View Full Version : Lost Spark!

08-21-2003, 04:52 AM
Hi, i have an msd billet distributor and a 6a msd igniton box in my 1970 Cord w/ a 440 six pack. The system has been in and working for about 3 years (6000 miles). I changed my battery yesterday and immediateley lost spark. I have checked and found that there is power from the battery to the ignition box (heavy black and red), but there is nothing going out to the coil. Everything was just fine until the battery change out. Will the box go that quickly without any signs? What else should I check?
Thanks for any help.

08-21-2003, 10:19 AM
Reversal of the MSD Power cables or your heavy battery cables could cause a problem with the MSD Ignition unit. Did you accidentally reverse the cables on either the MSD or the battery? You should check power on the MSD small gauge Red wire to make sure you have 12 volts during cranking and in the On position. Do Not check for any voltage on the small gauge Orange or Black wire of the MSD unit. If you want to check the MSD for spark, follow the procedure below.

Checking The MSD Ignition For Spark
The following test will determine if your MSD is producing a spark.

Magnetic Pickup Trigger:
If you are using the 2-Pin Magnetic Pickup of the MSD to trigger the ignition, follow these steps.

1. Make sure the ignition switch is in the Off position.

2. Remove the coil wire from the distributor cap and position the terminal so it is approximately 1/2" from a good ground.

3. Disconnect the MSD Magnetic Pickup connector from the distributor.

4. Turn the ignition to the On position. DO NOT CRANK THE ENGINE.

5. With a small jumper wire, short the Green and Violet magnetic pickup wires together then pull the jumper off. Each time the short is removed a spark should jump If spark is present, the ignition is working properly.
If there is no spark:

A. Inspect all of the wiring.

B. Substitute another coil and test again. If there is now spark, the coil is at fault.

C. If there is still no spark, check to make sure there is 12 volts on the small Red wire from the MSD when the key is in the On position. If 12 volts are not present, find another 12 volt source and repeat the test.

D. After inspecting the test procedures and inspecting all of the wiring, there is still no spark, the Ignition is at fault. See the Warranty and Service Page for Information.

MSD Tech1

08-22-2003, 12:08 PM
The battery wires did not get reversed at any time. I have tried the steps outlined and do not get spark. There is power from the heavy red wire and the small gauge wire with key on. No spark is created with the use of the jumper wire. The coil was checked out in another car and is fine. Is there a way to temp around the MSD ignition box? I have the two wire system out of the distributer.

08-22-2003, 01:25 PM
No, there is no way to temp around the ignition unit. The only way would be to substitue the MSD for another MSD or to send the unit in and have it repaired. Here is the link for the information on returning the unit for repair.


MSD Tech1