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  • #61
    This is handy. Thanks.

    Originally posted by JohnG View Post
    since we are talking New York State, possibly valuable reading from the state is here:

    https://dmv.ny.gov/brochure/know-you...ts-auto-repair

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    • #62
      Update for anyone interested.

      Car still at the shop - mechanic has had very little time to focus on my car.

      Says it started up right away and he sees no problem. I explained that it could be a problem that only shows up when the car gets warmed up/hot.

      He says he doesn't know what is wrong and I can take the car. He will adjust the timing again. Maybe look at the carb.

      I am nervous to drive any distance now for fear I will have to be towed again. The problem is not really identified or fixed to my liking.

      Will let you know what happens.

      Comment


      • #63
        Unfortunately you found one of the downsides of owning an old car. If you don't have the ability to work on it yourself you are at the mercy of repair shops. Most don't want to tie up a mechanic trying to diagnose a problem when they can work on other cars where they know what the problem is. I understand your hesitancy driving it. The cardinal rule with old cars is if something happened once it's going to happen again. My suggestion is to join one of the Thunderbird clubs and see if they have a local chapter in your area (I know both the VTCI and the ITC had NY-NJ chapters). You may be able to find someone who will help you with your car.

        John
        John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

        Comment


        • #64
          Kirsten:
          As Dave already stated, twice in this thread, baring a catastrophic failure, if you have gas and spark, the engine should run or at least make an attempt to start. Troubleshooting an intermittent problem is always the most difficult and frustrating. Since you still have points in the ignition system and the points and condenser have been replaced, they should be good, and you can eliminate things like the failure of an electronic ignition system.
          Now, what I do in situations like this, is try to determine which is missing when the car stops (spark or fuel). If you do this, it narrows the possibilities by 50%. Something easy to do is carry a can of starting fluid, and when the car won't start, remove the cover on the air cleaner and give the carburetor a few shots of fluid and try to start it. If it fires up, then you know you got spark and are probably fuel starved. If nothing happens when you put a little starting fluid in the carb, then the chances are very good you don't have spark. Once you know this, then you can trouble shoot the bad system.
          I went through this with a Honda Goldwing that would just randomly stop after running a while. I started carrying a VOM and finally tracked things down to bad ignition pickup. Very proud of myself. When I went to the Honda dealer for a new pickup, the guy at the parts counter asked if the bike was shutting down randomly. They knew, and it took me weeks and several times of pushing the bike to the curb.
          Anyway, I also agree with Dave that throwing new parts at a problem can be expensive and not cure the problem.
          I will add that Dave also said either a ballast resistor or ignition coil could be shorting or opening when it gets hot, which would cause the engine to stop. I have seen ignition coils get hot and fail and then work fine when they cool down. One thing for sure is our engine compartments get hot, especially in stop and go traffic.
          If you do the simple test as noted above and find that it is indeed your ignition system failing, I would think about replacing the ignition coil or ballast resistor or both.
          BTW, after the car stopped and wouldn't restart, did it start okay after the car cooled down? This is important information as it would definitely indicate being heat related.
          Nyles

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          • #65
            Nyles,

            Kirsten has indicated that she has no knows very little to nothing about working on cars. All your suggestions are great but to a novice it probably sounds like Greek.

            John
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

            Comment


            • #66
              Hey Nyles,

              Even though I will say I know barely anything about cars this info was very useful.

              I could probably do what you suggested with the spray if I knew what the product (starter fluid) was, and where exactly to spray it. Do you think you could specify or private message me with this? Appreciate! If this is easily attainable at a store like PepBoys, AutoZone, etc.

              It seems smart to narrow down the issue. Those parts do not seem expensive. Ignition coil + ballast resistor.

              What I think I may do is take a half day off from work, take the car around the neighborhood for a while (near the mechanic shop) and then once it is hot enough that it begins to act up I can drive to the shop to have it looked at WHILE the problem is present.




              Originally posted by Tbird1044 View Post
              Kirsten:
              As Dave already stated, twice in this thread, baring a catastrophic failure, if you have gas and spark, the engine should run or at least make an attempt to start. Troubleshooting an intermittent problem is always the most difficult and frustrating. Since you still have points in the ignition system and the points and condenser have been replaced, they should be good, and you can eliminate things like the failure of an electronic ignition system.
              Now, what I do in situations like this, is try to determine which is missing when the car stops (spark or fuel). If you do this, it narrows the possibilities by 50%. Something easy to do is carry a can of starting fluid, and when the car won't start, remove the cover on the air cleaner and give the carburetor a few shots of fluid and try to start it. If it fires up, then you know you got spark and are probably fuel starved. If nothing happens when you put a little starting fluid in the carb, then the chances are very good you don't have spark. Once you know this, then you can trouble shoot the bad system.
              I went through this with a Honda Goldwing that would just randomly stop after running a while. I started carrying a VOM and finally tracked things down to bad ignition pickup. Very proud of myself. When I went to the Honda dealer for a new pickup, the guy at the parts counter asked if the bike was shutting down randomly. They knew, and it took me weeks and several times of pushing the bike to the curb.
              Anyway, I also agree with Dave that throwing new parts at a problem can be expensive and not cure the problem.
              I will add that Dave also said either a ballast resistor or ignition coil could be shorting or opening when it gets hot, which would cause the engine to stop. I have seen ignition coils get hot and fail and then work fine when they cool down. One thing for sure is our engine compartments get hot, especially in stop and go traffic.
              If you do the simple test as noted above and find that it is indeed your ignition system failing, I would think about replacing the ignition coil or ballast resistor or both.
              BTW, after the car stopped and wouldn't restart, did it start okay after the car cooled down? This is important information as it would definitely indicate being heat related.
              Nyles

