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Discussion Starter #1
Background: http://forums.vintage-mustang.com/showtopic.php?tid/1513605/post/2097204/hl//fromsearch/1/

(If you don't feel like reading it... car ran great last week for an hour, then I shut it off and it wouldn't start again and continued to not start for the next two days. Been fighting timing problems ever since I changed from a 2bbl to 4bbl carb.)

Now, update - I just started fiddling with it again for the first time in about six days. I had not yet done the pull-the-plug, crank-the-engine suggestion Sokoloff made in the above-mentioned thread... I wanted to see if the long time sitting maybe had cleared things out before I pulled the plug.

First time - car didn't start.

Second time - Turned the engine around to TDC, pulled the distributor, adjusted it, had it turned all the way to the left as far as it would go. Engine turned over, tried to run, couldn't.

Third time - Found TDC again, pulled the distributor, moved it one notch clockwise and turned the distributor way right to about 5:00. Didn't try to turn over, timing light showed way late while cranking.

Fourth time - Found TDC again, pulled the distributor, moved it clockwise again towards #1 plug, fiddled with the placement some. Turned over but didn't try to run.

All of this was exactly the same result I was getting last week.

Fifth time - Found TDC again, pulled the distributor, moved the rotor I think to the left but I'm not sure... was aiming for #1 plug again. Dropped it in, cranked it all the way to the left, AND THE DAMN THING FIRED UP IMMEDIATELY. It idled at 1200 RPM and was showing 0 degrees advance, running smoother than I think I've ever seen it - obviously still not right given those numbers, but running nonetheless. My wife's sitting there and I just looked at her going "why, why, why, why" like Nancy Kerrigan. I simply did the same thing I've done probably 15 times in the last five days I've worked on it and all of a sudden it ran.

Then I tried to back off the idle because I didn't want to leave it in the garage idling at 1200 RPM while I came in here to post, but didn't want to shut it off or move the distributor because I was scared to touch anything. When I backed off the idle, the engine bucked and coughed and eventually died. Now it won't run again, although it tries to run longer than it was before it suddenly ran well. Maybe because the engine is up to temp now, I don't know.

Any ideas given this latest development? I swear this thing is suddenly possessed.
 

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I hate to say this, but I think it might be time for you to get someone who really knows the old cars to come and lay their hands on your car. If I was close enough, I would. You need a new set of eyes to look upon the problem.

The timing and dist. placement does not move or change one it is properly set. If it does, it is a bad timing gear and chain. If that happens, the car would never run until parts are replaced.

Fuel can be a real pain to deal with. Again, once set, the carb settings do not change unless dirt is involved. Most carbs will run real good on the settings you have been given.

The elec. part is just getting simple power readings at the coil and such.

All these things together and an engine runs. I wonder if you are changing to many things when it does not operate properly.

Like I said at the start, maybe get some help in to have another set of eyes on it.
 

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Do not pull the dizzy out again. You have it close enough...you should be able to adjust from there. As AzPete said, get some help. I would also suggest you start looking for other things besides the timing and start ruling them out as you go. My guess is that you've had it timed close enough all along, but something else is wrong.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Here's the problem though - it's running at 0 degrees advance at 1200 RPM with it cranked as far to the left as it will go. If I do get it running again in this position and take the idle down to 800, it'll be running rich. So I need to do something to get it running at this point with the dizzy at least pointing at 6:00 so I can advance it to the left.

Mark, I was starting to think fuel as well... delivery or quality. While it was running tonight, at one point it did suddenly start to lose power, but then it came back. The fuel filter at the carb is new, as is the line to the carb from the pump, the pump itself, and the line to the pump from the main line. I have never looked at the sock in the gas tank. How easy/difficult is that to replace?

When I got this last tank of gas, it was one of the times the car was running well enough for me to get to the station and back. In this particular tank I happened to put a lead additive as a maintenance step. Could that have somehow concentrated itself in the fuel line to such an extent that it's causing a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did have to move the coil wire from the battery when I moved the coil. It's certainly possible that I could have pulled something loose when I did that.

If I wanted to try a new wire just from the solenoid to the coil to see what happens, where would I hook it in to the solenoid and what gauge would I want it to be?
 

