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NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

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Old 11-26-2008, 03:49 PM   #1
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NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Just when I thought I had everything fixed...it shuts down on the way back from the store. Coming up a mild hill the engine shuts off, started again, shut off, started again then died. Then no start. Fuel...yes. Spark... no. Took the ignition control module out and down to Autozone, tested bad. Bought new one, stuck i t in and still no spark. Coil is new MSD. What's left? Engine light is on so I have power to the computer. How can I test the pickup coil? ..and anything else you might think it is. Please help. Thanks. 88 s10 4x4 4.3 auto
Old 11-26-2008, 04:47 PM   #2
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Nevermind, I found the test in my Haynes Manual. I'll be back if it checks OK. Sorry.
Old 11-26-2008, 05:25 PM   #3
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Might clean the teeth on the stator with a toothbrush and some WD40. Will give the pickup coil a slightly cleaner signal.
Old 11-27-2008, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil? OK

The pickup coil checks out OK. What next? Defective new ignition module?(just installed) Defective Ignition coil? (MSD installed 4 months ago) Anything else?
Old 11-27-2008, 01:21 PM   #5
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Check for +12v. continuous at the coil with the ignition on. The ECM causes the spark by grounding the coil each time it fires. +12v. should be always on with the key on.
Old 11-27-2008, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

X2^^^
Old 11-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #7
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

I get +12v from the coil with the key off and only .16v with the key on. Let's be sure I tested in the method you meant. I tested by red lead to the coil output to and black to ground. Right?
Old 11-27-2008, 02:41 PM   #8
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Thats Bass Ackwards. Should have 12v on one side of coil with ignition on and 0v with ignition off. Red lead should go to pink wire on coil, black should go to battery negative (black) Post.
Old 11-27-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Measuring that way I get 11.83v at the pink wire with the key on and 0 with the key off.
Old 11-27-2008, 03:52 PM   #10
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

keep going ya almost found it, Rotor, dizzy cap next or bad grounds u almost there.
Old 11-27-2008, 05:12 PM   #11
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Cap, rotor, and wires are new. Which grounds? Remember it stopped running while accelarating.
Old 11-27-2008, 05:31 PM   #12
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Check em all cant hurt , be hopefull the stupidest thing can be the problem.
Every ground of couse. Hope your dizzy gear not chewed up ... Thats common. I cant seeing it being that bad not giving spark.
You pretty much traced ur problem to the whole distributor , ground or bad plugs you might be runing to rich . had that happen on a stang build . New plugs did it.
Hope ya get it.
Old 11-27-2008, 05:33 PM   #13
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by Jah
Check em all cant hurt , be hopefull the stupidest thing can be the problem.
Every ground of couse. Hope your dizzy gear not chewed up ... Thats common. I cant seeing it being that bad not giving spark.
You pretty much traced ur problem to the whole distributor , ground or bad plugs you might be runing to rich . had that happen on a stang build . New plugs did it.
Hope ya get it.
Shoot ya jump timing or break your chain? Just shooting out things im thinking.
Ide take a valve cover off and watch my valves move.
Old 11-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #14
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Problem solved. Bad coil wire. I retested by holding the wire just off the coil and it started. Thanks for the help everyone.
Old 11-28-2008, 03:14 PM   #15
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Glad that you got it worked out!
Old 11-28-2008, 10:29 PM   #16
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Happy to hear it was a cheap part .GL.
Old 11-28-2008, 10:44 PM   #17
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Gosh I wish everything could be that easy. I'm sure I'd
still have more hair left and wouldn't be missing so many
wrenches from them taking off at semi high speed..
Old 05-06-2010, 09:42 PM   #18
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

