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Just made an account so please let me know if this is the wrong place to post this type of thing.

So... Basically, I bought a 1974 Volvo 142 for a dollar from a dude who had it sitting in a hanger for 30-ish years. Or at least it hasn't been legally on the road in 32 years. The last TX registration tag says 1988. I know, Yikes. Also, I'm on a shoestring budget. Double yikes. So anyway, after getting it running and driving with a weber 32/36, a going out clutch, some really scary brakes, and especially scary noises from the trans in every gear other than 4th, I decided to pull the distributor to check the points gap and replace whatever points lube turns into after 30 years. Pulled the dizzy, gapped the points, threw some lube on it, got ready to stick it back in, and... Boom. Like magic, it doesn't start. I didn't mark the distributor, but there was only one angle for it to go in, so I don't think it was a timing thing. So, I figure maybe I wasn't paying any attention to where the wire that runs to the points spring and condenser was plugged into the coil. Swapped it to the other terminal and melted the little wire inside the dizzy in half. I grabbed some wire and soldered that bad boy right where the old one was. Now I'm back to where I was when I first stuck it back in, and it wouldn't start. I'm a halfway decent mechanic. I just have my moments, but I've never done points ignition before, so basically, my question is, what did I break when I ran the condenser wire to the wrong terminal on the coil? Also, any ideas on why it didn't start when I put it back in "correctly" the first time? Feel free to ask questions but in order to avoid the most basic ones...

The car came from the factory with that weird Bosch D-Jetronic CIS mechanical fuel injection.
The distributor on there is a fully mechanical one, no vacuum retard.
Red interior with a blue exterior.
My multimeter was dead, so I haven't tested the coil or condenser.
It's really late, and I can't think of anything else.
 

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“ My multimeter was dead, so I haven't tested the coil or condenser.”

Best to start there, or swap in another if you have them handy.

Also check the small bolt that goes through the body of the distributor. There is a series of nuts, washers and insulating washers that go on that assembly. Maybe something melted/shorting out there. You’d need to check if that’s the right kit for the 140 series too.

http://irollmot.ipower.com/oscom/product_info.php?cPath=26_30&products_id=1450
 

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Welcome to our world Pepper

I'm not much additional help on the Distributor, as Craig's answer is the first thing I would try (Get Multi Meter Working and start confirming the circuit).

But to confirm, when you said you "Pulled the dizzy" did you undo the 2 bolts that hold the bracket to the block? In which case it would go back into the same "timing angle" or did you loosen the single bolt that allows the dizzy to rotate?

Also would be interesting to see a couple of pictures, as the car was in Texas in a Hanger I would think that it could still be in decent shape?

And Finally, the Mechanical FI system on the '74s is the first of the K-Jet series, (not D-Jet) If the Weber was 'running' then I would assume that the system was retro fitted satisfactorily. Once you have it up and running a timing light would be best for tuning, the entire Vacuum Retard/Advance was more for emissions control than anything else as the Mechanical Advance did most of the run time advancement. So with the dizzy you have I would set the timing to the HIGH RPM range, and then just adjust the throttle idle screw and see where the idle timing settles. you may have to set the idle at 1000 to get it running decently. Emissions at Idle may not be ideal but I would think your not driving this car as a daily driver so no worse than a leaf blower. Most important to have correct timing at the 3,000 rpm range to produce the correct power and torque.

Not that the Mechanical advance is your problem (unless it's stuck at FULL ADVANCE NOW after removing and replacing) but check it's working then the following numbers apply.

From a B20 Guru Phil Singer, "At slow idle, 10 BTDC. Advance should start coming in by 1200 RPM. At full advance above 3000 RPM, 34 BTDC."

https://forums.swedespeed.com/showt...ngine-timing&p=2238301&viewfull=1#post2238301

EDIT:

Also have a look at Ron's excellent website, here is a link to the Ignition page, all your answers are here

https://www.sw-em.com/Volvo Ignition from Scratch.htm
 

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In this case, the cows are already out the barn door; but, for future reference I would suggest that in the event of non start it would have been appropriate to do the pull a plug out and check whether you still had spark while cranking the engine. If there was no spark then you might have had some kind of electrical problem which is where you sort of fast tracked to. If there was spark, then you likely have a timing problem. Now you definitely have a distributor wiring problem and you may still have a timing problem.

I didn't mark the distributor, but there was only one angle for it to go in, so I don't think it was a timing thing.
I don't know whether the distributor mounting arrangement changed from my 1971 to your 1974; but, on my 1971 depending on what you unbolted to remove the distributor from the block it is super easy to install the distributor at the wrong angle leading to ignition timing problems. At the point that you get your wiring damage fixed a static ignition timing check as described in the Swedish Embassy web site (linked by Scaramoucheii) would be appropriate. You will need a new multimeter to do that which is OK because you really need a new multimeter to check for damage due to your wiring error.

So, I figure maybe I wasn't paying any attention to where the wire that runs to the points spring and condenser was plugged into the coil. Swapped it to the other terminal and melted the little wire inside the dizzy in half.
It is not absolutely clear what you mean by 'other terminal'. Did you take the wire from the distributor and switch it to the 'other terminal' on the ignition coil? If so, that is switched +12v and would definitely explain the melted wire in the distributor. If you did that, you effectively applied a dead short to the battery +12v supply - which is why the wire melted. You may have also welded the ignition points in the closed position when this happened. If they are not welded closed then they will almost certainly be seriously pitted. I suggest that new points and condenser are in order because the condenser includes the little rubber terminal plug on the distributor body which also likely got cooked when you melted the internal wire. Rock Auto has them if you can't find them at a local supplier.

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/volvo,1974,142,2.0l+l4,1286748,ignition

Before having another extravaganza you need to determine what other damage you might have done. If you connected the distributor wire to the + supply terminal on the coil then you may have had well in excess of 100 amps (or whatever the melt limit is on that little wire in the distributor) flowing through the car wiring. On the early 140 models, the +12v supply to the ignition coil is unfused so if there is a short circuit, the short only goes away when something is destroyed. There is a real chance that you have melted something else besides the distributor wiring.

The first thing to do is remove the connection from the coil to the distributor and then switch the ignition switch to the run position. With your new multimeter, check to see whether you have +12v on the + terminal on the ignition coil. If you do, you may be lucky. If you don't, then chances are that you have melted something else in the car wiring, my guess would be the ignition switch which will require further exploration. If you have 12 volts at the coil + terminal the next step is to check your repairs to the distributor. With the repaired distributor installed back in the engine and the distributor wire disconnected from the coil, connect your multimeter in continuity check mode between the distributor wire and body ground. Manually rotate the crankshaft clockwise using the front pulley crank bolt and you should see the multimeter indicating that the points are going open and closed. If the multimeter does not switch back and forth between open and closed your distributor wiring is still screwed up and you need to figure out what the problem is. If the multimeter indicates that the distributor seems to be operating, connect the distributor wire to the ignition coil negative terminal. Now remove a sparkplug and hold the spark plug ground terminal against the engine block so you can check for spark while you have somebody crank the engine using the ignition switch. If you have spark then you have restored the distributor to the undamaged state and the next step is to do a static ignition timing check as described on the Swedish Embassy web page.

While acquiring new points and condenser, pick up a new distributor cap and rotor and some new plugs to help eliminate other possible problem sources.

If your distributor lacks a vacuum advance / retard servo mechanism then I expect that you have a non original distributor. This means that you may not be able to shop for distributor points and condenser by using the model year of your car. You can remove the points and see if they look like the pictures of the points in the Rock auto web site. The other way is to pull the distributor and find the model number - it will likely be something like JF*********. From the model number you should be able to cross reference the distributor to get the correct points and condenser (and cap and rotor).
 

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“ My multimeter was dead, so I haven't tested the coil or condenser.”

Best to start there, or swap in another if you have them handy.

Also check the small bolt that goes through the body of the distributor. There is a series of nuts, washers and insulating washers that go on that assembly. Maybe something melted/shorting out there. You’d need to check if that’s the right kit for the 140 series too.

http://irollmot.ipower.com/oscom/product_info.php?cPath=26_30&products_id=1450
That bolt arrangement is used on the early Volvo distributors. The 140s use a rubber plug spade connector 'thing' which is integrated into the condenser wiring to make that connection.
http://irollmot.ipower.com/oscom/popup_image.php?pID=350

However, if the OP has a non original distributor who knows what kind of connector exists on the distributor.
 

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Pepper;

Welcome to this forum!

I quickly read through your post yesterday, and a couple of things jumped out, which would have required extended postings which I didn't have time for at the time...but thanks to the other well experienced posters, who did have time for good extended explanations, the info you need is now posted, so I wish Good Hunting! and I'll be following with interest!

Thanks guys also for the reference!
 

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Thanks SO MUCH for the help guys. I've got finals due and my brain is totally stuck on this darn Volvo thing. It really is a debilitating addiction, isn't it? Anyway, I'll be trying to go through and answer specific questions in replies to specific people. But for a more general update: Multimeter tested the condenser starting at around 1200 Ohms and rising slowly up to around 1900. I believe that indicates that the condenser is working correctly since that resistance increase represents the condenser storing more energy. The ignition coil was tested to have about 13,000 ohms between the positive terminal and the high voltage output terminal. That seems a little high from the research I've done, and the coil also wouldn't spark to the block when I grounded it and had the key on. Yes, I did check, the coil is getting voltage.

Also, someone asked about pictures. Next time I'm over there working on it id be glad to snap some. What's the best way to share them here? Links to image sharing sites probably.
 

