Why The HEI Spark Tester?
If you have read any of my ignition system test articles, you'll notice that I'm always writing the article around the HEI spark tester. Why? Well for several reasons and they are:
The HEI spark tester is accurate and this will save you money making your diagnostic reach the right conclusion and this will keep you from replacing good parts.
How? Well, no other spark tester stress tests the ignition coil or the spark plug wire (high tension wire) like the HEI spark tester. The stress test that the HEI spark tester puts the ignition coil under, produces a spark or a No spark test result you can take to the bank.
The HEI spark tester does not cost an arm and a leg. It usually retails for around 10 to 14 US dollars (don't have an HEI spark tester? Need to buy one? You can buy it here: OTC 6589 Electronic Ignition Spark Tester).
You don't have to interpret the color of the spark on the HEI spark tester. On some spark testers, it's suggested that you have to interpret the color of the spark (which is total BS in the first place since the color of the spark has nothing to do with anything).
If the HEI spark tester sparks, the spark is present and strong enough. If it doesn't spark, then you have a bona-fide No spark result you can trust.
In the long years I've spent working as a diagnostic automotive technician, I have used a lot of different tools to test for spark and from personal experience I know it works and I can therefore recommend it to you.
Related Test Articles
I've written several more tutorials that may be of interest to you. These are specific 3.0L, 3.8L Ford car (pick up, van) tutorials you can find here: Ford 3.0L, 3.8L Index Of Articles.
If you need a complete ignition system test article I recommend two I have written and located at easyautodiagnostics.com:
1.) If your Ford vehicle has the ignition control module mounted on the distributor, go to: Ford Distributor Mounted Ignition Module & PIP Sensor Test (this article is found at easyautodiagnostics.com).
2.) If your Ford vehicle has the ignition control module mounted on the fender, go to: Ford Fender Mounted Ignition Module & PIP Sensor Test (this article is found at easyautodiagnostics.com).
If this info saved the day, buy me a beer!