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mywhite89
08-09-2014, 06:58 PM
So, I ve been helping my brother work out some issues with his 1969 cougar xr7 convertable, 390ci. Keeps going through napa distributors. It's an electrical problem that fails in the distributor. Whatever happens, seems to create weak spark in my opinion or distributor is not sending the coil a good signal. I have no clue if this car would have had a points ignition in 1969, but it has a regular type distributor with cap and rotor since he has owned it. I don't know if I keep getting junk distributors or if I have incorrect parts surrounding that are ruining the distributor. Not an expert on these things but I definitely know how to play with them. Distributors are just hard to diagnose, pretty much eliminate everything else as a problem then throw one in, lol.

Chris

mywhite89
08-09-2014, 07:03 PM
To add a little more information to this, I didn't have good 12volts to the coil before. Found a bad wire in engine harness, (wasn't the solution to my problem). So when testing before, I was jumping 12 volts across the battery to the coil. Noticed that this made the coil very hot. Not sure if this may have hurt the coil. Other thing, the coil is bolted to the cylinder head, should I mount it somewhere else away from the engine or at least space it away a bit? Once again, I have no idea where ford would have mounted these originally but it seems like a unusal place to mount one. I also know there are probably many things that could be done differently by opinion, but I just want this thing to go more than 300 miles between me having to fix it again and again.

Chris

Rick_Leuce
08-09-2014, 07:47 PM
Never hook the ignition coil directly to 12v source. Use a resistor or a resistor wire (as original)


** this harness uses a resistor wire
http://www2.cougarpartscatalog.com/c7zz-14289-ar-.html
** or use something like this with a custom wiring setup
http://www.carid.com/accel-ignition-systems/accel-ignition-systems-12710364.html

The distributor was a points type. The coil was bolted to the head originally. I'm pretty sure your heat problem is because you aren't using a resistor wire.

If the spark is weak (use a spark tester) then I would suspect the rotor, cap and/or coil (the coil may be burned up now)

If the spark is strong, but inconsistent I would suspect the points or distributer.

This may help:
http://randysrepairshop.net/test-your-basic-ignition-coil-circuit.html

Les Borda
08-09-2014, 07:56 PM
Gawd I'm digging way back in 69 on 390 big block, i was 17 LOL

I doubt it had electronic ignition, it would be points, rotor, and condensor(it's a small metal capacitor). All of those items and the coil muchos importantee to get spark. The coil charges up, when the points open the magnetic field collapses in the coil built up from the 12VDC, as the field tries to collapse it builds up a huge back EMF (electro magnetic field) hence the extreme high voltage for the ignition as it discharges...or something like this. my theory is old and rusty like me :D
We had 67 LTD 390 4V and I know it had old style ignition in 69 things did not change much.

mywhite89
08-09-2014, 08:12 PM
Never hook the ignition coil directly to 12v source. Use a resistor or a resistor wire (as original)


** this harness uses a resistor wire
http://www2.cougarpartscatalog.com/c7zz-14289-ar-.html
** or use something like this with a custom wiring setup
http://www.carid.com/accel-ignition-systems/accel-ignition-systems-12710364.html

The distributor was a points type. The coil was bolted to the head originally. I'm pretty sure your heat problem is because you aren't using a resistor wire.

If the spark is weak (use a spark tester) then I would suspect the rotor, cap and/or coil (the coil may be burned up now)

If the spark is strong, but inconsistent I would suspect the points or distributer.

This may help:
http://randysrepairshop.net/test-your-basic-ignition-coil-circuit.html

That is the harness I bought from wccc after testing before. It has been on the car since the last time I replaced the distributor. I don't have a heat problem now, I was just wondering about my method of testing before. Thanks for the information, I didn't realize that circuit has a resistor built in it.

MadMikeyL
08-09-2014, 08:13 PM
I don't know for sure on that particular car, but a lot of older cars had a resistor going to the distributor to bring the voltage down to keep the points alive, and then that resistor would be bypassed during starting to help it start easier. if that resistor were removed, it would certainly burn something up.

KMT
08-09-2014, 08:18 PM
Is it using the original coil?

Some modern aftermarket coils for that application include a built-in resistor and the old one is recommended to be bypassed in that case.

mywhite89
08-09-2014, 08:22 PM
This distributor has 1 wire going to the coil which sends a ground signal I assume. Otherwise It has 1 vacuum line for the advance. I can't say that I could even distinguish if this distributor is a points type or not. I've never messed with points, but I believe this one does not have point ignition. It has a rotor that spins off the shaft to the engine, then makes contact to the cap itself. Reminds me of my old 93 5.0 thunderbirds distributor.

