Note: Allpar does not take responsibility for the veracity of any information or opinions here, does not claim expertise, and is not responsible for any consequences. Please proceed at your own risk.
by Bohdan L. Bodnar
If the engine will not start, go to the 4-way connector. Hook up an analog voltmeter to the gray wire with the black tracer and ground. Crank the engine. The voltmeter should pulse between 5.0 volts and 0.0 volts. If the voltage cycles the problem is not in the distributor. This is what you have just checked:
If the voltage did not cycle, is it 0.0 volts or 5.0 volts all the time? If it is 0.0 volts, the following could be at fault:
If the voltage stayed at 5.0 volts, the following could be at fault:
Note: The sync pickup will never prevent an engine from starting. It can be checked in the same manner as the reference pickup, except test the remaining wire instead of the gray/black wire.
The distributor does have fault codes that the SMEC can store: code 11 for reference pickup and code 54 for the sync pickup. In most cases, either fault code would require replacement of the pickup assembly, however, using the "quick check procedure" discussed earlier will confirm this. Do not replace the pickup solely on the basis of a fault code!
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