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Old 06-19-2016, 08:39 PM   #1
28 fast faton
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Default Cuts out

Happy Fathers Day all you Dads. I was driving my phaeton today and it was running great. I pulled up to a stop light and all of a sudden it quit. I retarded the spark and restarted it and as soon as I advanced the spark it quit. It now does this consistently. I reset the timing twice and checked the pigtail and it appears fine.Is it the pig tail wearing out inside the insulated covering from constant movement? It is an original distributor with new points and condenser this spring.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cuts out

I would suspect the pigtail, yes. Timing will not change unless you strip a gear somewhere or haven't tightened the dist. cam screw, or you remove the cam.
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Last edited by 700rpm; 06-19-2016 at 10:32 PM.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cuts out

Yep is sounds to me that there is a good possibility your flexible wire has a bad connection or short.
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:03 PM   #4
John Duden
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Default Re: Cuts out

if you have an early upper plate you cannot use the wireless lowerplate, it will work for a bit but will wear and loose contact, the point blocks are in a differant location then the romovable point blocks so it only makes like 25% contact
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cuts out

Also check for any loose connections. I was experiencing intermittent cutting out and it turned out to be loose screws on the back of the ignition switch connections.
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cuts out

"Probably" the Pig Tail wire. Lots of folks ignore them, 'cause it's a pain in the A** to take the distributor apart, to check them.
It's GREAT to have an old spare distributor to take apart & practice on.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:19 AM   #7
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Cuts out

This may or may not be your problem; however, for under $3.00 one can buy the recommended very flexible 100 strand distributor pigtail wire which will flex properly when rotated with the spark advance lever.

Many times, so many in the past, try to save this $3.00, install any cheap "stiff" (15) strands or less electrical wire found in their shops, move the spark handle slightly whereby the engine dies.

One thing to notice from here on out about Tight-Wad Model A owners:

They usually have their Model A's parked and needing repairs more often than they are driven.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 06-20-2016 at 07:16 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cuts out

Quote:
Originally Posted by H. L. Chauvin View Post
This may or mat not be your problem; however, for under $3.00 one can buy the recommended very flexible 100 strand distributor pigtail wire which will flex properly when rotated with the spark advance lever.

Many times, so many in the past, try to save this $3.00, install any cheap "stiff" (15) strands or less electrical wire found in their shops, move the spark handle slightly whereby the engine dies.

One thing to notice from here on out about Tight-Wad Model A owners:

They usually have their Model A's parked and needing repairs more often than they are driven.
If you have a hobby shop nearby you can get a foot of the silicone covered wire they use for electric car battery packs and save time and shipping.
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Old 06-20-2016, 03:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cuts out

I agree that it most likely is the lower plate wire problem. If you still have an original wire I'd replace it with the good one from the dealers. I also had worked on a distributor there the wire terminal at the points stud was hitting the spring when the advance lever was moved.

If you are using an original popout cable and the inside wire has never been replaced, now is the time to replace it also. The old cloth and rubber breaks down with age and will eventually short to ground.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cuts out

Thanks for all the info. It cuts out at the same spot when I move the lever. I did take the distributor apart and the pigtail looks fine but I am not sure if it can break inside. Also, how do you check to see if its a short.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H. L. Chauvin View Post
This may or mat not be your problem; however, for under $3.00 one can buy the recommended very flexible 100 strand distributor pigtail wire which will flex properly when rotated with the spark advance lever.

Many times, so many in the past, try to save this $3.00, install any cheap "stiff" (15) strands or less electrical wire found in their shops, move the spark handle slightly whereby the engine dies.

One thing to notice from here on out about Tight-Wad Model A owners:

They usually have their Model A's parked and needing repairs more often than they are driven.
Is this the long one that Schneiders sells?
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cuts out

Leaving the lever in the same spot when it cut off do you lose spark? From what I read you never checked that..

It's snyders
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post
If you have a hobby shop nearby you can get a foot of the silicone covered wire they use for electric car battery packs and save time and shipping.
or they may have a short piece of wire from a dead battery pack they could cut off and give you if you explain what its for. old multimeter test leads sometimes have high quality high flex wire too (fluke wires do for sure) so if youve got any electrician friends im sure they have a lead thats been broken/melted in spots
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Old 06-20-2016, 08:08 AM   #14
H. L. Chauvin
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FWIW: Opinions from past experiences.

