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  #61  
Old 08-02-2018, 11:40 AM
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This is handy. Thanks.

Quote:
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  
Old 08-07-2018, 01:34 PM
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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.
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  #63  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:23 PM
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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
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  #64  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:23 PM
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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  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:28 PM
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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
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  #66  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:41 PM
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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.




Quote:
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
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  #67  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
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
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  #68  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:20 PM
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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.
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  #69  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:59 PM
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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.
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  #70  
Old 08-07-2018, 05:59 PM
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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.
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