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‘55 320 no spark
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/7/28 10:50
From Green Bay, WI
Posts: 37
I’m attempting to fire the engine for the first time. I am not getting spark. I checked by pulling a plug and an in-line plug tester. I checked the coil which is new and has 1.4 ohms from terminal to terminal and 8600 ohms from positive to coil output wire. I have never adjusted point and believe I have it accurate at .016. (Could use help with confirmation on how to set them,as I used a YouTube video). I have new plugs, wires, rotor, and points, was sent the wrong cap so using the previous cap. What else could the issue be?

Thank you in advance for any assistance anyone can offer.

Shane

Posted on: 2019/5/11 13:25
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15440
If the points are new they should be OK but if they are the old points they might have developed an oxidized coating on the contact surfaces from sitting over the years and are not making good contact. A light touch up with a contact burnisher or point file might be in order. To set the gap, bump the engine until the block that rides on the distributor cam and opens the points is sitting on a high spot on the cam. Use the feeler gauge and adjust the gap until the proper amount is measured and then tighten the screw. If they are new points don't forget to add a very TINY amount of grease smeared onto the cam surface.

There is a wire in the distributor between the points and the outside terminal that is covered with a fabric material or cloth like insulation. When working inside the distributor if the wire is moved the fabric can be rotten and fall off letting the wire short and that would result in no spark.

Verify the voltage to the coil. If it has the correct starter solenoid, when the key is turned on there should be 7-8v on the coil terminal with the pink wire coming from the ballast resistor. If the points are open, that same voltage should be on the terminal going to distributor and if the points are closed or something has shorted in the distributor, very close to 0v on that terminal. When the points are closed if the voltage is higher than about .3 or .4 volts then a good solid ground to the distributor or oxidized and dirty points is suspect.

When the starter is engaged that 7-8v coil supply should change to 12v as long as the starter is turning. If the 7-8 volts is missing the ballast resistor or ignition switch is suspect and if it doesn't change to 12v when the starter is cranking either the starter solenoid has been changed to an ordinary 3 terminal solenoid or a wire is broken or disconnected.

To rule out the rotor or cap as the cause of no spark to the plugs remove the center wire from the cap and position the end near the block. As you crank the engine the spark should be visible as multiple sparks of bright blue color jumping from the wire to the block. If you see nothing, remove the small black wire between the coil and distributor from the distributor terminal and scratch it on the block. As you observe the HV wire, there should be a spark each time the connection you make to the block is broken. There can be a back voltage that can be significant so don't hold the small black wire in a way that you are touching the terminal as you make and break the connection to the block.

If you have spark from the center wire but not at the plugs when things are connected properly then the rotor could be the wrong one or if the type with a resistor, possibly have an open resistor.

Posted on: 2019/5/11 13:59
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Howard
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/7/28 10:50
From Green Bay, WI
Posts: 37
Thank you Howard! I did not have the points set on the high point of the cam, your help and knowledge is greatly appreciated!

Posted on: 2019/5/11 16:55
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15440
Glad it was something simple. Does that mean you now have a spark and were able to get the engine started?

Posted on: 2019/5/11 18:00
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Howard
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/7/28 10:50
From Green Bay, WI
Posts: 37
I have spark now, but the plugs are soaked from trying so much before getting the points correct. It did try to fire a couple times, so I’m drying the plugs and trying again tomorrow. Any recommendations for breaking in the engine?

Posted on: 2019/5/11 18:23
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Not too shy to talk
Joined:
2016/9/14 9:42
From Thunder Bay, Canada
Posts: 18
Hope all is well with your start up...It took me awhile after my rebuild to notice that I was missing the spring on my points, so there wasn't enough tension on them to close properly and my spark was all over the place. That was a bit frustrating to find!

Posted on: 12/8 15:49:20
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/7/28 10:50
From Green Bay, WI
Posts: 37
I was able to get it fired up. I had the points misaligned when I was setting the gap. Now to find where it’s leaking transmission fluid and we’ll hit the road.

Posted on: 12/8 17:18:49
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2012/7/2 16:40
From Tacoma wa.
Posts: 75
Hey. At least your firing order was correct!!

Posted on: 12/17 2:17:58
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53 Clipper 55 Patrician 56 Patrician '50 touring sedan '55 clipper
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Re: ‘55 320 no spark
Quite a regular
Joined:
2017/7/28 10:50
From Green Bay, WI
Posts: 37
Well....it is now.

Posted on: 12/17 17:14:11
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