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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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No Spark....


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51 replies to this topic

#1 Numbchux

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 10:19 PM

so I've been driving my car ('88 Gl Wagon, 3" BYB lift, etc.) quite a bit these days, but just because of scheduling, etc. haven't driven it in a few days. I know the gas tank was real low, so I went out real early so I could go straight to a gas station. Got out there, and it wouldn't start. Great, so I throw my gas can in my Girlfriends Escort, hook up the battery charger (in case it took alot of cranking), and the magnetic block heater, and head off to class, after class, I pick up a couple gallons of gas and come home. I put in the gas, and tried it again. Still nothing, turns over fine, but won't even fire. great, so I pull off the coil wire and test for spark....nothing

Any ideas? it's dark and snowing now, and I don't want to try to diagnose it now....but anyone have a similar problem? it's been extremely cold this weekend, well below 0 for a few days there....anyone had a car just not start? it's cranking strong, and it really isn't that cold now. but it just won't fire. :mad:

#2 mbrickell

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 10:26 PM

PROBABLY not your issue, but I have a surprisingly similar story. Had an Audi 4000 quattro, non-interference engine. One day, I stopped at a convenience store to get some windshield washer fluid since it was crappy out and my window was getting white. I come out, car cranks fine, will not start, not even try. Tried everything. Turns out, the timing belt was old, hard and brittle, and slipped a bunch of teeth. Luckily, no damage, but was deadlined until a new timing belt was put on. Like I said, probably not what happened to you unless your timing belt ( s ) is ancient.

#3 Numbchux

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 12:09 AM

nope, it's got brand new belts, and no covers....that was one of the first things I checked

#4 Phizinza

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 12:27 AM

Make sure all the wires going onto the coil are well attached and attached on the other ends to what ever they goto. If thats fine, try a different coil? Do you get dash lights? If not then a wire off the battery might be off only leaving the starter attached.

Just my 3 cents

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#5 Numbchux

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:27 AM

yep, all dash lights are working just fine. I did my best to look at the wires going to the coil, but it's hard in the dark, I'll look again in the morning.

#6 Numbchux

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 01:02 AM

OK, didn't have much time today, but I did check for ECU codes.....34 = EGR....I suspect that was the one that caused the previous owner to put electrical tape over the CEL. So I doubt that's new....any other ideas?

#7 Phizinza

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 02:17 AM

Oh NOO!! not fuel injection! your on your own mate :( I have no clue with those cars...

#8 Skip

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 05:31 AM

First check the ignition fuse.

Another item that can cause a no spark situation is the
ignition amplifier.

This item is a power transistor mounted below the coil
and attached to the bracket that holds the coil.

It amplifies the spark signal coming from the ECU.

It is mistakenly referred to as an ignitor by some folk.
This is incorrect as the ignitor is a module inside the distributor
on some cars (not this one)
that sends a spark signal to an ECU or other ignition control devise.

Hope this helps

#9 85Sub4WD

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:29 AM

Skip has you on the right track - also make sure the ignition coil has a good ground for the bracket - a must for the amplifier to work properly (same problem puzzled me for some time before I realized the problem) - given your code, I doubt it is something too serious - if you don't get a crank angle sensor or starter trouble code, generally that means the ECU is sending the ignition pulse out - if you have a multimeter, check for +12V on the + side of the ignition coil whenever the ignition switch is on, check the fusible links too - make sure you also check cap, rotor, wires, plugs, etc. (mainly as a percaution)
good luck

#10 Bill90Loyale

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:57 AM

Be sure to:
1. Remove the distrib. cap and make sure the rotor screw didn't fall out.

#11 Skip

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 03:11 PM

85Sub has a point
The bracket ground is one of the power amp's "legs"


Sorry Bill, he says he checked for spark at the
coil wire.

If the rotor set screw did fall out, he would still get spark
at the coil wire.

I'd check the ignition fuse first

#12 Numbchux

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 12:07 AM

fuse is fine.....

how would I diagnose/repair the amplifier?

#13 Cougar

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 04:00 AM

Check to see if you have voltage getting to the plus and minus sides of the coil with the ignition on. If you don't have voltage there then check fuse #5. Make sure the coil body has a good ground.

If those things are ok then check the wiring to the ignitor and ECU to make sure that there is a broken connection. Further things to check are the ignitor, disty, and ECU.

#14 archemitis

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 09:14 PM

figure it out yet? i have heard of those optical distributors going out, then your coumputer doesnt know when to send the signal to the coil. you are a spfi wagon right?

morganm had his coil ziptied to a bolt hole for a month, didnt seem like grounding was a huge issue there.

