Return to the home page...

Go Back   Moyer Marine Atomic 4 Community - Home of the Afourians > Discussion Topics > Ignition System

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   IP: 12.163.75.202
Old 02-21-2023, 12:44 PM
ejay ejay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 65
Thanks: 4
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
No spark from coil

My engine issues persist, and this is the latest chapter. Upon turning the key this past weekend, the A4 would not get going. So I dutifully pulled up the unexpected shut down video on youtube and went through the list, again.

I have no spark from the central distributor wire to the block. None at all. I have done this in the past (not my first rodeo) and I had some spark, although not strong. At one point in time I actually bought a new coil from auto store and the spark was really strong! However I convinced myself the old coil was fine with a weak spark, so I did not replace it. Of note is the fact that I have not measured the resistance or amperage on the coil, yet.

My questions:

1-Does a weak spark indicate a weak coil?
2-Does the absence of any spark indicate a dead coil?
3-Should I get a moyer marine coil, or a different brand from an auto store?

As always, I look forward to the education. Thanks!

ej
78 C30
Reply With Quote
  #2   IP: 162.245.50.205
Old 02-21-2023, 02:27 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Grove, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,038
Thanks: 713
Thanked 1,298 Times in 844 Posts
#1~~~Yes a week coil or a week signal or poor connection or all 3.

#2~~~Yes it could or a "bad" connection.

#3~~~It is a good idea to go with the WWI supplied coil as it will be correct and supports our host and this site.

Do you have points? If so clean with a point file or emery board.

Check for voltage at the positive coil connection with the key on and remember to shut off the key so you don't fry the coil.

Be sure all connections are clean and good and snug!

You can try your extra coil and if it works then be sure of resistance in case you have an EI. For good confidence get one from our host and keep the extra for emergencies or testing.

Dave Neptune
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Dave Neptune For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (03-06-2023), Sam (02-22-2023)
  #3   IP: 12.163.75.202
Old 02-21-2023, 06:06 PM
ejay ejay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 65
Thanks: 4
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
I hate to admit this fact, but there has been more than one occasion where the key was left in the "on" position, without the engine running. I noticed that the coil got very hot, which could represent "frying"?
Reply With Quote
  #4   IP: 162.245.50.205
Old 02-21-2023, 06:54 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Grove, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,038
Thanks: 713
Thanked 1,298 Times in 844 Posts
Absolutely, it is a common mistake when sorting out trouble to leave the key on. The overheating will cause a winding to "open" leading to full failure. When cooled back down they can work again until the winding opens up again, then no spark.

With the info so far I would say install the extra coil and if she fires up call MMI for the proper coil.

Dave Neptune
Reply With Quote
  #5   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 02-22-2023, 07:02 AM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,474
Thanks: 49
Thanked 1,024 Times in 719 Posts
Leaving the key on can also damage the points. They need checking too.
As for the coil, Moyer sells the correct one. Most auto shops have no clue what you need.
I am a bit lucky living on an island, the auto parts guy knows Atomic 4s and will grab the right coil, 99% of shops will not.
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to joe_db For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (03-06-2023), Sam (02-22-2023), W2ET (02-22-2023)
  #6   IP: 70.168.217.162
Old 02-22-2023, 07:20 AM
alcodiesel's Avatar
alcodiesel alcodiesel is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 293
Thanks: 48
Thanked 68 Times in 52 Posts
Admittedly I am slow on the uptake but I just discovered another reason for a low oil pressure alarm. It will honk, not if, but when I leave the key "on."
__________________
Bill McLean
'76 Ericson 27
:valhalla:
Norfolk, VA
Reply With Quote
  #7   IP: 216.56.86.188
Old 02-22-2023, 10:28 AM
pknier's Avatar
pknier pknier is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Manitowoc, WI
Posts: 44
Thanks: 3
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Switch?

