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Author Topic: Car won't start :(  (Read 1807 times)
rikubot
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« on: March 10, 2016, 07:25:40 PM »

Hi dudes,

Got a '69 Charger here with a 440, stock with an edelbrock 600. I was runnin it the other day while tuning the carb and trying to find a vacuum leak, and then it died out and would start back up. I did spray a decent amount of carb cleaner in there which tried choking out the motor, but I assumed I was out of gas (fuel sender don't work). So I put some gas in, charged my battery, and it started to turn and chortle with a little fumes floatin about. after that, nada. The tach doesn't even move when the starter is turning anymore. It's got fuel, so I'm not sure what's holding me back. I fear it's an electrical problem that I don't understand. Any ideas? Also I should not that she usually starts up really well, even after sitting a couple weeks
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 07:53:40 PM »

See what others say.  The Tach might be a symptom.  If it were me, I would start with checking for spark, and then work my way from there.

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rikubot
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« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 08:27:24 PM »

That's what kinda got me worried. When I turned the key the tach would jump a little with the rotation of the motor, then nothin. Is checking for a spark as easy as pulling out a plug wire and looking at it when cranking the motor?
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69wannabe
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« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 08:39:50 PM »

Pull a plug wire off and stick another spark plug of some kind in the end of the plug wire and spin it over and look for a blue spark. Also you may have fouled out the spark plugs spraying it with carb cleaner. Pull a few plugs out and see what they look like. Are you still running a point's distributor?? Many things will keep her from coming to life!!
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XH29N0G
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 08:49:32 PM »

Sometimes I find it difficult to see the spark with a plug (the outside needs to be grounded - which can be done using a closed end wrench - this can also hold it up).  I also saw a method that worked well for me, which was to pull the boot off the plug and insert a phillips screw driver in the socket in the boot.  Then set the screw driver close (like gap distance from) to grounding point and look for the spark to jump.  I have a dark garage so I can see the spark.  I needed my son to turn over the engine while I looked.  There are various descriptions on the internet. 
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rikubot
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 09:31:31 PM »

I am still running a points distributor Sad. I'll try to check for a spark tomorrow and check out my plugs. Hoping it's something simple*fingers crossed*

What am I looking at for a worst case scenario?
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crj1968
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 10:14:33 PM »

yeah just peel back the boot from the plug and put the metal part a couple mm's from a bolt head or something on the block and look for the spark.

I don't think your failure is catastrophic, probably as simple as the coil or ballast. But first things first would be to check for spark.

Maybe you can get a local mopar guy to help you out  ?




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rikubot
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 11:09:22 PM »

Ok I'll try that. The ballast should have a broken coil if blown, right? If I've got a spark I'll pull those plugs too and check em out.
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2016, 06:56:25 AM »

I think the ballast can go all on its own and if replaced will bring you right back up and running.  If I understand the wiring correctly, a blown ballast resistor would give spark with the key in the start position, but would stop giving spark when the key is in the run position.  This would have your engine starting to catch when pushing on the key and then shutting off when you released the key to let it run.  Do you have a multimeter to measure voltage and resistance.  This will come in handy.  Does not need to be expensive, I have a cheap one from Home Depot that does all I need.

I would just start with spark, and then work back. This is the same for a points ignition.  You could pop the distributor cap to look at the points and make sure they look OK if it has been sitting.  The ignition/electrical is not all that complex.  (I think my father said he once had the condenser go out and stop the car.  I believe I had the points go out once and do the same thing.  Both are pretty straightforward to replace.)

FWIW I found that I had a lot of issues I thought were with my carburetor that turned out to be related to my how my points ignition was set up, so once you get it running check through that.  I have an old tester, don't know how it works, but when it says the points or dwell are bad, the car ran worse.
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Pete in NH
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2016, 08:33:54 AM »

Hi,

Engine need two things to run, fuel and a spark at the right time. First, pour a little fresh gas down the carburetor throat. If the engine starts and runs for a few seconds , you have a fuel delivery problem.  If the engine doesn't try to run after that, check for a spark next by pulling out the center high voltage wire between the coil and distributor cap at the distributor end. Hold it close to the engine metal while someone cranks the engine. If you don't see a spark jump from the wire to the engine, you have some type of ignition system issue.

