Engine cranks, no spark.

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isuzupup86
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Location: tucson
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1986 base pup 4x4 shortbed

Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby isuzupup86 » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:57 am

My 86 Isuzu 2.3 liter cranks over but no spark. I'm using a Haynes manual to trace where the short could be with no luck. I checked the fuse panel and all are good, I used an ohm meter to double check. My best guess is that there might be a fusible link, somewhere, in the wiring harness, coming out of the firewall. I hate to ask this, could anyone help me fix her? The no start problem happened just before the engine died. She was running with either a burnt valve or bad piston and then stopped, never to start again. I've purchased a new ATK long block and have transferred everything over with new parts as well. I bought her back in December 13th 1988 with 18,646 miles. Through all these years, she's been the most reliable "Friend" that I've ever had. Any help here? Thanks for your time.........

Red Truck
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby Red Truck » Sat Aug 17, 2019 5:30 pm

The only fusible link I'm aware of is coming directly off the positive battery post. It can be checked for 12V from the post to the fusible link connector end. I believe the starter will turn, even with the f-link disabled, so that may be the problem. Ref my post under Electrical 'what size fusible link do I need?' ; my connector was so badly deteriorated that I'm surprised it worked at all. I used NAPA part 784694 ($4.00), and it hasn't caught fire yet. You might need a new eyelet and blade connector (heavy-duty, something that'll handle the amps), and use crimp-on and not the solder type. If that's not it, then your Haynes manual has procedures for checking the coil and ignition with your meter. You've verified that it indeed is not getting spark? Nothing from the coil or coil wire? It's getting gas, right?
Tucson? I've got a good friend in Amphi, used to work at Murphy's gun shop.
'87 Isuzu pickup 2.3 gas, 5spd, 4WD

isuzupup86
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:23 pm
Location: tucson
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1986 base pup 4x4 shortbed

Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby isuzupup86 » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:47 pm

Hi. I did as you asked and read your article about fusible links and size. The 1/2 dozen or so times that I looked at my truck to see any fusible links; I didn't recall seeing any that went off the positive battery cable accessory wire. Then it dawned on me, late last night, that I had replaced that part of the positive accessory cable, over 20 years ago, which included the fusible link portion. All I can remember is that I didn't like how that wire looked and, unfortunately, spliced it with regular copper stranded wire. Needless to say that I have just finished re-wiring it. I haven't put the 16 gauge fusible wire in it yet because the area auto parts stores, on a Sunday, don't carry what I needed. So, she didn't start. I'm back to where I was before.
So, the engine cranks with still no spark. If memory serves me correct, the stock fusible link, from the positive battery cable accessory, protected the alternator which also contains the voltage regulator. So, if I had a voltage "surge," it probably fried my alternator with all its internal circuits. Since my memory is far from batting 1000, I thought I'd ask your opinion or anybody that has experience with the problem that I have, on where to go next. I could easily pull the alternator and have it tested at a Auto zone or O'Riellys auto parts, but, from personal experience these guys generally don't know what the heck they are doing. Thanks for your time, it's deeply appreciated......

Red Truck
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby Red Truck » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:39 am

Getting the components checked might be your next best step (I've used NAPA for checking my ancillary electrics with great results). I did a search on this site for '4ZD1 distributor' and 'distributor reluctor', and your symptoms are addressed. That reluctor topic sounds doable, and as long as you're going to the shop to get a new f-link, might bring along the alternator and reluctor for bench tests. At least it'll eliminate those as causes. I don't suppose it's something as simple as a bad engine ground? And all this started before you replaced the engine?
'87 Isuzu pickup 2.3 gas, 5spd, 4WD

isuzupup86
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:23 pm
Location: tucson
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1986 base pup 4x4 shortbed

Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby isuzupup86 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:19 pm

Yes. The old engine ran good; either had a burnt valve or hole in piston (# 3 cylinder) wouldn't pass emissions. Was running engine at medium to high rpm, it stopped running, wouldn't start again. I thought that it had a voltage surge cause #3 wasn't working properly. Since I had the copper wiring spliced in where the fusible link should have been, I'm thinking it fried the circuits on the side opposite of the main positive battery cable. I'm going off of things I learned in high school auto mechanics to present. Any help or advice is much appreciated. Thanks.....

