1989 Sterling 827SL Ignition output problem one spark only

Hello, I have a 1989 sterling 827SL which has a acura legend engine. The car stopped while I was driveing. I checked for spark out of coil using a spark tester. with the first crank of the engin I get only one
spark and then there is no spark after that. If I turn the ignition switch off and repeat the process, I get one weak spart out of the coil and then nothing. I checked the resistance of the coil and it is within spec. the ECU flashes 15 times indicating a igniter problem according to the code. I replaced the coil, the distributer, and the igniter and I saw no change in the spark. Battery voltage is present to th ecoil and the igniter. If I disconnect the igniter connector and turn the ignition switch on, the CHECK ENGINE warning light will stay on, but if I connect the igniter connector back on, the and turn th eignition on the CHECK ENGINE warning light will go OFF after 2 seconds. The troubleshooting steps tells me the CHECK ENGINE warning light should flash ON and OFF during cranking of the engine, this is not happening. Please help.
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Under normal conditions, the Check Engine light should illuminate solidly for TWO seconds when the key is turned to START. During this two seconds, the fuel pump will run, then the pump and light will simultaneously turn off.
It is distressingly easy to damage the coil by failing to provide it with a good path to ground through its secondary connector (the one that leads to the rotor). You can effect this by cranking the engine with the distributor cap off, wires disconnected, or using aftermarket plug wires without the correct resistance.
Using aftermarket plug wires with insufficient resistance will damage the RF capacitor in the rotor, and then wreck the coil soon afterwards.
That code 15 you see only means the ECU is not seeing current when it attempts to ground the white igniter wire. It DOES NOT necessarily indicate a problem with the igniter itself. Code 15 can be set if there is a corroded or broken white wire between the igniter and the ECU.
Check that white wire. It supplies the ground to ECU for both the igniter and the coil. If it and ALL its connectors are OK, including the one inside the distributor, then I suspect you have damaged your new coil.
Replace the coil with a new one, and also replace the rotor, distributor cap and wires with brand-new OEM, or aftermarket with the correct resistances. DO NOT attempt to crank the engine until everything has been replaced and reconnected.
Also make certain that the plug gaps are reasonably correct. Very excessively worn plugs can increase secondary voltage to the point of damaging the coil.
Please report back here. Feedback is necessary for the functioning of Usenet.
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"TeGGeR®" wrote:
> > > > Hello, I have a 1989 sterling 827SL which has a acura legend > engine. > > The car stopped while I was driveing. I checked for spark > out of coil > > using a spark tester. with the first crank of the engin I > get only one > > spark and then there is no spark after that. If I turn the > ignition > > switch off and repeat the process, I get one weak spart out > of the > > coil and then nothing. I checked the resistance of the coil > and it is > > within spec. the ECU flashes 15 times indicating a igniter > problem > > according to the code. I replaced the coil, the distributer, > and the > > igniter and I saw no change in the spark. Battery voltage is > present > > to th ecoil and the igniter. If I disconnect the igniter > connector and > > turn the ignition switch on, the CHECK ENGINE warning light > will stay > > on, but if I connect the igniter connector back on, the and > turn th > > eignition on the CHECK ENGINE warning light will go OFF > after 2 > > seconds. The troubleshooting steps tells me the CHECK ENGINE > warning > > light should flash ON and OFF during cranking of the engine, > this is > > not happening. Please help. > > > > Under normal conditions, the Check Engine light should > illuminate solidly > for TWO seconds when the key is turned to START. During this > two seconds, > the fuel pump will run, then the pump and light will > simultaneously turn > off. > > It is distressingly easy to damage the coil by failing to > provide it with a > good path to ground through its secondary connector (the one > that leads to > the rotor). You can effect this by cranking the engine with > the distributor > cap off, wires disconnected, or using aftermarket plug wires > without the > correct resistance. > > Using aftermarket plug wires with insufficient resistance will > damage the > RF capacitor in the rotor, and then wreck the coil soon > afterwards. > > That code 15 you see only means the ECU is not seeing current > when it > attempts to ground the white igniter wire. It DOES NOT > necessarily indicate > a problem with the igniter itself. Code 15 can be set if there > is a > corroded or broken white wire between the igniter and the ECU. > > Check that white wire. It supplies the ground to ECU for both > the igniter > and the coil. If it and ALL its connectors are OK, including > the one inside > the distributor, then I suspect you have damaged your new > coil. > > Replace the coil with a new one, and also replace the rotor, > distributor > cap and wires with brand-new OEM, or aftermarket with the > correct > resistances. DO NOT attempt to crank the engine until > everything has been > replaced and reconnected. > > Also make certain that the plug gaps are reasonably correct. > Very > excessively worn plugs can increase secondary voltage to the > point of > damaging the coil. > > Please report back here. Feedback is necessary for the > functioning of > Usenet. > > > -- > TeGGeR® > > The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ > www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
The code 15 error is gone. I check for good ground path and check the resistance of the spark plug wire set, they are all within the spek, it has a new totor and disributer cap. there is no short in in all the wire in the ignition circuit. I replaced the coil with a new one and still have the same one spark problem. I think as the ignition is turned ON the ECU will see the crank angle senor, the crank angle sensor wires are directly connected to the ECU. The two wire from the disributer also directly connected to the distributer. the 12 volt and GND are present at the primery coil and to the igniter, there is good continuity between the blue/red wire going from ECU to the igniter. there is a single blue wire going between the igniter and the primery coil which Idon’t know what it should mesure. so this is a close loop circuit for the ignition. The only thing Ihave not changed is the crank angle sensor. what do youthink? thanks
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<x-posted to the other Honda group>
Somebody from there may know what the ECU uses for ignition dwell.
(Note to non-British readers: The Sterling 827 is basically an Accord with a 2.7L engine.)
<BIG snip>

