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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 08:29 AM
YZEATER
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got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

I've been wanting a truck to play in the mud with so I ended up with a 3/4 ton with cab, motor and drivetrain. i have yet to figure out what year it is yet. i also got a 318 motor, tranny, transfer case, rear axle complete and front axle missing some parts. it has the coil ignition, pretty sure it is a 360 but have to make sure.i need to see if i can get it to run. i got a new starter and put it in last night. the wiring is all messed up. i have the key but there's nothing when i turn it. Is there a way i can by pass the key switch and just jump the starter to see if it will run? I'll take some pics to show how bad of shape it's in. The year has to be about 1982 or so. the distributor is in the rear of the motor and a platic gas tank. thanks for the help, i'm sure i'll be around to ask many more questions.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 09:33 AM
aarcuda
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

Might want to check to see the start/neutral switch is connected at the tranny. if the plug is disconnected this will prevent it from turning over- it cuts out the starter.

There is a starter relay on the firewall that you can jump to get the starter to crank. you need to jump the battery to the wire in the connector right below it. I think there are two ad Id have to look at my truck to tell you which one it is.

If you hae a volt meter, check to see if there +7v at the coil with the key in the run position (it will or should be +12v in the start postion). If its there then that part of the ignition circuit is working. if its not, then its not and you can jumper +12v right to the + side of the coil to see if it will at least start.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-24-2002, 08:45 PM
YZEATER
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

got it turning over, i rigged another wire for now. but every so often the starter gets locked in to the flywheel. i have to crawl under and rotate the engine and it will free up. when i turn the key to the run postion i'm getting 12 volts or more to the coil, but i'm getting no spark to the spark plugs. i tried pressing in the clutch but no spark either. being i by passed evrything i don't think that would matter anyway. so tomorrow once i get it turning over again i'll check to see if i'm getting power to the distibutor. any other ideas what might keep it from sparking? also there could be other things missing that i don't know about but shouldn't it fire if the coil has power?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 07:36 AM
aarcuda
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

when you said "power to the distributor" are you talking about the high voltage wire fronm the coil? because the two other wires from the inductive pickup do not have power- they just act as a switch to open an close the field on the distributor to make the spark by signaling the ignition box to send the - side of the coil to ground and open (making and breaking the filed thereby making a spark)

You could check the air gap between the reluctor (star wheel) and the inductive pickup in the distributor. If this is off, you wont fire. it should be about .007" i believe. you need to use a non magnetic feeler gauge (brass) to check it.
post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 07:48 AM
YZEATER
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

i think that's what i mean. but what should i check for now? there should be power going to the wire from the coil to the dist. , right, when it's turning over?
post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 12:37 PM
aarcuda
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

Is it that old that the wire goes from the coil to the distributor?? The you dont have an ignition module do you? You have points in the distributor. and no, there should not be set voltage on the wire from the coil to the distributor per se.

The way it works is:

with the Key on run, you get about 7 volts at the distr. + side. In the start position there should be 12v. The ballast resistor is bypassed in start to get more voltage to te coil for easy starting. in run, the voltage goes thru the ballast resistor to drop it to about 7v so the coil wont burn up.

As you crank the motor, the voltage goes into the + side of the coil charging up the primary winding when the points are closed. As the motor turns, it opens and closes the points in the distributor and this sends the - side of the coil to ground when the points are closed. opening the points breaks the field in the coil and makes a large voltage on the secondary side of the coils.

This large voltage goes into the distributor and out to a spark plug depending on where the rotor in the distr is pointing to. The voltage jumps the gap on the plaug to make a spark.

Real simple setup.

Check the point gap in the distributor. it wont be .007 (thats the gaps for electronic ignition). Im not sure what the gap shouls be but someone should know. Set the gap and see if you get spark. you might need new points or condensor.

Heck, buy a tun up kit points and condensor and install them. there should be a gap setting listed.

let me know what happens.
post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 12:41 PM
YZEATER
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

yes there are 2 wires going to the coil and a single spark plug type wire going to the distributor which has points inside. i have yet to figure out the exact year yet.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 12:44 PM
aarcuda
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

ya it should have two wires to the coil- one on the + side and one on the - side. how many wires (not plug or the heavy coil wire) comes out of the distr? 1 or 2?

see http://www.vtr.org/maintain/ignition.html for points ignition operation
post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 12:45 PM
YZEATER
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

JUST ONE.
post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2002, 12:47 PM
aarcuda
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Re: got an old 3/4 ton dodge, need some help.

then its a points type distributor like I just explained. its a simple operation if you want you can call me and i can explain it to you
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