Sign in to follow this  
nvsteve

Electrical problems

Recommended Posts

Recently purchased '29 137 Sport Runabout. Was running poorly, now won't start. No power to coil. I think I shorted the circuit when playing with the distributor. the original ignition switch has been replaced with a universal key type. I have been searching for a blown fuse but can't find one. It appears that the ignition switch gets its power from the ammeter. Is there a fuse somewhere for the ignition circuit?

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Recently purchased '29 137 Sport Runabout. Was running poorly, now won't start. No power to coil. I think I shorted the circuit when playing with the distributor. the original ignition switch has been replaced with a universal key type. I have been searching for a blown fuse but can't find one. It appears that the ignition switch gets its power from the ammeter. Is there a fuse somewhere for the ignition circuit?

Thanks.

Check the backside of the ammeter for a fuse. Some were located there. These folks may know....http://www.franklincar.org/FAQ/faq7.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have an owner's manual? It will have a wiring diagram for the car. You can probably get a reprint from the Franklin Club. There should be some fuses under the dash. I am not too familiar with the '29.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once things have been modified from factory, it's hard to give help troubleshooting as we don't know what exactly was changed. Originally, there was no fuse on the ignition circuit. If the old pop-out ignition and coil have been replaced with a plain switch and modern coil - could someone have added a fuse? If so, it is a very short run from the ammeter to the switch, so you should be able to see easily if a fuse was added.

You can check each point from the ammeter to the distributor points, or do it backward from the points to the ammeter. In this case, since the distributor was being worked on, it feels more likely to be there - I always look at the last place I was messing around 1st! I would check the condition of the points & point gap and clean the contacts themselves. Also, try adding a ground jumper wire from anywhere on the distributor body to the engine base - a bolt or some such (distributor ground problems are common - all Delco Distributor cars should have an external ground wire). As a test, you can use any bit of wire and twist or clamp it down for now. Then, with the key on, and points open, check for power to the distributor with a test light, or meter. If you have power and the points are good, gapped & clean, then check for spark. If the spark is poor, it is possible you could have a coil or condenser problem. But coils don't usually fail so easily without giving a fight. They tend to act up when hot, but then work fine when cold, slowly getting worse.

So - when did your car start acting up, in what way was it acting up and what have you done to correct it thus far?

Try some things and give a bit more info and we can perhaps zero in a bit more closely.

Oh - another tidbit - If the battery in your car is installed properly, the POSITIVE will be grounded, which is backward from the modern world. New coils are made for the modern world. A new coil on a positive ground car should have the ignition switch lead connected to the - (minus) terminal on the coil and the + (plus) terminal run to the distributor. This is not critical, but the coil will put out more voltage if connected properly. Some newer coils, instead of a - (minus), they will say DIST.

Keep us posted -

Tom Rasmussen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the next few days, will get back to the car and do a couple of tests to rule out a problem with the ignition switch and test the coil wire connection as suggested. Will report when I know more. Thanks for the help so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a starter switch on the dash, so this must be wired to a relay near the starter. See if there is a wire on the battery side of the relay terminals that goes to the ammeter. Other Franklins are wired this way using the foot board starter button. Check that all connections are clean and tight.

Gordon Howard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I'm back finally with information. Today I managed to get the car to run, but poorly. I found that the wire between the switch and the electric fuel pump was bad so I got that solved and the fuel pump works on the switch again.

I'm having to use a jumper wire between the battery and the ammeter to get power to the ignition (new) switch, and with the jumper attached the car will start and run. So there's a problem in the wiring between the ammeter and the battery. Still working on isolating that.

The next thing I want to do is check to see if all the cylinders are firing, but I'm stumped on how to gain access to the plug wires at the spark plugs. There's a metal shield/cover over the spark plugs and wiring that I can't figure out how to remove. The shield is just below the valve cover. How do you remove the shield? There are two screws that hold a tube for what I assume is the crankcase breather near the front of the motor, those two screws also appear to be holding that wire cover in place. Naturally the screws are stuck so I'm soaking them now. I see some holes in the cover for what might be additional screws but the screws are gone. Not sure I'm even making any sense here but I've never seen a design like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well I'm back finally with information. Today I managed to get the car to run, but poorly. I found that the wire between the switch and the electric fuel pump was bad so I got that solved and the fuel pump works on the switch again.

I'm having to use a jumper wire between the battery and the ammeter to get power to the ignition (new) switch, and with the jumper attached the car will start and run. So there's a problem in the wiring between the ammeter and the battery. Still working on isolating that.

The next thing I want to do is check to see if all the cylinders are firing, but I'm stumped on how to gain access to the plug wires at the spark plugs. There's a metal shield/cover over the spark plugs and wiring that I can't figure out how to remove. The shield is just below the valve cover. How do you remove the shield? There are two screws that hold a tube for what I assume is the crankcase breather near the front of the motor, those two screws also appear to be holding that wire cover in place. Naturally the screws are stuck so I'm soaking them now. I see some holes in the cover for what might be additional screws but the screws are gone. Not sure I'm even making any sense here but I've never seen a design like this.

hi, give me a call. have 10 of these 29 franklins. doug hull 201 230 3300

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can run the engine with the top blower hood removed for a couple minutes at a time to check for spark right at the plugs. A simple check is to short out a plug terminal to ground with a screwdriver blade one at a time. You can hear the engine change if that plug was firing. You can also see the spark by manipulating the screwdriver blade close to a ground. This can also tell you if a wire is getting good spark, but a plug is not firing.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I discovered why my ignition system failed and I am embarrassed to say it was simply a loose wire connection at the ammeter, I was about to run a new wire from the ammeter to the starter switch for power, when I found that the nut on the ammeter terminal was loose. Tightened the nut and wala its workin' again.

So now I want to start working on getting the engine to run properly. I have the instruction book which outlines the procedure for checking the timing, adjusting the valves, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've determined that the exhaust valves are stuck open in numbers 4 and 6 cylinders. Sprayed the valve mechanisms with penetrating oil (PB100). I read about a product called Kroil that is supposed to be good also for freeing stuck valves.

Are there any easy remedies?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this