First start fail - no spark - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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First start fail - no spark

Hi all,

This past week I've been trying for first start with no joy. Engine is Forte’s 302 with Terminator EFI.

What I know:
- My TFI coil (MSD 8227) isn't sparking. This I think is the first problem to be solved; with luck it's the only problem.
- Forte ran the engine on his dyno before shipping it to me about a year and a half ago. He delivered all the components (coil, distributor, EFI) that he ran. So everything was good at that time.
- I’ve got an unusual wiring set up. I’m using the RF EFI/Coil wire to power my EFI computer, and using the EFI computer to power my fuel pump (these appear to work flawlessly). I’ve re-purposed the RF fuel pump circuit to power my coil. This circuit includes a relay, which may be contributing to the voltage drop at crank. Any thoughts on this?
- I've got a Digital Guard Dawg push button start system. I don't believe this has anything to do with the problem, but include the information for completeness.

What I suspect:
- Because the coil isn't sparking, my Terminator EFI isn’t getting an RPM sync signal, and so won't even try to start the car.

Troubleshooting efforts so far:
- I determined that my Optima batter, which had just sat for 10 months, wasn't fully charged. That has now been corrected.
- I confirmed that the coil is getting power. 12.5 volts at key on (with fully charged battery) and ~10.5 volts at crank.
- On Tuesday, I was getting a single spark. Today, I got no sparks whatsoever.
- I tried jumpstarting the car. ~14 volts at key on and ~11.2 volts at crank. No joy.
- I tried powering the coil straight from the battery. No joy.
- I tried powering the coil from the battery at jumpstart. No joy.
- I measured the resistance between the positive and negative terminals (primary resistance) of the coil at 1.2 ohms. I measured the resistance between the positive and output terminals (secondary resistance) at 4.96K ohms. This matched the resistance between the negative and output terminals of the coil at 4.97K ohms.

Forte’s engine builder isn’t ready to say the coil is bad; he said that usually if a coil suffers infant mortality it dies immediately, not after a short period of runs on the dyno. He also said that if I get one spark I should be able to get more. He suspects that I’m getting voltage back feed through a ground due to the relatively large drop in voltage from key on to crank.

CraigS suggested the following (which I’ll probably try tomorrow):
“Remove the 2 wire connector from the coil. Rig 12V to the + pin. Rig a jumper to the minus pin which will be touched to ground but temporarily let it hang and be sure it doesn't touch anything. Pull the center wire out of the distributer (leaving the other end in the coil) and hold it 1/8-1/4 inch from a ground. With your other hand grab the - jumper, touch it to ground for a second or two. Remove it from ground. At the instant the ground circuit opens you should get a spark from the coil lead to ground. What you are doing is replacing the low voltage part of the distributer w/ your jumper wire system.”

Any other thoughts?


John


MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 03:46 AM
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What distributor are you running?

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 11:45 AM
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Hi John, sorry for the no start. I expect good news today.
JR
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobl View Post
What distributor are you running?
Hi Bob,

Distributor: MSD 8546
https://www.msdperformance.com/produ...ord/parts/8456

Coil: MSD 8227
https://www.msdperformance.com/produ...eet/parts/8227


John

MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 01:08 PM
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John,

I assume you're using the Ford TFI because you plan on using Holley to control timing. Correct? If not, I think you'd be better off using a stock distributor with vacuum advance. I run a "Ready to Run" with advance without any issues. If you need to PM me we can discuss.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 05:39 PM
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A couple of thoughts. If you are running timing control, normally the PIP lead of the TFI module connects to your ecu and provides an rpm signal. The ecu then assumes timing control via the spout lead. If the spout is disconnected, the tfi module controls timing. If you are seeing rpm to the ecu then the distributor is working correctly, which would put your problem in the tfi module or the coil. If no rpm, verify power and ground to the tfi module(and verify the distributor is rotating)

Bob
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weendoggy View Post
John,

I assume you're using the Ford TFI because you plan on using Holley to control timing. Correct? If not, I think you'd be better off using a stock distributor with vacuum advance. I run a "Ready to Run" with advance without any issues. If you need to PM me we can discuss.
Yes, Forte configured the ECU to control the timing.


John

MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobl View Post
A couple of thoughts. If you are running timing control, normally the PIP lead of the TFI module connects to your ecu and provides an rpm signal. The ecu then assumes timing control via the spout lead. If the spout is disconnected, the tfi module controls timing. If you are seeing rpm to the ecu then the distributor is working correctly, which would put your problem in the tfi module or the coil. If no rpm, verify power and ground to the tfi module(and verify the distributor is rotating)

Bob
Thanks Bob; the PIP lead of the TFI module is connected to the ECU's Crank Input, and the Spout lead of the TFI is connected to the ECU's EST/Spout Out. I'm not seeing RPM at the ECU. I'll verify power and ground on the TFI as well as verify the distributor is rotating this weekend.


John

MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phileas_fogg View Post
Thanks Bob; the PIP lead of the TFI module is connected to the ECU's Crank Input, and the Spout lead of the TFI is connected to the ECU's EST/Spout Out. I'm not seeing RPM at the ECU. I'll verify power and ground on the TFI as well as verify the distributor is rotating this weekend.
John
John, I hope you're able to get it figured out. Good Luck to you, sorry I can't help.

BUT, I DO want to point out, that for someone who didn't know about cars when you started this project; that sentence above with all the acronyms, shows how much learning comes with this project. I don't know what the heck you're talking about.

Have a successful weekend!
Dave
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DadofThree View Post
John, I hope you're able to get it figured out. Good Luck to you, sorry I can't help.

BUT, I DO want to point out, that for someone who didn't know about cars when you started this project; that sentence above with all the acronyms, shows how much learning comes with this project. I don't know what the heck you're talking about.

Have a successful weekend!
Dave
Don't tell anyone, but I had to google Ford TFI to find out where it was located. I'm pretty good at understanding theory, but the application is a different story.


John


MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 11:26 PM
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Have you called Mike??? I am pretty sure he could run you down what should be connect to what wire.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Have you called Mike??? I am pretty sure he could run you down what should be connect to what wire.
Mike and Jim (who built the engine & ran it on the dyno) have both been very helpful, but without access to the engine there's only so much they can do. Jim thinks perhaps there's a ground that's back feeding voltage; I'll be checking that soon.


John

MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Got it

First start success!

https://youtu.be/KmcR4zEHLx0

I believe the problem was fully my fault. When we first tried to start the car, my battery had sat for 10 months and so didn't have enough volts to fire the coil. However, it did have enough amps to crank the engine, so we started investigating the coil. In the process of trying to figure out what the ECU configuration was, we turned off the parameter that told the ECU to control the engine timing. As a result, the TFI wasn't getting any signal to fire the coil.

Today I reloaded the original ECU config files as delivered from Forte. I cranked the engine with the fuel pump unplugged and immediately saw the RPM sync signal on the ECU. Then I turned everything off, plugged the fuel pump back in, and the car started right up!

I was working alone, so no video of the actual moment. But as you can see, the car is running!

Thanks to those who responded with suggestions and encouragement; this helped me think through what may have been preventing the coil from firing.


John

MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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Last edited by phileas_fogg; 05-28-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 06:27 PM
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Way to go John, so cool!
JR
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 11:11 PM
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Its a great feeling, congratulations on the first start. Perseverance pays off in the end. Keep up the good work, you'll be driving in no time.

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