Chris

mywhite89
08-09-2014, 08:27 PM
Is it using the original coil?

Some modern aftermarket coils for that application include a built-in resistor and the old one is recommended to be bypassed in that case.

When he goes to the parts store, he just tells them what year and model it is and they get him the parts. I'm just not sure. I have an extra coil, I might go throw it on real quick and see if it starts.

KMT
08-09-2014, 08:40 PM
If you have a spare spark plug, pull a wire, connect the plug and clamp it to the engine where you can watch to see if it sparks when you spin it over. If it does, note the color...blue/white or yellow?

It may be that the original coil failed and shorted out internally, taking the hot lead to the + terminal with it. Repaired wiring and a fresh coil may be all that's needed, just check that it doesn't dramatically overheat if you get the engine to run.

sleeper bird
08-09-2014, 09:04 PM
That 390 originally had points,unless you all changed over to the petronix electrical ignition system.If it has points still thats your,or one of your weak spots.I have a 66 t bird with the 428 and i got tired of fighting the points because it sat up alot and went electronic best money i ever spent.If it has points pull the rotor and look at the contacts well,they should be perfectly clean with no corrosion or anything on them.

1MTNCAT
08-09-2014, 09:32 PM
Ford/Mercury ran points up until the Mid 70's at least. They then went to the electronic ignitions after that. My 69 Cougar had points as did my 73 429 Mercury Marquis. I don't recall what the first electronic system was that they installed in the cars but I believe that they put the Dura spark ignition (electronic ignition) in them in the later 70's and early 80's.

As the gentleman above stated, it was likely changed over after that point due to better reliability of the electronic ignition systems over the old points, condenser systems. If it is the dura spark system I believe It would have a box on the fender well hooked into the ignition system that can sometimes also cause spark problems. It would be identified by having a single round type terminal on one side and I believe 2 round type terminal on the other. I forget exactly how the wires ran to the distributor but I believe it was also a roundish type of pigtail connector.

As far as the coil, ALL the older cars either had the coil mounted to the front of the engine block or mounted on the top side of the intake manifolds. There may also be a wire running to the coil with a resister built into it.

You may want to check the coil wire running to the cap. I've seen them in past years be bad and not allow current to flow correctly or vibrate starting a miss in the ignition system.

Just some food for thought!!

Les Borda
08-09-2014, 09:36 PM
Bye the way, I'd KILL for your 69 Cougar, 2nd only to a 67 Mustang fastback with a 390 4 gear. What..I can dream...:cool:

sleeper bird
08-09-2014, 10:37 PM
yea i noticed it was a converible,if im not mistaken.I believe the 66 cougar was motortrend car of the year iv got a buddy with one.I believe his issue is with the points and that coil.Plain and simple you will be fighting a never ending battle with the old point and condenser set up.If the car is not driven alot and you live in a high humidity area as i do,it will be never ending.whats wierd if the dist has been changed you surely have to set the point gap.Unless the new dist has points and condenser and they are set already.Iv never seen that in any of my old cars that i have had,but i could be wrong.

KMT
08-09-2014, 10:52 PM
You'll chase gap setting if the distributor bushing is worn.

It is near trivial to replace that bushing or better yet just to replace the distributor. I'd go with either dual point or electronic, but there isn't much point in converting a distributor with a worn bushing, so...

sleeper bird
08-09-2014, 10:53 PM
I noticed when you say dist fails that means no spark?when points go bad that means no spark as well.It is unusual to have a dist fail on those cars,but points that a whole different story thats almost part of a tune up.with plugs and all.i have one word PETRONIX check into it i believe advance sells them now,and a coil too.hit the key and it starts everytime and idles perfect everytime.Probably 90 percent of the old t bird owners that i know and are involved in the club im involved with have switched over except the show car purist.and the coil should be attached to the drivers head with wire pointing straight up where the ac compressor bracket would be if no ac/with ac on top of ac compressor.

Jacob_Royer
08-10-2014, 12:01 AM
http://pages.ebay.com/motors/link/?nav=item.view&id=190868049068

Buy this and forget about it! HEI FTW!!

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 03:21 AM
Thanks for all the information. I'm convinced now that this thing does have points. Explains why I thought spark was weak. When I get a chance tomorrow I'll check some of these things out. I definitely don't have the tools to set the dwell and I'm sure that needs to be done even on a new distributor like this one.

