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1981 Ford Granada 3.3L 200 Only Tries to Start When Key Is Released

Hello, I have a 1981 Ford Granada 3.3L 200. I changed my water pump now the car doesn’t want to start for some reason. I try to crank the car it won’t start but when I release the key it tries to start but won’t. I’m getting spark after the key is released. I’ve changed the ignition module, distributor, rotor, rotor connector, ignition switch, new spark plugs, and it still won’t start. Any ideas? Thank you.

Ignition switch comes to mind.

I changed the ignition switch but still having the same issue

Sorry missed the ignition switch on the first read.

No problem :slight_smile:

Did you check the ballast wire between the ignition switch and coil?,1981,granada,3.3l+200cid+l6,1130050,ignition,ballast+resistor,7052


Sorry if I am a little confused. Are you talking about the coil wire? I asked my brother as he is working on the car. I haven’t seen a wire like that on it.


Thank you for the diagram. Let me check into this.

Swapping the start bypass wire with the ballast resistor wire at the ignition switch would cause the symptoms you describe.

1 Like

Sounds like a bad module.

My first guess is something got changed w/a wire that connects to the starter relay. I’d probably take the time to loosen the belt that connects to the water pump pulley and make sure all the stuff that is supposed to spin freely on that belt path does spin freely. Does this car use an electric-controlled carburetor?

I will check the wires connected to the starter relay. Looks like everything is spinning freely that needs to be. The car does use an electric controlled carburetor

The 1981 Ford EEC carburetor doesn’t control fuel it modifies the air fuel ratio through an externally attached solenoid valve which leans the mixture on command by introducing additional air and only a very limited amount. It cannot intermittently prevent starting other than making the mixture lean but applying throttle will overcome that.

The ballast resister, module and pickup coil have been the problems that I have seen causing the problem you’re having as I understand it. Ohm test the pickup coil and ballast wire and if they are OK call the chain parts stores to see if one of them can bench test your module.

I used a Power Probe ECT 2000 to run a trace signal through the wires. The signal did not pick up pass the connector going to the distributor to the ICM. So I did a continuity test of each wire coming from the distributor. The Orange wire did not have continuity. It’s my understanding that the Orange and Purple wires are associated with the pickup coil in the distributor.

Check the wires to the pickup coil in the distributor for broken wires.

The pickup coil mounts to advance plate in the distributor. The wires to the pickup coil can break over time from the back-and-forth motion of the advance plate.


Hi Tester, The distributor is brand new.