Farm Jeep isn't getting spark.

Farm Jeep isn't getting spark.


Fort Collins, CO
1960 CJ5 (totally stock), little rusty but mechanically pretty sound. 4-cyl (stock), manual transmission.
Hi All,

We have a 1960 CJ5 on our farm that ran perfectly until parked under a tarp for a Colorado winter in 2009. When spring came in 2010, the old Willys wouldn't start after fresh gas and battery. I didn't have time for another project, so I moved it inside the shed where it sits to this day. I have recently tried to get it started and just about at my wits end. Here are the details:
* No power coming out of distributor, but have +/- 11.5V coming out of the coil.
* New parts changed during the process of elimination: 12V coil, ground wire from coil to distributor, points (gapped 0.02"), condenser, cap and rotor, coil wire, (4) gapped spark plugs.
* Engine turns normally, engine getting fuel, fresh gasoline and new in-line fuel filter (old school clear plastic with paper filter type), battery charged up.
* Can the distributor itself be bad? I am a mechanical person, but don't have a ton of "car electronics" experience. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Welcome:chug: It's been a long time since I've done anything to a vehicle with points:eek: but 00.02 doesnt seem like it's enough gap. You might try trying to turn the rotor by hand to make sure something isnt broke. I say that because years ago the last thing with points in it was my old jet boat. I was having trouble getting it re-started and discovered it sheared the roll pin on the distributer gear. It took awhile to figure out because with the cap pulled and cranking it over the rotor seemed to turn fine. Gave me a good reason to put an HEI distributer and ditch the points;) Good luck with your CJ
Good morning - thanks for the suggestion. I have noticed that the rotor will spin when cranking, but will take a deeper look into everything and re-check the gap too. I was reading about the other type of ignition you mentioned... but have to try all the "cheaper fixes" before I can get buy off from my other half!
Check out Petronix Ignitor
You could convert to electronic ignition and keep your distributor that you have now........You keep talking about 12V I notice Is your Jeep not supposed to be 6V?
Also Welcome aboard
Pull the distributor cap.
Do you have 12 volts coming into the distributor with the ignition on?
If yours is like my '60 there is no ballast resister in the circuit.
Hi - I have 11.5v coming from the top of the coil and at the end of the coil wire when pulled from distributor cap... I will have to check the rest when I get off work tonight. You are correct about the ballast resistor - unlike my '50 Chevy 5-Window - this doesn't have one. Cost-wise, I would like to try to solve the puzzle, but can appreciate the alternative ignition types mentioned.

Will advise what I find after I get off work.

Okay Gents,

With the key in the [on] position, I tested the voltage at the points and I got 11.7-Volts and 11.6-Volts on the inside of the distributor cap (pulled it and measured from the center contact). The points are gapped @ 0.02", which is what the Haynes Jeep book says is the setting. I haven't monkeyed with the distributor at all, but could this be a dwell issue? Which is something I have never done - but do have an old school analog dwell meter.

Battery measures 11.99-volts.

Still no spark when I crank, even with power at the points and the distributor cap. Argh.

I am slowly working my way toward an ignition change like Gert notes... but anymore ideas? Oh Gert - I bought the CJ at a farm auction several years ago from a fella that had the top-end redone at the tractor shop in town... they may have converted it from 6V to 12V, but not certain.

Any luck yet? Could the parts store given you the wrong rotor or cap(not compatible with each other). Also, have you tried slightly advancing or retarding the timing while cranking? The coil wire, was it the kind you have to cut down and put an end on it or ready to rock out of the box?
If it was mine I would look at the condenser, but this is a weird one. Are you sure the wiring is correct on the coil and solenoid?
It could be likely that they gave me the wrong cap and rotor... as my problems seem to somewhat isolated to that area. I may try Napa this weekend as they have never failed me after tweaking the timing slightly.

As far as the coil to solenoid - I think my wiring goes from: battery/solenoid/amp-meter/voltage regulator/coil... but I would have to double confirm my memory after work. I haven't changed anything in the system other than: new coil and new wire from (-)side of coil to distributor.
Thanks for the input. I tried putting the old condenser back in as well. The new one I bought had a thin, flat copper strap connection to the connection point at the points. My father-in-law thought that maybe it was grounding out somewhere (and neither of us had seen a "non-wire" type condenser before)... it makes sense that thin strap maybe has better conductivity, so I put the new one back in.

Sorry to reply on the coil wire. I have been using the old coil wire, which was from a pre-cut kit the original owner installed (Autolite, I think). The coil wire there now is from my 1950 Chevy (12V conversion), which runs, but sits collecting dust in the shop building... that wire kit was a DIY wire kit.

Jeep-CJ Donation Drive

Help support by making a donation.

Help support by making a donation.
This donation drive ends in
Top Bottom
AdBlock Detected

I get it, I'm a Jeep owner and ad-block detectors kinda stink but ads are needed on this site. This is a CJ site, all the ads are set for autos (some times others get through.) I cannot make them just for Jeeps but I try.

Please allow ads as they help keep this site running by offsetting the costs of software and server fees.
Clicking on No Thanks will temporarily disable this message.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks