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Thread: Starting issues

  1. #1

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    Starting issues

    I have had this problem off and on.
    It sat all winter. I ended up needing to jump it because the battery ran down trying to start it about 10 days ago. Today the battery ran down and the battery from my other truck started to run down so I quit trying. (I had teh motor out of commission so I couldn't jump it) It had started once but I killed it by giving gas.That usually indicates it is about to start running. I had poured gas in which usually works.
    What is causing this? I put in the electric fuel pump which is supposed to solve the previously diagnosed evaporating gas in the carb bowl.. It is getting gas, I can see it and hear the sound change when I press the pedal while cranking. Choke is all teh way open and I take the cover off the aircleaner.

  2. #2

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    if it doesnt compress or ignite it wont fire. check the coil, distributor, plug wires, plugs, run a compression test

  3. #3

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    Your most likely not getting spark. Take off a wire off of a plug and set the end against something metalic with a small gap. Youll need to diagnose it going backwards from the plug. Sounds like a good time for a tuneup though a fresh set of wires plugs distributor cap rotor and coil can be had for less than 100 on rockauto. It will give your truck a new breath of life.

    Even if you had low compression you would hear erratic firing.

  4. #4

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    Thank You gentleman
    I did a compression and leak down test last summer or fall. Coil, cap, rotor plugs and wires are about a year old with less than 5k miles on them. You can find the compression/leak down tests in my post history all was good.
    I agree I am not getting spark. I had left the battery disconnected overnight. When I tried to start this morning with the jumper cables attached to my running Dakota, there are no dash lights at all (also an intermittent problem since I first tried to make it better This time it was very clear there is no spark taking place in the cylinders. Yesterday and usually when it is hard to start there is spark you can see and feel the motor jumping as a tiny bit of gas gets burnt, but not quite enough.
    I'm taking a break. I fear I will have to push it back down the driveway and learn how to read a wiring diagram and chase down the problems in the harness. I'd like to strip it down to only the wires I absolutely need

  5. #5

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    when stuff sits it goes bad, keep that in mind.

  6. #6

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    https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-20610-I...9833293&sr=8-1
    An inline spark tester is cheap. Testing in open air can be helpful, but you can have a decent spark in open air that can't jump a plug gap in a high pressure fuel laden environment.

  7. #7

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    Clean up your chassis and engine earth's and then clean up the points, rotor and inside the cap.
    you should have lights on at the dash after cleaning the earth's, if not you might have had a mouse go at the wiring somewhere

    With lights at the dash
    Then check each lead for spark against the block
    If no spark, check the coil lead for spark. Then start working back through the connections and clean them up.
    If there is spark at the leads, try the plugs against the block for spark.

    I'd say it will come right after you do the earth's tho, that's usually the issue I have with stuff that sits (reminds me I haven't started my car in 2 years, woops)

  8. #8

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    ^and your battery leads and connectors. Sometimes they can corrode from the inside and the damage is near invisible. Cleaning up your ground leads on the chassis and engine goes a long way to killing off gremlins in the electrical system.
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  9. #9

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    OK I got an inline tester I am not sure works. I wasn't paying attention and it has a 90 degree boot. I had to pull it off to get it on. #4 and #1 no light. Didn't try the others. I will be looking for one with a straight boot and longer lead.
    Loosened up and re-tightened the grounds which were pretty new since I got new battery cables in the last 2 years. The one on the block and frame weren't as tight as I made them after. No effect. I also sanded off the rotor and the contacts in the cap. The Dist is new last year or so. No points Tort. Never fixed me one of them
    I do not know how I might test the coil. I bought it new and it sat for a year or two before I installed it. There were no signs of a problem before now. I'll look up how to test it with my multi thingy.
    Edit- I think my problems with how it runs or doesn't want to start after it sits or when its hot may have been electrical all along. Oh yea all fuses are good.

  10. #10

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    I tested it with the harbor Freight 7 function digital multi meter. After removing the wires from the + and - pins I touched them with the tester and got 0. Then I tested the output of the coil and it read 10.01 ohms. Here is a picture of how I had it set. I am putting it here because I am not used to using meters like this.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11



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    How many volts are you getting on the + side of the coil?
    You can always run a jumper and power it directly to test. Also test the voltage drop resistor that is before the coil on the + side.
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  12. #12

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    I got zero when I touched both the + and -. Touching the+ and output I got the 10.01. I have to got get a remote starter and rewatch the vid on how to test. I will also post a picture of my coil and the bolt on ballast is it? I am not sure of what parts are what. the ballast is OE AFAIK.

  13. #13

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    To answer you directly camo I do not know how to check the voltage.
    I followed the instructions in this vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU2ySxRUoWo to test for ohms. When I disconnected the wires and touched the -+ pins It started at .02 then went to .00. When I touch the positive and inside the coil output to the distributor plug I get 9.87 today. I haven't figured out how to hook up the remote starter to try the next test.
    If I did step 4 on page 8-31 of the manual correctly I got no spark. Which means I have to check the control unit, pickup coil, ignition coil, or secondary cable.
    I assume the ignition coil is the main coil in the picture I attached, the pickup will be in the dist which is new and IDk what the control unit is. I took the squarer part in the middle top off, cleaned the connections and added dielectric grease. The fuse leading to it looks good. I'm guessing that is the control unit. When I had it off with the multi at the same setting it also gave me nothing but zero when I touched the 6 pins with pos and neg probe.
    Suggestions please.
    Is there a coil with an internal ballast I can install on here to clean that up?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14

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    replace the coil! sometimes you get a bad part. i just recently had a defective fuel pump but i instead replaced the old gas tank. i thought i had solved the issue.

  15. #15

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    Ordered coil and new ballast resister.
    So what are these parts on RA listed for my truck? Ignition control module and Ignition Conversion kit? The photos of them do not look like anything I have seen on my vehicle.
    Reminder i have the 85 2.0 g63b

  16. #16


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    Click image for larger version. 

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    My 1986 2.6L truck is running ok; these are pics of the coil & wires area for you to compare... Check all the high tension wires coil & spark plug wires for continuity; they often break when spark plugs get changed... I use a NAPA spark plug boot tool to remove & reinstall plug wires... I suggest using a spray can of starting fluid instead of raw gas to start the truck... For safeties sake, maybe spray the starter fluid through the front grill & into the air intake while squatting in front of the truck... A good squirt should reach far enough to make it start & allow keeping the air filter & air intake closed up... If you have a helper they could squirt the starter fluid while you crank the engine... Keep face away from the air intake in case a blast of fire comes through the filter or starter fluid gets blown back by a back fire... OR, have a good fire extinguisher or other proven method at the ready IF ever starting an engine by pouring gas down an open carburetor... AT LEAST wear safety goggles & have an eye wash method at the ready, back fires can do more harm than burn eyelashes & eyebrows...

    Edit: Please use a spray can of starter fluid; anything besides pouring raw gasoline around all over
    Last edited by xboxrox; 05-20-2020 at 11:35 PM.

  17. #17

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    they are CONVERSION kits, aka they swap over to a different type of ignition. most of these conversions are useless unless you have a built engine. there is a pointless conversion kit, which is actually not pointless. use your old distributor and replace the points. pretty pointless, eh?

    speaking of, clean up your distributor points and rotor contact and distributor cap contact, maybe that will solve your no spark.

    whats the fuel pressure like? take the line off the carb and crank it up, just because a pump may make noise doesnt always mean its pumping.

    check the fuel filters too

    attempt to start it with starting fluid.

    i expect my suggestions to be dud, but better to be safe than sorry. it does seem like the coil may be going bad.

  18. #18

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    ps: for when you get it started, go ahead and hook a tachometer up to the coil, a handheld one, so you can monitor the engine speed and idle.

  19. #19

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    AFAIK there are no points in my distributor. At least not the old kind that had to be set. They won't be coming in for about a week.

  20. #20

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    I cant say with certainty for the 2.0, but I don't think that's a points style distributor. '85 would be very late for a points style distibutor. Should be a ICM (ignition control module) and a reluctor. The ICM is a hall effect sensor, when the reluctor passes by, it triggers the ICM to open the circuit to the coil, causing the spark. This has the same effect as points, but without any wear items in the system. It is common to put a "ignition conversion kit" on old points style distributors. All a conversion kit is, is an ICM that bolts in place of the points. The cam that opens the points usually acts as the reluctor. Again, I'm not sure on the 2.0, but I'm pretty sure my 2.6, the ICM is powered off of the low voltage side of the ballast resistor. If the ICM is hooked up to 12v, pretty sure it will burn up in short order.

  21. #21

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    was gonna type a sentence, but i fond this emoji, and this is the best reccomendation i can give at this point.



    ill check tonight, but i was sure my 82 and 87 both had a points type distributor.

  22. #22

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    That makes sense Giovanni. I looked again after posting and it finally registered with me that the ICM was the same thing with the wires from the new Dist that go to the coil. Could be I affected it as they are like the plug wires I bought on RA, very very tight. Like no extra wire length in them at all.My wires are hooked up the same as Xboxrox. One ICM wire goes to the + on the coil the other to the ballast connection closest to the motor. I assume that is the low side it has run for over a year since I connected it. I drove it about 2 weeks ago. There is a pic in post #13

  23. #23

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    IDT think they ran electronic ignition in these trucks after the 79-80 builds (4G32/4G52) I like neanderthal tech points for tuning but the appeal of not having to mess with timing once it's set makes EI attractive...
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  24. #24

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    Found and old picture of my ignition wiring. Looks like you have everything connected correctly. The ICM does run on the 12v side of the ballast resistor.
    If you got the lisle spark tester, the lead is reversible. I suspect most are. You can pull the section of plug wire off of the tester and flip it around, with the 90 degree boot connected to the tester and the straight end on the spark plug.

  25. #25

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    I was able to get the spark tester on the spark plug and I was able to trade it in for a straight tester. I think the light not flashing or lighting is indicative of a coil issue along with the ohm reading of zero when I touch the pos and neg posts with the tester. I might put it in the top of the coil to see if it lights or flashes since I have a week before the new "heavy duty" coil comes in. .

    Xboxrox, I will not be putting my face in the way of flames shooting out of my carb. Thanks for your concern. frequently ether is not enough to kick this thing over when it acts up. Pouring gas into the carb is not as dangerous as you seem to think. You don't try to start it at the same time you are priming the carb for one.

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