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  #1  
Old 09-01-2009, 11:19 PM
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Dakota Boy Dakota Boy is offline
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Default coil problem? car wont start.

so I noticed the car starting to run rough at idle the last few days. Then it would sort of resolve itself and run good for awhile.

When it would run rough, the tach would dance all over the place. And it was beginning to start hard; it needed to turn over longer before it would fire up.

Tonight, the car was idling in the driveway and it just quit.

Weird, I thought. So I got it going again and drove it back into the garage and there it died again. Now it wont start at all....like it is out of gas (but I know it is not) or has no spark. If I let it sit for awhile, then try again, it acts like it wants to fire up at first, then goes back to doing nothing but running down my battery from cranking and cranking.

I have an Accel Super Coil (part #140001) and an Accel "Street Billet" 52000 Series Magnetic Breakerless Distributor.

I downloaded the Accel Coil instructions this evening, and I see that this coil is sold with a part known as the "150001 Super Coil Resistor". This part is nowhere to be found...

This resistor is supposed to be wired in between the original ignition lead wire (that was on previous coil) and the + terminal of the new Accel coil.

Could NOT having this resistor wired in-line have wrecked my coil? I can also hear the oil sloshing around inside the coil. The coil was mounted on it's side, not "standing up".


My wiring diagrams for the 58-60's show that originally, there was a resistor in-line to the + terminal of the coil. Where is this device located? (The Accel instructions note that an ADDITIONAL 1.35 ohm resistor is needed if the car's wiring harness has no factory resistor.)

Any ideas here would be great....

the motor was newly-rebuilt when I got it from the seller, and has hardly one tank of gas run through it yet.

(engine is a 460 from a '73 Mercury)
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2009, 12:02 AM
gaffney1951 gaffney1951 is offline
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Default Coil ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Boy View Post
so I noticed the car starting to run rough at idle the last few days. Then it would sort of resolve itself and run good for awhile.

When it would run rough, the tach would dance all over the place. And it was beginning to start hard; it needed to turn over longer before it would fire up.

Tonight, the car was idling in the driveway and it just quit.

Weird, I thought. So I got it going again and drove it back into the garage and there it died again. Now it wont start at all....like it is out of gas (but I know it is not) or has no spark. If I let it sit for awhile, then try again, it acts like it wants to fire up at first, then goes back to doing nothing but running down my battery from cranking and cranking.

I have an Accel Super Coil (part #140001) and an Accel "Street Billet" 52000 Series Magnetic Breakerless Distributor.

I downloaded the Accel Coil instructions this evening, and I see that this coil is sold with a part known as the "150001 Super Coil Resistor". This part is nowhere to be found...

This resistor is supposed to be wired in between the original ignition lead wire (that was on previous coil) and the + terminal of the new Accel coil.

Could NOT having this resistor wired in-line have wrecked my coil? I can also hear the oil sloshing around inside the coil. The coil was mounted on it's side, not "standing up".


My wiring diagrams for the 58-60's show that originally, there was a resistor in-line to the + terminal of the coil. Where is this device located? (The Accel instructions note that an ADDITIONAL 1.35 ohm resistor is needed if the car's wiring harness has no factory resistor.)

Any ideas here would be great....

the motor was newly-rebuilt when I got it from the seller, and has hardly one tank of gas run through it yet.

(engine is a 460 from a '73 Mercury)
First things first. Look into your carb and operate the throttle linkage. Got fuel? Next pull a plug and ground it to the engine and turn it over. Got spark? If not check for voltage at coil with key in the run position(with a charged batt.). If your showing a full 12V that means you have no resistor in line and may have damaged the coil or ign unit. I believe the original ign wire had resistance built in, but it may have been changed out. I'am not familiar with the Accel dist., does it use an ignition box or is it self contained? Mike
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2009, 12:51 AM
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57ford/60thunderbird 57ford/60thunderbird is offline
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well, to me it sounds more like the timing chain skipped a couple teeth
but as far as a resistor go to the local parts house and get a ballast resistor for a pre 70 chrysler product 2 wires as appossed to 4 on the 70 and later ones

i doubt you fried your coil
it is a BAD thing to mount a oil-filled coil on its side because the oil keeps it cooled and after LONG peroids of running driving the exposed windings in the coil will get hot and possibly fuse together and kill the coil

without a resistor all you did was run potentially too much power through the wires , cap and rotor and points (if it had them) but you said you dont typically an electronic distributor can handle the higher output coils (the resistor is mainly to cut the voltage going into the old points
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2009, 01:16 AM
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Try to borrow a new coil - then you know for sure.
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2009, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffney1951 View Post
First things first. Look into your carb and operate the throttle linkage. Got fuel? Next pull a plug and ground it to the engine and turn it over. Got spark? If not check for voltage at coil with key in the run position(with a charged batt.)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by scumdog View Post
Try to borrow a new coil - then you know for sure.
I agree with both of these guys because Dakota Boy never said he doesn't have spark. He never said he could smell gas fumes, either. He said his car just quit.

Good troubleshooting starts with the basics, as Mike pointed out. Use all your senses and be keenly aware of what you find (or don't find).

My Customline acted EXACTLY the same way; run for a while and quit. Sometime later, it would start, run, then quit.

I had an old Pontiac that did the same thing, too. It would run, then run real erratically, then die.

