I know I said I would tackle the ignition system before trying to fire the t-bird up, but with the fuel system all new, I couldn’t resist. And, in fact, the bird fired right up, ran for 30 seconds or so, then slowly sputtered out. More attempt to start it resulted in flooding and an odd moment or two when the engine ominously seemed to “stick.”
I popped of the distributor cap and–imagine my surprise–the pickups were encased in rust. The rotor and cap were not in much better condition. Under the rust, it looked like the pickups were held on by nuts (or maybe screws. Or maybe both). They turned fine, but didn’t come loose.
The distributor on the car is an MSD Billet. Pretty pricey when new, but now fit for the dust bin. And yes, a new Accel distributor, coil and wires are on the way as of tonight.
As for the strange “sticking” issue, I’m going to pull the plugs tomorrow and turn the engine over by hand to see if there’s a bind in there. Hopefully, it has more to do with a mis-matched starter and flexplate–lots cheaper to fix than pulling the engine apart (not that there’s not some appeal there, mind you.)