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  #1  
Old 01-12-2005
Snowman's Avatar
Snowman Snowman is offline
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Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

I have been trying to trouble shoot a stalling/misfiring problem on my 196 800a. All of my troubleshooting symptoms are documented in a thread on the Binder Bulletin Board. I have made the Duraspark II conversion. Tonight I noticed that my Duraspark II ignition moduel is hot when I am having the missfire/stall problem. The ignition module is mounted on the dirver side wheel well, so it is far away from engine heat. I never checked the ignition module before, so I do not know if it has always ran hot.

My questions are:
Is this a sign of a failing or failed ignition module? If so, what can cause one of the ignition moduels to fail?

Thank you for your input.

Snowman
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowman
I have been trying to trouble shoot a stalling/misfiring problem on my 196 800a. All of my troubleshooting symptoms are documented in a thread on the Binder Bulletin Board. I have made the Duraspark II conversion. Tonight I noticed that my Duraspark II ignition moduel is hot when I am having the missfire/stall problem. The ignition module is mounted on the dirver side wheel well, so it is far away from engine heat. I never checked the ignition module before, so I do not know if it has always ran hot.

My questions are:
Is this a sign of a failing or failed ignition module? If so, what can cause one of the ignition moduels to fail?

Thank you for your input.

Snowman
While researching the TFI upgrade I found some of the Duraspark units used the inline resistor wire to reduce the operating voltage. I think there is a couple threads were we talked about it.
I could not find specific year breaks.
If you grabbed a year that used the resistor wire that would cause an overheating problem. The other know source is a bad chassis ground. sometimes when they are mounted on a fender or firewall, they don't get a good ground. this will kill them just like the old holley GB system.

Do you remember what the DS system came off of?
You can probably find the wire diagrams on line.
All my books just went into storage for the next 3 yrs!


How long have you been running the DS setup before the missing started?

Here is one discussion
TFI
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COMMITED TO TEACHING PEOPLE THE "PROPER" WAY TO EFI
HAMILTON FUEL INJECTION
May be the answer to all your fuel injection needs!
Learn to do it right.

Last edited by Bill usn-1; 01-12-2005 at 11:48 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

Bill,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill usn-1
Do you remember what the DS system came off of?
I took the DS off of a E150 Ecconoline Van, '78 to '81 ish, maybe. In hindsight, I should have written down all of the information I could find on the van. I have just made a mental note to do that on my future junk yard adventures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill usn-1
How long have you been running the DS setup before the missing started?
I installed this Duraspark system almost one year ago. Since then I have put about a 1000 miles on the Scout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill usn-1
While researching the TFI upgrade I found some of the Duraspark units used the inline resistor wire to reduce the operating voltage.
Here is one of those threads.

Looking at the schematics on this bulletin board, as well as other web pages, I see that the TFI coil is connected to a ballast resistor for running conditions. I hooked mine directly to 12V, based on reports from several people online claiming that they have done it with no problems. It doesn't seem like this could cause a problem with the ignition module. Also, I recently discovered that I forced the rotor onto the shaft in the wrong position and damaged the alignment key in the rotor. This caused the rotor to sit too high and it made contact with the cap. Once again, I don't think this mistake could feedback into the ignition module. Do you have any experiences with either of these situations effecting the control module?

In this thread, you recomended using a Niehoff FF402 control module. Do you have any experience with this module operating off of the 12V (14.2 in reality) without a ballast resistor?

Thanks for your help.

Snowman
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  #4  
Old 01-13-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

The FF402 is listed as the same as this one, GP Sorensen EL107
They are also listed for the 79 ford F150.
Which I built and drove for about 6 yrs.
Never had a problem.
The E150 list the same module.
But they also list this,
Borg Warner RU16

Coil Resistor Wire:

Retail Price: $12.80
Our Price: $8.59
You Save: $4.21



Now you will need to find a diagram and see if the module pulls it's power before or after the resistor wire!

From another site. I did a google for duraspark wiring diagrams.

--------------------------------
DURA SPARK MODULE
There are at least a dozen kinds of DuraSpark modules on the open market. The modules are identified by the color of plastic grommet that connects the wiring to the module housing. The most common is the 'BLUE GROMMET'. The 'Blue Grommet' module is the one most Jeepers will want to use.

All Dura Spark modules are full 12-volt units. Anything less than 12 volts and the module becomes unstable. (Ask anyone driving a Ford that threw an alternator belt)

All but the Ford SVO Dura Spark units, and a couple of aftermarket units, become unstable at around 3,500 RPM, and can fail completely at around 4,500 RPM. Most stock or mildly modified vehicles will not operate long enough above 4,000 RPM long enough to uncover the flaw. (The only reliable ignition above 6,500 RPM I know of is MSD 6,7.8,9, & 10 series, and they are good to over 15,000 RPM)

The black wire that comes out of module and goes to the four-wire connector is the ONLY GROUND FOR THE MODULE. It normally grounds through the distributor wiring. I always splice into the black wire, and solder a second lead to it, and ground it to a solid engine or battery ground on the racecars.

