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Discussion Starter #1
I went on a drive yesterday, jumped on the freeway first, red lined second grabbed third then the car just died, like I turned the ignition switch to off. Coasted the the next exit didn’t see anything obvious so called aaa, first they put gas in it but still nothing so I had it towed to my shop.
It appears to be getting spark.
I unhooked the fuel line and turned on the ignition and fuel ran out strong.
When I crank it over it doesn’t even want to fire, though it backfired hard out of the exhaust once.
With the ignition on I’m getting power to the coil.
I replaced the coil because I had onother one just Incase and still the same.
Removed the valve cover and rotated to what I believe to be tdc from what I’ve read on the threads and the rotor seems to line up roughly with #1 plug wire, though valve still looks a bit open?? See pic on cylinder 1. If I rotate the motor around again valves appear closed but rotor on dizzy is pointing opposite of wire 1.
Could my timing have jumped that much to make it die?
Chain it tight. Gears are tight.
Like I said it has spark, but is the spark weak? Looks like the previous owner installed an electronic injection module in place of the points/condenser.. this may be the issue? Not sure of the make has no visable branding.
The ignition switch has had issues in the past, could it be a bad ignition switch??
Here’s some pics of what I believe the motor being at TDC.
any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ok sorry I think cam lobes are suppose to point out at TDC. here are 3 pics, cams at tdc, rotor location and flywheel location.
Rotor is pointing opposite of plug 1.. ***
 

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These all look correct. Not likely that the chain jumped. You have what appears to be an early Pertronix ignition module. Should be a red wire to the + on the coil and black wire to the - on the coil. Did you actually check for spark by grounding a plug while turning it over? Is the rotor pointing at the #1 plug wire? Can you rotate the dizzy by hand (ie, loose and could have rotated out of position)? Verify that the rotor is spinning when you crank. Did you try spraying starter fluid directly into the intake?

My blind guess is that the module is bad - they do go bad.
 

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Does the rotor arm rotate when you crank the engine? i.e. is the distributor drive OK
Is the body of the distributor fitted tightly - i.e. if you grip the distributor body can you rotate it - this would cause the ignition timing to slip.
If it is loose, loosen the bolt further, rotate the distributor body to roughly the correct position, tighten the bolt, start the engine, check the timing with a timing light and re-time correctly
 

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Richard Jemison
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Checking the ignition sys

With the #1 cam lobes pointed outward (as in your pic) and the crank on the TDC mark. The terminal on the distributor cap that is under the rotor will be the terminal for #1 spark plug wire. It does not matter which one it is. Firing order is 1-3-4-2 (clockwise).

BUT: the rotor is driven by a little plastic tang inside the rotor that can wear/break off causing a no run situation. Pull off the rotor and check the condition of that locating tang. On a 123 Distributor in a race car this past weekend, that problem showed up. And resetting the new rotor took a lot of downward pressure to get it fully engaged. More than I`ve ever experienced before. The spare was a non Bosch part sourced from 123 directly. The old one was probably not fully pressed into place. As well the rotor had contacted the terminals in the cap machining away material so the cap was replaced as well.

This done it should be easy to reset timing correctly. If you have no spark suspect the "Pertronix(?)" module, or the coil.

Using a volt meter you should get a signal while spinning the drive on the distributor. If you show a signal, then suspect the coil.

Alfaparticle can elaborate on testing coils and modules.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
These all look correct. Not likely that the chain jumped. You have what appears to be an early Pertronix ignition module. Should be a red wire to the + on the coil and black wire to the - on the coil. Did you actually check for spark by grounding a plug while turning it over? Is the rotor pointing at the #1 plug wire? Can you rotate the dizzy by hand (ie, loose and could have rotated out of position)? Verify that the rotor is spinning when you crank. Did you try spraying starter fluid directly into the intake?

