Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hello all! Just joined up, waded through posts but couldn't find relevant one, so here goes! This is a fast ...
  1. #1
    jhcatlin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Hello all! Just joined up, waded through posts but couldn't find relevant one, so here goes! This is a fast read, just wanted to put all info in for ya

    Car: 1985 Cadillac Eldorado w/ Touring supension, HT 4100. 11K miles on odo (got it at around 7K), looks like top end had been redone (bought car salvaged at junkyard) I believe engine could have been replaced, hard to tell.

    Known Issues:

    Tranny is attached loose- one bolt was wrong size and there is some space, so sometimes flywheel doesn't catch starter and it makes a whirring/high pitched grinding and I have to shake it into place. Gonna fix that soon, usually fixed for 1000 miles when I do screw it in. Drives rough on the highway at around 55-65, but if i gun it smooths out, drives better at around 75-85. MPG in Hilly San Francisco: ~8-10mpg, Hiway ~16-17 mpg at higher speeds, up to ~20 at 55-65.

    Blown fuse with stereo - stereo works, but when I turn on interior lights or open a door, it goes haywire, station #'s go blank and static fills speakers. Goes back to normal when I close door or turn off lights. This happened when a penny fell into the cigarette lighter in dashboard center ash tray. Gonna replace that and check fuses at lunch. Continues to work fine when a tape is in, however - only #'s go blank, but sound continues. Stock radio. Weird, I know. Wasn't a big issue so I haven't dealt with it.

    Accelerator makes a clicking sound and pulses when i turn key in ignition before starting or leave acc on, but not when i turn it the other way past off position. Seems to be the fuel regulator or something under hood, not sure what its called but the accelerator return spring is attached to it.

    Problem: Suddenly won't start. I drove off from work, realized I forgot something and went back. When I went to start car, it will turn over but not catch spark. I can smell gas. Thought it might be flooded for some reason, but when I held accelerator down it didn't blow through, as that did not help. I let it sit for an hour, but still would not start. I checked a plug and it looked clean - the wire was kinda broken and the metal seat in the cap pulled out, so I replaced that wire - still no go (and I had already replaced wires about 4K miles ago when I got car). Spark points on distributor look a little cruddy whitish under wire caps. Turns over fine, cranks strong. Weather was prob 50's-ish at around 5:30 PM at the time. I gave up at 7:30 cause no light.

    Any suggestions? I'm stuck. Actually gonna go try agian right now, but I'm not hopeful. Gonna check all fuses at lunch (too dark last night). Besides that, I dunno. Possible electronic ignition just went suddenly? I do know that occasionally car would die out right when I started it recently, and it wasn't always starting on first try. I'm also gonna check all plugs, perhaps one is fouled? Thanks for your help!!

    -Jesse

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  3. #2
    chubbyranger is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Ignition coil is where I'd start with no spark after you've checked fuses. They can go flaky for awhile and then finally die. Not sure if you can have it tested or just Easter egg it.

    Your accellerator pulsing may be the idle speed control motor if they had them in 85. Seems to be a common failure item on 4.5 and 4.9 motors.

  4. #3
    jhcatlin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Thanks, I will check coil. Looking back on it, I know I replaced it when i replaced wires tho - could something have shorted it or something like that?

    Thanks again!

  5. #4
    jhcatlin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    So I tried again - engine was not flooded as it still does not start. What fuses should I check? I replaced the one i had an issue with b4, but still not go. Im about to check coil.

  6. #5
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    The dome light weirdness is because the 20 amp yellow body fuse is blown. The injector fuses, one for left, one for right are located in the relay panel just under the dash to the left above the park brake. Must lower the panel under dash to check. Did you transfer the ground strap inside the cap when you replaced either the coil or cap? Are the vertical wires securely clipped onto the cap? The retainers do break and the wires can drop out of the plug in the cap. That would cause no voltage to the coil. With the air cleaner lid off, and someone cranking the engine, you will see fuel being sprayed from both injectors if the fuel pump and fuses are good. Report back about if in fact fuel is present and the wires are secure and the ground strap was swapped over within the cap under the coil. Also list type and year of car in your profile signature please.

  7. #6
    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Spark points on distributor look a little cruddy whitish under wire caps.
    May not help, but scrape that stuff off.

  8. #7
    Logandiagnostic's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    On that era of GM. The ignition control module could fail at any time. You would always carry a spare IC module in the glove box. They could last 200K, but also could die at 9pm on a rainy night.

    Also, over time, the distributor pick up coil and related connectors would go 'green' over time.

    Pretty good GM HEI sytem overview here. Shows the IC module. #7 shows the AC pickup coil. Just ckick on the picture to enlarge.

    http://www.autozone.com/az/cds/en_us...rInfoPages.htm




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    jhcatlin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Just saw a couple new posts, but heres an update:

    Took out coil, wires looked like they burned a little (ground and yellow wire); I took it out and a guy I met at auto shop tested it - coil still good. I put some electrical tape over burned part of wire (plastic insulating layer) and put it back in, seated the connectors and made sure to put ground back on screw. sprayed some battery terminal cleaner on the two cruddy points and wiped em off. Sprayed some carb cleaner down the carb and gave her a shot - no go.

    I replaced blown fuse for lights. Did not see any other blown fuses. I will be checking to see if fuel come out in a few. I could not locate the Ignition Control module in the pictures - is it the thing simply labeled 'module'?

  10. #9
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    The IC module is mounted inside, to the bottom of the distributor. You would have to remove the rotor to see it.


    Here is a picture of a bunch of aftermarket ones. There are a couple different GM versions depending on the year and system. Ummm, 4 pin, 5 pin, 7 pin versions. I forget.



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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    The pins on the IC module can go green.

    Or the AC pick up coil can go green.

    The distributor has to be taken apart to replace the pickup coil. IC module can be replaced with the distrib in the car.

    Good chance it is the IC module, green connectors to IC, or green pickup coil.



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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Picture of GM HEI pick up coil.

  13. #12
    jhcatlin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    How obvious is it when fuel sprayed into carb? I couldn't really see anything. I can smell gas, but I did not get a visual. I removed air filter unit and looked down in between those fuel injector things on the carb. Perhaps it is the fuel pump after all? BTW, will update profile, just put on first post to save time.

  14. #13
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Try spraying some fuel down there while someone cranks the engine. If it starts, your problem is fuel related. If not, it is ignition.

  15. #14
    Logandiagnostic's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    Ranger is correct.

    Ether spray while cranking will tell alot.

    I havent worked on a '85 in 10 years.

    I would have to look it up. I think the injector pulse would be tied into a ignition pulse via the ECM.

    With the car cranking. It should be very obvious if the injectors are working and spraying fuel. Spray bell of fuel, clicking etc.

    So...no spray, no injection pulse.

    I have seen mid '80's Cadillac ECM's lose a injector driver. One would spray, the other would not.


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  16. #15
    jhcatlin is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Suddenly Won't start, no Spark, 1985 Eldorado

    I sprayed some carb cleaner and got nothin. Prob distributor then?

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