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Old 05-01-2017, 08:09 PM   #1
Terry, NJ
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Default Model A frustrations.

So the coupe had been running great all last week. I seemed to have finally worked the bugs out. Not quite so! Sat. morning I was gonna take it to Hellertown, But I couldn't get it to start despite the fact that I had put it away Fri. and it was running great. Once again, no spark! So Sat. afternoon, I played around halfheartedly with it. With crazy weird thoughts going through my mind like what the junkee would give me for the GD thing. Sunday I fixed an old wheel horse tractor and ignored the POS in the garage! Today I attacked it with one thought in mind, get it running! I had been suspicious of the starter switch for a while. I am no longer suspicious of it. I managed to wiggle a wire and the next thing I knew it was turning red and smoke was billowing out. I jumped into the car and pulled the floorboard up and managed to disconnect the battery. I rounded up another switch and replaced it. Still no spark! I cursed my bad back and the pain and went inside. I was leaving and noticed the taillight was on. So now I have lights again! Yippee! I'm so grateful I won't even ask why. So when I got back, I played around a little with it and damn if it didn't make some "I want to start type noises!". But I cranked it and it popped a few times, but wouldn't start, but it is so encouraging! I know this is getting repetitious for me to keep writing this crap but this has me baffled. I've rebuilt the distributor, installed a brand new Nu-Rex ign. switch and a new Distributor cap. I'm getting desperate!
T.I.A. Terry
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:12 PM   #2
SeaSlugs
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

sounds like a nearby fordbarner needs to come over with fresh eyes and help you out. Seems you have multiple issues going on...
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:30 PM   #3
Bill in NJ
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Time to put some gas in it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill in NJ View Post
Time to put some gas in it.
In it or pour it over - and light it!!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:15 PM   #5
1929
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

I think things like this happen to most of us, we curse it up and down, but for some reason we always come back to it and try again.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:11 PM   #6
Art Newland
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Terry, wish I was closer. I'd grab my favorite VOM and a bottle of Advil, and we'd figure that out! Sounds like maybe you may have multiple issues. You need a systematic approach to diagnosing the trouble. I'd make up a simple harness, bare minimum to run the engine. Get it to run, then move on to the issues with the lighting.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:11 PM   #7
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Bill, One thing I do is "troubleshoot" with a can of starting fluid. I put some in the carburetor and if it starts, then it's gas, if it doesn't start it's ignition, and go from there. Then I confirm this by disconnecting a plug and cranking it. It's spark! It's got to be something loose or a crack in something. I have looked and checked and replaced everything I can think of. New Ign switch, New Dist cap, Rebuild of the Distributor (Shorted bottom plate).
Terry




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Time to put some gas in it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:28 PM   #8
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

One other time when you had this problem you were given a step by step list of what to check and where. Following this list this time where does the voltage disappear?

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showp...87&postcount=4
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Just think Terry, when you figure this all out and get it running sweet, you can tell us all what you found and what you did and we will all be wiser for it.

Life is a continual learning experience.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

No spark.
Power to the coil
power to the points
Ignition switch on
What I would do first
take Dist cap and rotor off, turn on ignition, check for voltage at the points when open, if no voltage find out why, if you have voltage with an insulated screwdriver between points open and close them with the coil wire next to the block, if no spark check for voltage to the coil, if no voltage fix the problem (if fused check fuse) good start would be a jumper wire from the starter lug to the coil, if you now have spark when you open and close points find where the open is (junction box- ignition switch) it is all about driving it down to the key elements. If it was a late model you would really have a problem with all the computer stuff, with the model A just check the basics,, wish I was there to help.

might be a good time to install a battery cutoff switch faster than taking out the floor boards
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Hi - use Mike's list. If you want to quickly end the despair, find a club member to come over and help you work through the list. You are going to be surprised how sometimes its the simplelist things we over look that can cause us the most grief.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:57 AM   #12
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

I have a problem reading. My eyes are not what they used to be. First, I just plain can't see what I'm reading that well and I usually can't get through a full page of text without rereading it a couple of times. I made three copies of that page, one for each car. I performed the coil test and point test and it came up good. I don't have a spare distributor to trade for the one in the car so I'll have to take this one out and check it over......Again! Just a word about my inability "get" written matter. I had a stroke in 2003 and that began my problems which also affected my speech.


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Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post
One other time when you had this problem you were given a step by step list of what to check and where. Following this list this time where does the voltage disappear?