#15 Numbchux

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:02 PM

figure it out yet? i have heard of those optical distributors going out, then your coumputer doesnt know when to send the signal to the coil. you are a spfi wagon right?

morganm had his coil ziptied to a bolt hole for a month, didnt seem like grounding was a huge issue there.


lol, it's actually MorganM's old wagon.

there is an ecu code for the sensor (the Crank Angle Sensor), That happened on my other wagon when I swamped, got gilbert mud in the sensor...but it threw a code. I'm not getting the code now.

I can't find my multimiter, so I haven't been able to test it, that and it's snowed about 8 inches today, and I don't have a garage.....brrrrrr

Will there be voltage to the + side of the coil all the time with the ignition on? even without the engine turning over? or do I need to have someone crank the engine over while I test it?

#16 sta_alaska

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 11:19 PM

make sure that your coil is pluged in and grounded, be sure to check the wiring it could have been that when u shut it off last a wire could have gotten melted, also i rember there being a tsb about a ground strap for the ingition system i dont remeber if it was fi or carb. ill check it out some more...

#17 Numbchux

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:40 AM

everything's plugged in....

from the weather we've been having the last few days, I doubt anything got melted :eek:

#18 Numbchux

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 01:56 PM

well, I still couldn't find my multimeter.....but I dug out an old electric Radiator Fan, cut the plug off, extended both the wires, propped it up in a safe place where the blades couldn't hit anything, and went around testing things. I figure even if there isn't all of 12v getting through there, it'll still spin the fan a little.

touched it to the battery (just to make sure my system worked..) and it spun (and reminded me why I replaced that fan.....bad bearing, yikes what a horrible sound)

Anyway, I turned the ignition on, and started touching my wires to stuff. and got nothing. nothing at the + and - sides of the coil. tried + and ground too. then I stuck the wires in both of the connecters going to the coil. nothing, even in the one that plugs into the amplifier.

at this point, I'm thinking it's going to be something stupid. but I just don't know what :mad:

#19 4x4moose

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 03:45 PM

is your coil getting warm when you try to crank it over?

#20 Skip

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 05:12 PM

Please do not take this wrong.
I don't mean to question your test methods but using
the fan could put quite a load on the circuits you are testing.

With bad bearing it could be pulling over 10 amps running,
25 amps start up current.

A parking light and a socket would be useful.
You could see small voltages by examining the filament.

#21 Numbchux

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 11:33 PM

Please do not take this wrong.
I don't mean to question your test methods but using
the fan could put quite a load on the circuits you are testing.

With bad bearing it could be pulling over 10 amps running,
25 amps start up current.

A parking light and a socket would be useful.
You could see small voltages by examining the filament.


good point! I didn't think of that....if there wasn't a blown fuse before....there probably is now :banghead:

I'll see if I can find a better test lead. Thanks!

#22 heartless

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 09:59 AM

First check the ignition fuse.

Another item that can cause a no spark situation is the
ignition amplifier.

This item is a power transistor mounted below the coil
and attached to the bracket that holds the coil.

It amplifies the spark signal coming from the ECU.


Skip more than likely has you on the right track here - had something similar happen to me some time back, and the Skipper helped me track it down to the ignition amplifier. There is no repairing it, it will have to be replaced if this is indeed the problem. (ie: bracket replaced) the bracket MUST have a good ground, if it isnt grounding properly, you wont be getting a good spark, no good spark, no start.

Good Luck! let us know how it goes.

#23 Numbchux

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 08:59 PM

well, I swapped in a presumed good amplifier (the car it came off of died of rust, and HG failure), and still nothing.

fuses and fusable links are fine....

I'm gonna take the insurance off of it, if Murphy's law is in effect, it should be back in no time :-\

#24 Cougar

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 01:34 AM

Have you checked fuse #5 yet?

You should invest in a test light so you can check for voltages. You should be able to purchase one for under 10 dollars. The plus side and the minus side of the coil should have voltage to them when the ignition is ON. You don't need to crank the engine. If all the fuses are good and you still have no voltage then I would check the ignition switch connections.

#25 Numbchux

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 04:05 AM

Have you checked fuse #5 yet?

You should invest in a test light so you can check for voltages. You should be able to purchase one for under 10 dollars. The plus side and the minus side of the coil should have voltage to them when the ignition is ON. You don't need to crank the engine. If all the fuses are good and you still have no voltage then I would check the ignition switch connections.


borrowed a test light.....


check, check, check, and check......still dead




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