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very frustrated newbie needs help

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bt85k5, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. bt85k5

    bt85k5 Registered Member

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    Hello all, I have an 85 K5 that i just put a rebuilt 1976 350 into. I tried using my stock distributor from my engine and i get no spark. So thinking that it was bad(because I dropped it) I went and bought a new one, still no spark. So i did a little calling around to mechanic friends and i was told that i had to bypass the computer, since i didnt have any of the censors from my old engine on it. So I tried the distributor that was in the 76 engine which isnt computer controlled, and still no spark. I put a test light on the battery wire that plugs into the cap and it is hot. So I am getting power to distributor just not out. I am totally lost, If anyone has any ideas that would be great. Thanks
     
  2. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    did you try ceanking the engne with the cap off to see if the rotor is turning? Are you using a points or HEI dist?
     
  3. bt85k5

    bt85k5 Registered Member

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    i did crank the engine with cap off and the rotor does spin. its HEI
     
  4. madmike

    madmike 1/2 ton status

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    Are you sure you plugged your distributor wire to the correct terminal on the distributor cap (not the tachometer post)? Have you messed around with the coil, maybe dropped/lost a small part, or checked to see if it is any good? There is also a small module in the distributor that could be bad.
     
  5. bt85k5

    bt85k5 Registered Member

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    it is plugged into the correct side, as far as i can see everything is plugged into the correct places. The coil,rotor,wires,plugs are all new. the engine ran before the swap.
     
  6. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    An 85 is not computer controlled either, except maybe for a California model. The only electronics that run it are the ignition module (inside the distribuotor) and the ESC module (behind the glovebox). You don't need the ESC to work to run anyway.

    Put a timing light on it and see if the light triggers. That tells you that you have current through the plug wires. Maybe you just have the distributor in wrong? Did you check that the rotor points to #1 when you have the timing mark at TDC? Even then, you could be 180 degrees off and you are sparking between the exhaust and intake strokes.

    The signal to spark come from a magnetic sensor inside the distributor. If you have power connected correctly and there is truly no spark, you must have a bad coil or module. Your local car parts stor can test the module for you. The coil can be checked with an ohmmeter. Usually the primary or secondary becomes an open circuit when the coil fails.
     
  7. bt85k5

    bt85k5 Registered Member

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    That is what i meant about computer controlled, because the distributor plugged into a harness. The distributor is in correct, the coil is brand new, and we had the module tested and it is good. we pulled a plug out, put the plug wire on it and cranked the engine and it doesnt spark, since i dont have a timing light thats what ihave to do.
     
  8. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    That is what i meant about computer controlled, because the distributor plugged into a harness. The distributor is in correct, the coil is brand new, and we had the module tested and it is good. we pulled a plug out, put the plug wire on it and cranked the engine and it doesnt spark, since i dont have a timing light thats what ihave to do.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You didn't mention it but I'm assuming you did ground the plug before you cranked it. If the electrode of the spark plug isn't grounded ot will not spark. If you had the dist in 180 out you would know it because it would backfire like a mofo (ask me how I know /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif)
     
  9. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    did you remember the ground strap on the coil?
     
  10. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    The HEI is basically self-contained. The module plugs into the distributor cap to connect to power and the coil. The only other thing it needs is +12V and ground. The pick-up coil is also inside.

    Do you still have the ESC module? I can't remember if that has to be plugged in to work. I know there is a way to bypass it with a couple of jumper wires. There was some post on it a while back.
     
  11. bt85k5

    bt85k5 Registered Member

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    well, we figured out the problem. I guess that the parts store gave me the wrong distributor. My dad got a different one while i was at work, and it fired right up. thanks for all the ideas.
     

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