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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first post so sorry in advance if I do something wrong. I've spent hours reading through posts but I haven't been able to trace down my problem. I have a 1984 ramchcharger with 318 in it from a 1987. When I bought it the wiring was a mess, wires were melted down and it was rigged up with a push button to start. I put a new starter relay on it and it would turn over with the key now but wouldn't start.

It would get spark at the coil when the key would get turned to the on position and when the key was getting turned off, but not in the start position. I started off by graphing all the bad shorts and bare wires together with clean connections but there was still no start. It was getting gas but found out it still wasn't getting spark. Then we started piecing together basically a new ignition system and would check if it would run after each new part. Put on a new coil, ballast restrictor, put a used ignition starter switch on it, new ECU, ran continuity through the ECU harness and it was fine, so we decided to drop in a used distributor. We tested the distributor the best we could, but after the tests we did we thought it was bad so we dropped a used one in. 

Starting to get frustrated with the project and I don't know what the next step is. It ran when I drove it home when it was rigged up. I cant get it to start even by the way the previous owner had it. I'm hoping someone on here can share their wisdom and help me out. Thanks in advance for the help.     
 

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Try starting with running a jumper from the positive side of the  battery, to the positive side of the coil. If it starts, then you know the parts are good (except for the ballast, as you bypassed it), and you have to look at your switches, or wires.

Another thing that often helps, is to take a ton of pics, and post them on here, many of our eagle eyed members can spot issues by looking at what was done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sent a wire going to the coil's positive from the battery and nothing happened. One thing that was interesting was the fuel pump kicked on when i sent the hot wire to the coil. the little red postive wire was still hooked up to the coil and it back feed through to the pump. There is a aftermarket pump on it, and it is powered to what I believe was the original power source to the stock pump. It is a orange (maybe really faded red??) wire that is coming out of the wiring harness right above the bulk head.

I should be able to post some pictures in the morning. 
 

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'79 Macho 360 Magnum, Comp 480 cam, Hughes springs, 650 Thunder AVS, Pertronix Flamethrower ignition
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Do you have any bone yards near where you live? I would just toss all of that old wiring and get another complete harness from a bone stock truck or look online or post an ad on here in the classified ads section. It's not worth wasting your time trying to bypass everything. Just unplug any harness that has been butchered at the firewall and run them accordingly. Done. Plus the steering column harness if it's been butchered also. If you do find a harness but it's a little old and crusty, you can give the harness a bath in solvent. It softens the wiring  housing (insulation) and cleans it up nicely
 

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In the 80's, Dodge made it harder to swap wire harnesses, as many years they made several, for each engine, emissions, GVW, and for the heck of it. Many of the 80's years, Dodge had the feedback carb, or leanburn for the 318, and a different setup for the 360.

Neither the 84, or 86, had an electric fuel pump, so that was added. Sounds like it was just tapped into the run circuit (the red wire that runs to the alt, voltage reg, electric choke, Ign ECM, and the ballast).

I believe 84 & 86, both get the power for the ballast bypass when starting, from an extra terminal on the starter relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok, this is what Ive found out this morning. The ramcharger is registered as a 1981. The guy told me it was a '84 so I never bothered checking. I checked the voltage with the key on on the coil and at the ballast restrictor. I had 7.3v at the coils positive, 2.5v at the coils negative, 5.5v at the botton of the restrictor, and 10.2v at the top of the restrictor. 
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Those pictures got posted sideways somehow. The top picture is of the orange wire that is currently tapped into the fuel pump and the electric choke. Not sure what other pictures would help so go ahead and be specific if you don't see anything.


And yes, the ballast restrictor does get power from the starter relay. 
 
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