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wantcoffee99 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 May 2020 at 8:51pm
Let me begin by saying thank you for any troubleshooting and/or advice you can give me.  I will start with some background.  I have a 1948 CJ2A that is all original.  I purchased it in August 2019, running and driving, and have used it regularly since.  It started to develop a very slight sputtering issue that I first tried to remedy by changing the fuel pump and filter.  This seemed to make it a bit better, but didn't get rid of the problem.  A few months later the problem is getting worse.  I read somewhere that the ignition condenser could be the culprit.  I ordered a new one, and since I was going into the distributor I went ahead and ordered points, a rotor and cap as well.  Now, I have never done any of this before.  This is my first vehicle with a points distributor.  I watched some youtube videos, and it seemed pretty straight forward.  I will tell you exactly what I did so as to provide complete information.  I removed the cap, rotor, and the metal cover that is under the rotor.  I did not turn the engine to TDC or anything else because I didn't think I had to.  I am starting to question if I was supposed to.  The thing is, I am a decent parts changer.  For the most part I (figure out how to) maintain and fix my own stuff, but while I can describe the trees in great detail, I do not fully understand the Forrest.  So, I removed the plate containing the points and condenser.  It took some doing to make it turn so that it would clear the bracket that forms the connection from a wire (negative?) that goes to the ignition coil.  I removed the plate and changed out the points and condenser, put the plate back on, turned the engine by moving the fan until the points were at their most open, and gapped the points to 0.02.  I then replaced the metal cover and put the new rotor on.  I then put the new cap on and transferred the wires from the old cap to the new one.  I am fairly certain that I got them back into the order that they were before.  Going counterclockwise, the order is 1-3-4-2, with 1 being at about 1:00.  I have since seen from a google search that 5:00 is correct, but I believe mine was at 1:00 originally.  I could be wrong though.  Jeep would not start.  I checked that the wires went to the right plugs (1 being the plug closest to the fan), then tried moving the wires one spot counter clockwise, then went the other way.  I then went back in and swapped out the new condenser for the old one and tried everything again.  I then swapped out the points for the original and tried again.  I am not having any luck, and I do not know what to do next.  I am hoping that someone sees a glaring mistake and can tell me what I did wrong.  Even better if they can tell me how to fix it.  Sorry for the long post, but I want to be thorough.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 8:56pm
I failed to mention that I also put the original cap and rotor back on.  As it sits now, all the original parts are back on the Jeep.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 9:22pm
My guess is that you have the firing order off in addition to whatever your original problem was.


The rotor turns counter clockwise.  Firing order is 1342 for the cylinders.  But the distributor rotor turns counterclockwise.  

Willys Jeep Firing Order - tuli.balmoond15.mooiravenstein.nl
   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 9:30pm
Originally posted by Stev Stev wrote:

My guess is that you have the firing order off in addition to whatever your original problem was.


The rotor turns counter clockwise.  Firing order is 1342 for the cylinders.  But the distributor rotor turns counterclockwise.  

Thank you.  I thought it rotated counterclockwise.  Mine is set up the same as the diagram, only on mine 1 is where 3 is on the diagram, 3 is where 4 is, etc.
   

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pplaut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 9:36pm
I had a really weird situation.
Somehow my timing is off by 180 degrees. According to the guy who finally got my Jeep running.
How this happened and how the plug wires got changed incorrectly I have no idea.
I can tell you this. The car had been in several shops over the years and this is the first time we got it running in several years. It used to work, and I used to drive the Jeep all the time.
It took a real mechanic about 15 minutes to figure out the problem. :O
She runs like she always did. As soon as I get the transfer case / transmission lock up problem resolved I hope to be zooming around at 45 mpg again. :)
A quick thanks to everyone on this forum who helped me!
~P.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2020 at 10:24pm
Once you get the plugs wires switch around, try to start it.  If it tries to fire on one cylinder - backfires through the carburetor - you are close!- then you have to move the plug wires around.  Try Advance them one plug from the initial point you have set up.  You may have to do this a few times to figure this out.  

