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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I feel like this should be pretty simple, but I’m honestly confused. I’ve got a 1984 Ford bronco With an in-line 6 engine and a manual transmission. I got it to fire up the other day and now there’s no spark to the plugs. I changed the ignition coil, still nothing.
The weird part to me is that inside the distributor cap, I don’t see what looks like a rotor. It looks like another cap with a metal clip and smaller metal circle. Not sure entirely how it works since underneath it there’s not metal points. Hopefully someone on here know what kind of distributor I have and how I can get a spark back to the plugs.
 

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1994 351W XLT E4OD electric 4x4 manual locking hubs
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the circular cap with the metal clip is the rotor
the ford ignition control module on side of the distributor (grey rectangle) are know to fail without warning. It replaced the points and condenser.
coil will be mounted above fuel pump on those engines.

your most likely issue is the condition of the wiring harness. possible you have shorted or broken wires.
Option 1 is rewire it yourself
Option 2 find a good used harness. can come off a truck just make sure it has the same options on the donor truck as your bronco like A/C or no
 

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173265


That wire looks completely corroded and barely hanging on. Unless I'm seeing it wrong.

Personally, I would strip out your ignition system and retrofit it with a DuraSpark II ignition. The 84 - 86 300 came with a feedback computer controlled carburetor.
It was to limp it along until they could come out with fuel injection.
Works fine when all is in working order, but trouble shooting is a PITA, and if you ever wanted to do any upgrades in the future, it's not going to let you. If it works, great. But if you have to do repairs and fixes to get it up and running, it's not worth the effort.

For the DuraSpark II, you'll need a DSII distributor, ignition module, coil, wiring harness (which can be made yourself), and a non-feedback carburetor.


But if you are looking to fix what you have, I'd look the wiring over, like what I circled above, and fix it.
Replace the module on the side of the distributor


Another issue that can cause no spark is a dead magnetic pickup in the distributor. If it dies, it won't detect when the distributor is spinning, so won't send a signal to the coil to fire the plugs.
You can diagnose this by grounding out one of the spark plugs and trying to fire it up. If there's a SINGLE spark when you STOP trying to start it (like when you turn off the key), that's the pickup coil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
View attachment 173265

That wire looks completely corroded and barely hanging on. Unless I'm seeing it wrong.

Personally, I would strip out your ignition system and retrofit it with a DuraSpark II ignition. The 84 - 86 300 came with a feedback computer controlled carburetor.
It was to limp it along until they could come out with fuel injection.
Works fine when all is in working order, but trouble shooting is a PITA, and if you ever wanted to do any upgrades in the future, it's not going to let you. If it works, great. But if you have to do repairs and fixes to get it up and running, it's not worth the effort.

For the DuraSpark II, you'll need a DSII distributor, ignition module, coil, wiring harness (which can be made yourself), and a non-feedback carburetor.


But if you are looking to fix what you have, I'd look the wiring over, like what I circled above, and fix it.
Replace the module on the side of the distributor


Another issue that can cause no spark is a dead magnetic pickup in the distributor. If it dies, it won't detect when the distributor is spinning, so won't send a signal to the coil to fire the plugs.
You can diagnose this by grounding out one of the spark plugs and trying to fire it up. If there's a SINGLE spark when you STOP trying to start it (like when you turn off the key), that's the pickup coil.
Thank you for your help! I did notice those rough looking wires they are everywhere around the distributor, and actually I repaired one that had two broken wires, I just required it quick to see if it would fix the problem but it didn’t, I’ll go back in and see if those others are really bad, they have exposed wires for sure but nothing broken that I found. If I retrofit the distributor and all that like you’re saying, the only part that makes me nervous is timing it. Is it hard or pretty simple?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the circular cap with the metal clip is the rotor
the ford ignition control module on side of the distributor (grey rectangle) are know to fail without warning. It replaced the points and condenser.
coil will be mounted above fuel pump on those engines.

your most likely issue is the condition of the wiring harness. possible you have shorted or broken wires.
Option 1 is rewire it yourself
Option 2 find a good used harness. can come off a truck just make sure it has the same options on the donor truck as your bronco like A/C or no
Thank you very much I’ll see what I can find to fix those wires and I’ll check that little grey box that’s on the side. I was confused because I’ve never seen a distributor rotor and cap like this one before.
 

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If you retrofitted the ignition, timing would be pretty much the same.
The advance is vacuum operated, so you'd simply remove the vacuum line to the advance canister and set the timing with a timing light. Once done, hook the vacuum light back up.
 
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