Ignition old school with a 1987 Ram van - DodgeForum.com

Go Back   DodgeForum.com > Dodge Vans & CUVs > Dodge Ram Van
Log In 

Dodge Ram Van The full size Dodge Ram Van that showed that we can go and do as we please. Discuss the Dodge Ram Van here today.

Ignition old school with a 1987 Ram van

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 04-29-2011, 01:31 PM
gexter gexter is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 93 Caravan and Ram250 van
Location: Canada
Posts: 20
Default Ignition old school with a 1987 Ram van


I recently bought another dodge van this one a Roadtrek motorhome. Its a 1987 318 2BL, It was running rich when I got it and decided to give it a tune up. I have to admit its been a long time since I saw a ignition coil and old school ignition. I am going to replace the cap and rotor and wires and have already replaced the plugs. But I figure that I should replace the points. Its been about twenty years since I saw points and no longer have a dwell meter. could anyone tell me if this unit uses a points and condensor or a upgraded electronic pickup and I don't have to worry about the dwell angle.

I also still have a high MSD Energy ignition blaster coil from almost thirty years ago I have lugged around for years does anyone know if I can use that or is it going to be a problem. I went with Champion platinum plugs already.



Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2011, 10:04 PM
master tech's Avatar
master tech master tech is offline
Site Moderator & Tech
Dodge Forum Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2007
Vehicle: Mits P/U , Dodge avenger(1996) .
Location: San Bruno ,Ca
Posts: 10,832
Leonard Pierce

You should already have electronic ignition. No points. If I remember right 1975 all mopar motors came electronic engine.
Dodge Master Tech.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 08:51 AM
gexter gexter is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 93 Caravan and Ram250 van
Location: Canada
Posts: 20

Master tech, thanks for the prompt response since I want to finish my tune up this weekend.

The coil is the same size as the old style cylinder with the two small post and the center that goes to the rotor cap. It has a rotor and cap design. I will take off the cap and have a look inside it to see if its a electronic contact and not old style points.

Would you replace the original spark wires at 40 000 and not bother testing them

Any thoughts on replacing the old coil with a MSD blaster 2 ignition coil, should I place a resistor on the positive to tone it down.

PS I was digging through one of my old parts boxes that have traveled with me over the years and found my dwell meter, next stop is to see if the timing light is around somewhere.
Do I use # 1 for signal? to set the timing

Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 03:41 PM
Mobile Auto Repair's Avatar
Mobile Auto Repair Mobile Auto Repair is offline
Record Breaker
Join Date: May 2008
Vehicle: 1997 Ram B2500 Van
Location: North TX
Posts: 1,175

I would replace the spark plug wires due to age of them.

Replacing the OEM coil with a MSD Blaster II coil AND then putting a resistor on it defeats the purpose of going to the MSD coil pack. Unless you are having problems the stock coil pack is very sufficient.

Yes use Number 1 plug for the timing reference.
Switchable IAT Mod for Magnum Engines
1997 Dodge Ram B2500, 5.2L, 36RH, 3.21:1, 377K miles, 33 Lifetime Warranty Parts.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 08:40 PM
Leeann Leeann is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 86

Yup, you don't have points. Even my '73 motorhome with a 440 has electronic ignition.

I've found that just putting in a new coil does everything needed - no M$D required. And yes, I'd replace the wires.
'73 Class A RV, Dodge RM300 chassis 440/727
'05 Jeep Liberty 3.7/42RLE
'90 B250 360/46RH - SOLD
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2011, 08:51 AM
nibroc's Avatar
nibroc nibroc is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Vehicle: 06 CTD LARAMIE 6sp w/315's 92 b250 van 89 b250 van 06 300C 77 D70 dump truck w/318 couple XLCH's mo
Location: the 'ville, kentucky
Posts: 265

Yup--73 MH w/440 has electronic ign. am scrapping the mh and trying to sell motor and trans.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2011, 09:19 AM
gexter gexter is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 93 Caravan and Ram250 van
Location: Canada
Posts: 20

Thanks everyone I took the advice. replaced wires, plugs and ,rotor,
rotor cap, left original coil and did a synthetic oil change. idle speed increased and better burning no black smoke out the pipe when you give it a shot on the gas. valve train as nosier, likely due to the synthetic oil.

Never got to work on a engine inside a vehicle before nice!

One more question unrelated to the tune up. there is a plate in the exhaust pipe that is drilled like a restrictor "spark arrestor"? Would that make any difference in performance if I took it out or is it against the "rules" I remember seeing them in the old vehicles but have not seen them in years. Still looking at tweaking performance and muffler change next year.

thanks All
Reply With Quote

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Too many problems, Too little money.. Mexii88 2nd Gen Neon 2 11-08-2015 02:10 PM
03 fuse block hot at all times. Not the ignition switch. Winchested 3rd Gen Ram Tech 6 10-16-2015 04:46 PM
how much nitrous can my stealth handle stealthrt95 Dodge Stealth 6 09-30-2015 02:22 AM
Ignition wire smokes delta1911 Dart, Demon, and Duster 1 09-26-2015 08:05 AM
Ignition Coils HunterBee 3rd Gen Dakota 1 09-24-2015 07:39 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:16 PM.