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Dead Ignition-Help! Can't die this soon. . . .

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by _DeeVee8_, Mar 4, 2000.

  1. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    I was mindin my own business ridin' down the road and all of a sudden, the engine just stops running, like someone had turned off the keys in the ignition. I was on the upward climb too on a winding hill. I manage to pop off all the spark plugs and check for connection problems but they were basically fine. tracked down every electrical connection also and disconnected them and reconnected them, sometimes all thats needed is a bit of jostling of the connections-- but still no start..
    I thought I had a fuel blackage and checked out the fuel pump-- nope, no problem with the fuel flow!

    It just cranks and cranks but no sign of a go! or Ignite!--
    then I removed all the wires and replaced them with new 8mm silicones and all new spark plugs gapped them to .045--try it again, still nothing!

    I've just replaced the rotor and cap and after that-- i cranked her over again, still NO IGNITE!
    What the hell am I missing?

    The neighbors are going crazy because I've been parked kinda at an angle that only allows one car to pass at a time on the road...i need this fixed pronto, but I'm short on cash and prefer to do it myself(the repairs)

    anyone know what to do?

    Its a 350 with a vaccuum advance on the HEI distributor.

    I've almost given up, but want to hear what depdog/ bigburb/ and the white knight might say / or at least harrass me for not noticing the obvious!

    -DV8
     
  2. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    One more thing....
    It was a dry day! not very cold out --about 40 degrees

    there was no water or sign of moisture under the cap but the cap had some scoring marks that seemed to be cut into the stiffening ridges that run up and down in side the cap. The rotor brass flange was fragged a bit too and mildly tweaked to one side, this I thought had to be the fixed piece.
    The scoring was about 1/4 of an inch to a couple of centimeters down from the 8 striker tabs on the inside. What caused the rotor to jump down like that? Is this a possible sign of the Distibutor needing a new one?

    just the facts M'am, just the facts!

    -Dv8
     
  3. Glenn

    Glenn Registered Member

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    Sounds like its the little black thing under the
    rotor to me. It has 4 wires pluged into it I
    think. I can`t remember the name of it at the
    moment. When it goes bad you get no spark at all.
     
  4. Corey-88K5

    Corey-88K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    The thing is called a Ignition Module, but it could also be the Coil. They usually go out together.

    The Ignition module, should only set you back about $15.

    Corey
    88K5

    [​IMG]<font color=blue>Girls Like Guys In Bow Ties</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>http://www.geocities.com/corey_perez
     
  5. Waxer

    Waxer 1/2 ton status Author

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    I know you said you checked all your electrical connections, but did you check the power wire to the distributor. Sometimes the crimps on the connector get loose and allow it to simply fall off the dist. If its still connected, get a test light and turn the ignition to the on position, not the starting and see if that wire is live? Will tell you if anything in the dist is faulty or something before the dist.. Hope this helps...
     
  6. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    Yeah, yeah, I checked all that, put a test bulb on the various leads coming off the Ignition module-
    I've done the research on what goes and what doesn't, not sure why i understand that the coil should go. Anyway, upon opening up the inside of the distributor cap, it was as clean as if it was new, except for the areas where the rotors tip came in contact with the ridges on the inside of the cap. Why the heck would the ignition mod go AND the Coil GO? there were no signs of hotmelting wires or blown out connectors.
    Checked all the Vaccuum hoses as well to see what and where they might be leaking-- they're all OK.
    Thought maybe I had the wrong gap on the spark plugs, checked those and rechecked the wires firing order too.

    so? you think the module is the culprit? and or the Coil?

    like i said above, the engine just cut off like someone turned off the ignition-- thiss all while I was doing almost 40 up a winding hill not really with the pedal to the mat. It did this once before while driving in heavy rain, but i've forged through high water at higher speeds than the last time when it was raining. I'm just scratching my head here....

    I guess I'll have to try the next best thing-- which is to run a jumper wire from the positive terminal to the Dist and see if I can jump it that way. Anyone ever try this? I read about it once before by Rick Pe'we' and thought i'd never need that info--


    yeah, right!
    -Dv8
     
  7. Corey-88K5

    Corey-88K5 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    I had a 81 Olds cutlass witha 76 Chevy 350 (my race car) just one day when driving down the road, she died. Its just one of those things. As far as the mod & coil going bad, it may not have, but I've been told by numerous people that when one goes bad, the other isn't far behind. Just a suggestion. If you can, get the stuff from a junk yard or a friends vehicle to try in yours. The only bad part woud be if you have a short, you could fry their parts. I had a dist. short out & after numerous mod's and coils, I just replaced the dist. and no problems after that.

