Car died going up driveway, cause? - MustangForums.com



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Old 11-13-2017, 05:01 PM   #1
CharminBear
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Default Car died going up driveway, cause?

So I just replaced my radiator per suggestion from this site. Look great, took her around the block several times to get the antifreeze going. The car had been sitting for about 3 1/2 months since my old radiator was cracked. Me finding a quality replacement, getting it shipped, taking out the old one since I don't know what I'm doing with my uncles help, realizing I ordered the wrong one, shipping back, getting new one, waiting for my uncle until finally dropped it in easy enough last weekend. All that time the battery lost some juice. Got it running last night, and overnight put a battery charger on it. Still after getting it running and driving it around for a bit, like I said when I went up the driveway it died. Then I tried again, got halfway up, and it died. 3rd try, it died again before finally getting it in.

I took it to a transmission shop this morning after scheduling an appointment weeks ago, again per the recommendation of more knowledgeable people here on this site. Took it to ATO transmissions in Rancho Cordova, saw the shop and it's fancy so if I had any doubt this price rebuild was worth it, which I didn't, it would've been gone after that tour. Anyway, I had it towed there since I get free tows with AAA a few times a year and didn't want to risk my car dying in the morning traffic on the way there. It did this in the past on two seperate occassions but were space out at least by several weeks then never again, so last night was a lot. Any clues on what the problem could be?
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:28 PM   #2
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this case sounds like its either fuel or spark.

Did it die all at once like turning off the key or did it start to run poorly then a few seconds later died?

Fuel is a good bet here simply because the car sat for months perhaps fuel pump is going bad and its starving for fuel OR an inlet needle isnt seating proper and its allowing fuel to run unregulated into the carb and flooding the engine.

Did you see and fuel dripping out of the carb onto the engine?
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:06 PM   #3
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Died all at once. Was running fine then just dead.

The engine wasn't flooded because when we had issues starting up the car we checked the carb to make sure I hadn't flooded it, and at that time my neighbor came by whose very knowledgeable about all things handy and old cars to an extent, and he said it wasn't even close to being flooded. Then we waited to let it get a charge for a while and started it up after it sat for a bit.

So next time that happens you think I should immediately check the carb to see if it's flooded then? And if it's not flooded, then that would be an indication that the fuel pump is bad?
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:58 PM   #4
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whats the battery voltage...age doesnt matter. Can you put a voltage meter across the + and - post on the battery and see what the voltage is? Its likley okay because it restarted.

So to verify for fuel the easiest way is to remove the air cleaner and look down the carb with the engine off. Pull full throttle a few times and you should see a solid stream of fuel squirt into the carb each time you pull full throttle. release and try again you should be able to do this three times in a row and each time it works well. If the engine had run out of fuel and you attempted to do this you might only get 1 or 2 shots out of it and each one after would result in no fuel. This indicates the float bowls are dry and has run out of fuel. Go ahead and try this now so you can see how it acts then compare it to when it starts to act up. Start the engine first then shut it down after 10 sec just to make the the floats are at normal running level.

If it dies all at once its probably ignition. You can pull the boot off the coil and place a grounded wrench 1" above the coil neck then attempt to start the car and watch the spark jump from the coil to the wrench...can you hear the snap? Is it bright blue? Is it consistent? check this now as well then compare to when it acts up. As a coil or ignition component gets hot it can break down and temporally fail. This test will visually verify spark and spark strength to the coil.

This shows how to attempt that test. This is with an MSD ignition and will likley be much more powerful than a stock system. But the test is the same and comparison is between running and not is important.

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Old 11-13-2017, 07:59 PM   #5
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I took it to the shop this morning to get the transmission rebuilt so I won't have the car again for about a week. I'm pretty sure I could have driven it there, 25 miles or so, but have AAA so it was towed there for free.

When I do get it back I can attempt to run all of those tests that you mentioned.

Last night when first trying to start it up we did take the air filter off and watch the carb, every time I hit the pedal it pumped/squirted gas without issue. Did this several times which is when we verified that it was a battery issue because it didn't seem like we had any issues with fuel coming in. In that case it sounds like it is something wrong with the ignition then? Any idea off the top of your head what that might entail? Just wondering because I'm moving soon and am already shelling out $2500 for the transmission rebuild, spent $300 on car parts last two weeks, and $200 on the radiator a while back. Just want to know how much overtime I should do this week to pay for this new problem :P

Good thing this car looks good because she's a handful, but I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy driving her last night after a couple months :P
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:20 PM   #6
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If its ignition that depends on what is in there now...maybe 50 tops for a coil and 20 or so if it needs points and condenser...Not counting install.

Okay so you are getting a good pump right after the car died? You should for pump shot before you crank the engine over after it dies.
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Old 11-14-2017, 08:16 AM   #7
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When you say, Up the Driveway, is it steep? Does the car run when it is on the flat? Like Gun Jam says, bay fuel or low fuel usually results in stumble then die. Could you have a lose wire that moves on a steep hill?
Why did you ned to recharge the battery? If the battery or alternator is bad then you could not have enough electrical juice to keep it running. Bet here is alternator, regulator, coil, capacitor in that order.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:32 PM   #8
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I wouldn't say so. It's not flat. Maybe, 20-25 degrees? This is in a suburban area, track homes so definitely nothing crazy steep. Ran no problem on the road. I definitely could have a loose wire, some of the wires are a little old, but I'll have to look all over to see if any are loose. I know the battery cables are new and definitely secure.

I had to replace the radiator, and I'm not handy, so it was sitting in the garage for 3 1/2 months. Only now did I find out I still could have started it up and let it run for a minute or two every now and then. But yeah, sitting in the garage, waiting for part to come, waiting on uncle for help installing, sending back because wrong radiator, being mailed back, waiting a few more weeks on uncle, until finally new radiator was in. By that time the car battery was just a little too low. My neighbor had a battery charger and it was at like 60-70% and was able to start after 10 minutes charging. Left the charger on it on low overnight so battery should be good to go now. Oh also the battery is fairly new, I think just around a year old.

Another friend of mine immediately thought alternator as well. But yeah Gum Jam may have been on the right track with regulator and coil. Anyway to test the alternator?
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:33 PM   #9
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Yeah I don't think I ever had an issue with the pump, before or after driving.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:53 PM   #10
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Total left field here...carburetor float... is it brass or phenolic (black looking plastic)? How's the fuel level at the bowl sight?

If it's where it should be, start it up and let it warm up a bit, then free rev the motor to a steady 2000 or 2500 RPM and hold it for a few seconds. The level should not budge too far in either direction. If it drops then comes back up your float is most likely sticking shut and starving the motor, if it goes over the level then drops back down, it's sticking open or you have a leak float (if it's brass) and it's flooding the motor.

Last edited by Derf00; 11-14-2017 at 01:56 PM.
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