The solution to both problems were worlds apart in my examples. So rather than throwing parts at it, troubleshoot using the basics. (First things first. - Mike). In order to troubleshoot from my computer, you need to give a whole lot more info.

In my first example, the Customline was starving for gas because the pickup screen in the tank would load-up with rust and choke off the fuel supply. When the engine stopped, gas would backwash the screen and open it up enough to run again. The problem is, rust in a fuel tank has no where to go. When I cut the tank open with a torch (yes, it can be done safely), I pulled out at least FIVE HANDFULLS of rust!

In my second example, I pulled the (GM) distributor cap off, unscrewed the rotor, and found the points wire was rubbing against the steel 'centrifugal advance' springs every time they came around. Took it a while to get through the insulation, but when it did, shorting the wire produced a spark at the coil at the wrong time.

You may have a bad coil, but you may not. Since you changed ignition systems, there's no sense in referencing the service manual. My Customline's 292 Y-Block coil was mounted sideways and clamped to the intake manifold from the factory. It still works just fine.


Do Mike's tests when your engine dies. Let us know if it has spark. Accel does the timing, and some units double-spark at low rpm's. But the real spark is produced in your coil. All Accel does is trigger it. Some of those aftermarket systems ran without a ballast resistor. Others used a coil with an INTERNAL resistance. (They're usually marked on the coil as such.)
Again, we need more info from you. Let us know what you find.
- Dave
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2009, 11:57 PM
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I'm an idiot.

the car was out of gas....




BUT.....the tank WASN'T empty. Hell, I drained about 3 or 4 gallons out of it tonight before I messed with the fuel filters.

This car has two lines exiting the very REAR of each corner of the tank. Definitely not at the lowest part of the tank.

Each line runs to a typical little metal fuel filter (two filters feeding into the Mallory), then they meet and feed into a huge Mallory canister-type racing-grade fuel filter rated at 200 gph.

None of them were plugged.

Do these old T-bird tanks have an INTERNAL feed line that runs into the very bottom of the tank?

If so, maybe mine has rotted off? ( I had a '73 John Deere snowmobile that faked me out in the same fashion. It acted like it was out of gas, but the hose inside the gas tank had fallen off.).

Last edited by Dakota Boy : 09-05-2009 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
... the Customline was starving for gas because the pickup screen in the tank would load-up with rust and choke off the fuel supply...
Yeah, my filters were good and I had gas, too! But the pickup screen IN THE TANK...

Do you have a pickup screen in your tank? Probably so. Rust might well be the reason you aren't passing fuel. Drop the tank, go outside in the middle of the yard, and invert it while you spray lots of water in there. I hope you have pieces of rust instead of varnish. Don't worry about getting all the water out at the end. Our new reformulated gasohol sucks up water faster than Scotch so a few droplets won't matter.

Rust has no where to go as long as you have a screen. Mine looked almost like an oil pan pickup with a very fine mesh on the bottom. Hope this helps. - Dave Dare
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:55 AM
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Default coil problem? car wont start.

Don't feel bad about finding out you were out of gas. Or at least, there was no gas getting up to the carb. Not to long after I got Rose, my good friend of many years, and an auto mechanic all his life, was working on starting problems on her. We worked for some time trying to figure out what was going on, knowing that we had gas in the tank. We thought! At that point, the gauges were not working right so we could not anything by them. We had been running the engine a lot and never thought we could possibly be out of gas. He finally said that this car acts just like a car would when it is out of gas. So he opened the trunk, took the cover off the gas tank, shined a flashlight down into the tank and found it empty! It is amazing how well an old Tbird will run when you put some gas in the tank!
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2009, 08:12 AM
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On the gas: dont feel bad at all! In fact you may learn some valuable things out of all this that will save trouble in the future.

This is a 1958 which is what I have. My tank is original. The fuel comes out of the left front lower corner. One line. There is a factory wire mesh strainer inside. I can get all but about a pint or two of gas. (not a good idea but possible).

So yours sounds like all kinds of mods have been made. Or the tank has been replaced with some other version. Thus you need to understand how it works and its pros and cons.

Unfortunately alot of the time when a car gets modified in some functional way, eventually someone ends up concluding "you know, those Ford guys knew what they were doing and this shoulda been left as it was". If you have gallons of gas you can't use...

On your Accel setup, for the future, if the setup calls for a ballast, by all means get one. Cheap money.

good luck!
john
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2009, 09:20 AM
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I'll have to peek inside the tank this winter and see what is in there.... My tank has a ferrule on the front right corner, and there is a threaded plug in it. That's where I drained the gas from. Sounds like I should just put a supply line there where the plug is and run it to the Mallory filter canister.

The previous owner got the car, about a decade ago, from some other guy who had intended to make the car into a drag race car. So that may explain why the tank has an outlet in the back of each rear corner.

Right now, the tank is FULL of gas and ready to go to the Time Machine Nationals tomorrow at Great Lakes Dragway. It's all pre-'73 cars, front-engine dragsters, wheel-standers, Altereds, etc etc. My 8 yr old loves it.

There is a car show there too, and we'll get in free if we show up in the T-bird....

I wont let the gas gauge drop below about 1/3 full again until this is sorted out. The gauge does seem to be quite accurate.

One other thing, when I drained the tank, the gas was quite clean. no chunks of rust, or dirt, or Jimmy Hoffa, nothing but gas.


Thanks

Last edited by Dakota Boy : 09-05-2009 at 10:24 AM.
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