1980 Ford Fiesta Ignition spark

Tiny
GOED
  • MEMBER
  • 1980 FORD FIESTA
Electrical problem
1980 Ford Fiesta 4 cyl

I am rebuilding a Ford industrial 4cyl 1.6L engine that is in a Bobcat Skidsteer. The engine is the same as in a 1980 Ford Fiesta or early model Ford Pinto. Not much to the electrical system. Only has an alternator, starter, ignition coil, and distributor with condensor. Brand new battery, new ignition coil, new spark plug wires, new plugs. With the switch turned on, I get voltage on both positive and negative terminals on the ignition coil and what looks like to be 12VDC. I can not get any spark out of the coil when turing over the engine. The coil requires an external resistor which does not exist on the Bobcat, only a resistor wire going to the ignition switch. Could this be causing the problem? If I add a ballast resistor, will this fix the problem and provide spark? Also, the stater seems to turn slow. Could a bad starter and/or solonoid cause the problem?
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 7:15 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Check the distributor pick up coil and the ignition control module.
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 7:47 PM
Tiny
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To my knowledge and according to the wiring diagram, there is not an ignition control module. Not sure about the distibutor coil. I will need to look into it.
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 8:19 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Do you have a conventional distributor or electronic type? If its an electronic is has to have a switching device to close and open the primary circuit called ECM/ICM/Ignitor and so on. If its a contact point distributor the contact point/s is the switching device.
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 8:23 PM
Tiny
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It's a conventional distributor with only 1 wire going from the condensor to the negative side of the ignition coil.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/331624_wire_diag_2.jpg

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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
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Does it have a contact point?
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 8:48 PM
Tiny
GOED
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Yes, it does
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 8:52 PM
Tiny
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Now were talking-Okay put a test light on the neg. Side of the coil crank engine over is the test lite flashing if not -adjust the contact point or dwell it to the proper angle

Where are you check for spark at the coil or the sparkplug wires?
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 8:58 PM
Tiny
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I have checked for spark at the plug wire as well as checked at the coil wire. No spark at either one. I will need to check the points and adjust before I can answer that question.
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 9:02 PM
Tiny
GOED
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Ok, point gap looks good and measured at.025. Dwell angle appears to be ok. I am beginning to think this is a ballast resister problem. If I can not get spark from the ignition coil wire, isn't that eliminating a distributor problem? I'm puzzled.
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 10:01 PM
Tiny
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Disconnect the postive side of the coil and isolate it-run a wire with an inline fuse from the battery positive post to the coil positive and see what happens. If it fires up replace the resistance wire
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 11:34 PM
Tiny
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After closer inspection, this is what I found. When inspecting the condensor that is housed under the distributor cap, the condensor was actually touching the back side of the contact where the point cycles back-and-fourth. This basically made a constant contact and grounded out the coil instead of cyclical contacts as the distributor turned. I moved the condensor away from the point with a screwdriver to allow for about a 1/4" gap. After doing so, I was able to see a weak spark between the coil wire and engine block while turning over the engine. I still think there is a problem because the spark is very weak and I couldn't see it when testing with a spark plug through the rotar and distributor cap. Next, I am going to replace the cap and rotar. I am still curious about the resistor and whether the coil is performing correctly.
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Saturday, March 14th, 2009 AT 11:38 PM

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