Will not start, need ignition module location

Tiny
RODNEY ALMANZA
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 DODGE RAM WAGON
  • 5.2L
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 870,000 MILES
Replaced cap, rotor, coil, wires, on the 318 engine. It still will not start has no fire. Was told to change ignition module, but do not know where it is located and what is looks like? Could you tell me if I am going in the right direction?
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Monday, June 4th, 2018 AT 2:10 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
The pick-up coil inside the distributor is a much better suspect. If you unplug it and do a continuity test, a typical value is between 500 and 800 ohms. Do not worry about the exact value. If it is bad, it will read open.

Some applications used a distributor with two pick-up coils. On those, you will see two pair of wires coming out, each with their own plug. To do a quick test, switch the plugs around. One of those pick-up coils is used during cranking. It provides for slightly retarded timing to make starting easier. Once the ignition switch is released from the "crank" position, the other pick-up coil is switched in for the engine to run on. That switching was done with a relay which is another possible suspect.

There were two ignition systems used around this time period. One used a computer that was hung on the driver's side of the air filter housing. The other system used the common five-pin ignition module, (only four are used starting with 1980 models), as shown in the photo. The color of the box denotes the maximum engine speed it will work up to, but they all interchange. This module is usually mounted on the passenger-side inner fender, but it could also be on the firewall. The body of that module must be bolted solidly to the body to provide the ground circuit. Check if the sheet metal is rusty or those bolts are loose.
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Monday, June 4th, 2018 AT 8:36 PM
Tiny
RODNEY ALMANZA
  • MEMBER
I have looked in those places. I do not see one, but the one I bought it from said it was running can it run with out that part? Does that year have a crank shaft sensor?
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Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 AT 8:18 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Nope. Have to have something to trigger the ignition coil. Without that, you will not have spark to light off the fuel.

There is no crankshaft position sensor on 1988 models. You only have the pick-up coil in the distributor.

If you can post a photo of the engine area, mainly the passenger side, I will look for your ignition module and point it out for you.
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Tuesday, June 5th, 2018 AT 11:18 PM

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