Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Newbie Here - EA82T No Spark at Coil...Tried Everything I Think!

spark coil distributor dizzy tach

  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 crookeam

crookeam

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:38 PM

Hi All,

 

I have a gorgeous 1985 Turbo Sedan in incredible condition inside and out, but the car hasn't been starting for months.  And a snowy Boston winter is when I need it most!  Car can be seen here: http://www.checkoutt...-subaru_14.html  I hate to see the car garaged and not running, and I bought this little mountain goat to use it!!

 

Just to preface, this is my first post, though I've read every last thread I could find related to this subject.  I must be missing SOMETHING, but I can't figure it out.  I've been at this for literally five weeks and I feel like I'm at a dead end.  Here goes...

 

Car cranks but no spark at coil.  Primary and secondary circuits are within spec on a new Accel 8140(?) coil.  Coil reads ~12V at both + and - terminals.  

 

Importantly, the tach does not respond when cranking.  I have tried 2 separate digital gauge clusters to no avail.

 

Coil is connected as follows:

black/white from distributor to +

12V from harness (black/white) to +

yellow from distributor to -

yellow from harness to -

thick black ground from harness to -

I have a loose plastic connector from distributor not connected (what is this?)

 

I have tried 3 separate distributors.  Original, junkyard, and rebuilt/tested from Advance Auto Parts.  Same problem with each = no spark at coil.

 

Tested all HT leads from coil to distributor and cap to plugs.  All good.  Cleaned all pickups on old cap and rotor.  Tried new cap and rotor.

 

Took off both fenders and tested continuity of all wires through engine compartment and under dash, etc.  I cannot locate a fault anywhere!

 

I've installed a new battery and have not checked the charging system since the car won't fire.

 

I'm getting fuel and the pump functions with green connectors attached, and also as the starter is cranking.  Pressure and compression are great and consistent among all cylinders.  Timing is set properly, and rotor points at #1 cylinder when flywheel is at TDC.  I'm sure I've gone through other systems and sensors over the past 5 weeks as well, but they're escaping me at this point...

 

Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions for me.  I'll be forever indebted!

 

Many thanks,

Andrew

 



#2 naru

naru

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,828 posts
  • under the bridge

Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:52 PM

Describe the loose connector.Pic?

Sounds like it might be the connection for the knock control computer.

I`m not sure if they will work w/o it.

 

Aftermarket coils can be hard on ignition modules.

Coil resistance is not the only factor.

Maybe you fried them all.


Edited by naru, 10 February 2014 - 12:59 PM.


#3 ruparts

ruparts

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 563 posts
  • hooper, co

Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:17 PM

hi,

 you didn't say anything about the timing belts, the driver side belt runs the cam and that turns the distributor ,  ??  also the dist  rotor might have a tiny screw that holds it in place on the shaft, they are notorious for falling out and the rotor can turn on the shaft.  the 85 should not have that transistor thing on the coil mounting bracket, that system was 87 on i think but they do cause a lot of this type problem on the cars that have it.  your dist should still have the vacuum advance system, unless you have a later yr distributor in there.  a later model dist might cause an issue with the  ignition since the whole system is set up different than the early 85-86 one. i think there is a under dash fuse that powers the ignition and some other stuff , check them  just for sure.  i have a early xt turbo , should be the same as your 85 motor,  the dist on it has wires that are in some way connected in with the knock sensor on it, that was also changed in 87 when they rerouted the wiring and went to a 1 wire knock sensor,  there are some differences in the stuff for 87 on,  that are different from 85-86 ,  make sure you have the right parts on it. 



#4 john in KY

john in KY

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,259 posts
  • KY

Posted 10 February 2014 - 02:23 PM

The 85 turbo engine has a fairly unique distributor as noted above. From memory it should have a vacuum advance canister with 2 fittings. Also, don't know if this applies to the early turbo models, but the 87 and newer require that the coil bracket be grounded to the body. A photo of the distributor could help.



#5 jono

jono

    New User

  • Members
  • 634 posts
  • Southern Hemisphere - AUS

Posted 10 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

I have one of thse and the factory diagnosis manuals etc

 

Early turbo has a vacuum advance/boost retard cannister on it, and a four pin module inside it.

