And then there was spark

The more I learn about this Corrado, the more I think it’s been closer to a decade since it was last on the road. Just about everything on this car needs some attention.

Just to recap, I replaced the sending unit and in-tank fuel transfer pump with a used eBay part. I haven’t tested the pump, but the sending unit seems to be working. I put a new battery in the car, and did some basic tests: most lights are working; the passenger window rolls down but comes off track; the drivers window doesn’t roll down; the sunroof tilts but doesn’t slide back; and the rear spoiler works fine when manually engaged. I replaced the clutch master cylinder that was bad and I went ahead and replaced the clutch slave cylinder because I like spending money (it’s two bolts and a hydraulic line, might as well while I am in here). That was all bled to remove air from the system and seems to be working fine. It corrected the pedal going to and staying on the floor.

With those things done, I now turn my attention to a singular focus of getting the engine to run. It generally only takes three things for an engine to run: air, fuel, spark. We have air, but upon initial tests have no fuel or spark.

I first tested the power to the coil and then the power from the coil and both seem to be working fine. That means the distributor is getting power, but no power is coming from it to the spark plugs. The two most common problems with the distributor are going to be the rotor button or distributor cap. For $35 combined, I decided to just go ahead and replace both. The cap came off fairly easy after figuring out how the clips that hold it on work. However, the rotor button was very stubborn. I ended up taking some vice-grips and breaking the rotor button into pieces and removing it a little at a time.

Once these were off, I put the new button and cap on and tested the system again. Success! We now have spark.

I started debugging the fuel system but ended up sidetracked on testing the electrical system. I pulled all the old fuses as they were brittle from sitting for years (most looked original the 27 year old car) and purchased new replacements. Hopefully, in the coming days I’ll get around to testing the fuel system and seeing if I can get this engine started.