Eliminate the possibility the switch is faulty...I had the similar problem and chased everything for days and it turned out to be the switch that would turn the starter, but not make connection to coil/distributor while and upon release. Replaced switch and she roared to life...
Reply With Quote
  #8   IP: 32.220.217.121
Old 02-22-2023, 02:38 PM
Al Schober's Avatar
Al Schober Al Schober is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Uncasville, CT
Posts: 2,006
Thanks: 16
Thanked 577 Times in 405 Posts
Spark ignition using points & condenser is a strange beast.
The coil is a transformer and generates the high voltage. The low voltage winding of the coil is connected to the + and - terminals. The high voltage winding goes to the terminal on the top and the - terminal. It does NOT go to the case of the coil. So ask yourself - how does the spark energy get from the spark plug back to the - terminal? The answer is: Through the condenser! It can't go through the points as the points are open.
Please don't ask me to explain electronic ignition.
Reply With Quote
  #9   IP: 12.163.75.202
Old 02-22-2023, 05:11 PM
ejay ejay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 65
Thanks: 4
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Does anyone use the male-female electrical connections that attach to +/- posts on the coil? I had those on my old VW bug, which made connecting and disconnecting wires easier.
Reply With Quote
  #10   IP: 76.176.224.167
Old 02-22-2023, 06:08 PM
ndutton's Avatar
ndutton ndutton is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 9,601
Thanks: 197
Thanked 2,206 Times in 1,423 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejay View Post
Does anyone use the male-female electrical connections that attach to +/- posts on the coil? I had those on my old VW bug, which made connecting and disconnecting wires easier.
They're bad form in the marine environment. Closed, captive ring terminals fastened under threaded hex nuts are preferred. Strive for reliability.
__________________
Neil
1977 Catalina 30
San Pedro, California
prior boats 1987 Westsail 32, 1970 Catalina 22
Had my hands in a few others
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to ndutton For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (03-06-2023), Sam (02-23-2023), W2ET (02-22-2023)
  #11   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 02-22-2023, 07:08 PM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,474
Thanks: 49
Thanked 1,024 Times in 719 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Schober View Post
Spark ignition using points & condenser is a strange beast.
The coil is a transformer and generates the high voltage. The low voltage winding of the coil is connected to the + and - terminals. The high voltage winding goes to the terminal on the top and the - terminal. It does NOT go to the case of the coil. So ask yourself - how does the spark energy get from the spark plug back to the - terminal? The answer is: Through the condenser! It can't go through the points as the points are open.
Please don't ask me to explain electronic ignition.
There are two kinds:
One acts as electronic points. The functionality is the same as mechanical points. They tend to burn out coils, they are "better" than moving metal around and can give you longer dwell. This is great for high RPM hotrods and terrible for a low RPM boat engine. There is a lot in the A4 archives about this and discovering the correct resistance for coils.
Next up is adaptive dwell, this system is also "electronic points" but changes the dwell on the fly to be kinder to coils.
Lastly are the variations on capacitive discharge, aka CD, ignitions. They work like a camera flash, the energy is not stored in the coils it is stored in capacitors that discharge into the coil.

Here is a scope photo from connecting it to my coil:

The big oscillations are the coil firing and the little one is the points closing again.
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to joe_db For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (03-06-2023)
  #12   IP: 24.15.212.82
Old 02-23-2023, 12:40 PM
Sam Sam is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 323
Thanks: 493
Thanked 141 Times in 110 Posts
Joe _ would you have any information on which brand of EI for an A4 distributor would pertain to a particular design that you mentioned. I too get confused explaining electronic ignition other than recommending buying from Moyer. Thx
Reply With Quote
  #13   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 02-23-2023, 02:36 PM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,474
Thanks: 49
Thanked 1,024 Times in 719 Posts
The Moyer version is Pertronix, which is a simple points replacement. It will burn out coils picked at random, thus the Moyer brand coil that works with it.
The Indigo ignition is an adaptation of a Crane system that uses an optical trigger. The cheaper one is likewise a simple points replacement and has the same coil issues. Their more expensive system has adaptive dwell.
There are no "Atomic 4" CD systems, but you can certainly adapt one that is sold for car use. Our engines are not demanding enough nor high RPM enough to bother with this IMHO.
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to joe_db For This Useful Post:
Sam (02-24-2023)
  #14   IP: 69.250.111.245
Old 02-23-2023, 04:27 PM
sastanley's Avatar
sastanley sastanley is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Solomons, MD
Posts: 6,986
Thanks: 1,133
Thanked 603 Times in 443 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe_db View Post
Leaving the key on can also damage the points. They need checking too.
As for the coil, Moyer sells the correct one. Most auto shops have no clue what you need.
I am a bit lucky living on an island, the auto parts guy knows Atomic 4s and will grab the right coil, 99% of shops will not.
We are pretty lucky here too. I took my alternator in for a rebuild to the local Mennonites, and the guy recognized it as from an A4 by the paint color..I knew I was in the right place..their shop is the one that recommended an adjustable regulator.
__________________
-Shawn
"Holiday" - '89 Alura 35 #109
"Twice Around" - '77 C-30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold - SOLD! (no longer a two boat owner!!)
http://www.moyermarine.com/forums/signaturepics/sigpic3231_6.gif
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to sastanley For This Useful Post:
RobbyBobby (03-06-2023)
  #15   IP: 12.163.75.202
Old 04-03-2023, 05:07 PM
ejay ejay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 65
Thanks: 4
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Just an update on my non starting issues. I replaced the coil with MMI one and got great spark to the block! But still no engine start . Back to the Don Moyer unexpected shutdown sermon.

