No Spark Question

Electrical and Ignition

  1. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    Ok parked my car for about 8 month, went out to start and it had no spark.
    1964 Valiant 318 with mopar electronic ignition and electronic voltage regulator.
    I have checked the ignition switch, it has the correct voltage in the start and run position, I have ohm and volt check the coil, checked all grounds including the ECU, Ohmed and volt checked the distributor and also the ballast resistor, checked and double checked the pick up/reluctor gap .008 non magnetic feeler gauge. I have even pulled the wire harness apart to check for bad wire.
    Also when the key is in the on position the ballast resistor starts to smoke.
    The car ran fine 8 month ago, and now I got gremlins. I know I am just not seeing something, and I am sure it is something simple....

    any help would be appreciated
    :banghead:
     
  2. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    "Wiggle" the livin' you-know-what out of the distributor connector. One good way to do this is to connect it so that just one pin is engaged at a time so you can twist / turn the two halves, then engage the opposite two pins and repeat.

    With the key in 'run" use a jumper wire to repeatedly ground the distributor connector wires one at a time (I forget which one). One or the other will cause the ECU to produce a spark each time if good.

    Make absolutely certain the ECU is grounded, although if the ballast gets hot, it probably is.

    Has the key been left on for a long period, several minutes? This is hard on the ECU / coil

    You have a mulitmeter? Hooke it to the distributor connector on low AC volts. Crank the engine, the distributor should generate about 1 volt AC

    To be certain the system has voltage (sounds like it does) try jumpering a clip lead direct from starter relay stud to coil +

    Don't forget to check high tension coil wire for open.
     
  3. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    Nothing, I am giving up for awhile. I cant seem to get anything fixed lately.
     
  4. nm9stheham

    nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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    What part of KY are you in? If near E'town or Russel Springs, I'll be in the neighborhood next week and could stop in an confab if you like. Just PM me if this will help.

    Try disconnecting the - lead from the coil, then with the igntion on, ground the coil's - lead for a moment and unground and see if you get a good spark from the spark lead from the coil post. That'll tell you if you have a basically good coil, resistor, and ignition circuit without the ECU and distributor in the equation.
     
  5. RedFish

    RedFish Well-Known Member

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    If the ballast resistor smokes in the run position , most anything on the strat wire side could be shorted / grounding back through the resistor. current will go either direction through it. I would disconnect stuff in effort to stop the smoke.
     
  6. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    Well I got frustrated and mad. I pull everything apart and decisided to start rewiring for HEI. Just not sure how to wire the run, start and alternator wires with/for the HEI. Thank you for all the answers. Sorry to cause a stir.
     
  7. Woods74

    Woods74 Broke Senior

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    When you get there, I like to test spark by removing the distributor, turning the ignition on, and setting the coil wire near ground, and spinning the distributor by hand. Works really well to test for issues. Airgap should be nice and tight, and you should get a solid spark at every 'trigger point' without having to spin very fast.
     
  8. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Hope you have not bought yourself more trouble. Which HEI are you going to use? Basically you need to find the bypass wire coming out of the bulkhead which went to the coil + side of the ballast and wire that to the ignition run wire.

    When you get done, there are several things that should all be junctioned together:

    Coming out of bulkhead:

    Igniton run

    Bypass

    both of those hooked to

    Alternator field

    regulator IGN

    coil+

    HEI +

    choke heater if used

    Make sure you check that "ignition run" does not have voltage drop. If it does, repair bulhead connector, ignition switch if it does, or else use a relay to "fix."

    Wiring for 4 terminal HEI. Pay attention to polarity for distributor connector, or rotor phasing will be "off"

    [​IMG]
     
  9. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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    For your car, there is a $45 HEI distributor on ebay. Simple hookup. Many here use it w/ no problems, though one guy said he saw a few have failed lower bushings. But, it has to get 12 V from the battery to work. Your Mopar ECU needs power too. Did you check that? No excuse for not having a multimeter. They are free w/ coupon at HF. Indeed, don't even bother posting until you get one. No sense flying blind.

