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Old 06-15-2017, 03:54 AM   #1
stillwater
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Default car died, starts later

I was riding with a friend to our Model A Club meeting tonight. Weather went crappy quick(sunny, to humid/rain...in case this matters).

Car died...rolling into a restart twice but kept dying. And then it wouldn't start.
Was getting fuel...but no spark.

Waited about ten minutes, started right up.

Any advice on what may have caused this/ how to avoid in the future?
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:58 AM   #2
lindy williams
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Default Re: car died, starts later

Its good that you identified it as a spark problem when it died. I''d say that the most likely suspect is an overheated condensor.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:24 AM   #3
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: car died, starts later

That same thing happened to a guy in our club when we were on tour. Ford never used rubber boots on either end of the coil wire, but many people add them. His coil boot trapped a few drops of water and shorted the spark to ground.

BTW, I won't use boots, just to stay more original, beside the fact it can trap water.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: car died, starts later

Sure sounds like fuel. Make sure.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:27 AM   #5
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Default Re: car died, starts later

Both coils and condensers can cause this problem
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: car died, starts later

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Hot coils die
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: car died, starts later

yea ign parts usually fail hot and can fix themselves as they cool. gonna be a bit tricky to diagnose but PLEASE change ONE part at a time and go for a drive. Bring some other spare parts with you in case it dies on you again and try to replicate the weather. Unfortinately with the openness of the model A ign system a bit of moisture from the ever leaky hood hinge area wouldn't take many water drops to start shorting out stuff.

or better yet run the car till it dies then quickly (carefully) change one component out and if it instantly restarts i would suspect the removed component.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: car died, starts later

This might be the only time for WD-40 would be helpful! Water Disbursement 40
At work one of the mechanics sprayed WD-40 on some spark plug wires on a non running truck and then it started! He then changed the plug wires.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:22 AM   #9
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: car died, starts later

Hi Still,

Our local barber and his father-in-law both had outside-parked, non-restored, 1929 Model A Tudors, where prior to a rain, as a kid, I noticed they both always covered their top-hinged, hood joints with an oil cloth.

I remember when I asked why ....... both responded to prevent no-starts after heavy rains dripped drops of water on the coil wire, which flowed downward where the coil wire connected to the top distributor cap thus creating a short.

Then I noticed when I got my 1930 coupe, it had new coil wire rubber boots; but I never had this same problem of no-starts or engine dying; however, on top of my coil was an inverted baby food can.

I asked the former owner why ..... he responded the top of coils held water and caused the top of the coils to rust out, so when the tops of the baby food cans rusted, he just changed baby food cans.

These are actual "original", Model A events, prior to today's Restoration Forum Stories.

Problem today is trying to explain to young Model A owners ........ what is an oil cloth? .... and what is, or what size was a baby food can? ..... because Gerber's switched to baby food glass jars.

Moral of the story: Not all Model A's ever were alike ...... or ........ are still all alike!
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Old 06-15-2017, 12:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: car died, starts later

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Originally Posted by Step-down View Post
Hot coils die
This would be my bet. A coil will get hot under the hood. As it does the fine wires in the secondary winding can expand. The only insulation is a coat of lacquer. They can easily short. When he coil cools down all is well again.

I had this happen with two coils when I thought it a good idea to install a high performance coil. The first one drove me to frustration before I figured out what was going on. I was up in the desert with the ambient temperature at about 100 degrees. Every time I stopped for gas the car wouldn't start. When it finally did start it ran terrible for a mile or two until the temp under the hood came down. The second one failed the same way on another car.

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Old 06-15-2017, 12:41 PM   #11
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: car died, starts later

In 1960, I met a military instructor who said he was stationed in the Army in the 1950's in California where he told me he drove home several times to and from New York in his Model A.

He said he always carried about (10) condensers with him because they would stop functioning when they became overheated; however, in my driving Model A's for 50 years, I never had a Model A condenser or Model A a coil malfunction in 100 degree weather or any other weather.

Moral of the story: Not all Model A coils and/or condensers were ever alike ...... or ........ are still all alike!

I still have a few A & B condensers that look like Christopher Columbus brought them over on his first trip .... (not his later second trip) ..... they are not beautiful, but still function admirably.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: car died, starts later

you said you had fuel, so that eliminates a fuel problem, next two things to check are coil and condenser, when engine dies again put your hand on the coil, if its to hot to leave it there you have found the problem, if its not that hot install a new condensor
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: car died, starts later

How did you check for fuel? If you simply undid the fuel line at the carby and got fuel, that doesn't mean there isn't a piece of crap blocking a jet. That said, all good advice above.
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Old 06-15-2017, 06:54 PM   #14
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Default Re: car died, starts later

I'm the owner of he car and was driving. The car has a NuRex electronic ignition. There is no condenser in the system. It died before the rain started. It was in the 90's and the temp dropped considerably as the storm was rolling in. I pulled the screen in the front of the carb and was getting gas. I think it's possibly a bad coil or ignition module lost it ground. I need to carry one of the little spark testers with me. By the way does anyone know what the little bulb that is used inside the clear tube is made of or called?
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:28 AM   #15
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Default Re: car died, starts later

By the way does anyone know what the little bulb that is used inside the clear tube is made of or called?

Don't understand - Need more dots ��
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: car died, starts later

Snyder's sells them. Ignition tester. I'm curious as to what the bulb inside it is called so I can purchase a few and make my own cheaper. At least I think I can make them cheaper.
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:03 AM   #17
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: car died, starts later

That's a neon bulb and can be purchased at Radio Shack, if any still exist, or ebay.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:38 PM   #18
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Default Re: car died, starts later

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Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
That's a neon bulb and can be purchased at Radio Shack, if any still exist, or ebay.
nope no radio shacks - went bankrupt. Lowes has some stuff - but yes its just a neon lamp. might be listed as pilot light
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:28 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Tom Wesenberg View Post
That's a neon bulb and can be purchased at Radio Shack, if any still exist, or ebay.
I believe those bulbs were commonly used in power strips for the indicator light, though most now are probably LED's.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:39 PM   #20
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Default Re: car died, starts later

The neon bulb can also be found in lighted switches and sometimes the "ON" indicator lights in irons or other appliances.
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