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Electronic spark timing problem - 1991 Chevrolet S-10

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Any opinions on what's better electronic ignition or points .what are the pros and cons to both of any


electronic ignition will beat points hands down any time
to understand this you will need an explanation of how each works.
with a points system there are a set of points , a condenser and a coil
when the points are closed the current flows through the coil windings and produces a field flux
when the points open this field id collapsed and that produces the high voltage for the spark ( understand that current has mass and when the points open the current still flows and that is absorbed in the condenser-- that continuing current flow acts like an arc welder and burns the points )
to make this collapse happen faster the condenser back feeds current through the coil windings and so the voltage is boosted from 12 volts to around 17,000 volts
This relative low voltage induces a high current flow which over a short operating time burns the center electrode of plugs away , requiring frequent plug gap adjustments and plug replacements
problems associated with points include
point gap constantly closing from the wear block being worn away
point bounce at high rpms
coil flux saturation falling off at high rpms reducing the intensity of the spark
water and moisture in the distributor causing loss of spark
on the other hand with electronic ignition there is no points to
get wet
bounce
close up
no condenser to fail
points burn
the electronic system works on a much lower voltage ( 5-7 volts) and a pulse that initiates the action in an electronic circuit that is controlled by transistors and capacitors
This allows for a more rapid increase and decrease in the coil field flux and that increases the voltage to the vicinity of 60,000 volts
this reduces the current across the plug gap and that results in longer plug life and no change in plug gap settings ( EFI systems using quality plugs will never need changing of the plugs from electrode loss)
as electronic systems are sealed there is no problem from water as there is with points , although the same problem remains with moisture in the distributor cap
Now we have a low voltage spark with high current flow to ignite the mixture against a very high voltage with low current flow to do the job
to make it even better some electronic systems will actually continue a series of sparks so that the flame in the mixture is continually being ignited as against the one spark from a points system ( the air fuel mixture is not static but continually rotates -swirls in the combustion chamber)
what does this mean
better economy at higher rpms
better burn rate of the mixture producing power for all of the power stroke
smaller coils
with ECM units that control the ignition , it also controls the ignition timing according to rpms , and throttle setting and mixture setting reducing the need to alter the spark timing for different fuel octane ratings and altitude conditions as it is done automatically to suit the reports from all the sensors
So as I said
electronic system win hands down over points every time

Jun 14, 2016 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Electronic spark timing system


Electronic timing is adjusted and set by the ECM (computer). No user adjustments are available. If vehicle is running poorly, other problem areas should be checked.

Oct 01, 2013 | GMC Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

92 chevy s10 code says esc module


What is electronic spark control (ESC)?

Electronic Spark Control

An additional electronic control (ESC) is used on vehicles equipped with
an LE9 engine. The Electronic Spark Control (ESC) system is a closed
loop system that controls engine detonation by modifying the spark
advance when detonation occurs. The amount of retard is a function of
the degree of detonation.



Controller

The (ESC) controller processes the sensor signal and applies it to the
distributor to adjust spark timing. The process is continuous so that
the presence of detonation is monitored and controlled. The controller
is a hard wired signal processor/amplifier which operates from 6 to 16
volts. The controller has no memory storage.



Sensor

The (ESC) sensor is a piezoelectric device, mounted in the engine block
that detects the presence (or absence) and intensity of detonation by
the vibration characteristics of the engine. The output is an
electrical signal that goes to the controller. A sensor failure would
allow no retard.



ESC Vacuum Switch

On LE9 engine equipped vehicles with automatic transmission a "tip in"
vacuum switch is used. Its function is to provide a momentary contact
closure (signal) to the ESC controller during a throttle "tip in"
condition which then briefly retards spark timing to minimize knock.
The switch contacts are normally open under steady engine vacuum
conditions including no vacuum, and all brief increasing vacuum
conditions. Basically the switch closes only during rapidly decreasing
vacuum conditions such as that encountered on rapid throttle operation.

