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Spark from coil but no spark from distributor??? Please help! by 4LB21HP
Started on: 06-18-2012 12:16 AM
Replies: 17 (22510 views)
Last post by: 85 SE VIN 9 on 11-11-2014 01:11 PM
4LB21HP
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Report this Post06-18-2012 12:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 4LB21HPSend a Private Message to 4LB21HPEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
OK so I have a no start situation. The car is an 87 V6, it will turn over but not start. Things I have done to try to fix the problem:

Checked for 12v at the coil, Good
Checked for 12v at the disttibutor, Good
Check to make sure that the engine is grounded, got a 0.00 for resistance, excellent.
I recieve a tach reading at the gauge while attempting to start
Replaced the distributor, completelty new, with Pickup and ICM
Replaced the coil
Checked for spark with spark tester, I can get spark from the coil to grounded on intake, but not from any of the plug posts on the distributor (yes coil to distributor wire connected)
Checked to make sure that the rotor actually spins.
Replaced the cap and rotor
Replaced the distributor a second time, just for for spite

Is there anything else out there that I have not though of as a test or replace? It makes no sence to me that everyting has been replaced and the distributor will still not pass on the spark!!! Any help would be greatly appriciated!

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trotterlg
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Report this Post06-18-2012 12:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Unless the wire from the coil to the distributator is bad your condition cannot occur. Larry
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4LB21HP
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Report this Post06-18-2012 01:22 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 4LB21HPSend a Private Message to 4LB21HPEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I tested the coil to distributor wire, from the coil to ground with the spark tester as well. It got spark, but none out of the distributor! ??? Any other suggestions?
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Patrick
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Report this Post06-18-2012 02:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

You did install the rotor in the distributor, right?
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phonedawgz
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Report this Post06-18-2012 05:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for phonedawgzClick Here to visit phonedawgz's HomePageClick Here to Email phonedawgzSend a Private Message to phonedawgzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If the shaft of your distributor is rusted and you are forcing the rotors on, you could be splitting the rotor.

You also could have a weak enough spark that won't jump the gap inside the distributor.

Your distributor could be messed up such that the spark occurs when the rotor is in between the plug towers. If all the prongs were tilted inside your dist that could cause it. If your rotor is not on the notch of the dist shaft that could cause it also.

You should be able to ground your second distributor and spin it by hand with the dist connected and test.

[This message has been edited by phonedawgz (edited 06-18-2012).]

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Bloozberry
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Report this Post06-18-2012 06:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It's unlikely, but it's possible that the two distributor caps you've bought don't have the spring loaded nib under the center post that makes contact with the metal tang on top of the rotor.
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crashyoung
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Report this Post06-18-2012 06:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for crashyoungClick Here to Email crashyoungSend a Private Message to crashyoungEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If your basic timing of the rotor th cap is so far off, you will not get spark. with your spark tester hooked to the distributor, hook up your timing light and flash the rotor with the dist cap off and see where the rotor is when the spark fires. Then adjust the dist for the cap towers to be in the middle of the spark area.
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phonedawgz
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Report this Post06-18-2012 09:19 AM Click Here to See the Profile for phonedawgzClick Here to visit phonedawgz's HomePageClick Here to Email phonedawgzSend a Private Message to phonedawgzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by crashyoung:

If your basic timing of the rotor th cap is so far off, you will not get spark. with your spark tester hooked to the distributor, hook up your timing light and flash the rotor with the dist cap off and see where the rotor is when the spark fires. Then adjust the dist for the cap towers to be in the middle of the spark area.



Actually that won't work. Rotating the distributor moves both the towers, but also the prongs and points under the towers. So as you rotate the distributor it does not affect the alignment of producing a spark vs having the rotor pointed at a tower.

If you look inside a distributor and align the prongs and points of the reluctor and stator ((by the pick up coil), you will see that when they are aligned, the rotor will point directly at one of the towers. Only if something inside the distributor was off (all the prongs bent the same way) could you get that alignment off.

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iceman320
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Report this Post06-18-2012 07:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for iceman320Send a Private Message to iceman320Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
hi
its most likely the ignition module on the distributor take the module to advnance/ autozone they can test it for you free of charge. happened to me 6 months age very same thing
new moduale problenm fixed
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firejo24
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Report this Post06-18-2012 08:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for firejo24Send a Private Message to firejo24Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sorry to disagree but a bad module would produce no spark not “no spark at the plugs”. This is a tricky one but I’ll bet the distributor is out of phase. To check you need to line up cylinder number 1 to top dead center (use the timing mark). It doesn’t matter if it’s compression or exhaust you just need to piston at the top or the mark at 0°. The rotor (more importantly the pickup coil teeth) should line up with either cylinder number one or four. If it’s lined up, or can be lined up by rotating the distributor then you’re in phase (you might be 180° off but you’ll still get a spark at the plugs). If not you need to pull the distributor back out and put it back in so the rotor lines up.

