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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2001, 03:58 PM
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1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

There is spark from the coil to the distributor, but not from the distributor to the plugs. I replace the cap, rotor, and wires - still nothing. Any suggestions?

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2001, 07:20 PM
 
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

how did you verify spark to the distributer?

is it the same way you checked for spark FROM the distributer?

if there is a spark at the center terminal of the distributer cap, and the cap is new ( assumed to be good) and the rotor is new ( assumed to be good) there will be spark at each spark plug terminal.
possibly the wires are bad?
plugs are bad?

let me know how you checked for spark and we will narrow it down


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2001, 08:27 PM
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

I pulled the plug that goes from the coil to the distributor from the middle of the distributor cap, held it near a ground = spark.

I pulled a few plug wires (one at a time), held them near a ground = no spark.

New wires. New rotor. New cap. I pulled a few plugs and they look fine.

I'm lost. The system is not very complex. Am I missing something? Doing something wrong?

Thanks

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2001, 09:22 PM
 
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

that defies logic.

make sure that the little springy thing on the rotor is in contact with the contact in the top center of the distributer cap.

if it is, then either the connection is failing at from where the wire connects on top of the cap, or where the rotor connects it to a sparkplug terminal.

your right its a very simple device, its just a path of electricity

are you sure the cap is on correctly? oreiented on the positioning LUG, and DOWN all of the way?

if all o fhte above check out, and you still dont have a spark at the plugs while having a spark to the distributer cap, then you have a bad componnet in between that we are assuming to be good, rotor,cap, or wires.
unless its too weak to travel that far ( I dont think its likely)
were you wearing a glove when you did this? did it bite you pretty good if you were leaning against the car? a good strong spark? white,blue,yellow colored spark?

its simple, you will figure it out.
keep us posted, im curious.

feel free to email or ask away, im no expert, but Ill be glad to help.



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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2001, 04:51 PM
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

Yes, it defies logic. You see my frustration?

Is it possible for it to be a problem in the plug thing that comes out of the distributor and plugs into a thing with three wires (which goes to a mysterious jumble of wires)? A sensor? Computer?

The spark seemed OK - yellow. I've checked everything twice - tried the old distributor, etc.

I'd love anything you've got. I'm about to give up and have it towed to a mechanic. I just hate having other people work on my car....

Thanks for your help and patience so far.

post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2001, 06:39 PM
 
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

the 3 wired thingy goes to that ignition module, its a FORD electronic ignition system called Durapsark, the box is on the driver side fender, it says motorcraft, or maybe wells ( wells makes cheap replacememtn boxes)
it could be bad I guess, they are $20 at autoparts stores.
but I still cant see why a spark cant travel from the coil wire to a plug wire.

is it a consitent rythym of sparks if you hold the key on?
erratic or steady stream of sparks?

the only thing I can ponder is that the spark is too weak to travel from the rotor tip to the plug terminals.

try a new box ( save the reciept), and see if it helps, if it doesnt you can always get your $20 back.

I would try the replacement box before I took it to a mechanic, they will be frustrated too, and replace the box ( at $69) the distributer ( at $100) and the coil, and charge you several hours of labor, it might get fixed but they wont replace JUST the bad componenet, they will just replace it all, and never really know what the problem is, but expect your praise for making it run again.

try the ignition box , and lets go from there!


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2001, 09:13 PM
 
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

Sounds like your ignition module is bad. Thats about $15 at the local parts store. Its a snap to replace.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2001, 10:00 PM
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

I'll give it a try, but would the coil get any spark if the ignition module is bad?

post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2001, 10:13 AM
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

Be sure the connection and wiring between the distributor and the ignition control box are in good condition. There is spark at the coil but something is supposed to tell it when to fire the spark plugs, so it could be the ignition box or a faulty magnetic pickup in the distributor. It's rare that the pickup would fail, so my first guess would be the ignition box.
Electrical stuff can be frustrating to diagnose since there's no way to test most of this stuff except replace it with a known good unit.

Chris

post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2001, 06:38 PM
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Re: 1981 Jeep Cherokee - no start

Nothing new happened with the new ignition box.

Here's my new question: According to my Chilton's book, I've got an American Motors SSI System. In this system there is a sensor. I have found the sensor, but don't know the name of it. It looks old, and the wires are all taped up. I figured I'd try to replace it, since nothing else seems to work. So, does anyone know the name of the sensor, and if it would make a difference? It is located on the driver's side, near the ingnition module, on the firewall.

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