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

8,060

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.

8,060

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.

90,985

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

90,985

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 !

90,985

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

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Thunderbird

Looking for a Used Thunderbird in your area?

CarGurus has 1,048 nationwide Thunderbird listings starting at $6,499.

ZIP:

Search Ford Thunderbird Questions

Ford Thunderbird Experts

#1 Larry Sturgis
Larry Sturgis
Reputation 1,540
#2 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,490
#3 tennisshoes
tennisshoes
Reputation 1,210
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Mustang
390 Great Deals out of 47,511 listings starting at $1,800
Used Chevrolet Corvette
99 Great Deals out of 20,456 listings starting at $3,495
Used Chevrolet Camaro
146 Great Deals out of 32,614 listings starting at $1,729
Used Ford F-150
2,251 Great Deals out of 209,704 listings starting at $1,499
Used Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
34 Great Deals out of 2,951 listings starting at $2,900
Used Dodge Challenger
120 Great Deals out of 24,189 listings starting at $8,256
Used Chevrolet Impala
523 Great Deals out of 29,877 listings starting at $799
Used BMW 3 Series
957 Great Deals out of 33,573 listings starting at $1,000
Used Pontiac Firebird
6 Great Deals out of 745 listings starting at $2,500
Used Lincoln Continental
4,151 listings starting at $41,448

Used Cars For Sale

2005 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
71 listings starting at $9,495
2004 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
143 listings starting at $8,500
2003 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
4 Great Deals out of 157 listings starting at $8,500
2002 Ford Thunderbird For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 317 listings starting at $6,499