The loose connector near coil is likely one of the many test connectors - white female plastic, black/white trace ? wire . Test connectors generally left alone. Think it shows 5V with ign on, engine not started yet, when running should be 1.7V until it sees a knock from sensor and can ramp up to 4.5V - etarding timing via KCM.

You can start it with th black , is it 9 pin connector for KCM disconnected, can even drive, just won't have knock protection.

 

Have you or previous owner done something to this, put it back together and it won't go ? Or was it a goer when you bought it and just happened ?

 

Ignition switch ? Ignition fuse ?

 

What if you wore a ski mask and were gonna hotwire it? You'd grab a hot as in 12V pos + wire from the battery and connct it to the pos+ side of the coil and push start car if it is a manual.... is it a manual stick shift or auto ?

Has it got some anti theft  system in it - love their instal methods sometimes !!

 

What part numbers on your distributors - all the same ? Even a basic carb one would do for starting purposes...

 

Compression test result - even though you chasing spark.....i get 130 all around and 150 on my other EA82T

 

Just looked at my coil wires

 

Coli Pos has:

 

1. black/white trace pairs, not joined electrically though, up with extra insulation sleeve, with the yellow wire that goes to coil neg, destiniation unknown

 

2. black/white trace goes to car side of loom near round black 9 pin connector below washer bottle

 

3. black wire that goes to the radio interference thing that earths on body nearby

 

Coil Neg has:

 

two yellow/white trace wires &

one black/white trace wire that only an inch from the coil is in insulating sleeve with light grey insulator of a shielded wire


Edited by jono, 10 February 2014 - 08:52 PM.


#6 wagonist

wagonist

    User Awaiting Email Confirmation

  • Members
  • 500 posts
  • Sydney, Australia

Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:10 PM

This sounds exactly like the problem I had doing an 85 JDM turbo halfcut transplant. I'd labelled 1 wire wrong & thought it was an earth wire.

 

On the ignition coil, check the negative terminal.

There should be at least 1 or 2 yellow wires fitted to it. one will be the tacho feed, another will be tacho feed for the A/C system. Although this may differ depending on how Subaru US wired up the A/C.

Also look for a black wire with a similar small loop on the end. This is the spark firing signal for the ECU. It should be also connected to the negative side of the coil. Without it, the ECU won't let the engine start as it doesn't know when to fire the injectors.



#7 jono

jono

    New User

  • Members
  • 634 posts
  • Southern Hemisphere - AUS

Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:58 PM

the 87 and newer require that the coil bracket be grounded to the body

 

why is this ? I once got an old English Ford 4 cylinder to start by grounding the coil bracket and ever since never found another car that needed bracket ground. Is there a wire diagram to support this statement of yours ?



#8 john in KY

john in KY

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,259 posts
  • KY

Posted 10 February 2014 - 09:43 PM

Don't know why, it just is. If you have an old Subaru newer than 1987, unbolt the coil bracket and attempt to start the car. 



#9 86 Wonder Wedge

86 Wonder Wedge

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • 374 posts
  • Akron, OH

Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:13 AM

Follow the two coil wires (should be wrapped in a harness) down to the little disc object mounted to the coil bracket. This is the power transistor. If this is not grounded (or bad) it will cause a no-start. You DID use the original coil bracket with the new Accel coil, yes?

 

Also, the 8140 coil SHOULD NOT hurt the stock setup. The resistance specs on the primary side are within the OEM Hitachi specs as well. However, the HV and high voltage coils are not and can be damaging to the transistor.


Edited by 86 Wonder Wedge, 11 February 2014 - 11:14 AM.


#10 scoobiedubie

scoobiedubie

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 480 posts
  • Aloha, Oregon

Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:25 AM

The 85's and 86's have some hidden quirks that cause the engine to not get a spark.

