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Old 11-05-2019, 10:11 PM   #1
cabrioletgalaxie
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Exclamation 1947 convertible

Question:
New to the V8 world and have been enjoying my '47 convertible this summer.
On a trip Sunday the car suddenly started running poorly, like someone turned a switch. I stopped and found a plug wire had popped off.
Started driving again and it did the same thing but this time the plus wires were fine. I pulled all wires off and crimped them to tighten the fit on the plugs. The car ran well for another 20 mins and then it ran poorly and this time quit.
Upon inspection I could find nothing wrong. It would turn over but and fired once but would not run. I live in Maine and the temps were in the 50s so do not expect vapor lock.
Sediment bowl was full.
I had it towed home. Haven't done anything else to determine cause but suspect it's electrical.
Any suggestions on where to start looking?
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Old 11-05-2019, 11:46 PM   #2
fordwife
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

coil, condenser, wires, fuel pump, fuel filter, pluged fuel cap, restricted fuel line, just a few possibilities.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:28 AM   #3
FortyNiner
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Coil & condenser would be my starting point.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:22 AM   #4
corvette8n
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Is it the original coil? Or has someone converted a it to a remote coil. Skip Haney rebuilds coils, search this forum for his info. Also Tubman on this forum sells condensors that should last you a long time.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:01 AM   #5
Seth Swoboda
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

As the other guys have said it's likely ignition. If it were mine, not knowing the past maintenance of the ignition system, I'd have the distributor tuned up and timed, change condenser and check the coil.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Will it start now that it has set a while? Coils will start to act up when they are hot and then work again when cooled down (as will condensers). Replacing the condenser would be a fairly easy first check. If that is not the issue I would suspect the coil next. Having the distributor rebuilt and checked out is a good idea as well. Several members here on the Barn provide that service. Not sure, but think Skip might do distributors as well as coils.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

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Originally Posted by corvette8n View Post
Is it the original coil? Or has someone converted a it to a remote coil. Skip Haney rebuilds coils, search this forum for his info. Also Tubman on this forum sells condensors that should last you a long time.
47 would be remote coil from the factory.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

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47 would be remote coil from the factory.
Yes, remote on the coil and the distributor cap is the "rabbit ears" unless switched to a crab. I'm betting on the coil and or condenser, particularly to J. Seery's question above if it starts once it's cooled down.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:24 PM   #9
cabrioletgalaxie
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Thanks for all the educated thoughts. To answer some of the questions I replaced gas tank (sheets of rust inside and sediment bowl looked like I was running Jack Daniels), blew out fuel line, replace fuel pump and rebuilt the carb though I did not use the reworked Power Valve that Charlie suggests. Bought and installed a rebuilt coil (remote) done by Skip.
Correct distributor. This car had undergone a full restoration but have no specific details.
It did not start after it sat for several hours, turn over yes, but won't fire. I did loosen gas cap and tried it but did not fire.
I think I have a new condenser which I will try tomorrow.
I'll keep you all informed as to how I do.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabrioletgalaxie View Post
Thanks for all the educated thoughts. To answer some of the questions I replaced gas tank (sheets of rust inside and sediment bowl looked like I was running Jack Daniels), blew out fuel line, replace fuel pump and rebuilt the carb though I did not use the reworked Power Valve that Charlie suggests. Bought and installed a rebuilt coil (remote) done by Skip.
Correct distributor. This car had undergone a full restoration but have no specific details.
It did not start after it sat for several hours, turn over yes, but won't fire. I did loosen gas cap and tried it but did not fire.
I think I have a new condenser which I will try tomorrow.
I'll keep you all informed as to how I do.
Just to make sure your carb bowl is full before you try to start. Takes plenty cranking over to pull fuel through and fill the bowl to enable engine to fire up.
I have experienced this problem.
Phil NZ
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Have you checked for spark to the plugs? If not, just remove a plug wire from the spark plug, attach to a used plug you have laying around (or remove one from the car). While cranking the engine, with ignition on, you should see a spark from the plug when touched to a metal service.
Spark should be bluish. If spark is yellow, you may need a new coil and/or condenser.
If spark is bluish, your problem is probably fuel related. If no spark at all, you may need to look at the dizzy.
Good luck,

Last edited by 4t7heaven; 11-07-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:55 PM   #12
cabrioletgalaxie
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Yes, sediment bowl is full. Need to check plug for spark. Removed the condenser, OEM style, and have new one ready to go it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

If you can organize your trouble shooting in an "elimination" style, then you will know if a certain part is ok and not the cause of your problem. Going in and replacing several parts at once, may solve the problem, but then you will not know if those replaced parts were any good. I would suggest going one step at a time. Enjoy the journey and the satisfaction that comes with solving the mystery.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Send your coil to Skip for rebuild
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Old 11-09-2019, 06:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Quote:
Originally Posted by cabrioletgalaxie View Post
Thanks for all the educated thoughts. To answer some of the questions Bought and installed a rebuilt coil (remote) done by Skip.

I think I have a new condenser which I will try tomorrow.
After installing the new condenser, if the 'no start' condition persists, I would check fuel flow. The new tank was a good move but the crud in the old lines may be haunting you.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:52 PM   #16
cabrioletgalaxie
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

OK, the coil in my car is a Skip rebuild.
I did blow out the fuel line from engine compartment to the end of the line at the tank. Seemed quite open but still worth checking again.
And yes I make only one change at a time and then try to start after each time.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Do you have a fuel filter in the line?
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:13 AM   #18
4t7heaven
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Quote:
Originally Posted by FortyNiner View Post
Do you have a fuel filter in the line?
Great question. Also, do you have the original style fuel pump or was an electric installed by the PO? If not, you may wish to install one at some point for reliability. That is, of course, you are not restoring this car to original.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:37 AM   #19
cabrioletgalaxie
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

No inline fuel filter, brand new original style fuel pump
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:43 AM   #20
cabrioletgalaxie
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Default Re: 1947 convertible

Update: Checked for spark at the plug wire and nothing. Replaced coil, no change. Found I had 6V at the ignition switch with switch on, but it dropped to 4.5V at the coil.
Since I had installed a Columbia 2 speed rear this past summer I decided to take the wire connection off the back of the ignition switch just to make sure I had not compromised the wiring. In the process found that red wire terminal on the back of the ignition switch was very hot, hot enough to burn me. It was only hot with the ignition switch in the on position.
I have not got into the distributor yet, that is next. But I am not sure what could be going on in the distributor that could cause this issue.
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