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Old 08-08-2015, 06:56 PM   #1
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default won't start

Car won't start and there appears to be no spark at home..

I have checked the distributor which is newly rebuilt not long ago and points are clean as. I put a new condensor in not long ago also ( but not ruling that out). Any idea what I should look at next? I'm a bit of a dumbass when it comes to electrics.

Ps : the ingition switch seems a little stiffer than usual when I flick it up but the temperature gauge starts on its way back to cold so I presume that is OK.

Thanks

GB
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: won't start

Check for power at the coil. You can use a voltmeter or just a lighted probe. If no power to coil, then back up to the ballast resistor and then to the ignition switch.

What year car, battery voltage and what type of ground?
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default Re: won't start

48, 6v positive. I've just gone out to the garage and removed a plug lead and do get a white spark but it is very intermitant. I can crank for a while get a spark then not get one and get another 2 quite close etc.

GB
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: won't start

Graeme, try a test of your ignition switch by bypassing it with a jumper directly to the ballast resistor on the coil. You may also bypass the resistor in the same manner. Do the spark plug test you described, and see if there is improvement with or without the resistor. Your white spark (yellow) does indicate high resistance, which may be caused by your "stiff" ignition switch. You will be looking for a nice long blue spark as opposed to the shorter yellow.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: won't start

I agree. The ignition switch may well be the culprit. My engine ran worse and worse until it just didn't start any more and it was the ignition switch. You could bypass it and all of the possible bad wiring and resistor entirely, as ford38v8 said, by running a jumper wire from the negative battery post directly to the coil.

If that doesn't help, a $10.00 condenser is an easy cheap try.
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: won't start

I had the same problem once Couldn't quite nail it so put a relay to the coil.All the switch had to do was close the relay and then had direct full power from the battery to a 6v coil. Not quite correct but solved the problem. Geoff
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Old 08-08-2015, 10:36 PM   #7
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default Re: won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Henry View Post
I agree. The ignition switch may well be the culprit. My engine ran worse and worse until it just didn't start any more and it was the ignition switch. You could bypass it and all of the possible bad wiring and resistor entirely, as ford38v8 said, by running a jumper wire from the negative battery post directly to the coil.

If that doesn't help, a $10.00 condenser is an easy cheap try.
Which side of the coil Old Henry?

thanks

GB
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: won't start

Try Adrian Talbot - I think he lives near you.
Him or one of his rodding buddies should be able to help.
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme / New Zealand View Post
Which side of the coil Old Henry?

thanks

GB
The side the doesn't go to the distributor.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:30 AM   #10
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default Re: won't start

Thanks Prof. I've made up a jumper wire and tried to jump it as suggested, still wont start. I think it is not the switch. Now its getting dark I pulled a plug again and I can see it is firing correctly but the spark is very weak. I doubt it could ignite a fart let alone fire the engine.


GB
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: won't start

Might try replacing the condenser next. It's a cheap and easy try to solve the problem and one I missed that cost me an engine rebuild before I finally figured out that was the problem - newly installed condenser not working right.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:02 AM   #12
Graeme / New Zealand
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Default Re: won't start

Thanks Prof I did that and the one I replaced was only 6 mths old but no change. I'm now looking at replacing the old round coil with an original type ford script that C&G has in stock. Any one know how good these are? The round type 6v that is on it i now is US made not Chinese. I'm interested to know the quality of the repro old style

Thanks

GB
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:02 AM   #13
Phil Gillespie
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Default Re: won't start

See recent post Coil Question. I here J Serry gives details to check codition of primary and secondary coil resistances which can help for checking coil condition,
Phil Z
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Old 08-10-2015, 07:46 AM   #14
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Default Re: won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Gillespie View Post
See recent post Coil Question. I here J Serry gives details to check codition of primary and secondary coil resistances which can help for checking coil condition,
Phil Z
The resistance of a COLD coil won't help to determine if a coil is bad.
The problem begins when the coil gets hot, the insulation leaks and the windings leak voltage. When they cool they work again. This has been
a problem since the cars were new. For years people thought the problem
was vapor lock. It took 20 to 30 minutes to change the fuel pump, by that
time the fuel pump cooled and the engine started leading people to believe
the fuel pump was the problem. There may have been a few cases of VL but the coils were the main problem. Skip Haney in Florida has been rebuilding the 32 to 48 coils for 20 years using modern insulation and
better coated wire which STOPS the coil problem. G.M.
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Old 08-10-2015, 03:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: won't start

Beware the new coils currently available. I recently tried a brand one, engine wouldn't start COLD!. Tried second one, engine ran fine. Finally did the right thing - sent used genuine Ford coil to Skip Haney in Fla. Great service, quick turn-around time, and my '39 runs like a champ. By the way, Skip does not rebuild the "new" models. Must be a reason for that.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: won't start

I like to test stuff before just throwing a new part in it's place and hope it fixes the problem. Here are the normal resistances for the coil that can be tested with an ohm meter.



That's a start.

Then, the coil can be field tested by plugging a spark plug wire into the high voltage socket on the coil and placing it near a head bolt or plug a known good spark plug on it and lay it on a head bolt. Then, remove the wire from the coil to the distributor and replace it with a jumper wire. Then turn on the ignition so that the coil has power. Then tap the other end of the jumper wire on a head bolt and watch the spark at the end of the sparkplug wire or the spark plug if you've got one on there. There should be a nice big spark every time you tap the jumper to ground. If not, could be a bad coil. If you have a nice big spark the problem may be the points since they have been eliminated from the circuit and tapping the jumper wire is taking their place.
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graeme / New Zealand View Post
I'm now looking at replacing the old round coil with an original type ford script that C&G has in stock.
GB
Quote:
Originally Posted by 91A-77B View Post
Beware the new coils currently available. I recently tried a brand one, engine wouldn't start COLD!. Tried second one, engine ran fine. Finally did the right thing - sent used genuine Ford coil to Skip Haney in Fla. Great service, quick turn-around time, and my '39 runs like a champ. By the way, Skip does not rebuild the "new" models. Must be a reason for that.
Don't order a coil (or any part) from C&G on line without calling them first to make sure they have it in stock. Last time I ordered a coil on line they didn't really have one in stock. I sent my stock coil I'd previously bought from C&G to Skip Haney to rebuild. He couldn't rebuild it because it had already been rebuilt by someone else and filled with tar. Fortunately, he had a core available which he rebuilt for me and have had no problems since. (At least not with the coil. Other problems? Plenty. But none with the coil.)
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: won't start

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Henry View Post
Don't order a coil (or any part) from C&G on line without calling them first to make sure they have it in stock. Last time I ordered a coil on line they didn't really have one in stock. I sent my stock coil I'd previously bought from C&G to Skip Haney to rebuild. He couldn't rebuild it because it had already been rebuilt by someone else and filled with tar. Fortunately, he had a core available which he rebuilt for me and have had no problems since. (At least not with the coil. Other problems? Plenty. But none with the coil.)
Your message should have read "filled with epoxy". Tar can be heated
and melted, epoxy don't melt. It can be carefully drilled out but can take hours and cost over $100.00. I drilled a few out but doubt if Skip has the time. I believe the original potting material was a mixture of tar and wax.
This mixture dries out, cracks and allows some moisture in. Some people over the years claimed to have revived the coils by drying them.
This still didn't cure the old insulation material problem when hot. G.M.
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