trouble starting

Asked by Jan 11, 2015 at 01:04 AM about the 1977 Ford Thunderbird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

i have a 1977 thunderbird and ive been having issues getting it to start. it turns over fine,
and im getting fuel to the carburetor. but it seems to have a mind of its own on when it
will start. some days it starts up no problem and other times i can drain the battery
completely and it wont start.

7 Answers

9,160

Does that 77 have a duraspark? is it still bolted to the inner fender with more than one screw? Do you have low spark or no spark ? You can try another duraspark or you can investigate the voltages in the primary circuit and the resistor wire. The public library may still have repair manuals that old by chilyon, motor, or mitchell. some reference libraries even had Ford books donated to them. Since it is almost 40 years old, any loss of the correct voltage in the circuit can be caused by the wires, the connections, or any component.

9,160

After those results are known you can investigate the switching if the primary and if you need new guts in one of the finely wired ignition parts, the tests in the book should lead you. be sure of your specs for inputs and your expected outputs. try to use motorcraft parts and you can enjoy another lifetime of joy and beauty in that ride.

109,545

The most common failure these is the ignition module and distributor pickup coil, try this: get it failure, unplug the ignition coil and put a test light on the positive wire to ground and turn on the key, you should get a steady light, if not it could be an ignition switch or wiring problem , if you geta light then put the test light in between the two connectors on the wires that connected to the coil, crank the engine and watch for a flashing light, if the light flashes replace the ignition coil, if the light does not flash replace the ignition module and distributor coil, I usually replace these as a set cause you never know when they were last replaced. HTH

i forgot to mention that once i have it running it tends to cut out and die within the first 5 minutes on the road then starts really hard and runs fine till i leave it parked over night

109,545

Nothing you just stated would change the testing I just stated on the ignition, but I would add in checking the carb, the choke could be malfunctioning, or the pull off going to far open, also check the hot air door, make sure it is operating, the carb could be icing up during the intial start up and drive.

Here is something I found, there may come a time when you may hit start and it turns over fine and starts but when the key returns to the run position, the engine shuts down, I found that if I slowly manually returned the key from the start position in the direction of run .... it will first disengage the start solidnoid, but when held at that point, the engine will continue to run just fine as long as the switch is held at that point, but when allowed to return to run...the engine stops. The ignition switch is defective, and is located behind the instrument cluster.... a real pain !

109,545

You can gain more access by dropping the steering column down, just remember to remove the shift indicator cable.

Your Answer

Thunderbird

Looking for a Used Thunderbird in your area?

CarGurus has 1,007 nationwide Thunderbird listings starting at $7,000.

ZIP:

Ford Thunderbird Experts

  • #1
    Larry Sturgis
    Reputation
    1,730
  • #2
    Tom Demyan
    Reputation
    1,680
  • #3
    tennisshoes
    Reputation
    1,300
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Mustang
341 Great Deals out of 42,379 listings starting at $1,488
Used Chevrolet Corvette
114 Great Deals out of 16,072 listings starting at $3,995
Used Chevrolet Camaro
398 Great Deals out of 31,479 listings starting at $3,495
Used Ford F-150
3,046 Great Deals out of 230,459 listings starting at $1,300
Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
54 Great Deals out of 3,372 listings starting at $3,995
Used Porsche 911
124 Great Deals out of 5,288 listings starting at $10,099
Used Pontiac Firebird
10 Great Deals out of 690 listings starting at $2,850
Used Dodge Challenger
174 Great Deals out of 25,827 listings starting at $5,999
Used Mercury Cougar
160 listings

Used Cars For Sale

2005 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
70 listings starting at $7,500
2004 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 130 listings starting at $7,499
2003 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 167 listings starting at $7,500
2002 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
7 Great Deals out of 341 listings starting at $7,000

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.