The ECU uses the crank angle sensor to determine if the engine is turning or not. The TDC sensor is used for ignition timing at startup.
You are suggesting that a faulty crank angle sensor may cause dwell time to be too short. Too short of a dwell time would result in a weak or non- existent spark. It sounds plausible...but I don't know what the ECU's input for dwell is, and it does not explain your "one spark" phenomenon.
However, a problem with the CRANK, TDC or CYL sensors circuits are /supposed/ to set a 4, 8, or 9 error code.

There are two connectors at the igniter besides the white one to the ECU. Unplug them. Both should have battery voltage with the ignition ON.
You need to be 100% certain that that the ignition switch and battery feeds to the igniter, and the white wire to the ECU, are sound all the way. Since you live in Britain, the probability of corrosion somewhewre is very high.
I don't see that you've actually done anything with the igniter itself, though. Have a read through this page, from a countryman of yours: http://www.gcw.org.uk/rover/igniter.htm
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I'm just guessing - the ECU likely calculates dwell based on rpm. Old Kettering ignitions used fixed dwell angle, which meant proportionately shorter dwell time at higher rpm. There was some hand-wringing about that in the 60s and 70s. I would expect the ECU to start charging the coil at a time based on how long since the last firing time and the rpm. But that's a guess after all. I do know that at start-up the dwell is surprisingly long - if you look at the ignitor output on the scope it looks like the low (on) time is about half or more of the high (off) time.
Mike
Mike
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"Sterling" wrote: > The code 15 error is gone. I check for good ground path and > check the resistance of the spark plug wire set, they are all > within the spek, it has a new totor and disributer cap. there > is no short in in all the wire in the ignition circuit. I > replaced the coil with a new one and still have the same one > spark problem. I think as the ignition is turned ON the ECU > will see the crank angle senor, the crank angle sensor wires > are directly connected to the ECU. The two wire from the > disributer also directly connected to the distributer. the 12 > volt and GND are present at the primery coil and to the > igniter, there is good continuity between the blue/red wire > going from ECU to the igniter. there is a single blue wire > going between the igniter and the primery coil which Idon't > know what it should mesure. so this is a close loop circuit > for the ignition. The only thing Ihave not changed is the > crank angle sensor. what do youthink? thanks
Here is what found out so far.
1 – The two wire from distributor is connected directly to the ECU with good continuity and no short
2 – There is GND and +12 voltage present to the igniter and the coil primary. 3 – There is good continuity between the ECU and the igniter via the blu/red wire 4 – The crank angle sensor is directly connected to the ECU. I don’t know how to test this one. 5 - There is good continuity on the single blue wire from coil primary to the igniter. I don’t know what is the reason for this wire.
So I am guessing that the distributor sends a signal to ECU and the ECU looks at both signal from the crank angel sensor and the distributor before it can decide to send a signal to igniter via the red/blu wire and if everything is well then the igniter releases the signal via that single blue were to the primary coil. Am I even close in my understanding of this circuit?
This cover all the wiring in the ignition circuit which includes, distributor, ECU, Igniter, coil, crank angle sensor,. So what am I missing? After disconnecting the battery the code 15 error disappeared and did not come back, it would show up only if I disconnect the igniter 4P connector. Someone suggested to use a NOID light to check for Injector pulse. I am still dead in the water. Thanks for your help.
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Unplug the 8-pin round connector from the distributor. According to my manual, there are six pins arranged in a 2x3 grid. The two middle ones are for the CYL/TDC/CRANK sensors. There ought to be 350 to 700 ohms between those two wires. Also check that there is continuity to ground at each of the two individually.