1.  The hot wire to the alternator gets fried and breaks within a few inches of the alternator.

2.  The capacitor that connects to the coil goes out and you can't start the car.

3.  The brains in the distributor goes out and the engine won't get a spark

4.  The black wire in the fusible link box gets hot, and breaks.



#11 ruparts

ruparts

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 563 posts
  • hooper, co

Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:10 PM

Follow the two coil wires (should be wrapped in a harness) down to the little disc object mounted to the coil bracket. This is the power transistor. If this is not grounded (or bad) it will cause a no-start. You DID use the original coil bracket with the new Accel coil, yes?

 

Also, the 8140 coil SHOULD NOT hurt the stock setup. The resistance specs on the primary side are within the OEM Hitachi specs as well. However, the HV and high voltage coils are not and can be damaging to the transistor.

 

 hi,

  just as a note so all this discussion will not confuse the problem,  the car in question  is an 85 and will not have that transister on the coil bracket, the 85-86 cars are just a bit different from all the later ones, and the wireing is similar but not the same as the later cars.



#12 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 9,512 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:37 PM

If the Knock unit has failed you can run it with a regular carbed model Hitachi disty.



#13 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 9,512 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 11 February 2014 - 01:42 PM

Hi All,

 

I have a gorgeous 1985 Turbo Sedan in incredible condition inside and out, but the car hasn't been starting for months.  And a snowy Boston winter is when I need it most!  Car can be seen here: http://www.checkoutt...-subaru_14.html  I hate to see the car garaged and not running, and I bought this little mountain goat to use it!!

 

Just to preface, this is my first post, though I've read every last thread I could find related to this subject.  I must be missing SOMETHING, but I can't figure it out.  I've been at this for literally five weeks and I feel like I'm at a dead end.  Here goes...

 

 

Coil is connected as follows:

black/white from distributor to +

12V from harness (black/white) to +

yellow from distributor to -

yellow from harness to -

thick black ground from harness to -

I have a loose plastic connector from distributor not connected (what is this?)


Andrew

 

Sounds like the Knock unit is disconnected/gone.....

 

And also I  think the black wire to the - side of the coil that is for a condensor? below the coil?  Gotta have a condensor to fire this system.  If that wire just goes to ground that's a problem.



#14 jono

jono

    New User

  • Members
  • 634 posts
  • Southern Hemisphere - AUS

Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:03 PM

Getting cnfusing in here ....

 

 

I have run my sep 85 made EA82T with that large black tubular multi pin connector below coil disconnected - sure it was this one - is there two ? and all it was running without any knock control. I'll try it again if you come back in ...... I have studied engine electrical diagrams in factory manuals and shows just one wire connected to positive side of coil pos+ power from fuse #11 !

 

And, coincidentally no earth connection to body of coil ! Electrical is weird !!

 

The diagrams wiring differs on digram between LHD RHD paths and connectors, also does not include the knock sensor unit or wiring at all - that is found in another section of the manual  !

 

No radio supressor that the manual in the radio section refers to as a condensor ,not to be confused with an ignition  points condensor found on points dizzies of non eletrical module dizzies


Edited by jono, 11 February 2014 - 04:14 PM.


#15 crookeam

crookeam

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:51 AM

Hi all, and thanks for all the responses!  I just want to clarify some build specs on my specific vehicle.  ALL original, except for replacement parts (cap/rotor, battery, coil (Accel 8140), distributor and ICM, etc).

 

I have the 4 wire Nippondenso dizzy, and have tried 3 separate units, including a known good rebuilt unit.  Same result with all of them.  There is no external power transistor, just the tiny black noise suppression capacitor for AM radio interference.  The rotor does not require or allow for a screw.  Two black/white wires from distributor and harness, as well as noise suppression capacitor are connected to coil +.  Two yellow wires from distributor and harness, as well as the thick black wire from harness are connected to coil -.  I do not get movement on the tach while cranking with either of my digital dash clusters connected. However, I get a tach reading with that thick, black harness wire disconnected from coil - !!  The coil also gets quite warm with ignition on, not necessarily even cranking the motor.  I have tried running an additional ground from coil - to chassis, and it sparks!  ??

 

The loose connector from the distributor is a black/white or black/yellow wire with a single female plastic connector clip.  I have a separate KCM buried behind the glove box, that I have removed and inspected.