But if it is not firing at all.  You probably dont have spark coming out of the distributor.  So go after that next.  Pull the wire going into the center of the distributor and hold it about 1/4 inch away from a bare metal spot on the block - have someone crank the engine and see if you see a spark.  Hold the wire with a folded glove just to insulate yourself from the spark.

If no spark, check to see what voltage you have across the battery terminals.  If it is a 6 Volt system you should have 6.3volts - if it is a 12 volt system you should get around 12.5 volts.

With that knowledge do a voltage drop test and work your way to the Positive side of the coil. 

Turn on the key and see what you have on the battery side of the coil.  It should be the same as you have across the battery terminals if all of the connections are clean and tight.

Then check it at the  ground wire connection going into the distributor.  Again, you should get the same reading.

Then pull the cap off the distributor and check the voltage at on the open points - again it should read the same.  If the points are not open hold them open with a plastic straw.

Let us know what you find.




Edited by Stev - 20 May 2020 at 10:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeepdidwhat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 12:10am
Originally posted by wantcoffee99 wantcoffee99 wrote:

...  It started to develop a very slight sputtering issue that I first tried to remedy by changing the fuel pump and filter.  This seemed to make it a bit better, but didn't get rid of the problem.  A few months later the problem is getting worse.  ...  


I had a similar problem, over time the engine started missing and sputtering.  The points were shot, so I changed points and condenser.  No change, the engine was still missing and sputtering.  I noticed the engine seemed to miss more after it had run for 20-30 minutes.  Then, I noticed my coil was hot, too hot to touch.  I replaced the coil, and it was like I had a new engine.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 12:41am
Originally posted by Stev Stev wrote:

Once you get the plugs wires switch around, try to start it.  If it tries to fire on one cylinder - backfires through the carburetor - you are close!- then you have to move the plug wires around.  Try Advance them one plug from the initial point you have set up.  You may have to do this a few times to figure this out.  

But if it is not firing at all.  You probably dont have spark coming out of the distributor.  So go after that next.  Pull the wire going into the center of the distributor and hold it about 1/4 inch away from a bare metal spot on the block - have someone crank the engine and see if you see a spark.  Hold the wire with a folded glove just to insulate yourself from the spark.

If no spark, check to see what voltage you have across the battery terminals.  If it is a 6 Volt system you should have 6.3volts - if it is a 12 volt system you should get around 12.5 volts.

With that knowledge do a voltage drop test and work your way to the Positive side of the coil. 

Turn on the key and see what you have on the battery side of the coil.  It should be the same as you have across the battery terminals if all of the connections are clean and tight.

Then check it at the  ground wire connection going into the distributor.  Again, you should get the same reading.

Then pull the cap off the distributor and check the voltage at on the open points - again it should read the same.  If the points are not open hold them open with a plastic straw.

Let us know what you find.



Thank you.  Per your advice I tried all combinations of 1-3-4-2.  No luck.  It didn't backfire out of the carb.  I then tried several times to get a spark from the wire that goes into the center of the distributor.  I even sanded the paint down to bare metal on a little spot on the head first.  The next step is going to be a little tricky for me as I do not know how to use a voltage meter.  I have a cheap one I bought at Sears a few years ago and never learned how to use.  I will have to watch some youtube videos on how to use it.  I will keep you apprised of my progress.  Thanks again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 12:46am
Originally posted by jeepdidwhat jeepdidwhat wrote:

Originally posted by wantcoffee99 wantcoffee99 wrote:

...  It started to develop a very slight sputtering issue that I first tried to remedy by changing the fuel pump and filter.  This seemed to make it a bit better, but didn't get rid of the problem.  A few months later the problem is getting worse.  ...  


I had a similar problem, over time the engine started missing and sputtering.  The points were shot, so I changed points and condenser.  No change, the engine was still missing and sputtering.  I noticed the engine seemed to miss more after it had run for 20-30 minutes.  Then, I noticed my coil was hot, too hot to touch.  I replaced the coil, and it was like I had a new engine.


