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UPDATE - Car died an hour from home

Discussion in 'General Mustang Discussion' started by SkidMark, May 8, 2017.

  1. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    Went to a swap meet an hour away, beautiful day so I drove my '69 Mach 1. On the way back hit a very bumpy road, after a mile or so my car died, just like I shut it off. Figured something came loose, checked every connection under the hood and all looks ok. $215 tow later and I was home, checked and have no spark. 351w, T5, Duraspark. I don't think I can test the ignition module myself. What would be my first step, 12v at coil in run position? Does this still apply with the Duraspark? If anyone has a step by step that would be great.
  2. zray

    zray who said Beer ?

    Still have the points distributor ?

  3. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    No, Duraspark.
  4. kb3

    kb3 Well-Known Member

    The duraspark modules have a checkered past. They would just up and quit for no apparent reason. We always carried a spare when ever we travelled. Yes, confirm you have 12 volts at the coil and then check for spark at the plugs. Most likely the module, fortunately they are cheaper today than 30 years ago.
  5. zray

    zray who said Beer ?

    I meant, did you keep the points distributor on your parts shelf ? If so, now would be a good time to re-install it.

    Patrick Stapler likes this.
  6. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    Oh, hah, didnt catch that. Duraspark was in it when I bought it 30 yrs ago, has been bulletproof til now. I think I will pull the module and have it tested.
  7. 6t6red

    6t6red Well-Known Member

    The red wire going into the module is your power. Test to see if you are getting power to the module.
  8. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    Will test the red wire, won't be able to til tomorrow evening.
  9. Midlife

    Midlife Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    The car is subtly telling you to get a 2017 Shelby...
  10. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    Or to start saving for the 2019 Mach 1 Ford's gonna announce soon.
  11. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    Hhmmm, '19 Mach 1 would be a nice addition to my '69 and '03....
  12. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member


    Did some troubleshooting last night.

    With key in run, I have 12v to + coil, the Duraspark module is teed from this same wire, so 12v to module.

    Removed module and had it tested at Advance Auto, tested good.

    Tested coil resistance, between + and - terminals 1.5 ohm, between + and center post 9100 ohm, between - and center post 9100 ohm. Tested the coil in my sons 65 and got exact same readings. Coil=good.

    Unplugged distributor to test magnetic pickup, tested resistance between vertical posts, should be 400-800 ohm, tested 602. Read two different articles, one said to test between each vertical post and engine ground, the other said to test between each vertical post and the horizontal post, both said readings should be 70,000 ohm. I get nothing either way.

    Looks like a new distributor should fix it. Would an MSD be plug and play? Currently using a factory Ford Duraspark.
  13. Boom

    Boom Active Member

    There are different models of MSD distributors. I have 2 different ones, the 2 wire one is wired in to work with a 6AL and I believe had a duraspark connector for awhile.

    The other distributor is a RTR (ready to run) one, no external box needed. It's 3 wires.

    I'm sure an MSD could be plug and play, just make sure you get the proper gear material. That seems to be the hardest part with these.
  14. tarafied1

    tarafied1 Well-Known Member

    My car did something similar. My son was driving it. Anyway I bought a new module and still didn't start. Brand new from Auto Zone. So I stuck an old OEM one I had in the trunk in there and it fired right up. Drove car home and for giggles in put the new one back in again thinking it must have been a bad connection or something. Wouldn't start. Put the old OEM one back in again and took the new one back to Auto Zone for a refund. I did later buy another new one and after making sure it works I keep it in the trunk. The one I had in there in the beginning was in the car at least 27 years.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Starfury

    Starfury Active Member

    I have an MSD Ready-To-Run in my 331. It has adjustable mechanical advance and it's never given me issues, so I'm pretty happy with it. Just make sure you bypass the stock ignition resistor to give it a full +12V.
  16. bartl

    bartl Old Fart

    I'd go with another Duraspark distributor. Will provide just as accurate a trigger as the expensive "name brands".
  17. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    I bought another Duraspark distributor, on clearance at OReillys for $35...lol...and my car still had no spark!! Dammit. Took the wifes '67 fastback to a car show saturday, ran into a buddy of my uncles, told him what was going on with my car, he said he would run it by his old Ford buddies at the show. He shows up 10 mins later with a Duraspark module one of them had in their trunk and tells me to take it home and try it. Put it on and the car fired right up. The VERY FIRST thing I did was pull the old one off and have it tested, it tested fine, I saw the results as they tested it. Don't like the fact that I threw a distributor at it....but, at least its fixed...and I have a spare distributor. Now off to the parts store tonite for 2 new modules, one for the car and one for the trunk.
  18. kb3

    kb3 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm.....too bad someone didn't point you to a bad module bring the culprit. Haha

    I'm glad you were able to fix it. I guess I should have added that the only thing more unreliable than the module, is a part store's ability to test it, an alternator or a battery. Their machines are terrible!
  19. SkidMark

    SkidMark Member

    Yeah, I still had it in the back of my head that the module was bad, even though it tested good. Should have just replaced it, it was over 30 yrs old.
  20. Horseplay

    Horseplay Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't blame their machines. As a way too broad and over generalizing statement (but pretty damn true), the counter help has been clueless for a very long time. I can't remember the last time they ever brought up the right part and I didn't end up going into the back to dig around to find what I really needed. NAPA used to be a tad better but went there this weekend to get a simple reducer bushing for installing a temp sending unit and not a one of the guys there had any idea what I was talking about. I had to conduct a mini training session at their own brass bin in the back to explain what a number of the items THEY SOLD were.
    Grabber70Mach and 68Hidalgo like this.

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