    BTW, if your engine is 1964, it is a 273, not a 318, but most parts interchange fine, except for intake manifolds.
     
  10. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    Bill I do have a multi meter a Fluke to be exact. The engine is not the orginal 273.
    I have power where I am suppose to I am down to suspecting bulkhead, distributor and ignition switch.
    67dart273 that the information I need thanks.
     
  11. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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    Since you have "power where you are supposed to", the bulkhead and ignition switch can't be the problem. Of course power can come and go intermittently, confusing you.

    Smoke from a new ballast is normal, and probably OK from one that has been sitting for 8 months, just like the burnt smell from an electric heater that hasn't been used in a while (dust burning off). You don't want to leave the ignition in "run" for long with the engine not running. I have heard that can destroy the Mopar ECU box.

    As post #7, try spinning the distributor by hand, with the ignition on. Use an in-line spark tester. Get a spark the most basic way possible, using jumper wires direct from BATT+, if needed. Then work your way back to the way it is setup in the car. That will find the culprit.
     
  12. jimynick

    jimynick Active Member

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    Did anybody consider just changing the ballast resistor? My Duster simply quit running after being parked while I got a quart of milk and that was the cause. The engine would crank until the battery croaked and nary a spark. for $5, it's worth a try. Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  13. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    I am suspecting the distributor at this point. I took it back out to double check the gap. This was after going through everything with multi meter and jumper wires. The way the pick up is siting on the plate is attached to there is a lot of movement, which not allowing the reluctor wheel and pick up to be square to one another. I.E the gap is not staying true after you set it. I have already started to make the conversion to HEI. While Mopar Ignition worked well for over two years. It did little in the way of burning our shit fuel that we have. I feel the HEI spark will go a long way in helping. Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Y'all are awesome for help.
     
  14. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    Turned to be ECU. Mine was bad and the new one I bought was also bad. Friend of mine brought me an old orange box, the car started right up. Now to fix a few things and get to driving.
     
  15. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    This business of new parts being bad is REALLY troublesome. You DID for absolute certain ground it, eh?
     
  16. nm9stheham

    nm9stheham Well-Known Member

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    Especially for something that is not all that hard to build right in the first place.....Glad you found it at last.
     
  17. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    Friend mine came over to see if he could figure it out. He went throughout everything. He even questioned the ground. He found nothing wrong anywhere, that's why he decside what the hell and we plugged in a spare orange box ground with a jumper wire. The car fire right up, crazy. I work at Oreillys and got the best I could get for an ECU. I going to start planning a swap to the HEI. This is the first time in the five years I have had the Mopar ignition give me fits. No more ECUs for me.
     
  18. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that many times changing the ECU fixes it, not because the ECU was bad, but that act gives a better ground to the case. Don't rely on a rusty sheet-metal screw or you will find yourself walking home. Run a dedicated ground wire.
     
  19. 64X2

    64X2 Mohel at your service.

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    There is no rusty anything where the ECU mounts. I made sure of that five years ago when I converted from petronix to mopar ignition I did my reasearch. I used a test light to check the ground as well as my friend did the same. I understand how important grounds are, I added extra grounds when I put the car together along time ago. We didn't change the ECU we merely hooked it up an ran a jumper wire to ground all for testing purposes. The new ECU was bad out of the box, as well as my five year old one that went bad from sitting. The ECU we used to get it running was not new it was also used, but known to be good.
     
  20. BillGrissom

    BillGrissom Well-Known Member

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    OK, but now you are going to get some people here (not me) riled up because they swear the Mopar ECU is extremely reliable and the only thing people should be using, no GM inter-breeding. Others have taken some of the new ECU's apart and found fake TO3 transistor cans with a wimpy little transistor tacked to the top case. Might work OK, but looks suspect. Anyway, glad you found the root cause. That helps many here.
     
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