Red Truck
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby Red Truck » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:28 pm

Sorry, I was wrong about naming that part a "reluctor". What I was intending was the O'Reilly part # given (under "distributor reluctor" search), 14-0110, which is the distributor pickup coil/electronic module. I'm certain that's what the person who wrote that post meant. My bust for not verifying before I posted! I just looked, they're $21.00 from O'Reilly's; $12 from Rock Auto. Otherwise, if you've exhausted all efforts at troubleshooting the ignition system per chapter 5 of the Haynes, then I guess it's time to get components checked by a shop. I think they do it for free. Is the distributor off the old engine? You may just pull the whole thing out (after marking and not moving anything) for them to check it. I'd phone them and ask. I'm not sold on the voltage surge idea, but who knows at this point!
'87 Isuzu pickup 2.3 gas, 5spd, 4WD

isuzupup86
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:23 pm
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Isuzu vehicle(s): 1986 base pup 4x4 shortbed

Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby isuzupup86 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 9:32 pm

Mr. Red Truck,
Well, you were right. The alternator tested good. It's just a process of elimination I'm going through. I had noticed that I had the positive battery accessory cable incorrectly wired without a fusible link in it. Thanks to you I have the new fusible link replacement wire on it's way. You recommended 16 gauge? I'm going back to say I had this no spark, engine cranks, problem with the old motor. I read through the Haynes chapter 5 on ignition problems. Yep, no spark. I have a short somewhere. I was hoping to see if anyone has had this sort of problem from this website. So far you have been helping. My, "jump out on the limb" theory is there is either another fusible link, relay, or just plain fuse from the engine wiring harness that supplies the power to the coil. Or, one of the same mentioned from the firewall wiring harness to the actual ignition switch. By the way, you mentioned the Haynes chapter 5. Do you have this same manual? I'm not a complete idiot when it comes to looking at a schematic, but if you do have this same manual, could you look at the wiring schematic? I'd describe it as a bag of American Beauty angel hair spaghetti, thrown on the floor, with black dots on it. Just a piss poor drawing when it comes to tracing circuits and all. My opinion.
My plan this weekend is to inspect the wiring harness that feeds to and from the coil. I have a test light, multi meter and some alligator clamps that with pierce through the wire insulation to see if there is a short or such. For some reason the wiring loom is all vinyl electrical tape. I'm good at re-taping stuff so it will probably look better than the factory job. I noticed that my radio doesn't work too. As well as the blower motor in the dash when the key is in accessory position. I've hadn't had her running in a long time. If you have the key in run position, doesn't the blower motor run, if the switch is on? Well, wish me luck. Thanks for your help. Deeply appreciated......

Red Truck
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby Red Truck » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:55 pm

My Haynes manual is edition #1641. Here's some more ideas, in no particular order: I recall reading a post somewhere in this forum that mentioned '...if the alternator charge light works but the blower fan doesn't, check this relay...', and addresses the so-called "Blue" relay, namely the rearward of the two mounted on the driver's side fenderwell under the hood. Mine is an RY28, OEM 8942322250. I'm not saying this is your problem, but at this stage nobody knows. There are numerous ways shown online about how to check automotive relays with a meter.
Is your coil the cylindrical type (about the size of a toilet paper tube), or the square-ish type (a little bigger than a cigarette pack)? If it's the latter, for testing purposes, picture the letter "T". The positive pole is the vertical blade, and the negative pole is the top-cross blade of the T.
So neither the blower motor nor radio work? In other words, does anything work at all with key in the "run" position? Fuel gauge? Don't count the lights, those are separate. I'm wondering if it's not the ignition switch.
Could the shop check the ignition pick-up coil (in the distributor)? Since the motor stopped all-at-once while running, that could be a suspect.
To clarify, I have not had your particular problem, at least not on an Isuzu.
'87 Isuzu pickup 2.3 gas, 5spd, 4WD

isuzupup86
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Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:23 pm
Location: tucson
Isuzu vehicle(s): 1986 base pup 4x4 shortbed

Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby isuzupup86 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:20 pm

Here's where I'm at so far. I unwrapped the wiring harness, in the engine compartment, that contained the wire that go to the coil. I checked if there was any fusible links in there. There weren't. I then purchased a new ignition starter switch from Autozone. Lifetime warranty with $55. Well, that didn't get her started either. As you mentioned the coil with the "T" plug, yep, that's mine. I was told to run a positive "+" wire from positive battery to positive side of coil plug-in. To "Hot" wire it, so to speak. That didn't get her running either. Well, I ordered a used ECM to see if that might help if I swapped it out. By the way, these parts are getting harder to get and some are real expensive. I'll probably have to take to the shop cause I'm running out of ideas. Plus the extra cheap ECM core, just in case they require one, when and if I have to buy a re manufactured one. My problem now is, where the hell is the ECM located? I looked behind the glove box, under the dash and even in the engine compartment. Heck, even under the seat. I don't ever remember coming across on in my Lil truck. I've had her for 31 years. I'm gonna go web surfing to see what info they have on and where the ECM is located. My Haynes book is a 1641 as well.

Red Truck
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby Red Truck » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:03 pm

I've read about this elusive ECM device, but never seen one. From the manual pp 187-88, it appears to be part of the Calif smog air injection system, and the schematic shows no effect on ignition. Rock Auto provides OEM 8941220710 for it, and Ebay shows a picture of one, and I can verify there's not one of those critters anywhere on my rig. I still think your problem is either the ignition coil, the 12V wiring to it, or more likely the distributor pickup/igniter (Rockauto's Standard Motor Products item LX515). My reasoning is if this was an old breaker-point-type ignition with a condenser, a failed condenser is exactly what your symptoms are. I'm guessing that the next modern thing close to that, with the electronic ignition, would be a fault with the pickup/igniter unit in the distributor. Otherwise, I hate to leave ya hangin', but I'm out of ideas as well. Wait, not to sound condescending, but you replaced the distributor rotor button, right?
'87 Isuzu pickup 2.3 gas, 5spd, 4WD

isuzupup86
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Isuzu vehicle(s): 1986 base pup 4x4 shortbed

Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby isuzupup86 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:57 pm

Yes, the distributor is brand new, Cardone re manufactured. As well as cap, rotor, coil, plugs and plug wires. By mechanic buddy has been giving me advice, just like you. He lives in Tennessee though.I checked the two wires coming from the distributor with a test light. Both times that my daughter cranked it for me, both wires were a steady light; no pulses in the test light. There's a chance that, in my old engine, that the ignition control module went bad first. And, the new A.T.K. engine that I have recently put in, it's new ignition control module is bad as well. I have just ordered a new one, just to see it that's the problem. Would be totally weird if they were both bad in the old and new engine. Can you think of any reason that the test light didn't pulse, on either of the two distributor wires, while cranking? I should have the new ignition control module in by next weekend. When I get her running, I still have to connect the new Pacesetter ceramic coated header to rear exhaust. I got it from Rock Auto for about $220.00 PACESETTER 72C1105 C.A.R.B. Compliant; ARMOR Coat Performance Header. I've been wanting to add one for over 25 years. Note to anyone who wants to do the same. It appears this header is designed for a 2 wheel drive vehicle. The darn pipe hits my lower oil pan. Had to bend one of the ceramic coated pipes with my 5 pound sledge hammer. What a nasty feeling that was. After that, I have just about all that I need to completely rebuild the 4x4 front end. The online Factory Isuzu gut said that I had purchased the last two 4x4 Idler arm brackets in the U.S.A. When I ordered both the upper and lower plastic timing covers, for the 2.3, one was the last in the United States and the other was the last one from Japan. Thanks again for your help, I'll let you know if the module worked or not.