 

Fusible links are all good, as are all fuses and the alternator cable.  I have wired the car with and without the AM radio capacitor.  I have traced all wiring from the coil and distributor and checked for continuity and insulation.  I have removed both front fenders and traces wiring looms in both directions.

 

What am I missing here?


Edited by crookeam, 13 February 2014 - 11:59 AM.


#16 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 9,512 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 13 February 2014 - 12:29 PM

The - side of the coil should not be grounded.

 

Your distributor should be a Hitachi D4R84-16........With one vac advance.

 

If you've got a NipponDenso disty in there it's not original.

 

 

When was the last time it ran? and what's been done since then? 


Edited by Gloyale, 13 February 2014 - 12:35 PM.


#17 crookeam

crookeam

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:48 PM

Thanks Gloyale.  I was told it was a NipponDenso because it has the 4 wire setup under the rotor.  Wires connect to the Ignition Control Module if I'm not mistaken.  It does have one vac advance.  That said, I have tested 3 distributors, 2 coils, and two cap/rotor combos.  Coil is very warm...

 

It hasn't run since Sept/Oct.  It would start intermittently, and then it just never started again.  Since then I have replaced the coil, cap/rotor, battery, and digital gauge cluster.  I have also checked all corresponding wiring, etc. and changed coolant, engine oil, and thermostat.

 

As I mentioned above, no tach signal with all wires attached to coil, but if I remove the black lead from coil - I will get a tach reading of 200-250RPM while cranking.  Still no spark at coil.



#18 psylosyfer

psylosyfer

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 212 posts
  • Northern Ca.

Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:59 PM

I froze my EA82, Now have puffs of steam out of oil filler, coolant and oil mix, no problems at exhaust. head gasket, head, block?

Has anyone a decent  EA82 for sale? Just in case block is history?



#19 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 9,512 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 13 February 2014 - 04:31 PM

Hi-jack

 

I froze my EA82, Now have puffs of steam out of oil filler, coolant and oil mix, no problems at exhaust. head gasket, head, block?

Has anyone a decent  EA82 for sale? Just in case block is history?

 

Freeze plugs in head popped.

 

Remove valve covers and replace plug.

 

The engine is most likely fine unless you keep running it with water in the oil!

 

Back to our thread about EA82t spark.

 

to the OP......Have you tried goin back to a stock coil........Subies don't really like or benefit from aftermarket coils....



#20 jono

jono

    New User

  • Members
  • 634 posts
  • Southern Hemisphere - AUS

Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:53 AM

Nippon Denso distributor confirmed yes or no ? As said above it probably should be Hitachi ..but, the KCM was it metal gold zinc (Hitachi) box or Nippon Denso black plastic ?



#21 crookeam

crookeam

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 14 February 2014 - 08:46 AM

Thanks again Gloyale and jono.  I have not tried a stock coil, as they are very expensive on subarupartswarehouse.com...  Any suggestions of where to get one on the cheap?  And the KCM is metal gold zinc, so it must be the Hitachi setup.



#22 Gloyale

Gloyale

    It's a sickness

  • Members
  • 9,512 posts
  • Corvallis, OR PNW

Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:30 AM

I've got about 10 in a drawer. 

 

Send me a PM (private message on here)



#23 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 20,084 posts
  • WV

Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:01 AM

check the drivers side timing belt.  no spark if it breaks.

 

get a used coil, or two if you want a spare.  they don't fail that often and new and aftermarket are pricey or problematic.

 

i've driven around in multiple Subaru's from the 80's, 90's, and 2000's without an instrument cluster, that's not likely needed for the car to run and drive.  so don't spend any more time searching there.


Edited by grossgary, 14 February 2014 - 11:03 AM.


#24 crookeam

crookeam

    New User

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:29 AM

Gloyale, your account is not accepting new messages at this time.



#25 ivans imports

ivans imports

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 2,954 posts
  • lumby bc canada

Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:45 AM

Have a pile of those dis units







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: spark, coil, distributor, dizzy, tach

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users