Jacob I like the idea of an hei distributor, and just ditching that old one altogether. If I bought that one in the link on Jacobs post, what exactly do I have to change on the cougar to make it work? Find and remove the resistor in the wiring to the coil, wire 12 volts to the distributor, and I'm good to go?

Otherwise, is it better to pursue pertonix? I just hate to add something if I can just replace it all with a HEI distributor with a coil attached.

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 03:47 AM
For those of you that like these old cars, I'll snap a couple pictures when I get a chance. It's a pretty neat car. Needs some cosmetic work inside and out, but the engine is fresh and looks very nice. I've spent a lot of time under the hood. The sequential tail lights work and so do the hideaway headlights. 69 convertable xr7 with a 390 in it is pretty rare too, which is cool. It's got a holley 600 and I recently taught myself with the help of youtube how to properly adjust the bowls, and set the idle mixture screws. Found out the fuel pump was making like 9 pounds of fuel pressure so I controlled that with a regulator in line since holleys don't like more than 6 pounds.

Les Borda
08-10-2014, 04:14 AM
mispost my bad

sleeper bird
08-10-2014, 06:34 AM
using a timing light on that old car is useless,take my word for it.To set timing.Unplug advance hose and plug.Get a vacume guage,connect to manifold vacume port.Warm the engine up,turn the dist while running note the highest reading on the guage,should be around 18 to 20 inch pounds.then back it off one to two inch pounds,and your golden.Problem is with the balance it often moves and you get wrong readings.I chased my tale on this several times with my 66,and it had a new harmonic balancer when it was rebuilt.On those old cars a vacume guage is all you need and it is simple and works best.The reason i stated the petronix was it looks completely stock and really easy to install,but to each his own.It just replaces the points,now if the bushing is shot then you might still have issues but they usually dont go bad that often,at least in my case, iv still got the original dist in my 66 and never had those issues.on the dist clockwise advance(more vac)counter retard(less vac)

1994blkbirdsc
08-10-2014, 07:16 AM
A lot of good advise here, get rid of the points, condenser period and switch over to electronic ignition unit.
At least you will eliminate 1 problem while you chase down what else is going on.

Another thing to check is to pull the entire distributor out and check for play in the shaft, back and forth wobble, if it has any play in it replace the distributor as your dwell angle will NEVER be right.

I love older cars.

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 10:03 AM
I do have a nice timing light, and originally I set timing to factory recommendation which I ended up advancing about 4 degrees from and the car ran a heck of a lot better. I have heard of setting timing with a vacuum gauge, and I will do that method in conjunction and see where I end up. I'm just surprised that I keep having ignition problems that start with the car running fine to literally dying on the middle of the road!

Chris

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 10:22 AM
on the dist clockwise advance(more vac)counter retard(less vac)

For some reason I was thinking the opposite on this, but if you think about it, it makes sense. The distributor moves counter clockwise, so if you advance timing you have to move it clockwise.

Thanks.

KMT
08-10-2014, 10:27 AM
When you set the timing with the light, was it steady or jumping around? Is there any side/side play in the dist. shaft if you grab the rotor and try to move it? Like I said, if you end up chasing dwell, time to either rebush or replace the dist.

A vacuum gauge is a good tool to help detect various issues:

http://www.3geez.com/forum/attachments/3geez-accords/3693-failed-emissions-diagram_test_vacuum_2.jpg

sleeper bird
08-10-2014, 10:29 AM
Again dont even get a timing light out with these old fe cars,You will be confusing yourself with it.Even with the new harmonic balancers which are made in china go figure the marks are always seeming to be off.Now if its the stock balancer i can assure you the that outside ring with the marks has moved.If i go out to my car right now and put a timing light on there it will tell me that i am way advanced on timing,but its actually right on there as far as running good.Everytime i tried to advance it as to what the timing light was telling me i was way advanced.It would start and run fine till it got hot and it would clatter from hell.Another thing to note is if you are using a timing light if the car has no rpm guage you have to connect a temporary to get it to the correct rpm to set timing.vacume guage does not care if the ring on the hb has moved nor the rpm its at.No old school fe mechanic is going to use a light other than to get a base to start from,the fine tuning is by vacume,its so easy like that and acurate sometimes you can play with it say by one inch or so.And also by checking the vacume you can actually see the condition of the engine,stockish cam you should be able to get around 18 inches of vacume.On my rebuild i was showing around 20 which is real good but its only got say 3,000 miles on it.Another thing which has nothing to do with the timing is when yall do an oil change you will be needing to add a zinc addative or rocker,and cam damage will happen sooner or later,the new oils dont have the zink in them that the fe requires over the years they have taken that out.unless you are using a race oil high in zink,just thought id put that in there not to many people know.

sleeper bird
08-10-2014, 10:33 AM
and snap a couple pics too,id like to see it.

