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No spark at the plug


4x4countryboy

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Ok so I have no spark at my plug, I have power at my coil, and I have power at my distributor's plug....so what should I check first and how? the coil or the distributor?

the engine turns over and all of the wireing is good as are the connections (just wired everything and checked:dunno:) but not getting a spark....has new cap and rotor....has a new coil HOWEVER i do not have a resistor in place at this time so could be the coil but I have not done anything with the resistor yet other than check to see if it was getting power at the plug....but it is still the old distributor....

thoughts comments and suggestions are appreciated as always!
 


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4x4countryboy

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failed to mention it has new plugs and wires as well!!!
 

RonD

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What engine?
2.8l

The coil works to make spark by removing the ground, that's what the points did, and what pointless systems do, they use transistors to cut the ground, but same principle.

I would see if you have spark at the coil, just hook spark plug up to coil wire, take it off the distributor cap
Then remove ground(-) wire from coil, it should spark, if it had 12v on (+), repeat a few times, it should spark each time ground is removed.

That means coil is probably OK.
A coil works by supplying it with 7-12v on the Primary wire(+), then when you cut the power(lift the ground) the magnetic field on the primary wire collapses, this causes a high voltage low amp power spike on the secondary wire, the wire connected to top of distributor cap.

So it's a pretty simple device to check.

The reason for the ballast resistor or resistor wire is because the coil can run too hot with 12v power applied all the time, so 12v is just used for starting the engine, then the coil runs on 7v-9v
 

4x4countryboy

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I have the 2.3L with the duraspark set up..ok I will check it out tomorrow. thank you
 

RonD

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The Duraspark should have 8v, with resistor wire, at "+" side of Coil when key is on "Run", 12v is fine for testing, this is a direct wire from the key doesn't go thru the duraspark module.
But not sure the "-" side will be grounded, via the module, so check that it is a ground, use a meter or test light between "+" and "-", should show 8-12v.
If you don't want or can't test for voltage then just unhook that "-" wire that goes to module(green wire) and use a jumper wire to the ground on battery, each time you touch and remove that "-" wire the coil should spark.


This page has a simple diagram of the duraspark system, just scroll down to "Typical Duraspark Ignition":
http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/2_8Duraspark.html

The wiring is pretty straight forward.
In this "pointless" system the spinning shaft of the distributor will have 4 magnets evenly spaced(4 cylinder engine).
In the distributor next to this spinning shaft there is a sensor, this sensor picks up magnetic fields, so each time a magnet passes it, it sends a pulse to the Module.
A magnetic sensor like this is called a "hall effect" sensor, just FYI.

The module then lifts the ground(disconnects the ground) to the "-" side of the coil causing it to send a spark to the distributor cap, which is then sent to the spark plug via the rotor.

So basically either the sensor is not telling the module the magnets are spinning(not sending pulses), or the module is not lifting the ground.
Or the coil is not sparking when ground is lifted.
 

martin

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Did you check if the distributor shaft is turning?
 

4x4countryboy

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from what I was told the distributor shaft will spin regardless because it is driven off of the camshaft gear? thats just what I was told I have not verified that......

I replaced my coil and still nothing (it was covered under warranty so no $$$ lost, but they had no way to test it.)

took out a sparkplug and hooked one end of my test light to it, if I touch it to the (+) side the red wire with the blue stripe that comes out of the coil it lights up, but it also lights up when I touch it to the (-) side, where the green wires come out of the coil, should it do that?
the wire that runs from the coil to the distributor (the sparkplug looking wire) also light up my test light when I place it in there....however if I put a spark plug in there it does nothing, no spark, I have also tried 2 different spark plugs (all that are being used in the truck are new).....thoughts???I am at a loss....I do not feel that replacing the distributor is going to fix my problem at this time...however it would not be the first time I was wrong......electricity is not my strong point yet.
 

RonD

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If the distributor's gear or pin has been sheered off then shaft will not turn when engine cranks, which as a worse case scenario is a good thing since the oil pump will not be turning either.
So certainly worth a look, pop the distributor cap and see if rotor is turning when engine is cranked, if not then you found the problem.

The "+" and "-" inside the coil is one wire, so yes test light that is grounded would light up if touched.

Best way I found to check for spark is to clamp a spark plugs threads with a jumper cable then connect the other end of the cable to the Neg. on the battery, that way there is no doubting about it being grounded.

Now see if there is a spark.

With all wires hooked up and a spark plug connected to the coils spark wire, every time you turn the key on and off you should get a spark.

I also found this test sheet for Duraspark II systems which might be helpful if you have a VOM(Voltage and Ohm Meter)
http://www.bobcat.ca/stuff/DOCS/DURATR~1.PDF
 

4x4countryboy

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Ok distributor is turning....so pin has not been sheared.

I checked the spark plugs this time by grounding them directly to the battery...still no spark....
distributor???
 

RonD

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Yes, you can just swap out parts until it works.

The distributor just turns so if it's doing that then its working.
On the shaft of the distributor there should be a ring that has the magnets on it, make sure it is not broken, so not spinning with the shaft so no spark, see if you can move it with your fingers.

There should be 3 wires from the Duraspark module to the distributor.
2 go to the "hall effect" sensor, inside distributor next to the spinning magnet wheel, these two wires can be tested with an OHM meter.
1 is the ground for the distributor
Trace these wires back to their connector, separate the connector and look at the connections inside, if corroded clean them.

With connector separated test the orange and purple wire going to the distributor with the OHM meter, set it for 2k or higher, you should get between 400-1300ohms, if you do then move the wire around, jiggle them, make sure ohms don't change, if they do then you have a bad wire.
If the ohms are lower than 400 or higher than 1300 then replace this sensor.

Now test the Black wire going to the distributor, that's the ground wire, connect one lead of the OHM meter to the black wire connection, touch the other lead to the distributor housing, a metal part, there should be 0ohms, 0ohms = no break in the wire, wiggle the wire, make sure it stays at 0ohms.
Move the lead from the distributor to the engine, any metal part, should still be 0ohms.

And that's it.........you have tested the distributor.

Most problems are wiring issues, not component issues, wires get old and insulation gets brittle, inspect all the wires and connectors, remove the parts to get a better look if needed.

OHM/Volt meter runs $5-$10, even if you don't know, or want to know, electrics a cheap OHM meter can give you that little bit of extra info that can save you $$$.
 
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4x4countryboy

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Ok sounds good...thank you I will follow your instructions when I get to work on it on Monday..Thank you for your help and info.
 


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