Thanks.  That will be my next step once I get it running again.  I'm starting to think that my coil has gone out coincidentally as I am trying to change the points and condenser.  I want to be as sure as I can that it's not something I did before I get that far.  The advice in the post by Stev has me starting to think coil or something before it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 1:52am
Originally posted by Stev Stev wrote:

Once you get the plugs wires switch around, try to start it.  If it tries to fire on one cylinder - backfires through the carburetor - you are close!- then you have to move the plug wires around.  Try Advance them one plug from the initial point you have set up.  You may have to do this a few times to figure this out.  

But if it is not firing at all.  You probably dont have spark coming out of the distributor.  So go after that next.  Pull the wire going into the center of the distributor and hold it about 1/4 inch away from a bare metal spot on the block - have someone crank the engine and see if you see a spark.  Hold the wire with a folded glove just to insulate yourself from the spark.

If no spark, check to see what voltage you have across the battery terminals.  If it is a 6 Volt system you should have 6.3volts - if it is a 12 volt system you should get around 12.5 volts.

With that knowledge do a voltage drop test and work your way to the Positive side of the coil. 

Turn on the key and see what you have on the battery side of the coil.  It should be the same as you have across the battery terminals if all of the connections are clean and tight.

Then check it at the  ground wire connection going into the distributor.  Again, you should get the same reading.

Then pull the cap off the distributor and check the voltage at on the open points - again it should read the same.  If the points are not open hold them open with a plastic straw.

Let us know what you find.



Okay, so the learning curve for the multimeter wasn't so steep- set it to VDC 20 and start touching stuff.  I have a 6 volt system.  Here are my numbers:

battery:6.26, 6.16 with headlights on
ignition coil: terminal coming from ignition switch to coil 5.86
   terminal going from coil to side of distributor 6.14
   top of coil: 5.68
   wire coming from top of coil (where wire goes into distributor): 5.82
at open points: 6.27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Beach Bum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 3:18am
does the (-) terminal wire on the coil go to the distributor? A lot of people think that the (+) wire should go to dist

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 3:29am
Originally posted by Beach Bum Beach Bum wrote:

does the (-) terminal wire on the coil go to the distributor? A lot of people think that the (+) wire should go to dist


The negative from the coil does go to the distributor, onto the side of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TERRY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 3:19pm
Check that the point mounting plate is "grounded".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 4:14pm
Great progress. 
-------
Here is how this system works:
1. All the connections need to be clean and tight.
2. The coil has two windings in it and solid copper rod in the center that the main plug connects too.  The Battery feeds the outer winding of the coil called the Primary winding.  The Primary winding (thick wire with about 200 turns in it) is insulated from the inner winding (called the secondary winding (fine wire with let's say 2000 turns in it).  The primary winding is grounded to external post on the side of the distributor.  When the switch is turned "On" the Primary winding creates / induces a field around the Secondary winding and the Secondary gets loaded up with a high voltage charge - that is stable as long as the primary field is uninterrupted.  In order for the Secondary to release the high voltage charge to the center of the distributor, the Primary voltage has to collapse/ be interrupted.  Now this is where the genius of this thing happens.  The ground wire of the Primary goes into the distributor through the isolated post on the outside and shows up on the inside and connect to both the points and the condenser. The points arm is insulated from the base of the distributor and the center of the condenser by construction is also insulated from the base plate of the distributor.  So, the ground of the Primary is insulated when the points are open and no voltage can flowing from the battery except the amount getting loaded up in the condenser.

I think of this as simple switch (points opening and closing).  When it is one way the Primary has voltage flowing and making a field and flowing to ground when the points are closed.  When the switch is in the other position the voltage is flowing into the condenser.  Here is where the magic happens - the voltage quickly loads up in the condenser and actually overloads the flow from the battery and starts flowing back towards the battery.  When this happens the Primary field collapses and the unstable high voltage charge built up in the Secondary winding flows out of the coil to the center of the distributor and on to the correct spark plug.  Got it?
-----

So now you need to check to see if the condenser is working and make sure the point moving arm is not grounded when it is in the open position.

