Question about 1983 Dodge Pickup

1 Answer

My 1983 dodge ram w150 turns over but will not start. I drove it home and it quit. I have no spark. I checked the ballast, buzzed the coil and they both seem fine. The battery light in the interior is off - it may have been all along, but I noticed it while troubleshooting. I have 7 volts on the coil. I checked the ground from the battery and that is good. The truck was sitting for 6 weeks getting a new interior, but drove home fine. I don' know where the starter relay is. I did notice there was some spark from my alternator and tighten the input just prior to driving back home. I had 120 ohms on the borg warner, then cleaned it up - no joy. What next?

Posted by on

  • 3 more comments 
  • askwilkins Nov 14, 2010

    The alternator light on the dash is out. It's probably nothing.
    It's a 5.2 ,318 carburated W150.

    The sparks on the alernator sparked and grew larger as gas was given. I had my assist turn off the ignition as soon as I noticed. I tightened it up and no more spark.

    The drive home was 12 miles. At first the truck spit and sputtered then evened out after some grey smoke.

    I hit the carb with some starter fluid; it still only turned over. Should I use gas too?
    Could the carb be the problem if I get no spark? Also, can I check the output of the coil wire like I did with the spark plug wire?

    The ballast output was about 1.2 ohms. Is there a way to short around it to check?
    The voltage reg is properly grounded. The two wires coming out the distributor look clean but I don't know what the outputs should be.

    The distubutor cap and distributor are about 6 months old.
    The top of the rotor was bent by me when checking the rotor and replacing; and I didn't find out until I took it off again to see if I had access to check the output wires for continuity.

    The coil read 1.6 and 10.3k.

    Thanks for the assist.

  • askwilkins Nov 14, 2010

    Oh. Battery is sitting at 12.4 volts. I charged it after all the turnovers.

  • askwilkins Nov 14, 2010

    I don't know if the re-bend on the rotor is correct. I think I'll pop into NAPA tomorrow and get a new cap and rotor.
    I looked all over for any associated relay and did not find any except something on the driver sidr fire wall.

    I wonder if the ballast could read right and be wrong?

    It's iffy, but I may have solved the problem with the voltage regular and gounds, then broke the rotor.

    Yeah, I checked the spark on the engine block and again with a screwdriver - insulated of course.
    Don't know how to check the output of the coil. The 1.6 and 10k were on the primary and secondary windings. Don't know how to check the Borg Voltage Regulator.

    Tried the gas in the carb - no joy.
    This is wierd.
    Pleae advise.
    How did I even get home? Sheesh.

    Thanks again.

  • askwilkins Nov 14, 2010

    Would a faulty neutral-safety switch stop spark?

    It's underneath, and I changed it out about a year ago for the back-up lights.

  • askwilkins Nov 14, 2010

    I'm on Maui in Hawaii.

    Luckily there's a NAPA open tomorrow.

    Should I get the neutral safety switch while I'm there? Would it kill spark?

    Or, is there some way to test it while it is still screwed into the transmission.




1 Answer

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has answered 1,000 questions.

  • Master
  • 1,340 Answers

The fact that it's turning over indicates that the start relay is good.Couple of quick questions to help me out please,if the 2 things at the bottom do not show anything.You drove it all the way home and then when you went to restart it would not start?I think that's what you mean.What do you mean that the interior battery light is off?How much spark did you see at alternator?The fact that your battery turns over good and strong should mean your alternator is okay.How far did you drive home from the shop?Normally,because of the ethanol used now,the gas will junk out if not run at all if it sits for about 6 weeks.It seems that yours hasn't junked but is still a possibility.

Do you have carbeurator or fuel injection?

You should try to jump start for at least 2 tries.If that doesn't work and you have a carb,pour a little gas into the carb and see if it fires.If you still get nothing,then I would like you to answer the questions I posted.Good luck,Greg

Posted on Nov 14, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • Greg McCarthy Nov 14, 2010

    All you need is about a soda bottle top full of gas,maybe another 1/4 one.That should get it to fire.Right now you have no spark on plugs?Just to make sure,you pulled plug,reconnected wire,and held bottom of plug to metal part of the engine,away from the plug hole?And no spark?Currently the rotor is the new one unbent correct?If you drove it home fine with the good one,that should not be the problem unless when you removed it to ohm test,it was put back on way off,which I doubt you would do by the sound of it.Did you read all of the coils?I assume you mean 1.6k also and 10.3k.The 1.6 may be about to fire.Turn it over briefly and read that a couple of times.If that doesn't go up,it could be bad.There is also an auto shut down relay.That is in more current vehicles.I believe as early as 1986,for 1983 I am not sure but it does affect the coil also.Greg