If it’s out of phase just right then the gap between the towers would be too large to jump and it will arc inside the cap instead. If it’s close or way out it will jump to the tower and you’ll get spark at the plugs.
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trotterlg
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Report this Post06-18-2012 11:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
It cannot be "out of phase" the trigger is attached to the shaft the rotor is attached to so rotor cannot point between towers. He tried two different distributators, it is unlikely that both have the same exact problem. Something simple is being over looked, the problem is being overworked here. Larry
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Patrick
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Report this Post06-18-2012 11:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by trotterlg:

Something simple is being over looked, the problem is being overworked here.



All kinds of dumb things could've been done, but I think we all feel kind of ackward asking when we don't know the knowledge level of the OP. *

* Although I did ask about the rotor being installed in the distributor.
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trotterlg
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Report this Post06-19-2012 01:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for trotterlgClick Here to Email trotterlgSend a Private Message to trotterlgEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you notice in the origional post, he never says the car ever ran for him, or if he ever knew anyone who had seen it run. I say it is a simple stupid little thing, may have nothing to do with spark at all. Larry
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crashyoung
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Report this Post06-19-2012 06:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for crashyoungClick Here to Email crashyoungSend a Private Message to crashyoungEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Larry, you are right, however, when I first set up my 2.5L, I made a mistake and got the rotor 180 degrees out of phase. I rotated the distributor till it started and then set the timing.
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oldbikeracer
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Report this Post06-19-2012 08:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for oldbikeracerClick Here to visit oldbikeracer's HomePageClick Here to Email oldbikeracerSend a Private Message to oldbikeracerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Do the old school thing. Remove a spark plug, connect it to the spark plug wire and graound the plug against the engine. Them have someone try to start the car, if the plug sparks you have FIRE. It is stil possible that spatk is weak enough to not spark under compression in the engine. Probably way out of time when the new distributor was installed. Get a buddy that is an experienced shade tree mechanic to help you, he should be over 50 to have the old school experience.
Mike
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iceman320
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Report this Post06-19-2012 09:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for iceman320Send a Private Message to iceman320Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
fully read your post this time..
i know some items you have already checked here is my list
i would suggest old school test for coil not spark tester. Put spark plug in the end of the coil plug wire that normally attaches to distributor. ground the plug and crank this will eliminate the coil to ditributor plug wire as a cause and will reverify that the coil is ok. if you have a spark then rotate engine to number one firing positoin take off distribitor cap and check that the rotor cap is in approx correct position to fire the number one cylinder.if timeng is correct then the cause can only be 1 of 2 thiings.
1 rotor cap not contacting carbon brush, check inside cap i broke carbon brush off once putting distributor cap back on
2 and least likely bad plug wires.check wires by doing old school coil test of plug wire at beginning of this post
if the timing is correct and if a spark is reaching the distributor cap it has to be one of those 4 things
ps loosen distributor rotate while engine is being cranked to see if you have it positioned a little off in regards to timing
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firejo24
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Report this Post06-19-2012 01:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for firejo24Send a Private Message to firejo24Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Trotterlg is correct (I haven’t missed that one in a long time). A distributor can be out of phase but the spark will still be lined up with the tower on the cap.
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post11-11-2014 01:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So what happened?

I may have the same problem. One day the SE VIN 9 wouldn't start halfway to work. It was raining, but it did start in the rain that afternoon. A few days later it cranked and cranked and I gave up and walked. Since then it only cranks. It cranks fast, new battery.

Yesterday I put my camera under the hood and cranked it with a spark tester hooked up. With the decklid down you can see a red glow of a flash as that cylinder fires.

The module is new in May and only has a few hundred miles on it at the most. It was in a storage unit until August. While replacing the module I broke the lock on the 4-wire connector. It's pretty loose, and I have another ready to go, but the tach registers while cranking and there is some kind of spark, so I'm not eager to start that project. The cap, wires, rotor, PU, coil, and coil connector are five years old, but have only about ten thousand miles on them. All but the PU are Accel products.

The car ran well before being parked for over two years and ran pretty well after that. It stumbled and backfired and once cut out for a second going up a hill at about thirty five. I do remember a crank no start situation once early on that I 'fixed' by running new vacuum hoses to the EGR solenoid. Maybe in the course of doing that I nudged that connector enough, but it's incredible luck that it ran so long without problems after that.
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