Engine Will Not Start

Electrical and Ignition

  1. Jason96R

    Jason96R Well-Known Member

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    Brief background. In the summer-fall the engine would start, very limited mileage, and even drove into the garage to do a auto to 4 speed swap. To do the swap I removed the distributor, but left all the wires on the cap and everything else the same. My dad and I re-installed the distributor made sure the engine was TDC and ensured all the wires were correct per factory specs. But the engine will not start.

    When we remove the spark plug and ground it there is no spark, but there is spark at the coil. We done voltage checks and we get 12v until the ballast resistor were it is only 8v, that of course goes to the coil. When we do try to start it the only time it even tries to backfire is when I turn the ignition off after trying to start.

    I have the complete FBO ignition set, and have all ready replaced the ballast resistor. When doing a check I noticed that the starter solenoid is different for auto to manuals so I ordered that should be here tommorow. Could the starter solenoid be the problem?

    Almost forgot there was a neutral safety wire that I just grounded so that the engine would turn over could that cause a problem?

    Thank you in advance for your help.

    Jason
     
  2. dgc333

    dgc333 Well-Known Member

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    If you have spark at the coil wire but not at the plug I would look to make sure you didn't bugger up the rotor and make sure the cap is seated properly on the distributor base. If either of those can prevent the spark from being routed to the plugs. A common issue is the button in the center of the cap falling out and the rotor no longer making contact.

    Also, you mention that you had the engine at TDC when you put the distributor back in but there is two TDC's per one rotation of the distibutor. It is very easy to wind up with the distributor 180 degrees out. The quick and simple way to check that you are on TDC for the compression stroke is to take the plug out and put your finger over the hole as you bring it up to TDC. You should get some compression pressure trying to push your finger off.

    Don't worry to much about where the wires are on the cap in relation to the engine (i.e the picture in the manual). As long as you are at TDC on the compression stroke and the rotor is pointing to where the number 1 wires is connected and the rest of the wires are attached in the proper firing order around the distributor you are good to go.
     
  3. Jason96R

    Jason96R Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your help. When I pick up the new starter solenoid, I will pick up a new cap and rotor also. How about the voltage being at 8v going to the coil.
     
  4. GotDart

    GotDart Well-Known Member

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    That sounds about right if the key is in the RUN position. The coil should only see the full 12V in the START position.

    Does your meter also measure resistance (ohms)? If so, verify all the ignition wires have continuity... especially the coil-to-distributer wire.
     
  5. Jason96R

    Jason96R Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for reminding me about the TDC on the compression stroke, was probably to excited to remember to make sure I had that TDC and then to mad to remeber when it wouldn't fire. But would not being on comp. TDC make the spark plugs not spark at all. I will be checking every wire there is for proper voltage and resistance etc. later tonight, sometimes you just have to step back from the car for awhile.

    Probably something simple like cap and rotor, but that stuff is new anyway.
     
  6. cuda66273

    cuda66273 Well-Known Member

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  7. klrfish1968

    klrfish1968 Well-Known Member

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    Starter solenoid has nothing to do with it... If you've got it cranking over with the key the solenoid is out of the picture. Find your compression stroke and rotate the crank until the timing mark on the damper is showing about 10 degrees advanced, then line your rotor up directly under the #1 plug wire - use a Sharpie and make a dot on the side of the distributor housing where the #1 post is on the cap so you'll be able to rotate the distributor without the cap being on and still know where #1 is on the cap. Once you have compression in the #1 hole and you've got your timing mark on the balancer at 10 degrees BTDC all you have to do is line you Sharpie dot up with the rotor, put the cap on and check the firing order. Assuming you have a good rotor and it is actually turning when the engine is cranking, as long as it's got fuel it should start.
     
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