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  • Wont start after rebuild

    Ok masters of the engine tuning world help me out. Heres what I have after rebuild

    1) Pertronix pointless system
    2) Pertronix Flame Thrower
    3) Edlebrock 1406 Carb

    TDC is set right with rotor pointing at number one on distributor cap on compression stroke.

    When I go to start the car the car will not fire over. When starter fluid is sprayed into the carb you hear it sputter but thats it.

    I measured voltage to my coil and heres what I have

    Battery=12.56v- When first tested with ignition off it was at 14.24 and slowly went down to 12.56 with key in the on position.
    Coil Positive terminal, negative terminal coil also. 9.56v
    Coil Positive terminal Battery negative terminal 11.50v

    What does this tell me? I am pretty sure the resistance wire was removed, but I could be wrong. The wire diagram shows 4 wires going to the coil Positive and negative from distributor, Power lead from Ignition (Resistance wire) and overdrive kick down. I do not have the overdrive kick down wire connected to the coil if that makes any sense. It was not connected when I go the car.

  • #2
    Since you are not using a resistance wire with the Petronix system I would just run a wire from the battery + to the coil + and eliminate everything else until I got it started. The overdrive wire was only used with manual transmissions.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Let's get to basics... When you pull a spark plug wire and lay it on metal with an old spark plug inserted, what kind of spark are you getting? What color is the spark?

      While you are cranking the engine, what is your battery voltage? <--this is important with solid state ignition.
      - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

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      • #4
        Dan;
        If it just sputters when you put the starting fluid down the carb, you probably have a ign problem. When I first installed my Petronix, it was sort of doing the same thing. It might randomly fire, but not run. I called Petronix and they walked me through several things. The issue was the height of the new piece mounted to the rotor shaft to trigger the pickup. It looked like I was only about 1/16" off from what they wanted. I shimed the new piece per their instructions and the car started right up. Never thought this dimension was that critical.
        I guess the next question is, did you ever the car running with petronix or was this install done as part of the o/h?
        Good Luck
        Nyles

        Comment


        • #5
          Tell us the setup procedure, Nyles. I know the reluctor needs to be .030" from the pickup and it will only go down so far on the octagon.

          What is the setup? - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          Comment


          • #6
            Wire diagram shows a wire coming from the starter switch to the positive terminal on the coil. It also shows a pink resistor wire coming from the ignition to the positive terminal. Do I need both of these to go the the coil. Right now I only have one wire from the car going to the positive terminal on the coil. Also what is the purpose of having a lead from the starter switch and one from the ignition.

            My plan is to run a new line to replace the pink resistor wire to the ignition. But what about the lead from the starter switch?

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm looking at the '60 diagram in the TRL and I only see a pink resistance wire coming from the ignition switch to the coil. It shows a wire to the overdrive solenoid which you don't have so ignore that. The only other wire is the brown wire from the coil+ to the starter solenoid.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                I was waiting for Mr. Nyles to chime in but I guess I will post my Pertronix findings. Nyles brings up a good point about the system sputtering, instead of producing a consistent and reliable spark. Why this info isn't in any troubleshooting topics, I will never know, but this is important:

                The magnet ring (some call a reluctor) MUST be flush with the top of the pickup. Again, the top of the black magnet ring must be flush with the top of your Pertronix pickup.

                If it is not, use anything to shim. An 'O' ring will do, as they come in different thicknesses.

                The electronics needs your full battery voltage and so does the Flame Thrower Coil.

                You are correct by running a new ignition wire from your key switch with NO resistance. This applies to all years and model cars using Pertronix II solid state ignition.

                Since you are running a straight wire from your key switch, there is no need for the starter solenoid wire. That wire simply bypassed the ignition resistor while the starter motor was running.

                Your coil will need about 8 amps to run. I would use at least a #16 copper stranded wire coming from the key switch, then you can use the + Coil terminal as a junction for the red Pertronix feed wire.

