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new ignition module and coil installation - wiring question


radride90

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New Reatta owner here- my last one was 20 years ago, and also was a red with grey interior. I recently picked up a 1990 Coupe with 100k miles, and the plugs look all of that! due to rough starts etc i decided first place to start would be a tune up , old coil is leaking oozing goo so in comes a new controller and coil pack(magnavox )

my question is, after looking at the instructions and other pictures posted on line and on this forum it seems that my coil i took out has the blue wires hooked up on the 1-3-5 side ( on the left looking down at the top and according to the instructions and the other posts pictures i am seeing, it should have the yellow/black at #1, the 3 blue should be connectd to the side that has 2-4-6. is that correct? and other than a misfire or no start is there any harm to be done if this is connected wrong when we go to start it. 

I purposfully didnt disconnect the old coil from its controller so as to be able to reference it upon getting the new one installed. - the controller leads on the back side are not marked or numbered where as the coil  pack is . 

 

thanks for any assistance , i will load up some pics from my phone later. 

 

Phil 

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Welcome to the forum! I'm having a little trouble following what you are saying but if you take a look at the photos below you can see how the Magnavox ICM should be connected to the coil pack.

 

coils_icm.jpg

ICM-magnavox-4.jpg

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All of the coil pack assemblies I have are arranged as in the photo above. The triple blue wire is the 12 volt common to power the coils and is toward the left, or center of the car, when viewed from above with the harness connector away from you.

 

I am not sure if a makes a big difference or not? The coil(s) would be reverse polarity I would think, but the waste spark system fires in forward and reverse polarity anyway.

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sorry for the lack of clarity, here is the picture of the old controller just taken out, and you can see the blue wires are connect to the side that is the 1-3-5 posts on the coil. that’s how it came out, yet the instructions on the new unit state that the yellow wire should go to the spade connector under the #1 coil, on that side. and you can see the other picture Ronnie just posted with the schematic above it, if you flip it around so that the harness connector is on bottom so that it’s oriented the same way as my picture is , like it’s mounted in the car and you are facing it, left side is 1-3-5, but flipped open like a book the 1-3-5 is up or on right now, anyway what i am saying is it’s wired opposite as it should be. If the spade on the underside that is under the coil corresponds with the one right above it, then my old one has the 3 blue wires going to the 3 spades that are under the 1-3-5 coil connectors and that’s wrong account to the schematic and the instructions. 

 

IMG_9167.jpeg

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IMG_9166.jpeg.4586fa7a0bb884acec33d4d146e5c390.jpeg

so here it looks like i wired it up just like the old one, those 3 blue wires to the right are on the spades on tier side of 1-3-5,  but i think i need to be switched around, 

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Are  you certain your new ICM is the correct one for your 3800? Although it may not matter, the wires don't come out from the same location on it as they do on your old ICM or my old one. The wire colors seem to be correct but the ICM and coil pack doesn't look right compared to the old ones. Might just be a difference in brands.

 

 

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Ronnie, Good question, they say yes it’s the correct model number, but i noticed that too. I was going to try and use the later upgraded controller with the separate 3 coil packs and ordered them but the harness connectors are not compatible they don’t mesh. what about the coil pack looks different to you? under it? above is the same, the connectors on the top for plugs are the same too. Who would you recommend purchasing from ? they are all over the internet, ebay etc. these came from autozone and were Delphi i believe. 

 

I have a different question- unrelated - regarding the brake boost system, and filling the reservoir- i didn’t know about the process of making sure it was depressurized, so i ended up over filling it and when i turned the car on to ice it into the garage , later on next day i noticed the level now way too high and over flowed i have brake fluid all over, is that going to have ruined any seals or just pushed out thru the top ? i hope o didn’t damage any seals by having it over filled , it was literally one short start and moved the car and parked again. .

 

PhilIMG_9170.thumb.jpeg.63228ae34e4a18e67e650b345b4a5e56.jpegcoil pack is mounted 

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1 hour ago, radride90 said:

Ronnie, Good question, they say yes it’s the correct model number, but i noticed that too. I was going to try and use the later upgraded controller with the separate 3 coil packs and ordered them but the harness connectors are not compatible they don’t mesh. what about the coil pack looks different to you? under it?

What is the brand and model number of the ECM you installed?  Yes, the bottom side of the coils looks different to me but that might just be a new design. If the Delco style ICM with individual coils didn't connect to the harness they must have gave you the wrong one.

