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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I am hoping that I can some direction on what is causing the MSD 8360 distributor to not provide consistent spark. I have not been able to trace it down but I have had spark, at the plug, twice and the motor actually turned over and ran once but since then nothing. I put a meter on the positive side of the coil and with the key on it is at 12v but drops to 8v at cranking. The intermittent spark is from an obvious power drain I have not been able to locate.

1) I grounded the distributor wire to engine no spark.
2) I ran a ground from the distributor to the frame and got a spark
3) I routed all of my plug wires and then I had no spark again.
4) I replaced the ignition wire from the coil to the fuse block
5) I tried a relay, nothing
6) I sent the distributor and coil back and got a new one still the same problem.


I am really confused as to what I could be. The coil is a Master Blaster 3 the battery is brand new and fully charged.

I do have a single wire alternator and a mini starter in it

68 Nova 388 400 turbo
 

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did this engine have a dist. with points ? if so that pos. 12 v wire to your coil might be a resistor wire an drops the voltage to 8v to keep from burning the points. i had this problem with a msd dist. changed the wire from the coil connection an all was good. did i say that right ?
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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did this engine have a dist. with points ? if so that pos. 12 v wire to your coil might be a resistor wire an drops the voltage to 8v to keep from burning the points. i had this problem with a msd dist. changed the wire from the coil connection an all was good. did i say that right ?
correct ------ and, was my 1st thought ...

Test --- can you just "run a jumper HOT-wire from u'r batt to u'r dist .
Then, check -- if works / starts ............. might be just what 'Redrider' was saying.
Try several times wait between starts ....... or check for may-be a broken wire in u'r harness .. ?
 

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Check the button that rides on top of the rotor . i had one fallout of a MSD cap
and caused problems.
 

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Mike - 74 Nova Baltimore, MD
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After checking your rotor and distributor cap as jeff66 suggested, I agree with Twinshadows and disconnect your car's ignition wire(s) that are attached to the + terminal of your coil and run a jumper wire from the positive battery terminal to the + terminal on your coil... but leave the distributor's positive wire connected to the + terminal of the coil and the distributor's negative wire connected to the negative terminal of the coil as instructed. You may also want to run another jumper wire from the grounding wire of the MSD distributor directly to the negative terminal of the battery. Attempt to start your engine. NOTE: Be sure your jumper wires are clear from all moving parts (fans, belts, pulleys, etc) before attempting to start your engine.

If your engine starts and runs with the jumper wire(s) in place, you probably have a ignition wiring issue somewhere... or a bad ground connection for your distributor.
If the engine does not start, you still might have a bad coil or distributor... or something in your current wiring may be burning up the module within the MSD 8360 distributor.

Be sure to also check the resistance on the main spark wire that runs from the top of the coil to the center of the distributor cap.
 

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did this engine have a dist. with points ? if so that pos. 12 v wire to your coil might be a resistor wire an drops the voltage to 8v to keep from burning the points. i had this problem with a msd dist. changed the wire from the coil connection an all was good. did i say that right ?
X2

I did the same..took the wire out of the harness and put a real wire in. The resistor wire is aluminum I think and not good for the MSD.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I ran a wire directly from the positive post in the coil to the battery did not get a spark. I will have to check the rotor button. I only work on it on weekends.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It had an HEI in it. I am running a single wire from the ignition on the fuse block to the positive post on the coil
 

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"2) I ran a ground from the distributor to the frame and got a spark"

OK, try this, got a set of jumper cables? If so, run ONE cable between the battery ground post, and directly to the ENGINE, not the frame, the engine.

The battery uses the engine as the ground buss bar, the item EVERYTHING uses to ground, chassis, body, etc. With the engine directly grounded to the battery, there is no doubt it is just that properly grounded.

Lets see what happens with this test. If it works, run the negative battery cable directly to the engine, and ground everything else to the engine itself.

Note: if this vehicle is using an MSD "box", there are two large wires, red and black out of the box. They both go directly to the battery terminals, not here or there, directly to the battery terminals, period. If this is a "Ready to Whatever", with a ground wire, run its ground wire directly to a carb stud, engine ground, etc.
 

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I'd check your grounds, and voltage regulator/alternator.

Keep in mind if something funky happened it could have burned up your module or box. So if you fixed the initial problem you may not know it due to burned up module or box.
 

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72, 2 Dr, 383, 700r4
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Don't forget the gap between the pickup and the reluctor paddles. If the gap is excessive you will not have spark. Also the reluctor and the pickup plate must be parallel. I beat my head against the wall and that's what it ended up being new out of the box.
 
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