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Offline rob289c

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"New" Pinto No Spark
« on: June 07, 2020, 07:49:48 PM »
I dragged this beauty home three years ago.  It's been patiently waiting for it's turn in the shop.  I got it inside last weekend, cleaned and repaired some connections and I can get it to turn over.  Not in Park; only in Neutral.  Probably Neutral Safety Switch but I can mess with that later.  By last Sunday night I put my in-line spark tester on # 1 and had all kinds of spark.  I figured I could rig up a fuel hose and my auxiliary fuel cell and it should have started and run.  It didn't.  No spark.  I checked the coil, ok.  I installed a known, good ICM.  I performed a few of the Duraspark II tests from the factory service manual.  I got to the one where I tested the red female that the ICM plugs into to the red wire connector on the coil and it suggests bad ballast resister.  I also have some very poor condition wiring that you will see in the pic.  I ordered a new coil connector, a four female-connector that connects to the ICM, a ballast resister, and a coil because it was cheap. 

Where is the ballast resister located and what are the two connection points?  Ign switch at one end?  Where does it connect at the other end?  It looks like it has male pins at each end. 

An other suggestions other than repair my wiring?  It's a mess and not much room to work in down there.  It's odd that I had strong spark and now I don't.  I've never heard this thing run and would like it to run while in the car before I pull the motor.  Any help will be appreciated.
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Offline pinto_one

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 07:48:14 AM »
if you had spark before that kind of points to a conection problem ,  first is to unplug all the plug conections and look at the inside of them corrosion , the dielectric grease they used to seal them up has dried out over the forty years and you may find some of them green , the plug on the distribitor is always the worst because of the extra heat and water hits it most when driveing in rain , if your getting voltage when you turn on the ign the ballest wire is good , which is inside the dash , hope this gets you running
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 09:59:46 AM »
Thank you for the reply and the advice.  Originally I didn't have spark, then I did, so it has been intermittent, so you are correct, it's probably a bad connection, corrosion, or other wiring issue.  A previous owner must have been searching for a problem as there is a lot of cut-away insulation, including what appears to be the three resister wires that run to the starter relay along the cowl area.  What are they for? 

It's not very visible in the pic but I have some very ratty wiring with a lot of missing insulation, corrosion, etc.  My plan for the upcoming weekend is to rectify as much of that as possible using the new connector and coil wire connector that I ordered.  When you said, "If you're getting voltage when you turn on the ign, the ballast is good", where would I be reading the voltage?  I ran so many tests already, I want to be sure I am looking where you say I should find it.  Would it be at the hot (red) side of the coil, and should it be 9v or 12v?

rob289c

Offline pinto_one

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2020, 12:57:31 PM »
The tabs by the starter relay may look like resistor but is a fuseable link , yellow goes inside , the orange is the alternator , also the plugs on the harness could also be bad from people trying to pull them apart with knowing how to seporate them , as for voltage you should have it at the red wire at the coil , and at the red wire at the ign module , you will see a red and white wire next to each other , the white wire is to bypass the inside ballist when your cranking the car to make up fr the low voltage when you use the starter , you may have to replace the plugs or make up some new ones , most all ford of the time line have the same plugs and ign , Lincons , LTD,s and trucks
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2020, 08:24:39 PM »
Thanks again...I will see what our local Pick N Pull has for vintage Ford products.  Most cars of that era rotted away years ago in this snow/salt mess of Upstate NY.  It would be nice to find some factory harnesses.  I haven't had a Pinto to play with since 1989 so I'm looking forward to making this one run...
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2020, 11:01:34 PM »
Trust me the likelihood of finding a Pinto even in a Southern California wrecking yard (especially a self serve) is rather nil too. We have Pick Your Part's here and their "Classic" section is two small rows with 80's Mercedes and early Miata's and the like. A lot of people have used the Turbo Coupe as a donor car but the newest of those is 32 years old ('88). Likewise the newest Pinto (80) is 40 years old!