I decided it must be a fuel issue, which is like step #10, but lucky for me I noticed a bit of advice from DM in the video which solved the problem. I left the carb in place and removed the drain screw to let out all the fuel, (which was indeed a full shot glass). I then engaged the fuel pump without the engine on and basically backwashed the main jet with fuel. The picture shows what came out.

Boom! We have ignition! She runs nicely now, but now my questions about the carburetor remain, given the dirty status.
Attached Images
   
Reply With Quote
  #16   IP: 162.245.50.173
Old 04-03-2023, 06:17 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Grove, Oklahoma
Posts: 5,038
Thanks: 713
Thanked 1,298 Times in 844 Posts
Ejay, do you have a water separator/filter at the tank end AND a polishing filter between the fuel pump and carb. If you don't install them. These will filter out most any gunk detrimental to the carb. It does not take much gunk to foul a small carb as the orifices' are smaller than larger carbs. The carb should be thoroughly cleaned judging by the look of the stuff in the throat of the carb.

Dave Neptune
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Dave Neptune For This Useful Post:
TimBSmith (04-03-2023)
  #17   IP: 24.15.212.82
Old 04-03-2023, 08:01 PM
Sam Sam is offline
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 323
Thanks: 493
Thanked 141 Times in 110 Posts
I would think about fuel hose degradation - either fuel pick up in tank if you have a flexible one [I changed over to copper about 1 1/2 in above tank bottom] or fuel fill hose. Also you could have decades of krud in tank that gets stirred up in any rough seas. The filters as well as a pressure gauge are great additions and I would move towards cleaning the tank - at a minimum pump out the bottom few gallons.
Reply With Quote
  #18   IP: 138.207.177.95
Old 04-04-2023, 12:42 PM
joe_db's Avatar
joe_db joe_db is online now
Afourian MVP
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4,474
Thanks: 49
Thanked 1,024 Times in 719 Posts
Has that carb been underwater?
__________________
Joe Della Barba
Coquina
C&C 35 MK I
Maryland USA
Reply With Quote
  #19   IP: 12.163.75.202
Old 04-04-2023, 12:50 PM
ejay ejay is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 65
Thanks: 4
Thanked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Replacing the old fuel hoses would be a good task, along with getting new fuel filters. The PO has a big fuel filter and an inline cartridge one, but who knows how old they are at this point.

The carb may have had some water exposure in recent months when I had a bilge failure at the same time I had exhaust leak that was dumping water into the boat.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
No spark... sailhog Ignition System 17 05-11-2019 10:04 PM
Spark between coil casing and coil bracket Tim Ignition System 8 04-22-2015 08:53 PM
Installed EI and new coil & now no spark gagabriele Troubleshooting 12 10-16-2013 02:05 PM
Hot Coil and High Alternator Output Triton106 Electrical 53 10-02-2011 07:12 PM
engine stops Possum Troubleshooting 4 04-20-2011 09:19 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:26 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.


Universal® is a registered trademark of Westerbeke Corporation

Copyright © 2004-2024 Moyer Marine Inc.

All Rights Reserved