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Discussion Starter #1
Hiya all. Seems like my plans for my 65 may have taken a rather
crappy turn.

Car was running great till yesterday morning. The 6 was sounding
great and smooth as silk.I was driving about a mile from home
and suddenly got a heavy shudder, a drop in power then it died. Now it
will turn over but not start. What worries me is as I tried to
restart it, it shudders and doesn't feel normal. (I know, hard
to explain) All the fluids are good and I changed the fuel/oil
filters about a month ago.

I tried restarting it one last time and the shudder is similar
to something spinning but not being balanced if that makes
sense. The whole front end shakes. So needless to say I'm not
trying that again.

One curious thing I found was one on the plug wires from the
distributor cap was popped up a good distance from the cap.
This was fine last weekend when I was tinkering on the car. No
fluids are leaking so it's nothing as bad as a cracked block
but not being able to start it is leading me to the timing or
no compression. I did turn it over by hand....and this leads me
to my next question...I shouldn't be able to do that when it's in
"park" right? I thought it had to be in neutral.

My buddies are worried it's a broken crank but I'm keeping my
fingers crossed. I was thinking about pulling the motor to drop
in my new 3.03 tranny so timing I guess is spot on.

Thanks for any suggestions. I'm not even sure where to start.
 

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the park position has to leave the engine free to spin or else it wouldnt start so i assume that is normal. did you spin it with a wrench on the balancer or did you just grab somthing and spin it. if you just grabbed the fan or the crank pully and spun it somthing isnt right.
 

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the harmonic balancer on the front of the engine that the pullies attach to could have broke loose as its set in rubber-could have slipped. wes
 

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Discussion Starter #4
the park position has to leave the engine free to spin or else it wouldnt start so i assume that is normal. did you spin it with a wrench on the balancer or did you just grab somthing and spin it. if you just grabbed the fan or the crank pully and spun it somthing isnt right.

I had a breaker bar and socket on the balancer. I'm going out there now to pull a few things and probably drink a few beers pondering my next move haha.

Oh, another odd thing that has changed from last weekend is that the carb is really loose...as in the entire carb wobbles. Anyways....thanks for the quick reply!

Jeremy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Loose carb? Well, I guess you are going to tighten that down between beers. ;)

Check for anything else that could have come loose. These old cars rumble and shake and I'm sure that works things loose after so long.

Beers and carb have been taken care of. I think I may not be getting spark consistently if at all. That may have been what killed it. I'm still wondering about the shudder but after trying to turn it over, and it not even hiccuping like it wanted to start, I'm now wondering if it was ignition related. I'm still on points and gave them a good rub down with some sandpaper but no change in trying to start. When I get someone to help turn it over I'll check at the plug for spark.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Day is done, it's time for a beer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So just an update on this. After trying the old trick of putting the plug against the block and turning it over resulted in no spark, I figured I'ld start there.

I was going to go Pertronix anyways at some "point" (haha, I kill me) so this kind of moved that to the "let's do it now" pile of stuff. I swapped that out and added a flamethrower coil and she roared back to life in 1 try. I changed all the plugs and did a full oil change while I was in there. Oil looked clean and didn't have any metal in it.

Long short of it, the car is back to running alright. I still should time it and a carb rebuild is in the near future too but it looks like it was the points/coil that caused the problem.

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm learning a bit more each day with this car.


Jeremy
 

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Good to see you got it going. After reading you post, my first thought would have been your coil. Great deal going electronic.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well it's dead again.

I thought I had it figured out. Pertronix ignition/coil and new plugs all went in fine. Fluids are fine as I changed everything last time it died.

It's the same problem. It runs great then I get a sudden loss of power and it shuts off. When trying to restart it shudders like something is off balance so to speak and it won't even sputter...like it's getting no spark as well.

Any thoughts? I'm about to have this towed to a real mechanic as I'm kind of at a total loss and the tows are getting expensive.
 

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Are you SURE you are getting fuel? After it stalls, take the top off the carb and see how much fuel is there. If it is low, it can cause the symptoms you describe. My 91 Mustang gives this feeling when the fuel pump dies and delivers low fuel pressure. Also, my 65 289 has a blockage in the fuel line somewhere and starves for fuel at times.

I have heard some bad things about Pertronix. I don't believe them until I see more conclusive data, but try to put the points back in and adjust them properly.

For the engine to run properly, you need fuel & spark, at the right time. So, start by checking your spark, fuel, and timing.
 

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Make sure your distributor cap is not cracked. If it has even a hairline crack, it can cause the spark to jump to the wrong spark plug(s) and can cause misfires which can do things like you are discribing.
 

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After checking the dist. cap, as was mentioned, check the fuel filter and ensure the fuel line is not touching a heat source like the engine or exhaust. Also, if the carb was loose, fix that and work backwards. It could even be the sock over the fuel inlet in the gas tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got her up and running again. I went through the fuel spark steps and found a couple interesting things.

My plug wires were really loose on the distributer cap side. They managed to loosen themselves after the last tune up I did. So I went in and pinched them tighter at the ends so hopefully that is fixed. Held the plug end near the block and had solid spark. Cool.

Fuel...Pulled the line off the carb and it was pretty dry. Pulled the line off the pump and held my finger over the intake line and plenty of suction. Noticed the line was pretty dry going to the pump. The soft line going into the pump is a little kinked from the bend going to the pump, will need to fix that. Pulled the line off at the tank. Nothing. I was out of gas. <smacks head>

Actually, in my defense or rather a lame excuse, the fuel gauge was a little under 1/4 of a tank so I think I have a stuck float or something of that nature in the tank.

I did the walk of shame to the gas station and after putting a couple gallons in she fired right up. Friggin embarrassing.
 

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SJHippie - kudos to you for sharing all the details - even the embarrassing ones.

But an embarrassing miss is still better than a broken crank - your original post was making me think of a broken motor mount - I had similar issues with a broken driver's side mount once.

The only think that bugs me about your intermittent issues is that it is intermittent. Low fuel, low fuel pressure, etc - should not be so intermittent - have you checked for any wiring issues at the distributor and coil?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Mako
I feel dumb about it but it also pointed me towards a few things that need fixing so that's ok in my book.

I am a little concerned still about the shuddering. Even if a car is out of gas is this normal? For the most part when I'm driving it everything feels great. I figure I need to check the timing but that should be pretty noticeable right away if it's off.

I dunno... the car may sit for awhile as my track record hasn't been great and I think I need to do a full shakedown before I drive it every couple of days.
 

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Great news. Don't feel bad about a dumb mistake. I drove my Comet wagon out of gas twice, and I had no excuse. The fuel gauge worked perfectly. You would know that the gauge was wrong ONLY if you suspected it and counted miles before a fill-up. If you have not driven it much, you NEVER would have noticed the gauge being wrong. When my Comet ran out of gas, it just stopped, no stuttering, sputtering, or bucking. Just went from good to nothing. Now, on my 65 Mustang 289, it will start hesitating and dropping RPM before it goes out.

I have had coils go bad and drop voltage as they heat. That was a tough nut to crack. In both cases, they were original yellow-top coils. One was on an automatic, and the engine shut down when leaving a stop. The other was on a manual, and it coughed and sputtered when coming of a stop. Different symptoms for the exact same problem.

Keep up the good work. Just remember, all of us started knowing nothing, and gained experience through trial and error in the start. For some of us, it may have been more error than trial.
 

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probubly vaccum leak is what i would say the mixture is off because that usualy shows the same sign as bad gas which is studdering when accelerating or reving/ missing.
 
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