There are a few draw backs after continually incorrectly providing an incorrect pig tail inner distributor wire:

When incorrect wire is rotated inside a distributor with the spark lever:

a. Wire insulation can wear faster with pressure where it contacts any interior metal, thus causing shorts; and,

b. Strands of non-flexible improper alloy copper wire can break easier with back & forth movement, similar to breaking a coat hanger wire or a #14 copper wire after bending back and forth; and,

c. A non-flexible stiff wire has enough force after constant rotation to unscrew the very tiny fastening nut, thus causing a loose electrical connection.

d. If one thinks about and observes which way this wire will move when rotated by the spark lever, the length and shape of this wire after installation inside the distributor can make a difference as to how long it will last ....... a good guess is that when properly installed and not contacting the side of the inside of the distributor, it should last for over 30 years prior to replacement.

e. Never a bad idea to think first prior to performing any mechanical installation ......... helps to do it "once" and gain self-confidence in your work.

f. Just one (1) 1-800 call to a reputable Model A parts supplier who has the correct copper alloy wire manufactured for "maximum" flexibility, plus $3.00, and experiencing 30 years of not paying a Model A tow fee ...... well, similar to some reports on Fox News, we report .... you decide .... cheep cheep can get expensive quickly.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 06-20-2016 at 08:12 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:59 AM   #15
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Default Re: Cuts out

When I first got my car, the inside of the distributor body had some rust in the slot where the upper plate rides. I would have no ground to the plate more often than having it grounded. As it was also a little loose in the slot, I added a second pigtale from the body to the plate. Never had another problem with it after that.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:40 AM   #16
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Some of the new former repro upper plates did not fit tightly in the distributor slots.

However, if encountered, one can place center punch indentations on the metal tabs about 1/16" from edges of tabs to push upper plate tab metal outward until it makes frictional contact within the outer part of the distributor circular slot.

Same principle can be used to straighten a large metal carpenter's square that was accidentally dropped and is no longer 90 degrees ..... center punch marks can be provided on either the in-side or out-side of the flat part of the 90 degree metal corner.
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Old 06-20-2016, 10:43 AM   #17
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I fully agree with the others on the potential cause of the problem ,, but it was never verified it lost spark
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:15 PM   #18
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Hi 28,

1. Per your reply question #11, I am sure Bert's, Bratton's, and Snyder's all have this correct A-12148-W flexible pig tail wire.

2. However, per reply #7 addressing the hot pig tail wire, it is noted: "This may or may not be your problem."

3. Per your #1 question and your #10 reply, your moving your spark lever up & down, plus moving it to the same spot can kill the engine "every" time.

4. In thinking seriously, it appears moving your spark lever up and down is not that much different from moving your Kitchen light switch up and down .......... or even turning the key in your ignition switch clockwise and then counter-clockwise.

5. Per reply #15, appears he was losing electrical grounding between the upper plate and the distributor.

6. From miles away, nobody can "see" what you have; but from past experiences many could speculate that moving your spark lever is acting like moving a light switch by interrupting electrical flow through the hot wire or interrupting the grounding of your upper plate.

7. Do you know how to operate an electrical testing device such as a multi-meter or a test lamp for verifying hot electrical continuity and verifying electrical grounding continuity?

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 06-20-2016 at 07:58 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-20-2016, 09:31 PM   #19
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If you do nothing but move the spark lever, then the engine dies, leave the lever in that spot and measure the voltage on the points post with the points open or a piece of paper in between the contacts. If you measure 0 volts and the ammeter reads -5 amps, then the wire is grounded. If the meter reads 0 volts and the ammeter also reads 0, then the wire is open.

If you haven't replaced the lower plate wire, or don't know for sure that it is a good flexible wire, then I'd buy the correct one from a Model A parts house. If you buy elsewhere, make sure the insulation can stand the heat.
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:30 AM   #20
H. L. Chauvin
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Hi 28,

Best part is "everybody" is sincerely trying to help you .... just continue to keep in touch with what you see or notice and never give up ..... it can always be repaired with continuous back & forth communication.
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