My blind guess is that the module is bad - they do go bad.
Gprocket, I did check for spark and all 4 plugs were sparking, what appears to be tdc the rotor is pointing opposite #1 plug wire. I can’t rotate the dizzy by hand, the bolt is tight. Also tried spraying starter fluid through the carbs and got nothing but a loud backfire out of the exhaust. Also the rotor is spinning when I crank the motor over.
Could it just be a weak apart from the pertronix? Or when they go bad do they just loose spark all together?
Thanks for the reply and help!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just thought of something else: Take a look at the inside of the cap. I've had several caps where the spring loaded center contact has come out.
The spring loaded center contact is there.. I’ll go grab a new cap tomorrow just insane
Could it be in my ignition key switch?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
With the #1 cam lobes pointed outward (as in your pic) and the crank on the TDC mark. The terminal on the distributor cap that is under the rotor will be the terminal for #1 spark plug wire. It does not matter which one it is. Firing order is 1-3-4-2 (clockwise).

BUT: the rotor is driven by a little plastic tang inside the rotor that can wear/break off causing a no run situation. Pull off the rotor and check the condition of that locating tang. On a 123 Distributor in a race car this past weekend, that problem showed up. And resetting the new rotor took a lot of downward pressure to get it fully engaged. More than I`ve ever experienced before. The spare was a non Bosch part sourced from 123 directly. The old one was probably not fully pressed into place. As well the rotor had contacted the terminals in the cap machining away material so the cap was replaced as well.

This done it should be easy to reset timing correctly. If you have no spark suspect the "Pertronix(?)" module, or the coil.

Using a volt meter you should get a signal while spinning the drive on the distributor. If you show a signal, then suspect the coil.

Alfaparticle can elaborate on testing coils and modules.
Alfar7 thanks, I’ll go get a replacement cap tomorrow, the tang is there but maybe just worn? You think I need to loosen the dizzy and push it down?
 

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Try to turn the rotor. If it turns then that is probably your problem. As others have told you, the rotor must be pointed to the #1 plug wire when #1 cylinder is at TDC and the valves are closed.
 

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I too am going through my pertronix equipped ignition in great detail - chasing a miss not a no-run in my case. It took me some time to understand that the distributor has two means of being rotated:

loosening the M6 nut that faces "up" will let you advance/retard the ignition within a given range. This is accomplished by moving the distributor and clamp assembly with respect to the block.

loosening the M6 nut on the collar will let you rotate the distributor to any angle whatsoever if this has come loose there is no knowing where you are timed.

neither adjustments move the rotor they only move the cap body and therefore the cap which is indexed to the body with a tang.

The pertronix sensor itself is said to have an on-off failure mode. Search google for 'static timing pertronix'. The sensor also has a prescribed airgap from the distributor cam. .01" on my Ignitor I - not sure on yous. Definitely feasible that it came loose and is too far/close to the cam.

Did you check your wires? I get a shock from my coil wire at the coil and as such am replacing them all. 8mm wire wound sets are pretty cheap 'insurance' I just bought these: IGN 612 Kingsborne Spark Plug Wires Ignition Wire Set Note that the Pertronix doesn't like solid / unshielded / extremely low resistance wires for potential interference.

Did you check resistance from distributor body to battery negative? Should be low <1ohm.

Lastly - I too am debating a 123...
 

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I have experienced poor performance due to interference from the plug wires on the ignition system but only on multispark CD ignitions. My 123 works fine with solid core wires if I use it in a simple coil and ballast resistor system but it was unstable when I had it hooked up to an MSD 6AL with solid core wires. Maybe the 123 has better noise immunity than Pertronix?
 

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The 123 is the fully electronic dizzy that many of us use and prefer: https://classicalfa.com/products.php?product=IG040-ELECTRONIC-DISTRIBUTOR-BY-123-IGNITION . Comes in many flavors but at $330 and up, it's not for everyone. The Pertronix module which you seem to have is a drop in replacement for the points and condenser using your existing dizzy. Price point at $100 but your dizzy must be in good shape (cap, rotor, bearings, advance mechanism, etc) or it's not worth it.
 

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Listen to the man! After a new module cap n rotor you are a good ways to the 123. I am heading there I think. Anyone wanna buy a pertronix for a s103b??


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #19
i ordered the 123 ignition, i'll keep you posted on what happens, thanks for all the help everyone!
 
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