Dec 18, 2012 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

How do I check the timing on a 2003 Saturn Vue? Engine is 3.0L and will attempt to start but doesn't sound like firing on all 6 or timing is out?


there's no adjustment, unless you have a scan tool then you can see it. Information not supplied by the manufacturer.
I have seen the ignition control module going bad all the times on these

The electronic ignition system on the 3.0L dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine provides spark energy to ignite the air/fuel mixture necessary for combustion. The Engine Control Module (ECM) controls spark under all engine-running conditions. The system components include: the ECM, two Electronic Ignition (EI) modules each which house three primary and three secondary coils, spark plug boots, spark plugs, Camshaft Position (CMP) sensor, knock sensor and associated wiring

Mar 29, 2010 | 2003 Saturn VUE

2 Answers

Car has spark and fuel but will not start


then it does not have fuel injector pulse or the spark plugs are fouled

Mar 25, 2010 | Chrysler LHS Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Electronic spark control failure


ELECTRONIC SPARK CONTROL FAILURE.SOUND LIKE A FAULTY KNOCK SENSOR.ITS NOT RETARDING TIMING ANYMORE SENSOR OPEN.

Sep 28, 2009 | GMC C1500 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Timing the cams and crank with a belt


  1. Note: Electronic Ignition engine timing is entirely controlled by the PCM. Electronic Ignition engine timing is NOT adjustable. Do not attempt to check base timing. You will receive false readings.

The CKP sensor is used to indicate crankshaft position and speed by sensing a missing tooth on a pulse wheel mounted to the crankshaft. The CMP sensor is used by the COP Integrated EI System to identify top dead center of compression of cylinder 1 to synchronize the firing of the individual coils.
  1. The PCM uses the CKP signal to calculate a spark target and then fires the coil pack(s) to that target shown in Figure 51. The PCM uses the CMP sensor not shown in Figure 51 on COP Integrated EI Systems to identify top dead center of compression of cylinder 1 to synchronize the firing of the individual coils.
  1. The coils and coil packs receive their signal from the PCM to fire at a calculated spark target. Each coil within the pack fires two spark plugs at the same time. The plugs are paired so that as one fires during the compression stroke the other fires during the exhaust stroke. The next time the coil is fired the situation is reversed. The COP system fires only one spark plug per coil and only on the compression stroke.

    The PCM acts as an electronic switch to ground in the coil primary circuit. When the switch is closed, battery positive voltage (B+) applied to the coil primary circuit builds a magnetic field around the primary coil. When the switch opens, the power is interrupted and the primary field collapses inducing the high voltage in the secondary coil windings and the spark plug is fired. A kickback voltage spike occurs when the primary field collapses. The PCM uses this voltage spike to generate an Ignition Diagnostic Monitor (IDM) signal. IDM communicates information by pulsewidth modulation in the PCM.
  1. The PCM processes the CKP signal and uses it to drive the tachometer as the Clean Tach Out (CTO) signal.

2.5L V6

The ignition system consists of an ignition coil, spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The crankshaft position sensor signal is the basis for ignition timing calculations. The alternating voltage signal from the crankshaft position sensor is digitized by a pulse former within the powertrain control module. This digitized signal is then used to position the closing time of the primary circuit of the ignition coil.
Ignition timing is determined by the powertrain control module in response to engine operating conditions based on stored data tables or maps. Once ignition timing has been determined, the powertrain control module interrupts the current to the primary circuit of the ignition coil thus triggering the ignition spark which is supplied to the cylinders through the spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The ignition coils are triggered by the powertrain control module in pairs (cylinders 1 and 5, cylinders 4 and 3 and cylinders 2 and 6) sending one ignition spark to the firing cylinder and one ignition spark to the corresponding cylinder on the exhaust stroke. This ensures that any unburnt fuel residues remaining in the cylinder on the exhaust stroke are re - ignited to provide cleaner exhaust emissions.
---------------------------------------------------------------
2.0L 4 cynder