Offline pinto_one

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2020, 08:25:08 AM »
as for the ign harness the next best thing is a early ford ranger with the 2.0 or 2.3 , only up to 1985 . after they went to EFI ,  but your more likly to find a old ranger now than a pinto , but the ign harness should be just about the right lengh and have the same plugs , when your done and do a test run , after do not use butt splices , sorder them and use heat shrink tubing ,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 04:03:17 PM »
There is a junkyard nearby that has a lot of older vehicles.  The owner is tough to get ahold of and it's not really an active yard.  I'll track him down and see what he has.  There are a couple of older Pintos there that are probably pre-Duraspark II but there is a '77 that probably has (had?) what I need.  Otherwise, I'll take it from any Ford product from the era with the correct harnesses.  In the meantime, yesterday my 4-slot female repair harness that the Ign Module plugs into arrived, as did the coil wire assy.  The square connector needs some work.  I'll have to try to push the pins and receptacles out and see if I can re-use or get new.  I sprayed the harnesses with brake clean last night so not so oily to work with.  I'l going to try to get the distributor harness unplugged but there is very little room to work.  This car has power steering an the pump and plumbing are in the way.  Very difficult getting my hands down near the distributor.  That will be this weekend's project.  No time during the week.  I work too much!  I'll keep everyone posted on progress.
rob289c

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 08:13:59 PM »
I found that there are vendors that sell a points to Duraspark conversion kit.  It looks fairly complete and wiring is color-coded rather than all black like the pug assy I received yesterday.  I think I will use what I have for now and some piece-meal wiring repair to get it running, then while the engine is out of the car and on the engine stand I will have more room to re-wire everything correctly.  The kit price ranges between $85 - $115 depending on the vendor. might be worth it when I get to that point.  In the meantime I will continue trying to track down my junkyard man to see what he has for harnesses. 
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Offline 71pintoracer

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2020, 05:57:21 PM »
Sounds like you're on the right track! Sometimes you have to undo 40 years of wiring repairs and start over lol
If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2020, 08:12:47 PM »
I hope I'm on the right track.  Today I went to Napa and ordered two 4-pin "modern style" weather proof connectors to eliminate the big white connector in the pic.  There is corrosion and lots of missing insulation so cleaning that up will help.  I found the 3-wire connector that includes the thick wire from the alternator is broken. I'll have to do something about that too.  I don't know if that is contributing to my no spark condition but I'm sure it isn't helping!  One more work day and I can get back on it.  I hope to hear this thing run by Saturday afternoon.  If it will stay running I can see if the tranny will spin the wheels.  It's on jackstands...n o brakes.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2020, 04:07:10 PM »
Update:  I made little to no progress last weekend.  This weekend I made some.  I rewired the 4-pin connector into a home made harness down to the distributor.  I think my problem is a bad pickup coil in the distributor.  I tried to get an ohms reading between the orange and purple wires and I get nothing.  The connections are good but I get no reading.  I am going to order a pickup coil and reluctor and see if that gets me spark.  Getting the distributor out is going to be a chore.  The alternator is on top, the power steering pump is below the alternator, and there is a bunch of wiring and vacuum lines in the vicinity.  The top alternator bolt is pretty much frozen in the housing but with heat and penetrating oil, I'll persuade it out.  Once out of the way I'll tackle the power steering pump.  I'm sure the distributor won't just pull out but I'll work at it.  Distributor cap bolts are broken off so I'll have to try to drill them out.  And I though it would be a piece of cake getting this thing running!
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Offline pinto_one

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2020, 07:37:20 AM »
Thats kind of odd on the open pickup going bad , but easy to remove , first you bump the engine until the rotor button points to the block , take a photo of the positon of the distribtor , Makes is easyer to set the timeing later , or just line up number 1 on comprssion stroke and and line up the rotor on the #1 on the cap , it take a 17mm socket on a 12 inch 3/8 extenion and remove bolt , should slide out easy , its short and will clear everything , soon you will have it running in no time
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2020, 04:21:59 PM »
From memory I think I should read 400-700 ohms between orange and purple and I read nothing.  The connector coming out of the alternator crumbled in my hand when I removed it so the new pickup coil is needed, if for no other reason, I will get the new connector.  I will be buying the Painless Wiring Duraspark kit that is really made to convert points to Duraspark, but I will use it to replace all the bad wiring and connectors that fell apart.  I can use pretty much all of it except I won't need the Chrysler style ballast resister that comes in the kit.  The end result will be a factory looking ignition wiring harness.  Getting everything out of the way to get at the distributor will be my biggest chore.  Once I have access it should be smooth sailing unless it wants to be stubborn after sitting in its spot for the last 40 years!  I haven't heard a Pinto run since my last one in 1989!
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Offline JoeBob

