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Thread: Mystery stall and no start?

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Mystery stall and no start?

    I was driving along when the motor started to stumble and eventually stalled out. Seemed like I was out of gas and the tank was low so put in a gallon and it ran for a bit then stalled out again and would not start. Someone once said always check the last thing you did as it might have something to do with the current issue.I had installed new points and condensor about three days ago and the car was running fine after that.Well the last thing I did was to remove the fuel gauge and tape up the green and black and green wires as I was going to have the gauge re calibrated by a friend who was familiar with doing that. Have I somehow short circuited the system by doing that???? I did drive like that for many miles with no issue.The car will crank but not fire? There is no spark at the points? It was a 30C degree day here and the coil was very hot to the touch so I thought maybe the coil was dead. I swapped in a spare coil( don't know if it was a good coil though) but it did not make any difference. I had a test light and found that it would light when I touched the White wire (SW) side of the coil but not when I touched the CB distributor side of the coil. The fuses are OK. I swapped out the condensor but no improvement. I'm baffled. Anyone have any ideas on how to proceed?

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    Turn the engine until you can see that the points are open, then check at the coil again. If you still don't get a light on the wire to the distributor, then something is shorted inside the distributor.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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  4. #3
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    HI Randall I could not see the points opening so I think the hold down screw must have loosened causing the point gap to close up? I reset the gap on the points and making sure they were open I tested at the coil again and I got power to the SW and CB posts however when I turned the key I got no start and then no power to the CB wire again. I then removed the CB wire from the terminal bush and tested the wire it lit up. Like you said it seems to be a short in the Dist. The ground wire to the plate looks ancient! I bought a new ground wire awhile ago but never got around to installing it. Always risky removing those little screws because if you drop one it goes down into the black hole of the distributor case. I'm going to change out that ground wire and see what happens. Do you think that might be the issue seeing as how the points and condensor are new?

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    Great Pumpkin TR3driver's Avatar
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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    Seems unlikely to me, since your problem seems to be that something is conducting too well, rather than not well enough.

    Any chance your point retaining screw has been replaced with the wrong one? It's a special screw.

    If you do lose something into the "black hole", I strongly suggest removing the distributor and recovering it. I helped a friend once with a new-to-him TR6 where someone had dropped the point nut and just installed another one. The centrifugal advance mechanism was a total loss, he had to source a new distributor. On the upside, he said it ran better afterward than it had since he bought it.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    I think your on to something there about the point screw. I noticed that the mounting plate was riding higher on one side. So I removed the screw and saw that is almost 1/2 " long! I had tightened it extra tight so it would not loosen so it must have bottomed out and grounded? or tilted the plate so it was touching the side of dist wall? I believe it is the wrong screw but the odd think is I have been using that screw for years with no issue. I guess that bit of extra tightening must have caused the grounding
    How long is that screw supposed to be? I suppose Moss has them but maybe I could find one locally? Do you happen to know the thread size?
    Also that odd screw that holds the ground wire to the plate looks like it is going to be trouble..... the X on the head looks rounded out a bit. I'm going to leave that ground wire for now until I resolve the screw issue.

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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    I don't think that "X" is an actual screw head. There is an alternate way but it takes a special black wire as seen here ...Distributor Doctor Condenser 001.jpg.Advanced Distributors can fix you up with that wire, screws too if you ask Jeff Schlemmer nicely.
    DRIVE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM

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  10. #7
    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    UOTE=poolboy;1118065]I don't think that "X" is an actual screw head. There is an alternate way but it takes a special black wire as seen here ...Distributor Doctor Condenser 001.jpg.Advanced Distributors can fix you up with that wire, screws too if you ask Jeff Schlemmer nicely.[/QUOTE]

    That looks like a better set up for that wire.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Mystery stall and no start?

    Well I got the TR3 to fire up. I put a small lock washer and flat washer under the head of the retaining screw and that lifted the screw upwards enough so that it was not binding on something underneath. Was that screw supposed to have them there? Id never seen them there and had the car for 25 years! I had previously over tightened that screw so that the plate was cocked to one side. OR maybe the screw head was just touching the metal end of the condensor wire...not much room there. Thanks for the help from the forum members.

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