73 CJ5 No Start - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 7 Old 08-03-2011, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ramona
Posts: 106
73 CJ5 No Start

Hey guys. This is my first post so bare with me. I've searched for a solution to my problem but can't seem to figure this out. I have a 73 CJ5 with the AMC 304. I just bought it two weeks ago and started some work on it. I put everything back the way it was (wires and all) and now it won't start. When I turn the ignition, the engine revs up with the gas pressed down but as soon as I let off the ignition, the engine loses all power and shuts off. When I bought it started right up and drove fine. It also starts without the gas pushed down but the same thing happens when I let off the ignition. Any help or advice would be great and thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 7 Old 08-04-2011, 06:33 AM
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 11,180
First off,
Welcome to the forum, we WILL get you running!


OK, you are short on information here,
You didn't tell us what you did or if the ignition is the stock breaker points type,
So I have to ASSUME the ignition is stock...

What I want you to do is take the wires off the ignition coil.

Get yourself a $6 Test Light, the kind that looks like an Ice Pick with a wire coming out of the handle and a bulb in the handle.
DO NOT use the LED type.

Take the wires off the ignition coil,
Test the 'Positive' side wires first.

I need to know if you are getting power to the coil wires with the key switch in the 'Run' position.

Connect the wire of the test light to the NEGATIVE side of the battery,
Then probe the wires from the Positive side of the coil.
You should get a light with the key switch in the 'Run' position.

If you don't, you have a problem getting power out to the coil.

There should be TWO wires on the positive side of the coil, and only ONE wire on the negative side, it should go directly to the distributor.

When you crank the engine, the starter relay has a small terminal on the side,
It should be marked with an 'I'.
There should be a wire from that 'I' terminal over to the positive side of the coil.
That is the full 12 volt power supply to the ignition while you are CRANKING the engine.
The full 12 volts is so the engine starts easier.

When you let off the 'Cranking' position of the key switch,
It will return to 'Run' position.
The 'Run' position will supply power to the coil when you are not cranking the engine.

What I think is happening is, your ignition switch isn't falling all the way back to the 'Run' position,
There is a break in the circuit feeding the coil somewhere,
The ignition resistor quit working,
You have the wires reversed or missed one,
The wire broke,
Something is keeping the power from getting to the coil.

By doing the test above, it will tell me if you are getting power to the ignition with the key switch in the 'Run' position... Then we can go from there.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-04-2011, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ramona
Posts: 106
Wow. I really wish I was home right now to fix it. I'll definitely follow your instructions by saturday or sunday. I really appreciate the info. Yes it is the stock ignition.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-05-2011, 03:04 AM
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1977 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lucama, North Carolina
Posts: 569
Man you are in good hands with jeephammer. Listen and learn! good luck and welcome to the forum.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-07-2011, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ramona
Posts: 106
jeephammer, It feels great to get under the hood again. so because I don't have access to a voltage tester I used my multimeter instead. Here's the jist. on the front of the solenoid, there are two 16 gauge wires and one of them goes to the ignition coil but doesn't have power when the ignition is in the run position. I took the solenoid wire off the ignition coil and ran a wire straight to the battery from the power side of the coil and it started immediately and kept running. of course when I turned off the ignition it didn't stop, seeing as it was getting constant power. Does that mean my solenoid is bad? The red wire from the solenoid is on the same side as the wire going straight to the battery and for some reason that doesn't make sense to me. It seems like the run position of the solenoid should be on the opposite side of the constant power side. I know I'm probably wrong though that's why I'm here.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-07-2011, 06:47 PM
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1972 CJ5 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: colebrook
Posts: 90
i think you might have put something back together wrong. i had a very similar problem but with a 6 cylinder, the wires i thought i had run to the correct pos. were wrong. maybe someone on here has acess to a v8 wiring diagram
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-07-2011, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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1973 CJ5 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ramona
Posts: 106
ok so here's the update. I tried everything that has been brought up to me but nothing was working so I went ahead and started for the ignition switch. I have a Chilton Manual and the diagram in there for the 1973 CJ5 is COMPLETELY different than what I have in my jeep. Also because the previous owner had more splicings in this jeep than a vietnam helo and because almost all the wires were cracking I completely pulled out all the wires from inside. I left the engine wires where they are for now. After I pulled the wires, I started to pull out the ignition and realized there's a rod that connects to what I'm assuming is the ignition switch (correct me if I'm wrong) at the lower end of the steering column before the engine bay. I looked at the Chilton again and it looks like I have a 76-86 steering column... Did the 73's come with the ignition on the steering wheel or were they all in the dash. Is there a way to tell exactly what year it is so I can start getting the parts I need to fix it?
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