC. Nothing. Cheecked power to dist 12.5 volts.
Ordered new dist from Skip White Performance. Installed perfectly. Still no fire. I am at my wits end. I don't think I can have 8 bad plug wires. Any help would really be greatful. Car was running fine until I pulled the old dist.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Classic Car
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

What procedure did you use to set the distributor down in and get it timed?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

You said, "Retimed with #1 at TDC." but you never said the TDC was on the compression stroke or not.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

I am assuming that you do have spark, it's just that the spark isn't timed or routed correctly, is that correct?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

How did you turn the oil pump?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rotated engine manually using the old finger in the #1 cyl plug hole until tdc was found.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

Ok, you do have spark though, correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mike, let us assume Everything is correct except for the fact I have no spark. I really do not want to answer questions I have not asked.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have NO SPARK!!!!!
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then it has nothing to do with timing then.

You confirmed you have voltage to the BATT terminal of the distributor cap, actually you said you had 12.5 volts, now is that with both the key on run and on start?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only with Key on. Do not have a helper to ck while starting.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then you have to confirm that first.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What will that tell me?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

usually that wire comes from the starter solenoid

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

If you don't have voltage to the ignition coil and distributor with the key on start, then you won't have any spark while cranking the engine over.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

On them old cars, normally they used the R terminal on the starter solenoid to send 12 volts to the coil while cranking.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

I have confirmed that. Here is the original wiring diagram.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not changed any wiring since the last time the car ran. Let us assume I do have power while cranking. I still have no spark to the plugs. I have a tester I can see wile cranking that a spark plug inserts into with a lite. It does not lite whil cranking.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not use the old syle coil. I upgraded to an HEI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

You don't need a helper if you have a voltmeter. Just hook up the voltmeter and if you cannot see the voltmeter from inside the car while turning the key to start, then just find some wire and make long jumpers for the test leads.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

Did you rewire the hei or did someone else?

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

Is there just the one wire to the BATT or is there a splice with 2 wires?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you wasting my time and not LISTENING TO MY PROBLE. HAVE A GOOD DAY. GODDBYE.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

I am listening, on the other hand you are not.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

If you have tried 3 different distributors than chances are it's not the distributor. it must be the wiring to the distributor or your spark tester don't work or it's not dark enough for you to see.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 1 year ago.

All you had to do is find 50 cents worth of wire to make 2 jumpers in order to check for voltage to the BATT terminal while cranking the engine over and you won't do that. You want to assume it's ok and I cannot assume that. Other than that, nothing else makes sense.