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  1. Recently acquired a car that was restored in the 1996-97 time frame and it has the Chevrolet 502 by Tonawanda Engine in it. The oil filler cap shows 10W30 Motor Oil. A Jiffy Lube receipt from a number of years ago shows Quaker State Synthetic 5W50 being used for an oil change. The engine has about 8000 miles on it. I'm uncertain what oil to use in the car. I predominantly use Pennzoil or Valvoline in my old cars and never have used synthetic.
  2. Back with more data. Today we verified the ground strap. Even though I was getting an engine vacuum reading at idle of 19" I plugged the vacuum port on the rear of the carburetor that used to serve the now negated "pull gearshift lever forward starter switch." As suggested above, we pulled off the coil-to-ignition switch wire and ran a jumper wire directly from the battery to the + side of the coil.Got the car started. After a warm-up we placed it in gear but as before it shut down. However after repeated restarts, I decided to try to make the 2.5 mile drive and did make it including up a steep hill. But every time I slowed down for a stop sign, yield sign, or speed bump, the car shut down on me. Car was fully warmed up after the drive, but as I slowed down to turn into the driveway, again it died and I then just put it in neutral and coasted in. So with this bypass wire connected the entire time, that shows the ignition switch to coil wire is not the culprit. I will add that we had to do away with the Park position in order to have a Reverse in the gear shift selection as we never could get all the gears to function. A couple of suggestions above have pointed to the rebuilt transmission which we took back to fix it so we would have all gears, but they still didn't get it where we have P at the top and R at the bottom. This is NOT an easy disassembly to pull the tranny again because of the unique AMC torque tube trunnion design that necessitates pulling a lot of stuff off first before the tranny can be pulled.
  3. Thanks, when I get back to it again, I'll check that as well as the other suggestions above. Hope to pursue it soon.
  4. Thanks for the help guys. No success today. I'll get back to it another time. Burned out on it. I had a very difficult time just keeping the car running in neutral today. Then I tried the battery to coil + side and oddly enough the car would not even restart. Most peculiar.
  5. Understand. We will try that next opportunity Tuesday. Thanks.
  6. We did that type test on our '66 Ambassador and on that car what would happen is the car would die in Park or Neutral after a few seconds with no restart until a bit of time had expired; then it would do it again. We never did figure exactly what was causing it but installation of a Pertronix and matching coil on that car cured it. After installation, the car was immediately driven over 700 miles w/o incident. We did not yet do that test on this '57 (same 327 engine, Hydramatic, Delco) because the Pertronix eliminates the original coil to distributor wire, we verified the ground wire in the distributor, and the two Pertronix wires to each side of the coil are new and we can visually see all these wires. And of course the coil is new. And the firewall- mounted ballast resistor is eliminated since with the Pertronix you must have a minimum of 12 volts at all times for the system to function.
  7. Yes, I concur about the Neutral Safety Switch electrically connected to the starter. It is now bypassed. The transmission is a Hydramatic. The concise synopsis is: We acquired the car in 2014 from an estate of a friend we knew. We took it to a number of car events until last October when the transmission failed on a return trip home fro a show. We drained the fluid and it looked like Pepto-Bismol. We then pulled the tranny pan and the bottom had a thick layer of black crud. So we pulled the transmission (NOT an easy job on this car because of the unique AMC "Torque Tube Trunnion" associated with the drive train) and took it to a well established transmission shop with a good reputation. Tranny was rebuilt with parts from Fatsco and we reinstalled it. We had a very difficult time getting the gearshift lever on the steering column to match with the actual gears the tranny was in. Never could get all the gears. We would either have Park at the Top or Reverse at the bottom. So we had the car roll backed to the tranny shop who then indicated it was fixed. I did not check for Reverse before trying to drive the car home as I should have. Didn't make it home w/o a trailer because the car would keep shutting down any time I got to a stop and finally no restart. We then did the carburetor work, replacing the power control valve and adjusting idle and air/fuel and choke which seem to be functioning. Problem continued. But we did manage to get it into gear once or twice and that is when we discovered no reverse. So temporarily we just have worked the gear adjustments ourselves so that it will go into Reverse. Having some experience with a problematic '66 Ambassador, we went with Pertronix, but shut down problem continues. I will say that until the transmission went out on us, the carburetor was functioning ok except for one time.
  8. Guess I need to check this area out more thoroughly. Indeed this car had a vacuum operated starter switch (neutral safety switch) associated with the gearshift lever which one pulls forward to start the car. This device failed in some manner and we rewired around it to the starter solenoid via a push button switch I mounted under the dash. So the car will now start in any gear, so we have to be careful. But that device should be totally disabled now.
  9. OK, good idea. Next week we'll try that and report back. Have tried so many things already, great to have a fresh suggestion.
  10. The one time it did go into gear I only drove it a few hundred feet on level ground. I will not be able to get back to it until next week. But the problem is just to get it to run while in drive.
  11. Car dies immediately but I'm certainly open to suggestions relative to this possibly being associated with the transmission. Last October we had a major transmission failure which necessitated a total rebuild of the Hydramatic transmission. We pulled and reinstalled the tranny ourselves but had it rebuilt at a local well known transmission shop where we did have to take it back to try to get the gears lined up with the gearshift indicator. But before the transmission work, other than one time when the car died making a slow left turn, the carburetor was ok. Previously I observed that when I came back down the hill into the drive, it would die unless I quickly shifted into neutral. Replacing the rebuilt carburetor power valve had no effect.
  12. On our '57 Hudson with AMC 327 4-BBL, after a continued problem with keeping the car running albeit rebuilt Holley Carburetor, running from a gas can to eliminate any issues with fuel lines or filters, new Power Valve in the carburetor, etc., we decided to eliminate points and condenser and installed a Pertronix III with matching Ignitor Coil (this worked successfully on our '66 Ambassador.). In so doing the original 16 gage coil to distributor wire goes away. The distributor ground wire looks ok. All electricals tested ok. Fired up the car and let it warm up and STILL the car shuts down when placing into gear. We set the idle up pretty high but that may have worsened matters. Verified timing. Vacuum gauge at idle reads 19". Backed off on the idle a little and did manage to get the car in Drive and Reverse but no confidence this will occur next time. Obviously neither points, condenser, or wiring have been the problem. But the Pertronix and coil are on now. I just cannot understand why putting the car in gear shuts it down. We clearly expected the new ignition system to cure the persistent problem. Just cannot understand why placing the car into Drive or Reverse shuts it down. Ideas?
  13. 259 V-8 Bearcat engine; Borg-Warner 3-speed on the column with overdrive; Stromberg 2bbl carb; Optional fog lights, fender skirts, exhaust extensions; older repaint Teal Green. Sold on Bill of Sale as Alabama does not title cars older than 1975. Call Randall or Nell Owen 256.971.9482 or email for more pics. troglodytes@knology.net
  14. Good candidate for HPOF. Original engine, top, interior, trim, lights, wheels, etc. Older repaint Balboa Teal. Auto tranny; AMC 327 V-8 2bbl; turbocast wheels; new Coker radial WW; has PerTronix III ignition and coil. Sold on Bill of Sale as Alabama does not title cars older than 1975. Call Randall or Nell Owen 256.971.9482 or email for more pics troglodytes@knology.net
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