With the key "On" and the plastic straw still holding the points surfaces apart in the distributor, take a jumper wire and hook it to the moving arm of the points.

(Make sure the case of the condenser is grounded to the bottom plate of the distributor - clean and tight).

Take the main center wire out of the distributor cap and again hold it about 1/4" away from the block (glove around it to insulate your hand) and take the unconnected end of the jumper wire and  touch it to a bear metal spot on the block.  If the condenser is good you will get a spark out of the main center wire to the block.  If you get a spark the condenser is good.  No spark and you did not get a spark fron the jumper wire the block either the here is a problem with the ground on the points.  If you do get the primary to spark then the condenser is probably bad.  There is still a change the at the main wire from the coil to center of the distributor is bad (it can be checked (Checking Continuity) with your meter set on Ohms). 


If you get a spark it is time to fiddle with the points.  The points need to mate flat and centered.  Make sure there is not oxidation on the point contact surfaces (fold some 600 grit or higher # emery cloth (read very fine sandpaper) and polish the surfaces).

After you clean up the points put the plastic straw back in between the points.  Turn the switch "On", while holding the center main coil wire 1/4" from a good ground spot on the block and remove the straw quickly.  You should get a spark from the main coil wire.

Let us know what your find.

Sorry about the Typos.

 







Edited by Stev - 21 May 2020 at 4:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 5:15pm
Originally posted by Stev Stev wrote:

Great progress. 
-------
Here is how this system works:
1. All the connections need to be clean and tight.
2. The coil has two windings in it and solid copper rod in the center that the main plug connects too.  The Battery feeds the outer winding of the coil called the Primary winding.  The Primary winding (thick wire with about 200 turns in it) is insulated from the inner winding (called the secondary winding (fine wire with let's say 2000 turns in it).  The primary winding is grounded to external post on the side of the distributor.  When the switch is turned "On" the Primary winding creates / induces a field around the Secondary winding and the Secondary gets loaded up with a high voltage charge - that is stable as long as the primary field is uninterrupted.  In order for the Secondary to release the high voltage charge to the center of the distributor, the Primary voltage has to collapse/ be interrupted.  Now this is where the genius of this thing happens.  The ground wire of the Primary goes into the distributor through the isolated post on the outside and shows up on the inside and connect to both the points and the condenser. The points arm is insulated from the base of the distributor and the center of the condenser by construction is also insulated from the base plate of the distributor.  So, the ground of the Primary is insulated when the points are open and no voltage can flowing from the battery except the amount getting loaded up in the condenser.

I think of this as simple switch (points opening and closing).  When it is one way the Primary has voltage flowing and making a field and flowing to ground when the points are closed.  When the switch is in the other position the voltage is flowing into the condenser.  Here is where the magic happens - the voltage quickly loads up in the condenser and actually overloads the flow from the battery and starts flowing back towards the battery.  When this happens the Primary field collapses and the unstable high voltage charge built up in the Secondary winding flows out of the coil to the center of the distributor and on to the correct spark plug.  Got it?
-----

So now you need to check to see if the condenser is working and make sure the point moving arm is not grounded when it is in the open position.

With the key "On" and the plastic straw still holding the points surfaces apart in the distributor, take a jumper wire and hook it to the moving arm of the points.

(Make sure the case of the condenser is grounded to the bottom plate of the distributor - clean and tight).

Take the main center wire out of the distributor cap and again hold it about 1/4" away from the block (glove around it to insulate your hand) and take the unconnected end of the jumper wire and  touch it to a bear metal spot on the block.  If the condenser is good you will get a spark out of the main center wire to the block.  If you get a spark the condenser is good.  No spark and you did not get a spark fron the jumper wire the block either the here is a problem with the ground on the points.  If you do get the primary to spark then the condenser is probably bad.  There is still a change the at the main wire from the coil to center of the distributor is bad (it can be checked (Checking Continuity) with your meter set on Ohms). 


