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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2012, 02:49 PM
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1976 Ranchero GT
 

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351W no spark after warming up

My 76 Ranchero left me on the side of the road yesterday. The car will start up really easy with great spark when its completely cold, but after it gets hot the spark is gone.

This happens when driving and it reaches opp. temp and also just sitting in the sun will cause it to have no spark.

I have replaced the coil.

I am thinking it could be an old wire supplying the coil with 12volts. I know the hotter a wire gets the more resistance it has.

Thats all I can come up with.. I would love any ideas y'all could throw at me.


Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:39 PM
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Check your points. Also new cap rotor plugs and wires.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:37 AM
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Assuming it still has a point/condenser ignition(it's the change over year), first of all, make sure the coil is correctly wired. If the primary (12V) wires are reversed, it will take out the condenser. Also, the resistor is, and I'm attempting to recall my '76 p/u, I believe, a wire instead of the metal bracket kind of gadget you might be used to seeing.
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:43 PM
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Thanks fellas.. Its electronic ignition. I should have said that..
I talked to a buddy and he said it could be the ignition module. I am going to replace that and probably the cap and rotor too just for good measure.

It really kind of sucks that I wont know if its fixed or not until I get stranded again.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:06 PM
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X2 with the module..... and check the cap for a hairline crack or dirty contacts
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:33 PM
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OKAAAAY - we cleared that up!! My old '76 had points. Rock Auto Parts has the modules from ~$16 - to over $100. The best way to fix those crummy modules is to gut what you have and put a GM version in place. Here's one write up I found. And another with a drawing.

Do a search on Hotrodders and you will find a couple as well
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irelands child
OKAAAAY - we cleared that up!! My old '76 had points. Rock Auto Parts has the modules from ~$16 - to over $100. The best way to fix those crummy modules is to gut what you have and put a GM version in place. Here's one write up I found. And another with a drawing.

Do a search on Hotrodders and you will find a couple as well
HA! That is very interesting.. I have had lots of GM HEIs and never had a problem with them.. I will look more into that. This is my first old Ford.

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:51 PM
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x3 on the module lol, i recently had one that i tested and it passed until i tested it enough that it heated up then failed
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Old 01-24-2012, 04:23 PM
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I'm not familiar with the Ranchero. Does it have a computer? A friend of mine that owned a wrecker service and had a Ford F350 that would just die going down the road. If you let it set for 5 or 10 minutes it would start back up and maybe okay for a couple days. You never knew when it was going to happen. Turns out that the computer was going bad or something inside of it was causing the intermittant problem. He finally changed it out and it ran great afterwards.
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S10 Racer
I'm not familiar with the Ranchero. Does it have a computer? A friend of mine that owned a wrecker service and had a Ford F350 that would just die going down the road. If you let it set for 5 or 10 minutes it would start back up and maybe okay for a couple days. You never knew when it was going to happen. Turns out that the computer was going bad or something inside of it was causing the intermittant problem. He finally changed it out and it ran great afterwards.
There is no computer on that vintage Ford product, just an early design electronic ignition module potted in a 4-5inch square cast aluminum box on a fender inner panel. It only controls the distributor spark.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:49 PM
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Well fellas, I have not had much time to mess with the Ranchero, but today some folks were coming to take a look at it and maybe buy it. I wanted to drive it one last time and it died on me again.

I have replaced the Module, coil, cap and rotor.

I started testing with the multi meter while it was hot and not running. I had almost 7 volts on one side of the coil with the key on. This would rise to about 9 volts while trying to start the car.

On the other side of the coil it only showed 2 volts and this would drop to under a volt while trying to start the car.

That can't be normal right? You should have at least 12 volts right? On both sides?

I am going to see what it reads tomorrow when its cold and running.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:35 PM
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I'm betting the trouble is in the pick-up coil inside
the distributor, or the wiring going to it. The wires
flex constantly due to the movement of the vacuum
advance controlled baseplate. This constant flexing
causes them to break inside their insulation and
make contact when cold, and then expand and cause
an open after they heat up.

The pick-up coil (stator) is inexpensive and easy to
replace without distributor removal.....
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:49 AM
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1976 Ranchero GT
 

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Hmm. I will look into that. I've never messed with those, but I think I remember seeing the wires and thinking they looked nasty.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnin'OnEmpty
I'm betting the trouble is in the pick-up coil inside
the distributor, or the wiring going to it. The wires
flex constantly due to the movement of the vacuum
advance controlled baseplate. This constant flexing
causes them to break inside their insulation and
make contact when cold, and then expand and cause
an open after they heat up.

The pick-up coil (stator) is inexpensive and easy to
replace without distributor removal.....
I have not been able to work on this thing for a while, but I finally got back to it. I could not figure out how to replace the pick up so I just put in a reman distributor for like $40.

That seems to have been the problem.. Shes running like a top and not cutting off when she gets hot. I am so happy to have that done.

Great advice! Thanks so much.
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