Car just flatlined...

Moderator: Larry Jowdy

Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:08 pm

Just got my car back from Fibersteel yesterday, was there since last February having non-engine work done (looks great, that’s for a different day). Drove it 27 miles today, made a stop for 30 minutes or so, started up fine, got a mile down the road and she just quit, shut down. Tried starting, turned over fine, sputter sputter sputter very erratically... If it helps, diagnose, when I was trying to start it, the RPM needle was going all over the dial. Called AAA and got towed. : ( The only thing Russ did was install a new battery and distributer cap since mine had given out. Totally bummed... help please.
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby Larry Jowdy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:07 am

Make sure the wire from the coil to the distributor hasn't fallen off. You said Russ replaced the distributor cap, check it and all the leads.
If you have the electronic point eliminator, make sure the module is tight inside the distributor. If it's loose, it can cause similar problems.
The other common problem is running out of gasoline.
Larry Jowdy
Site Administrator
User avatar
Larry Jowdy
Site Admin/Owner
Site Admin/Owner
 
Posts: 8379
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Ontario, California USA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:11 am

Thanks Larry. I’ll have someone take a look that knows what they’re looking at. I may take a pic or two of the distributer cap etc. to see if anyone sees something odd. Any chance it could be spark plug related? I haven’t changed them in quite a while. What about carb related, i.e., fuel / air related? As far as gas, it was on E when it arrived, so I filled her to the brim, so at least I ruled that out! As always, thanks BIg Lar.
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby EEricson » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:03 am

pertronix module.
EEricson
Member
Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:22 am

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby Larry Jowdy » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:04 am

Yes, it could be carburetor related but it's very difficult to diagnose a problem when you're 2700 mile away
Larry Jowdy
Site Administrator
User avatar
Larry Jowdy
Site Admin/Owner
Site Admin/Owner
 
Posts: 8379
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Ontario, California USA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:41 am

I totally understand Larry just trying to get some ideas for the guys who will ultimately be looking at my car :-)
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby RS-60 mark » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:57 am

Your tach is jumping all over the dial. That doesn't sound like carb or fuel related. I would stay away from the carbs, for now. The first, most obvious and easiest potential problem to eliminate is what Larry (and EEricscon) are pointing to: The distributor. The distributor provides the fire for the plugs, it also provides the the pulse input for the tach.
Do what Larry said, check all the distributor connections. Remove the cap and determine if you have mechanical or solid state points. If mechanical, make sure the mounting screws are tight. If solid state (Petronix or Compufire) remove the module and scratch (sand) the contact surface on the bottom of the module and where it contacts the distributor base to make sure there is good metal/metal contact; then tightly reinstall the module.
The whole exercise is 15 minutes.

Over the years I've learned from Larry that the critical metal/metal contact of the solid state ignition module is the 1st place to look if symptoms are like yours.

Also, I have learned that Pertronix brand modules don't work on some tachs popularly used. But you didn't notice a problem with the tach before so . . . .
RS-60 mark
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 2895
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Windsor, California

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:19 pm

So I took off the distributor cap but this is not what I expected ...now what?
Attachments
Screenshot_20171106-161053_1.jpg
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:21 pm

Also in speaking with Russ I don't have the one that begins with a p i have an MSD? Sorry for being ignorant on this stuff was hoping to get it towed today but it just didn't work out
Attachments
Screenshot_20171106-161940_2.jpg
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby EEricson » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:07 pm

Time to go to the basics. Check for spark. I think you'll find none.

Could be a bad coil (it happens!), a bad ignition module (Pertronix fail more than MSD, but none are immune), or something simple like a loose wire. That little plug thingie in the picture looks like a likely culprit. Tug one wire at a time, check them for continuity. You'll find it.
EEricson
Member
Member
 
Posts: 92
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:22 am

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:43 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys. One of the mechanics who just worked on my little Figaro said he’d stop by tomorrow eve to take a look. I will post the results.
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby RS-60 mark » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:08 pm

Looks like you have Mallory distributor components: http://vwparts.aircooled.net/Mallory-Un ... -p/562.htm
I don't have experience with Mallory. But I would lift the (red) rotor off. The (black) cover will come with it. Under the cover lies the breakerless ignition module mounted to a base plate. Make sure the module is tight on the base plate and the base plate is tight within the distributor housing.
These are just quick inspections, looking for something loose. So also make sure that the (red, green, brown) wires connected in the white Molex plug are making solid connection.
RS-60 mark
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 2895
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Windsor, California

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby RS-60 mark » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:13 am

smonop -- Any luck?
RS-60 mark
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 2895
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 12:00 am
Location: Windsor, California

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:51 pm

Hey 'Marky Mark' - the guys in the shop haven't had a chance to look at it yet and I'm in Chicago for work. I've forwarded them all of the information provided here -
thanks for checking in, much appreciated! I will post their findings ASAP. I return home Thursday, keeping my fingers crossed
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Car just flatlined...

Postby smonop » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:44 pm

The guys think it’s the coil, or at least to start there... so my question is, what do I order and from where? Update - Russ at Fibersteel just e-mailed and indicated that the coil in brand new... ugh...
User avatar
smonop
$$Donating Member$$
$$Donating Member$$
 
Posts: 278
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Next

Return to Tech General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests