Starting issues

Dashbrazil

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Parked the 72 a week ago and haven't been able to get it to want to fire back up. It'll just crank and crank, sometimes it would just click when when I turned the ignition, so I replaced the solenoid first. I replaced the battery a few days ago because the current had a dead cell. Then I turn the key, it still just cranks. I checked and I know I'm getting spark, fuel and compression.

After I tried it again and it cranked for about 5 seconds it just made a loud CLICK and there was no power. No fuses blown, double checked all the wiring and no issues. Jumped the solenoid and it's back to cranking. Grabbed a beer, sat down and thought for a while, put the key back in the car and the power is back.

The solenoid's bad now and whenever I reconnect the battery the car spits spark at my face and goes back to cranking with no turn over.

My plan for the afternoon is to get a new solenoid, have the starter checked and pick up a new reman starter. It's usually taken a while to crank over and start, so I'm hoping the starter might be the issue, but any insight would be appreciated.

 

droptop73

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Michael, how is the cranking speed? Unless it is barely turning the engine or not engaging I am not sure a starter will do you any good. If it's cranking real fast it may be a timing chain. What are the compression numbers? It sounds like a possible timing issue. If you have spark, fuel and compression in the proper amounts, it must be timing.

Just a couple of quick thoughts.

 

Tnfastbk

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I agree with Jeff on this one, I drove in one night in one of mine the next morning would just crank over and not even try to start:mad: It had jumped time, replaced the chain and was good to go. Do a compression check

 

Dashbrazil

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So I replaced the starter, voltage regulator, solenoid, coil pack and distributor cap. Primarily put of frustration and noticing they were all worn anyway. Tested them and installed but still just cranks, though many other issues are taken care of. I do notice the radio doesn't come on, though the fusebox is fine. I checked for spark the old fashioned way and didn't get anything but tomorrow I'm going to get an inline spark checker to make sure. I know fuel is there and everything is almost new in the ignition system now. I haven't tried to take care of the timing check yet. I really have never played with timing before, I'm learning a lot of this as I go along and from my roommate, but he's a fighter jet mechanical :p

Now can I adjust the timing cold by marking and turning the distributor? I can't get a timing light for a few days and just need to get it running and to a safe place where I can adjust the timing properly. I guess I'll know for sure it's timing after I get that inline done tomorrow, but my gut feeling is that it is. Any advice or links to a guide on timing adjustments? I can't get to the chain where I am without the right tools, and tow trucks aren't allowed up here. Sometimes the military can be pretty inconvenient.

 

FasTnNefariouS

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A flooded carb will do that to a car. Just hold the pedal to the metal and then start the car. See if that'll start it for you. The spitting battery sparks is a concern cause even with my hood light, radio illumination, clock and alarm, my battery, when reconnected, will only give a small sizzle of a spark. Nothing major like spitting sparks as you described. Could be a short somewhere in your ignition system. Get a multimeter if you don't already have one and look for shorts or parasitic draws. Good luck!

 

T-K

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I would also check for bad grounds. Check engine to frame ground, clean and make sure its good. The same for battery cables and battery.

Here is a video about timing.









 
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72HCODE

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just make sure the car is in park. could be the neutral safety switch.

The fuse for the radio is tied to the turn signal lights, see if your turn signals are working or not.

if the signal lights are not working when moving the lever then suspect the fuse box has corrosion and the fuse has lost contact pop the fuse out, inspect it again, wouldn't hurt to just replace it anyway. take a firm tooth bush or a fine wire brush and scrub the contacts in the fuse block, you can wipe a little dielectric grease on the contacts to help corrosion in the future. then retest the turn signals and the radio. if just the radio is out suspect the radio power connector reach behind the radio pop it out and then reinsert it it might have corrosion on the connector it will be impossible to inspect that connector without taking the center dash apart and pulling the radio out.

 

c9zx

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Have you tried checking to see if the distributor rotor turns when the starter is engaged. If it doesn't turn it could be the timing chain and gears, distributor gear, or the cam gear. If it turns smoothly when cranking it could still be the problem(s) others have identified including "jumping a tooth" in the timing chain set. Let us know what you find. Chuck

 

FasTnNefariouS

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I would also check for bad grounds. Check engine to frame ground, clean and make sure its good. The same for battery cables and battery.

Here is a video about timing.
That guys good! Talk about knowing your shit :D I've watched him a few times and has helped me with understanding timing. Yup, I'm an University of YouTube student :) Awesome video!

 

will e

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Advice: Don't try to set the timing until you know it may be off. If you want to, grab the distributor and try turning it. It's possible that your hold down got loose and the distributor has turned enough to keep it from starting.

But really you have to go with the basics. Until you confirm spark don't mess with any settings. Once you confirm spark then verify fuel. It's always possible you have 'too much' fuel and it is constantly flooded. Do you smell gas when you first try cranking? Crank it a few times and then, while not cranking, look down the carb. Open up the throttle plates... did you see gas shoot from the accel pump? If not then you may not have gas. If you did, take a look inside the manifold, is there a puddle of gas.

Again, don't start adjusting things until you know what is wrong or you will only make the situation worse.

Jumped timing chain is pretty rare but it does happen.

 

Dashbrazil

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So I didn't get her fixed in time last time and had to park it, but now I'm back in state and not leaving her behind again. Luckily I know it's the dizzy so I'm buying a new distributor to finally move from points. My friend keeps telling me to get the MSD ready to run (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MSD-8350/), but I remember when they were called ready to quit's. Anyone have any input on that? I've got the stock dizzy and coil right now. Hopefully this also addresses occasional misfires and slow starting I've been having up until she died. Other than the Ready to Run, I've been reading all the dizzy threads and a lot of you seem to run Pertronix.

All I see online is the plug and plays (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/PNX-D132711/) is that what I'm looking at getting here? Sorry for my lack of knowledge, usually I read up for a while beforehand to arm myself but I'm cranked on time to get my baby home. I'm ordering one tonight to make my deadline to get out of here so I'll check back in a few hours and if there's no input I'll go with the MSD.

 

Jim and Jutta

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Other than the Ready to Run, I've been reading all the dizzy threads and a lot of you seem to run Pertronix.
I'm old school but finally did switch over to Petronix ignitor, easy quick install and it did make a big difference. I went with the ignitor over MSD since I wanted a concealed system to keep the engine as stock looking as I possibly can. If my engine had already been modified with add ons I would have probably went with the MSD. As it is, unless you spot the additional wire I ran, you can't tell it's there.

 

c9zx

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Are you certain it is the distributor? What are the symptoms? If the mechanical, and vacuum, parts of the distributor are good and you just want to get away from points this is a very stable trigger alternative. http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MAA-502M/

used with this http://www.summitracing.com/parts/MRG-925D/ and adjust the mechanical advance cam and stop (in the distributor) to limit total mechanical advance to 34-36 degrees. I've used this cost effective solution on several engines and it provides a stable trigger to 7000+.

If you want to do a Pertronix conversion get the I. I've tested the II and it is no more stable at high RPM (5750 RPM) than the I. The III seems to give people fits with the factory tach.

If you do get a distributor with male posts you will need to buy new wires as well. Chuck

 

Dashbrazil

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Thanks for the reply Chuck, I just got off work and wasn't able to check up on the thread until now though. I went with the Ignitor II kit to just refit my current distributor along with new wires and cap/rotor instead of the ready to run. It would crank but didn't have any spark, all the wiring was fine and the rotor was spinning, then I checked the module and found it was shorted out. Thanks for the suggestion though, I appreciate your input.

 

c9zx

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Thanks for the reply Chuck, I just got off work and wasn't able to check up on the thread until now though. I went with the Ignitor II kit to just refit my current distributor along with new wires and cap/rotor instead of the ready to run. It would crank but didn't have any spark, all the wiring was fine and the rotor was spinning, then I checked the module and found it was shorted out. Thanks for the suggestion though, I appreciate your input.
Does everything work now?

 

Dashbrazil

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I won't know until tonight, had the parts sent overnight now I'm just eager to get off work and hopefully get everything together but I'll post what I find out.

 

Dashbrazil

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So I got everything I need together, but while i'm still bumbling through learning about pertronix, I'm noticing I don't have the module and condenser that every website I read about and video I see shows them removing from the distributor.

Now I'm at a loss as to what I'm supposed to be taking out and how :huh: Where on the distributor is Motorcraft stamped? I saw an "89" scribbled onto the side in orange sharpie near the vacuum advance so I'm thinking that might be when the P.O. apparently replaced it..

24zm79x.jpg


 

droptop73

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I'm looking at the cap adapter and the pick-up in there and it looks like a Duraspark without the trigger wheel.

 

Dashbrazil

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I can't find any markings anywhere to tell me one way or the other, so it's at the least not a motorcraft. Will the Pertronix still fit in or do I need to get a different kit?

 
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