If you get a spark it is time to fiddle with the points.  The points need to mate flat and centered.  Make sure there is not oxidation on the point contact surfaces (fold some 600 grit or higher # emery cloth (read very fine sandpaper) and polish the surfaces).

After you clean up the points put the plastic straw back in between the points.  Turn the switch "On", while holding the center main coil wire 1/4" from a good ground spot on the block and remove the straw quickly.  You should get a spark from the main coil wire.

Let us know what your find.

Sorry about the Typos.

 






Before I continue working on the Jeep, I just have to stop and acknowledge how much work you are putting in to help me with this.  I really appreciate it.  Thank you.  I will let you know how things are progressing.  You mentioned that the points arm is grounded from the base plate of the distributor.  If the base plate is the plate the points and condenser are mounted to, I think you may have solved it.  When I was removing the plate that the points and condenser are mounted to it took some doing to get it out.  While getting it out, two small pieces of reddish plastic came loose from the plate.  I didn't think much of it at the time, just dry and brittle plastic- now I'm thinking that's the insulation you are talking about.  I think the first thing I need to check is that the points arm is not making contact with that plate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 5:18pm
Originally posted by TERRY TERRY wrote:

Check that the point mounting plate is "grounded".

Both you and Stev mentioned this today.  Thank you.  I think you guys are right.  I'm going to check today.  Some plastic broke free when I was removing the plate.  I didn't think much of it at the time, but now I'm thinking that was insulation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Stev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2020 at 6:07pm
The points are held to the base plate with a single screw and there is no insulator under that screw because the plate is on the grounded side of the points (there is also an adjusting screw to changed the point gap that passes through the points plate). The moving arm is insulated from the points post. It rotates on by a plastic collar that acts as a insulator.  There is a terminal that the points spring mounts  to that the condenser wire also connects to.  That connection (read terminal) is made on a stand off that is insulated from the base plate - which may be where the "plastic broke free" from.

-- As long as you are this far into this distributor - make sure the advance counter weights and springs below the base plate are free moving.  You might try moving them with a screwdriver and add a little oil to the pivot posts of both of them.

-- Also the grounding post on the outside of the distributor can be disassembled, and removed for cleaning.  Make user to put the insulators back together when you reassemble it.  Also make sure you have a connection from the outside to the condenser/points terminal on the inside.  I have had problems with that connection and it is ease to overlook.


Edited by Stev - 21 May 2020 at 6:13pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wantcoffee99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2020 at 2:09am
Just took the Jeep out for a spin.  Thank you to everyone who helped get me pointed in the right direction, especially Stev who shared a lot of knowledge with me.  Stev, if you are ever in Yakima and need a favor I certainly owe you one.  I cannot even say what the problem was in the end.  Plug wires went right where I thought they did- mine is 90 degrees off from factory, with 1 being where 3 ought to be.  The plastic insulation that had chipped off was not the issue as I had thought and mentioned in a previous post.  That was under the post and bracket the points and condenser bolt to.  The only thing that I noticed was that a piece of insulation was missing from the negative wire that goes into the side of the distributor, the rectangular piece on the inside that the bolt head sits on.  I made a new one from a piece of floor mat.  I don't really think that was the problem as the bolt head didn't seem like it would touch the wall with just a small piece missing, but that's the only thing that stood out to me.  After I got it running, the old points, condenser, and rotor having been put back on the Jeep to rule out the possibility of faulty new components, I went back in and changed everything out for the new parts.  It runs a little smoother than it did before.  I noticed the spark plug wires made a crinkling sound when I moved them, so probably time to change those too.  It still backfires a little, but less than it did.  In fact, it seems like I might have had a couple things going on at the same time as the sound and frequency of what I hear now and what I was hearing are a bit different- not a replacement sound, but like it had been accompanied by another that is no longer there.  What is left is minor, and I can live it. I checked the coil's temperature after driving it for 20 minutes or so, as jeepdidwhat had suggested.  It wasn't hot.  Could it still be the culprit for the remaining backfire?  Anyway, it's sure nice to have the Jeep back.  Thank you again.
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