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260z won't start due to no spark....Help please!


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Hello every one, 

 

Ive been trying to get my 260z to start up and what started as a fuel issue is now at an electrical issue. The problem I am having is that there is no spark, I bought a brand new ignition coil and set it up but I'm trying to figure out why the two little screws on the side where the wires are connected have power but the ignition coil is not sending any power to the distributor, could it be a faulty ignition coil or am I looking at something else?
 

I ordered another ignition coil since it had a warranty so while I wait for that one to come in I'm trying to find all possible situations that may be causing such problem so I can finally start her up

 

All advice will help!

 

Thank you

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Sounds like you are not too familiar with the ignition system. Those "two little screws on the side" are the (+) and (-) terminals for the coils primary circuit. You are reading full voltage on both sides because the TIU (Transistorized ignition unit) is open circuit when the engine is not running.

 

I would suggest downloading the Factory Service Manaul (FSM) for the 260Z and reading the section EE-27 through to EE47.

http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html

 

Here is a good site for tech tips on Zeds. http://www.atlanticz.ca/index.php/tech-tips.html

and some electrical testing: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/electricalchecks/cp7678.pdf

 

Take the time to learn more about the ignition system. Helps with testing and asking questions.

Otherwise you could fall into the age old senario: Take two steps back and start throughing money at it untill you replace the part causing the problem. That works too, but generally costs a lot more.

 

Can you describe the system a little better? Is it stock or aftermarket system, maybe a later model Z system? Photo's can also tell a lot.

 

A lot of other things can go wrong/fail and prevent spark. I doubt a new coil would be your problem. Check the grounds. Poor grounding can be a big problem on these old cars, but thats just a starting point.

 

Chas

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There are two ways to test for spark:

 

1.  Pull one of your plug wires, and perch it with the metal as close as possible (but not touching) to a ground point (e.g. your valve cover).  It can help to insert a small piece of wire (e.g. paperclip) into the boot and have it hovering over a ground point, maybe a mm or two above it.  Then crank your engine.  You should see a spark there with every two rotations of the engine.  Another way is to use a spare spark plug (or remove one).  With the plug wire on the spark plug, and the spark plug sitting on your valve cover, crank the engine, and look for a spark between the electrodes.

 

2.  Spray some starter fluid into the intake, and try starting your engine.  If it runs for a couple of seconds and then dies, your ignition is fine, and you really have a fuel problem of some sort.

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Sounds like you are not too familiar with the ignition system. Those "two little screws on the side" are the (+) and (-) terminals for the coils primary circuit. You are reading full voltage on both sides because the TIU (Transistorized ignition unit) is open circuit when the engine is not running.

 

I would suggest downloading the Factory Service Manaul (FSM) for the 260Z and reading the section EE-27 through to EE47.

http://www.xenons30.com/reference.html

 

Here is a good site for tech tips on Zeds. http://www.atlanticz.ca/index.php/tech-tips.html

and some electrical testing: http://atlanticz.ca/zclub/techtips/electricalchecks/cp7678.pdf

 

Take the time to learn more about the ignition system. Helps with testing and asking questions.

Otherwise you could fall into the age old senario: Take two steps back and start throughing money at it untill you replace the part causing the problem. That works too, but generally costs a lot more.

 

Can you describe the system a little better? Is it stock or aftermarket system, maybe a later model Z system? Photo's can also tell a lot.

 

A lot of other things can go wrong/fail and prevent spark. I doubt a new coil would be your problem. Check the grounds. Poor grounding can be a big problem on these old cars, but thats just a starting point.

 

Chas

Thank you for your reply!, you're right I don't know much about the ignition system, this is my first project car!, but I ordered the service manual because I couldn't really read the one on that website do to it being blurry but I will read the service manual and do some more research to get a better idea of how the ignition system works.

As of problems, the trouble I am having is that the engine is getting no power....the person I bought it from said it was a fuel issue, so I disconnected the hose from the mechanical fuel pump and put in one that runs directly to a bottle of gas I went to get!

I added a little WD 40 trough the spark plug openings to loaded up everything on the inside and left it over night until the engine was not so rough when I tried to turn it over and it worked.

I got new spark plugs for it because the ones it had were bad

I bought new Spark plug wires because the ones it had were not in very good shape!

And went ahead and got a new ignition coil for it!

Now the thing is I discovered there is no current being delivered to the spark plugs...there's no current being released from the new ignition coil to the distributor...so that is what I am trying to resolve, what could be causing there to be no current leaving the ignition coil?

I believe the ignition system is mostly stock except for the distributor which has been modified by the previous owner!.....I will post pictures as soon as I can to better show what I am dealing with!

Thank you

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It sounds like this car has been sitting for a while. NOT a good idea to try and start it without doing some prep work first.

Over a period of time the oil will slowly drain down to the sump leaving everything above the sump dry. Startibg it in this dry condition could destroy the cam and damage a lot more before the oil pump picks up the oil and moves it around.

Thers is a good thread on this site about doing this step by step. Ill try to find it and post a link here.

As for your spark problem. How ars you testibg that? An easy way is to remove the High Tension lead from the centre of the distributor and then follow Fastwomens instructions to test for spark.

Chas

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That would be pointless.  You already have one.

 

On spark - you'll only get power to the spark plugs when the engine is turning over.

