Chevy Ignition Problem

Posted in Ignition Systems | Asked on Feb 8, 2011

I have a problem with my ignition system on my 350 chevy engine. I just put a brand new engine in to the car and now Im not getting any spark whatsoever. I have a Mallory dual point distributor, and a mallory promaster coil. I have the wiring as follows. A “hot” wire from the ignition switch passing through a ballast resistor to the positive post on the coil. I have a line running from the negative post on the coil to the “single” post on the distributor where the condenser hooks up. I’ve used a line tester to check if there is power to the positive of the coil and when I turn the key to the on position the bulb on the line tester lights up so I know I have power to the coil. However when I turn the engine over I get no spark to the the plugs. I then removed the distributor cap and turned the engine over to see if the points were firing and I get nothing. Here’s what I’ve done since the problem started. Purchased and installed a new ballast resistor, new coil, new condenser, new points, new cap & rotor. Gapped the points at .019″. The distributor and plug wires are in good shape but been sitting in my garage for twelve years. The wires are Taylor Spiro-pros. I can replace those as well because I would love to get rid of the points but I have a feeling I’m missing a wire connection somewhere. The car if your wondering is 1965 chevrolet impala and the engine is a 76 350 chevy. What could be the problem? I’m beginning to go crazy. What’s the basic routing of the ignition wiring? If I replace the distributor, what model do yu recommend? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

There are 3 Answers for "Chevy Ignition Problem"

  1. Rick says:

    For the initial start-up you don’t want the feed to the coil to go through the ballast resistor, that’s only for after the engine is started. The starter pulls down the available voltage, so if you go through the resistor then there isn’t enough to produce a hot spark. After the engine starts the resistor drops the voltage to the points to about 6-8 volts to prevent the points from arcing when they open, shortening their life. There should be two terminals on the ignition switch, a “start” terminal to the coil which bypasses the resistor and a “run” terminal that goes through the resistor. The terminals will transfer automatically after the engine starts and you release the key. If you’re using the original 1965 ignition/coil/distributor wiring harness then there’s already a resistance wire in the harness going from the run terminal to the coil so you wouldn’t need an additional ballast resistor.

  2. Parkmistyred says:

    Why not use the original wire connections. Your problem is you are trying to start with insufficient voltage to the coil. Check the starter solenoid. If there are two small terminals on it. One is to activate the solenoid and the other goes to the coil. Dump the ballast resistor as there is already a resistor in the harness. Ignition switch in the start position full voltage from starter. In run position voltage is cut down by the resistor incorporated in the harness.

  3. Chevyraceman_383 says:

    I would yank that old dual point dizzy out, put it on ebay and let it go for what ever it brings.

    Check out the summit racing $89.95 HEI dizzy. Ready to run, 50K volt coil, brass term cap.

    Only needs 1 12 volt switched wire ran to it to power it, needs no ballast resistor