Instant power loss

Electrical & Ignition

  1. jake

    jake Senior Member

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    I have a problem that I cannot seem to figure out. Backstory.. PO hacked the every living sh@t out of my wiring, its on my winter to do list. I did put a kill switch on it under my dash and habitually turn it off when I shut off the car. The problem started about a week ago, driving and instant power loss to engine, scary as hell with ps and pb. Power to car stays as radio never shuts off. It will start up instantly as soon as I turn the key. I have redone the connections from the ballast resistor and the coil. Main plug wire is solid. I cannot seem to find a loose connection. It will idle all day long, but as soon as I get going, dead. Ignition switch going bad? I assume if its fuel related it would not instantly die and fire right back up?
     
  2. 300rag

    300rag Waiting out the storm FCBO Gold Member

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    I had a similar situation a loooong time ago. It ended up being a clogged fuel filter. It allowed enough flow for idling and during that time the filter was filled with fuel, but as soon as you put your foot into it the gas got sucked out of the filter so fast, there wasn't enough fuel flow to keep it going.
     
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  3. jake

    jake Senior Member

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    Would it stumble then kill or just die?
     
  4. 300rag

    300rag Waiting out the storm FCBO Gold Member

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    No stumbles. It just died, I assume, from the instant fuel starvation.
     
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  5. Wildaugust

    Wildaugust Senior Member

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    I've had two cars over the years, where the engine would just suddenly quit for no apparent reason. One was my Newport and the other one was my Mercury. Both engines were running points at the time. With my Newport, it turned out to be the wire that goes from the points to the coil. The wire had broken inside the distributor, but it didn't appear broken and was still attached. The wire was actually broken inside the insulation. The engine would start and idle fine, but then just randomly quit at some point while I was driving. It would start again, until the last time it happened.

    In the case of my Mercury, the car would start and idle fine, but again would just suddenly quit at some point while I was driving. It did not start again. The first time it happened it took me awhile to find the issue. To keep the story short, it turned out that somehow a small spec of dirt gets in the point gap while the engine is running and prevents contact. Cleaning the point gap solved the problem, but it happens quite often. The dirt must get in under the dist cap.

    If you don't have points, it could be a problem with the ignition box or maybe even the pick-up coil, or again, the wires attached to it in the dizzy.

    Good luck
     
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  6. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    Run a check on the ballast resistor with a voltmeter. They sometimes go dead as the load increases from revving the engine. Hook the voltmeter to the output side of the resistor and have someone try to rev the engine and see if the voltage drops to zero as the engine dies. If this car was converted to electronic ignition, odds are you have a bad pickup module or a bad brain box. As noted above a nearly clogged fuel filter can cause the engine to die under load also. If you are running a top feed after market air cleaner, those are famous for sucking up the insulating pad on the hood and blocking the air flow under load.

    Dave
     
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