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Thread: Lost Spark, Pickup Coil Tested Bad, Replaced but Still no Spark?

  1. #1

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    1989 Dodge Ram 50
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    I.D.K.?

    Lost Spark, Pickup Coil Tested Bad, Replaced but Still no Spark?

    Hello, I have an '89 Ram50 with the 2.0L engine. While driving my girlfriend home last month the truck shut off while driving and I had to push it home. Realized there was no spark, pulled out my service manual and tested the ballast resistor, ignition coil primary and secondary resistances, and pickup coil. Ignition coil and ballast resistor tested good, but the pickup coil tested at like 1.8 MegaOhms whereas the manual said it should be like 150-180 ohms (I can't remember the exact number off the top of my head).

    So seeing this crazy high resistance compared to the value in the manual, I bought a new distributor. Got the new distributor, and whaddya know, the pickup coil is measuring the same crazy high (relative to the spec in the manual) resistance. I installed the new distributor as well as new plugs/cap/rotor/plug wires and still no spark. Is the new distributor bad too? I find the odds of this happening extremely low, so I don't want to assume that's the issue and return it when in fact it was something else. I'm at my wit's end here though, so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2

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    1985 Mitsubishi L200
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    G63B
    It is possible. What is the timing belt like? Check the timing first (visually) as a belt can strip a few teeth and still turn an engine over. If it's out of timing it's not going to run. Luckily the SOHC engines are non interference valvetrains so it hasn't destroyed a valve or 2 if the belt failed. There is a chance you've got a dud ICM in the 'new' distributor but you need to trigger the pick up by rotating it to find where the halls effect sensor wants to go open/closed circuit (I think...) Are you getting voltage to the ICM? If you've installed a new coil and ballast + the distributor and you're not reading voltage input/output, there's a fault somewhere else.
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  3. #3

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    I.D.K.?
    Thanks for the response! I didn't realize these motors were non-interference so the timing belt had sort of been in the back of my mind but I kept thinking I would have heard the valves meet the pistons if it had failed. When the engine actually died while driving I thought to myself "Was that the timing belt dying on me?"

    I rotated the distributor cam off the truck and the resistance value did not change in any position.

    I'll take a look at it when I get home from work today or tomorrow. Thanks again!

  4. #4

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    Good luck, hopefully you'll spot the fault and get your truck back up and running
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  5. #5

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    1987 Dodge Power Ram 50
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    Dodge V6
    has it been lacking power a bit before it quit? if so it is probably timing related. does it backfire more often through the intake OR exhaust? if so these could all be signs of ignition timing being off. the timing guides can eventually wear out and allow the chain to jump teeth. the oil pump actually runs off the timing (I'm pretty sure so correct me if I'm wrong) so I would definitely pull the cover off and check that out. belts, fan, and I think the crank pulley can stay (not sure) and pull the water pump and the timing cover should come off. while you're there go ahead and check everything out, the harmonic balancer, pulley bearings, belts, etc and make sure its all good. better safe than sorry!

  6. #6

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    Sorry for the delay in responding, things have been crazy for the last month or two. The timing belt did shed a bunch of teeth, causing the no start. Replaced the belt, it'll start and drive but it won't idle. Like if I let off the gas at all it dies. I've been trying to set the ignition timing without a light but I think I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and go get one so I can get it running right. Thanks for the help!

  7. #7

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    You'll need a light just to find out what your base ignition timing is like. Without it, you're not going to be able to tune out or diagnose running issues. Glad we were able to guide you in the right direction. Keep us posted
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