Fitting a new coil

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Checking the coil's HT circuit Insulated pliers Spark plug terminal Insulated screwdriver King lead Bobina Pipa del rotor Condensador Points

Checking the coil's HT circuit

If your ignition circuit is giving problems, the cause may lie in the coil's HT circuit. You can make a quick check to find out if this is so.

Disconnect the king lead (the one leading from the centre of the coil to the distributor cap) from the distributor. Use a pair of well-insulated pliers to hold the end of the lead 1/2in (13mm) away from one of the spark plug terminals or the engine block. Remove the distributor cap and make sure the points are closed. Turn the ignition on and with an insulated screwdriver open and close the points.

The spark from the end of the lead should easily jump the gap. If there is no spark, or it can only jump a much shorter distance, the coil is faulty.

If your car is misfiring or running badly, or has suddenly stopped completely, the most likely source of the problem is the ignition system.

First check the obvious problem areas. Make sure that all the wiring is firmly connected and that the spark plugs are in good condition and their leads are firmly on. Check the condition of the contact breaker points, that they open and close properly, and that their gap is correct.

If that fails to throw light on the problem, it may be that the coil is failing or has burnt out. You can check whether the coil is at fault very quickly using a test lamp.