 

"Now the thing is I discovered there is no current being delivered to the spark plugs...there's no current being released from the new ignition coil to the distributor...so that is what I am trying to resolve, what could be causing there to be no current leaving theignition coil?"

 

Do what people are suggesting to do when they say "test for spark".  You can't measure it. you can only see it happen.

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Exactly.  When you talk about the coil sending power to the distributor, I'm picturing you trying to measure the static voltage of the ignition wires.  However, there is (or should be) no conductivity between the primary coil (the + and - screw terminals) and the secondary coil (from ground to the high voltage cable).  It would be NORMAL to read zero volts between the high voltage cable and ground, or else your coil is defective.  (But please don't put your meter across these points, as you might accidentally zap yourself or your meter!)  The "coil" is really a step-up transformer, with the primary and secondary coils coupled inductively.

 

If you can narrow down between fuel and spark, we can help you to debug from there.  But so far there is nothing that tells me you're actually lacking spark.

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Exactly.  When you talk about the coil sending power to the distributor, I'm picturing you trying to measure the static voltage of the ignition wires.  However, there is (or should be) no conductivity between the primary coil (the + and - screw terminals) and the secondary coil (from ground to the high voltage cable).  It would be NORMAL to read zero volts between the high voltage cable and ground, or else your coil is defective.  (But please don't put your meter across these points, as you might accidentally zap yourself or your meter!)  The "coil" is really a step-up transformer, with the primary and secondary coils coupled inductively.

 

If you can narrow down between fuel and spark, we can help you to debug from there.  But so far there is nothing that tells me you're actually lacking spark.

To be fully honest I let my dad measure for spark, he was using an ignition tester and we based our theory of no spark off of that, but Eurodat suggested following your instuructions to test for spark, so if you could please provide those once again for me I will make sure to try them tomorrow and take pictures to be able to show you, so that we may be on the same page, I really want to get my 260 started so your help will be greatly appreciated 

 

Thank you

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FAIW, you might have a weak spark that is difficult to see, or you might have trouble seeing it in strong sunlight.  The starter fluid test would rule out quite a lot of things, and starter fluid is a very handy thing to have on your shelf.

 

Your points ignition system is pretty simple.  It works like this:

  1. When you turn on your ignition, the + side of the coil receives +12V.
  2. As your engine turns, the cam in the distributor turns, opening and closing your "points," which are a switch.  When the points close, they ground the - side of the coil, allowing current to flow through it.
  3. When current flows through the primary side of the coil, a high voltage is induced in the secondary side.  Then when the points open, the interruption of current induces another high voltage.  There's another part, called a condenser, which interacts with the coil to generate a better spark.
  4. The high voltage results in a spark that is routed via the distributor's rotor and cap to the correct spark plug.

Your coil should be good (new), but there have been cases of bad ones out of the box.  Your wires are probably good (new).  It's not a bad idea to replace the distributor cap and rotor on a vehicle with an unknown history.  Check your points to make certain they open and close correctly, and make sure that they are clean.  It's probably a good idea to replace your points and condenser anyway, BUT you have to know how to adjust your points and timing!  If you (or your dad) don't know how to do this, or if you don't have a dwell meter and timing light, then work with the points and condenser you have for now.  Check your wiring to ensure that the points ground the - side of the coil.  Check your ignition wires to make certain they run to the correct plugs and are in the correct firing order.  "Blue" has posted a nice diagram somewhere on this forum.  You might be able to search it.

 

Here's an illustrated discussion of how your ignition system works:

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/ignition-system4.htm

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Sarah, I think his 260Z still has the original TIU. Well I believe it is, havn't seen any photo's to confirm it.

The manuals used the E12-05 and the automatics used the E12-06. The differance being in the automatic version with the dual pick-up in the distributor for the advanced timing in cold condition. A thermoswitch switches it over at a certain temperature, can't remember what...

I think clomolina has a manual, but Im assuming again....and that generally gets me into more trouble than good.

Chas

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Ah, OK....  I saw the points replacement comment and forgot that the 260Z has electronic ignition.

 

Clomolina, try this:

  1. Lift the wire(s) off the - terminal of the coil, turn on the ignition, and measure the voltage of the - terminal.  It should be +12V if you have not mixed up your wires.  The wires you lifted off the terminal should all be 0V.  If so, you're good.
  2. Now reattach the wires to the - terminal, and add an additional piece of wire there.  Strip the opposite end of the wire.
  3. Pull the coil high voltage wire off the center post of the distributor, and hover it over a ground point, maybe a couple of mm away.
  4. Now turn on the ignition, and tap the bare wire (connected to the - post of the coil) to ground somewhere.  (DON'T TOUCH THE BARE METAL OF THE WIRE WITH YOUR FINGERS.)  As you tap the bare wire to ground, you should see a spark from the high voltage coil wire to ground.  If this happens, your coil is good.

Assuming your coil is good, now work forward:

  1. Remove the extra wire from the - terminal of the coil, and leave the high voltage coil wire perched above the ground point.  Now crank your engine.  If you get a spark, the transistor ignition unit and distributor pickup is good.  As Chas points out, you might have the dual pickup system.  I forget.

Assuming you've got spark to the distributor, the question becomes whether spark gets from your distributor to the plug wires.  You might have a bad distributor cap (dirty/cracked/old/worn), which might be shorting your spark to ground.  IMO, you should consider replacing the cap and rotor for good measure.

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