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Old 08-13-2011, 03:22 PM
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troubleshooting no spark condition needed

troubleshooting is not one of my strong points,need some help. This is for my 95 f150 5.0. I don't have spark to the plugs or coil. The coil is new. Should I have full 12 volts to the coil wire harness when the key is on? that is what the multimeter says. For some reason I can't get the test light to light on the coil wire harness with the clip of the light to the positive battery while I probe the harness,should I be doing it off the negative side of the battery? The distributor is two years old and the TFI module checked out good at the parts store. I also put a noid light on an injector harness and it flashed when the engine was turned over. Any help would be appreciated!!
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:27 PM
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Test light probe in TACH neg - side of coil (with plug connected) (inboard wire), clip to a good ground, crank engine it should pulsate light on/off, there are 2 other possibilities, (2)light bright but no flash, (3)light off or very dim.......coil voltage supply test, outboard + wire, multimeter probe, key run position, touch/clip to good ground, must be 90% or better of battery strength...forgot to mention that I just went through all of this, best luck to ya.
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:46 PM
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ok,just did this test,got possibility number 2 on your list with the light,bright light but no flash,and and got 12.3 volts on the multimeter test. what would be the cause of the light not flashing?
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:02 PM
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ok,just did this test,got possibility number 2 on your list with the light,bright light but no flash,and and got 12.3 volts on the multimeter test. what would be the cause of the light not flashing?

In my case it was #2 aswell, a bad distributor stator PIP, sometimes would get the code 14 and at other times I did'nt...I ran all of the test, they pointed to the distrib, I just couldn't believe that a day old distrib was no good. In the last 2 weeks, 4 distrib's installed, first 3 were Cardone re manufacture's. I bought a brand new, not re manufactured, distributor yesterday from Car Quest $130.- with cap and rotor. Truck started right up, ran for an hour in the drive way, no problems...tomorrow I will give her a long shake down cruise, but I got the feeling that she's good for now...I.m going nite nite now, but just holler if you think I can help ya..
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:34 PM
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well,two years ago when the pip sensor failed,there was a code in the computer for it,and I replaced the dizzy with a high dollar motorcraft one,was hoping that wasn't the problem again,and there are no codes in the computer this time.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:42 PM
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here's something weird. The truck now has spark and starts just fine. I was over in the spout connector area wiggling wires and stuff around,when I heard the sound of a small electrical spark,tested for spark at the plug,had it,and the truck fired right up!! Now I have to get a working test light and see where the timing is,which I think is the reason the truck died in the first place several months ago,I think it jumped time and died because I had to move the dizzy to get it started after I got it towed home a few months ago.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:50 PM
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sounds like bad connections at or around the PIP. regardless of where the distributor is, the coil will still send spark to it, as long as the electronics are in-tact. the fact that you moved the distributor, and it worked, is more of an indicator that you have loose wiring related to it than the position of the dist itself.

like i said, if you dont have spark at the coil, it has nothin to do with the dist positoin.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:44 AM
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here is the history. six months ago I was driving down the road,and the engine died after backfiring a couple times,and wouldn't restart. It was cold and wet out,so i didn't work on it while it was sitting on the road,and had it towed home. The next day I did all the normal checks:spark,fuel pressure,timing,etc. All were good. The engine would try to fire,but wouldn't quite catch. I got busy and let the truck sit for a couple weeks,didn't have time to work on it. then I went out and loosened the dizzy,turned it,and the engine fired up,but when I got the timing light out and moved the dizzy back to the stock timing setting,shut the truck off,it would not restart at that setting. I had to move the dizzy quite a bit to get the motor to run,and the timing mark on the harmonic balancer was way off the stock 10 setting. I was thinking timing chain at that point,but it was cold out and I couldn't work on it outside,so I waited a month for the weather to get better. Then I tried to start it,but no spark,and the truck has been sitting since then. so now I know why I didn't have spark,I need to figure out the timing issue.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cjben View Post
here's something weird. The truck now has spark and starts just fine. I was over in the spout connector area wiggling wires and stuff around,when I heard the sound of a small electrical spark,tested for spark at the plug,had it,and the truck fired right up!! Now I have to get a working test light and see where the timing is,which I think is the reason the truck died in the first place several months ago,I think it jumped time and died because I had to move the dizzy to get it started after I got it towed home a few months ago.

That wiggle may be a short term fix, you might want to isolate and fix what ever it is that is loose, closed, or open. It will only come back to bite you again.

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sounds like bad connections at or around the PIP. regardless of where the distributor is, the coil will still send spark to it, as long as the electronics are in-tact. the fact that you moved the distributor, and it worked, is more of an indicator that you have loose wiring related to it than the position of the dist itself.

like i said, if you dont have spark at the coil, it has nothin to do with the dist positoin.

This is true, and would explain possibility (2) condition during your coil test.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:11 AM
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On the timing issue , check the slack in the chain , turn the crank by hand untill the timing pointer is at your timing marks on the balancer , then remove the dist cap , mark the balancer at the timing pointer then turn the crank back the other way and see how far you need to turn it to get the rotor to turn , also could have a bad dist gear , you said you replaced the distributor , the 95 needs a steel gear for the steel roller cam , if you got a dist with a cast gear that will eat the gear up ....Lew
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:10 PM
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Thanks for the answers guys. I know the spark problem is a temporary fix. As for the timing Lew,back when I was working on it,I did pull the dizzy to look at it,because it was suggested the timing could be off because of a tooth broken. The gear looked as good as the day I put it in brand new. I also did check for slack by the method you suggested,no slack at all. That is what has me stumped. The only way I can tell the timing is off is with the timing light,the marks line up on the balancer when #1 cylinder is at the TDC,and the rotor points at #1 on the dist cap. I am half tempted to bolt the dist down and drive the damn thing,but if the timing is that far off,I really don't want it to detonate itself to death or put a valve through a piston. the truck starts and idles great,and I have revved it up some,sounds good then also. I am just leery of driving it not knowing what it will do and don't want to be stranded again.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:07 PM
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You may be up and running by now, but I thought I would tell you of something that I noticed. When I installed the last distributor, I did a ground check on her and she failed. So I pulled her back out, and shinned up the block where she would sit, and I shinned up the hold down bolt/foot. I had read on the paper that came with it, that the PIP circuit is very ground dependent, that's why I ran the test in the first place (in hind site, I wished that I checked the other distributors, but I was unaware of the ground info at that time)...Key off, multimeter positive + to battery, multimeter neg - to distributor casting. Sooo just a thought, if you want to take a look at that on your rig.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:45 PM
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The truck is running now,slip ford man,but as my post above says,I am trying to figure out why the timing is off yet the engine still runs as good as it does,and not having much luck. Just for gigles,I will try your ground test next time I work on it.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:58 AM
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The big thing with timing, is to make sure to have free movement both clock & counter clock wise for adjustment purpose. If you try to turn her clockwise, but are limited because the housing is hitting something, well that's a problem, and you will need to lift her up and re position. If you look down inside at the armature, you will notice that the PIP need's to be able to travel during timing adjustment on both side's of number 1 (identified by being the only thin vane of the 8 on the armature)
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:58 AM
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