Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board
DishMan

No spark. Need ignition amp or... ?

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an 86 spfi. It started an intermittent dying and not starting. Thought it was the rotor screw because it was non existent. No. It was getting fuel btw. Cap and rotor new. Coil tested good. By mistake i moved something and got it to start. Figured out beating the disty would make an audible click somewhere on the other side of the bay, which let the car start. As the problem ensued it became more and more difficult to beat the thing into submission. As of today the car sits and im almost sure its the distributor. The crazy thing is the coil does not get any juice. There are two wires from ign amp to pos and neg on coil and two on a two wire connector goin to harness. There is a wire factory split off neg wire on coil going to harness that if manually grounded gives 12 to coil. Pos has damper on second wire. Cannot find a diagram of this. But there are these tests.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an 86 spfi. It started an intermittent dying and not starting. Thought it was the rotor screw because it was non existent. No. It was getting fuel btw. Cap and rotor new. Coil tested good. By mistake i moved something and got it to start. Figured out beating the disty would make an audible click somewhere on the other side of the bay, which let the car start. As the problem ensued it became more and more difficult to beat the thing into submission. As of today the car sits and im almost sure its the distributor. The crazy thing is the coil does not get any juice. There are two wires from ign amp to pos and neg on coil and two on a two wire connector goin to harness. There is a wire factory split off neg wire on coil going to harness that if manually grounded gives 12 to coil. Pos has damper on second wire. Cannot find a diagram of this. But there are these tests.

post-50804-0-43937800-1456119809_thumb.png

post-50804-0-35842100-1456119851_thumb.png

post-50804-0-59006900-1456119887_thumb.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×