    COrey
    88K5

    [​IMG]<font color=blue>Girls Like Guys In Bow Ties</font color=blue>
    <font color=red>http://www.geocities.com/corey_perez
     
  8. Tylah

    Tylah Registered Member

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    sounds like the coil . buy a new one if it doesent work return it aqnd get your money back . but it soundsa like the coil.

    -Tylah-
     
  9. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    I had something happen once and it turned out to be the distributer took a dump are you getting any spark? And is the right plug firing when it should? I know sounds funny but it might help?

    <font color=red>C<font color=green>'<font color=blue>m<font color=orange>o<font color=purple>e

    <font color=black>the blazer is "Back in Black"
     
  10. jakentn 83k5

    jakentn 83k5 Registered Member

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    same thing happened on my k5...bud of mine advised me to change the module...took his advice & it fired the first turn..no probs since..
     
  11. Gold Rush

    Gold Rush 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    There seems to be some mixed opinions on this one. My money is on the ignition module.

    [​IMG]http://www.renschler.org/~goldrush
     
  12. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    I've gotten pretty intimate with my Distributor and rotor latley and can now readily swap in a rotor and cap in lesss than 5 minutes! (that's what she said!)

    I'm concerned about the scoring on the old Cap insides. The nicks look like it could happen again on the new rotor and cap as well, so if the problem resides in the actaul spacers and bushings on the distributor itself....then, Can i remove the Dist without removing the engine? I hope to heck this is as simple as removing the hold down bolt and pulling upwards-- I eyeballed the verticle space above the Dist and it looks OK-- Summit racing.com has a new Dist for about 140.00 with everything, rotor and cap. but don't want to hear that the engine has to come out to do this.

    This would be the end-all Be-all of it for the project this weekend if I have to go that route, but for now I will try the coil and the modules--
    I really hope this works--
    I don't want to see my neighbors standing on the otherside of the road with a stopwatch next!

    -DV8
    "Woody"
     
  13. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    I have in my diddy bag of "know it all" books is the HAYNES manual... and the various 4x4 mags that i have found interesting articles from which I have saved several for such occasions as this. Both of these source don't really go into depth as to what the details are-- just give generalizations and they hope the one reading will find out where everything is "supposed" to go in the end.
    I've rigged the wires in the cap to look like the center pictures of the Haynes Manual which is the Coil-in-the-cap HEI Distributor. My manual is out in the truck right now-- but the wires are all new and hooked up according to their "detailed" illustraitions. The articles from the magazines are about how to diagnos and get going your rig if you have a dead ignition--rather--a dead Ford ignition or POINTS TYPE ignition. I have noted that mine is the HEI with the vaccuume advance....blah, blah, blah, yackity smackity!
    (sorry for the repetitveness)

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I am the type of person who doesn't want to do it again! FIX IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME is the moto.
    -Sorry, just had to Vent.....

    -( *sigh* )
    -Dv8
     
  14. Blazer79

    Blazer79 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    DeeVee:

    I have a few ideas for you:

    1) Don't be offended, but does your Blazer has gas? Mine did a similar thing to me and still marked 1/4 of gas. I tried a lot of things and we finally discovered that the indicator was bad and I actually had run out of gas. (I felt so stupid)

    2) Did you remove a spark plug and crank it to check if it actually made a spark? I think that's the best way to check the ignition.

    To remove the distributor you do not need to take out the engine. To remove it:

    1) Mark what are the current positions of the rotor and the distributor itself. And I mean paint some little spots on your engine to help you align it, don't trust your memory on this.

    2) Unbolt the holding clamp that holds the distributor to the intake manifold.

    3) Pull the distributor up. You'll notice that the rotor will turn a little bit while pulling it up. This is because of the shape of the gears. Note the position the rotor ends up in.

    4) Take new distributor and turn the rotor to the same position of the old one. Note the alignment mark underneath the gear has to be in the same position as the old distributor.

    5) Insert it slowly, the gears should 'engage' and the rotor should turn back to the original position.

    6) If it doesn't engage on the first try, rase it a little bit and turn it slightly (about the size of the gear's tooth).

    7) Check timing and tighten the holding clamp.

    Instead of changing the distributor, you may wanna check MSD's HEI Kit, #6200, which includes a 6A ignition box, Blaster2 coil, Hei dust cover with ext. coil connector, coil wire. I think that with this kit, you no longer need the internal ignition module on your distributor.

    There's also an MSD Non-HEI distributor for $182.95 at summit racing.

