Ignition switch failed?

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nik1
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Car(s): Ford Capri 2.0 Ghia, Mk2, Pinto

Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Sat Aug 18, 2018 3:43 pm

Paul G wrote:Modern plugs are of a higher resistance than the older ones that the book may quote.

Getting back to your problems what are we trying to fix? Is it the ignition staying on and the starter running after you've switched off the car, whether the right coil is fitted or the bad running of the car? I'm getting lost myself my friend!

With the car's running. before mucking about with which plug or the choke etc it is important that you check the points are in good condition, gapped properly and preferably set to 50 degrees on a dwell meter followed by setting the ignition timing with a strobe light to 8 degrees BTDC. See how it runs with this done.

If it's still playing up could I suggest politely that you find a local mechanic who knows older cars to have a look at it.

The running with the keys out worries me and I would suggest you disconnect the negative battery terminal when the car isn't in use until the mechanic has checked it.


Haha it is indeed confusing! The ignition and starter staying ON has happened only once so far, so not sure if we're trying to fix it anymore. If it happens again I'll take it to a garage. The ignition coil is the same one where it was idling cold with choke out just fine. So the problem to fix at this stage is the car not been able to idle when cold. From the sound of the engine, it sounds like some cylinders are not firing until it really warms up properly, so I was thinking about the strength of the sparks and ignition coil voltage. But it could be something else entirely?

Not_Anumber
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby Not_Anumber » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:08 pm

Check in case you may have connected the wrong feed wire to the coil. I had this once when someone worked on the car and plugged a similar looking wire onto the coil which was full +12 volts rather than the wire it should have had which came from the ballast resistor. On some pinto engined Capris there is a spare lead in pretty much the same place and its very easy to put the wrong one back on especially if you are busy fault finding for a different fault at the time - suddenly you have a 2nd fault, all too easy. As Paul said, use a volt meter to measure the voltage at the positive connection to the coil, best done with the engine running. Then look for any stray leads that look just like the postive lead to the coil that you were checking the voltage of.

nik1
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:45 am

Not_Anumber wrote:Check in case you may have connected the wrong feed wire to the coil. I had this once when someone worked on the car and plugged a similar looking wire onto the coil which was full +12 volts rather than the wire it should have had which came from the ballast resistor. On some pinto engined Capris there is a spare lead in pretty much the same place and its very easy to put the wrong one back on especially if you are busy fault finding for a different fault at the time - suddenly you have a 2nd fault, all too easy. As Paul said, use a volt meter to measure the voltage at the positive connection to the coil, best done with the engine running. Then look for any stray leads that look just like the postive lead to the coil that you were checking the voltage of.



It's the right wires, there's nothing else near it :(
What should the voltage across the ignition coil be while running? Positive end of ignition coil to/across what?

Paul G
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby Paul G » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:57 am

Across to earth, ie + wire from voltmeter on + terminal of coil and negative- wire to earth on the car's body.

nik1
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:02 pm

Paul G wrote:Across to earth, ie + wire from voltmeter on + terminal of coil and negative- wire to earth on the car's body.


Battery is 12.6V. From + on ignition coil to - on battery it's ~12.2 while running. I just put new spark plugs (and new coolant) in and it seems to run better cold, but I'll check it again tomorrow. The choke still seems to do nothing when I started it cold tho.

edit: forgot "coil"
Last edited by nik1 on Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Arnoldhar
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby Arnoldhar » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:44 am

Just read the last post and the battery voltage when running is incorrect, it should be higher than the non running voltage indicating an issue with the alternator. Some of your symptoms do indicate a voltage issue, it is possible that you have a temperamental alternator so be good to rule it out.

Take the voltage again at the battery with the keys out, should be around the 12.4v then do the same with car running, with the revs about 2000 the voltage should be 13.4. Next with the car running disconnect the battery positive car should still run the same, if it doesn’t bin the alternator.

Got to be worth a go just to rule it out

nik1
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:18 am

Arnoldhar wrote:Just read the last post and the battery voltage when running is incorrect, it should be higher than the non running voltage indicating an issue with the alternator. Some of your symptoms do indicate a voltage issue, it is possible that you have a temperamental alternator so be good to rule it out.

Take the voltage again at the battery with the keys out, should be around the 12.4v then do the same with car running, with the revs about 2000 the voltage should be 13.4. Next with the car running disconnect the battery positive car should still run the same, if it doesn’t bin the alternator.

