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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Ignition Problem - fresh post (with more details)

Hello SWB Jeep people,

i thought it best to restart the thread and provide some background information.

Let me begin by first thanking everyone for help and suggestions. i have been working on Jeeps (CJs, XJs, and ZJs) since around 1994, and MANY TIMES this forum has helped me get things on track. There are a few legendary names that i am glad to see still involved.

My original profile seems to have disappeared over website upgrades, but i think it was MyRides. After taking an '89 4cyl, 2wd, XJ through over 200k miles, 49 states and much of Canada. Also had a 1991, 6 cyl, 2wd, that we got over 300k miles out of with no major repairs and passed on to a friend.

i am forever a religious Jeep devotee!

As for CJs, i was much more involved in the forum around 2001-2003, while rebuilding (engine, transmission, transfer, complete new wiring harness) and refashioning (safety and storage) my '79 CJ-7. We started the personally rebuilt engine and drove 2,500 miles from Tallahasse, FL to San Diego, CA for its initial test run. (No exhaust, but much fun). Great daily San Diego and Baja driving, then prepped and leaped into a San Diego to Chiapas (bottom of Mexico) month-long journey. The 7,000 mile trip was great, i'll get some photos up again.

Then the CJ was towed to New Orleans. It was our only mode of transportation for a while. The morning of Katrina, i handed the keys to a friend with 7 month pregnant wife, two dogs, and no shelter with Category 5 storm coming. It safely transported them to northern Mississippi due to National Guard diversion, and then to Tampa, FL for refugee status. Months later, i retrieved the CJ, made it back to NOLA, and it drove fine. Use became less, but still started and drove every now and then.

We towed it to Asheville, NC due to moving. Almost lost it off the trailer. It wouldn't start upon arrival, it took me 2.5 years to get back to it. And here we are.

Added info: we need to move again in August and i want to drive it away from here on its own power!!!

Lots of details, but i'm trying to give you an idea of what the CJ means to me, and my determination to revive Black Beauty!

Ok, let me bring you up to speed on what i've tried and probed:
Fresh oil & filter, new plugs (gapped correctly), new warrantied starter

- rigged up an electric pump running from small external tank. Carb is full, squirts fresh gas when twisting throttle. Can smell it when trying to start.
- have tried starter spray, nothing.
- mixture could be questionable, but probably not enough to prevent all firing what-so-ever (we are at @ 2100 feet altitude, it did have carb issues outside Mexico City, about same height, but definitely ran fine since then)

- just checked, just below 150 on one cylinder. Ran great before.

- Battery: new
- cables: clean
- spark tested from end of ignition wire with tester while starting: seems good, regular
- resistor: reads 11.7v on ignition side, less than 1v on coil side, @ 2ohm resistance
- coil: primary around 3 ohms, secondary around 9k ohms.
- voltage at positive coil lead while cranking: about 11.8v
- probed the test light from pos. battery terminal to green wire terminal lead to coil (unhooked): the light was on for 'Run" and then was definitely on (seemed to flash) while trying to start.
- (Check to see if you are getting 12 volts from the 'I' terminal on the starter relay during cranking, and if not, replace the starter relay.) Reads @ 11.7 volts
- timing: i'll check, but hasn't been moved since it ran well.

i believe it's an ignition issue, i'm slowly trying to pinpoint. Always open to suggestions!
To those you have already posted, thank you.

For all the help from here on out, thank you for your time and assistance, it is, as always over the years, GREATLY APPRECIATED! The CJ is this picture owes many past and hopefully future adventures to this forum.

ever onward,


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 06:13 PM
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If I understand you right??? You're still in the Asheville area now???


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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For a few more weeks...

At the moment, i'm trying to resist buying a new module, coil, resistor, solenoid, and distributor.

Are there any fuses, besides what came with the Painless wiring harness that would prevent me from starting?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 07:14 PM
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The no start may be from rejection... of the Cheevy paint all over it!

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-07-2009, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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It was my first rebuild. The tranny and transfer match.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 12:47 AM
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"""""- spark tested from end of ignition wire with tester while starting: seems good, regular"""""

So you have a good healthy blue spark at the end of a plug wire?
That says the ignition is working fine.

What's that leave?
Spark Timing - but you haven't changed that.?
Chain, but the compression is too good.

Fuel - not enough or too much. Pull a plug to see if it's wet - too much, flooding. An old tow truck driver's trick - starting a flooded vehicle - pull the coil wire out of the cap to give it a 1/4" or so gap. Start it up. After it warms up and clears the wetness out, put the wire back in. Or - remove the plugs, dry them out by letting them air dry, blow air in the chambers to dry them out.
Don't pump it when starting - use propane to enrichen it to get it started - you cannot flood it by using propane. Look at the sticky's - Propane Trick.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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The Black Beauty has awoken from her slumber!!!!

Switched out resistor and solenoid, decided to read the 1979 shop manual i had spent $100 on way back when.

So, there was spark, but not good enough SPARK!

As always, thanks for the tips!!! Glad i re-found the forum!

Last edited by MyJeeps; 07-08-2009 at 04:11 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 03:47 PM
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Is this the only hammer you've got?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 05:08 PM
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Glad to hear you are up and running!

So Many Cats, So Few Recipes...
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