Problem with a Ford 860, converted to 12 volt system. I've only had it a year and it has always started easy and run well. It ran fine last fall and early this spring. Then it began to cut out and wouldn't run except at about 1/2 throttle for a few minutes, then it would start cutting out, at which time I would let it idle for a minute, then it would run again for a short time. Then it got to where it wouldn't run at all. I took the carb in and they cleaned it and said it wasn't that bad and that I should check the tank and gas flow. I emptied the tank; it flowed fine the whole time. Then I blew air back through it. It ran enough to get it back into the shop, but made no difference. Then a friend suggested the coil. I replaced it with one that does not need a resistor and bypassed the resistor. No difference. So, I ordered a tune-up kit: plugs, points, wires, rotor, distributor cap, and condenser. Condenser did not fit and I ruined it trying to make it work, so I didn't change that. It started and purred like a kitten at 1/4, 1/2, and full throtte. I didn't use it at that time--only ran it in the shop. Two days later, it started easy, ran great for about 50 yards and then began doing the same thing again. It will start, but not real well, idle for a minute and then cuts out and dies. If I try to give it any gas, it dies. It has good fire to plugs. Still thinking carb. Would appreciate help.
Things didn't change after fooling with the carb but they did change after fooling with the coil/distributor. I would bet that somethng is not making a good ground and when replacing the coil that something was disturbed and a good electrical ground was made for a little while. I would start by getting the correct condenser and install it and check to make sure that there was a good ground for the distributor and that the plate that the points and condenser mount to is making a good ground to the distributor housing. Don't forget to make sure that the hot wire connections on the distributor, points and condenser are free from corrosion. Yes, there could still be a problem with the carb or fuel delivery, but it would seem more likely to me that it is electrical. It might even be a bad Chinese coil that was installed later.
Herr Professor Nuzanbolts
Dear Ole Mechanic;
Well, you were spot on again. I played with the distributor some and found it had a lot of slack in it like you mentioned on your site. The point gap changed dramatically. Rather than change the bushings and shaft, which was really loose after I took it off, I replaced it with a new distributor assembly. It started right up and is running well. It's awful nice to have someone to go to for help. Thanks again, I really do appreciate it. God bless and have a wonderful day.