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I've been fiddling with my car for about 3 weeks now and still having no luck. I had the problem traced down to the stator assembly in the distributor. There was no continuity through the plug so I changed it, along with the ignition switch. I finally got it back together this weekend but didn't try to start it because it has been so fricking cold. I tried to start it today over my lunch break and nothing. There's gas in the carb and the battery is fully charged. I pulled a plug, turned the key to on, cranked the motor with a remote switch and no spark. I didn't have a whole lot of time to check things so this post may be a bit premature, but I'm looking for some help. There's power to the module, the coil, and the dizzy. I checked the ignition module and it's doing it's job. OK, lets assume the ign. module, dizzy, coil, and ignition switch are good. What the f#%! is the problem?
 

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Check these parts for continuity;coil wire, distrubitor cap, and your rotor. if that doesnt work make sure the distributor is turining while the motor is turning over(when you place the ingnition switch to start w/ the cap off). I hope that made snese just my 2 cents chris
 

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That's too easy. There's no way I'm that lucky! The coil wire is a good place to start though. Thanks for the tips.
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.
 

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Hiya neighbor!! Cold down there in Kansas too, eh? I feel for ya, working in the cold. Anyway, thought I'd throw out my 4 cents worth


I have a Chilton's manual for Ford trucks, 1965-86, p/n 6913 that has an excellent troubleshooting guide for electronic ignitions. I could go into repeating what it says, but see if you can pick one up. Invaluable tool, for a Chilton anyway. Helped me greatly diagnose the bad trigger assembly on my truck. If you can't pick one up, I'll see about scanning the info for ya.

Hope I've helped a little,
Pat
 

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I've got a Chilton manual and have been using the engine electrical diagnostic tests. Those will no doubt help me find my problem, some day, maybe, while I'm still young. This thing is I had one problem and "fixed" it, now it appears that wasn't all of it. I hate it when that happens.
 

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Prove the coil works by removing the wiring harness cap and grounding one terminal then with your plug set to watch for spark, quickly wipe a 12V positive across the other terminal a couple of times (DO NOT KEEP VOLTAGE ON THE COIL TOO LONG!!). If you get a spark, your coil is working. Should be a nice blue spark. Yellow spark indicates possible weak coil.

If coil is good, move to next component, coil wire, then distributor cap, then plug wire. Follow the spark to the end of the line. First time it fails is your bad part.

If you gat a spark to the plug by manually wiping voltage to the coil, then your Duraspark might be bad (assuming you are using Duraspark) or the wiring harness. Eliminate the suspects one at a time.

A final note: make sure your engine block is grounded to the chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Refresher: 1976 Duraspark ignition system, all stock parts except for Jacobs OEM-style coil.
Alright, somebody tell me what the hell I have found! Me and my trusty $3.99 parts bin multi-tester went to work tonight. The Chilton manual has the test procedure down to 15 easy steps. As I went down the steps everything checks out until test 4(ballast resistor). Ballast resistor comes in at 6.0 ohms. It should be .8-1.6 ohms. Well, survey says change the resistor. Only thing is I don't know what it looks like or where it is. From what I can tell it's some sort of heavy guage wire inline coming out of the ignition switch? Anybody know if that's correct? Anybody got a picture of what it looks like? I can't change what I can't identify!!
The coil tests 5.5 ohms resistance and should only be around 1 ohm as well. Is the coil clapped out as well? I'm headed to the parts store tomorrow to get a new coil and check the resistance on it. I'm not sold on the coil being bad because it was just fine when I shut it off 2 months ago.
So, friends, Romans, electronic gurus, lend me your ear, and some advice. At this stage of the game, I just want the sucker to run.
Signed,
No spark mofo.
 

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Hey Pale.....

All I know is that when I went to electronic ignition Summit sent the wrong coil!! The one they sent had 2.5 ohms internal resistance and the system called for one with <1 ohm!!! They said that the higher resistance would eventually burn the module up??!! Maybe you high resistance coil has toasted your module??

Also, my system calls for a straight 12 volt source....NO BALLAST!! You may not have enough "juice" to fire it?? Try running straight 12 volts to it and see what happens.

Good Luck,
Cobrajack
 

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Troy, the ballast resistor on a Ford is a wire. The exact color of the wire may very. I can look @ some of the manuals I have @ home to try to identify it for you. As much work as you have recently done on this car it is very possible the wire was damaged. They can be replaced with wire from Napa etc.
or replaced with a ballast and regular wire. I think on my older cars the wire is red. I'll check tonight. It may be broken internally near the connections.
 

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Scott, if your manuals show some detail it would be appreciated. I'll talk to my parts man and see if he can identify it and give me a replacement.
 

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Troy, Iam looking @ the only Chilton's that I have for a Duraspark 2. In their troubleshooting guide they show a diagram of the system. The thing has no color chart,but does show the ballast wire. It comes from the back of the ignition switch. It is bypassed in "start" and "run" positions. This means that it joins with the red ignition wire before the red wire enters the module. They have illustrated a "terminal" connector before the wire continues into a "block" type connector. The wire can be removed to be tested or replaced. I can find no specs of what the proper resistance should be. The first thing would be to find it and test to see if it has continuity. I will check Dr.Jacobs guide to ignitions to see if that sheds more light on this.
 

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I just got out the Jacob's book. I don't find a section pertaining to finding the wire. If you call them @ 1-800-627-8800 or 1-800-626-8800, i'm sure they can be more help than I. Good Luck!, and let us know what you find.
 

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It's alive!!!!!!!!!!!! I broke it in for approximately 15 minutes at 2000-2500 rpm. I let it come down on idle and it sounds really good out the pipe. No miss, no lifter ticking noises!!!! There's always a but though. I've got a rubbing noise coming from the driver's valve cover. I put some cheapo chrome valve covers in during this cam thing and I think the baffle is rubbing. Plus I shimmed a few rockers to get proper preload so some retorquing might not hurt. I'll pull a valve cover some time this weekend.
The electrical problems were so simple I can't believe it. After double, triple, and quadruple checking everything it showed up. The Chilton manual shows the two hot wires to the dizzy on the catty-corner sides of the plug. They had the colors right, but on a 26 year old car, black and purple look damn near the same. So, that's how I soldered up my wires. Well, the book's picture was misleading and wrong. I had one hot and one ground going to the dizzy where I should have had hot/hot. I changed it around and the motor fired on the first crank. Pictures are great, but common sense never hurts.

Now when I figure out this rub thing under the valve cover I'll be happy. One things for sure, it's not a lifter tap, I know what that sounds like!
 
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