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Thread: CJ3A Direct Short Battery to Block: Ignition Issues

  1. #21
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
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    Chris I’m not real sure but you are going to wear yourself completely out on this topic
    I’d throw the original distributor in the ole girl and call it good when she fires up and purrs like a kitty cat!!
    Last edited by TJones; 05-02-2023 at 10:15 AM.

  2. #22
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    Points and condensers aren't as evil as some say. They worked for 100 plus years, and are pretty simple. Magnetic pickups and the Wizardry of modern technology can give you grief especially when blended with the old.

    A quick and dirty points gap method is to use a match book cover, or .020" on the feeler gage if you want to be precise.
    Last edited by gmwillys; 05-03-2023 at 02:27 AM.

  3. #23
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Chris there is one thing that I can think of left. Are you checking the voltage at the positive terminal of the coil while the engine is cranking?

    Run a wire (very temporarily) from the battery + to the coil +. Turn it over and see if it starts (has spark). If it does not start what is the voltage at the positive terminal of the coil while it is cranking?
    Last edited by bmorgil; 05-03-2023 at 09:23 AM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmorgil View Post
    Chris there is one thing that I can think of left. Are you checking the voltage at the positive terminal of the coil while the engine is cranking?

    Run a wire (very temporarily) from the battery + to the coil +. Turn it over and see if it starts (has spark). If it does not start what is the voltage at the positive terminal of the coil while it is cranking?
    Thanks You, bmorgil!!

    After working on reconditioning my points/condenser distributor this past week in preparation for swapping out the distributor. I tried to start the Jeep one last time with the electronic ignition using your suggestion of running a jumper from positive battery to the positive post on the coil and EUREKA! I started seeing spark right away and before I could turn it off the engine started on three cylinders. After letting it idle for a moment, I turned it off and tried to restart with no luck. However, when I put the jumper on, it fired up again.

    Since then, I've removed the jumper and started it several times with no problem. I'm using the same gage of wire on the jumper that I have going to and from the ignition switch.

    Can you give me your thoughts on what's happening here?

    And again, thank you.

  5. #25
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    There are a number of possibilities:

    A. A miswire. The wire to the + terminal of the coil may not originate where you think it does.

    B. An improperly crimped terminal lug. My replacement harness had a lug crimped to the insulation, not to the conductors. It took me several years to find it.

    C. An actual broken wire – kinked or crimped and broken.

    D. Maybe a defective or miswired ignition switch … and so on;

    It kind of degenerates into a bug hunt now. At least you know you have a good distributor.

    Go find that bug.

  6. #26
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Follow Larry's guidance here. Follow A,B,C,D and let us know. You now need to find the intermittent voltage to the coil. One of the things Larry has pointed out above that you need to know, is your Jeep wired according to the original wiring diagram? Are you using the foot pedal starter or is the stater converted to a solenoid?

    Its great that you reconditioned the old one. gm wouldn't be without his points and in the event of an EMP attack, your Jeep will run with that distributor!

    A word of caution here, you should not put a solid state electronic device into a circuit with unknown voltage situations. Bad connections can ruin it. Find out why and how to get 12 volts to the coil while it is cranking first. Then hook the distributor back up.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 05-08-2023 at 11:12 AM.

  7. #27
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    In addition to what Larry posted I will add bad solder joints. All soldered splices and terminal ends would be suspect if anyone has been near the vehicle with a soldering iron. There is no way to visibly tell a good solder joint from a bad one if not corroded or broken.
    Last edited by 51 CJ3; 05-09-2023 at 11:53 AM.
    Jeff
    '51 CJ3A
    '47 CJ2A

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarrBeard View Post
    There are a number of possibilities:

    A. A miswire. The wire to the + terminal of the coil may not originate where you think it does. [I've traced the positive coil wire back to the ignition post on my ignition switch. The voltage on my coil + is a steady 11.6V during cranking.

    B. An improperly crimped terminal lug. My replacement harness had a lug crimped to the insulation, not to the conductors. It took me several years to find it. The hunt has started and is ongoing.

    C. An actual broken wire – kinked or crimped and broken. Given what I've shared on this to date, can I limit this search to the path of current to the coil?

    D. Maybe a defective or miswired ignition switch … and so on;

    It kind of degenerates into a bug hunt now. At least you know you have a good distributor.

    Go find that bug.
    Thanks again to all for your assistance. Given that I still have good voltage at the coil + post, is it possible that I'm just not passing enough current to the coil due to a flakey connection? BTW, I'm back to a no spark condition this morning, which is kind of a blessing since I'm looking for a bad connection. Other than visually inspecting every cable terminator in the jeep, is there a more discrete way to narrow the search?

    I'd appreciate any thoughts...in the meantime...the bug hunt continues.

  9. #29
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Use your Mult-Meter and chase it down. I have money riding on the ignition switch but, there are other possibilities. Yes it is possible that you have a bad connection. Since you know it runs with the jumper wire, you could replace the wire completely from the ignition "Run" terminal to the coil. Make sure if you are using the foot starter pedal the "Start" terminal, if you have one, is not used. There should be nothing hooked to it. If you are using a solenoid the wiring is different. If a new wire does not work replace the switch.

    Are you using the foot pedal to engage the starter?
    Last edited by bmorgil; 05-08-2023 at 05:39 PM.

  10. #30
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    If you still have wire directly connected to the battery and no spark:

    A. Look at the (-) terminal of the coil with a meter while you are cranking. When the points are open, the (-) terminal should read 12-volts. When the points close, the terminal should read ground. If you always read ground - either the points are not opening and closing or you have an open coil. Since you are back to a real distributor and it ran for a bit - I don't suspect that it just went bad.

    B. If you are back to vehicle wiring - not just a direct wire - and you have 12-volts on the (+) terminal while you crank - I suspect a coil issue even more!

    This just checks the primary side, there is a way to check the secondary (high voltage) side:

    The old redneck way to test a coil was to touch a clip lead on the (-) terminal to ground with the points open. If the top of the coil had 12-volts and that didn't get you spark - the coil was bad.

    Bubba would have Junior hold the lead that went to the center of the distributor cap and if Junior jumped and cussed - you probably had a good coil.

    With all of the shyte you are seeing - it's about time to swap out the coil for a known good one.
    Last edited by LarrBeard; 05-08-2023 at 05:42 PM.

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