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2020, 08:16:48 PM »
If you still want a junkyard part call this number 7209384055 this is a junkyard near Denver he has 20 pintos. Will pull and ship.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2020, 04:43:58 PM »
Thank you for the info!  I will call and see what he has. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2020, 06:02:09 PM »
***Update***Today I used the Mapp torch on the upper alternator bolt and was able to get the alternator removed and out of the way.  It still took some finagling to get the distributor out.  Once out and a spray down with brake clean, I found my problem.  About 1 1/2" from where the connector used to be, the orange wire was compromised.  It wasn't visible when the distributor was still installed.  I had to cut it shorter and temporarily crimped a male blade terminal on.  Then I read 628 ohms between orange and purple, which is in the required 400-1000 ohms range.  The two distributor cap hold down screws had been broken off by a previous owner.  I sprayed and heated in an attempt to grab what was left without success.  I drilled through them but not without ruining the threads.  I reinstalled the distributor, which was a bigger PITA than removing it, hooked up the orange, purple, and black/green wires individually, used a zip tie and a machine screw/nut to hole the cap on and now I have spark!  I hooked up a piece of fuel hose to the fuel filter, kept the end high and squeezed gas to the carb.  I couple of squirts of starting fluid made the engine backfire through the carb but did not start.  I didn't have a helper to turn the key while I rotated the distributor but will try again when I have a helper.  I may have to go through the process again, remove the distributor, get #1 to TDC on the compression stroke, then reinstall the distributor.  It seems like it's not in the right position, although it is right where it was before I removed it.  Anyway, I now have spark but still no start.  I'm sure I can get it to run but may have to play with timing a bit.  Thank you for all replies and advice.  I will keep everyone posted on progress. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2020, 06:40:37 PM »
Rotating the distributor while attempting to start didn't result in a start or attempt to start.  It still backfires through the carb.  Back to the drawing board...remove the alternator, pull the distributor, set # 1 to TDC, reinstall distributor, and try again.  At least I have spark!   :)
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2020, 08:00:08 PM »
I just ordered a distributor.  For what I would have spent on a pickup coil and reluctor, I got a whole distributor and since the core is only $15, I will keep my old one for spare parts.  I should have it by next weekend so in the meantime I will get #1 at TDC and be ready to swap distributors when the order arrives. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2020, 05:12:36 AM »
Question:  What is the correct orientation for the vacuum advance...fron t or rear of engine?  Mine was (is) toward the rear.  That's what gets hung up on the fuel line, dipstick tube, and every other piece of vacuum line that is in the vicinity when removing and installing.
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Offline Wittsend

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2020, 04:59:37 PM »
Not sure what the factory intended position is but the distributor can be removed, the rotor rotated a reasonable amount to give more adjustment and then the housing is re-inserted. The housing is rotated (in essence "chasing") to realign itself to the rotor and move the vacuum advance away from whatever it might have been hitting. The timing should then be re-set.

A number of precautions:

Take pictures of the original orientation and mark the position of the rotor on the distributor housing with a Sharpie BEFORE you move anything. Should all things fail you can then get back to "square one."

DO NOT rotate the engine with the distributor out. It is not essential but it is advisable to set the #1 cylinder to top dead center on the compression stroke as a reference point. But, again do this BEFORE you ever remove the distributor.

There is a hex shaft that drives the oil pump that inserts into the bottom of the distributor. It can be a hassle to get the hex lined up and the distributor gear to mesh with the auxiliary shaft gear.

So, with all that if you can get proper timing even if things are close to hitting it may well be better to just leave it alone.

