DodgeTalk Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just bought a 1987 D150 Ram LE with 105k actual miles, 318 auto from my aunt's father in law. The truck is in amazing shape, not a speck of rust ANYWHERE! (Extremely rare for Indiana!)

The problem-- It has no spark. He was driving it till it just died on him and he parked it for 2 years. He worked on it off and on, replacing parts here and there, but since it was an extra vehicle it wasn't a priority for him to fix it.
I have replaced the SCC comp in the fender and I am getting 12v at the coil. The timing seems right and the cap/rotor look brand new. At this point I'm lost. It seems that it should be getting spark but it isn't. I have no idea where to go next. The problem seems to be exactly like what happens when a ballast resistor goes out, but the comp takes the place of the resistor so that idea's out.
 

·
4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
Joined
·
5,828 Posts
How can you tell if the timing is right without spark? It's getting spark, but it isn't (?)
Does the rotor spin when cranked? if not, the timing gear could be worn off (plastic teeth on OE and some replacments.)
Does the voltage on the other terminal pulse up and down?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I checked the timing by turning it to TDC and checking where the rotor was pointing. It was pointing at #1 so that's why I said the timing seems right. Even if it was 180 out, it should still be sparking right? The rotor is turning and I'm getting voltage drop at the coil but I can't tell if it's just from cranking the motor or not. What should the resistance be for the coil? I have tried 3 different coils at this point (one of which was removed from a running '79 318) and still nothing. I am getting 12v at both poles on the coil with ign on. That's by grounding it on the neg batt terminal and the pos lead of my tester on the poles.

I apologize for my wording in the previous post if it confused anyone. (I just re-read it and it even confused me!:ugh) I was working with 2 hours sleep when I posted it. I have edited it so it says what I originally meant to say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hey wolfie I didn't know you were over here too. I thought I'd head over here and try to get some fresh eyes on the problem. (Maybe get lucky and find somebody who had the same thing happen with theirs)
I laid the plug on the exhaust manifold like I have on several occasions on fords and gms with no issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
ya. i am all over the web. they have some good info and also seem to have quite a few people that are willing to help out here.
i am not sure how good of a spark you would see lying the spark plugs on rusty exhaust manifolds. when i am testing for spark i try to get the spark plug as good of a ground as possible. did you try test for spark at more than 1 spark plug?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yes I tried the #1 and #2 plugs. Nada on both and my manifolds are darn near clean enough to eat off! I tried the #2 first and I thought I noticed a little spark (1 little flash), but it could have just been wishful thinking. I'm trying to sell my bike now so I can just put all new ign parts in it. I had planned on doing most of it anyway (with exception of the dist) since it has been sitting so long. I was hoping to get it running before I had to do the tuneup, but so much for that idea :WHT:. I suppose I can't complain too much since I only gave $400 for it and it's near mint condition. It's just annoying when you can't drive a truck you just bought.:drivingz:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Well I'm starting to lean more and more toward the dist. being bad. Since I've got voltage to the coil it's the last thing in the way of the spark. I'm wondering if the guy I bought it from only replaced the cap and considered it the dist or maybe put in a used one that was also bad. The reason I think that is the base of the dist doesn't look too new (pitted and dirty). Even though it's been two years, the truck hasn't been driven so it should still look new, shouldn't it? Would this truck have the Hall effect or the pickup type distributor? I know they started with the Hall effect in 88 on the TBIs, but since the comp is in the fender instead of on the air filter, I wonder....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Ya the whole dist. with cap and rotor is only $74 at advance auto parts. If I were to just swap out the pickup, would I have to pull the whole dist. like on fords?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
dodge distributors are very simple. they are either in correct or 180* off.
as you can see from the pic there is no gear on the end of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the info wolfie. In that case I think it may be worth it to just swap out the whole thing instead of just the pick-up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,449 Posts
At autozone-dist fifty dollars, eleven less with core, pick up coil thirteen dollars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
you could probably test the distributor before you replace it. most digital multi meters have a points setting where if you touch the leads together your multi meter beeps. connect 1 lead to each wire on the distributor with the digital multi meter on the points setting and the try cranking the engine. if the digital multi meter beeps it might be good. if it don't beep it may just be out of adjustment.
 

·
4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
Joined
·
5,828 Posts
Alternatively, if you have an analog (the type with a needle) voltmeter that reads AC, put it on the lowest setting and it should swing from 0 to ~ 0.5 volts on the AC voltage scale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I have a cheap harbor freight meter that doesn't have a tone. Should I have voltage a the dist with the key on? If so how much?
 

·
4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
Joined
·
5,828 Posts
If it has a two wire connector as pictured above ^^^^ the pick-up is a mini AC generator and makes pulses to trigger the SCC. (It should be isolated and have no voltage on it.)
The test I was refering to in post #15, measuring the AC volts out is done with it connected to the meter only when cranking.
Later model hall-effect type pickups have 3 wires, a ground, a postive (8 volts?) and a third wire that pulses. These are the type pickup the SBEC, SMEC or PCM use. The first 2 are TBI injection, the later is multi-point as used on Magnum engines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
New distributor, cap, rotor, wires and a coil from a running 318 and still nothing! I have checked and rechecked everything and came up empty. Everything I've tested says this truck should be running, but it still has no fire. What am I missing?
 

·
4 Wheel Power Disc Brakes
Joined
·
5,828 Posts
At this point it could just be a bad connection at the bulkhead connector (were the wires go thru the firewall) since you did a parts swap with known good parts.
A bad ignition switch or fusable link could also be a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I got a new coil and plugs for it today just in case the ones I have are weak (that and I've already changed everything else, so why not?). It rained all day so they'll have to wait till tomorrow to go in. I was also wondering if these systems still have an ignition relay and if so where is it? How can I test the bulkhead connector and fusable link? Would it be worth it to swap out the ign switch just to eliminate that as a possibility?
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top