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Chrysler 360 Ignition Issue

Old 11-18-2019, 02:17 PM
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Default Chrysler 360 Ignition Issue

Stumped once again with Chrysler's wonderful ignition components. Originally had a problem starting the motor, and after a lot of troubleshooting, we found no pulse coming out of the distributor. We ended up replacing the distributor pick-up coil (pic below in case I'm not calling it by the correct name) and it started right up. I got three more starts out of it and it wont start again. Tested the distributor, and again no pulse. So obviously something is burning out this coil. The mechanic seems to thing something might be wrong with the ignition coil. It was replaced last September with a generic merc coil and gave me no issues since then (until this). So I am going to try and find a Chrysler replacement coil and another pick-up and try that and see what happens.

My question is, if its NOT the ignition coil, what else could possibly be burning up this pick-up? At $38 each, I dont want to keep going with trial and error. Is it possible that I might have just got a bad pick up coil (I dont know if that would be the case if it worked two or three times than stopped).

As far as my gauges show (which are new last year) there is no overcharging as far as the alternator goes. Distributor cap changed this year, rotor and ignition coil last year.


Old 11-18-2019, 02:23 PM
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Greg... Did you pull the cap and rotor just to verify their condition? Not sure if your distributor is plastic, but careful torquing the cap down if it's got screws. I have the flat top type without clips. The distributor is plastic so it requires an easy but firm hand to the right toque. Are there any relay unit in-between that could be causing issues.
Old 11-18-2019, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by MaineCraft View Post
Greg... Did you pull the cap and rotor just to verify their condition? Not sure if your distributor is plastic, but careful torquing the cap down if it's got screws. I have the flat top type without clips. The distributor is plastic so it requires an easy but firm hand to the right toque. Are there any relay unit in-between that could be causing issues.
Yes the pick-up I have posted is inside the distributor. Cap is brand new, rotor is new last fall. I'm not very well versed on ignition systems, but it looks like it consists of a coil, distributor, solenoid, ignition module and wiring. I've added some more pics (yes I know the distributor plate is a bit rusty).




Old 11-18-2019, 03:46 PM
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Is that an old Mallory distributor? My 360's have Prestolite distributors that were original equipment.
Old 11-18-2019, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by muskamoot View Post
Is that an old Mallory distributor? My 360's have Prestolite distributors that were original equipment.
Mallory I believe
Old 11-18-2019, 04:20 PM
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Years ago i had two of those distributors that went through condensers. The issue ended up being moisture under the cap after the engine ran for a while. Remove the plate , clean it up , check advance and see if it is damp at base or distributor. It took me a long time to figure out.

also check if u should have resistor on coil. If the ignition needs lower voltage it could be getting fried
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:11 PM
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Most solid state pickups require a full 12 volts to work..you may not need a resistor.
Old 11-18-2019, 05:11 PM
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Best thing I ever did on the 360 in my Wagoneer was switch to this ignition:
https://performancedistributors.com/...-distributors/.
Old 11-18-2019, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Carolina Custom View Post
Best thing I ever did on the 360 in my Wagoneer was switch to this ignition:
https://performancedistributors.com/...-distributors/.
I doubt that distributor is appropriate for marine applications though, due to the vacuum assist to the mechanical advance.

Greg- I'll suggest you Google-search "Chrysler 360 ignition nightmare" and read the the whole 1st return. There is an ignition diagram there too.

Additionally I'll suggest it may be wise to turn off the ignition switch and leave it off anytime the engine is not running .
It's possible that Chrysler's OEM "module" electronic ignition ( which apparently does employ a ballast resistor to lower run-voltage after starting at full 12+ VDC) ) has the same vulnerability that the Pertronix Ignitor modules ( black original model, not the much better Ignitor II red one) have, that burn out too easily if the switch is left to On/Run for short time w/o the engine running.
(FWIW, I think Mallory conversion modules ... may... be prone to that too,.... even though yours is not an aftermarket conversion from points.).
Old 11-19-2019, 06:01 AM
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Try a ballast resistor.They're 5.00
Old 11-19-2019, 06:51 AM
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This is a pic of the ignition setup on my 360.Note the 4 plug resistor.Yours appears to have either replaced with something else or missing. You need that resistor.The wiring diagrams are online. If I were you,I would pull and service or ditch that old Mallory distributor or better yet, get a OEM Prestolite or compatible aftermarket marine distributor.
Old 11-19-2019, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by muskamoot View Post

This is a pic of the ignition setup on my 360.Note the 4 plug resistor.Yours appears to have either replaced with something else or missing. You need that resistor.The wiring diagrams are online. If I were you,I would pull and service or ditch that old Mallory distributor or better yet, get a OEM Prestolite or compatible aftermarket marine distributor.
Which resistor are you talking about? The block to the right of the control module?
Old 11-19-2019, 02:11 PM
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Thanks for the help guys..changing the pick-up (again), control module and ignition coil (with a built in resistor). See what happens.
Old 11-19-2019, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by gregb5220 View Post
Which resistor are you talking about? The block to the right of the control module?
The white one,center picture,behind the wiring in muskmoot's pic.
Old 11-19-2019, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mitchell master View Post
The white one,center picture,behind the wiring in muskmoot's pic.
I have that, its just hard to see in the pic. Originally we thought that was the issue but it tested good.
Old 11-26-2019, 02:56 PM
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Just wanted to update in case others have this problem.

Changed the control module and distributor pick up (for the second time), and it appears we also had a bad key switch that apparently went bad in between the tow pickup installations (cant beat the timing) as we had previously tested it.

So far shes starting up everytime

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