 

As for the overfilled reservoir... Just suck out the excess fluid and you will be fine. No seals should have been damaged.

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The funny thing about the actual wiring connections vs the diagram from the manual, is they seem to be directly opposite? The numbers in the diagram do appear to indicate the hot wire is connected to the odd numbered terminals. But since it is electrically isolated, it likely doesn't matter, and there are many documented errors in the manual, so the numbering could be wrong as well? I know you can reverse the spark plug wire connections as long as they are paired on the same coil.

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19 minutes ago, 2seater said:

But since it is electrically isolated, it likely doesn't matter,

I agree.

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once i get my new wheels/tires back on the car tonight i will see if it starts. 

one interesting issue on this car was a bit of smoke on start up but not at all otherwise. AFter getting it

home i was checking thru everything and found the oil level was too high, it had been over filled when the P.O. did the oil change right before i took the car, so it got drained and i started over. 

It was really starting rough having to give it petal almost like you would do with a carbureted car. My last Reatta was a '88 coupe, and i never had a starting issue with it. 

 I figured since this car sat for a long time, i would put in a new fuel filter and fresh tank of gas along with the new plugs wire and coil. 

Any one have a source for new front ABS sensors? they seem to be NA, and so do the rear struts. Marck from East Coast Reatta Parts says he will be doing another run of those so hopefully he has enough interest to do that sooner than later. 

 

My short list of repairs and fix is : trunk actuator, ABS sorted, hopefully sensors, the rough start, and soft soggy suspension(front done this week), and my driver side seat controller at the side of the seat for the lumbar and the tilt is dead so that too. 

Is there a source for window seals and trunk seals?

 

Thanks for the help and advise its great there are active members here ! 

 

My other fun project car for the past 15 years is a Porsche 914 that is now fully restored, which i got after i sold the last Reatta 15 years back. We have a very active forum and several parts vendors that have stepped up to proved new parts for those cars now, like seals and trim and such. 

 Looking forward to getting this car back on the road. I should start a new thread for my work i guess.....

 

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6 hours ago, Ronnie said:

What is the brand and model number of the ECM you installed?  Yes, the bottom side of the coils looks different to me but that might just be a new design. If the Delco style ICM with individual coils didn't connect to the harness they must have gave you the wrong one.

 

As for the overfilled reservoir... Just suck out the excess fluid and you will be fine. No seals should have been damaged.

i wast sure if they sent wrong one or if they only made them for the later cars, if they make the Delco style for the 1990 i will ahve to try a different source or part number, i still have the coils for use with that type of ICM

- i will pull the excess fluid out and go thru the recommended routine of clearing the pressure and start over. 

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About your unrelated question about the brake fluid reservoir and fill mark.

I'll attach a photo of an article regarding brake pressurization and fluid level that I keep in my Reatta to show any mechanics that work on my brake lines that require adding brake fluid. Invariably, mechanics unaware of how the Reatta system works will over-fill. I got the instructions somewhere on the ROJ.

IMG_20240605_183221486_HDR.thumb.jpg.75d252c740dd00bf25d3f228302c009c.jpg 

 

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well good progress, brake issue is sorted fluid is back here it was supposed to be no leaks, New struts are on the front, went for a drive, car runs much better with new coils, plugs etc, but i have the same  hard or rough start issue— so what’s next? 

acts like it’s flooding out. 

MAP sensor, or……?

Started paint correction, trunk is much better, interior was already so clean, not much to do there except figure out why the driver seat controls make the fuse blow….

but the starting issue has me a bit confused. 

 

IMG_9243.jpeg

IMG_9249.jpeg

IMG_9245.jpeg

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On 6/4/2024 at 10:32 PM, Ronnie said:

Are  you certain your new ICM is the correct one for your 3800? Although it may not matter, the wires don't come out from the same location on it as they do on your old ICM or my old one. The wire colors seem to be correct but the ICM and coil pack doesn't look right compared to the old ones. Might just be a difference in brands.

 

 

just wanted you to know i left it hooked up like this and while the new ICM, coils and plugs didn’t make the rough start go away it do run and drive great. 

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1 hour ago, radride90 said:

car runs much better with new coils, plugs etc, but i have the same  hard or rough start issue— so what’s next? 

acts like it’s flooding out. 

