1990 Spirt/Acclaim No Spark


Old 05-24-09, 06:13 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 145
1990 Spirt/Acclaim No Spark

I have a 1990 Dodge Spirt also know as the Plymouth Acclaim with V6 3 Liter Automatic. The other day to started in the driveway ran for a about 2 minutes then died. It will not start backup nor does it try to fire. The low fuel light was on so I sprayed it with some started fluid but nothing. I even added 5 gallons to tank but no change. So I checked for spark. No spark. With a meter I have 12v going to the coil, crank the engine dips to about 10v. But nothing coming out. I can hold the Distributer wire in my hand and feel nothing. So I replaced the coil and the wire and still No spark and I have about 8v coming out. I'm at a loss here don't know were else to look. The check engine light does not come at all, I think the bulb my have burnt out. But not sure were it is on the dash. I have also confirmed the timing belt is still intacked. I took the oil cap off and cranked the engine and everything was spining normal. Also the the engine does crank at normal speed. Any help would be great as the car belongs to my 20 year old baby sitter that does not have much money and I would like to get my Jeep back from her.
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Old 05-24-09, 06:39 AM
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If it happens that the baby sitter is not too well off financially, based on the car she drives -tell her she might want to simply get a 4-cylinder car the next time. I can't figure out why anyone needs the 6, as the 4 powers those lightweight cars just fine, unless I suppose someone plans to tow something heavy. I've had these 90 and 91 Spirits and have filled the cars up with hundreds of pounds of tools and still get decent acceleration and mileage! And you can work on these engines and get to everything easier.
Mechanics charges are bound to be less expensive also.

Your spark testing may not really be conclusive. You have to choose some method where you conclusively know if you are getting spark or not. Us a tester you can buy for this or remove a plug and hold it to ground and check spark to electrode.

But let's suppose you do not have spark. Could be a bad engine ground. Or could be from how that particular car generates it spark pulses. My 4-banger uses that Hall-effect coil down in the distributor. You may have something else -I don't know.

I have a Haynes Manual for these model years Spirit/Acclaims, and this includes for 6 cylinder cars. And if you do not get too may answers on this Memorial Day weekeend, maybe I can see what spark methodology is used on the 3.0 6 cyl. Although I am real busy working on vacated rentals through the entire weekend!

It be nice to know also if there really is getting fuel, also. I have gotten mixed results using starting fluid on various cars. Sometimes it finally starts firing off some only after the spray mist has atomized and cleared out the initial flood of starting fluid spray.

Does that car have throttle body or individaull port injection? On cars with that, you may find a shrader valve you can depress to see if a hard pulse of pressurized fuel comes out. I wouldn't imagine you have a pressure test gauge.

Those cars have an auto shutdown relay that can actually shut off both the spark and the fuel. But this probably is not it since you are getting it to the coil. I'm not sure where they disrupt the 12 volt current, but I'm guessing it is before it gets to the coil, so that probably is not the cause.
Old 05-24-09, 07:05 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northeastern PA.
Posts: 2,230
First off......When did you first notice the CE light didnt work????

Before or after THIS no -start condition?????

Typically, a C/E light that doesnt illuminate when you turn the key on, is a signal that your SMEC...(PCM/Computer for layman) is not being powered up, or has failed internally.

Next, save yourself the hassle, and put the "METER" back in the drawer. A basic 12v Circuit tester/ test lamp is a much better choice here.

As ECMAN mentioned, ASD supplies power to fuel injectors , ignition coil, and fuel pump, ...and also powers some secondary drivers inside SMEC. Unlike the 4 cylinder, your distributor is "OPTICAL" and does not have a Hall sensor that can readily be checked. When SMEC sees Ignition pulses from the distributor....(I believe it needs 500ms) The ASD is energized, And the start process is initiated.

At the coil, there is a "Green Wire"...(It may also have a black or yellow stripe or "TRACER")...With your circuit tester "Clip" on negative battery, unplugg the coil connector.....NOT THE IGNITION WIRE....and probe the green wire while someone cranks the engine.....It should light the test lamp....

Old 05-24-09, 02:22 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 145
Thanks for the posts back on the holiday weekend and hope everyon is enjoying themselves. I do have a fuel pressre tester and a test light. I will check out these thing in the next day or so. I did not notice a plug to put the pressure tester in, Do I just disconnect the fuel line and clip into there? Also what should the pressure be? Thanks I will post results when I get them.

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