Ignition coil arcrepaired

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by extreme79z, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. extreme79z

    extreme79z Veteran Member

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    ok, so this is a pretty basic and stupid question. I decided to get to work on my 1979 Camaro over the weekend. We are getting it ready to go to cruisin the coast. So, I have not worked on it or even run it down the road in approximately 12 years. The last time it was daily driven was around 2004. I was expecting to have a hard time getting her cranked. I got it to my shop, put gasoline in the tank and began trying to crank it. It didn’t fire up, which was no huge surprise. I wasn’t getting fuel, and after a decade or so of it sitting idle I was expect no less- it loses prime after that type of time lol. We decide to try to fire it off on starting fluid to see if we even had good compression and if the car was hurt beyond what I could tell by physical inspection... at this point I determined the car was not producing spark. A trip down to the part store was in order. I bought a coil, and cap and rotor. Got to the shop and replaced it all. I left the dust cover off to test it... well I heard arc when it cranked and assumed that I had left a spark plug wire loose while I was resolving the cap... however upon investigation, I found that the arch was coming from the wires on the coil itself. I found a skinned wire so I repaired the wire. However when I cranked it again I heard it arc again... looking like something the Ghostbusters would be proud of if I might add. All of this arching is taking placing within the area of the coil, where the wires are running into it. I have never operated one with the dust cap off, but luckily I did this one. What should I do? Resolve the coil? Or is something more simple at play here?
     
  2. Damon

    Damon Veteran Member

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    I've run them with the dust cover off. Not recommended but they'll do it since the dust cover is NOT designed to be an insulator, just something to keep crud out. Most common problem (with new parts) is:

    1. Is the coil armature grounding wire connected to the center terminal where the wiring connectors plug in on the "side cube" of the cap? This could be done via a pre-formed metal grounding tab, a wire or, in some cases, both. But the metal "box" around the coil has to be grounded to the center wire terminal of the connector.

    2. Improper assembly order of cap and coil. From BOTTOM TO TOP it goes in this order, and no other: Cap, Rotor "button", Insulator "donut" (with a thin smear of dielectric grease on both sides), Coil. The number of times I've seen this done in the wrong order is staggering.

    Check that stuff first, report back.
     
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  3. extreme79z

    extreme79z Veteran Member

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    Tomorrow I will pull it back apart and make sure I didn’t do something stupid as far as the order goes... I’ve been doing this type thing for a while, however I’m by no means an expert on this HEI set up. The coil I removed was grounded to the driver side front bolt on the surround. This is the way I resinstalled it, and for some reason I’m feeling that the issue is ground in nature. However, that being said the car does crank and run pretty good considering how long I neglected it.
     

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