Help With Ignition Problem

93CalypsoConvert

Active Member
Nov 26, 2020
80
32
28
41
Virginia
Hello,

I'd like to begin with saying this is my first post, so let me know if I'm doing something wrong here. The other day I bought a 1993 Calypso Green convertible and its got some problems I can't quite put my finger on yet. The car was originally a 2.3 5 speed, but the previous owner swapped in a carbureted 5.0. One of the problems is he ditched almost all of the electronics, making the wiring a total nightmare (harnesses and connectors EVERYWHERE). The problem I am having now is no spark while cranking. The second I let off the key, it gets spark and starts. How do I fix this? Where do I need to give to coil power from to get spark while cranking? Also I am trying to reconnect the original tachometer. Do I connect the gauge cluster wire to the negative coil?
Thanks.
 
  • Sponsors(?)


HemiRick

I'd be looking at jacking under the house
Jun 28, 2020
764
288
73
58
Memphis TN
This sounds like an ignition switch issue, they are notorious for going bad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
5,960
5,039
203
44
Hello, welcome to the forum. There are lots of guys here that can help with this. Pictures are always a huge plus with stuff like this.

You'll need a test light to find the wire on the ignition switch that has power when in the cranking position and in run....but off when switched off. The coil should be connected to that wire. I could be wrong but I think the dark green and yellow stripe wire ( could be tan / yellow ) is coil ground for the tach. Red and light green stripe should be power from ignition switch to coil. ( can be verified with test light ). The ground could be connected straight to a good ground. The computer used the tach ground to control timing. Your car should have a vacuum advance distributor or one of the HEI style that has the coil on top of the cap. These styles mechanically control timing so a straight ground wire can be used for coil.

The 4 cylinder cluster tach won't work right with a v8. It'll read wrong because its set up for a 4 cylinder. Your year ( 93 ) used a signal from the computer to run the tach. The easiest way is to buy a V8 tach and wire the coil negative to it.

The correct way to fix your issue would be to get a complete engine harness for a 93 v8....that would also mean getting a proper computer and going efi. ( bunches of sensors and such ). I wouldn't be mad if you didn't go that route. A carbureted car can be cool if its done clean and with the correct parts.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
20,700
7,114
203
polk county florida
Carb swaps used to give me a stomach ache but I've noticed we are getting more requests for help in this area and we are here to help.
Most times it's a 4 cyl to V8 swap that get the carb treatment like yours did, in order to help there is a need for some info:
Is the computer still present along with the 4 cyl instruments
Did it run when you acquired it
Do you want to keep the carb or update to efi
Also what is your level of mechanical ability
 

Haste347

Member
Oct 6, 2020
16
3
13
45
Houston
Make sure the coil/ignition is not connected to the starter solenoid. Letting off the start key, then immediately getting power to the item needed for spark sounds highly suspect of this being the issue.
 

93CalypsoConvert

Active Member
Nov 26, 2020
80
32
28
41
Virginia
Carb swaps used to give me a stomach ache but I've noticed we are getting more requests for help in this area and we are here to help.
Most times it's a 4 cyl to V8 swap that get the carb treatment like yours did, in order to help there is a need for some info:
Is the computer still present along with the 4 cyl instruments
Did it run when you acquired it
Do you want to keep the carb or update to efi
Also what is your level of mechanical ability
Yes, the computer is still present. All of the instrument panel works.
It did run when I bought it.
I would like to keep the carb setup.
High mechanical ability.
 

93CalypsoConvert

Active Member
Nov 26, 2020
80
32
28
41
Virginia
Hello, welcome to the forum. There are lots of guys here that can help with this. Pictures are always a huge plus with stuff like this.

You'll need a test light to find the wire on the ignition switch that has power when in the cranking position and in run....but off when switched off. The coil should be connected to that wire. I could be wrong but I think the dark green and yellow stripe wire ( could be tan / yellow ) is coil ground for the tach. Red and light green stripe should be power from ignition switch to coil. ( can be verified with test light ). The ground could be connected straight to a good ground. The computer used the tach ground to control timing. Your car should have a vacuum advance distributor or one of the HEI style that has the coil on top of the cap. These styles mechanically control timing so a straight ground wire can be used for coil.

The 4 cylinder cluster tach won't work right with a v8. It'll read wrong because its set up for a 4 cylinder. Your year ( 93 ) used a signal from the computer to run the tach. The easiest way is to buy a V8 tach and wire the coil negative to it.

The correct way to fix your issue would be to get a complete engine harness for a 93 v8....that would also mean getting a proper computer and going efi. ( bunches of sensors and such ). I wouldn't be mad if you didn't go that route. A carbureted car can be cool if its done clean and with the correct parts.
Ok, thanks for the info. I found the dark green wire you were talking about. Only problem is when I turn the key to crank, the wire either turns off or is grounding somewhere. Still trying to figure out whats going on here.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
20,700
7,114
203
polk county florida
Nothing really wrong with a tastful carb setup.
Keep us posted on what you find.
I would start by checking the ignition switch under the dash.
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
5,960
5,039
203
44
Can you post a picture of what you're dealing with ?
 

93CalypsoConvert

Active Member
Nov 26, 2020
80
32
28
41
Virginia
Found the problem! So the +12 wire that was supposed to run off the ignition switch was actually being run off a wire from the fuse box. It was running off of the ac and blower motor fuse, which deactivates while cranking. I have now routed it correctly and it starts normal. Thanks for the insight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users