The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by fastmike, Apr 5, 2021.
I had a couple flatties do this. we decided it was a flaw in the cap that caused the tracking
When you went on your 200 mile trip did you put any new fuel in the truck along the way? I had a problem with my OT truck while pulling a 29 foot travel trailer , filled the tank up during the trip & about 1 hour later started to get service engine codes in. The truck went into limp mode so as soon as I could put the highest grade fuel in it I did & it started to clear it self ..... the codes directed me that way. The first fill up was at a good name brand station & high test .... Bad Fuel ...... so do not rule your fuel out as even the best name grade fuel can be bad .... just my 2 cents
Like Tman said, had a flat tie with similar problems, it was the cap.
In the post it says he's tried 3 coils.
Or if the stations tank had diesel in it. It will look and smell like gas but you need to build a fire to get it to burn!
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a cool trick I learned is to pull #1 plug then you can take a zip tie and put the fat end down far enough to get on top of the piston and rotate the engine. When the piston just about tops out it will kiss the end of the zip tie. Mark that point, pull the zip tie, go just over TDC out the zip tie back in and rotate back and hit the zip tie again. Mark that location. TDC should be half way in between the two marks.
So just to update this.. I put the points back in the distributor and kept the new Pertronix coil on the engine and it fired right up. Super weird since I tested 2 other coils and they tested fine but the truck ran terrible. So maybe this coil fixed it? Who knows, I'm just glad its running again. Now I'm fighting bad fuel issues since its been sitting for 6 months haha. Thank you to everyone who commented I really appreciate it!
I also believe the pertronix I put in the truck wasn't working because I have solid core plug wire. I think that was mentioned before. I think that's the reason I've gone through 2 of those units. I'm just not ready to give up my cloth plug wires just yet though.
pertronix may need an extra ground cable compared to points
did you check/replace the small ignition cable from negative coil to the dizzy? if this shorts it may cause ignition problems. and that's a tough one to find..
btw like your truck, great details!
OP said.............."It won't even RUN now" Sooooo it will be hard to run it at night!
Just read through and glad you found the prob!!
Another Pertronix success story.
I generally don't care for chopped vehicles but yours is an exception- very neat looking truck! Glad you found the problem.
Mike. Glad you found the problem, you know how I feel toward flatheads
Just found this thread, close as I can see (failing peepers) Surprised no one mentioned this but first sign of trouble came from burning gases leaking out the pipe. This indicates an exhaust valve leak.
A common performance remedy back in flathead era was called valve-top oil. It was available at every station, every brand had their own. Periodically a small can ( perhaps six ounces ) was dumped into the gas tank. The result was a smooooth running motor Today we have Marvel Mystery Oil. While many naysayers like to scoff at the name, the fact remains that while OHV engines get oil supplied to the valve stems from from above, the flattie's valves are treated to fire from above, and the stems of the valves have to hope for upward migration of oil, while gravity helps the OHV valves it does nuthin for the flathead motor.
Upscale rebuilders prefer bronze valve guides. Very well but in place of this remedy, Get Marvel Mystery Oil and treat each tankfull to about 4 oz. per 10 gallon. You won't be disappointed.
If you have a decent points distributor, swap out the Pertronix and see what happens. I always carry a points distributor just in case. If it fires and runs, it’s your Pertronix unit. I always run the old Chrysler ballast resistor with them as they tend to burn up coils - Bubba came up with this solution. I am using the Ignitor II - if you are running the older version, it might be time for an upgrade.
Good on ya FastMike. Well done. Sometimes when a problem is driving you crazy, it's just so frustrating you want to break something. I was sitting in my daughter's hospital room at 2 am today reading this thread. I was thankful for the HAMB and I was wishing I had that badass truck and all the problems you've endured with it. She's been released and is home now and will be fine. But from my perspective, good stuff. Try to enjoy it. All things considered.
