is there a way to test capacitor in gm HEI? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 03-21-2003, 07:13 PM
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Post is there a way to test capacitor in gm HEI?

here's the deal: truck wont start, cranks fine, i'm getting gas, no spark, coil test fine, pickup coil test fine, new distributor modual. still no start. vehicle is 86 chev pickup with a 350 i have not checked the plugs but when i pulled them a few weeks ago to see how my new jetting was working they looked perfect. any suggestions???

[ March 21, 2003: Message edited by: COCHEV ]

[ March 21, 2003: Message edited by: COCHEV ]</p>

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Old 03-21-2003, 07:35 PM
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Coil wire?
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Old 03-21-2003, 08:14 PM
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do you mean the wires from the modual to the coil in the cap? should i just do continuity tese from one end to the other? i have power to the coil itself.
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Old 03-21-2003, 10:55 PM
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Yes!
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Old 03-22-2003, 04:16 AM
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Check for continuity in the rotor button (sometimes will burn) and the contact that rides on the center electrode on the rotor button. Both are subject to failure on the HEI.
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Old 03-22-2003, 09:38 AM
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still wont start new cap and rotor, new condensor, plus all of the above. i have continuity between coil and distrib. wires. no spark at all. am i missing something stupid. the rotor does in fact turn around and round when the motor cranks. is it possible that even though i have juice to the dist. that i don't have enough juice to fire up the motor? alt going bad? how do i test the alt with my multi meter?
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Old 03-22-2003, 11:27 AM
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Try a different module
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Old 03-23-2003, 04:07 AM
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Do you have a Haynes manual, if not put out the $15 bucks and get one.
Your original question would have been answered in the ignition chapter.
I won't tell you how, but its SIMPLE.
If you have checked everything then the answer would have been a running engine.
Besides a new capacitor is not expensive.
When did the problem first happen, going down the road, or after you started working on it?
Most likely it's something you could check with a multimeter, and pulling the plugs won't answer the problem if its before the wires themselves.
I could walk you through what to check but with communicating on this board that would take a whole day, and I'm not cheap.
OR you could look through the Haynes, or Chiltons (I have both for every vehicle I have ever owned) and step by step test everything with a multimeter and have the problem narrowed down in an hour.
Good luck
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Old 03-23-2003, 04:28 AM
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Did you make sure you have the battery wire plugged into the distributor cap? It sounds like a simple problem.
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:23 AM
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yes i have a manual and a multimeter. and i did all the test in there and nothing. i did get a condensor. it was the pickup coil that was 45 bucks. but i tested the pickup and it tested ok. finaly got fed up and baught a used distrib from the junk yard. guess what....the damn thing runs now. so i don't know what the hell was going on and who knows, it could happen again. at least it runs- for now..... must be them damn gremlins!

thanks for all the help
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:39 AM
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Oh well, look on the bright side. You got all new parts to put in that junkyard distributor. It ought to give years of faithful service.
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Old 03-23-2003, 06:42 AM
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i should hope so. i've never had this much trouble with the gm hei. its usually pretty bulletproof. just a cap and rotor every now and then. just bugs me not to be able to pin point the problem.
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