How to Troubleshoot a Mallory Unilite Distributor With No Spark

Wouldn’t it be frustrating if your car stalls and refuses to start? One possible culprit behind this issue could be a faulty Mallory Unilite distributor that is not producing any spark. Don’t worry, though, as we’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide on troubleshooting and fixing this problem.

Why Troubleshoot a Mallory Unilite Distributor With No Spark?

The ignition system plays a vital role in starting and running your car smoothly. Without a spark from the distributor, the fuel mixture won’t ignite, leading to a no-start situation.

By troubleshooting your Mallory Unilite distributor and addressing the issue promptly, you can save yourself from getting stranded and potentially costly repairs down the line. So let’s jump into the troubleshooting process!

Check the Coil

When it comes to diagnosing a no-spark situation, it’s always wise to start with the basics. Begin by checking the voltage on both sides of the coil using a multimeter. Make sure that you have the correct voltage for your specific model—either 12 or 6 volts.

If you find that the voltage on either side of the coil is incorrect, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and inspect the wiring. Look for any signs of damage or wear and repair or replace as necessary. Repeat the voltage check once everything is in order.

Check the Spark Plug Wires

Inspecting the spark plug wires should be your next course of action. These wires transmit electricity from the coil to the spark plugs, so any wear or damage can hinder spark production.

Carefully examine each spark plug wire for signs of fraying, cracking, or other visible damage. If you notice any issues, it’s best to replace them. While doing so, ensure that you connect each wire to its corresponding spark plug in its proper routing.

Check the Ignition Module

The ignition module, located inside the distributor, plays a vital role in generating the spark. To access it, remove the distributor cap and rotor.

Take a close look at the ignition module for any signs of damage or wear. If you spot any issues, such as burned-out components or rusted connections, it’s time to replace the ignition module. After replacing it, reassemble the distributor by installing the cap and rotor.

Check the Distributor Cap and Rotor

Next on your checklist is examining the distributor cap and rotor. These components distribute the spark to each cylinder in the correct firing order.

Inspect both the cap and rotor for any visible damage or wear. If you see cracks, carbon tracking, or other signs of deterioration, it’s crucial to replace them with new ones.

Additionally, check that the rotor is properly aligned with the distributor cap. Misalignment can lead to a misfiring engine or no spark at all.

Check the Ground

A proper ground connection ensures that electrical current flows smoothly throughout your ignition system. Inspect the ground wire for signs of damage or wear. If you notice fraying or exposed wires, it’s time to replace it.

Along with examining the wire itself, ensure that it is securely connected to both the distributor and the engine block. A loose or faulty ground can impede spark production and cause a no-start situation.

Check the Battery

Your vehicle’s battery provides electrical power to various systems, including the ignition system. Low battery voltage can prevent spark production—so it’s essential to check its voltage using a multimeter.

If you find that your battery is running low on voltage, consider replacing it. Additionally, inspect your battery cables for any damage or wear that may hinder proper electricity flow.

Check the Timing

Timing refers to when exactly fuel is injected into each cylinder and when the spark plug ignites the fuel-air mixture. If your timing is off, it can result in a no-spark situation.

To check the timing, consult your vehicle’s manual for the correct specifications. It may involve using a timing light or various other tools. If your timing isn’t correct, adjust it accordingly.

While inspecting the timing, don’t forget to examine the distributor advance mechanism. This mechanism controls the timing advance and must function correctly for optimal ignition performance.


Troubleshooting a Mallory Unilite distributor with no spark might seem daunting at first, but by following these steps, you’ll be on your way to resolving the issue. Remember to check the coil, inspect spark plug wires, examine the ignition module, distributor cap, and rotor, ensure a proper ground connection, evaluate the battery and timing, and verify the distributor advance mechanism.

By methodically working through these troubleshooting steps and addressing any issues you find, you can restore spark production to your Mallory Unilite distributor. However, if you’re uncertain about any of the steps or encounter persistent issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Remember that preventive maintenance goes a long way in avoiding such problems in the future. Regularly inspecting and servicing your ignition system can help keep your vehicle running smoothly and reliably. So grab your tools and get ready to troubleshoot that Mallory Unilite distributor—it’s time to get that spark back!

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