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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just purchased a 1977 Dodge W200. I was told it had not been started in years. I Started it for the first time yesterday. It was running really smooth and I was very impressed. I let it warm up, then drove it about 2 miles. Then it just died. I checked the coil and it is working. It is getting gas. I pulled one of the plug wires off and set it about 1/4 inch from the spark plug. I couldn't see any spark. Should I have seen a spark? I don't think it is getting any fire. What could it be? Ignition? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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How did you verify the coil is working, as did you verify this at the time it would not start, or after it cooled off? Sometimes bad coils will work fine cold, and just cut out when they get hot.

What condition are the cap and rotor in? If they sat for two years, they are probably corroded, which can also prevent you from getting spark.

While you are in the dist, check the pickup-reluctor gap. If it is set too wide, it can also run fine when cold and cut out after it gets hot. Gap should be .008".

-SM
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I took the coil off of my other dodge and replaced it with the one in question. I know that the new coil works. The cap and rotor are in good condition. Actually the cap looks brand new. Are you talking about the pick-up coil inside the distributor? I had a similar problem before and the pick-up coil was bad. But in this case, once the truck cools off, it will not start. I don't know if it had to do with heat or not.
 

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Is all of the electrical working? (Gauges, heater, etc) If not, look for a blown fusible link.

Yes, I was talking about the pickup in the dist. From another post by Chump, the resistance of the pickup should be between 150 - 900 ohms (check at the connector at the dist).

I have had the pickup-reluctor gap cause me problems in the past...it ran great until I was in the middle of BFE, then it dies, and refused to start, even after cooling off. Reset the gap and it fired right off.

To verify you are not getting spark, pull a plug, install it in the plug wire, and set the plug electrode on a convenient ground (EG framerail--you may need to clean it off to provide a good ground though. Then have a helper turn the engine over with the starter. You should see a spark. If not, the problem is in the dist, coil, or ECU.

-SM
 

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thats EXACTLY what happened to me in my 77 PW.... i replaced EVERYTHING ignition wise and have not had a problem since... it turned out to be a bad pickup plate in the distributor BUT since i was already into it for a tune up i decided it was best to just replace it all so i knew i had a known good system.... cost me like $225 to do EVERYTHING... but i went with performance parts so it might be cheaper if you just decide to go with factory replacement stuff.... if you have any questions just IM me and i'll see what i can come up with...
 

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Could also be a cracked ballast resistor. I've seen them crumble apart after sitting for a long time. Should look like this and they are about $5 to replace. just a thought.

 
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