The DuraSpark module can be reliably triggered by any of the factory, and most aftermarket, magnetic pickup coils, so it can by used to get you home in a pinch no matter what kind of electronic ignition you have.

--------------------------------
THE IGNITION COIL
There are two basic ignition coils to choose from. Both can be interchanged at will, as there are no differences in primary resistance, and both are full 12-volt coils. The choices are;
The 'Canister' or 'Can' or 'Volcano' coil, and,
The TFI (Thick Film Integrated) or 'Square' coil.

Like most of the automotive ignition systems, progress sense the 1920's has been slow. The TFI coil is a large improvement over the canister coil, but should have been done 45 or 50 years ago when the technology first became available.

'Can' coils have several draw backs, but the biggest two are the current outputs on the high voltage side are lacking, and these are oil filled for the most part, and must be operated with the high voltage tower pointing up, or coil damage can result.

Switching to the TFI (Thick Film Integrated) coil will effectively double the usable spark energy, and can be mounted in any orientation. The TFI coil has the added benefit of having the 'Tower' style high voltage terminal, and the high voltage terminal much farther away from potential grounds than the 'Can' type coil.

When upgrading to a TFI coil on a factory ignition system, some attention has to be paid to the voltage POLARITY. If you hold a 'Can' coil with the Primary 'horseshoe' connector at the top, above the high voltage tower, the Primary Green wire, Negative, is on the Left, and the Primary Red wire, Positive, is on the Right.

If you hold a TFI coil with the Primary connector at the top, and the high voltage tower at the 6 o'clock position, the wiring hookup is reversed. With the TFI coil, the Primary Positive, Red wire, is on the Left, and the Primary Negative, the Green wire, is on the Right. If you look into the Primary Connector, the polarity is usually marked there (/-).

(See the attached Wiring Diagram)
FSJ




So to answer the question.... the module is a full 12v and a lot of people run full 12 to the coil, but, you may be the unlucky one!!!
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COMMITED TO TEACHING PEOPLE THE "PROPER" WAY TO EFI
HAMILTON FUEL INJECTION
May be the answer to all your fuel injection needs!
Learn to do it right.

Last edited by Bill usn-1; 01-13-2005 at 02:37 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-16-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

I have solved my problem, finally. It appears that the coil was faulty. It tested just fine at room temperature, but after 5-10 minutes of operation it would start causing problems. I swapped in a known good coil and the hesitation and stalling problem disappeared.

To recap what I did:
I replaced the ignition module with a new one. The old module was getting very hot and upon inspecting the back potted portion I found a crack in the potting and signs of melted solder. This replacement did not solve my problem and the new module still ran hot.

I replaced the coil. Problem went away and the ignition module doesn't run nearly as hot.

My theory:

I think the root cause of my problem was operating the engine with the rotor in contact with the cap. Being in direct contact reduced the overall resistance of the ignition spark path and increased the current through the coil enough to cause internal damage. The internal damage only became a problem after the coil heated up from operation, then it started to short out internally and reduce the spark strength. Once again, this is only my theory about what happened.

Thank you to those that replied with comments to help me in troubleshooting this problem.

Snowman
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

Just glad you got it going!!! : thumbsup
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COMMITED TO TEACHING PEOPLE THE "PROPER" WAY TO EFI
HAMILTON FUEL INJECTION
May be the answer to all your fuel injection needs!
Learn to do it right.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

Good deal. : thumbsup

So I'm wondering: did you file down the rotor so the sprak now 'jumps' the gap or did you replace the rotor/cap with another that is a tad shorter/has an air gap between the rotor & the cap electrodes? : idunno :

Thanks for the update & glad it is running fine now.

: beer :
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Old 01-17-2005
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Re: Duraspark II Ignition Module Hot to the Touch

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSV
So I'm wondering: did you file down the rotor so the sprak now 'jumps' the gap or did you replace the rotor/cap with another that is a tad shorter/has an air gap between the rotor & the cap electrodes?
What happened is that I inspected the inside of the distributor and when I replaced the rotor I messed up the plastic alignement block on the rotor. This made the rotor sit about 1/16" too high and it would hit all of the contacts in the cap.

More details are located in a thread on the Binder Bulletin Board. When I posted my problem to this bulletin board I was hoping for some more input on troubleshooting Duraspark ignition systems and I didn't want to start a discussion about carburetor problems I had already resolved.

Snowman
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