The rotor on an 8BA flat head turns clockwise. Look thru this thread.
After the first backfire you blew out your power valves and they will need to be replaced with the proper ones. Once you damage a PV it will leak fuel and also have a vacuum leak.
The newer PV's will not seat in the 94's and will leak.
Vintage Speed modifies new PV's to fit the 94's
Congratulations on finding the problem. Sometimes newer is NOT better.
At least 5 people have posted solutions since the guy posted that he found the problem.
People; read the entire thread.
Great work, Mike. I suspected it would be in the Pertronics, as a few friends have had those and I have found their 'shortcomings'. (the Pertronics', not the friends'! Welll...in some cases, maybe both!)
Back in 1980, my son's pal, 'Olie', bought a cool little Swinger, 318/T.F.
His Dad was an electronics bug, so the kid had to wait for Dad to 'tinker' with an ignition 'update', via a 'HEATHKIT'...
Olie drove it over, asked me why it ran so bad. I looked at it, noticed a wire entering the distributor, asked "Why?" He told me "Dad was in there, converted it to Electronic Ignition!"
I installed his points and cond., told him to drive it.
Olie lit the tires from the stop sign and nearly climbed the opposite curb..."Wow!"
I advised him to keep Dad out from the distributer, was wary of those 'light shows' ever since.
Northstar can't disable my Mallory. So there...
Agree but the original OP tried different set ups until - shabang it started - I'll have to take some pictures to explaine the no start prob I had intermittent as I changed all kinds of stuff.
one thing that I have learned here over the years is when @Deuce Daddy Don makes a comment, it’s time to listen........
Another Pertronix horror story, I have no idea why you guys use these things. Use a good set of points and get a Capacitive Discharge box like the MSD6AL or the Vertex Z-6, the points will last forever and that box will fire those spark plugs even when soaked with gasoline.. If I had a flathead I would defiantly be running a CD box off a points distributor..
In 37 years, the only time my shoebox left me stranded roadside was due to a Pertronix... just saying .
Wasnt saying he was wrong, just was stating something he probably didnt read or something. No hard feelings.
Yeah, that is a big no-no with the solid state ignition modules. Some people have done it and say they've no problem.
It does seem like what is most often overlooked (whether points ignition or not) is the total current flow in the primary circuit. Too much juice is gonna let the magic smoke out. I think I've seen more trouble reported with too low of a voltage with the Ignitor. They handle 16 volts at the upper limit no problem. It's excess current that will roast them, the amperes. Heat. Electrical stuff can seem intimidating but the basic stuff is easier than it looks. Ohm's Law is your friend here.
Was just going to add my personal issue I had with a loss of power or ignition - the picture is a factory end that goes to the coil - chased it for awhile until one night I was just watching my motor run and I saw a spark or two to ground from that end. Looked good but was broke down from the years - replaced it and no more coasting to the curb.
fastmike admitted that he did not change the spark plug wiring. Pertronix ignitions will work with solid core wires until they don’t. His unit is probably junk now but as he said the coil is fine. I know folks who run Pertronix flawlessly for years. For me it’s been 8. I followed their instruction to the letter. I use a ballast resister also since it is an option. The wiring system still has its “hot” 12 volt start.
Personally I would never put back in points or have a big “red” box ignition which has failed in our race car at the track; we have a spare that’s now in but is no longer serviceable since they changed design.
The best bet is a modified SBC points dist modified to fit an 8BA, shortened, Ford gear on the shaft, and outside housing turned down to fit in the 8BA housing. Pertronics will always fail when the components get too hot. Yes you'll have to keep an extra set of points in the glove box but you'll always get home.
Points, shit condensers, and ignition coils fail when they get too hot just the same. Any sufficiently advanced technology looks just like magic, I suppose.
I know it's been fixed, but, I read somewhere that Pertronix does NOT like a generator. Is this true ? He is running a gen. Did it kill the ptx ? Just wondering.....
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