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[TCML] Racing sparks - question

Hi coilers.  Life's been busy the last few months & not much time for coiling, although I still read the pupman postings.  Anyway, I did find the time to roll out my coil tonight & run it, but I kept running into on an old problem I've had in the past.  Using a screw or ball bearing for a breakout point, my 15/60 coil produces good sparks, and the coil runs well with no problems.  If I remove the breakout, I still get sparks from the toroiod, but eventualy start getting racing sparks.  Without the breakout point, the coil seems to have no trouble producing sparks from the topload even fairly lower variac voltages, but when I increase variac the voltage to the 120 or higher I eventually get the racing sparks.    I've played around with raising the secondary to reduce coupling, but so far, I'm still getting racing sparks if I dont use a breakout.   

If it's just a matter of over coupling, I'll have no problem gradually raising the secondary to eliminate the problem.  However this will be somewhat involved as I have to removing the secondary's end cap & adding a longer mounting bolt.  Before I go much further, I wanted to see if any of you guys had other suggestions on what might be causing the racing sparks when I don't use a breakout.  I'd really like to be able to run the coil without using a breakout. 

FYI, I have a 6 X 20.5 toroid and a 3 X 12 toroid underneath it.

Thanks for any suggestions, Dennis Hopkinton MA

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