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I had a situation where my car would run fine after sitting for several days but after a mile or so at running rpm's would sputter and die.Turned out to be the screen in the fuel pickup fell apart and it was sucking 25+ years of silt into the fuel lines. Packed the fuel filter to the point that it wouldn't run. Took days for it to settle out to the point it would start again. In my case I think it would have idled forever as that didn't generate enough force to pack things up. Put a load on it as in driving and it didn't take long. I had to be towed twice from the exact same spot, about 1.5 miles from home before I ever figure it out. :loco:
 

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Does your car try to start with starting fluid before you get it to a flooded condition from repeated attempts to start it? You can bypass the fuel tank with a long fuel line hose from the pump directly to a small fuel container. That would take the tank and the sock filter and possible clogged lines out of the picture. As noted you may have sucked crud into the carb filter so if you still have starting issues that should be checked. Good luck again.
 

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I still think you have an electrical roblem, as in loose,dirty or broken connection...I also agree it is time to have someone else more knowledgeable lok at it. I would come over to help , but I am definatly not "more knowledgeable" :p . I can come over with my 66 coupe and you can look my engine over [289 4v with a autolite 4100]if you think it may help....LMK...Lenny
 

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Could it be something to do with the carb? You said this started when you switched from a 2v to 4v carb. I think you mentioned the carb came with the car. Was the carb rebuilt or set up in any way?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The carb is a rebuilt Autolite 4100 but it was rebuilt in 1995. It had sat wrapped up in a box since then.

If I could get it running long enough that it would go the three miles to my shop, I'd GLADLY have them look at it... :)

I was thinking the same thing on a fuel line to a fresh can of gas. That might be among my next steps. I'd also like to try bypassing the battery wire to the coil with a new wire, if someone knows what gauge I should use.
 

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I had everything new, so I knew it was a fuel flow thing. If you know it ran before , I would not even consider anything right now but...the free inspection of the fuel tank filter. If you have never seen it then you know it could be original and that means junk.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah, that's certainly a possibility. If it is, it's just bad luck because I don't think it could be related to my previous problem of timing... or would a slight interruption of the fuel flow because of gunk in the lines indeed cause a timing problem?

Of course, my tank is full, so it'd be nothing but a party to check it at this point. :)
 

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I have a glass filter just before the fuel pump so I could see the junk coming in. It helped me. In fact it was a VMFer that told me to replace the tank and filter all together (the same price or even cheaper as a set than the sending unit filter thing). That suggestion was before I had problems, lol it must have been 3 days later the problems started and I took the advice too replace it. My tank had some pin holes on top if it was a good tank I would have just omitted the filter in the tank I suppose. I could not find a replacement because the plastic casing thing that held the plastic like sock was also brittle and broke.
 

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I'll probably get blasted for this suggestion, but I would try squirting some starting fluid in the carb. If it starts then I suspect that you do have a fuel delivery problem, If not then maybe.

I may have missed it but have you checked to see if the carb is getting fuel? You should be able to see fuel in the throat of the carb when the accelerator is pumped.

Also I would agree that it's time to get someone that understands these old carburetor cars. A good mechanic ould be able to identify the problem pronto.

As other suggested I would quit moving the distributor in and out.
 

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Flat bed tow trucks can be cheap in the long run. Just have a good place to take it to.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey Jim. I did check the carb for fuel... it does get jets of fuel when I push the throttle. I wanted to try starter fluid last weekend, but when I went to do so, I found I was out. I need to grab some more and try that.

Honestly after today, I'm wondering if it's not getting enough fuel below a certain RPM or something. It has constantly turned over and tried to run but has been unable to do so. When I dropped that distributor in at that one spot, it fired up immediately and was going 1300 RPM with no problems. It didn't quit until I tried to back down the idle. Of course, that could have just been a coincidence. I'm a bit nervous at starting it with the idle screw really cranked down, because at one point when I was trying to start it by pumping it, I got an Olympic torch out the carb. I don't really care for that and would like to avoid it in the future if possible. I'm concerned about a tight idle screw giving it too much gas at startup.

Correct me if I'm wrong though, but I still don't think I have the distributor set right. My timing light showed I was at 0 degrees at 1300 RPM when it was running, with the advance turned as far to the left as it would go. That would have me firing late at a 750 RPM idle, and would leave me completely unable to advance it to six degrees. Doesn't that mean I need to move the rotor one peg in one direction or the other? I'm just not sure what direction to turn it.

Does anyone know if Hagerty's towing coverage covers a tow from your house? I guess regardless, it wouldn't be that much if I had to pay for it. It's only three miles.
 

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By now, I would have pushed it the three miles....lol

There is only one right spot for the dist. I do not trust pulling and moving one tooth without going back to top dead center and verifying everything. To easy to mess up and so easy to do it right.

Not sure on the ins. thing. I would think towing it to a repair shop makes no difference in the starting point. If it does, roll it in front of the neighbors house and call them.
 
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