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by ssj335 View Post
                I could probably do what you suggested with the spray if I knew what the product (starter fluid) was, and where exactly to spray it. Do you think you could specify or private message me with this? Appreciate! If this is easily attainable at a store like PepBoys, AutoZone, etc.
                Starting fluid is extremely flammable. Especially on a hot engine. If you are going to use it I suggest you have a fire extinguisher close by and always put the top on the air cleaner before starting the engine.

                John
                John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

                Comment


                • #68
                  Well here is the latest update from a min ago.

                  Changed the oil and noticed there was a lot of water in the oil.

                  Says this could be for several reasons; blown headgasket, intake manifold leak, or fuel pump leak.

                  Ran the car for an hour and everything seemed better now. I feel comfortable that this is likely why oil light came on and car died.

                  Any thought on this? I do not know why water would have gotten in and if there is anything I can do to reasonably prevent this from happening again.

                  He said it could've been from condensation or the car just sitting around for a long while.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Starting fluid is commonly sold at all auto parts stores and I've seen it at box stores, hardware stores and dollar stores. It IS flammable which is why it works. Gasoline fumes are flammable too. Starting fluid quickly vaporizes which makes ignition much easier. No smoking around it.

                    We use starting fluid on just about all hard-starting gas engines including small engines like lawn mowers, motorcycles, and cars. It works very well and because it is a vapor, starting fluid cannot 'flood' your engine (but gasoline can).

                    As Nyles suggested, use starting fluid as a brief test to prove whether your engine is starved for gas. If after spraying one second of starting fluid, your engine starts and then dies, you have a fuel delivery problem. If it doesn't respond at all, change your coil and ballast resistor.

                    YouTube has 'how to' examples for the use of starting fluid and the results you should expect. The more education you get about your car the better off you will be.

                    CLICK HERE for an example of a hard-starting small engine.
                    CLICK HERE for an example of a hard-starting car engine that is fuel-starved.
                    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


                    • #70
                      A wise experienced auto-electrician once told me: ‘most carburettor problems are actually ignition problems’ and he has been correct so many times.

                      If your points and condenser are good and set up correctly, you have a coil that is new, the ballast resistor (if it has one) and the wiring is sound you have eliminated 99% of you problem I that department ( of course there’s a slim chance there’s an issue with the ignition switch but slim it is).

                      As mentioned a good coilcan fail when it’s hot but since you said you have had the car running for an hour I suspect all is well with the coil - and other ignition components.

                      As for water in the oil? Hmmm, how much water?
                      And has the water in the cooling system been ‘disappearing’ at a significant rate?
                      Remember to only check it when motor is cold.
                      A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Ok update again. Saga continues.

                        Took the car with blessing of mechanic. But alas, the GEN light was now coming on on my drive home. I turned around and returned to shop and he was luckily still there. Immediately he checked and found the car was not charging, it was running off the battery. Wires getting voltage, so he thinks it is the generator/charging system. But I'm leaving it there for him to look at tomorrow.

                        Regarding water in oil he says it was some water and unsure if it's headgasket. He says if that was case it would probably run crappy and there would've been smoke out of the exhaust which there isn't/wasn't.

                        The radiator has water in it and it is full. He said if that were leaking then there would be a reduced level of water in that system. I believe he also said the cooling system would've been empty/low if that was leaking. And it isn't. So that's still out there as a mystery. He advised me to come back to have to oil checked to see if it gets any thinner/watered down.

                        This was before the generator thing. So it's back at the shop.

                        The good news is that he only charged me $50 for oil change and filter and recalibrating a few things, adding air to tires. Oh and not to mention he towed the car about 1 hr for free. So I'm happy about that part. Thanks to all of you for making me feel less alone in going through this experience. Your support morally, as well as mentally has been priceless!

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Owning a classic car is the ultimate love/hate relationship. You fall in love with a car and you can't wait until you buy it. Then after spending countless hours and dollars trying to keep it running you start to hate it and you can't wait to sell it. Then after it's gone you kick yourself for selling it and you can't wait until you buy another one. It's happened to just about all of us. It's a shame that you've spent so much time and money without really having the pleasure of driving it any great distance. Hopefully at some point you will have a safe, reliable car that you can enjoy.

                          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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                          • #73
                            Verdict is that generator is shot. Looking for replacement. Asked to have my dash lights looked at too since they don't work. Will update when I know more!

                            Bright side - when the oil was changed mechanic said the rust underneath wasnt that bad. Whatever that means. Sounds ok though.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by ssj335 View Post
                              Verdict is that generator is shot..
                              Generator or voltage regulator? I hope your guy knows how to troubleshoot. Up until now, he hasn't bolstered my confidence. - 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


                              • #75
                                Not the voltage regulator.

                                He seems like he knows what he's doing. The place is filled with classic cars. He just... Seems to have very little time. I'll hopefully be going to another tbird guy if the car can make the drive (about 1 hr away) after this ordeal is over.

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