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Old 11-27-2020, 11:40 PM   #1
ModelAMike1930
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Default Engine wont start.

My model a has been sitting for 2 years without being started, it ran fine when I put it away 2 years ago. I checked the points and they and the gap look fine. Im not getting a spark when I ground out a sparkplug wire. Can a coil go bad in 2 years when not run?
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:05 AM   #2
mass A man
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Most likely no. Gas can go bad, but if you say there's no spark, check if you may be forgetting a kill switch or fuse by the starter.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Replace the condenser
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:50 AM   #4
McMimmcs
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

once you get spark, I’d drain and replace the gasoline, unless you used a fuel stabilizer such as Seafoam.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:08 AM   #5
nkaminar
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

In my experience the points need cleaning after a car sits for a while. Here is an easy way to check. Turn the engine over until the points are open. Remove the high tension wire from the top of the distributor and prop it up so that it is about 1/4 inch away from a grounded part, like the head. Turn the ignition on and short across the points with the tip of a screw driver. If you get a spark, the points need cleaning or replacing.

I have cleaned the points with a bit of wet and dry sand paper. A point file works too. Or you can take them out and use a stone to clean them. Remover any residue from the sand paper before trying to start the car.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

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Please don't start changing parts. If it ran before, just clean the points and make sure the gas is good.
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Old 11-28-2020, 07:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Here is a copy of a post Mike V posted. Please read the entire post.....If it is the junction box ...should be power on both sides. If not the Amp gauge is bad. Jump across the two lugs of the junction box to bypass meter....


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Default Re: Coil problem?
Mike V Florida has posted this and I think it's wonderful:

This is my generic no spark troubleshooting list,

No Spark
Some possibilities are:
1.Blown or defective fuse (use of a fuse is an aftermarket item)
2.Bad connections at ammeter, or ammeter itself (t0 find out put a jumper wire from one post of the terminal box to the other to take the ammeter out of the circuit temporarily)
3.Bad ignition switch and/or cable, or loose cable connection at the switch.
4.Loose or broken wires at bottom of coil
5.Loose or broken wires inside terminal box
6.Loose, bare or broken pigtail wire under distributor plate, or wire grounding to plate or distributor body
7.Points not opening, or point arm grounding to cam due to worn rubbing block
8.Worn electrode in underside of distributor cap
9.Loose or broken high tension wire from coil to cap
10.Condenser burned out or grounding (some condensers are too long and can touch the distributor body inside)
11.Weak coil
12.Rotor not turning due to loose cam screw or bad timing gear.


Ok now break out a volt meter (a light bulb can give false readings).
Start at the fuse block, you should have voltage on both sides of the fuse. If you only have voltage on one side, replace the fuse or fuse block.

Now with voltage on both sides of the fuse, move up to the junction box. There should be voltage at both terminals. If voltage is present only on one side the problem is at the ampmeter and you should Jumper the ampmeter for now.
You should have voltage on both sides of the coil. If not,
remove the red wire on the coil and check again. If you now have voltage on both sides, you have a problem further on. If the voltage is still only in one side you have a bad coil.

Open the points with a piece of paper and remove the condenser. Turn the key on and you should have voltage at the points.
Replace the condenser and you should still have voltage.

If the voltage is missing, remove the top plate and check for voltage on the bottom plate.

Check if the connector from the ignition switch screwed in too far? Do you have voltage on the wire to the upper plate?

Is this wire shorting to ground or broken?

Remove the paper from the points and see that the points are closed. You should not have 0 volts at the points. If you do, the points are dirty or the distributor is not grounded well to the engine.

Last edited by jg61hawk; 11-28-2020 at 08:21 AM.
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:14 AM   #8
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

If you ground a plug wire there won't be a spark. The wire needs to be about 1/4" from the ground.

Start by checking for 6v volts at points open arm and 0v when arm is closed. If that isn't happening then start with cleaning the points contacts.

If you don't get voltage at the open point arm then look backwards thru the lower plate contact to the switch to the coil to the terminal block. The insulation in the primary lead can be deteriorated and ground out.
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:39 AM   #9
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Please listen to Jackson ! Good diagnostics is the best way to help figure out what is going on and the only way to truly figure out what is going on . Best of luck to you please let us know what you find Joe.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

My "A" had sat for sometime and wouldn't start, I did a quick check for voltage on both terminal posts ( the terminal are hot on the outside, no need to open it ) cleaned the points and adjusted the gap, put it back together and still no start? Well after checking again found that I hadn't reinstalled the rotor, was working in a dark storage unit.
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Old 11-28-2020, 10:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

One thing that helped me in a similar situation was to make sure that the upper plate area of the distributor was *really* clean. You donít want any stray point file shavings laying around on the upper plate and you donít want old grease slopped all over the upper plate and/or the points.

To clean mine, I sprayed some brake cleaner on a paper towel and wiped everything (movable point arm, point block, cam, etc.) attached to the upper plate. I repeated the process until the paper tower stopped getting dirty. Then, I blew some compressed air all over the upper plate area to make sure it dried and also to make sure I dislodged any point filings that I may have missed with the paper towel cleaning. After that, I regreased the point cam with fresh Vaseline. (Donít forget the fresh Vaselineóyou donít want your point rub block wearing out quickly.)


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Old 11-28-2020, 10:16 AM   #12
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Default Engine wont start.

By the way, these two tools have been very handy for me.

https://www.brattons.com/quick-set-p...ting-tool.html

https://www.brattons.com/ignition-sp...il-tester.html

The Sparklite will have a strong red LED pulse if you are getting good spark from the coil (the LED will be faint, more of a flicker, if the spark is weak), and the tool also checks to see if the polarity of the coil hookup is correct. This tool reduces the likelihood of getting shocked while checking for good spark from the coil.


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Old 12-01-2020, 05:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Hey Mike any update? I like to know how these mysteries end....
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:15 PM   #14
ModelAMike1930
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Wont be any work done anymore this year-winter weather is now upon us. I order some test gear and will tackle it again next spring. My old bones cant take working in the cold anymore.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:27 PM   #15
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

You can’t argue that best of luck to you. I hope you have a great winter
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Old 12-03-2020, 10:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ModelAMike1930 View Post
Wont be any work done anymore this year-winter weather is now upon us. I order some test gear and will tackle it again next spring. My old bones cant take working in the cold anymore.
I'am in central Illinois, Vandalia, if you not to far away, next spring P.M. me and I'll give you a hand getting that A started!
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:25 PM   #17
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

How about adding a good cleaning of the ground to the frame?
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Old 12-03-2020, 01:42 PM   #18
McMimmcs
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big hammer View Post
I'am in central Illinois, Vandalia, if you not to far away, next spring P.M. me and I'll give you a hand getting that A started!
You canít beat an offer like that. Good man big Hammer, thatís kind of you. Wayne
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:53 PM   #19
ModelAMike1930
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Default Re: Engine wont start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big hammer View Post
I'am in central Illinois, Vandalia, if you not to far away, next spring P.M. me and I'll give you a hand getting that A started!
Thanks for the offer but im pretty far from you im in a suburb of Chicago (Oak Forest) Its a long State isn't it---lol
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Old 12-03-2020, 09:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McMimmcs View Post
once you get spark, Iíd drain and replace the gasoline, unless you used a fuel stabilizer such as Seafoam.
Im a big fan of Stabil
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