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Old 09-06-2004, 05:10 PM   #1
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dead camaro ...No Spark

Ok so here's the deal: I was driving on the highway for about 40 minutes and when I got off my exit and stopped at the light, my car shut off. The tow truck driver thought it may have been the timing chain, so that’s the first thing I checked. When I put a socket on the crank shaft and turned, the rotor moved also, meaning it's still connected. Also, when the motor turns over, nothing is hitting together. The next thing I tried was to replace the rotor and cap and test the coil. The coil tested good but since the car was still not starting/sparking I replaced the stock ICM w/ an Accel one. Still no luck. Today I took out the distributor and replaced the pick-up coil as well as cleaned all the points of the pole piece. When I turned the distributor shaft (not in the car) I could feel the magnetic connections being made and see through a meter that there was some voltage being created. I reassembled everything and still no spark. Any ideas as to what could be wrong? Are there any sensors that would be preventing a spark from being made? Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2004, 05:14 PM   #2
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Have you checked the wiring going from the ignition module to the ignition coil?
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Old 09-06-2004, 05:26 PM   #3
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Yep, I just tested both wires and they seem to be ok. Both have the same resistance, they're not shorted together, and the insulation isn't cracked or anything
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Old 09-06-2004, 06:26 PM   #4
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Do you know if your distributor is getting spark from the coil? Coil wire good? That sounds like a far reach especially how it went bad all of a sudden but it is a good half way step.
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:43 PM   #5
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There is no spark coming out of the coil and the wire isn't cracked, the boots look good, the metal contacts "snap" when they go on and the resistance is 660 ohms...so i guess its good
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Old 09-06-2004, 07:47 PM   #6
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is your distributor secured in? if you played with it recently i could see it kinda popping out just enough to stop giving spark.... iunno, noob guess

Last edited by sellmanb; 09-06-2004 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 09-06-2004, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike89
There is no spark coming out of the coil and the wire isn't cracked,
So, do you have another coil you can put in and test the car that way? I mean if there is no spark coming from the coil it sounds to me like the coil is at fault.
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:04 PM   #8
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Ok so here's the latest update: I put in a new coil and checked to make sure the dist. was secured in place and still nothing. It is definitely not a fuel problem since I can smell gas after cranking it. I read somewhere else on this site that if the tach doesn't move when the engine is turning over it's probably the ICM. I already replaced it once so I am debating whether or not I'm going to get ripped off by a dealer if I take the old ICMs there to be tested. Has anyone tried this before? The other thing I read about was the VATS. From what I understand, the engine shouldn't turn over (and it does) if the system is active and the security light should stay on after the initial bulb test (which it isn't). Any other suggestions? Thanks to everyone for their input so far.
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:27 PM   #9
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Speaking of VATS, have you tried another key? Just one more thing out of the way. The little resistor on the key can go bad (not likely but who knows). I don't know if the engine will turn over or not with the VATS bad though.
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Old 09-07-2004, 08:25 PM   #10
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This is the only key w/ VATS that I have. The other doesn't have the resistor/chip. If I get a new one made at Chevy can they still match the right one if the old resistor is bad? Could a blown resistor in the key cause the engine to stall after its been running?
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Old 09-07-2004, 10:56 PM   #11
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is your rotor spinning when you crank it over? I was watching one of those hot rod builder shows on tv (cant remember which one lol) and they were so stumped why their brand new engine wouldnt get any spark, and the engine builder forgot to put the rotor on haha.

Just checking all the bases...
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Old 09-08-2004, 06:28 PM   #12
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Yeah, I saw that one too. It was the Boyd Coddington show. That was pretty funny. Quick fix.

I'm not sure about the engine turning over with the key. If I had to guess, it makes sense that the resistor would take away the spark but I don't know for sure. Does seem kinda not likely to be the resistor in the key the more we talk about it though.

