No spark from my distributor


Hi I have a daimler 1978 fuel injected V12 we have been slowly doing up but I have become stuck I tried to start the engine last week and had no power to the coil so replaced the ignition amplifier now I have power and a spark to the distributor but nothing coming out of the distributor also the fuel pump seems to be not shutting of I would be grateful for any surgestions I am so near to being to drive my great car or just seeing the engine run after 18 months of rebuilding the only other problem I have is that the drivers side fuel relay in the boot is not connected and not sure how this goes
Many thanks
Steve Butchers

(David Jauch) #2

Hi Steve,

No idea as to the rest but all the distributor has to do is distributing the spark to a terminal. Either the rotor is broken or not making contact to the terminals (especially the center): you should almost be there…

(Robin O'Connor) #3

Check that the rotor isn’t shorting out, place a dob of grease on the shaft to temporarily insulate it and replace the rotor.


Many thanks I will give that a go


Many thanks as I said got a spark to the distributor but nothing coming out

(Frank Andersen) #6

The ign amp does not provide power to the coil, Steve - it just makes and breaks coil ground…

Replacing the amp should make no difference to coil power, which comes from the ignition key. Which does not imply that the ign amp was in working order - but what sort of ignition amplifier did you fit? There were changes through the years…

I assume that ‘spark to the dist’ means you have tested sparking from the coil centre lead while cranking - but no spark at a test plug?

In which case; the problem is with the distributor. Replacing the rotor as suggested by Robin, checking also that the carbon rod in the dist lid is intact - and verify that the rotor is turning when you crank the engine.

Another factor may be that your ignition timing is way off - so the rotor is not close enough to a tab on the lid to bridge the gap? Or indeed some fault in the dist lid - check for cracks and that the dist lid is clean…

That the fuel pump does not stop is odd - it should only run in ‘crank’ - or while the engine is running. The fuel relay is not in the boot - but it may indeed be burnt, keeping the pump running with ign ‘on’. The fuel pump is independent of the ignition system…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)


Thanks frank I will check these bits and let you know if I get success


And I did make sure the ignition amplifier was the right one frank

(David Jauch) #9

when the coil delivers spark,
-the pickup in the distributor works
-the coil has power
-the coil works
-the amplifier works
-the engine is grounded.

leaves us with the rotor and cap. Or, but I don’t know about that, the spark is delivered in the precise moment when the rotor is not aligned to any terminal?

(Frank Andersen) #10

Two different ign layouts and two different fuel injections systems were used, Steve - not counting possible PO ideas…:slight_smile:

David is right, of course - something is amiss between the coil spark plugs; rotor and carbon connector springs to mind. While 12 faulty plug leads would stretch imagination - but have you tried connecting spare spark plugs to other plug leads…?

And just for the record; have you tried cranking the engine in the dark to see eventual high tension gone astray…?

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)