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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New engine, new front side wiring harness, new dash with new gauges ('68, 383 stroker, hei distributor)

Issue:
  • Turn key and the starter motor engages and cranks the engine
  • Not getting any spark out of distributor (tested multiple cables with other spark plugs connected)
  • Voltmeter results:
    • power at the horn relay
    • power at the junction (by the battery)
    • power at the fuse box (tested the IGN blade with ohmmeter - gets power when key just turned to 'On' vs. all the way right to crank the engine)
  • I didn't replace the engine-side front harness (yet) but have a 12-gauge wire from the IGN blade on the fuse box to the BAT connection on the HEI distributor
    • This DOES get power on the engine side when testing with ohmmeter
  • None of the gauges light up or work
It feels to me like I have a grounding issue somewhere around the fusebox / dash.
  1. I'm testing and manually grounding but maybe its not grounded somewhere under the dash?
  2. Any other ideas before I take the dash back out and try to figure out what isn't grounded?
  3. What ground locations in and around the fusebox / dash should I be looking for?
Thanks!

Rob
 

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Try running temporary supplemental grounds between the negative battery post and the engine - try heavy gauge wire, maybe 8 gauge. But watch for overheating the wire. You should also ground the body under the dash cap through the firewall hole.

Is this the original ignition switch bolted low atop the steering column before the firewall? I had trouble there like this once upon a time . . .

Rick
 

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Bill
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Are you saying there is not 12v on the ignition while cranking? If so. Adjust the ignition switch on the top of the steering column under the dash. It has slotted mounting holes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Try running temporary supplemental grounds between the negative battery post and the engine - try heavy gauge wire, maybe 8 gauge. But watch for overheating the wire. You should also ground the body under the dash cap through the firewall hole.

Is this the original ignition switch bolted low atop the steering column before the firewall? I had trouble there like this once upon a time . . .

Rick
From the battery directly I have a 6 gauge wire going directly to the engine block and then a small pigtail grounding to the spot at the front of the engine bay right by the battery.

How do I ground the body under the dash cap through the firewall hole?

I have re-used the original ignition switch (which worked before this conversion)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is there 12 volts at the distributor?
The engine is grounded, or the starter wouldn't work.
I ran a wire directly from the IGN blade on the fuse box to the BAT blade on the distributor. When I pull that wire off the distributor and test it I am getting 12v with ohmmeter when the key is turned to the 'On' position.
 

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I ran a wire directly from the IGN blade on the fuse box to the BAT blade on the distributor. When I pull that wire off the distributor and test it I am getting 12v with ohmmeter when the key is turned to the 'On' position.
You can also run a "jumper" wire from the battery positive terminal to your distributor's BAT terminal to see if the engine starts. This will bypass your car's ignition wiring system.
 

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If you have a tach connected to the HEI disconnect it for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You can also run a "jumper" wire from the battery positive terminal to your distributor's BAT terminal to see if the engine starts. This will bypass your car's ignition wiring system.
Ok I removed my tach connection (just for safety), did a direct jumper from the positive battery terminal to the BAT connection on the distributor. Got in the car and turned the key -- it still cranks hard but no spark at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can also run a "jumper" wire from the battery positive terminal to your distributor's BAT terminal to see if the engine starts. This will bypass your car's ignition wiring system.
If I remove the distributor cap, should I be able to move the rotor at all?
 

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Some of those early ignition switches will cut the power when the key is in the start position (aids in giving the necessary power to the starter solenoid)
Then the starter sends the power to the coil while it’s cranking
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Some of those early ignition switches will cut the power when the key is in the start position (aids in giving the necessary power to the starter solenoid)
Then the starter sends the power to the coil while it’s cranking
Got it. But if I hard wire jumper from positive battery terminal to the BAT connection on the distributor I should circumvent that potential issue, right?
 

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Bill
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The rotor will move a little because of the spring loaded mechanical advance. The ignition module might be bad in the distributor.
 

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Some of those early ignition switches will cut the power when the key is in the start position (aids in giving the necessary power to the starter solenoid)
Then the starter sends the power to the coil while it’s cranking
Not true, but there is(was) a bypass wire from the starter's R terminal that sent power to the coil's plus terminal on the old points system's resister wire feed and might still be there.
Sounds like a bad module or missing coil ground strap in the HEI

The ignition switch cuts power to the ACC only during start position.
 
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