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Old 09-13-2020, 07:27 PM   #1
jm29henry
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Default Engine quit running help

Could anyone please help me. I am not a well rounded mechanic and I sure could youse some help. I Was on my way this afternoon to a tour about 1/2 an hour drive from my home . I was about ten minutes in to our ride the car was running absolutely perfect so I thought, when I was coming up to a stop sign I noticed that the car stalled , no backfire no missing and no apparent noises. So hear is what I have found so far some of this may not be relevant.
1. Checked fuel no fuel problem found.
2. Check for spark ? And changed condenser
3. Check if points were opening and found distributor not turning!
4. Called tow trucK car is now in garage
5. ( My thought was timing gear ? So I took off the side timing gear Cover off
And turn the engine over to inspect the gears and from my laymen opinion the
timing gear looks good)
6. The motor has around 3200 miles since restored ,oil changed regularly and the
Car is well maintained
Could anyone please help with any suggestions on what to do next? I know you guys are smart and really appreciate all of your help in advance. Thank you Joe.!
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:32 PM   #2
Bob Johnson
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Check the distributor/oil pump gear. It has a pin which may have sheared off.
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:52 PM   #3
jm29henry
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Is that the gear inside the valve cover with the spring that holds it on?

What is the best way to check this?
Is it a common problem or do I have a bigger problem from this happening ?

Thank you for the help.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:01 PM   #4
Ruth
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Easiest would be to pull the distributor and see if the lower distributor shaft is turning. You can inspect the distributor shaft sleeve also.

I have to ask, is the distributor point cam tight? They have been known to come loose. Then the rotor will not turn.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Are you saying that the cam in the distributor isn't turning? Did you check the screw to make sure it was tight? The cam is driven from the oil pump through two shafts and they are keyed together. There is no way that those will break in normal use. If the screw at the top of the cam isn't tight or the washer is missing, the cam won't turn with the shaft.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

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Just pulled the distributor and on the bottom where the shaft fits in to the bottom of the distributor is sheared off flat at the distributor the shaft is still in the engine down in the valve body . The bottom of the distributor and shaft seems rusty?

Last edited by jm29henry; 09-13-2020 at 08:49 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Significant rusting could be an indication of a head gasket leak, bad head gasket, or a cracked head or block. But before I focused on all the horrible things it "could be", I would get it running. It could be nothing more than being old.

From what you described, I would begin with replacing the distributor shafts. A distributor rebuild is not too difficult, but you can also purchase a rebuilt distributor from the vendors. Be sure to also get a new lower shaft.

Check the torque on your head nuts, and torque again after you get the car running with the engine warm.

Let us know. As far as not being a well rounded mechanic, you have already demonstrated that you were able to determine the cause rather quickly. Kudos.

As the engine has been recently rebuilt, just fix the distributor, be certain it rotates freely (or purchase a rebuilt unit) and check head torque. Especially if it was rebuilt, it would have needed to be torqued until properly seated
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:17 PM   #8
jm29henry
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

I did have a bad head gasket a few years ago. The car has not been overheating, oil is clean, no bubbles at the radiator. Could this problem been remnants of the head gasket years before? Should I be looking for something to check Thanks so much for your help
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Old 09-13-2020, 09:26 PM   #9
GRutter
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

As I mentioned, could just be old... problems from the past.
I would focus on fixing what your immediate distributor problem is to get it running.

It's quite easy to pull the distributor again at a later date and see if there is any moisture or signs of rusting again. And if there is, then attempt to locate the issue.

You are doing all the right things.... no water in the oil. No bubbles at the radiator (how did you check that without it running? )(that would be indicative of a coolant / combustion chamber leak)

Don't over-think it or worry with everything it "could be." It's a lot easier to see if you have any other issues after its running.

Did your engine rebuilder also check / surface your head ?
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Last fall, my timing gear lost teeth on a drive and stopped dead. That is easy to isolate by pulling the side cover, then turning the crank.
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Old 09-14-2020, 05:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm29henry View Post
Just pulled the distributor and on the bottom where the shaft fits in to the bottom of the distributor is sheared off flat at the distributor the shaft is still in the engine down in the valve body . The bottom of the distributor and shaft seems rusty?
Does the shaft in the distributor turn? I’ve heard of the upper shafts seizing up from lack of oil. Would think you’d hear something beforehand if that’s the case though.
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Old 09-14-2020, 06:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

When you checked the timing gear, did you see it turn?
Or, look down in the dist hole and see it the shaft is turning. If it is, your problem is all on top and should be an easy fix.
Retorque that head. May be too late.
If you were on a tour, aren't there members who could help you? Sound like you are in a club.
Let us know hat you find.
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

GRutter I really appreciate your help and the help from everyone above , I do agree to trying to keep it simple know for worrying that is what I do best!!!
1. GRutter I try to go over the car so that I can try to avoid a roadside problem in the spring I did a good service and inspection and have not seen any evidence of a blown head gasket.
On Saturday night I went over the car checked oil ,radiator was at proper level and the anti freeze looks like new checked air ,etc.and all looked good .
I do realize I still could have another problem as it was quite rusty at the end of the distributor.I do love your approach stay calm and getting it running again and then see what I have

2. Bruce side cover is off the gear looks good and is turning.

3.Ryan I am hoping to remove the old shaft to day and install a new one with my backup distributor

4.Jack yes I have the side cover off and rotated the motor and gear looks good, you are probably right about retorquing the head, when I broke I was only about ten minutes from my home and I was with my brother we were going to the Edsel Ford estate For a fundraiser for,the Eyes of design and meeting up with a few guys from the East side A,s
I do appreciate all of the help from everyone above as I read this forum I do learn a lot and there is always something to be learned so that why I am trying to reply to everyone support
I will keep you posted on my update later today thanks again for all your help and support Joe
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Timing gear
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:14 AM   #15
jm29henry
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

She’s running again purring like usual but I am concerned how rusty the end of distributor and shaft !! I did pour a little oil down the shaft and dipped the new shaft before installing
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:18 AM   #16
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Shaft top is in the old distributor
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

She all put back together I went for a small ride every thing seems normal ? What should I be looking for next or what would be the proper approach to checking and make sure everything is ok ! Thank you all so much for all of the help and any other advice would sure be appreciated joe
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

What is your engine temperature running at. If you are running too cold it could be condensation accumulating. I usually pull my distributor when doing a tune-up to check. Doesn't hurt to put a little water proof grease or anti-seeze on the distributor shafts.
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:35 PM   #19
jm29henry
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Thank you Ruth I will get a gauge at work tomorrow and check engine temp what would be a proper warm engine temp
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Old 09-14-2020, 03:49 PM   #20
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Default Re: Engine quit running help

Good afternoon...A Model A is most happy running about 160 degrees...Often a thermostat is necessary to keep them at that temperature. Definitely re-torque your head...but these engines can get condensation if they sit over the winter and I see that you are in Michigan. When you put her away for the winter, most likely a good idea to put a coating of oil on the shafts...and then check them in the spring...also lube your distributor bearings at the same time...I usually remove the set screw for the distributor and shoot 30 weight oil in from my oil can...You did a great job of figuring out 'What the hell happened'. Ernie in Arizona
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