I'm working on an early 80's Ford sedan with an inline 6, and single barrel
carb. The engine is turning over, but not firing. I'm not getting any spark
from the coil - due to the fact that the negative terminal has a constant
ground. The positive terminal has 12 volts (as it should). It's a single
pickup distributor. There's a detached ignition control unit mounted to
the firewall. There are three wires leading from the ignition module to
the distributor. It looks like one is ground while the other two go to the
magnetic pickup. When I disconnect the distributor from the ignition
module, the negative terminal of the coil is no longer grounded.
Does this indicate a bad magnetic pickup in the distributor? What test can
I do to determnine if it's the distributor or the ignition control?