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 11:59 AM
Again dont even get a timing light out with these old fe cars,You will be confusing yourself with it.Even with the new harmonic balancers which are made in china go figure the marks are always seeming to be off.Now if its the stock balancer i can assure you the that outside ring with the marks has moved.If i go out to my car right now and put a timing light on there it will tell me that i am way advanced on timing,but its actually right on there as far as running good. Another thing which has nothing to do with the timing is when yall do an oil change you will be needing to add a zinc addative or rocker,and cam damage will happen sooner or later,the new oils dont have the zink in them that the fe requires over the years they have taken that out.unless you are using a race oil high in zink,just thought id put that in there not to many people know.

That timing advise sounds like what I noticed to a tee, crazy! I'll be watching the vacuum gauge this time. As for oil, it runs a semi synthetic brad penn 10w40 oil that is high in zinc, which I have to change out again once I get it running since my brother thought it ran out of gas and cranked it enough to soak the cylinder walls and the oil smells like gasoline again! Going over to go play with it now, wish me luck!

Chris

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 12:55 PM
Well, stuck a coil in it. still crank no start. I don't have an actual spark tester, so I stuck a good plug on the end of number 1 and grounded it out. Spark is red/orange and extremely weak just like before. I'm fairly confident if I parts warrantied the distributor it will fire right up again. Have to order those things though.

Chris

Attached some pictures. A few years ago we upgraded the front brakes to ssbc 4 piston disc and converted it to power brakes. Stops like a new car now. Has aftermarket ceramic coated headers that squeeze between those horrible shock towers, a mild cam, and an Edelbrock aluminum intake which probably lightened the car 30 pounds+. No joke!

KMT
08-10-2014, 01:04 PM
How old is that rotor in the pic?

Arching to the plastic isn't necessarily a good sign if recent, I think.

Nice looking car, tho - thanks for the beauty shots.

Les Borda
08-10-2014, 01:59 PM
OMG I think I'm in love(with the car)

That rotor cap does look like it has seen better days

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 02:34 PM
The cap and rotor are less than 1000 miles.

sleeper bird
08-10-2014, 02:38 PM
from the looks of that vacume advance its either one tooth off or its way way advanced,going from the picture it looks like its very close to the themostat housing it should be pointing more tword the radiator.At least from what i can see in the pic i could be wrong.Again i dont want to keep beating a dead horse but timing light just leave it in your box,took me a month to figure out why mine was not running right,and i finally took someones advice and didnt even use it at all been a year ago and i can go out and hit the key on mine after it has been sitting for a month and she fires right up everytime,hot or cold.look at it again and verify that that advance is or is not pointed tword the radiator,it should be a little to the pass side but not much.Your brother has a very very nice ride.He should be proud.Oh and thats correct place for the coil.

KMT
08-10-2014, 02:51 PM
The cap and rotor are less than 1000 miles.

Hum....might be a venting issue - does the cap have a tiny hole in it somewhere? From what I can see in the photos, the tip looks clean. What is the condition up inside the cap?

If you grab the rotor and gently twist it can you feel the advance weights on the springs...if so, would you say they are nice or sloppy?

As for your timing light, don't be afraid to work with it...it's just another tool and once you learn how to use it, it can be your friend :)

I think the spark color is a good indication that for some reason the high voltage side has an issue, tho. Did you confirm the '+' '-' terminals when installing the coil?

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 03:05 PM
thanks for the compliments. He has always wanted to drive it to the shootout one of these years but it never seems to work out that way. I always thought the vacuum advance faced the front before also, but when I move the distributor that direction, it seems off a tooth that way. When I put the engine in, I followed the top dead center on compression stroke instructions and that's where it ended up being. Who knows, it ran great that way until it just died the other day. I fought re-timing it for days last time trying to get it to run, then I stuck a new distributor in the same spot and she started right up. If I am way off on timing, will that hurt the distributor at all or shorten the lifespan of the cap/rotor? I know it can cause some engine problems but I don't think I'm far off.

Chris

KMT
08-10-2014, 03:14 PM
The way the dist. points isn't mandatory to make the engine run, but keeping it similar to what it was from the factory is a good practice, especially when trying to sort issues later.

'way off' won't give a weak spark, tho... But symptoms would range from no/hard start to backfiring, depending how just how far. If you want to confirm, start first by checking firing order, then set the engine to TDC and go from there with distributor alignment.

