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Old 10-23-2014, 01:05 AM   #15
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I guess the ignition control module was like a computer that controlled the spark. Apparently it was the first rv with a computer of any kind, Rick said. So I will try replacing the resistor first, and if that doesn't work I also found a couple of these nice looking control modules in the rv.
Ignition Control Module 1979 Dodge Tioga
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:14 AM   #16
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A gas motor needs 4 things to run .
fuel air compression and spark.
Spark can be checked with an LED style proximity voltage tester.
Hold it near the plug wire if it blinks, you got spark.
the cam is prolly ok, rings assumed good so compression prolly ok
you made sure it's got fuel so that's not it.
Back to spark. i think your on the right track.
On them doges the pick up coil in the distributor can get clogged with debris and interfere with the magnets passing the coils and cause it not to fire.
use compressed air to clean out the distributor and check wire connections for corrosion. some times the coil may change resistance and slowly kill the box. you replace the box and not the pick up coil in the dist and over time it kills the box again. so if the "BOX" looks like it may be the trouble, would be well worth it to look into the distributor as well.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:48 AM   #17
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The white ballast resistor is used to drop the voltage going to the ignition coil once the engine is started. While the engine is cranking the ballast is bypassed and full battery voltage, which will be low due to the heavy cranking current is applied to the coil. Once the engine fires and you let go of the key the resistor in placed in series with the battery and the coil will not burn up do to over voltage.

As for the second picture I believe that is probably an external voltage regulator for the alternator.

Since you poured fuel down the throat of the carb and I presume it didn't fire a lick the issue is simple. No spark. As said, four things needed to make one of these run.

I bet you can find a you tube video on troubleshooting the coil system. Very simple. Battery voltage gets to the coil, from there a wire goes inside the distributor where a switch called points opens and closes as the engine turns. The opening and closing causes a surge in energy inside the coil to induce a high voltage. That high voltage is distributed by the same distributor that holds the points.

It could be as simple as a blown fuse in the ignition system but not likely one in that year model.
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:36 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=YC1;2281273]As for the second picture I believe that is probably an external voltage regulator for the alternator.

QUOTE]

Voltage regulator, on that year Chrysler product was a 2 wire connector on a smaller control module.
Second picture is an ignition control module, BUT, if memory serves, the connector is not right for your application.
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Old 10-23-2014, 03:02 PM   #19
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Well thank you everyone. Got it running!!! It was 2 parts that went bad. 1 those of you who said the ballast resistor were right on. Took one of those new looking ones out of the glove box, popped it on and she fired right up. 2. The ignition control box which I have on order. The motor will run just fine for about 5 minutes then dies and has to be restarted which is a classic symptom of the ignition control box going out. So thanks to you I'm back in business. Thanks for all the advice, I'm happy to say we tackled it this time.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:11 PM   #20
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Well thank you everyone. Got it running!!! It was 2 parts that went bad. 1 those of you who said the ballast resistor were right on. Took one of those new looking ones out of the glove box, popped it on and she fired right up. 2. The ignition control box which I have on order. The motor will run just fine for about 5 minutes then dies and has to be restarted which is a classic symptom of the ignition control box going out. So thanks to you I'm back in business. Thanks for all the advice, I'm happy to say we tackled it this time.
The ballast resistor was mounted behind the master brake cylinder which is actually on the center of firewall and the ignition control module is mounted next to it on the passenger side. So perhaps this year and make was a little different.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:32 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=Skip426;2281515]
Quote:
Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
As for the second picture I believe that is probably an external voltage regulator for the alternator.

QUOTE]

Voltage regulator, on that year Chrysler product was a 2 wire connector on a smaller control module.
Second picture is an ignition control module, BUT, if memory serves, the connector is not right for your application.
This is just a stock photo. Yes the ignition box is a little different than this photo. 2 mounting screws and a main wiring harness that just plugs right into the box. This was the first year motorhomes had an ignition control module. The voltage regulator is part of the alternator. Chrysler started making alternators that way in the early 70's. That I do remember because I have been working on automobiles since I was 12. Although a lot of the motorhomes still run on fairly old fashioned technology.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:11 AM   #22
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Don't forget to clean out the distributor ...
and check it also..
Check on a rebuilt as the coil in the dist may be slowly killing the control box.

Been thar done that..
:-)
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:36 AM   #23
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Back in the day it was considered the thing to do with having an extra one. Check to make sure when you open the hood in the rain that the wet run off does not dribble over the resister which when hot, the colder water can cause the ceramic mixture under the housing to crack and allow water/moisture to get into it causing the smaller wire coil to rust and burn out.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:58 PM   #24
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Back in the day it was considered the thing to do with having an extra one. Check to make sure when you open the hood in the rain that the wet run off does not dribble over the resister which when hot, the colder water can cause the ceramic mixture under the housing to crack and allow water/moisture to get into it causing the smaller wire coil to rust and burn out.
Got yah. This does make sense. Fortunately because this a class C Motorhome the engine is inverted or set back in under the dog house. So the engine and most of it's components are relatively sheltered from the environment. The distributor on this RV is in a fairly air tight assembly. Just have to put the new ignition control module and I'm all set.


1979 Dodge Tioga Class C 24 foot. 1987 Fleetwood Bounder 34 Foot.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:44 PM   #25
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the dist is not air tight,
and will condense moisture
and will create "rust dust"
that will effect the pulse magnets
that provide the pulse
that triggers the ignition to fire.
good maintenance to check the innereds of the dist and use compressed air to clean the metallic dust out.
also measure the pickup coil resistance and be sure it is within specs, if the resistance changes it can kill the fire wall box... and will continue to kill the box until it is replaced.. ( this is actual experience I reference . )
been thar, done that, several times fer it was mentioned to me "say, did you change the dist coil ? there was a factory bulletin" ) once the pick up was changed it quit killing firewall boxes.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:37 PM   #26
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the dist is not air tight,
and will condense moisture
and will create "rust dust"
that will effect the pulse magnets
that provide the pulse
that triggers the ignition to fire.
good maintenance to check the innereds of the dist and use compressed air to clean the metallic dust out.
also measure the pickup coil resistance and be sure it is within specs, if the resistance changes it can kill the fire wall box... and will continue to kill the box until it is replaced.. ( this is actual experience I reference . )
been thar, done that, several times fer it was mentioned to me "say, did you change the dist coil ? there was a factory bulletin" ) once the pick up was changed it quit killing firewall boxes.
Average maintenance is to clean out the distributor and cap twice a year. The Dodge Tioga however does not have a mechanical distributor. This version has an electronic pick up coil. The RV has an electronic ignition control module which creates the sparks. I know because I installed a new ignition control module today. This solved the problem and now my RV is running perfectly. These Dodges were the first RV to have the electronic spark technology. I do however take the distributor cap off and blast the pickup coil with compressed air twice a year. It has paid off. My Tioga has a great 440 motor that has been absolutely dependable. This is the first time I have had to replace any parts are the RV and it's running really sweet again.


1979 Dodge Tioga Class C 24 foot. 1987 Fleetwood Bounder 34 Foot.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:21 PM   #27
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Thank you all for your help. Both the ballest resistor and the ignition control module were bad. Rust had eaten at the back of the metal housing which was out eye view. The rust compromised the weather proof seal and was eating away at the circuit board. I got and installed a new control module from autozone and now she runs like a champ. No more issues. So again thanks all for the help.
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