It's kinda like....

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It's kinda like when you are dating someone, and you realize that you don't like them anymore, and you realize that they are an evil, manipulative B#&^%, who wants to be rid of you as well
but not till they get what they want, because they know something about you, something you don't want anyone else to know, and they will tell everyone that secret, unless you appease them, so you are stuck with them until they have used you, until you are a wasted husk, or until you can get rid of them safely

that's what it's like owning a 1986 Chevrolet, El Camino, automatic, with a 4.3L V6 that has been rigged by idiotic mechanics to run correctly

ok, here's what happened now
i needed to adjust the idle of the carb, it was dieseling pretty regularly, so i do that, get it so that it runs nicely
and as i'm doing this, i realize that one of the plug wires is loose on the cap, i wiggle it a little, and it comes off in my hand, i think
"oh, that's not good"
and right as i finish that thought, it cuts off, it took maybe two seconds from me grabbing the wire, to it dying

so, i crank it
and i crank it
and i crank it

i adjust the carb back to where it was (which shouldn't, and didn't do anything, but i was willing to try anything)

i try to start it again

i pull a plugwire, put a screwdriver in it, crank it
no spark

i pull the cap off, looks crappy enough that i decide to replace it, no, didn't do anything, still same symptoms

it has no 'puter controlling it, and it's a chebbie HEI system

okay guys, i gotta get this thing to Florida, actually, i gotta get it within 100 miles of zip code 32333, then i can just use AAA
i'm leaving sunday (hopefully) to go home for the holidays

i've already gotten this as advice:

sounds good, and i'm gonna try it soon, but i'm wondering if there's anything else i could check

posted by  asa67_stang

Well where do we start. Checking to see if you have 12V to the coil is a good place to start. Let's go with some assumptions. You have power to the distributor, you have a good cap and rotor, you have a good coil (they last forever).

Almost certainly you have a bad ignition module or pick-up coil. Pull the module, go to Advance and test it for free. Two screws, three plugs and it's out. That is the #1 problem with that particular ignition. #2 Is the pick-up coil. The distributor has to be removed and disassembled to replace this so... You might be time and money ahead to replace the whole distributor, should cost about $100. The good news is it comes with a new pick-up and module. Just make sure if you pull the distributor for any reason you drop it back in the same way it came out.

Not the most technical way but fast and easier to explain. Have a safe trip to Havana.

posted by  vwhobo

it was the module
i was able to get a multi-meter here at work, and based upon some advice from a member of another forum, i did some trouble shooting and found out that the module was crap
holy hell that thing was crap...

i put the new one in, cranked it (after it had been sitting for a day and a half), and it started within a second and a half
normally when it's been sitting for so long, i have to work the damn thing, crank it for a minute or so, pump the gas, do all the things normally associated with a carbed, points ignition engine

now, i get in, touch the key, and i'm off
good shit

any ideas on what might have caused the old one to fry? i know that if an electrical outlet is going bad, and you pull the plug on an appliance that is turned on it can arc, and fry it
i'm wondering if it did something similar here...

posted by  asa67_stang

The most likely reason it went bad is simply because it was old. Remember that I said it was the #1 problem with that ignition. Just make sure you have a good coating of dielectric grease on the bottom or the new one will go tango uniform in no time.

posted by  vwhobo

it came with a packet of 2-3 cc's, i bought another one in case
overkill maybe, but if it follows the same symptoms as this one, i'll buy a new one soon as it starts to get hard to crank so i can be ready for it

besides, it only has to last me 16 hours, cause that's how long i'll be on I-95

posted by  asa67_stang

If you bought a good module you'll be okay. If you bought one from Autozone, go ahead and call the tow truck now.

posted by  vwhobo

lol, Autozone doesn't have good products then?

posted by  Satty101

Define good. Some of their stuff is the same you'll buy anywhere (name brands). Some of their stuff is trash. In my experience Wells ignition products fits in that category.

posted by  vwhobo

obviously they aren't doing...well enough for people...hehehe *sigh* I am so alone. :(

posted by  Satty101

Wells ignition products fits in that category. Which category ?

posted by  lectroid

The "you're better off installing the box on the car and throwing the part in the trash" category.

posted by  vwhobo

eh, same place, Discount Auto Parts
GP Sorenson parts the lot of them, module, cap, coil, rotor
but i have all the old stuff ('cept the module), so if something goes wrong with the others, i'll toss the old stuff on there since it's prolly still good

posted by  asa67_stang

GP is a big step above Wells and usually only costs a few cents more. Even better is Standard, but you'll have to go to Bumper to Bumper or Parts Pro for them.

posted by  vwhobo

Bumper to Bumper?
Parts Pro?

never heard of them....
we got AutoZoo, Dipstick Auto Parts, NAPA, and ......... one other place.... NAPA but more expensive...
blue and red logo...

posted by  asa67_stang

First I'd like to identify the fact that my head was firmly implanted in my anal orfice and meant All Pro. Looky hear.

posted by  vwhobo

I believe you mean "here". :P yes, there's that smartass side of me again.

posted by  Satty101

s'alright, we all do it from time to time

wow, they have quite a few in the immediate area, some only just outside base...
cool, and thanks, i'll look into them

here's a question
when i bought the cap, coil, and rotor, i had to go with parts from a '80 year model Elky because the coil didn't match the old one
the old one was one that had the red, the white, and the grounding wire coming out instead of the typical coil terminal that looks like the top of a spark-plug
i'm wondering if '80-'85 had the wired coil, and the '86 and above had the terminal type coil and there was just a typical factory mess-up, or if it was changed in the past (which wouldn't suprise me)

posted by  asa67_stang

I think '86 was a crossover year where they changed from the old style HEI (coil in cap) to the new style (seperate coil). Check your manufacture date, I'll bet it's an early model.

posted by  vwhobo

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