You should do all the fuel pump tests in the how-to guides, if you haven't already done so, and report your results here. If you feel the engine is flooded, the next time you get ready to start the engine, press the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor and hold it there while trying to start the engine. If I remember correctly, that will tell the ECM the engine is flooded. See how that effects the way the engine starts and let us know. Also, you can unplug the MAF sensor and see if the makes a difference in the way it starts.

 

You are doing a great job cleaning up your Reatta. It really looks good.

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Good looking car👍 You may just need to drive the car for a while to see if the starting issues gets better but it is probably time to go back to basics. In previous posts you mentioned it seemed to like some throttle opening for starting? Is the IAC clean, including the seating area for the pintle inside the housing? What is the actual fuel pressure before and after starting? There is no MAP sensor, just the MAF which can be unplugged to see if it has any effect on the starting. Does the indicated inlet air temperature seem accurate and does it match the ambient air temp reasonably well? Check for wetness inside the hose connection to the fuel pressure regulator and the vacuum modulator at the transmission. Check for the correct PROM broadcast number in diagnostics under ED99. Vacuum leaks?? Hoses and the PCV system which is sort of buried on the rear of the intake plenum on the passengers side.

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On 6/8/2024 at 11:17 PM, Ronnie said:

You should do all the fuel pump tests in the how-to guides, if you haven't already done so, and report your results here. If you feel the engine is flooded, the next time you get ready to start the engine, press the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor and hold it there while trying to start the engine. If I remember correctly, that will tell the ECM the engine is flooded. See how that effects the way the engine starts and let us know. Also, you can unplug the MAF sensor and see if the makes a difference in the way it starts.

 

You are doing a great job cleaning up your Reatta. It really looks good.

  i am waiting on a new IAC to come in , but yes holding it to the floor is how i am able to get it to start, i have not tried unplugging the MAF but i will try this next, see how that goes, Not sure how the fuel pressue is, 

i see this car has all the original injectors and i ordered the new Bosch 3 replacements i read about here on the forum and will probably replace them at some point but id like to actually know if the issue is a bad IAC, MAF, fuel pressure, filter or what before just throwing more parts at it. i would like to check the fuel pressure, how do i do that on this car and what is standard pressure, @40?  i agree with 2seater i may well have a vac leak it kind of acts like this with the slighly surging idle etc. i just printed out the vac line schematic and was going to try and take a look at those, i would not be surprised if its got some rotted out vac lines.      thanks for the other suggestions i will  look closely at the suggestion below by 2seater and check back with you all to update. i need to learn how to use the on board diagnostics, - i need a service manual!!!

On 6/8/2024 at 11:34 PM, 2seater said:

Good looking car👍 You may just need to drive the car for a while to see if the starting issues gets better but it is probably time to go back to basics. In previous posts you mentioned it seemed to like some throttle opening for starting? Is the IAC clean, including the seating area for the pintle inside the housing? What is the actual fuel pressure before and after starting? There is no MAP sensor, just the MAF which can be unplugged to see if it has any effect on the starting. Does the indicated inlet air temperature seem accurate and does it match the ambient air temp reasonably well? Check for wetness inside the hose connection to the fuel pressure regulator and the vacuum modulator at the transmission. Check for the correct PROM broadcast number in diagnostics under ED99. Vacuum leaks?? Hoses and the PCV system which is sort of buried on the rear of the intake plenum on the passengers side.

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i also ordered a new PCV valve since they are cheap and can also cause issues as well. 

does someone just sell a kit that has all the replacement vac lines? this would be great, just one kit with all the lines and connectors etc. 

 

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5 hours ago, radride90 said:

i also ordered a new PCV valve since they are cheap and can also cause issues as well. 

does someone just sell a kit that has all the replacement vac lines? this would be great, just one kit with all the lines and connectors etc. 

 

There is no kit that I know of but the vacuum lines are relatively simple. There is a single line that goes toward the rear and it connects to a special tee fitting which contains a check valve. One side goes to the 1/8" plastic line that feeds the HVAC system. The other leg connects to the vacuum reservoir football and the cruise control servo. The forward lines for the transmission vacuum modulator, the purge line for the charcoal canister and the fuel pressure regulator are mostly steel with formed elbows or short rubber lines on the ends. Be careful disconnecting lines from the plastic vacuum manifold on top of the intake plenum as it will be brittle and easy to break. The exact diameters aren't critical as long as they fit snuggly.

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