Got to be worth a go just to rule it out


Thanks. There was a typo in my previous post. So from + on the ignition coil to the - on the battery it was around 12.2V which should be correct right? (if the ignition coil is not ballasted?) Do you still think it could be a bad alternator? I seem to have quite unsteady idle speed as well (not anything ecstatic) but it's set to around 600, then it drops to 300 for a few seconds and back to 600. Sometimes when warmed up after a hours drive the idle can sit at 900 (may have to double check that, but it feels higher).

Arnoldhar
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby Arnoldhar » Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:54 am

your figures do seem to be correct, the coil supply voltage should be less when the engine is running as thats when the ballast resistor is in circuit, so thats clearly not the problem. I still would check the battery voltage when running just to put a tick in that box. Just another little idea, i see that the car now has a 5 speed box, do you know if it was ever an Auto?, as when the inhibitor has been bypassed / lopped out there could be a joint issue. Best way to know if the car was even auto is the battery location, from the front manuals are on the right autos on the left

nik1
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:54 pm

Arnoldhar wrote:your figures do seem to be correct, the coil supply voltage should be less when the engine is running as thats when the ballast resistor is in circuit, so thats clearly not the problem. I still would check the battery voltage when running just to put a tick in that box. Just another little idea, i see that the car now has a 5 speed box, do you know if it was ever an Auto?, as when the inhibitor has been bypassed / lopped out there could be a joint issue. Best way to know if the car was even auto is the battery location, from the front manuals are on the right autos on the left


Always manual I think. Battery is on the right. Will check that, thanks.
I've been doing some reading, and could it be that the engine valve seats/cylinders have a lot of built up carbon? Because when the engine is hot, VERY often it continues running on for 3-10 seconds after taking out the ignition key. So it's "dieseling" (fuel self igniting from the very hot carbon build up). Has anybody tried the water down the carb to clean the engine of carbon? Similar issues have been "temporarily fixed by running higher octate fuel. Would this also explain the poor idling when cold? Should I only go to a garage to get that done?

Not_Anumber
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby Not_Anumber » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:37 pm

An awful lot of variables seem to be creeping in here. I can understand where you are coming from with this but fault finding needs to be undertaken in a systematic way.

I would say at this point in time I'd recommend taking it to a tried and trusted trader such as Tickover that understands Capris very well. They can check everything from your exhaust emissions to the state of your ignition components and advise you whether the problem is mechanical or electrical and will be able to suggest and provide remedies that will work.

Paul G
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby Paul G » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:40 pm

Nik

It just seems that the ever changing problem is being pitched back and forward between me, Arnoldhar and yourself like a game of ping pong without anyone being able to give an answer to whatever the problem is and I see it continuing until we have completed 10 pages if we carry on like this and still not getting to the bottom of your problems.

As I said in an earlier post, I think the time has come that you really should seek the services of a local mechanic, preferably one who knows older cars. I say this with the utmost of respect and not wishing to cause offence but we're really just going around the houses at the minute.

Running on is not necessarily caused by carbon build up - tight valve clearances, weak mixture and idle speed too high can also cause it. It is quite rare on a well set up Pinto engine.

nik1
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:25 pm

I think that's best as well. Booked it in for the 11th. Thanks a lot guys, it has been helpful!

340truck
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby 340truck » Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:34 pm

To give you another variable to check....my experience and knowledge would put your problems down to incorrect ignition timing.

The long and the short of this is that rather than trying to find a specific fault, your engine needs a service and tune up. So, check plugs/points/leads are all in good condition. Then check ignition timing with a strobe light. When you have done the ignition system and are sure it is in tip top condition, then you can check the choke is working correctly and finally set the idle mixture.

I am fairly certain that this will cure your running and idling problems
Image

nik1
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Re: Ignition switch failed?

Postby nik1 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:43 pm

340truck wrote:To give you another variable to check....my experience and knowledge would put your problems down to incorrect ignition timing.

The long and the short of this is that rather than trying to find a specific fault, your engine needs a service and tune up. So, check plugs/points/leads are all in good condition. Then check ignition timing with a strobe light. When you have done the ignition system and are sure it is in tip top condition, then you can check the choke is working correctly and finally set the idle mixture.

I am fairly certain that this will cure your running and idling problems


The mechanic adjusted my timing and idle fuel mixture screw about a month ago and it ran great when warm, but they didn't get to see how it behaves when cold so they missed the problem I'm having. I'll mention it to the guys, and hopefully will get it tuned and purring.