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Unread 04-27-2008, 10:50 AM   #1
roundlitefan
Registered User
2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 906
Ignition problems

Hey guys, could someone please direct me to the thread that was up last month about troubleshooting a no-spark? I have done a bunch of searches and looked through the top 10 pages in CJ forum, and can't find it.

I installed the ignition upgrade components on my 304 a few weeks ago. E-core junkyard coil, new cap/rotor, etc.

It started up one time after I installed all the stuff, and ran well.

A few days later, I came back out, cleaned up and rerouted the plug wires, changed out the plugs with new ones, and gapped to .045", also rerouted some wires in the engine compartment that the PO left swinging in the breeze.

Long story short, wouldn't start after this.

I have fuel.

I have 12 volts at coil in 'run'

I have about 9 volts at the coil in "start'

I pulled a plug, grounded that plug to the block, and had wife crank the engine, no visible spark.

I pulled coil wire from cap, inserted a plug in it, grounded it to block, had wife crank engine, no spark.

Coil fuse was good the first time I checked it, blew at some point in between from all the cranking, installed a new one, it is still good after a few more attempts.

I had an extra ignition module, swapped it in, same exact symptoms. Both my ignition modules say "made in Canada" not sure if these are factory or cheapos.

Tried the spare E-core coil I got at the JY, same symptoms. Tried the 2 can type factory coils I have, same symptoms.

Rang out the wires from the distributor (purple, black, and orange) to the module, good continuity.

I only rang them out between the quick connect plugs, not sure how to check the hall effect sensor in the pickup, or how to test the module itself.

I did notice that the dielectric grease at both ends had turned green, I think this usually means it got wet, but cleaned the plugs/jacks as well as I could before putting back together, nothing.

Any help or suggestions would be great.

I am probably going to invest in an MSD 6 CDI module anyway, just because it is better and more dependable, but not sure if this will fix what is currently going on.

Tired of beating my head against a wall, please help!

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Unread 04-27-2008, 10:59 AM   #2
Mike Romain
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Off the Grid in Chester Grant, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 13,598
The pickup in the distributor should test out between 400 and 800 ohms. Mine was dead at 385 or something close.

The system ground is the hold down foot of the distributor. Did you adjust the timing or something and maybe move it to a rusty spot? A test is to run a booster cable between the distributor and battery negative.
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Unread 04-27-2008, 11:08 AM   #3
roundlitefan
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 906
No, I didn't move the distributor at all, though I will try a fresh ground like you suggest.

How did you test the pickup? My thought was to do a resistance check across the sensor (think it is the purple and orange wires without going out to check) and turning the engine by hand to trigger the sensor?

I must admit though that I am pretty confused, I thought the coil was just a step up transformer, and if I have DC voltage to the coil, it should be putting out a high volt spike on the output when I first power it on?

Wait, ding ding ding, I think a light just came on. It is DC, it would spike high for a fraction of a second the first time I apply power to the coil, but since nothing is collapsing the field, it would never go high again until I took voltage away from the coil/put it back....is this right? Since I was leaving the key in run while I tested it, and never asked the wife to turn it all the way to off first when I had her crank it, I never would have gotten a shock from the coil.
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Unread 04-27-2008, 11:09 AM   #4
roundlitefan
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Location: Richmond, Virginia
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So is this a pretty standard set of symptoms for a bad pickup/module or wiring in between them?
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Unread 04-27-2008, 05:51 PM   #5
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 10,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundlitefan View Post
Hey guys, could someone please direct me to the thread that was up last month about troubleshooting a no-spark? I have done a bunch of searches and looked through the top 10 pages in CJ forum, and can't find it.

I installed the ignition upgrade components on my 304 a few weeks ago. E-core junkyard coil, new cap/rotor, etc.

It started up one time after I installed all the stuff, and ran well.

A few days later, I came back out, cleaned up and rerouted the plug wires, changed out the plugs with new ones, and gapped to .045", also rerouted some wires in the engine compartment that the PO left swinging in the breeze.

Long story short, wouldn't start after this.

I have fuel.

I have 12 volts at coil in 'run'

I have about 9 volts at the coil in "start'

I pulled a plug, grounded that plug to the block, and had wife crank the engine, no visible spark.

I pulled coil wire from cap, inserted a plug in it, grounded it to block, had wife crank engine, no spark.

Coil fuse was good the first time I checked it, blew at some point in between from all the cranking, installed a new one, it is still good after a few more attempts.

I had an extra ignition module, swapped it in, same exact symptoms. Both my ignition modules say "made in Canada" not sure if these are factory or cheapos.

Tried the spare E-core coil I got at the JY, same symptoms. Tried the 2 can type factory coils I have, same symptoms.

Rang out the wires from the distributor (purple, black, and orange) to the module, good continuity.

I only rang them out between the quick connect plugs, not sure how to check the hall effect sensor in the pickup, or how to test the module itself.

I did notice that the dielectric grease at both ends had turned green, I think this usually means it got wet, but cleaned the plugs/jacks as well as I could before putting back together, nothing.

Any help or suggestions would be great.

I am probably going to invest in an MSD 6 CDI module anyway, just because it is better and more dependable, but not sure if this will fix what is currently going on.

Tired of beating my head against a wall, please help!
It's the 'ReRoute' of the wires that makes me suspect...

Check to see if your ground from the coil, (green wire) has contunity from the coil connector to the module 4 wire connector,



AND,
Is the ignition module back wire getting a good ground...

Your ignition grounds through the distributor housing (black wire from module to distributor housing)
and if the engine isn't getting a good ground, the ignition is not going to work correctly.

The "Canada" modules haven't been an issue in my world, but I have hear people complain about them... Usually turn out to be another issue though...

The two parallel male connectors in the distributor connector are the mag trigger, the odd one is the ground for the ignition system.

You should show between 400 & 800 Ohms resistance across those two parallel connectors, with about 600 to 625 being average.



You can also try this,
Take a 'Jumper' from the harness or module 'Violet' wire, and tap that wire on a ground very quickly... You should see a spark at the coil if the module is working.
By connecting the ground to the module up (black wire) to a dedicated ground, and by hooking the coil 'Green' wire to the module, you can do the 'Ground Test' of the module with the mag trigger out of the loop.
With 'Hot wires' for the coil negative and the module ground, you know it's not the support harness either...

Anyway, just a field test we used in my shop and out in the field that could be done for the cost of two or three jumper wires...
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Unread 04-28-2008, 07:56 AM   #6
roundlitefan
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 906
OK....

Coil ground is verified to be good, read ~0 ohms from female side of 4 wire connector to coil negative.

Checked black wire at the module side connector to chassis ground, verified good ground at distributor.

Read 592 ohms across the mag switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeephammer
By connecting the ground to the module up (black wire) to a dedicated ground, and by hooking the coil 'Green' wire to the module, you can do the 'Ground Test' of the module with the mag trigger out of the loop.
With 'Hot wires' for the coil negative and the module ground, you know it's not the support harness either...

Anyway, just a field test we used in my shop and out in the field that could be done for the cost of two or three jumper wires...
This part I did not quite understand, or know what results I should be looking for when I bypass the trigger.

I think you are asking me to take the trigger/distributor ground out of the picture, and ground the module directly via the black wire in the distributor to module wire bundle? After that, I don't follow what I should be hooking the coil negative to on the module, or what result I should see when I do it?

Thanks again!
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Unread 04-28-2008, 02:27 PM   #7
roundlitefan
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 906
Any more ideas, or do I just replace the module at this point?
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Unread 04-28-2008, 08:22 PM   #8
roundlitefan
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 906
BTT, anyone?
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Unread 04-28-2008, 09:07 PM   #9
JeepHammer
Running On Empty...
1973 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: South West Indiana
Posts: 10,208
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundlitefan View Post
This part I did not quite understand, or know what results I should be looking for when I bypass the trigger.

I think you are asking me to take the trigger/distributor ground out of the picture, and ground the module directly via the black wire in the distributor to module wire bundle? After that, I don't follow what I should be hooking the coil negative to on the module, or what result I should see when I do it?

Thanks again!
What I'm trying to get you to do is remove the mag trigger from the circuit, and just test the module and coil...

To do that, you will have to ground (jumper a ground to) the module black wire.

You will have to jumper a ground from the coil to the module 'Green' wire so the coil can charge/discharge.

You will have to pull the coil wire off the cap and stick a test plug in there and ground it...

You will have to connect to the module 'Violet' wire and very quickly ground it over and over again. Just 'Spark' it off a ground somewhere...
This will trigger the module, and the module should fire the coil if the module isn't scrap...

That will take the wiring between coil and module,
between distributor and module out of the picture and let you know that the module either IS, or IS NOT working.

The only two components left in the system will be the module and coil, everything else you have tested for voltage at the module feed and the coil feed, so wired like this you should have ruled out everything but module and coil...

Three jumpers,
One from coil negative to module green,
One from dedicated ground to module black,
One from module 'Violet' that gets momentarily grounded (Very Quickly)...
Don't forget to turn the key 'On' before testing or the module and coil will look 'Bad'!
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