Sparkalator issues

Blish

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I took the newport out for a drive sunday (fixed the radiator). Car ran beautifully. I got to my freinds house, cut the car off, stayed probably 30 minutes, went to crank it back up and i had no cranking. But good power. Couldnt find an issue so i assumed it was either a starter or a starter relay, possibly wiring. It was late so he took me home and I came back monday with a stick, wiring, a new relay, and a mopar mini starter i had laying around. I found a loose connection. Fired it up and ran smooth!

Shut the hood and it started skipping then it died. went to crank it back up figuring it was cold (even though I burnt my hand on the key switch from the bible belts 110 degree average temp) and i killed the battery trying to crank it. Great. Got my jumper cables out and found that they were broken. Glorious. So i grabbed the trailer and came back and towed it home. I put a new battery in it and drove it off the trailer, idled fine, went to take it down the road to see if I could get it to quit again, figuring maybe i just had some weird wiring issue, or maybe the car was just heat soaked. I hadnt travelled out my driveway when it died on me again!

The voltmeter showed I had no power at the coil. upon inspection i found a connector had some exposed wiring and appeared to be loose. So I took the connector off cut back to good wire, crimped a new connector on, and viola! She ran again! Switched it off, went inside to get my backpack, came out the car had died and wouldnt start again. Great.

Cue today. I have ~5.5 volts at the coil and the coil wire. If i scratch around i can get .5 volts at the center contact in the distributor, .5 at the rotor and .5 at the spark plug connector. I took the cap off and the rotor off and connected the coil wire and touched the rotor to a point and to the coil contact inside the cap. I then put my voltage tester on it.

Could this be a bad coil? How does it run with half a volt going to the spark plug? And what would cause it to run sometimes and die at other times?

I will include pictures next chance I get. Its 10 PM at the time I post this.

Thanks in advance, -Paul
 

stubs300

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Great story! I'm still trying to figure out what a "sparkalator" is? Good Luck
 

Blish

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The
Great story! I'm still trying to figure out what a "sparkalator" is? Good Luck
distributor, rotor, cap, etc. ignition system. cant figure it out, dunno whats wrong. runs sometimes sometimes it wont, sometimes i get spark sometimes i dont. been scratching my head for this one.
 

patrick66

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"Sparkalator" comes from a couple of youtube posters. One named Vice Grip Garage started it. He has goofy names for just about anything on a car. What Blish said above is an almost verbatim quote from nearly any of his videos. He is entertaining. From MinneSO-tah, ya know. He is fun to watch, just that his voice can be very annoying at times!
 

Mr C

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The best way to solve the ignition issues on the car is to be methodical.

No offense, but it sounds like you're jumping all over the place.

It also sounds like the wiring was chewed or something from the mention of broken wires.

Step one inspect the wiring...if the wiring was butchered up, that will need to be solved first so that at least you'll know that no electricity is going to ground through broken insulation.

Once the wiring is trustworthy, you can move on knowing the values you're getting on the voltmeter are truth data.

My 10 cents.
 
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Davea Lux

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Intermittent loss of spark on electronic ignition usually has one of two causes.:
1.) The brain box is dead or improperly grounded, it must have a clean, rust free ground to properly function.
2.) The distributor pickup coil is bad. You can test this easily. Grab a voltmeter set for continuity, disconnect the distributor lead to the coil, put one lead on the voltmeter to a good ground and the other to the disconnected wire from the distributor and crank the engine. You should see the circuit go "open" each time the reluctor points center on the pick up coil in the distributor. While you are at it, check the distributor shaft for side to side motion, it should be tight.

As noted above, repair any suspect wiring to the control box, coil and distributor before you do anything else; clean, tight and corrosion free connections are a must. Check the ballast resistor for corroded connections.

Dave
 

Blish

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Intermittent loss of spark on electronic ignition usually has one of two causes.:
1.) The brain box is dead or improperly grounded, it must have a clean, rust free ground to properly function.
2.) The distributor pickup coil is bad. You can test this easily. Grab a voltmeter set for continuity, disconnect the distributor lead to the coil, put one lead on the voltmeter to a good ground and the other to the disconnected wire from the distributor and crank the engine. You should see the circuit go "open" each time the reluctor points center on the pick up coil in the distributor. While you are at it, check the distributor shaft for side to side motion, it should be tight.

As noted above, repair any suspect wiring to the control box, coil and distributor before you do anything else; clean, tight and corrosion free connections are a must. Check the ballast resistor for corroded connections.

Dave

I tested both of theese. They are good. It has a points ignition so no brain box to worry about here, although it is still mounted to the air cleaner.

I checked for the wiring too, all is good there. I replaced the cap and rotor, and i even tried a coil from a different engine i know to be good, just in case. All checks out.

Im getting fuel and when i can manage to get it to run it has good vaccum. Im beginning to suspect it has a weak or intermittent spark, however the points are clean and the condensor is new. the points gap and plug gaps are correct.

Im lost at this point :thumbsup:
 

3C's & a D?

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I'm going to throw out the ol' ballast resistor suggestion! Also, if you're encountering loose connections, it would be good to check the main bulkhead going through the firewall.
 

Blish

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I'm going to throw out the ol' ballast resistor suggestion! Also, if you're encountering loose connections, it would be good to check the main bulkhead going through the firewall.

I will check this again today when i have the chance. Ive went over all the wiring in detail and even compared it to a couple diagrams and the stars seem to align under the hood. all the wiring is intact. if it isnt the resistor would you venture to say the wires are fried underneath the coating? thats the only conclusion i cna draw but i just dont want to cut wires to check
 

3C's & a D?

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I will check this again today when i have the chance. Ive went over all the wiring in detail and even compared it to a couple diagrams and the stars seem to align under the hood. all the wiring is intact. if it isnt the resistor would you venture to say the wires are fried underneath the coating? thats the only conclusion i cna draw but i just dont want to cut wires to check

Definitely don't start cutting into wires. If the plastic coating is good, it's highly unlikely the wire inside is bad.

I have heard alot of complaints regarding the quality of the new points condensers that are sold, do you still have the old one?
 

Blish

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yes i
Definitely don't start cutting into wires. If the plastic coating is good, it's highly unlikely the wire inside is bad.

I have heard alot of complaints regarding the quality of the new points condensers that are sold, do you still have the old one?
do. i know it was bad. i tested the new condensor and it is good. i may go buy another one to be safe
 

'66 Fury I

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I traced intermittent ignition to my ignition switch- when it failed completely, about 100 yards from my driveway! I had checked everything I could with no success. Not saying this is your problem, but...... Lindsay
 

Blish

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I traced intermittent ignition to my ignition switch- when it failed completely, about 100 yards from my driveway! I had checked everything I could with no success. Not saying this is your problem, but...... Lindsay

I didn't think this could be an issue. Turns out I had the same issue! A loose wire in the steering column that would only connect if you wiggled it right. This car is riddled with wiring issues, the fuel and temp gauges didnt work because the lights were flashing, a bunch of my windows and my door locks had bad wiring, my alternator had a chewed wire that kept it from giving power to the regulator, and all my grounds were gone.

This was very helpful, thank you!
 
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