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Making my '83 2.3Lima dumb - Help!

gtkid2002

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Okay! Bit of jump update.

Head is on. ECU is OUT. Stock carb is on, with the two vaccum lines next to the throttle capped off. Timing is set (95% sure of this for now)

Now I have no spark. It started out with a very weak spark. Now I can't get anything out of it. Zip, zero, zilch. I measured resistance across the coil where the red and green wires are, and got 1.5Ohms, which was okay on my bug at least, so I figured it would be the same on this.

Is there a method to test the coil or make it fire manually?

The wires on the dizzy got crispy at one point or another, so there's a chance that they finally just went.

And there was a 15A fuse that was melted. Not fully blown, but it did NOT look right. I swapped it out, and still got nothing.

Since it's an '83, and it has the duraspark setup already, and now I've got weak spark.

Is there a way to check the timing? Do I need to rotate the top end a time or two out of sync of the bottom and try and re-line it up?

Can't get it to start!
 


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Kenneth S

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Are you getting power to the ignition module? if you are the module could be bad. The ignition pickup in the distributor could be bad also (are the fried wires the small ones going to the dist, not the plug wires)?
 

gtkid2002

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Wires from the pickup unit are toastish, and the wires to the module are good and getting power. My concern is that I got it to run when the engine had a blown headgasket, and now after I changed it and pulled the ECU, I can't get it to fire solidly on even a single cylinder. I really want to blame timing, but the weak & erratic spark throws me off. Suggestions on what to try next?
 

Kenneth S

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I think the ignition pickup in distributor is toast, you can either replace it or try another duraspark distributor that is known to work.
 

gtkid2002

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That's just it, the truck ran before I changed the HG and pulled the ECU, and it's getting spark still. Although my battery is about done because it'll only spark when it's fresh off the charger it seems.

I hit it with a timing gun, and #4 is firing 30 degrees BTDC? Can't even see where #1 is hitting.

I think it's down to timing now. I can smell fuel when I crank it a few times, so I know it's getting gas, I just don't think I have the timing set properly, and I can't find a guide to set the Distributor gear on the timing belt properly. I set it to what I thought was #1, and even to what I thought was #2, but I can't seem to get it to work properly.

Is there a guide for timing on the early 2.3L's that I missed? The ones that -don't- have the marking for the oil pump/distributor setting?

The dizzy cap says #1 is (when looking down from the front of the truck to the back) Top right, closest to driver seat & driver wheel well.
 

Kenneth S

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The distributor is way out of time, what I would do pull the #1 plug (unhook the coil wire) then turn the engine over using a socket, and ratchet. While turning the engine over with one of your fingers over the #1 plug hole keep turning the engine until you start to feel compression. When you feel compression on #1 keep turning the engine until you get the timing mark a 10 deg TDC, then see where your distributor is, if the rotor is not on the #1 cylinder post pull the distributor, and re-set it so that the rotor is pointing directly on the #1 post on the distributor cap. Then it should start, don't worry about where the timing belt/sprocket alignment for the distributor/oil pump (just as long as the crank, and cam are in time), then you can fine tune the timing from there.
 

gtkid2002

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Alright, I loosened the distributor (took me a little bit to find that bracket on the left of the dizzy), and managed to find out that "Oh, where Cylinder 2 is getting spark, it's only 20 degrees BTDC!" So I brought the plugs back one space (so 1 was where 2 was), and tried again. I got a nice two foot flame that shot out of my carb (had the choke held wide open), and since my battery can only get one solid crank before it has to sit on the charger again (it's about past it's lifespan now), I figured I'd let it charge before I tried again. Also, with a second person holding a fire extinguisher since the carb isn't sealing properly (leaking out the gaskets :mad: ).

Since I kinda got it to backfire, does that mean I'm close with the timing? Timing gun said what was now cylinder 1 was firing @ 10 degrees BTDC.
 

Kenneth S

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If the ignition timing is at 10 deg BTDC and it shot a flame out of the carb (it shouldn't do that) I'd check the cam/crank timing again. (and make sure you have the firing order right).
 
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gtkid2002

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Is there a standard way to set cam timing? I know the crank timing is when it's on the compression stroke (I check when it's at the top using a screwdriver to be 100% certain), but I really don't have much of an idea on how to set the cam timing besides making sure the notches line up.
 

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