  • Greg McCarthy Nov 14, 2010

    Battery voltage is good.Not to worry about the relay.The rotor could have cracked/broke but yeah,how did you get home?lol.12 mile drive probably would have killed your battery pretty good if the alternator was bad.It sounds like you are talking about the external part of it too since you mentioned tightening the screw.It could cause failure but not very likely.Sparks from inside would be more serious obviously.New rotor may fix it...hopefully.Even if it doesn't,I would think that the voltage regulator would affect more systems than just start.I'll keep an eye out tomorrow.What part of country are you in?You say NAPA but I don't know if they're int'l.

  • Greg McCarthy Nov 14, 2010

    Neutral safety switch on the diagram I am looking at which I saved from previous problem does not affect spark.It is not the same exact car but the system designs are fairly universal.Even on other car diagrams,all I ever see it affect is the trans.One thing that would enable/disable is the brake switch though.It should be good if you turn on ignition and press the brakes to start and the brake lights come on.I am not sure exactly what year they started that feature though.

  • Greg McCarthy Nov 14, 2010

    If you can get at the connection or something,somehow,you should be able to read voltage while someone is trying to start it.You probably know that you can't ohm it while starting to make sure it's closing properly.Should get 12V both in and out when measured to ground.



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of.(from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones)
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

1986 dodge d150, 318 cu engine Truck starts sometimes, could idle for an hour or longer then just quits, not like a fuel problem quits no sputtering just dies like turning the ignition off. Coil is good...

Check your ballast resistor, they are a major failure item. The ballast resistor lowers the voltage to the coil and uses resistance to do so. Test would be to put battery voltage to positive side of the coil, during the failure condition, but my bet is resistor.

Aug 30, 2011 | 1991 Dodge Ram 150

1 Answer

1988 Plymouth Sundance no spark

if there is a brain box on firewall there is a white ballast resistor next to it that has quit working replace ballast resistor.

Jun 23, 2010 | 1991 Dodge Ram 350

1 Answer

Help please i have a 1987 dodge ram pick up that died on me on the hyway i find now there is no spark from comming out of the coil i ran a positive wire direct from the battery to the Pos. Side of the coil...

Check the ballast resistor mounted on the fire wall. It's white about 3 inches long with one screw in the middle. Use a test light and check to see if you are getting fire across both terminals. If not replace it. Fire comes from the ignition through the starter relay to the ballast resistor and then the coil. Hope this will help you.

May 20, 2010 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I was driving my 87 Dodge w150 225cid slant six when it stopped running (as if the key was turned off). Will not start. No spark from coil wire, no voltage positive post of coil when cranking. Replaced...

if you are not getting any fire from the coil check the ignition resistor mounted on fire wall. you can have someone to turn key over to start and u can take test light and check both sides of resistor . if no fire on side going to coil (replace it). hope this will help!!!!

Apr 05, 2010 | 1987 Dodge W150

1 Answer

1983 dodge w150 pickup rear drum install

turn the adjuster to loosen the pads to fit the drum back on then from behind use small screwdriver to retighten but not to much

Jun 08, 2009 | 1983 Dodge Pickup

3 Answers

1992 dodge 318 engine turns over, but no start. No spark present. Replaced ignition coil and pickup coil, still no spark. 1992 dodge ram 150 full size truck 318 engine. starts sometimes then wont start...

if truck has a ceramic ballist resistor near and connected to coil this could be problem or the crk posistion sensor could be too, i would change ballast first if you have on your truck appx cost $10

May 09, 2009 | 1992 Dodge Ram 150 Club Cab

3 Answers

Turns over but won't start

Is the rotor turning in the distributor? If so, most likely the problem is in the madnetic pickup in the distributor. If not, pull the distributor out and see if the gear on the shaft is broken. A good gear on the distributor and the distributor not turning means you need a timing chain!!!

May 15, 2008 | 1983 Dodge Challenger

Not finding what you are looking for?
Cars & Trucks Logo

Related Topics:

832 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Dodge Experts


Level 3 Expert

76846 Answers

Colin Stickland
Colin Stickland

Level 3 Expert

22246 Answers

Ronny Bennett Sr.
Ronny Bennett Sr.

Level 3 Expert

6927 Answers

Are you a Dodge Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides