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Old 06-20-2018, 03:56 AM   #1
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Default Ignition Control Module overheating/bursting into flames!

1986 XE d21 - z24 engine

Looking for any insights. I've recently burned through 3 Ignition Control Modules on the exhaust-side ignition coil. I'm having a hard time finding a reason why along with a potential solution. Originally, I replaced a corroded ICM but due to a blown head gasket, was not able to drive to test it. After fixing the head gasket, the ICM overheated and burst into flames. I picked up another one, installed it, and 10 mins later it burst into flames. I thought perhaps it needed to be grounded, so I rigged a grounding wire on the 3rd one and, again, 10 mins later that one burst into flames.

So, I'm on my 4th ICM (thanks Autozone and O'Rielly's for warrantying stupidity), and I want to make sure I don't screw this one up. Where would you start diagnosing the problem? Coil? Short in the wiring harness?

The intake-side coil and ICM, luckily, are working great. It's just the exhaust-side that is giving me hell.

Please let me know if additional information is needed. Any insights are welcome.
Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2018, 01:17 PM   #2
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Have you replaced the distributor cap, rotor, spark plugs, and spark plug wires? My first guess would be that something after the output side would be the most likely cause. You can check the input side to see if you’re getting 12vdc from the ignition switch and ground. I’m not sure if the pulse from the ECM will show up with a multimeter or not.
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Old 06-20-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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Is this a 1986.5 D21 truck or a 1986 720 truck? The D21 has the Z24i. The 720 has the Z24.

I don't have a book on the Z24, but I do have one on the 1986.5 Z24i.

Everything below is based on the Z24i.

There is a Power Transistor that amplifies the ignition signal from the ECU to the ignition coil primary circuit. That Power Transistor could be messed up. (EF & EC-141)

Also, there is a diagram showing a 2.2 kilo Ohm resistor between the ECU Pin #3 and the Ignition Coil & Power Transistor (EF & EC-145).

I did not see anything called Ignition Control Module, or ICM.
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:22 PM   #4
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My mistake. It is the 720 and not a D21. And, definitely not the Z24i.

I replaced the plugs, wires, rotor, and cap prior to replacing the ICM. The original ICM had shown corrosion but appeared to work because there was spark on the exhaust-side, although very weak.

I've misplaced my Haynes manual, but have another one on order.

Thanks for the responses. I'll start with checking the ignition switch and ground.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haplessnomad View Post
My mistake. It is the 720 and not a D21. And, definitely not the Z24i.

I replaced the plugs, wires, rotor, and cap prior to replacing the ICM. The original ICM had shown corrosion but appeared to work because there was spark on the exhaust-side, although very weak.

I've misplaced my Haynes manual, but have another one on order.

Thanks for the responses. I'll start with checking the ignition switch and ground.
I strongly recommend you pick up one of these. I don't care how tight money is, you will like it much more than that Haynes manual.

https://www.amazon.com/Nissan-Truck-...dp/B000LPW746/
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:28 PM   #6
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I'm already in more than I should be. Done!

Thanks for the tip.
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:05 AM   #7
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Does the z24 have 2 coils and 8 plugs? If this is the case I would swap coils in order to rules the coils as being problem. Coils could have a broken winding and cause more draw than the ice can produce. Frying it after a whilem
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:34 AM   #8
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Thanks ridin4life for the tip to swap coils. It ended up being the exhaust side coil was failing. I installed a new coil a few days ago. So far, so good. The module hardly heats up.

And, thanks jp2code, that service manual is so much better than Haynes or Chilton.

Next up, tackling that clicking noise when I turn too sharp.
Thanks again for all your input....much appreciated!
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haplessnomad View Post

Next up, tackling that clicking noise when I turn too sharp.
Thanks again for all your input....much appreciated!
Is it a 4x4? Could be one of the cv joints is starting to go.
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:42 AM   #10
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Or ball joints.
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