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Ignition old school with a 1987 Ram van


Old 04-29-2011, 01:31 PM
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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.



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Old 04-29-2011, 10:04 PM
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You should already have electronic ignition. No points. If I remember right 1975 all mopar motors came electronic engine.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:51 AM
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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.
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Old 04-30-2011, 03:41 PM
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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.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:40 PM
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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.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:51 AM
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Yup--73 MH w/440 has electronic ign. am scrapping the mh and trying to sell motor and trans.
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:19 AM
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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
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