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Unread 03-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
planb722
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86 CJ7 258 New GM HEI but no spark

I just installed a GM HEI distributor in my 86 CJ7 258 and I can't get a spark. I had the stock electronic distributor in with no spark and figured it was a module issue. Had the module tested and it was bad. Tired of replacing modules so I took it out to replace with what I thought was something more reliable, but I still don't have spark. I reused my dis. gear, and I spliced the BAT wire from the solenoid and have 12v at the coil. New Accel 8mm wires, and Bosch Plat plugs. Am I overlooking something??

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Unread 03-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
Trapshooter
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Hate to say it but it sounds like the module in the new HEI is bad. Usually the culprit in this type of situation. Its why I always carried a spare in the '79 CJ7 I had with a 304 that I converted to a HEI ignition system.

Good Luck...........
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Unread 03-18-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
lucdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planb722
I just installed a GM HEI distributor in my 86 CJ7 258 and I can't get a spark. I had the stock electronic distributor in with no spark and figured it was a module issue. Had the module tested and it was bad. Tired of replacing modules so I took it out to replace with what I thought was something more reliable, but I still don't have spark. I reused my dis. gear, and I spliced the BAT wire from the solenoid and have 12v at the coil. New Accel 8mm wires, and Bosch Plat plugs. Am I overlooking something??
You did use the HEI distributor for the 258? And you have 12 volts at the single wire hookup? Your confusing me here the coil is in the top of the cap. How did you check for spark? Did you use the 12 volt supply wire from the old module, to power the new distributor?

Bill
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Unread 03-19-2012, 07:19 AM   #4
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Those Bosch Platinum plugs cost me an engine. Sucked the ceramic insulator completely out of it and into the engine. It wasn't pretty!
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Unread 03-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #5
planb722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucdog View Post
You did use the HEI distributor for the 258? And you have 12 volts at the single wire hookup? Your confusing me here the coil is in the top of the cap. How did you check for spark? Did you use the 12 volt supply wire from the old module, to power the new distributor?

Bill
I have 12 volts at the spade connector going into the coil. Yes the coil is in the top of the cap. I checked for spark at the end of the plug wire. I used the 12v supply from the starter solenoid to supply the new distributor.
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Unread 03-19-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
dslywalker
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do you have 12 volts in the crank position and run position?
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Unread 03-19-2012, 06:00 PM   #7
lucdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planb722 View Post
I have 12 volts at the spade connector going into the coil. Yes the coil is in the top of the cap. I checked for spark at the end of the plug wire. I used the 12v supply from the starter solenoid to supply the new distributor.
The spade connector is connected to the correct terminal on the cap? There are 2,1 for a tachometer, the other is the 12 volts postive. the connector from the distributor is connected to the cap?

The solenoid is not the place for distributor power, the 2 small ones only have voltage with the key in the start position. Of the 2 large terminals, the one going to the starter only has power in the start position of the key.The other has a constant 12 volts from the battery. which one did you use?

When you checked for spark at the plug, how exactally did you do this?

Bill
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1973 J 4000,
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1979 CJ7 360, TH400/Quadratrac trail Jeep.
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1984 Grand Wagoneer, 1 ton axles, great 360/727, and a big a$& tree fell on it .
1989 YJ the CJ to YJ conversion.
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Unread 03-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
hp_lovecraft
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Did you try connecting the battery directly to the '+' terminal on the HEI?
If you get spark, then you know that the HEI is not the problem, and can focus on the wiring..

One long shot could be the spade in the HEI is bent. I had a problem last fall where the spade got pushed into the cap instead of making a connection to 12-volts lead. (Took forever to figure that out!).
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Unread 03-22-2012, 09:13 PM   #9
planb722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hp_lovecraft View Post
Did you try connecting the battery directly to the '+' terminal on the HEI?
If you get spark, then you know that the HEI is not the problem, and can focus on the wiring..

One long shot could be the spade in the HEI is bent. I had a problem last fall where the spade got pushed into the cap instead of making a connection to 12-volts lead. (Took forever to figure that out!).
I connected the battery to the '+' and have a spark but it looks weaker than i think it should. Still won't start.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
planb722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucdog View Post
The spade connector is connected to the correct terminal on the cap? There are 2,1 for a tachometer, the other is the 12 volts postive. the connector from the distributor is connected to the cap?

The solenoid is not the place for distributor power, the 2 small ones only have voltage with the key in the start position. Of the 2 large terminals, the one going to the starter only has power in the start position of the key.The other has a constant 12 volts from the battery. which one did you use?

When you checked for spark at the plug, how exactally did you do this?

Bill
The solenoid is what was powering the coil in the factory setup. The red wire coming off of the "I" terminal runs down and T's into a wire on the alternator and then goes back to the coil.

Checked the spark by pulling number #1 plug wire and held it near the valve cover bolt.

I wired direct from battery to coil and have spark now but it looks weak.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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A blue spark 1/4 inch away is good orange is suspect.

Did you move the dizzy around while trying to start, in case the timing is off some?

If you've been cranking and pumping the gas alot the plugs could be fouled. Expecially If you pull them and their dripping wet.

You can have the dizzy in 180 degrees out easy on that engine.
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Unread 03-22-2012, 09:57 PM   #12
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Are you getting any backfires when you try to start the engine? One other question, how did you determine you had the engine on Top Dead Center (TDC) of the #1 cylinder? This goes back to 86cj74.2L's question about timing being 180 out.

Good Luck...........
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Unread 03-23-2012, 06:02 AM   #13
TrebleHook
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I'm no expert - but I just had my GM HEI wired via a relay as recommended below. Works REALLY well. Before I had less than 10 volts at the distributor and less with any accessories on. Now I have battery power 12+ at all times.

Hope this helps. The relay was like $5 at Napa.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/co...r-hei-1317248/

Cheers,
TrebleHook
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Unread 03-26-2012, 05:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrebleHook View Post
I'm no expert - but I just had my GM HEI wired via a relay as recommended below. Works REALLY well. Before I had less than 10 volts at the distributor and less with any accessories on. Now I have battery power 12+ at all times.

Hope this helps. The relay was like $5 at Napa.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/co...r-hei-1317248/

Cheers,
TrebleHook
Thanks for the thread. I wired in the starter relay and now it will start, but it backfires alot and my power seems really low. It acts like the choke is stuck closed but I've checked and it's not. I've tried advancing the timing and retarding it but it still backfires sometimes through the carb but mostly out of the tailpipe. Also the engine won't turn off with the key??? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Unread 03-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #15
planb722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapshooter View Post
Are you getting any backfires when you try to start the engine? One other question, how did you determine you had the engine on Top Dead Center (TDC) of the #1 cylinder? This goes back to 86cj74.2L's question about timing being 180 out.

Good Luck...........
Lots of backfiring but it starts now. I pulled the #1 plug and rotated the engine by hand until I felt compression coming out of the spark plug hole. I pulled the dizzy and spun it 180 just in case but that didn't help so I put it back. The starter relay the TrebleHook suggested helped me get spark out of the wires.
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