If it starts and runs with little drama you're in the ballpark and just need to dial it in from there.

sleeper bird
08-10-2014, 09:34 PM
i believe he said it wouldnt start,unless i missed something.

KMT
08-10-2014, 09:39 PM
i believe he said it wouldnt start,unless i missed something.

I said 'if' - meaning eventually. I've only kept track of his spark check otherwise so...

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 09:59 PM
Hum....might be a venting issue - does the cap have a tiny hole in it somewhere? From what I can see in the photos, the tip looks clean. What is the condition up inside the cap?

If you grab the rotor and gently twist it can you feel the advance weights on the springs...if so, would you say they are nice or sloppy?

As for your timing light, don't be afraid to work with it...it's just another tool and once you learn how to use it, it can be your friend :)

I think the spark color is a good indication that for some reason the high voltage side has an issue, tho. Did you confirm the '+' '-' terminals when installing the coil?

I did not check or ever notice a vent on the cap. The inside of the cap shows even wear across some of the points and the others don't seem to hit in the center very well in my opinion. Regardless it did run great up until last week Wednesday, I don't think that is my issue.

The coil wires are hooked up correctly.

My timing light is nice, it shows rpm, and you can advance the timing on it so all you have to do is find TDC on the balancer which makes things easier. I'm not a pro, but I have set timing up on many vehicles, from old like this up to my SC's just planting the half moon in the right place with the engine on the compression stroke of cylinder 1 many times with success.

I appreciate all the help, some of this stuff I already know but I definitely came to the right place! Many of the sc crowd I see at the shootout played with this stuff way before sc's were even thought of. The windings in the distributor feel nice and solid.

I'm just worried that there is some outside issue that keeps screwing up the distributor. How often do you need to check the points on these old things? Every 500 miles or they just shut down? I did notice a couple times it hesitated and backfired when I hit the gas hard a few weeks prior to it dying out.

Chris

KMT
08-10-2014, 10:07 PM
i'd think that with a healthy and properly set up distributor you could go a lot more than 1k miles. More like 10k or 15k at least.

mywhite89
08-10-2014, 10:14 PM
i'd think that with a healthy and properly set up distributor you could go a lot more than 1k miles. More like 10k or 15k at least.

Lol, that's what I was thinking. Maybe napa just has junk distributors. I'm going to have my brother parts warranty his. Make sure it runs, then upgrade to an hei or convert this one away from points. Car will probably run like a champ then. Every time something happens to this thing, his lady pokes him about selling it! Keeps me motivated to fix it. Be nice to go more than 500-600 miles between having it towed home though, to disprove her point.

Chris

KMT
08-10-2014, 10:15 PM
Good luck - keep us posted if you can, thanks.

gr8ghost
08-10-2014, 11:00 PM
This is going way back to the basics. Put the engine at #1 TDC (top dead center). Look at the rotor. Is it pointing at the #1 distributor cap tower? If not, Pull the distributor. While it's out set the point gap with feeler gauge of the correct thickness. Now Put the distributor back in with the rotor pointing at # 1 tower or a smidge beyond it (as the timing advances it will pt directly at the #1 tower). Now put the engine at it's base timing. Now turn the distributor clockwise (retard) until the points close. Turn it back (counter clockwise) until you see or hear a spark as the points open. snug it down right there. It should have a good base time at that pt. Now put the rotor and cap on it. Then the wire in the correct firing order.

It should fire right up and you can use the vacuum method as pointed out earlier.

Other Distributor basics: HEI stand for High Energy Ignition. It is a GM trademark for it's first electronic ignition which I believe was first used in 1970-1972. Ford Came along I believe in 1975 with a pointless electronic ignition. HEI ignition does not fit a Ford.

Coils are energized by the a hot wire from the ignition switch and grounded by the points. When the engine is cranking and or cold it gets 12v. Once warm and in run it gets 6 volts. This is accomplished via switching and resistors, or with the use of a thermo resistor or thermo resistor wire. different companies had their different ways of accomplishing that.

I hope this helps. It is what I remember from 70s HS autoshop and working on my 66 Mustang.

