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 Posted: 06-15-2006 05:08 am
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Rick Willard
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Joined: 08-20-2005
Location: Broomfield, Colorado USA
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Hey Guys,

I see plenty of problems described on the board around the ignition/distributor, but none that quite fit these symptoms.  Before I subject myself to another tow back to the shop that last worked on the engine, I thought I'd run this past you guys.
  • Just completed a full engine rebuild, including a 2.2 upgrade with a lot of the good stuff including cams, pistons, valve springs, etc.  I used a pretty "standard" ignition/distributor tune-up that included new everything from the top of the distributor to the plugs (new points, condensor, distributor lead, rotor, cap, plug wires, plugs).  Yes, it's true...I did not yet do a Petronix ignitor/ingition - it's a LOOONG story.  I know that some of you might jump on that, but I don't think that's not my current problem.
  • I've done just over 400 miles since the rebuild and the thing has run superbly.  However, just a few days ago, I lost my spark on the engine.  Because of a fuel line leak that I had fixed previously, I double-checked my fuel system, but after some testing around that, and the fact that the pump is shooting gas to the Dellortos pretty hard...I was fairly certain it was not fuel. 
  • I quickly turned to electrical.  My timing light (which we tested on another car of mine as GOOD) was telling me that I had no spark, and the line from the coil to the distributor had nothing either.  I ran a tester to both sides of the coil, and found that there is a good connection to both of the posts on each side of the coil wire.  Keep in mind that I didn't touch ANYTHING on the wiring up to the failure, and I haven't changed anything, even today.  Considering that the coil was one of the only things that I had NOT replaced, I went ahead and ordered a Flame Thrower from Delta, and installed it tonight.  Again, matched up the wiring exactly as it was on the original coil.  Low and behold...the same symptoms still exist.  I've got "power" on both sides of the coil when the iginition is on, and also through the balast resistor, but nothing coming out of the coil on my timing light, and nothing to any of the plug wires.
I've "jiggled" the wires connected to the coil and otherwise, and all the connections look fine, and seem snug.  Does anyone have any ideas?  I would take any/all advice out there. 

As always...many thanks.

Rick Willard

Laguna Niguel, CA

jayhawk89@cox.net

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 Posted: 06-15-2006 11:04 am
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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Joined: 03-17-2005
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If you still have the old resistor for those points try swapping it out, I had a new bad one one time and it did the same thing, how's the small ground wire for those points, is your distributer fully seated, pop the cap and make sure it is turning.

Brett.

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 Posted: 06-15-2006 01:15 pm
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Judson Manning
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Joined: 03-14-2005
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA
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Rick,

If you didn't have 'bad' luck...you wouldn't have ANY luck at all!  Your story illustrates EXACTLY why I insist on test-driving my customer's engines for several 100 miles prior to delivery!

Brett makes an excellent point about the resistor, it could be cracked.  Also, the distributor could have backed-out of the oil pump housing.

With the ignition switch 'off' disconnect the (-) terminal from the coil and attach a ~12" section of wire.  Remove the high-tension lead that goes to the distributor (from the distributor - leave the other end attached to the coil).   Jury-rig a spare spark-plug to the free end of high-tension lead and lay it on the intake manifold. 

With the ignition switch 'on', touch the free end of the ~12" section of wire to ground repeatedly.  Each time you touch the lead to ground, you should see a spark from the plug.  This is what the 'points' are doing in a standard distributor.

If it sparks:  The problem is in the distributor

Good luck!

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 Posted: 06-15-2006 01:22 pm
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colinw59
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Joined: 02-14-2006
Location: Bloomfield/Hebron, Connecticut USA
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I had  a similar problem on 15851, ie lack of spark but nly on a few cylinders. I assumed that it was the supply of power that was the problem, it wasn't. It was the completion of the circuit. The spark plugs were at fault. Try removing the plugs, cleaning them & checking the gap (0.025").

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 Posted: 06-16-2006 04:53 pm
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Rick Willard
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Joined: 08-20-2005
Location: Broomfield, Colorado USA
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Hey Guys,

First, thanks again to all of you that took the time out of your day to help out a fellow Jensen owner.  I’m grateful for that regardless of whatever the outcome was going to be.  All the good advice and assistance paid off this morning.  Many of you won’t be surprised to know that the missing spark in my car was actually found several miles from my house in a Petronix Ignitor box.  Hmmmm.  It should have been pretty obvious to look there for it, as many of you know first hand, but…I’m a little slow here, guys.  

Anyway, I have the good fortune of having Greg Fletcher a short drive away here in Southern Cal, so it didn’t take me long to get the parts that I needed.  Greg and I took a good look at my “new” points, condenser, etc last night, and we agreed that they looked pretty lousy – especially for having been used only 400 miles.  Anyway, it was time to get rid of those things once and for all.

I switched to the Petronix, and got all the right connections fixed up.  Lo and behold…the darn thing fired right up.  I re-dialed the timing, and it sounds…just like a good JH should.  Yahoooooo!  Just in time for Father’s Day!  

Thanks again to all of you in the Jensen Community for your help!

Rick

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