No Spark

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I have a 58 willys truck that used to run great. My neighbor and his friend needed it moved and instead of asking me for the key decided to hotwire it. It has not started since. It turns over fine but will not start up. I replaced the distributor condensor and ignition coin and still no luck. I need some help!!! Any ideas?
 

cnsay

Well Oiled
Jun 20, 2010
1,482
North Idaho
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
Wagon
Willys Year:
Did they hot wire it from under the hood or under the dash? If under the dash are all the wires to the ignition switch back in the right spots?
 

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
They did it under the hood. The used a spare peice of wire and just went from the battery directly to the starter I think.
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I got a couple of ideas here, but right off the top of my poindexter it sounds like they toasted your points. I see you changed the condenser, but not the points. Swap em' out. I'm betting it will start after that. Other possibles include two items:

The balast resistor (if you have one installed) Check for continuity from input to output.
The ingnition wire leading to the distributor could have been damaged.
Have you checked for an actual spark between the No. 1 wire and the spark plug?
Are you 100% sure it's not a fuel issue? It would be very coincidental yes, but strange things happen.


Going straight from the battery to the starter would certainly crank it, but it wouldn't start it. They would have had to tap in to the ignition system. All that juice going straight to the points (in my opinion) could have caused the points to fry.

Points are cheap. Give it a shot even if you don't think that's it. If it don't work...we move on.
Steve
 

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
I am relatively new to working on engines. The points are on the undersidde of the distributors cap correct? How do you replace them? Do you just by a new cap?

I wasnt really paying attention to how he did hotwire it. He showed me. all he did was use two wires. I think he put one from the battery to one side of the starter I beleive and he used another wire to probabaly as you said to bypass the ignition. I'll ask next time i see him.

There was some fried wires in the distributor that I replacedd and I did notice that one of my spark plug wires seemed to "fall Apart" I ordered the spark plug wires and they should be hear today.

Also the balast resistor, isnt that integrated into ignition coil? When i bought the coil the guy at napa said something about looking for a ceramic resistor and that if i found one to be that coil back and that I would need a different one. The new coil looked identical and there was only 2 wires one to pos, one to neg coming straight from the inside of the dash. I glanced under the dash to see if I could see the ceramic resistor and didnt notice one. Do they usually mount them in the dash or under the hood?

The didtributor itself was "loose" so I took the distibutor off the engine and had my neihbor look at it. he said he he adjusted the points to .020" he also said that I sould not have takin it off, but I marked all the wires and its position so I hope I will be okay there.

I can smell gas under the hood after I try to start it a couple of times so I would think that it is getting fuel.
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
The points are on the undersidde of the distributors cap correct? Correct. If you take the cap off, you'll find the rotor (the big plastic piece on the center post) and you'll find the points. These are the silver looking contacts that are held down with a couple of screws. The ones you say your neighbor adjusted to .020".

There was some fried wires in the distributor that I replaced. Ok, one of those was probably for the condenser that you said you replaced and the other comes from the negative side of the coil hook up down under the plate. Replace those points. It's less than 5 bucks. You'll get grease with them.
1. take the rotor off the center post
2. clean off the post
3. put a bit of new grease on the post and install points
4. Grab the crankshaft pulley and rotate the engine just a bit to turn the distributor shaft so that one of the lobes opens the points. Adjust the point gap to .020"
5. put rotor back on the center shaft and install the cap and wires.

Also the balast resistor, isnt that integrated into ignition coil? When i bought the coil the guy at napa said something about looking for a ceramic resistor and that if i found one to be that coil back and that I would need a different one. Yes, the balast resistor is the ceramic piece. It's usually mounted on the firewall under the hood. Find the wire on the positive side of the coil and trace it back to the ignition switch. No resistor found? Put one in. Another 5 bucks.

but I marked all the wires and its position so I hope I will be okay there. Me too. :)

I can smell gas under the hood after I try to start it a couple of times so I would think that it is getting fuel. More than likely.

Ok, so now it's time to check things out.
1. go for a start
2. No start? check for spark at plug.
a. Take out #1 plug and put the spark plug wire on to it.
b. Remove the coil wire from the distributor and ground it so it's not sparkin' up a storm. (fuel vapors ya know)
c. Ground the plug to clean bracket or clean spot on the engine block
d. have somebody crank the engine while you look for sparking at the plug.

KEEP YOUR DIGITS AWAY FROM THE FAN IF YOU WANT TO KEEP YOUR DIGITS. :)

3. Still no spark?
a. unground the coil wire.
b. have somebody crank the engine. Is it sparking good? Yes? problem is from the distributor on. No? bad coil.

4. Just for gee whiz, if you go through all of this and still have nothing -
a. put it all back together and...
b. put about an ounce of fuel in to the carburetor and try it.
c. If it fires you know it was a fuel problem to begin with.
d. If it don't, you're back to the electrical side.

At this point (and this is just me flappin) you might want to track down those hot wire friends of yours and beat em' to a pulp. (Just a thought).
Steve
 

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Havent really had a chance to do anything yet. Its been 100 degrees every day and way to hot for me. It is suppossed to be cooler today so i can hopefully get something done.
 

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Okay got the spark plug wires and points replaced in just need to gap it once my neighbor gets home. Hopefully it will be good to go.
 

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Took me this long to get someone just to turn the key for me. Still no spark. I was wondering if it the points were gapped wrong. Kinda hard to get things done when I cant get any help. I added a bit of gas to the carb first thing before I started replacing anything, so I know that is not it. I'll hopefully be able to get under the hood and double check the points gap tomarrow.
 

aquawilly54

Well Oiled
Sep 21, 2009
1,257
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Sounds like time to invest a couple of $$ in a remote starter to make life easy. :)

Let us know what ya come up with. We'll get you fired up soon.
Steve
 

jcleikam

Gear Grinder
Jul 21, 2010
9
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Finally got it running. It was the points. Thanks for the help.
 
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