    Hope this helps

    <font color=purple>////////
    Go 79s!!!
    </font color=purple>[​IMG]
     
  15. White Knight

    White Knight 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    DV what year is your rig?, running a 'puter or not? WK
     
  16. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    OH YESSS! THERE"S close to a full tank inthere--I was thinking while I was working on the ignition i should pump it out and sell it to someone at the price I paid for a week ago at the pumps /per gallon-- it was 1.39 now its 1.48....but thats another story.

    Yes, plenty o' gasoline!
    2. yes, removed spark plug and cecked for a spark but no lightning there...they are new AC plugs gapped to .045
    3. I figured as much that one did not have to pull the engine to get the Dist out. I'm a bit shakey on the whole pulling it out and sliding in a new one without worrying about finding the correct timing-- I know it has a gear on the end and has to match PERFECTLY with the teeth in the gear inside--or else the timing will be all screwed to heck--
    I was hoping it wasn't the timing chain either- but I heard no grinds when it stopped on the winding hill-- and the rotor does turn--
    I've just purchased the chepest of the cheapo COIL nad Ignition Modules at VIP auto parts(like autozone only northeast company) Set me back a whole 45.00 for both.

    I'm waiting for a clear and sunny day-- I don't have a garage i can go work inside and frankly hiding under a blue tarp makes my eyes go wacko when i come out from under it. (it's pouring up here now)

    I'm considering the whole new MSD ignition thing myself--
    the Jacobs ultra team looks nice but i'm not really that much a HARD CORE wheeler-- mild to rowdy is my style. The Crane Box advertised in JCWhitneys looks like a deal of a century..99.00 for the whole deal--not sure of it's ruggedness--

    At this point while I'm waiting for the rain to go away i'll try whatever it takes to get it going-- I just don't want to have my friends see me getting my K5 towed to the local shop when they all know I COULD HAVE fixed this myself just as easily. It's OK though, it's a good learning experience. I can now tell the difference between a blow fuel pump and an electrical malfunction/SNAFU!
    -Thanks for your uncommon Wisdom!

    -Woody
     
  17. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    WK! You're still here?

    GREAT!

    NOPE-
    no computer, no MSD, NO JACOBS, nothin!
    My wiring was hacked a bit by the previous owner(who's hasn't!) for a security alarm system and a cb system--but thats gone now.. ...and I digress.
    The puter has been yanked and is running soley on the tune up--or lack there of.
    She was runnin' real fine then she just pooped out and that was that. Was listenin to the ol "CAR TALK" guys on th radio and they had a guy on there with the same kinda thing--except their conclusion to the no start was a "NEUTRAL SAFETY SWITCH" i believe this isn't the problem because I was in DRIVE when she went dead on me.
    BUT, as I am still in hunter mode-- i'll track that down also and see if thats been fragged or somethin.
    I've got the Ignition Mod and the new 16.95 Coil sittin in the front seat-i'm jus waitin for th'rain to stop up some.
    Golly Gee Willikers!

    I was listening some more to the cartalk.com guys and they said that a guy had a problem in his 1977 Ford enconolione van that made the same sounds as mine did-- and the conclusion on that was that the TIMING CHAIN had jumped off the sprockets and possibly took a few teeth with it.
    If this happened in my engine-- could that "jump" have caused the rotor inside the cap to jump down making the rotor striker arm come in contact with the inside ridges?
    (the plot thickens by my over running imagination)

    God I hope this ain't whats taken my "near perfect weather wise whellin' weekend" away!

    -Dv8
     
  18. SVBlazer

    SVBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    Check the secondary trigger under the module. If the pick-up is bad, the whole system is down...Good luck.

    By the way, a Jacobs or MSD upgrade will makes a difference.
     
  19. _DeeVee8_

    _DeeVee8_ 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    While i'm pausing... what is the BIG DEAL with the Jacobs? or MSD?

    What gains would I see right off the bat?
    I've visited their web sites but found mostly their own interpretation of the products-- no REAL WORLD people making outstanding remarks about it?


    Since I have no Puter-- where does this thing get spliced into? I should take a picture of my engine bay-- you'll laugh at the large "ClusterFu*k" of wires with no beginning and no end(well they do, but it looks like a rats nest)
    (so far no fire damage)

    heh heh...
    anyway, looking for your input on the various ignition boxes....

    anyone please convince me-- I don't like to plunk my money down on junk--so include brand names as well.

    Thanks-
    -D
     
  20. SVBlazer

    SVBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Dead Ignition-Help! Can\'t die this soon. . . .

    Jacobs solved the bog off idle, improved MPG, and improved throttle response. I purchased 8.5mm wires with ceramic ends at the same time. The install was beyond easy, remove coil, install dust cap and extension rod, plug into distributor, run wires to battery and wham, your done. You'll have to regap your plugs. I'm running .060.
    Hope this helps. MSD installation is simular.
     

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