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Not Starting...Weird Electrical Stuff...Help Please

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by JohnL, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. JohnL

    JohnL

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    OK, Here's my symptom:


    1. It used to start fine. One day I stalled it immediately after starting (the parking brake was on and I was rushing to get it out of the garage before I did any CO brain damage. Apparently I was too late.)

    2. Then it never started again. The starter motor engages fine but stops as soon as the key is allowed to rotate back to the normal "run" position. Sometimes it will continue to spin even after the key is released, but the engine doean't catch.

    3. If I keep the key rotated toward the "Start" position, the starter makes an aweful noise, but continues to turn the flywheel and I get exhaust out of the tailpipe. When I release the key back to "run," the engine will not catch or run on its own. Sometimes the starter continues to spin.

    4. I have tried it with the choke at all positions, even the secret "choke all the way out, throttle to the floor" flooded trick.


    Here's some other things I've tried:

    1. I have check and re-set the points at .017-.018
    2. New Plugs, checked gap, and checked that I'm getting a spark on each. The spark is not very strong, yellow, and misses maybe one out of every 5 cycles. I still get exhaust and black (rich) smoke while the starter is engaged all the way.
    3. I've checked for continuity on the ignition switch. I have 2 spares and have tried those too. I get spark at the plugs even when the key is allowed to rotate back to "run" from "start," but never any exhaust then. I only get the exhaust and some sputtering when the key is rotated all the way over to engage the starter motor (even though the starter will continue to run after the key is released back to "run."

    4. I get a gas smell, so I don't suspect any delivery problems. Has to be an electrical thing.

    Help Please!

    john
     
  2. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    What engine are you running? Stock F?..F2?..small block chev?..
     
  3. JohnL

    JohnL

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    Sorry...

    Original F in 74 with original Nippondensor, USA distributor, good points and gap, older wires but OK, newer starter.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    I'm really a chevy guy but I had the same thing happen a few years back. With the key in the run position I didn't have power to the coil but when I would try the start position the ballast resistor bypass would give power to the coil until I let the key go back to run. I can't remember exactly but I think I had a bad ballast resistor. Anyway, if you can find the open or the break in the circuit that feeds the coil in the run position you'll be able to fix or replace that component. I wish I was more familiar with the stock setup so I would be more help but my TLCs are all chev powered.
     
  5. jurassic_40

    jurassic_40

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    Ok, real quick......Use a fused jumper wire to TEMPORARILY give power to the coil directly from the battery (bypass the ballast) and see If the engine starts and runs. If yes, then check your wiring to the ignition switch for continuity and make sure that the ballast resistor is working properly. The big problem with checking your points with a feeler gauge alone is the fact that feeler gauges WILL NEVER give you a correct dwell setting due to wear on the points cam in the distributor. Definitely check and set your dewll with an el cheapo dewll meter to get your truck to run anything like it should and your spark should be white/blue and be able to bridge a 1/2 inch gap easily at the plug wire. Sometimes the coil will get old and weak and will only put out acceptable voltage when the key is in the start position since the ballast resistor is bypassed and the higher voltage allows the coil to work more effectively. I have only seen this happen twice so I really would'nt worry about the coil right now. Jusy so you know, If you run your starter too long, you could fuse the contacts in the starter solenoid and I you are experencing this starter "run-on" often then I would definitely check the contacts and ignition switch out before you fry your starter, cable and rectifier diodes (trio) in your alternator. Keep us posted and good luck!
     
  6. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    Good call on the jumper wire trick. I'm thinkin you've spent more time "under the hood".
     
  7. jurassic_40

    jurassic_40

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    Lets just say Im out growing my current occupation. Right now Im looking at getting a degree in structural engineering or electrical engineering but no matter what I decide on, or however much I make, I will always be the only person to work on my 40. :)
     
  8. hammerhead

    hammerhead

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    I hear that! I was buttoning-up the last few preparations for a trip to Moab last year when a "friend" helped by "snugging" up my valve cover bolts. One gasket and a peen job later and I was ready to go.
    Oh yeah... if you ever do end up with any surplus income slide some my way. This wife and kids thing is more expensive than all my toys put together. HeeHee :D