Car has been to 3 mechanics; first replaced distributor with 2nd hand; car worked fine. Then wouldn't start; distributor cleaned by 2nd mechanic; all good. Next day car refuses to start; auto electrican tests spark and coil - says all good. Car starts. Next day no go. 3rd mechanic checks everything, put new distributor button in and car works fine. I go to pick it up and car won't start. Auto electrician tests ignition module and that's ok, tests spark and says it's weak, suggests replacing distributor and coil. Any suggestions would be welcome as this has been going on for a couple of months now.
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Re: Starts fine one time and then refuses to start.
If this is a conversion from old points style to HEI modern style, the problem may be the resistance wire is still in the circuit, which should have been removed from the power circuit to the distributor.
If the ignition coil reads 12 volts to its 12 volts terminal, then you should replace the ignition module, furthermore, a pickup coil and sprocket can also be replaced from under the rotor but the distributor needs to be removed and disassembled to get to the pickup coil and sprocket. Some Fords don't need to be removed but do need some disassembling to replace all of its electrical components.
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In reading your issue at hand not having no spark there is only a few things that can cause this being that its a 1988 car i will list below what you need to go over and check.
1.spark plug wires 2. distributor cap 3. ignition rotor 4. coil pick up 5. faulty distributor
That being said most are a easy and cheap fix plug wires run about 20-35 bucks autozonesduralast brand , distributor cap runs between 7-18 bucks , ignition rotor 3-8 bucks , coil pick up about 15-30 bucks all at autozone.
Now there is no real way to tell if there bad but a good examination of the distributor cap and rotor should tell you corroded inside cracked worn down.
i would start with distributor cap , ignition rotor, coil pick up if the car starts after this replace spark plugs wires. If that does not fix it most likely you distributor is faulty itself.
i hope it helps if so could you leave me so 4 thumbs up feedback thanks so much
check ur timing - MARK with a scratch tool or use a yellow majiuc marker to see where the timing is now then-
loosen the distributor bolts - if you have a distributor on that model and - turn the distributor one way - then the other and see if it improves. You can slightly tighten the bolts or carry a wrench with you and drive the car and see if a new position improves the running of the car. Also - change the plugs if you haven't done so - check them to see how they look anyway. You may have a flooding condition on your hands as well but that is a whole new thing - so stick with timing and plugs -
There is a condition called thermal breakdown in ignition parts( ie: spark control modules). Pretty common really in older stuff. Why does it happen only after shutdown? because of a condition called heat soak. underhood temps rise higher than ever right after shutdown. Your ignition module is mounted to the side of the distributor. If practical when the problem happens pour cold water on the module give it one minute and see if it starts(wont damage it) if it starts right up you proved it bad. Hope I helped Thanks