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No spark. Need ignition amp or... ?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 DishMan

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Posted 18 December 2003 - 11:37 PM

I have an '87 GL 3DR Hatchback 1.8L efi, no turbo. Engine was replaced some years ago and ran fine. Recently had intermittent misses (very occasional) and now it has stopped running altogether. There is no spark from the coil, but the coil is OK (resistance measurements). Distributor cap center contact in bad condition, but new cap and rotor had no effect. I thought it was the ignition control module and ordered one but does not look like mine. Reading posts in this forum it looks as though I am thinking of the ignition amplifier (or igniter??)? My Haynes manual shows distributors with reluctors -- mine has an optical sensor. Questions: Am I looking in the right place? Is there an ignition control module as well as the amplifier? If so where is it? Any hints greatly appreciated. This is my first time on the Forum.

#2 GLCraig

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 02:46 AM

Your Haynes manual is showing you a distributor for a carb or early MPFI engine. With yours the ECU takes readings from the optical sensor and determines when to fire. One thing you should do is crank the engine over and see if the distributor turns. If it doesn’t you have a broken timing belt.

#3 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 02:52 AM

My advice would be to return whatever it is you bought.. Ignition amplifier? honestly I havent heard that term before. And go for a new destributor, the sensors on those optical distys can be sensitive. I had a friend with the exact same problem for a turbo model. If it were me, just go spend $25 at the junkyard for a distributor, from any old subaru from 1985 to 1990ish. All you need to do, is make sure it has the same connector on it. for the EA82 engine they had a couple different types of distributor connectors in the late models of the loyale that I have seen. They all should be optical though, it was the earlier subarus 83-84 that had a reluctor (couple different models too), and points before that.

Welcome to the forum btw.

#4 Skip

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 06:19 AM

Mr. R. Man. I am sorry to have to correct you.
I do not know your history with this vintage Subaru, but there must be some gaps.
first you say
Ignition amplifier? honestly I havent heard that term before.

All Subarus with the crank angle sensor dist. (Optical) have an Ig Amp, it is mounted on the coil bracket under the coil.
They are a power tranistor that amplifies the small signal that is being sent by the ECU to the coil to fire the spark plug.
The brackett ground is a "leg" of the transistor and must be grounded.
BTW
The "ignitor" is a module in the dist that sends a signal TO the coil/ECU in some models - not this one.
These two devises are on different ends of the spark generating system -
one sending a signal to coil/ECU = (ignitor)
and
one amplifing the signal from ECU = (ig amp.)

Second you say
just go spend $25 at the junkyard for a distributor, from any old subaru from 1985 to 1990ish.
I am sorry the crank angle distributor was introduced in 87 (possibly late 86) on the SPFI and MPFI models, carbed cars never had one.

This statement is correct
is make sure it has the same connector on it
But to save time and hassle he should look for a SPFI model of the same year.
Sorry to have to correct you like this but I am trying to save DM some time and money.
My check mark goes beside the ig amp, with a bit more testing
Try looking for spark when it is fairly dark and at the coil wire - a bad ig amp will still spark but very very weak.
If you have 12 v at the coil positive with the key on.
Then maybe shopping for a dist is in order.
Hope this helps.


#5 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 01:49 PM

Fair enough, I dont own an EA82 anyway, and the only ones I have really worked on have been EA82T's all from 87-90... thanks for explaining what a ignition amplifier is tho. with the EA81, the pickup goes right to the coil, and I had assumed that why would they change it for EA82... infact, now that i think about it, I recall that little transistor thingy... DOH!!:banghead:

#6 MilesFox

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Posted 19 December 2003 - 02:38 PM

in the midst of swapping the ecu and some vutal components on my TURBO, my spark quit. i checked the resistance and it was fine, replaced the disty and still no spark.

i replaced the module on the coil bracket and had spark

that is what you need, go to the junkyard and get a coil and bracket as a unit, or just the bracket. but if you get the whole thing at a good price, at least you will have a spare coil!

i put my money on the module on the bracket....
sounds like you figured it out, just wanted to check and make sure on the board!

#7 DishMan

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Posted 20 December 2003 - 01:11 PM

Thanks everyone for the help. Looks like I need to find a junkyard with Subaru parts...




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