1985 Dodge 318 Not Starting

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  #1  
Old 12-02-10, 03:46 PM
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1985 Dodge 318 Not Starting

I have a 1985 Dodge Ram 318. It has been sitting for approximately 2-2 1/2 years; I have replaced the starter, battery, and coil. I finally got some fire coming out of the coil; however, there is spark, but it seems kind of weak. I have to almost ground to something to get spark, but it is there. I am pouring a little gas directly into the carburetor, since it has been sitting for so long, and I am still not getting any attempt to start. It turns over fine, but is not actually trying to start, which seems odd with me pouring the gas directly into the carburetor. I was told to check, I guess it is the points, under the platform that the distributer cap sits on. They said it is a " little electronic gizmo, with two wires" connecting to the shaft of the distributer I guess. Does any of this sound correct, or is there something else that I can check as well? Thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 12-02-10, 10:47 PM
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I don't know about the 1985, but old school Mopars had a ballast resistor (white in color and made out of ceramic) that lowered the input voltage going into the coil. Most were mounted on the firewall. Back in the day these were a pretty common problem and cheap to replace with a 2 minute R&R. Just another possibility to consider.
 
  #3  
Old 12-02-10, 11:06 PM
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You can buy one diagnostic tool to ensure where's the problem,let me tell you a good product called A SPAM LINK,maybe it will help you to repair your Dodge car.wish it will help.
 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 12-04-10 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Remove link .....left post for continuity
  #4  
Old 12-03-10, 12:54 PM
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The “Chrysler Lean Burn” system installed on your 318 is about as effective as a screen door on a submarine. The electronic gizmo with two wires is called a “Single Pick Up Coil”. Change it. If the weak spark issue continues then open the page below for converting the lean burn system.

article
 
  #5  
Old 12-03-10, 04:37 PM
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You can buy one diagnostic tool to ensure where's the problem,let me tell you a good product called Pin Code Reader for Chrysler,maybe it will help you to repair your Dodge car.wish it will help.
Dude , are you for real.....?????? Hello....1985

The “Chrysler Lean Burn” system installed on your 318 is about as effective as a screen door on a submarine.
Oh My God....I had all but forgotten the "LEAN SURGE" system.

If I recall, Direct connection, Which became "Mopar Performance", which became......????I dont even know if they became anything...But they had a kit to do exactly what that article states........As a Teen, that was a super fast way to make 85 bucks on all the Mid 70's Cordobas Magnums and Chargers with the Big Blocks....

One point though......1985 could concievably still have the ORANGE box installed from the factory.....As well as the dual ballast resistor. ALL lean burn vehicles had 2 pickups in the distributor, 1 for start, one for run....OP only mentioned 1 ....

Dead giveaway....TW Morse.....Does your distributor have a "Vacuum advance " actuator mounted to the side, with a nipple for a vacuum hose???

 

Last edited by Gunguy45; 12-04-10 at 06:45 AM. Reason: Removed copied spam link from prior post
  #6  
Old 12-04-10, 08:59 AM
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I seem to remember being burnt a couple times by the old system.
Reluctor. The thingy on the dist. shaft that triggers the pickup can go bad and cause not start to rough idle.
I forget how to change it but if you were in there to change the pickup then might be an idea to change it as well if easy.
I cant remember when Chys. started the "key jingle"
Long time ago. Be worth a try being its cheap.
Turn key to run position, with engine off, then back to off then back to run, then back to off, then back to run.
See if the check engine light starts to flash.

Chrysler Computer Codes, 1980s-1990s
There is a link for additional info.
I dont know if it will work on yours or not. Too long to remember. If it dont work then it dont work
 
  #7  
Old 12-26-10, 12:07 PM
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I would check to see how much spark the coil is putting out first since you are getting a weak spark.
 
  #8  
Old 01-07-11, 07:51 AM
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Ok, I have narrowed the problem some. I have bought a new ignition pick-up; I have removed the reluctor, but am having trouble with the removal of the pick-up. The people at the auto parts store (O'Reilly's) told me that I should be able to carefully "pop" out the old pick-up with a screwdriver, and insert the new one. I am not seeing exactly how to do this. I have tried to google the concept, and all I can find is information and videos stating to remove the whole distributor; is that necessary? Also, I was looking at Chiltons online; rather than buying the repair manual for my truck. Does anyone know if it would be worth the subscription to Chiltons; I mean, do they have videos, schematics, or tutorials on my year of vehicle?
 
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Old 01-07-11, 09:14 AM
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Ok, now I feel like a putz! Found part of the problem. My truck is an 85, and apparently the distributor is out of an 86. The pick-up coil mounting is different. I got the part out, but now have to go back to O'reilly's to get the right one. Also, I was looking at Chiltons online; rather than buying the repair manual for my truck. Does anyone know if it would be worth the subscription to Chiltons; I mean, do they have videos, schematics, or tutorials on my year of vehicle?
 
  #10  
Old 01-07-11, 09:35 AM
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Might try:
https://www.alldatadiy.com/
They had good info for my '05 Pacifica with diagrams etc...
Have you tried Autozone.com for Repair info? They usually have pretty good directions with pics and they're free!
 
  #11  
Old 01-07-11, 10:14 AM
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Thank you for the information, I had not thought of trying auto zone for repair information. I will take a better look at the link that you gave me as well.
 
  #12  
Old 01-07-11, 03:14 PM
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Still no danged start; not even trying to fire! I'm about to just replace the whole danged distributor; O'Reilly's told me that I can get a new one for $40.00. The last thing that I can think of is that maybe the thing is "way" out of time; that would cause no start wouldn't it? Have to research on how to time a vehicle; I have not done that before. By the time I actually get the thing started, I should have an intimate knowledge & relationship of this truck.
 
  #13  
Old 01-07-11, 04:46 PM
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Need to have the basics: air, fuel, fire. Does carb shoot gas down carb barrel when you pump the throttle? Do you have a good spark when turning over? Air you should have. Pull a spark plug or two and see if they're wet. Leave one out, connected to plug wire, and have base well grounded, crank it and see if you've a good spark (no gas fumes around when you do this!). Make sure plug wires are going to the right plugs.
 
  #14  
Old 01-08-11, 10:51 AM
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As has been already mentioned, have you checked for good spark voltage getting to the plugs. What kind of condition are the plug and coil wires in? In the old days you could often see voltage leaks from these wires when cranking in the dark for instance. There is no point in changing out the distributor if the wires aren't delivering what they need to. I assume that the distributor cap has also been checked for any cracks and pitted contacts also, along with the rotor.
 
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