Jacob_Royer
08-11-2014, 03:22 AM
Chris all that he unit requires is 12v power source from key on position and it works hei is light years ahead of what they used back then the coil and module are all in the distributor and cheap common easy to find components they sell everywhere

820
08-11-2014, 07:50 AM
So, I ve been helping my brother work out some issues with his 1969 cougar xr7 convertable, 390ci. Keeps going through napa distributors. It's an electrical problem that fails in the distributor. Whatever happens, seems to create weak spark in my opinion or distributor is not sending the coil a good signal. I have no clue if this car would have had a points ignition in 1969, but it has a regular type distributor with cap and rotor since he has owned it. I don't know if I keep getting junk distributors or if I have incorrect parts surrounding that are ruining the distributor. Not an expert on these things but I definitely know how to play with them. Distributors are just hard to diagnose, pretty much eliminate everything else as a problem then throw one in, lol.

Chris

Chris what do you mean by going through distributers? It sounds like the points just burn up from too much voltage. Should be batt volts at start up then cut back to 6-8 volts while running. Its been so long i cant remember how it cuts back, but it should or point life suffers. The conveinent thing is juzt switch it to electronic. HEI if you dont care about looks, the petronix if you do. When i was a kid my dad made me set the point gap on a chrysler hemi, it had dual points. Twice the trouble to set but lsst twice as long.

SuperChicken89
08-11-2014, 09:30 AM
First let me say nice "S" code 69 XR-7 Vert! Like the color combination. The 390 Cougars are somewhat unusual but not all that rare. The 390 wasn't a great engine when compared to the 428 SCJ or the lighter weight Boss 302. See signature below :D

As mentioned already, the ignition switch supplies 12 volts to the coil when cranking and 6 volts in the run position. There is a pink or purple wire coming off the ignition switch run position which is the resistor wire to drop the voltage when the engine is running. This resistor wire must be operational for a breaker type ignition. When converting the car over to a high energy ignition, the wire must be bypassed to supply 12 volts both when cranking and running.

The breaker type ignition will work just fine on this car. Yes it is old and antiquated but very simple. Ran my old breaker distributor up until several years ago without any issues. Only changed over to a MSD CD ignition a few years ago for the new HP engine. A weak spark could be several things. I would recommend new plugs, wires, cap, rotor, points, and condenser to start. Go with known good parts. I would also consider a new coil. A bad coil can cause weak spark... been there... seen it... got the T-shirt. I would also check the ground strap from engine to fire wall and the negative battery cable to the block.

Lots of good advice here already. Find TDC and install the distributor with the vacuum advance pointing towards the front of the car. This will give you adequate movement for adjustment. I don't think a defective distributor is your problem especially if you have installed several with the same results.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Bryan

mywhite89
08-12-2014, 04:45 PM
Ok, going to go grab a pertonix module and hook this thing up tonight. See what happens. I have a feeling, in the run position it has 12 volts and the car keeps burning up the points.

Chris

1994blkbirdsc
08-12-2014, 05:02 PM
When you set the timing with the light, was it steady or jumping around? Is there any side/side play in the dist. shaft if you grab the rotor and try to move it? Like I said, if you end up chasing dwell, time to either rebush or replace the dist.

A vacuum gauge is a good tool to help detect various issues:

http://www.3geez.com/forum/attachments/3geez-accords/3693-failed-emissions-diagram_test_vacuum_2.jpg

KMT has always got the info you need, :D
He is the "Websters" of the SC.

KMT
08-12-2014, 05:11 PM
KMT has always got the info you need, :D
He is the "Websters" of the SC.

I think many here have spent way time staring at various test equipment - mostly wishing what they were telling us wasn't so ;) Ah for simpler days, tho.

aroot1
08-12-2014, 05:43 PM
Get your meter out and verify the 12 volts. The pertronix WILL burn up to if it tries to run at less (lower voltage = higher current to do the same job).

On a side note, I've had some bad luck with pertronix products, all this summer in fact. Put one in my 1956 y-block p-up triggering an MSD, as per the instructions, burned out in way less than 1000 mi. Driving down the road, bang truck shut off as with the key. Their tech line said "oh no that NEVER happens, our electronics don't fail that way"! Any one with experience with solid state knows that is EXACTLY how it fails, it works or it doesn't, right now. Cost $100 tow home (actually I was on my way to pick up my stroker motor from Dave D when it happened:rolleyes:). Couple weeks to get a new one back from them (bought another so I could keep driving). I keep it as a spare in the glove box now:cool:.

Pertronix is also the parent company to Patriot Exhaust Products. Still in the middle of trying to get my refund from a set of headers for the same truck that were so poorly welded they leaked from between the flange and primary pipe on one tube out of the box:mad: (they fit well however, and the selling company (speedway motors) has been VERY good about it).

