1987 Dodge one ton, B350. 318 CID engine. Mileage is about
160,000. PS/ PB. Used to be a telephone company vehicle. Then it
was owned by a rental property guy who badly neglected it.
A couple months ago, my Dodge Van gave me all kinds of trouble,
would start and run, and then when I was away from home, it would
slow, and die. A couple minutes later, it would restart and run
for awhile. I tried all kinds of things, but changing the air
filter seemed to help the most. Even once came home by tow truck.
Last week, I decided to put the hand choke kit on. Removed the
pull off (bimetal coil) from the side of the carb, and wired a
hand choke cable to the side of the carb. Pulled the wire off the
bimetal coil. Trashed the bimetal, and screwed the plate back on,
to cover the end of the cable. Left the little electrical wire
hanging loose. Tried to start the motor, to see how it worked.
Started, but just ever so barely. I tried a couple things, like
adjusting the timing. Had the motor running, but it was just
The spark was weak at the coil, so I cleaned the low power wires
at the coil. Also cleaned the coil bracket that holds the coil to
Runs, but barely. I could see that the EGR valve was falling
Couple days later. Go get an EGR, and replace that. Two bolts,
but oh what rusty bolts. Got em, finally. Install the EGR with
the provided gasket, and the little orifice restictor that most
closely matched the orifice of the old EGR.
Now, to see if I could get the van running. Won't start. The
spark is good at the coil. I pulled a spark wire, and put a spark
plug on top of the valve cover. Sparks, but weak, every now and
again when cranking. But, it also sparked when I turned the key
off. Even though the rotor was pointed some where else. Hmm. Not
Went to the parts store, and bought new cap, rotor, wires. Put
them all on. Motor still won't start. But, I've got good spark at
a plug on top of the valve cover. Turn the distributer here and
there while the motor is cranking, and not even a hint of fire.
Tried a squirt of ether, and that still doesn't help.
The rotor turns with the starter, so I think that indicates that
the timing chain is still connected.
I got the Chilton manual out, and confirmed the spark plug
wiring. Read through the troubleshooting section. None of that is
doing much good.
Put in a new set of Champion spark plugs, still nothing. Not even
a hint of starting.
It's raining today, and I'm not eager to get any wetter than I am
already. I'm about at my wits end, can't make much sense of this.
What else comes to mind?
Christopher A. Young
You can't shout down a troll.
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