                Another consideration is a good solid ground wire for the Pertronix unit. If in doubt, run a ground wire from the distributor pivot plate to a grounded bolt head. That will prevent current from flowing down the distributor gear and oil pump rotors. - Dave
                My latest project:
                CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                --Lee Iacocca

                Comment


                • #9
                  Coil Positive terminal, negative terminal coil also. 9.56v
                  Coil Positive terminal Battery negative terminal 11.50v


                  why is the voltage still at a 9.56 across the coil but the positive terminal on coil to battery ground is 11.50. this is when the key is in the on position

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dave;
                    Looks like you got it covered. It was over a year ago I installed the petronix ignition so I was doing things by memory (which can be dangerous). I just remember that when I was talking with a Petronix tech, I thought he was blowing smoke up my a**, but I did what he told me and leveled the pickup, and the car started right up and has been fine since. I was just surprised the instructions were not really clear on doing this. Hope it helps Dan.
                    Nyles

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                    • #11
                      so here is where I am at.

                      I found bad ground inside of the Distributor. Cleaned up the connection and now have full 12volts to coil. Next, I removed the brown wire from the starter switch then normally fed the coil since I no longer need it. I triple checked that I was at TDC on compression stroke and have the Distributor rotor pointing at number one cylinder on cap. I also ran a new wire from the ignition directly to positive on coil to remove the resistance wire. So at this time I have 2 wires on positive terminal of coil (Pertronix red and wire from ignition) and one wire on negative side of coil (Black lead from Pertronix). The magnetic sleeve is flush with the pick up as mentioned in the other posts.

                      Now here is the outcome. I turn the key and the car wants to start but as soon as the engine has a VERY low idle (very quiet) for 2 seconds the starter disengages and the car dies. I moved the distributor one way or the other, but then the car does not want to start at all. The spark plug wire and cap are in the right order.

                      At this time I have the vacuum advance hose going to carb just sitting on the port to carb. I need to pick up a clamp for it. (not sure if that would cause my problem).

                      As mentioned in the first post I have a new Edlebrock 1406, pertronix ignitor and pertronix flame thrower installed.

                      any other trouble shooting ideas

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What port on the Edelbrock do you have the hose to the vacuum advance. You should be using the full vacuum port (drivers side). That's what the original Ford carburetor used. I never use a clamp on the hose as long as it fits tight. Make sure you have all unused ports blocked off.

                        John
                        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                        Thunderbird Registry #36223
                        jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ok, you're almost there. Get your timing light out and time the distributor for ~6degrees BTDC. You can see where the timing marks are while starting. Your engine should start with this initial timing. Later, after your vacuum is straightened out you can add more advance.

                          A small amount of distributor turn makes a huge difference on the crank marks. - Dave
                          My latest project:
                          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dave, if the Pertronix is drawing 8 amps, how does that compare with stock ignition?

                            My real point is, if a car has the original generator and is at idle, is there enough power to run this ignition system?

                            or if a car has the lights on? or fan ?

                            John
                            1958 Hardtop
                            #8452 TBird Registry
                            http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                            photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                            history:
                            http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

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                            • #15
                              Dan:
                              Sometimes when you make multiple changes at the same time it is worth while to backtrack and use a process of elimination.
                              Your scenario still sounds very similar to what I went through with the Petronix.
                              1. It may be worth while to throw the points back in and see if the car runs. Then you would know it is something with the Petronix pickup inside the distributor, plus it would eliminate the new carb as the problem. I wouldn't worry about changing the wires to the coil for the test run.
                              2. If the car does run with the points back in, then I would investigate the pickup again. The distributor shaft typically has shims located above the drive gear to set the end play of the shaft. If the shaft has excessive play, it could be possible for the shaft to raise or lower enough, when the engine is cranked, that this could throw it out of specs.
                              Let us know what you find.
                              Nyles

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