Ignition Prob. HELP PLEASE

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Feb 18, 2006
Sugarhouse, UT
Yesterday I went to start my stock 2F in my 77' FJ-40 and it wouldn't turn over. The starter motor was functioning and the battery was fine. I checked all plug/coil wires and tried again. still nothing, but as i let go of the key it slightly fired then died. I tried it again and put the key half way between the start and on position and it fired right up and ran as long as i held the key there. the only problem is that the starter motor was also running and as soon as i let the key return to the on position it died. I replaced the ignition switch and it didn't fix it. Any ideas??? Its my daily driver so i gots to get it fixed quick.

Coil wired to the starter 'exciter' wire, which only has voltage during the start mode. Look for the OTHER black wire with the yellow stripe REALLY CLOSE to the one the coil is hooked to now and test it with a tester. It should show constant 'hot' when the key is in the 'on' position.


Mark A.
Thanks Mark

I don't know if you remember but we where in the same campsite at Cruise Moab last year. I was with Kurt of Cruiser Outfitters. Thanks for the help I'll test that.
Bad connection at this wire or bad igntion switch. Try hotwiring it first to make sure that everything downstream is OK.
I already swapped in a new ignition swith and it didn't fix it. If the connection is bad to this wire, where does it originate? obviously the coil doesn't get enough voltage to keep engine running. I can't believe this could just happen overnight. How do I hot wire it?
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Hotwire means run a wire from the + post of the battery to the + post of the coil. Don't run it like that for a long time.

If it runs good hot wired, that eliminates downstream problems with the coil etc. Then you might want to consider running a new wire from the switch to the coil.

It is often easier to run a new wire than to find the problem with an existing one.
same thing happend to me. It was the ignitor wire and the connection with the starter had corroded on the inside. Check for any corrosion in the connection.
Kurt at Cruiser Outfitters Rocks!

Thanks Kurt!

It was a bad ballast resistor.
Does anybody know how important the condenser mounted to the coil is? It's a cylinder with one wire connected to it that is wired to the post on the ballast resistor. It runs fine now...good as new I was just wondering about the condenser
The condensor is to minimize radio frequency noise. You will only notice its absence on AM.
While it is true that one symptom of a bad (or missing) condensor is increased radio noise, the condensor on a Cruiser is not to suppress radio noise.

They don't have radios.

The condensor is to reduce arcing across the points and to make the spark much hotter by creating a resonant circuit. It is important for performance & reliability, that's why it gets replaced as part of a tuneup.

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