Vehicle missing.....Saga Continues

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Sep 11, 2005
It has been so long since I asked for help with this problem that I could not find my original post. It was about in september or october. If there is an archive somewhere or I just missed the original post I appoligize.

To begin I will tell you that the truck is a 71 FJ 40 with a 78 2f in it. I bought it running like a top except for the idle seemed to be set a touch high. Drove it a week and it began missing really bad. It was not backfiring through the carb. I believed it had run out of gas because it acted exactly like it ran out of gas or was at least starving for fuel. Adding gas didn't help. Still the missing. New fuel filter didn't help. Gas in the view window stays at least half way up when revving the engine.

So today I finally had time to fool with it and I bought all new points, condenser, plug wires, distributor cap, and coil. Well, I decided to start with the easiest thing--polished the points. Then I checked the point gap--seemed to be a bit wide so I adjusted and adjusted until I thought I had it right. So it turned and turned and turned until I knew it was firing. Adjusted and adjusted more......sat in the seat, hit the starter and it fired right up, wasn't missing a bit.....idled down to around 800 or so and ran smooth. Then began slowly to miss every once in a while. I got in and drove around my apartment complex and by the time I had gone about 2/10 a mile it was missing more by the minute. So I drove back still running much better than it was when it quit on me at the redlight so many months ago.

So I pulled the cap and and made sure the points hadn't widened or narrowed. They were dead on. So I replaced everything and started it again. This time it ran pretty good like it had the first time I got it started today. Only missing occasionally, then gradually missing a little more but never missed so bad it would quit running. I replaced the distributor cap and polished the rotor end, and started it again with no real change.

I am waiting on the condenser to come in and I will replace it tomorrow, the coil, the points, and the plug wires just so everything is new and try again. I'm kind of at a loss. I mean it started up very nicely once I got the points adjusted the first time.

I will say the dust cover is missing from the inside of the dizzy and it appears to be slightly greasy looking inside the dizzy, but the points themselves were dry on the contact surface when I polished with the emory cloth. For one I think I am missing the adjusting "screw" so I am having to hold the points with a flathead screwdriver while setting the gap and then holding it just right while I tighten it. Don't think this has anything to do with it......but oh well. Oh yeah and it is the original dizzy and coil that came with the 71 f engine I believe. It looks like that year range on SOR and the coil is only a coil with none of the "extra" stuff that bolts to it like on the later model ones I have seen exploded diagrams of.

Thanks for all the help.
Here is a pic of the inside of the dizzy. I will take a pic with the rotor removed.
sounds like the coil is getting warm and cutting out. another remote possibility is the gas cap vent may be stopping up. leave the gas cap off and try driving it.
Yeah, when I posted this and went to the front page to see it I read the title and I realized that I made a little mistake when I titled it. If I could change it I would.

My tank is not vented. It is a 71 but I believe the tank has been replaced because there are a couple extra pipes coming off that are just plugged. I questioned when I first bought it about the canister that was supposed to be under the hood but was informed that the 71 did not come with a charcoal canister. I was informed in that previous post that some people had actually drilled a tiny hole just under the cap in the filler neck for vent and it worked pretty well. It worked pretty well apparently and as I am not going to do alot of serious off roading or rock crawling or deep mudhole swimming so I will pull the cap and see if it helps. If so I will probably just go ahead and drill the neck.

Thanks alot everyone. I will replace all the electrical components tomorrow and let ya know what happens. I hope one day I will be able to give back information. I keep getting such great help......feel like kind of the kid that just won't leave his parents house you know.....just keep taking and taking and taking.

Well, actually it may be Friday before I get around to replacing the parts. My folks are in town and we have a big ceremony at the school tomorrow.
Trollhole said:
I'm going to guess it's either the condenser or the coil. Most likely the coil. Just my opnion.

DO you have an ignigter

Actually I'm not sure if I do have an igniter. Where is it and what do it look like?
Has the truck done a lot of sitting? Maybe a dirty carb, giving it a lean pop? Also, what carb is on there? I have a Weber i think it is a 34/36 or some thing that was on an F and is now on a 2F, and seems to be too lean. Contemplating if I should re-jet it or rebuild the 76 Aisin that came off this engine.
FJ40fiji said:
Has the truck done a lot of sitting? Maybe a dirty carb, giving it a lean pop? Also, what carb is on there? I have a Weber i think it is a 34/36 or some thing that was on an F and is now on a 2F, and seems to be too lean. Contemplating if I should re-jet it or rebuild the 76 Aisin that came off this engine.

