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Chad
Chad, Lead Master Tech
Category: Dodge
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Experience:  Electrical Master,Diesel Specialist, Lead Tech/shop foreman
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Dodge Ram 1500: 1996 Dodge 1500 5.9L no spark,ignition coil

Customer Question

1996 Dodge 1500 5.9L no spark,ignition coil ohms out good, could the coil still be bad under a load maybe? what voltage should I get out of the coil to engine ground? I have replaced the distributer cap and rotor, the old cap had alot of white buildup on the number one cylinder post. I have about eleven volts at the cap side of wire from the coil. Is there a cam sensor in the circuit ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Chad replied 2 years ago.

Did you replace the spark plug wires also?

There is a cam sensor. It is also known as the distributor pick-up plate.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did replace the #1 cylinder wire and a couple others including the coil to distributor wire, I had replaced the others before. This was an intermittent problem before.Where is the distributor pick up plate located? How can I test it?
Expert:  Chad replied 2 years ago.

The distributor plate is under the distributor cap and rotor. It is a flat black plastic plate. The way to test it is to replace it with a new one

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Inside the cap ? Would it give me the symptoms I am having if it were bad?Is the voltage (about 11 volts dc) out of the coil ok?
Expert:  Chad replied 2 years ago.

Yes, the cam sensor could cause the problem you are having, but so could a few other things.

I have never tested a coil the way you are doing it.

I ohm test them cold and then again when it is hot.

Expert:  Chad replied 2 years ago.

Two test you can do...

1.

TESTING FOR SPARK AT COIL - 3.9L/5.2L/5.9L ENGINES

CAUTION: When disconnecting a high voltage cable from a
spark plug or from the distributor cap, twist the rubber boot slightly (1/2
turn) to break it loose Cable Removal Grasp the boot
(not the cable) and pull it off with a steady, even force


  1. Disconnect the ignition coil secondary cable from center tower of the
    distributor cap. Hold the cable terminal approximately 12 mm (1/2 in.) from a
    good engine ground Checking for Spark - Typical

    WARNING: BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN THE ENGINE IS CRANKING. DO NOT
    PUT YOUR HANDS NEAR THE PULLEYS, BELTS OR THE FAN. DO NOT WEAR LOOSE FITTING
    CLOTHING.


  2. Rotate (crank) the engine with the starter motor and observe the cable
    terminal for a steady arc. If steady arcing does not occur, inspect the
    secondary coil cable. Refer to Spark Plug Cables in this group. Also inspect the
    distributor cap and rotor for cracks or burn marks. Repair as necessary. If
    steady arcing occurs, connect ignition coil cable to the distributor cap.
  3. Remove a cable from one spark plug.
  4. Using insulated pliers, hold the cable terminal approximately 12 mm (1/2
    in.) from the engine cylinder head or block while rotating the engine with the
    starter motor. Observe the spark plug cable terminal for an arc. If steady
    arcing occurs, it can be expected that the ignition secondary system is
    operating correctly. (If the ignition coil cable is removed for this test,
    instead of a spark plug cable, the spark intensity will be much higher)

FAILURE TO START TEST - 3.9L/5.2L/5.9L ENGINES

To prevent unnecessary diagnostic time and wrong test results, the Testing
For Spark At Coil test should be performed prior to this test.

WARNING: SET PARKING BRAKE OR BLOCK THE DRIVE WHEELS BEFORE
PROCEEDING WITH THIS TEST.


  1. Unplug the ignition coil harness connector at the coil Ignition Coil
  2. Connect a set of small jumper wires (18 gauge or smaller) between the
    disconnected harness terminals and the ignition coil terminals. To determine
    polarity at connector and coil, refer to the Wiring Diagrams section.
  3. Attach one lead of a voltmeter to the positive (12 volt) jumper wire. Attach
    the negative side of voltmeter to a good ground. Determine that sufficient
    battery voltage (12.4 volts) is present for the starting and ignition systems.
  4. Determine that sufficient battery voltage (12.4 volts) is present for the
    starting and ignition systems.
  5. Crank the engine for 5 seconds while monitoring the voltage at the coil
    positive terminal:

    • If the voltage remains near zero during the entire period of cranking. Check the Powertrain Control
      Module (PCM) and auto shutdown relay.
    • If voltage is at or near battery voltage and drops to zero after 1-2 seconds
      of cranking, check the powertrain control module circuit. Refer to On-Board
      Diagnostics in Group 14, Fuel Systems.
    • If voltage remains at or near battery voltage during the entire 5 seconds,
      turn the key off. Remove the three 32-way connector
      from the PCM. Check 32-way connectors for any
      spread terminals or corrosion

  6. Remove test lead from the coil positive terminal. Connect an 18 gauge jumper
    wire between the battery positive terminal and the coil positive terminal.
  7. Make the special jumper shown in
    Using the jumper, momentarily ground
    the ignition coil driver circuit at the PCM connector (cavity A-7) For
    cavity/terminal location of this circuit, Refer to Wiring. A spark should be
    generated at the coil cable when the ground is removed
  8. If spark is generated, replace the PCM.
  9. If spark is not seen, use the special jumper to ground the coil negative
    terminal directly.
  10. If spark is produced, repair wiring harness for an open condition.
  11. If spark is not produced, replace the ignition coil.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
where is the PCM and connectors? So the ignition coil can ohm check ok and still not work under a load, correct?
Expert:  Chad replied 2 years ago.
The PCM is located under the hood on the passenger side, bolted to the firewall.
Correct the coil can check good when cold, and fail under a load.

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Chad
Chad
Dodge Mechanic
1041 Satisfied Customers
Electrical Master,Diesel Specialist, Lead Tech/shop foreman