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Technical Help! Duraspark headaches

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 62rebel, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,624

    62rebel
    Member

    Swapped in the duraspark system onto the 63 289. Due to some issues regarding previous owners and other hurdles, I've been unable to get the engine to run IN the run position. It will start while cranking but die when the switch returns to RUN. I verified that I have power in the run position to both the coil and the module. Also have the distributor at 6deg btdc as the manual states for static timing. (I removed the remains of two different resistance wires from the harness)
     
  2. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,624

    62rebel
    Member

    I've used the diagram from Mustang Steve to wire it up, and I have a good hand full of similar diagrams from other sources, including here.
     
  3. Gerrys
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 327

    Gerrys
    Member

    Did you bypass the ballast resistor? If not you are not getting full voltage to the module.
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,304

    squirrel
    Member

    do you still have the point distributor? so you could put it back to how it used to be, when it ran?
     
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  5. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,624

    62rebel
    Member

    Ah but it wasn't running with the points. I could put it back and use a ballast resistor. Don't want to go backwards though
     
  6. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 552

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Why are people so scared of point's??? ( sound's like a title of a new thread )
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,304

    squirrel
    Member

    If it wasn't running with the simple system (points), why should it run with the complicated electronic system? :)

    But it does sound like you have a problem with the wiring, and even though you said you wired it up according to the diagram, we can't see what you actually did. It's possible the ignition switch you have works differently than the one in the diagram, or there is some other difference that you didn't catch.

    long story short, you're going to need to do some troubleshooting, using a test light or a volt meter.

    Are you prepared for this?
     
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  8. Chiss
    Joined: May 12, 2017
    Posts: 222

    Chiss
    Member
    from S.C.

    You verified power in own the Module But what about Power out?

    At Dizzy?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  9. Are the module and distributor new parts or did they come from a running system, or is it pieced together from parts of unknown quality? Dura Spark 1 doesn't use a ballast resistor, Dura Spark 2 uses a ballast resistor and the modules are different. There are a number of variations with Dura Spark.

    Anyway, I've had the same problem you are experiencing now and the recently new module I was using was bad. If all your voltages and grounds are correct and everything is hooked up correctly you may want to swap in a different module.

    You may also want to do some component testing to rule out defective dist pick up, ign. coil or bad harness connectors. Good luck.
     
  10. Chiss
    Joined: May 12, 2017
    Posts: 222

    Chiss
    Member
    from S.C.

    Is The Coil Still Firing to the Dizzy in the Run Position.

    I only run 8 to 9 Volts

    If you Don't Know History of Module Don't Trust It.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  11. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,624

    62rebel
    Member

    I like the duraspark system over points because there's nothing to wear mechanically. Everything except the module is new. Nothing was working on the car when I got it. The ignition switch is the normal Ford design and the color coding is the same for almost all Fords. It's either something so simple and obvious that I should be ashamed to miss it or it's a hidden intermittent problem that is extremely difficult to diagnose.
     
  12. Chiss
    Joined: May 12, 2017
    Posts: 222

    Chiss
    Member
    from S.C.

    Well from my Recollection there should be a Ballast Feed wire to the Coil in the Run Position from the Switch.
     
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,304

    squirrel
    Member

    There's a tradeoff, electronic things can not work at all, or fail suddenly.

    In the interest of getting the car running, you might want to clean the points, put the old distributor back in, and see if you can get the wiring sorted out with it. Then if you get it running, try the electronic stuff.

    also, if you just want to minimize wear on the points, you can add an electronic box like an MSD or something to the point system, it will greatly reduce the electric load on the points, so they will last a long, long time (with proper rubbing block lubrication).

    You can also post pictures of your wiring, so we could look over your shoulder.
     
  14. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,392

    greybeard360
    Member

    Duraspark II is pretty simple. From the sounds of it either the wire going to the ballast isn't hooked up or the ballast is bad. It runs in the crank position so that tells you that everything else is working.

    76-77 Duraspark II - Color.JPG
     
  15. Swap to a MSD box... While I like the Duraspark distributor, the boxes are less impressive. The OEM Ford boxes are good, but aftermarket quality is all over the map...

    I've never been disappointed with a MSD box, and the cars run noticeably better.
     
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  16. MeanGene427
    Joined: Dec 15, 2010
    Posts: 1,389

    MeanGene427
    Member
    from Napa

    One can easily run an MSD box with a Duraspark, MSD makes a conversion cable that plugs them together, about $15
     
  17. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,119

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    I'll double down on this. Check that you have power to the module and coil in run. The Duraspark uses the same resistor wire to the coil as a points system. It's a pink wire under the dash that says "RESISTOR DO NOT CUT". The start/run wiring to the coil is all the same and shouldn't have been messed with on the conversion.

    The start wire to the module will retard ignition timing during cranking. It's not absolutely necessary, but handy if you run a lot of initial advance. Many of the aftermarket boxes delete this feature.
     
  18. Try another IGN switch. I've had a few bad switches that would crank and run... until you let off the switch. :)
     
  19. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,624

    62rebel
    Member

    Well, damn. Whatever the reason was, it was wired up correctly after all and started up fine. I didn't even try starting it until I finished replacing the constant voltage regulator, something completely unrelated. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and support!
     
  20. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 4,564

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Looks pretty complicated to me (compared to points).
     
  21. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler
    Member

    At least the distributor is where you can access it easily. Points work fine. That's all they had for years. SB Fords did have issues with the shaft getting sloppy over time. If you can wiggle the shaft, where the rotor is mounted, it's time to replace things. That said, in a pinch, adding a second spring to the points helps keep the bounce under control, until you can fix things.
     
  22. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,624

    62rebel
    Member

    How many A's are still running mechanical brakes, outside the restoration world? How many stovebolt Chevies are running dipper connecting rods? Vacuum wipers seem to be a favorite thing to get rid of.
     
    Montana1 likes this.

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