I have a '97 Probe SE automatic and for the past week there have been
daily starting problems. When it's either hot or cold outside the
engine cranks fine but won't fire. In moderate temperatures and with
the engine cold it starts just fine. I have hooked up a spark tester
and noticed that there is no spark going into the distributor cap.
I have had similar symptoms (engine won't start when hot) 3 years ago
and my dealer replaced the distributor assembly which solved it until
now. Taking the car to my shop the other day I was once again informed
that the distributor needs to be replaced.
What I don't understand is why the distributor should be at fault.
isn't that fifth wire that goes into the distributor cap coming from
the ignition coil ? Shouldn't there be a spark even if the rest of the
distributor is bad ? What else is inside the distributor assembly apart
from the rotor and shaft ?
Your problem is probably the ignitor module which is inside the
distributor. Shouldn't need to replace the whole disty. Go to the
Probetalk.com forums and research. There is lots of info on this
problem including symptoms and various fixes. It seems there are
inexpensive modules available, GM I believe that will work and are more
Here is an example from the 2.5l V6 93-97 group:
$20 Ignitor Replacement/upgrade
This mod will save lots of people lots of money. It is also a good basis
for real ignition upgrades.
After 173,000 miles, my ignitor finally bit the dust. Not wanting to
spend $224 for another one, or an equal amount for a feeble MSD, I wired
in a $20 (Wells #DR-100) generic GM 4-pin HEI module instead.
In a nutshell:
The ECU's trigger output wire (BL/O) feeds the HEI's pin 'G'.
Ground the HEI's pin 'W'.
Ground the HEI's base.
HEI's pin 'B' taps into the +12V dizzy feed wire (BK/P).
HEI's pin 'C' taps into the coil's primary wire (Y/G).
Remove the internal strap connecting the old ignitor to the coil plug
I mounted the HEI module on a bracket next to the LH headlamp.
If $20 is too steep, head to the wreckers and get a used module for a
buck or two. Almost every GM car from the mid 70's to the mid 80's has
If you don't want the stock coil, it would be just as simple to use an
external coil if you add the extra terminal to the cap for it. Lotsa
places have hi-perf. HEI modules and HEI specific hi-perf. coils too.
Address fake until the SPAM goes away ;-}
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