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Discussion Starter #1
So I took off for the gas station in the cougar to get a soda for my chili dog lunch. I come to a stop at the subdivision entrance, waiting on traffic to clear, and it dies just sitting there idling. I try to restart, and nothing. I start playing around with wires, trying to put constant hot to the coil and distributor, thinking the ignition switch is bad (thought it is brand new). Nothing. So I hike back home and get a few tools. Play around more, nothing. Hike back again, got my multimeter and more tools, and the truck this time. Get back to the car and test curcuits and all connections. Everything checks out. Have voltage to the coil and the distributor. While doing all of this, it would fire, but only as I was turning the key off, so that was making me think it was the switch. It would just barely kick the engine over a little, I assume it would fire on the cylinder that had the rotor pointing at the breaker on the ignition module, but that is the only time it would do anything. So I decide to just keep cranking. It started to fire on one cylinder about every 5 revolutions or so. Eventually it would fire more often, until it finally kicked over and started.

So I hurry my ass back home before it died again, keeping it from idling the whole way. When I pulled in the garage, it seemed to idle fine, but something still ain't right. What are your thoughts? In the end, when it fired up, all wiring was back in it original configuration.

I have a pretty good idea what it is, but would like it reinforced by other minds. I ruled out the coil as I swapped it with another.

Most know my build, but it is basically race car wiring, so is fairly simple. No ignition box at the moment, just a Mallory magnetic breakerless that is over 10 years old. It wasn't fuel either, the squirters were pumping plenty of fuel.
 

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If there is power at the Mallory, I would guess that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any other ideas? Or does everyone agree with Bob?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bueller. Bueller?
 

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I've never used that type of distributor, but when my magnetic pickup went out on my MSD, it was not temporary. When I had the problem you described, it was because the engine was flooded. I would check your float level, fuel pressure and check for junk in needles and seats.
 

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I'm going to go with "perform a wiggle test" on your ignition switch. Do you have a lot of keys on your key ring? Does the ignition key feel 'sloppy' in the switch? My car would cut out on the interstate at full speed over small bumps in the road, and then fix itself...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I messed with the ignition switch like cazy, and even put constant power to the dizzy and it still wouldnt fire off. I should also mention that the reason I swapped the coil was because I pulled the coil wire loose and cranked it over and it didnt arc. So far my conclusions lead me to agree with bob, but I welcome any other ideas.
 

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Sounds like the mag pickup isn't picking it up consistently...usually they just Sh!t out entirely though..? make sure it doesn't have a bunch of shavings stuck in there but other than that the only thing is to swap it out would be my guess.
 

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Mike,

You might try a test light on the coil, + should be a constant voltage with the key on and the - pulsing (when cranking) if all is well, have you looked at this?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Everything in the charging system is new and working properly. In fact, everything in the engine, trans, rear end, and all electrical are new except the coil and distributor. I swapped in a new coil, so that has been ruled out.

I did check this Bob, but was getting 6v to the coil because of the ballast resistor that is required by the distributor when a box isn't hooked up. I did move it to constant 12v, but nothing changed.

The car didn't sputter out when it died, it just died suddenly. I have had issues with Unilight distributors in the past, but they just make the car run like it was running out of gas when they were going out. All of this took about 3 hours, and from previous experience, ignition modules will just come back on after they sit for a while. I also think the best thing for an aftermarket distributor may be the ignition box. I may go ahead and order a new ignition box (since MSD said the one I burned up is unrepairable) and 2 modules. Then I will keep a spare module and a ballast resistor in the car for times like these.
 
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