You need to figure out if it's a fuel or ignition issue first before you will know what to do next.
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igozumn
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 09:40:57 AM »

If you have a test light, you can clip it to the ground and then put the pointer on the + side of the coil.  With the ignition on, it should light.  During start, it should light, but be a bit brighter.  If that checks, then put the pointer on the - side of the coil.  While starting, it should flash, indicating the spark going to the plugs.

That's how I remember it, but I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night though.
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rikubot
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« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 03:19:25 PM »

Thanks everybody for all the information. I can't wait to get off work and check it out.
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rikubot
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2016, 10:52:22 PM »

I'm gonna go and buy a test light early tomorrow and give her a check. I'm gonna leave my battery on all night as it was getting pretty low too. I'll give you guys an update when I get something done tomorrow. I thought I'd be able to get to it tonight but was unable.
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rikubot
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2016, 01:57:43 PM »

I got the test light today and gave the coil a check via the last method, and everything checked out. I got a little gas down the carb and chugged her over and pumped the gas and she fired up. I think I had one of the idler screws too far out so once I adjusted it a little I got the idle back to normal. Simple fix really, but what freaked me out was the tach jumping when I was first kicking her over, and then nada. I think this was because my battery was at a real low charge and wasn't cranking my starter very hard. So I charged it overnight and it had enough juice to get it kicked over today. Thanks for all the help with troubleshooting methods for electrical problems. My buddy Gary is saying I should switch to electronic ignition, but I think that might be a little over my head. What's your experiences with installing/running it?
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2016, 02:23:23 PM »

First, This is all good news. 

I have an electronic ignition with an MSD 6AL, but did not install it myself.  The car runs well without issue.  That said, I used the points type ignition up until a few years ago and when it was set up correctly, it also started without issue and ran well.  I think is up to you.  Others on here will be able to advise on how much of a difference it might make and the installation if you decide to go that route.   
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69wannabe
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2016, 07:13:41 PM »

You can check with firefighter (ron) on here about a firecore distributor or maybe a conversion kit. I actually like the plug and play distributor myself vs the RTR distributor but that is just my personal taste. You can also look on mancini racing's website for the electronic conversion kits but make sure you get a firecore distributor with the kit and not the old mopar distributor since they had spark scatter issues and the firecore's are alot better quality from my experience!!!
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crj1968
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2016, 10:37:53 PM »

The mopar electronic ignition is pretty simple to install....
This:


MSD is really straightforward too..  I am running the MSD on my car but still have all the Mopar electronic ignition stuff (ECU)under the hood...so if the MSD goes bad I can go back to the ECU by changing a few wires.

Hey, you gotta learn somehow, and the how is by going for it ,especially with the info and help available on the internet.




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rikubot
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2016, 05:40:11 PM »

When you put it that way, it does seem very simple. I finally got around to getting a test light, and my next tool will be a multimeter. What are the main reasons you have switched to electronic ignition?
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igozumn
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2016, 07:59:34 PM »

No points to file.  No condenser to go bad.  No points to set. 
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crj1968
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2016, 03:37:00 PM »

No points to file.  No condenser to go bad.  No points to set. 

Also I'd just like to add that there's no points.   icon_smile_big

Just my opinion of course, but unless you are really concerned about 100% concourse originality, the points gotta go.

I think the last time I messed with points was 25 years ago.
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69wannabe
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2016, 07:10:21 PM »

Been awhile for me too on replacing points, It's been a few years I think since I replaced a set in an old ford truck. It had been several years before then tho and I had almost forgot how to set them!! LOL. Electronic ignition has been around since the mid seventy's so it's a pretty good idea by now  Wink If you decide to go with a mopar orange box you may want to get a spare since just like anything else they do go bad sometimes. My first one lasted 8 or 9 years but I think that one was made in the USA and the newer one's are made in china or taiwan so it my be a good idea to have a spare.
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