Have Classic Car Questions? Ask an Expert.
What procedure did you use to set the distributor down in and get it timed?
You said, "Retimed with #1 at TDC." but you never said the TDC was on the compression stroke or not.
I am assuming that you do have spark, it's just that the spark isn't timed or routed correctly, is that correct?
How did you turn the oil pump?
Ok, you do have spark though, correct?
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?
Ok, then you have to confirm that first.
usually that wire comes from the starter solenoid
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.
On them old cars, normally they used the R terminal on the starter solenoid to send 12 volts to the coil while cranking.
I have confirmed that. Here is the original wiring diagram.
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.
Did you rewire the hei or did someone else?
Is there just the one wire to the BATT or is there a splice with 2 wires?
I am listening, on the other hand you are not.
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.
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.