Red Truck
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby Red Truck » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:49 pm

Wow, I hadn't realized you've replaced all that stuff. Sorta borderlines on being illogical! I have a Cardone reman distributor as well, for a spare. I can't imagine that the ignition module is bad in that one as well, so lets consider what we know: The problem existed before you replaced the motor, and it was running when it stopped suddenly, right?. How about going down the rabbit-hole of electrical relays? On mine, and it ought to be similar to yours, there's a relay on the blade-fuse block under the hood. It has two sockets for relays, but only the rear-most socket has a relay in it. I see from the schematic p.282 that this relay is connected to the pos terminal of the ignition coil (and the 'regulator' 15amp blade fuse as well). That relay is an RY55, OEM 8942184970. Now, inside the cab, right above where your right toe would be on the gas pedal, should be another relay going to the blower. That's also an RY55 relay, same OEM #. How about swapping those two relays, and see if you get a spark out of the coil?
On another note, I've gleaned that there are 5 ground attachments under the hood: Battery box, right frame rail by the shock tower, passenger side inner fenderwell, driver's inner fenderwell, and the block.
'87 Isuzu pickup 2.3 gas, 5spd, 4WD

oldestisuzuist
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Re: Engine cranks, no spark.

Postby oldestisuzuist » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:50 pm

isuzupup86 wrote:Yes, the distributor is brand new, Cardone re manufactured. As well as cap, rotor, coil, plugs and plug wires. By mechanic buddy has been giving me advice, just like you. He lives in Tennessee though.I checked the two wires coming from the distributor with a test light. Both times that my daughter cranked it for me, both wires were a steady light; no pulses in the test light. There's a chance that, in my old engine, that the ignition control module went bad first. And, the new A.T.K. engine that I have recently put in, it's new ignition control module is bad as well. I have just ordered a new one, just to see it that's the problem. Would be totally weird if they were both bad in the old and new engine. Can you think of any reason that the test light didn't pulse, on either of the two distributor wires, while cranking? I should have the new ignition control module in by next weekend. When I get her running, I still have to connect the new Pacesetter ceramic coated header to rear exhaust. I got it from Rock Auto for about $220.00 PACESETTER 72C1105 C.A.R.B. Compliant; ARMOR Coat Performance Header. I've been wanting to add one for over 25 years. Note to anyone who wants to do the same. It appears this header is designed for a 2 wheel drive vehicle. The darn pipe hits my lower oil pan. Had to bend one of the ceramic coated pipes with my 5 pound sledge hammer. What a nasty feeling that was. After that, I have just about all that I need to completely rebuild the 4x4 front end. The online Factory Isuzu gut said that I had purchased the last two 4x4 Idler arm brackets in the U.S.A. When I ordered both the upper and lower plastic timing covers, for the 2.3, one was the last in the United States and the other was the last one from Japan. Thanks again for your help, I'll let you know if the module worked or not.

Note to all installing a Pacesetter onto a 2.3 engine; use the #1125 instead of the #1105, it will simply fit better. The #1105 was originally designed for the G180/G200Z engines, early models had matching square ports, the #1125 always had round ports to match the 2.3/2.6 engines. There may be clearance issues at the dipstick tube & oil pan with the #1105 that won't be present or be at least less with the #1125- the tube routing from the exhaust flange to the collector is different. There may be added smog fittings on the #1125 you don't need, just plug them.
'78 Chevy LUV,1.9,4sp,headers,31's,SAS Dana 30,Dana 20,SOA rear w/Aussie Locker, body ROUGH, bought new 12/4/78. A pre-P'up?
'87 Trooper,2.3,5sp,headers,31's,ball joint flip & spacer,Aussie Locker rear,Superwinch hubs,brush guard w/5.5K winch.