The ignition system consists of an ignition coil, spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The crankshaft position sensor signal is the basis for ignition timing calculations. The alternating voltage signal from the crankshaft position sensor is digitized by the powertrain control module. This digitized signal is then used to position the closing time of the primary circuit of the ignition coil.
Ignition angle is determined by the powertrain control module in response to engine operating conditions. Once ignition angle has been determined, the powertrain control module interrupts the current to the primary circuit of the ignition coil thus triggering the ignition spark which is supplied to the cylinders through the spark plug wires and spark plugs.
The ignition coils are triggered by the powertrain control module in pairs (cylinders 1 and 4 and cylinders 3 and 2) sending one ignition spark to the firing cylinder and one ignition spark to the corresponding cylinder on the exhaust stroke. This make sures that any unburnt fuel residues remaining in the cylinder on the exhaust stroke are re - ignited to provide cleaner exhaust emissions.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Integrated Electronic Ignition System The Integrated Electronic Ignition (EI) System consists of a crankshaft position (CKP) sensor, coil pack(s), connecting wiring, and PCM. The Coil On Plug (COP) Integrated EI System uses a separate coil for each spark plug and each coil is mounted directly onto the plug. The COP Integrated EI System eliminates the need for spark plug wires but does require input from the camshaft position (CMP) sensor.
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Apr 05, 2009 | 1998 Ford Contour

2 Answers

I HAVE A 1991 OLDS bravada with a 4.3 v6. Service engine light comes on and reads code 42 {electronic spark timing or cicuit failure) I have changed dist cap wires, plugs and rotor button, but still is...


Hey, your right about code 42 being the Electronic Spark Timing. The Electric Spark Timing Bypass curcuit or EST circuit is either grounded or open. A malfunctioning HEI module can cause this code so I suggest maybe trying to replace the HEI module. Good luck!

Oct 20, 2008 | 1992 Oldsmobile Bravada

2 Answers

1990 Subaru Legacy shorted out the ignition coil. I replaced it and in less than 1 mile,it shorted out the new one.


Subaru engines (including Legacy and engines of many other automobiles, GM, etc.) have returned to so-called wasted spark ignition systems since advent of the electronic distributor-less ignition (having been used historically in early engines with magneto ignitions). With this approach, the ignition systems are less expensive and usually quite reliable. At the same time, however, a shorted spark plug (cracked or carbon clogged, etc.) (or bad ignition spark plug wire) grounds both the ignition spark and the false spark being used. This means that it also grounds the corresponding respective ignition spark of the other 180 degree out of phase cylinder (that uses the same the same coil because the spark current is connected to the spark plugs of two cylinders). Since such a defect allows more current to flow in the spark coil to two plugs when the resistance of the spark plug gap disappears due to a cracked plug, etc, it seems likely to hasten coil burn out if the spark plug/plug wire defect is not corrected before installing the new spark coil.

To explain further, wasted spark means that when a cylinder is ready to fire, it gets a spark to its spark plug while part of the spark (from the same coil and current) as a sort of copy is also sent to another cyclinder at the same time but when the piston in that cylinder is exhausting its ignited gases 180 degrees out of phase from when its spark is needed. When the second cylinder is ready to fire and receives its "spark, the first cyclinder the also receivesa "wasted" spark "copy" of the one needed by the second cylinder. Economy is achieved in manufacture because otherwise electronics would have to turn on and off four different spark coils to distribute four different sparks as needed to the four cylinders. With wasted sparks (which are cheap), because the spark current of one coil is connected (internally in the ignition coil unit) to two cylinders that are in the same position but 180 degrees out of phase in firing, the system can turn on and off two spark coils twice as fast with half the electronics and fire two cylinders that are 180 degrees out of phase. A four cylinder engine thus uses only two coils, a six cylinder engine, three coils, etc., in a wasted spark system.

Jul 27, 2008 | Subaru Legacy Cars & Trucks

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