I'm not sure which coil you have but have you checked the wiring going to the coil to see if it is good? Maybe chaffed or something?
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:36 PM   #13
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VATS disables the starter itself I believe, so if you're cranking the engine with the key, it's not that.
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Old 09-08-2004, 10:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by CaysE
VATS disables the starter itself I believe, so if you're cranking the engine with the key, it's not that.
That's only on the V6 2.8L engines, on the 3.1L V6 & the V8 engines it disables the injectors as well.
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:04 AM   #15
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Whats the best way to find out if my injectors are working? The first thing I tried right after the car broke down was to spray starting fluid in and see what happens. Over the past few days, when the engine cranks, I thought I was smelling fuel but the more I think about it, it smelled more like the starting fluid. Can you test the resistor in the key? And does anyone know how to test ICMs?
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:14 PM   #16
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You can take the ICM to almost any auto parts store and they can test it for you. To test the resistance value in the key take a multimeter set to OHM's and do like in this picture. To test the wires in the lock cylinder, disconnect the wire harness under the dash. Put the key in the lock cylinder and measure the resistance value. if the wires are good the value should be the same.
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Old 09-09-2004, 04:05 PM   #17
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Do you know the names of any parts stores that test them? I tried Autozone, NAPA, Tripple J and the dealership...the parts stores don't do it and the dealer said theres no special tool required to test them. I'll try the key and lock cylinder when I get home tonight.
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Old 09-09-2004, 04:22 PM   #18
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Advance auto has tested several ignition modules for me in the past.
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:11 AM   #19
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Can't you just have a new key made with one of those resistors already in it? I have seen them before. Don't they all have the same resistance in them. They're just a resistor anyway right?!
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Old 09-10-2004, 02:49 PM   #20
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Yes, you can have a new key made with the same values resistor in it. There are only 15 different resistance levels GM uses in these keys. When you take it to the dealer the guy there will do exactly what Trickster's picture shows. He will then grab a new key with the same resistance and cut the key for you. Just to let you know, my car won't start either. I think I finally found out the problem. That little wire Trickster always preaches about is not reading anything when my key is in the ignition. My lock cylinder is brand new so I think I got a faulty one. I have just spent $4 dollars at Radio Shack for some resistors and will be taking care of that little problem as soon as the liquid tape dries. Take care!

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Old 09-11-2004, 07:25 PM   #21
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Ok everyone, thanks for all your help but I believe the car has finally out smarted me. Time to take it to a shop and let the diagnostic computer tell us whats wrong. I just have one last question...Is there anything I should know before I take the driveshaft out, plug the tranny and tow it by the front wheels?
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:06 PM   #22
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why on earth would you take out your driveshaft so you can tow it? Just put it into neutral and release the parking brake lol. If it wont let you shift into neutral w/o turning on the car, just put the key in and turn it, just dont turn over the car, your shifter should be able to go to neutral then. I dont know if you can take the key out afterwards, but you're going to the mechanic anyways and he'll need the key so what's the diff
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Old 09-11-2004, 09:15 PM   #23
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Mike,

Are you by chance a tanker in the Army? It just sounds like it because before you can "tow" a tank you have to disconnect the final drvies "driveshaft sort of thingies". Like sellman said you don't need to take out the driveshaft to tow your car.

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Old 09-11-2004, 11:12 PM   #24
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also, before you take it to a mechanic, ck the red power wire that goes to the distribitor cap, next to the tach wire, I had mine chafe through and short out on screw inside of the dash, it should have +12V with the key in the "on" or "start" position, also as stated above, you don't need to take th d/s out to tow the car, just put it in nuetral. just my $0.02
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Old 09-12-2004, 10:32 AM   #25
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Quote:
ck the red power wire that goes to the distribitor cap
I have 12V there, so I guess its off to the mechanic for me. Just so everyone knows, the reason I wanted to take the D/S out is because the car is manual, and if the shifter slips into gear while were moving, I just blew my tranny. Also over long distances the gears which will still be turning due to the driveshaft can get messed up. Thanks again for everyone's help; and no, I'm not a tanker in the Army but it would be pretty cool if I was
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Old 09-12-2004, 01:42 PM   #26
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i dont see it slipping into gear w/o the clutch being put in while you're moving heh...
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Old 09-12-2004, 03:44 PM   #27
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I guess you can't tow it backwards due to the low front end huh?!
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:09 PM   #28
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Good call about the clutch not being pressed in... but what I really wanted to say is IT'S ALIVE!!!:lala: It turned out to be the pole piece...the only thing I didn't replace. Thanks again everyone, although it wasn't fun having my car busted, I learned a lot from all your help.
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Old 09-13-2004, 06:09 PM
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