I parked the car, it was running fine. I went back out to start it today and it won't start. It's getting fuel but I pulled a plug wire off and held it right next to the plug and can't see a spark. Appears that it's not getting any fire. Any advice?
Start simple. Remove all the plugs, lay them (connected) on top of the engine, turn the switch to BAT, and pull the crank to see if any of them spark. This won't tell you if the spark is adequate, but it will tell you if there is any. If none work, check all connections. Battery, switch, terminal board (if there is one), timer, coils in box, etc. Check continuity through the switch. A loose connection somewhere is your most likely cause of trouble.
What year is your car Hank? My '25 coupe has had a hiccup a couple of times when the screws on the terminal block worked loose. One time, I was driving down the street and turned on the lights and it died. Another time, it died when I honked the horn. Retightened the screws and all was well. Just a thought. Dave
Hank, I see you didn't mention a coil Buzz, are you running a distributor? If you are check the connections on the distributor. If you are running stock and the coils are not buzzing try getting a piece of wire with a couple of alligator clips attach one end to the block then touch the other end to the contacts on the timer one at a time if the coils then buzz it is a faulty timer.
BTW I noticed you are new to the forum, Welcome to the affliction!
I am new and yes afflicted too! Thanks.
I have a 26 and no distributor. I used to have a coil buzz when i turned the key on but it doesn't now???????
A coil will not necessarily buzz when you turn on the key. It depends if the timer is making contact with one of the four coils or not when the engine stopped last.
Check for voltage on the bottom terminal of the coilbox when you turn on the key. If you have nothing there your problem is between there and the ignition switch or the switch and the battery feed.
If you have voltage on the coilbox terminal then your problem is something within the coilbox OR the timer harness OR the timer itself.
The bottom connection on your coilbox provides positive battery to all of the coils. The timer provides a ground connection to one coil at a time as the contact rotates.
The key can be either switched to Mag or Battery. Coil would only buzz with switch on battery and slowly crank the engine by hand. Assuming you have a charge in the battery you have lost the power source with a bad switch, loose connection or a bad ground.
If the coils do not buzz when you turn the key to batt. Try turning the hand crank slowly. It should buzz in at least two points with each rotation of the hand crank.
If no spark, most likely a loose connection or dead battery. Check all the connections Especially the connections behind the ignition switch. Be careful not to make contact between the battery and the magneto which could damage the magneto.
That's a good way to get a broken arm!
Broken arm? how do you figure?
Yep, Norm is right about turning the crank to hear if there's a buzz, but do it ONLY by pulling up on the left, preferably with your left hand. Never go over the top.
Why not remove the spark plugs for this step. Bypass a broken arm.
you can do it with the spark plugs laying on the head or with the wires touching something grounded, but do not buzz the coils with the wires completely away from the plugs or the head. Buzzing the coils without a path for the spark can destroy the coils. That high voltage spark will take the easiest path to ground which could be within the coils or the coil box.
The car will not start now, so it is unlikely to kick while you slowly pull up on the crank. Also do so with the spark lever retarded.