A New Start

Over the last week, my son and I got the distributer in, new wires put together and the rest of the odds and ends installed. Out came the old distributer, the high performance spark enhancer and the extra wiring that went with both.

Today, we finished wiring up the coil, hooked up the fuel line from the tank and–with some trepidation–turned the key.

Over the last month (since the last time the car ran), we’ve replaced all these parts:

  • carburetor
  • distributer
  • coil
  • plug wires
  • starter
  • alternator
  • fuel pump
  • oil filter
  • oil pressure sender
  • . . . and many ancillary hoses, wires, bits and pieces

The engine turned over smoothly and we suffered through two false starts and backfires through the carb. A little starter fluid, a nudge to the distributer and she came to life:

We ran it for about 20 minutes until it was warm, then set the timing and adjusted the carburetor. There was still a stumble in the motor that had us scratching our heads when the engine coughed . . . and died.

Finished and running
Finished and running.

Now we were really perplexed. Poking around, I noticed that a plug wire had come off–probably the stumble we were looking for, but not enough to kill the engine. The nifty in-line fuel pressure gauge I had installed was reading 0–definitely odd. I pulled the gauge out and replaced it with the old in-line filter.

That done, it fired right back up!

I took it out for a quick spin around the block where it ran stronger and much more smoothly than it had before this evolution began. I was, frankly, a little amazed that we had so little trouble. Of all the things we swapped out, only the oil pressure sender didn’t seem to work–a problem that is likely in the gauge, not the new unit.

But, that’s an issue for another day.

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