Question about 1985 Chevrolet Chevy

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No spark from spark plug wires I think it may be the distributor cap or interior parts under cap like rotor and condensor but dont want to change parts thats are fine i replaced the plugs but still no spark and i checked the 20 amp fuse in the fusebox marked ignition and it is fine changed it any way but still no spark

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There wrere two types of HEI (High Energy Ignition) distributors used by GM in 1985, one was the original design with the ignition coil mounted in the top of the distributor cap, and the second had the coil mounted seperate from the distributor and used a coil wire.

There is the possibility that the ignition coil is faulty and first check to see if full battery voltage is even getting to the "Pos" (+) positive side of the ignition coil when the key is in the "Run" position, and also if the coil is seperate from the distributor that full battery voltage is getting through the "Pos" (+) or positive side of the ignition coil and over to the distributor ignition module, dis-connect the wire connector from the ignition module and if battery voltage is not present at the connector to the ignition module with the key in the "Run" position but it is present at the "Pos" side of the ignition coil, then the ignition coil is faulty. If battery voltage is present then check the ohms between the high tension terminal (where the coil wire goes on the ignition coil) and the "Pos" terminal on the ignition coil by first dis-connecting the wires from the ignition coil and then test with the "Neg" lead from the ohm meter in the high tension terminal on the ignition coil, and the "Pos" lead from the ohm meter to the the "Pos" terminal on the ignition coil, and the ohm reading should be between 6,000 and 30,000 ohms and if not replace the ignition coil. A faulty ignition coil can also damage the ignition module.

The ignition module and the pick-up coil/stator located inside of the distributor is what generates the signal that the ECM (Engine Control Module) uses to time and fire the fuel injectors, as well as the signal to run the fuel pump and the dwell signal timing to fire the ignition coil, and a faulty ignition module can cause any one of these systems to malfunction.

That could be a malfunction with the ignition module inside of the distributor, and you can remove the ignition module and have it tested for free at most auto part stores. If the ignition module does test out alright then the problem could still be in the pick-up coil/stator, (it can be tested using an ohm meter by dis-connecting the wire connector from the pick-up coil/stator and the ohm reading between the two wires from the pick-up coil/stator should be between 500 and 1500 ohm's, and both of the wires from the pick-up coil/stator should show an open loop or an infinite reading between each wire and ground) and if the pick-up coil/stator is found to be faulty then replace the entire distributor, or the distributor will have to be dis-assembled to install a new pick-up coil/stator.

If you do purchase a new ignition module be sure that it does come with a silicone grease or a die-electric compound because it is a heat sink and the ignition module will burn up without it.

To install the new ignition module first clean out the mounting surface inside of the distributor. Then completely coat the metal contact surface under the ignition module with a thick coat the silicone grease or die-electric compound and do not leave any of the metal contact surface of the ignition module un-coated with the silicone grease or die-electric compound, and be very careful not to over-tighten the ignition module or it will be damaged.

Let me know if you require any further assistance.


GM HEI Ignition Coil (Mounted In Distributor Cap Type)
no spark from spark plug wires - 264bd9f.jpg

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Posted on Jul 30, 2010

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It is most likely your condenser. If this fails you will loose all spark, it is very cheap and easy to replace. I would also replace the points especially after you have gone through all the trouble of a tune up. Hope that helps!

Posted on Jul 30, 2010

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Since you probably got everything right, then you're left with really unusual/rare causes of
failure of the ignition system:
(a) rotor button misaligned/failing to make contact?
(b) rotor button not pressed onto distributor shaft far enough therefore failing to provide correct
proximity to distributor cap contacts when coil fires
(c) coil wire or contact loose/disconnected - press coil wire firmly down into distributor cap.
(d) distributor shaft of other damage caused during installation of rotor.
(e) spark plug wires defective from factory
(f) spark plugs defective from factory
(g) battery low - may need a charge to start
(h) ICM (ignition control module) failure - hook up your HEI (high energy ignition) tester, and
watch the quality of the spark on each cylinder.
(i) fuel problem? If spark is being properly delivered, its gotta be a fuel problem...
(j) distributor cap not screwed down flush to top of distributor? maybe just on one side?

Inspect the inside of the distributor cap - if there are lots of little metal bits all over the inside
of the distributor cap, then you know you have a misalignment of some type in there, and the
rotor and cap are destroying each other. normal operation will throw a quota of spark-ed off
metal bits inside the distributor cap, but since your cap is brand new, your attempts to start
the engine should have rotated the distributor so few times, you should see no metal debris.

Inspect the distributor cap contacts to see if any spark marks are more of less in the middle
of the cap's proper "contact zone". If not, you've diagnosed an internal misalignment, which
you know how to correct.

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