Anyway, when I have a bad experience with a company more than once, I let people know when it comes up, just my .02 (which is probly worth even less:p)

Adam

sleeper bird
08-12-2014, 05:44 PM
I am very happy with the petronix,But i am trying to keep mine as stock looking as i can thats the main reason i ended up using it.Plus its a really easy conversion.

pro street rich
08-12-2014, 05:59 PM
Being that I grew up with these cars and missed this is all on me.... The first thing I am looking at is that condenser. Those darn things will give even a young man grey hair. The next thing is the coil... If that does not fix it bring it to me and I will keep it for you so you don't have to worry about it....LOL.. No as I said look at the condenser first... I have had many a night out on the town with this and other cars like it.. Matter of fact I am working on one of my 427 "R" code fairlanes right now.. I have started to make it more of a street car then the factory race car that it was built as back in the day....Got to love all the power, but yet the total lack of anything comfortable in this car.....Rich

Les Borda
08-12-2014, 07:03 PM
Hey Rich, long time no hear !!!!!

The man has an R code 427 Fairlane..or should I say Fairlanes :D Comfort and power in those days were definite oxymoron's. Vinyl bench seats with a 4 gear, who needs a clock, AC was for wimps, many with rubber matting no carpet, but open that hood and look out :cool:

What year are the Fairlanes Rich?

1994blkbirdsc
08-12-2014, 07:30 PM
Ditch the points and condenser !!!!! That's a loosing battle from the get go.
I went through 3 sets with my 73 Torino gran sport, Q code, that's right, cobra jet, 351 Cleveland 4 V.
Maybe a bad azz BUT you can ONLY push so fast, if it does not run, and when it did , the State Troopers had their eyes on me.
Wish I was closer , I could help you.

pro street rich
08-12-2014, 08:02 PM
Hey Rich, long time no hear !!!!!

The man has an R code 427 Fairlane..or should I say Fairlanes :D Comfort and power in those days were definite oxymoron's. Vinyl bench seats with a 4 gear, who needs a clock, AC was for wimps, many with rubber matting no carpet, but open that hood and look out :cool:

What year are the Fairlanes Rich?

They have bucket seats, but that is all... Radio delete, heater delete, even sound proofing and clacking delete... These are factory drag cars and they have nothing that is not needed that is for sure.... Oh I also have that 427 "W" code cyclone as well. That car is sooooooooooo rare that I never want to drive it much any more...

pro street rich
08-12-2014, 08:05 PM
If you can't get it to work there are a couple of kits out there that you can convert it to that will work for you and still look stock to the on lookers unless they pull your dist cap.... That is what I would do if you can't get it woked out.....Keep it looking as stock as you can and enjoy it.. By the way very nice looking car, but the offer still stands for you to park it at my place....lol.....Rich

Les Borda
08-12-2014, 08:34 PM
They have bucket seats, but that is all... Radio delete, heater delete, even sound proofing and clacking delete... These are factory drag cars and they have nothing that is not needed that is for sure.... Oh I also have that 427 "W" code cyclone as well. That car is sooooooooooo rare that I never want to drive it much any more...

Damned near Thunderbolts only 67's!! That Merc is a rare beast. one friend had a 69 Cyclone GT 351, the rest were Stangs and then those other non-Ford products :D

KMT
08-12-2014, 08:36 PM
Ok, going to go grab a pertonix module and hook this thing up tonight.

Is it soup, yet?

Les Borda
08-12-2014, 08:38 PM
..wait for the dinner bell....:rolleyes:

KMT
08-12-2014, 08:40 PM
Hard to do when hungry ;)

Can't wait for this cougar to roar full song.

Les Borda
08-12-2014, 09:15 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-Q8PBknCDc

A little before dinner music an entree so to speak, 427 Cammer on a dyno

1MTNCAT
08-12-2014, 09:42 PM
Well, stuck a coil in it. still crank no start. I don't have an actual spark tester, so I stuck a good plug on the end of number 1 and grounded it out. Spark is red/orange and extremely weak just like before. I'm fairly confident if I parts warrantied the distributor it will fire right up again. Have to order those things though.

Chris

Attached some pictures. A few years ago we upgraded the front brakes to ssbc 4 piston disc and converted it to power brakes. Stops like a new car now. Has aftermarket ceramic coated headers that squeeze between those horrible shock towers, a mild cam, and an Edelbrock aluminum intake which probably lightened the car 30 pounds+. No joke!


Wow! That is a pretty one. Looks like my old 69 390 4 speed but it was burgundy with the white top. I had two others as well a 69 351 Auto and a 70 Convertible Gold and white with the 351 Cleveland. Wish I still had them.

