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Old 02-08-2008, 03:48 PM
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Dodge 318 ignition problem

I have one here that has me really stumped, I was timing this engine (93 Dodge 5.2 D150) and ALL I did was to loosen the distributor and turn it slightly. The truck then started ran a few seconds and then died I tried to restart it and this time it cranked hard like the timing was too far advanced (I am sure I never moved it that much) and then it did start but it ran only a couple of seconds before dying again, now I have a VERY weak spark it will arc but just barely. I removed the coil and checked it with an ohm meter and it is within specs, I replaced the coil wire but still just this very weak spark. I am assuming that since the coil is firing at all the pick-up in the distributor must be OK? Whatever happened occurred over less than a minute, first it started but then sputtered and died, restarted and ran only a few seconds before dying again and now it does not have enough spark to start at all.

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Old 02-08-2008, 06:23 PM
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I'm just tossing this out but maybe when you loosened it you lost ground? Or partial ground? Seems odd that it would die so abruptly when loosening the dist.

Mark
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Old 02-08-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
I'm just tossing this out but maybe when you loosened it you lost ground? Or partial ground? Seems odd that it would die so abruptly when loosening the dist.

Mark
Have had that happen to me as well. Poor ground caused me a lot of grief along side the road.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:27 PM
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That makes sense about losing the ground, even though I had retightened the hold down bolt that thing is quite oily back there. Am I correct in thinking that the pick-up coil in the distributor is an all or nothing kind of deal? That is would a malfunction in the pick-up or wire coming from it always cause a total loss of spark from the coil or could it cause a weakened spark? Since I posted this I changed the coil to a known good one even though I had tested the old one. I will check the primary voltage to the coil tomorrow when I get my loaned out meter back, I checked the resistance of the coil on a bench mounted test set at my son's place and I had no way of testing anything while still on the truck. Any advice on what to look for after I get my meter back would be very much appreciated.
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:41 PM
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I had a Chevy truck and the pick-up went out three times,At about 6 months apart.It would just go out.No warning at all.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:20 AM
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I talked to my son about this last night when he stopped by. He mentioned the crank sensor and or wires. It's mounted up on top of the bell housing and gets its trigger off the flywheel. They are suseptable to oil damage and the wires are right next to the distributor. He said they used to keep them on hand because they went out so often. Worth a look at the wires back by the dist. You may end up having to have it cked by a shop that can trouble shoot it electronically.

Mark
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:28 PM
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Jmark, That got it THANKS!! (I did not even know that thing was there until you told me) I guess it is just my stinkin luck that it decided to crap out while I was messing with the timing but then $%&^ happens That thing is a real nightmare to get out of there I hope those guys who had to do a bunch of them got paid well for doing it!
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Old 02-09-2008, 01:51 PM
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on a related subject, is there anything that needs to be disconnected before setting the timing? Of course this thing does not have a vacuum advance but is there any electrical connections/devices that need to be disabled?
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Old 02-09-2008, 02:00 PM
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My son the wizbang mechanic will be pleased he called it right! LOL He said he's changed lots of them.

On the dist, I don't know about any wires to disconnect. If there is a emission decal on the shroud or somewhere, it will tell the procedure to check/set the base timing.

Mark
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:21 PM
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A 93 5.2 should be a magnum if it is OE, the timing is not adjustable with the distributor, it is computer controlled.
Rotating the distributor changes the fuel sync signal. A scan tool is needed to reset once the distributor is moved.
The following link explains setting the fuel sync signal.
http://www.bionicdodge.com/bionic%20downloads.htm
Camshaft Timing and Setting Fuel Sync - PDF
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmark
My son the wizbang mechanic will be pleased he called it right! LOL He said he's changed lots of them.

On the dist, I don't know about any wires to disconnect. If there is a emission decal on the shroud or somewhere, it will tell the procedure to check/set the base timing.

Mark
Nope the decal says "for timing specifications and procedure see service manual" I picked up a Haynes manual and it goes into detail about how to hook up the timing light and it too says to see the decal or the service manual for specs and procedure. This manual is supposed to be for 74 though 93 but there is next to no info in it for a 93, which is what I need. Those manuals (Haynes and Chiltons) are a joke anyway usually.
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