It had not been doing alot of sitting when I bought it, the PO drove it once a week to keep it running and keep the battery up or so he says. It was running very well when I bought it and drove it for a week and this just all of a sudden happened.

It has however been sitting up since September when it quit on me. I should have just checked the points earlier, but I assumed they were not the problem. But everyone knows what assuming will do......

The carb is the correct one for the engine. I looked that up when I first bought it and it is a 78 Aisin carb and 78 Aisin 2f. It probably do need cleaning properly and have a kit put in it. I'm no carburator man though.
Never hurts to run a cleaner through the gas and spray a can of cleaner in the carb. May not be related to your problem but it only sets you back a couple dollars. Just try to get all the jets, vents ect. Look down the throat and see what you are spraying. Spray every thing, let it sit a little while, then hit again. Once there is not more liquid standing in the manifold fire it up and spray the last of the can.
Just an update on things. I finally got all that stuff put on, well everything except new points.....I will address that in a minute. Anywho, new coil, dist cap, plug wires, and condenser and the main part of the missing has been cleared up. It is still missing occassionally and when it does there is a little puff of white smoke, but I don't believe it is missing everytime through a complete cycle. It is kind of an irregular miss. Could this be a burnt valve or maybe a gunked valved that isn't seating properly everytime and therefore not building up enough pressure to burn properly? I'm probably way off but it was an idea I was kicking around. Maybe the shaft of the dist has just enough play in it to miss occassionally but I can't wiggle it any and when I rock the truck to open the points there is no lag or slack that I can see in the shaft. Could be that I'm just not seeing it. Anyway, I would appreciate anyone and everyone's thoughts on the matter.

I am going to use some carb cleaner stuff called sea foam, not sure how good it is, but well see if it helps clean the carb out and I'm going to spray some carb cleaner from an aresol can into the top of the carb as well. Just haven't had time to do this as it was dark when I got home today from the parts house.

Now the reason I didn't replace the points. I have a brand new set of points but when I went to put them on, it looks like the wire is on a stud that goes all the way through the distibutor and I will have to loosen the two nuts on the outside of the distributor. Am I thinking right? Or am I completely wrong.

If it keeps messing with me I'll but a new HEI/DUI in it and wash my hands of the points and condenser and all that crap, probably still wouldn't solve my problem.
Does anyone have any ideas? I know there have been more views since I posted this, but no replies. I'm at my whits end. Hopefully the carb cleaner will do the trick if not it is driveable since it does not miss too bad.

Thanks again.
dustin said:
heh. whew. I thought your Cruiser was stolen. Carry on... :)


That's exactly what I thought with the thread name.
Is the emissions equipment still in place? A lot of hesitation and missing can be attributed to faulty vacuum connections in emissions system. If it has been desmogged I'm not sure. My 85 2F hesitates when I run low octane in it, try running a tank of 91 octane and see if that helps.
Have had the same issues and came to the same conclusion MDH33 did. On my 40, once I solved all of my vacuum leaks I finally got rid of all occasional missing in the engine.

Mine ran similar to yours: cold, at idle, no issues. Warmed up, developed hesitation/loss of power and inconsistent miss. Turned out to be loose vacuum line connections and a leak at the base of the carb/manifold. I suggest you make sure the carb and manifold seal to the head when the engine is warmed up and check all vacuum connections.

I also run 89 octane or higher fuel in my 40. But then I did because my engine rebuilder increased the compression ratio and it pings if I ran 87 now.

the extra pipes you have coming off your tank are supposed to be connected to the 'evaporative emissions device' in the middle back of the front bench on a '71-72. It condenses fuel fumes and returns to the tank.
This sounds very much like a vacuum leak. The leak creates a lean condition in one or more cylinders. The mixture does not have enough fuel to ignite, so the unburned mixture passes into the exhaust system where it sporadically combusts and makes the puff you describe.

Check brake booster (got one?), PCV, all around the carb and manifolds, and all of your emissions eqpt.
Take an especially close look at the pipe that exits the intake manifold near the firewall by cylinders 5 & 6....the hose from it should go to the brake booster supplying it with vacuum. Be sure there isn't a leak in that system. A decent leak there can lead to burned valves on # 5 & 6...... past experience taught me that lesson the hard way...


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