Good luck getting her sorted out and back running. Just work through the process and you'll figure it out.

pro street rich
08-12-2014, 09:45 PM
Here is a tid bit to tell all of your buddys that drive other stuff. The 427 SOHC is the only engine to ever be banned from nascar as being an unfair advantage.. This happened in 1965 and to date it is the only one to get that done to it... They also came down on the Boss 429's but they at least got to run more than just one race before they were asked to not come back to the track......Rich

KMT
08-12-2014, 09:51 PM
Wow! That is a pretty one.

Agreed. And the blue just might be my favorite color for that year Cougar.

Les Borda
08-12-2014, 09:52 PM
I read that Rich in the 427 Cammers history, Ford developed it for NASCAR and then they said "oh well we can't have an engine like THAT in NASCAR" Even though it was a damned production engine. I read at one time when HUGE Ford dealers had their what would be today SVT divisions, there was a myriad of monster engines dealer available and installed, the Cammer was one of them.

mywhite89
08-12-2014, 10:40 PM
We are back in business! Couldn't just report the good news right away. Had to take it for a drive of course. Rich ill park in your driveway and drink some beer with you! Lol. So it runs well and I got the timing dialed in ok. No more points.

I am only getting 10.5 volts while engine is running to the coil when using the negative battery terminal as my ground. Gonna trace that down next. 10.5 volts is too much for the points system though, right? Just want some closure for solving that issue.

Next step is to find the resistor or reason for voltage loss. Thanks for all the help everyone. So any idea where the resistor would be on these cars?

Chris

pro street rich
08-12-2014, 10:47 PM
We are back in business! Couldn't just report the good news right away. Had to take it for a drive of course. Rich ill park in your driveway and drink some beer with you! Lol. So it runs well and I got the timing dialed in ok. No more points.

I am only getting 10.5 volts while engine is running to the coil when using the negative battery terminal as my ground. Gonna trace that down next. 10.5 volts is too much for the points system though, right? Just want some closure for solving that issue.

Next step is to find the resistor or reason for voltage loss. Thanks for all the help everyone. So any idea where the resistor would be on these cars?

Chris

They used a wire that had it built right into it. There is a way around that... You run a new wire and go with an outside resistor to get the volts right. You should be able to get that from any good speed shop or parts store. There were a lot of different places that used the outside resistor so just start asking around....Good luck......Rich

KMT
08-12-2014, 10:55 PM
The factory output via resistor might put out around 9.x volts when heated up. Is that 10.5 the (charging) volts at the battery while running?

I'd be more worried if I saw 12.x at the coil while running, but...

mywhite89
08-12-2014, 11:05 PM
It is 10.5 volts engine running alternator charging. Positive lead on coil, negative lead at battery.

Chris

KMT
08-12-2014, 11:15 PM
What are the volts, engine running, voltmeter positive lead on battery positive post, voltmeter negative lead on battery negative post?

mywhite89
08-13-2014, 04:31 PM
What are the volts, engine running, voltmeter positive lead on battery positive post, voltmeter negative lead on battery negative post?

It was around 13.5 at idle. Alternator is charging.

Chris

KMT
08-13-2014, 04:50 PM
Ah, well, then the 10.5v at the coil would seem to indicate a drop down thru some sort of resistor, particularly if that lead shows near 13.5v on cold start after the car sits overnite, as an example.

You might be good to go...

sleeper bird
08-13-2014, 06:24 PM
if i go fool with my 66 today i will see what i am getting there.

sleeper bird
08-14-2014, 07:06 AM
that voltage is correct,i was told that the voltage drop is done by the starter relay.

RalphP
08-14-2014, 12:57 PM
that voltage is correct,i was told that the voltage drop is done by the starter relay.

Not quite.

The starter relay bypasses the resistor so that you can get a full 12V into the coil on start.

That's why the two smaller screw terminals (S and I) - S goes to "START" pole on the ignition switch, and "I" goes to the coil to bypass the resistor that's wired to the "RUN" side of the ignition switch.

An example can be seen at http://www.mustangsunlimited.com/pdf/66-mustang-ignition-diagram.jpg .

RwP

mywhite89
08-14-2014, 04:44 PM
I think I'm just going to run it that way and see what happens. Talked to a guy at work who has installed these ignitions on many vehicles and never had a problem. My dad used to stick them on lift trucks all the time back in the day also and never had issues.

Chris

sleeper bird
08-14-2014, 07:36 PM
been about five years for me no issues at all,matter a fact was the best money i have spent on my old q code.