I could use some help diagnosing something on my 65 Comet 202. I’ve been through the vintage Ford forums and can’t seem to nail the problem down. I listened to Car Talk all the time with my Dad growing up, so I figured if any group could help it would be this one.
Quick car background: 65 Comet 202, 408W, 4 spd Toploader, MSD RTR Dizzy and Blaster Coil w/ resistor bypass, Quickfuel 750 Vac secondary, otherwise factory wiring/plumbing
First, I was getting on the interstate a few weeks ago, put it in 4th to cruise with traffic and the car just…lost power. It happened pretty fast, but I think the car was revving with the accelerator it just wouldn’t go. Called my car guy, got it up on the trailer, the clutch linkage somehow had worked its way out a few turns (which is weird because normally under load they would want to get shorter, right?), drove it off the trailer and home. This may have been a completely separate thing, who knows…
Yesterday, I decided to take the Comet to work because I didn’t have to bus the little one across town. First time it was out since the last issue. The car did fine from my house to work (about 15 miles, mixed interstate and street level) and then died as I was coming into the parking lot. I pulled into a space, restarted it, then drove the last few hundred yards to where I normally park. I was starting from a stop, possible I did something stupid, but it didn’t feel like it and I decided to drive to my car guy’s shop (5ish miles) over lunch just in case. In that 5 miles of surface road driving it died about 7 times. When I say died, it’s like I turned off the key but the engine was still turning because of the momentum of the car. No pedal response. Sometimes it would restart in neutral while rolling, but mostly I’d have to pull over, stop, crank and restart. It would normally happen after I get through 1st and 2nd, when I put it in either 3rd or 4th to maintain speed. Seems only to happen after the car is at temperature.
Here’s what I know so far: It’ll idle fine pretty much indefinitely, regardless of engine temp. Wire from ignition to coil is tight at both ends. So is wire from solenoid to coil. Wiggling the key while idling or smacking the solenoid doesn’t affect it. Jumped battery + to coil + and still happened (not in dash wiring). All grounds look good. All spark plug wires are tight on cap as well as plugs, same thing for center coil wire. I do have a rally tach, but because I have an MSD RTR dizzy and Blaster 2 I use one of those converter boxes so the tach itself is not inline with the ignition. Even so, pulled it just in case and taped off the lead…no love. I do have gas pressure at the carb, maybe a little low, but it revs to the rev limiter on the dizzy just fine as long as it’s not under load. Replaced fuel pump anyway just to be sure. Gas filter just north of the tank is glass and perfectly clear.
I’ve got to go to the shop after work today. I plan on just swapping the coil and putting a points dizzy back in with a ballast resistor to see if I need to send stuff to MSD to be repaired. WHAT AM I MISSING?