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Richard Patterson

1934 Roadster Model 40 - all crank, not spark

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Looking for some pearls of wisdom.    I just picked up a 34..   looks like it rolled out of the show room...   OD says 684 (and either it was disconnected or never driven).  The undercarriage would say "never driven".   I changed the plugs (the original plugs btw), changed the oil... new battery...  put miracle oil in the cylinders and lets it sit for a couple days.   I get a great crank, everything moving..   no spark.   I can not figure out how to get to the points etc without removing the radiator..  is that REALLY the only way?   any other suggestions?

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That is a nice looking 34.

 

You don't have to remove the radiator to remove the distributor, just remove the coil and distributor caps, vacuum brake line and then the 3 bolts. I am not sure about the vacuum brake line, as it has been a long time since I worked on a 34.

 

The way that I would trouble shoot this is:

check for more than 2 volts at the input to the coil (with the points open 6 volts, points close about 3 volts)

connect a dwell meter to the terminal on the condenser that is not grounded. This should be the secondary of the coil and common with the points. Crank the engine and check for 34-36 degrees dwell.

If you have the correct voltage and dwell, the coil is probably bad. The condenser could also be shorted and then you would have no dwell and a low input voltage.

 

If the dwell is not correct, you should remove the distributor and have the points replaced and timed.

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Finally got to the distributor and it was a fur ball of oxidation... cleaning it up and will give it a shot this weekend.  Took the generator off and the fan blade to get to it- seemed like the direct path.  

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Posted (edited)

19tom40 advice is excellent. 

 

A few other things to remember:

 

Don't worry about getting the distributor "out of time" when re-installing it. The camshaft has a slot and the mating distributor shaft has a matching embossed blade (or vice, versa, can't remember). This slot and blade are offset, so there is only one way you can mate them.

 

Idealistically, there is someone near you with a period distributor machine. These machines are key for properly setting the two sets of points, the dwell, etc. You can do it without the machine, but it won't be as accurate. Check the local Early Ford V8 club in your area and see if you can access one of these.

 

If you car is a driver and you are not concerned with under the hood authenticity, I would recommend using a modern, standard style coil. There is an adapter that covers the hole on the distributor that the original coil goes mounts to.  The parts vendors sell this kit. It is more reliable and easier to deal with than the original integral  distributor mounted coil.

 

Also, PLEASE make sure you test fit the distributor and make sure it is  completely flat and flush before you tighten the bolts. The distributor is aluminum and the mounting holes are easily broken if it is resting unevenly. Tighten the bolts gently and evenly with a small hand wrench. Do not use any force. 

 

That's a great looking 1934 Roadster! Enjoy. 

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)

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If you cut off the heads of a couple of 5/16-18 x 1" and grind the cut off end for gripping, you can install them into the timing cover and use them to support the distributor while you get the tang into the camshaft and install the 3 rd bolt.

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so the points had "fur ball size" oxidation on them..   cleaned, put back in..   starts on carb cleaner..   pushing my way back, onto the fuel pump/fuel line and i am going to clean/reseal the gas tank.   Put a flashlight in the tank and there is some rust from it sitting with gas in it...  

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