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2020, 07:16:47 PM »
Thanks for the advice...all is appreciated.  I think what I am dealing with is a no start condition that the previous owner tried to troubleshoot with no luck.  I found wire insulation stripped away on a variety of wires.  I followed the factory Duraspark troubleshootin g guide and figured out the no spark condition.  I have a feeling the distributor had been removed by the previous owner and not reinstalled correctly.  I marked the rotor position on the distributor and also to the power steering pump bracket before removing.  I put it in exactly the way it was before removing.  The oil pump drive was lined up and it fell into place without having to bump the engine.  With no spark before I wasn't getting the backfire through the carb.  When the new distributor gets here I'll start from scratch with #1 at TDC on the compression stroke and I am certain it will fire and run.  I hope it isn't delayed with the July 4th holiday...no mail on Friday.  I don't want to mess with the old distributor.  The harness is a mess, the cap hold down screws were broken off and I have to use rubber bands and zip ties to hold it in place the best I can.  Once I hear it run I can pull the motor and rebuild if necessary, or degrease and detail if it runs without knocking. 
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2020, 06:21:24 AM »
New distributor has shipped and scheduled to arrive on Thursday, July 2.  Good news for me...I should be able to hear this thing run on Friday!
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Offline enzo

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2020, 04:50:55 PM »
The previous owner was unable to trouble shoot the no start problem with all the work you've described. Take a look
at the camshaft to make sure it is timed correctly, the belt may have slipped some cogs.

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2020, 05:41:13 AM »
Good advice.  If getting to TDC and installing the new distributor doesn't get it to fire, I will certainly get the timing cover off to check valve timing.  I keep checking the tracking on distributor shipment but no updates.  It says it should arrive by Thursday so I'll have to be patient.  No work on Friday due to the holiday other than emergency calls so I'll be out in the garage bright and early to get it ready to roar!  As for the previous owner, I have tried to contact the last owner that had it registered in 2007 with no success.  I think that's where the no start/no run condition started and he dumped it.  The person I bought it from never ran it.  He had a lot of junk or he might call them projects, and never quite figured out why it wouldn't start but made a mess of the wiring. The good news is he bought a NOS carb for it.  Now that I have spark it I'm in the home stretch.  I'll get to hear if it knocks, smokes, and if the tranny works. 
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Offline pinto_one

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2020, 08:31:21 AM »
That would be the first thing I would check and replace in the begining , brought a few over the years and thats all it was , broken belt or just striped at the crank , even when I had a new pinto the belt would let go around 40 to 50 K , later as I did more highway driving it would max to 60 to 70K , but now that you brought the car from someone that got it in a not running condition could be so simple , a quick look and see can rule a yes or no , set the crank on TDC , remove the top rubber plug at the top and look at the pointer , should see it line up with a mark (dot ) on sprocket , let us all know ,
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline 65ShelbyClone

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2020, 01:06:31 PM »
Question:  What is the correct orientation for the vacuum advance...fron t or rear of engine?
Doesn't matter; put it wherever there is the most space to rotate it without hitting things.
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Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2020, 06:28:33 AM »
I just checked the tracking on my distributor... it has arrived in the Rochester NY USPS Distribution Center at 5:00 last evening and I live in a Rochester suburb.  I'm hoping it arrives in today's mail so I can get on it first thing tomorrow AM, but I may not see it until tomorrow afternoon with Friday's mail delivery.  Regardless, I will get the engine set to #1 TDC, get the timing cover off to check alignment of timing marks and get ready to drop the new dizzy in and hear it run.  I will keep everyone posted...
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Offline pinto_one

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2020, 07:36:46 AM »
you do not have to remove the timing cover to check the marks , one the pointer for the crank is on the timing cover there is another mark on the lower sproket but hard to see if you do not know what to look for , just setit on TDC and there is a rubber plug on the timing cover near the thrmostsat housing , remove the plug and look inside you will see a pointer and also the mark that should be there , if not you may have to turn the engine one turn and check again , hope this helps
76 Pinto sedan V6 , 79 pinto cruiser wagon V6 soon to be diesel or 4.0

Offline rob289c

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Re: "New" Pinto No Spark
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2020, 09:11:28 AM »
Ah...got it.  I'm chomping at the bit to get this thing going!
rob289c