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showp...87&postcount=4
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Terry take your time, walk away from it for a while, and don't just start throwing parts at it.

Get a test light or a Fluke meter and start going through each item one by one. When you find the problem and fix it, you will be happy and pretty proud of yourself. It is probably something very minor.

If it's getting gas, has compression, and a spark she's gonna fire. Doubt if your timing 'changed' but check and see if the rotor is turning when you crank her, may be a stripped timing gear....
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:55 AM   #14
William Kelchner
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

I have similar issues with my Roadster - I view the car as nothing more than a stress merchant. If I leave it alone in the garage everything is fine and I have no issues. Sometimes, at night, I can hear it whisper 'lets go for a ride' -- but I have learned to ignore it...

Bill K
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:10 AM   #15
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

If I lived closer, I'd drop over and have a look. There must be some Model A guy, or a good mechanic close to you that could help.
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:18 AM   #16
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

When I encounter a problem like this with no spark, the first thing I do is to see if the ignition points are sparking. If not, I screw the ignition cable end deeper into the distributor to bottom it out. Then I back it out two turns. Sometimes the cable end is too deep inside the distributor, which pushes the lower plate's tang against the distributor's metal body = shorts out. By backing out the cable two turns, the tip still stays in contact with the lower plate's tang to establish current to the points, yet it doesn't force the tang against the distributor body. Then I try to start the engine. If no go, the next step is to completely unscrew the cable end and with the ignition key "on", touch the spring-loaded ignition cable tip against a cylinder head stud. If it sparks, the problem lies inside the distributor, most likely bad points, condenser or a loose wire to the points, possibly shorting or occasionally arcing against the metal distributor body.
If, however, the tip doesn't spark, the problem lies farther back. This test does not check the coil, as you are only putting direct wiring into the mix. But if you aren't getting any spark at the ignition cable tip, you can have the best coil in the world and the engine still won't start.
By isolating the problem using this method, you can save yourself a ton of time and frustration checking all the other electrical components. Ensure that the ignition points are getting spark before chasing after coil problems.
Marshall
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Old 05-02-2017, 10:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall V. Daut View Post
When I encounter a problem like this with no spark, the first thing I do is to see if the ignition points are sparking. If not, I screw the ignition cable end deeper into the distributor to bottom it out. Then I back it out two turns. Sometimes the cable end is too deep inside the distributor, which pushes the lower plate's tang against the distributor's metal body = shorts out. By backing out the cable two turns, the tip still stays in contact with the lower plate's tang to establish current to the points, yet it doesn't force the tang against the distributor body. Then I try to start the engine. If no go, the next step is to completely unscrew the cable end and with the ignition key "on", touch the spring-loaded ignition cable tip against a cylinder head stud. If it sparks, the problem lies inside the distributor, most likely bad points, condenser or a loose wire to the points, possibly shorting or occasionally arcing against the metal distributor body.
If, however, the tip doesn't spark, the problem lies farther back. This test does not check the coil, as you are only putting direct wiring into the mix. But if you aren't getting any spark at the ignition cable tip, you can have the best coil in the world and the engine still won't start.
By isolating the problem using this method, you can save yourself a ton of time and frustration checking all the other electrical components. Ensure that the ignition points are getting spark before chasing after coil problems.
Marshall
Vert good trouble shooting technique! I would add that contact needs to be clean, the ball end is easy to clean, the tang inside the distributor can be cleaned with a pencil's eraser!
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

With the points closed, open and close the points with the key on, you can use your finger it's only 6 volts, if you are not getting spark, try cleaning them. If you still don't get spark and the points are clean it's up stream.
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:14 PM   #19
Terry, NJ
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

You all are going to laugh like hell when I tell you what the problem turned out to be! Iwent over it for the umpteenth time, only this time I was using the Ohm function on the meter. Everything looked good till I came to the points. I had rotated the plate till it was on a high point, but the meter showed continuity. I pulled the distributor and worked on it on the bench ( Light is better) I could see that the points were moving slightly but not enough to break. A .020 feeler gauge confirmed this . This had happened once before and I reset them. I don't think I put 100 miles since then. So the points loosened themselves up and closed up. Who the heck has this happen! I guess I'll have to watch them from now on. Thanks to everyone who contributed a possible solution!
Terry
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Model A frustrations.

Glad to hear it's running great...again! Jeff
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