It all started Thursday night. I went out in the evening to drive the Mustang. It was really difficult to start. It acted like there was no spark. But it did start although it did not run well for the first mile. After that it was fine. Then Friday night, I was going to drive it to church for the Good Friday service. This time it would not start at all, so I drove the Bronco (the other "Pony" car).
This morning I tried to figure out what was wrong with the Mustang. A check of the ignition proved to me that it had spark. But I could not check the fuel pressure. The fuel line has a shrader valve(like the valve on your tires for filling with air) where a fuel pressure check can be done. I pushed on the valve stem and vented the fuel pressure. Not much gas squirted out, like there was little pressure.
So I got into the Bronco looking for a fuel system test set. My wanderings took me several places and I ended up at Fred Meyer. I still did not find what the parts I was looking for, so I bought some other stuff needed from there. While I was in the store, I chatted with a sailing acquaintance that I had not seen for some time. He ask me about the Bronco and how it was running. He evidently followed my blog when I was installing the V8 engine. I was Smug and told him that it was running well. But when I left Fred Meyer, the Bronco would not start. It acted like it had no spark. So, I decided to give it time and walked across the parking lot to O Reilly Auto Parts. They did not have the test kit I was looking for either, so back to the Bronco. It still would not fire. I even changed out the ignition module that I carry as a spare to no effect. So I started walking home(it is only about 3 miles. About halfway home, a friend from church saw me and gave me a ride home.
At home, I ate lunch and then rounded up some tools and parts to take back to Fred Meyer. I was planning on riding a bicycle back to Fred Meyer, but I decided to give the Mustang one more try. I realized that I have a high pressure hand air pump with a gage that is used for the bicycle tires. It also has a screw on chuck that would screw onto the Mustang's fuel test valve. So, I screwed it onto the fuel test valve and turned on the power. Sure enough, the fuel pressure is low. But one part of the test is to also crank the engine over. I cranked it over and it STARTED! Cool! I shut it off to remove my pump/test kit. Now it would not restart! Strange! So I reinstalled the pump/test kit and it started. This time I let it run for a while before unscrewing the pump chuck. Only thing I can think of was that the pump hose acted like an accumulator and evened out the pressure.
So now I drove the Mustang back to try to retrieve the Bronco. I went to O Reilly again and bought some ignition parts that I was planning on changing anyway. I checked the spark with the timing light. No joy. I checked that power should be available(by turning things on that were on the same circuit) and everything seemed OK. I rebuilt the distributor in the parking lot. But I had forgotten a spare coil and a voltmeter at home. So back home with the Mustang to get the parts and then back to Fred Meyer. This time with the voltmeter, I checked the voltage to the ignition module. It was OK. So finally I changed the coil to a spare that actually came with the Mustang(the seller said that he thought it was defective). This time the Bronco fired right up! While it was running, I decided to take it straight home and it ran great all the way home.
So with one pony car home, the other was still at Fred Meyer. So I got out a bicycle and rode it to Fred Meyer. I wasn't totally sure that the bicycle would fit in the Mustang, but with the front wheel removed it fit fine.
So both ponies are home and secure in their stables. I will probably go to Harbor Freight next week. They have a fuel pressure test kit on sale. I also have a new fuel filter that I will install. Running out of gas a few days ago may have stirred up junk and clogged the filter. Worst case would be if I have to change the fuel pump in the Mustang. A big job but not insurmountable.
NO CARS WERE TOWED DURING THIS ADVENTURE!
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