Which side of the primary? If the plus side, that's the trigger (old SW terminal for Kettering points). If the negative, that's the side that carries the coil charging current. http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/igniter-operation/howworks.html

All the ECU does is ground the igniter's white wire. Nothing else. What inputs it uses to determine when--and for how long--to ground that white wire, that's up for some debate.
Take a look at this new page. Maybe it'll help. http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/startproblems.html#badigniter
Maybe look at these too: http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/startproblems.html#badcoil http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/badsecondary/index.html
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"TeGGeR®" wrote:
> > > > > > > Here is what found out so far. > > > > 1 – The two wire from distributor is connected directly to > the ECU > > with good continuity and no short > > > > 2 – There is GND and +12 voltage present to the igniter and > the coil > > primary. > > 3 – There is good continuity between the ECU and the igniter > via the > > blu/red wire > > 4 – The crank angle sensor is directly connected to the ECU. > I don’t > > know how to test this one. > > > Unplug the 8-pin round connector from the distributor. > According to my > manual, there are six pins arranged in a 2x3 grid. The two > middle ones are > for the CYL/TDC/CRANK sensors. There ought to be 350 to 700 > ohms between > those two wires. Also check that there is continuity to ground > at each of > the two individually. > > > > 5 - There is good continuity on the single blue wire from > coil primary > > to the igniter. I don’t know what is the reason for this > wire. > > > Which side of the primary? If the plus side, that's the > trigger (old SW > terminal for Kettering points). If the negative, that's the > side that > carries the coil charging current. > http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/igniter-operation/howworks.html > > > > > > So I am guessing that the distributor sends a signal to ECU > and the > > ECU looks at both signal from the crank angel sensor and the > > distributor before it can decide to send a signal to igniter > via the > > red/blu wire and if everything is well then the igniter > releases the > > signal via that single blue were to the primary coil. Am I > even > > close in my understanding of this circuit? > > > > > All the ECU does is ground the igniter's white wire. Nothing > else. What > inputs it uses to determine when--and for how long--to ground > that white > wire, that's up for some debate. > > Take a look at this new page. Maybe it'll help. > http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/startproblems.html#badigniter > > Maybe look at these too: > http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/startproblems.html#badcoil > http://www.tegger.com/hondafaq/badsecondary/index.html > > > > -- > TeGGeR® > > The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ > www.tegger.com/hondafaq/
In the Sterling 827 SL , connector to the distributor has only two wire and they are conneted to the ECU. So what would be my next thing to check. If I remove the distributer from engine block with ignition on if I turn the rotor by hand, it sparks repeatedly. So why when the engine is turning the rotor there is only one spark?
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Does the igniter ground through the distributor body? I think it does. I wonder if you've got some kind of short going on there.
Your latest report suggests a bad wire or connector somewhere, which was my original suspicion.
I think when you remove the distributor, you remove the igniter body ground. Since the coil still generates a spark, that suggests the igniter is still finding ground, and as far as I've been given to understand, should NOT ground if the distributor is removed, and you should therefore see NO spark since the igniter cannot switch.
I'm out of ideas, except to say that I think you really need to confirm the integrity of all LT wires and connectors in the circuit.
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