Q: Truck will crank, but engine won't start - 1973 Chevrolet K20

asked by on

The old battery in my car would not hold a charge, so I replaced it with a new one. After installing the new battery, the truck will crank, but the engine will not start. I held a plug wire next to ground to test for spark, but there was nothing. I also used the same technique to test the coil wire - nothing. Next, I tested for voltage across the input wires to the coil. When the ignition engaged, there were only 4 volts. Next, at the ignition fuse, in the fuse panel, I tested for voltage and saw 12 volts. I know that from the starter solenoid is the only other direction that the voltage comes from. When I tested there, it was 12 volts going into the solenoid, however only 4 were coming back to the coil. My truck’s starter is a new one that I installed several months ago. Next to the distributor is a small capacitor-looking part in the same bracket with the coil. I don't know if this is a resistor or a capacitor. There is only one connection that goes to the coil’s back side connection. I have been researching for wiring diagrams but so far haven't found any. Could you please give me whatever help you can for these problems?

Hello there, thanks for writing in. The wiring diagram for the ignition system of your vehicle is pretty simple. Power flows from the ignition switch to the coil. When the engine is cranked, the points open and close to create voltage in the coil secondary windings. This creates the high voltage needed to fire the spark plugs, which is sent to the distributor.

If there is no spark, suspect a faulty coil, coil wire, cap rotor, points or distributor. The wiring between the ignition switch and coil could also be bad. A faulty starter will not prevent the engine from getting spark.

It sounds like you’ve already spent a lot of time on this issue; if you’d like further assistance, consider having one of our certified automotive technicians come to your home or office to diagnose and repair your vehicle properly.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Truck will crank, but engine won't start - 1973 Chevrolet K20

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Shift solenoid "c"

There are 4 solenoids and they show that they are all the same part number. Looking from the side the solenoids, they are lettered from the top left as "A" and go counter clockwise until you see "C" in the...

Q: How do I replace the crankshaft position sensor and where is it located on the engine?

In order to replace the crankshaft position sensor you have to remove the passenger tire and inner plastic fender to get access to the crankshaft pulley. The sensor is installed in the engine to the left of the crankshaft pulley....

Q: I have a 96 Isuzu trooper that while driving with the AC on, the voltage meter will jump all the way up, after about five minutes.

Hi there. If the voltage is going all the way up, then it may be overcharging and can damage the battery and other components. Have the alternator tested to see if it is overcharging and replace it if it is....

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...