Ignition trouble

I'm not a mechanic and often my curiosity gets the best of me. I'm having ignition trouble with my 40 chev coupe. After installing a chrome cover for the
ignition coil, I noticed that I had inadvertantly pulled apart a wire that came off the negative terminal of the coil going to a wire block mounted on the fire wall. After repairing the wire - the vehicle will not fire now. (turns over fine but won't fire). I've tried using a tester and when ignition is on (not cranking) the light goes on when touched to the positive and the negative terminal (each tried seperately). There is also power to the wire block on the firewall.
Does anyone have any ideas how I can fix this problem or determine exactly what went wrong? My automotive knowledge is limited so please "dumb it down" for me...
Chrisg
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chrisg

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Chris,
Pull the secondary wire from the coil (the one going to the center of the distributor) and hold it close to the engine while a helper tries to start the engine. If it doesen't give a strong spark the problem is ignition. Most likely, the repair you did to the wire is at fault. Also check that coil cover. IOW, retrace the steps taken right before it failed.
Ed

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chrisg wrote:

ignition trouble with my 40 chev coupe. After installing a chrome cover for the ignition coil, I noticed that I had inadvertantly pulled apart a wire that came off the negative terminal of the coil going to a wire block mounted on the fire wall. After repairing the wire - the vehicle will not fire now. (turns over fine but won't fire). I've tried using a tester and when ignition is on (not cranking) the light goes on when touched to the positive and the negative terminal (each tried seperately). There is also power to the wire block on the firewall.

what went wrong? My automotive knowledge is limited so please "dumb it down" for me...

Chris, I'm going to make an assumption that what you refer to as "a wire block mounted on the firewall" is your cars ballast resistor. A ballast resistor is in the primary ignition circuit and lowers voltage after the engine is started to reduce wear on ignition components. The ballast resistor is usually made of porcelain or bakelite. From experience, I've learned that the wire coil can break without it being readily noticeable. I'd suggest that you simply replace your resistor. They are available at most automotive retailers and generally cost less than $ 10.00. Take the old one in with you.
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To answer your questions further, the - side of the coil should be going to the distributor. The + side of the coil should be going to the ballast resister (possibly block on firewall), also there should be a wire coming from the starter solenoid to that same + side. The one coming from the starter solenoid could have been substituted as one going to the starter terminal on ignition switch. I take it this is a Rod of some sort and it could have been wired up different ways. All in all the coil should have 12 volt power when the engine is being cranked over then reduced through the ballast resister when in the run position. This should always go to the + side of coil and - side always goes to the distributor (points). Hope this mess of writing helps.

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Let me add to this that the wire going to the distributor can't be grounded. Make sure when you rewired it you did not allow it to inadvertently ground out. The coil needs to see it's ground via the points and if you've created a short to ground by mistake you'll never get the field build/collapse that you need to fire the plugs.
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