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Ignition Woes at the Last Mile


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Go to solution Solved by ray_,

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Many of you know that Zouave has been down for a few months to deal with a driveline vibration issue.  I got everything back together yesterday, and when the big moment came and I turned the key….. no spark. Plenty fuel, nada spark.  Stevenola and I put in a couple of hours of troubleshooting yesterday resulting in the following observations:

 

1. Engine was TDC’d correctly when pulleys removed and replaced. 

2. KFish belt on correct.

3. All ignition wires plugged in correctly and appear sound (have not gone inside the harness or under fusebox yet).

4. Coil tested good.

5. No continuity from negative coil terminal to ground.

6. No voltage at coil with voltmeter connected to pos and neg coil terminals regardless of key position.

7. When we jump coil neg terminal to battery neg terminal we get 12v to coil at run position.

8. We jumped neg and pos coil terminals to battery; still no spark.

9. We disconnected tach wire and jumped neg and pos coil terminals to battery; still no spark.

10. We tested spark with spark plug lead against metal and with timing light; no spark coming from coil.

11. Zouave runs a 123 tune distributor, which appears to work OK but we haven’t tested in depth; we cleaned the rotor and cap and emoried the contact surfaces.

 

This morning the first time we cranked the motor — all normal connections — the engine briefly caught — one time!  Ran a couple of seconds firing on all cylinders.  That was once out of 30 tries.  Six more tries today and got nothing.

 

We’re short on ideas. Any suggestions?

 

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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23 minutes ago, 0257 said:

Any suggestions?

 

There are directions on the 123 Ignition site for resetting your distributor back to factory specs.  Then you can set your motor to TDC for #1 on the compression stroke and go through the 123 Ignition distributor install steps again.  Plug in a base tune for your Tii and see if it will start.  If you have the original mechanical distributor, you could stab it and see if it starts Zouave to identify the 123 Distributor as the issue.  #6 in your troubleshooting list is concerning.

 

Mark92131

1970 BMW 1600 (Nevada)

 

 

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  • Solution

Ignition switch. Or ballast resistor circuit.

Edited by ray_
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Ray

Stop reading this! Don't you have anything better to do?? :P
Two running things. Two broken things.

 

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38 minutes ago, 0257 said:

5. No continuity from negative coil terminal to ground.

???...Sounds like a faulty connection to the distributor.

Check the continuity on the black wire from the coil (-) to at every connection  (dizzy, tach, diagnostic pin #9).

Most likely the connector to the 123.

 

 

 

BMWIgnitionCircuit.thumb.jpg.2b5c621065f59545937c6714f274927a.jpg

 

 

Edited by John76
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37 minutes ago, ray_ said:

Ignition switch. Or ballast resistor circuit.

It is the coil or terminal #15 of the starter.  This would mean that the starter cranks, but there is no spark when cranking.  The one time it caught would have been as a result of the motor still turning when you switched it to the run position, which runs through the ballast resistor ( if still installed). 

 

If you have the "Speed relay" as per the wonderful drawing (and my next t-shirt), then I would take it out of circuit, as it could possibly be the source of a dead short. 

 

Some pics of the engine bay are always good.  Normally things are picked up by others that are necessarily noticed by you. 

 

When you turn the key is the power for the rest of the car coming on? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Goosed" 1975 BMW 2002

 

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16 minutes ago, Dudeland said:

If you have the "Speed relay"

I may be wrong ... but I don't think the Tii's have a speed relay.

These are useful on carb cars by cracking the throttle open (via the dashpot) during deceleration to prevent the extra-high manifold vacuum from sucking raw fuel out of the float bowl.

Injected engines don't have this problem.

John

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Thanks for all these pointers, guys.  Definitely no speed relay on this tii.  

 

I am running the wires, as each of John76 and Dudeland make good points.  I definitely don’t want it to be the ignitions switch.  I’ll be pretty annoyed if it’s the 123. Still hoping it’s a connection.

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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And there’s no ballast resistor.  Running 123 with a wire straight to the fusebox.  Coil appears to check out ok.  

 

Coil tach lead is solid back to diagnostic port.

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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26 minutes ago, 0257 said:

don’t want it to be the ignitions switch.

Unlikely since you get +12V to the coil (+) when you ground coil (-). 

Remember, the 123 is only a "switch" to ground for the black wire. 

 

If the coil is good, and it's getting +12V, but no sparkie ... it's a bad wire or "switch"...or the 123 is not properly grounded.

Edited by John76
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John76, unless the 123 has had an interior disconnection, it’s properly grounded. There’s a bright blue wire that is the ground wire, and it’s tagged to the fender pretty good.  Still tracing wires.  I was looking all over, and discovered that when I rebuilt my alternator bushings I never reconnected the alternator body-to-block ground. Duh.  But that never kept the car from running before, and connecting it made no difference.

 

Tracing the -1 coil connection back toward the fuse box now.

 

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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7 minutes ago, Son of Marty said:

Does the coil get 12v while cranking? 

No, it doesn’t.  But we had Stevenola’s coupe here for a test unit (motor back in and sounds great!), and he got the same result on his car, which started just fine.  Thoughts?

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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Looking at John76’s helpful diagram, I see an anomaly in my setup.  My starter solenoid’s top terminal (shown as 15) has nothing attachd.  Its lower terminal (shown as 50) has a two-wire connector that disappears into the brown sleeve that then bifurcates with one branch sending wires to the alternator and the other up the fender to the big wiring bundle.  I don’t think I have every had anything attached to “15” terminal, and I can’t make out the colors of the two wires exiting 50, but when I turn ignition key to “run” I have continuity between 15 on the coil and 50 on the solenoid.  Not between 15 coil and 15 solenoid, however.

 

Problematic?

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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29 minutes ago, ray_ said:

And the main engine block ground....

Pinned pretty tight, oxidation cleaned off.

‘74 Fjord 2002tii (Zouave)

’80 Alpenweiss 528i (Evelyn)

’05 R53 Chili Red Mini S

‘56 Savage Model 99 in .250-3000

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