I know this is like 2 yrs old but i am having the same problem and non of these fixes are working for me. Can anyone maybe update this and help me out?
Old 12-04-2010, 08:29 PM   #19
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by BruceSwins
I know this is like 2 yrs old but i am having the same problem and non of these fixes are working for me. Can anyone maybe update this and help me out?
Im having a very similar problem with my 89 4.3 s10. Mine is a little different in that im firing only on 4 of the 6. this is not testing from the plug end but cap end. My rotor and cap is new had my Ignition module tested and it passed. It seems like if it is a pick up coil it wouldn't be hardly firing at all. So i really dont understand. I know this is a old tread but i really need help
Old 12-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #20
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Buy OEM parts man. Aftermarket cap/ rotor is crap.
Old 12-04-2010, 11:02 PM   #21
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Buy OEM parts man. Aftermarket cap/ rotor is crap.
Had same problem before replacement. Truck just died. Cleaned all the plugs replaced started but then died tried it all again nothing, replaced cap/rotor nothing then started to check to see if it was firing 1234 was 56 is not. Played with rotor cleaned connections on ignition module ext replaced all nothing. It seems like since it is firing on 1234 that it would atleast attempt to start. But it does nothing although those 4 are firing good.
Old 12-04-2010, 11:27 PM   #22
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Ok this is very strange. I just finished recharging my battery for the 3rd time today from all the starting attempts after each adjustment clean or repair i maded and it slightly tried to start so i kept turning it over and every few seconds it would attempt to start then it was a continuous attempt almost like it was running as long as i was turning it over then finally it actually started. But seeing how it has died and refused to start twice before this and had to get a tow both times im a little concerned about trusting it. any ideas to this problem and also why the 1234 plugs fire but not the others?
Old 12-05-2010, 04:09 PM   #23
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

So you had spark, or actual ignition in the cylinder?

If you dont have spark, put a timing light on the coil wire and see if the pattern is even.

What color is the spark?

If you dont have ignition in 5/6 then check compression and see what they are in comparison to the others.
Old 12-05-2010, 08:01 PM   #24
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
So you had spark, or actual ignition in the cylinder?

If you dont have spark, put a timing light on the coil wire and see if the pattern is even.

What color is the spark?

If you dont have ignition in 5/6 then check compression and see what they are in comparison to the others.
At the rotor cap i had no spark on 5/6 but had a good equal spark on coil. What is weird is that after 3 battery charges worth of turning over it finally started now with a spark on 5/6 i know it sounds odd but i tested it several times when it had no spark and also now since it has finally started and it has spark. But its running very weird. Doesn't sound "right" Not that its missing but has a odd exhust/engine sound and with a fast rev now. It also smokes if i pat the gas where as before it only did on startup. I also noticed that my oil is very runny no thickness at all. But i don't see milkiness or any sign of oil in radiator. Im wondering if my distributor itself is bad?
Old 12-05-2010, 11:52 PM   #25
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Probably fuel contamination in the oil, does it smell like gas?

With the cap off the distributor, can you wiggle the shaft back and forth (side to side), how much play does it have in all directions even up/ down?

For grins I would try an ACDELCO cap and rotor if there isnt much play in the dist........
Old 12-06-2010, 12:55 PM   #26
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Probably fuel contamination in the oil, does it smell like gas?

With the cap off the distributor, can you wiggle the shaft back and forth (side to side), how much play does it have in all directions even up/ down?

For grins I would try an ACDELCO cap and rotor if there isnt much play in the dist........
Nope i can't turn it or pull it up (took lock plate off) Its stiff as can be. I tried to adjust the time incase thats why i couldn't start but it is froze in place.
Old 12-06-2010, 11:41 PM   #27
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Does it turn when the engine is cranked?
Old 12-07-2010, 04:34 PM   #28
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
Does it turn when the engine is cranked?
Nope, its froze both running and with the engine off. Although its running now it smokes from the exhaust a white and sometimes light gray. When i rev it blows out a cloud. When idle it floats up like a cigarette but alot more and faster
Old 12-07-2010, 10:39 PM   #29
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

I was referring to the shaft in the distributor that the rotor sits on, not the distributor body itself.....
Old 12-07-2010, 11:59 PM   #30
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Re: NO Spark Check Pickup Coil?

Quote: Originally Posted by lesterl
I was referring to the shaft in the distributor that the rotor sits on, not the distributor body itself.....
Yea no wiggle or play there either. I was finally able to talk to a friend who is a mechanic for a import company. He stated since everything else seems ok that its possible that it could be time or maybe the camshaft sensor
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