65 Valiant starting problems

Just bought a 65 valiant slant6 3 on the tree.Shes been sittin for a while, driven rarely. I put in a new altenator and battery.The previous owner put a new starter in and drove it rarely. He also put a toggle switch to start it because he said it had ignition problems.Any guesses why it only starts 1 outta every 9 times?I am really not good with electrical.

Well, in the absence of some important details, we will have to do some guessing.

Since the choke on Chrysler products of that vintage was REALLY problematic, it could be the choke. But, unless you post more details of the no-start problem we are just taking some shots in the dark.

You’re going to have to invest a bit more time describing the situation in order to get good advice. For instance, the ignition switch has more than one position. RUN is where it normally sits when driving and START is a momentary position to engage the starter motor. So, what part of that doesn’t work and how is the single position, toggle switch used in the starting process?

When you say it starts intermittantly, does it do anything on the times it will not start? Does it do nothing, just click, crank but not start, or ??? What happens?

Do the rest of the electrical devices work normally even when it won’t start?

the old cars such as yours have a ballast resistor in the ignition system. Chrysler usually put it on the firewall. The resistor reduces the voltage to the coil for normal running. When starting the engine, the battery voltage is low, so the resistor is bypassed to give extra spark energy.

Since you have a toggle switch to start the car, the resistor may not be getting bypassed.

Find an old-time mechanic who has worked on these and have him “tune-up” this engine. This would include removing the distributer, installing a new set of points and condenser, and clean and lube the unit. Spark plugs, plug wires, new cap and rotor, install the distributer and set the timing. Check that ballast resistor someone mentioned and perhaps install a hand choke.

Now, after you master the choke, it will start without any fuss. $300 should cover everything easily…

It is almost impossible to set or replace the points in these engines with the distributer in place. It can be removed in 5 minutes and serviced on a bench, clamped in a vice. MUCH easier and quicker.

How old is the gasoline in this car? If it’s over a year, I would drain and replace it…Fuel filter too…

Ahah!That might be it…I found a small ceramic piece in the glovebox, it is about 2 1/2 inches long and appears to be a new part.Is this the resistor?There is something similar on the passenger side of the firewall with two plugs going to it.

Ditto twin turbo, does it CRANK but not start? Or does NOTHING happen when the start switch is closed?

That is what most of them look like.

That’s where I use to keep a extra ballast resistor in my Valiant…and talked my brother into keeping on in his 76 Aspen. Every time it went, I’d replace it then go out and buy a new one to put in the glovebox.

It is very aggravating to ask for follow up and the OP is too lazy to respond. Every time that happens, it makes me less inclined to go out of my way to try and help.

Agree that chokes were a probelem with those cars. I had a '65 Dart and installed a hand choke, resulting in easy starts. The heat riser valves were also problematic; if they stuck it could make fo hard starting as well.

Should the toggle wires be connected to the resistor?

The gas is new as well as the fuel filter.It probably could use a tune up.

Sorry to leave ya hangin… I am a single mom and get distracted a lot.It was cranking but now nothing happens. It will roll srart just fine…I dont know if that makes a differance.Thanks,Mary

Okay so I put a new resistor in and it started smoking so I took that out .What does that mean?

Normally, the resistor is not used until the engine is running. Power to it is off when the ignition switch is off, and it is bypassed while starting the engine.

Since you are using a toggle switch to start the car, I am very suspicious of the wiring in the starter circuit and the ignition circuit. The first thing I would do is get rid of the toggle switch and fix the system so it works correctly.

The new resistor might smoke as the protective coating burns off it. Normally, they will get quite hot, that’s why they have the ceramic cover. The correct circuit is: From the “ign” terminal of the key switch to the resistor, to the + post on the coil, to the distributer, through the points to ground. A second wire, from the “start” post of the ignition switch, to the + post of the coil, by-passes the resistor but only when the key is held in the start position. The coil is actually a 6 volt unit, the resistor dropping the voltage to that level when the engine is running. But for starting, 12 volts are applied to the coil to momentarily provide an extra hot spark while cranking.

How is your toggle switch wired? Is it sending 12 volts to the coil or where? Follow the wire from that switch and post back…If that’s what it does, it will soon burn up the points and coil because it will be applying 12 volts all the time, twice what is needed…

Thanks. I think you may be right.

It is wired to the two bolts on the starter.

So when you move the switch it makes the starter engage? The key switch wont energize the starter? Or is it connected to the same post as the battery cable. The toggle switch will have 2 wires connected to it. Do they BOTH go to the starter?