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Any pics of the car? Inside out and of the problem you have going on?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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Thanks SO MUCH for the help guys. I've got finals due and my brain is totally stuck on this darn Volvo thing. It really is a debilitating addiction, isn't it? Anyway, I'll be trying to go through and answer specific questions in replies to specific people. But for a more general update: Multimeter tested the condenser starting at around 1200 Ohms and rising slowly up to around 1900. I believe that indicates that the condenser is working correctly since that resistance increase represents the condenser storing more energy. The ignition coil was tested to have about 13,000 ohms between the positive terminal and the high voltage output terminal. That seems a little high from the research I've done, and the coil also wouldn't spark to the block when I grounded it and had the key on. Yes, I did check, the coil is getting voltage.

Also, someone asked about pictures. Next time I'm over there working on it id be glad to snap some. What's the best way to share them here? Links to image sharing sites probably.
Coil wouldn't spark to the block?

Does that mean that you pulled the high voltage lead from the coil to the distributor and held the distributor end against ground to check for spark? If so, how did you attempt to initiate the spark - by cranking the engine? That will only work if the points and condenser in the distributor are working correctly. Spark is initiated by the collapsing magnetic field in the coil when the coil primary current switches off (not on). Based upon what you described doing it is unlikely that you damaged the coil unless after you melted the distributor wiring you switched the distributor wire back to its proper terminal on the coil and left the coil energized with a short circuit to ground in the distributor. That would cause the coil to heat up which can result in internal insulation failure.

Test between the coil + terminal and the - terminal which should give you the primary winding resistance - somewhere around 2 - 3 ohms (zero out for the test lead resistance to give you an accurate value). Multimeters are poor tools for checking the high voltage winding. At least its not 0 which would indicate an open circuit; but, not a guarantee that it is functioning. Based upon your test of the condenser I would plan for replacement. A resistance test is a poor test for a condenser. That said, when you connect the multimeter to the condenser the initial reading should be low resistance and in close to a blink be reading up in the millions of ohms. A quick test of a capacitor with my Fluke multi showed the reading jumping to about 5.5 million ohms instantly. 1900 ohms is an indication of a lot of internal leakage in the capacitor or a flakey multimeter.

Swedespeed will host pictures for you if you click on the Go Advanced button at the bottom of the quick reply window and use the Attachment feature. However, The moderators have a rule that you have to make a number of posts or have been active on the forum for a certain period before you have that hosting privilege. You should be able to use a link to photos on something like Google drive.
 

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Pepper;

Good info from 142G...a couple of points to add...

Testing a capacitor with the Resistance function of a DVM is a rudimentary test at best, subject to the interaction of Cap under test and the instrument, and as you note, it really checks for a short only...142G's Fluke DVM is a quality instrument putting out a very small test current, and will most likely not give the same reading as a different or inexpensive instrument...in the second place, it does not check the Cap under test for breakdown, probably THE most important parameter of the component in the ignition application...

Regarding the Ignition Coil...I agree with 142G that by changing the connection "...Swapped it to the other terminal and melted the little wire inside the dizzy in half..." Points should be connected to the - terminal of Ign Coil, and + term gets Ign Power, so by swapping connections, I believe you put 12V directly across the ballast resistor (I believe a 140 has one!) and I expect burned that out...you said you're not familiar with a Points based ignition...I suggest you familiarize yourself by having a look here: https://www.sw-em.com/Volvo Ignition from Scratch.htm#Troubleshooting IGNition System (note that the 122 Ign Sys does not have a Ballast R, but that is a minor point...info is still applicable).

Good Hunting!
 

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You can add pictures to posts directly.

Along the top of the Reply to Post text edit field there is a row of ICONS

1:Use the small icon that looks like a framed picture,
2 a window will pop up,
3: Select the first tab "From Computer" to browse for an image on your HDD
 

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Regarding the Ignition Coil...I agree with 142G that by changing the connection "...Swapped it to the other terminal and melted the little wire inside the dizzy in half..." Points should be connected to the - terminal of Ign Coil, and + term gets Ign Power, so by swapping connections, I believe you put 12V directly across the ballast resistor (I believe a 140 has one!) and I expect burned that out...you said you're not familiar with a Points based ignition...I suggest you familiarize yourself by having a look here: https://www.sw-em.com/Volvo Ignition from Scratch.htm#Troubleshooting IGNition System (note that the 122 Ign Sys does not have a Ballast R, but that is a minor point...info is still applicable).
Ron

Unless the coil has been changed to a low resistance coil or a change occurred later in the production run, the 140 (at least my 1971) did not utilize a ballast resistor.
 

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142G;

I thought I remembered a BR near the Ign Coil on the firewall on my '68 140 ...but that's a loooong time ago...

TNX for clarification!
 
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