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Engine Running Problems

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  • Engine Running Problems

    Hi All,
    A couple of trips ago I noticed my 430 occasionally faltering for a split second while driving. It felt like the ignition was momentarily disconnected then reconnected. Just this weekend it got worse to the point where it was happening continuously to the point where the engine stalled and wouldn't restart.

    When it was cold I managed to get it to run again and put it away to investigate. I can barely get it to idle and when it does it runs really roughly. Using the timing light I determined that all 8 cylinders are sparking very erratically, two hardly at all. I have checked all the ignition parts (resistor, coil, spark plugs, leads, distributor) and everything seems to be OK. The mixture and timing were correct before things started going wrong.

    Would anyone be able to suggest what might be wrong ? Apart from electrical components I'm not sure what would deteriorate so fast (within the space of a few trips). Please let me know if you need further information.

    Thanks so much

  • #2
    Engine running poorly

    Your symptoms are almost exactly what mine were when i had a fuel pump pushrod / cam failure . I cannot get mine to run at all now on the engine actuated fuel pump I have tried new pump's as well as new push rod's It is evident that my pump cam has worn enough that there is not sufficient throw to function. It started out just as your symptom's & finally just gave up. I installed an Electric fuel pump & have never been happier. It run's perfect. The car sat all summer & when we got down here to florida it fired up and idled on the first crank. We are lucky enough down here to have 90 octane non ethanol gas avail so that is a + for a quick start (marathon rec 90) but the electric pump fills the carb immediatly so little to no cranking is the norm. i recommend the pump have a shutoff toggle under the dash (for saftey) & the pump must be mounted at or below tank level as they push not pull. I have mine mounted on the left rear side & have a large inline filter ahead of it
    Good luck solving your problem


    • #3
      Tim, I need more background. Do you still use points? Was the distributor ever pulled out and re-installed? When your damper timing marks are at TDC, does the dizzy rotor point directly at #1 spark plug tower? (If it points to #6, rotate the crank another turn.)

      If the distributor gear is 'set' wrong, the rotor will be on the trailing or leading edge of the tower when it sparks. After awhile, internal carbon traces develop in the cap, causing the spark to jump to a wrong spark plug wire.

      If you think the electrical just cut out, it probably did. Carefully follow the small wire from your points to your coil. Move it around and see if any part of that wire is scraping bare metal. I once had one that was too long, and it hit the rotating parts inside. At regular intervals, it would ground, causing an 'extra' spark every time.

      If the points/wire is ok, check your coil connections. A loose connection will give you fits, but is easy and cheap to fix. Don't forget to check your engine ground wire.

      I like the idea of using an electric fuel pump, but if you do, please install a 'safety cutout' switch. Every new car has one, in case of a crash you want the fuel pump to shut off automatically. This cutout switch works like a pendulum, with a reset button. Junk yards throw them out daily. - 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

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan


      • #4
        Hi Ben,

        Thanks for your tip. I'll check this out as an option. How did you tell whether the mechanical fuel pump was delivering enough fuel ?

        Hi Dave,

        Thanks for your advice too. Yes I'm still using points. I replaced all the servicable parts some months back (plugs, leads, cap, rotor, points, condensor) and it was fine for a long time until recently.

        Thanks all


        • #5
          engine running poorly

          My engine started cutting out then catching then when i stopped It would not restart We first checked for spark & there was plenty. We disconnected the fuel line at the carb & spun the engine & did not get a dribble of gas Luckily it quit near a friend's house so we towed it over to his garage. He installed the electric fuel pump for me that week. That was 2 yr's ago & it has run flawlessly ever since i am about 3 thousand miles on this setup Believe me it work's great there is no spinning of the starter / engine It crank's about one revolution & is running.
          Hope you solve your problem as easy as i did


          • #6
            Engine not firing

            Tim , another thought to consider I've had it happen to me but on a newer car , that is your timing chain jumping a cog throwing your timing out . It's reaction was the same as what had happened to you . I don't know if your car has a lot of miles on it, but another possibility to consider . Good luck Ian .