Renault Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1975-1985 Repair Guide

Electronic Ignition

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Renault calls their system IEI (Integral Electronic Ignition). The major parts of the system are an inductive distributor, an electronic control module and an ignition coil. Inside the distributor are a rotor, dust seal, rotor arm and sensor coil. Note that some cars have two sensor coils.

TESTING



The Engine Does Not Start

Before assuming that the fault lies in the ignition system (coil, distributor, module), check the electrical system (relays, wires, and connections).

PRELIMINARY CHECK


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Fig. Fig. 1 Distributor pick-up sensor test-A is the magnet; B and B1 are the sensors



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Fig. Fig. 2 Remove the plastic cover plate to gain access to the electronic distributor components

Before checking the components, check to see that the ignition coil input lead is not broken.



Turn the ignition switch ON.
 
Remove the distributor cap.
 
Disconnect the ignition coil wire from the distributor cap and hold it a few millimeters ( 1 / 8 - 3 / 16 in.) from a ground using insulated pliers.
 

The ground must not be next to the coil or the electronic module.

Move a magnet (A) quickly in and out above the B1 or B sensor coils (for double sensor distributors) or above the sensor coil (for single sensor distributors). An electrical spark to ground should result.

If there is no spark, the components of the ignition system must be checked in the following order.

CHECKING THE SENSOR COIL (DISTRIBUTOR)


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Fig. Fig. 3 Using an ohmmeter to check the sensor coil



Connect an ohmmeter across the terminals of the sensor coil.
 

The needle should move.

If the needle does not move, change the sensor coil.



Connect an ohmmeter to one of the sensor coil terminals and to the distributor ground.
 

The needle should move.

If the needle moves, change the sensor coil.


WARNING
Do not use a test lamp to check the distributor coil; it cannot withstand the current.

CHECKING THE IGNITION COIL AND THE ELECTRONIC MODULE


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Fig. Fig. 4 Checking the ignition coil and module-3 is the coil and 4 is the module; (V) is the voltmeter hookup



Turn the ignition switch ON.
 
Connect a voltmeter across the two terminals of the ignition coil.
 
Move a magnet quickly toward and away from the sensor coil (the distributor).
 

If the needle moves, change the coil (3).

If the needle does not move, change the electronic module (4).

CHECKING THE DISTRIBUTOR


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Fig. Fig. 5 Checking the distributor body-A is the magnet, B is the module and P is the TDC sensor

If the distributor seems faulty, it can be checked out in the following way:



Disconnect the distributor connector and connect the two leads of a top dead center sensor (P) to the connecting pins of the electronic module (B).
 
Move a magnet (A) quickly toward and away from the top dead center sensor (P).
 

If an electrical spark is produced, the distributor must be repaired or replaced.

Ignition Problems While the Engine is Running

Before assuming that the fault lies in the electronic module, check the condition of the spark plugs and the high-voltage wires.

If the vehicle runs roughly or misfires due to the ignition, after the spark plugs and the high-voltage wires have been checked out, change the electronic module.


CAUTION
Do NOT disconnect a spark plug lead with the engine running. If this is done, the extremely high voltage produced will be grounded through the body of the distributor and will damage the distributor rotor arm.

ADJUSTMENT



Air Gap


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Fig. Fig. 6 Loosen the screws indicated (5 and 6) for air gap adjustment



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Fig. Fig. 7 Use a non-magnetic feeler gauge (plastic or brass) to measure the air gap

After the sensor coils have been changed, the air gap must be adjusted for proper ignition and engine operation.

The air gap must be between 0.3 and 0.6 mm (0.012 and 0.024 in.).

  1. Loosen the two screws (5) and (6).
  2.  
  3. Place a feeler gauge between the top of the sensor coil and one of the rotor cams.
  4.  
  5. Adjust the coil base on the screw (6) side so as to bring the coil tip into contact with the feeler gauge.
  6.  
  7. Retighten the two screws (5) and (6).
  8.  
  9. Check the air gap for all four cams of the rotor.
  10.  

If the air gap is outside the acceptable range of 0.3 to 0.6 mm (0.012 to 0.024 in.) for any cam and it is impossible to adjust this air gap properly, change the distributor.

 
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