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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,
The last couple of years have been relatively trouble-free. Yesterday I drove into work (about 40 miles round trip) and the kitty ran sweet. To date, it has been idling smoothly at about 800 rpm and performing briskly on the highway. To refresh, its a slightly warmed over 68 XR7 X-Code 390 w/ C6 Auto, Edelbrock 600 CFM carburation, and MSD ignition system, including billet distributor.

So on the return trip, I get into Berkeley's single lane, traffic clogged rush hour traffic and she stalls... several times, followed by hard starts. Fortunately, I was able to get her going and revved up enough to get back home and as I pulled into the drive, she stalled yet again.

It wasn't a sputter and die, but rather, an abrupt cut-off. This behavior seems characteristic of a problem I had several years ago where as it turned out, I had a short in the magnetic connector of the distributor. Drove me crazy trying to diagnose. My problem seemed electrical in nature to me. My whole motivation behind going with the electronic ignition was that I thought it would be a more reliable system, but it hasn't been exactly fail-safe. My question is, has anyone else encountered this type of problem with their MSD ignitions, or is there anything else that you think might cause this type of problem. Your feedback appreciated.
 

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how's the health of the charging system (not the ignition system). Good alternator? Have you put a meter on the battery while its running to make sure that with a little throttle above idle, the battery is getting 13.8V? The MSD systems are great but they do need a solid 12.5V or so to perform right.

XR7? Could this be a tachometer wire symptom? If unfamiliar with this, then in a nutshell all power to run goes thru the tach so there is a way to bypass the tach with a jumper wire, if you wanted to test if the tach is the problem.

Otherwise after above is checked, look to fuel system, either filter as prev. mentioned, or fuel pump, or a vapor lock issue.

Kevin
 

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Electronic igntions are the only way to fly IMO - I've been running MSD's for years with no issues on the ignition itself. Bad grounds/loose connections/poor regulation are more likely.

x2 to what Clance points out. try wiggling your keys to see if you may have a flakey switch too...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
C7XR7: I'll look into the fuel filter situation: probably time for a change out there.

Clance: Yeah, could be a flakey ignition switch. Had that problem with another Ford product I owned a long time ago. From what I've read on some other posts, when the Tach goes, you're pretty much dead in the water and there's usually no starting up again, but it's something to keep an eye on. As far as the health of the charging system goes, I had a bad regulator that I replaced a while ago that was responsible for my charging problem, but other than that, I think i'm OK. But those are definitely some things to look at, so thanks for the tips guys.
 

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Hello All,
The last couple of years have been relatively trouble-free. Yesterday I drove into work (about 40 miles round trip) and the kitty ran sweet. To date, it has been idling smoothly at about 800 rpm and performing briskly on the highway. To refresh, its a slightly warmed over 68 XR7 X-Code 390 w/ C6 Auto, Edelbrock 600 CFM carburation, and MSD ignition system, including billet distributor.

So on the return trip, I get into Berkeley's single lane, traffic clogged rush hour traffic and she stalls... several times, followed by hard starts. Fortunately, I was able to get her going and revved up enough to get back home and as I pulled into the drive, she stalled yet again.

It wasn't a sputter and die, but rather, an abrupt cut-off. This behavior seems characteristic of a problem I had several years ago where as it turned out, I had a short in the magnetic connector of the distributor. Drove me crazy trying to diagnose. My problem seemed electrical in nature to me. My whole motivation behind going with the electronic ignition was that I thought it would be a more reliable system, but it hasn't been exactly fail-safe. My question is, has anyone else encountered this type of problem with their MSD ignitions, or is there anything else that you think might cause this type of problem. Your feedback appreciated.
I just recently disconnected my MSD-6A box because of nearly the exact same problem. I'm now running solely on my Duraspark II box. The car runs beautifully, but will sputter and run rough or completely stall with no warning. Since I've disconnected the MSD box, I've had no issues at all. I'm planning on boxing the MSD and sending down to the factory for diagnoses and repair. I've heard that they have a lifetime warranty, but you have to pay for shipping costs. The MSD-6A box on my '85 Mustang (also running in connection with the Duraspark II module) has been never hiccuped once in the 10+ years I've had it installed.
 

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How is your 6A box mounted?
Mine is mounted above the glove box along with my Duraspark II box. They sit about 10 inches from each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How is your 6A box mounted?
Its mounted directly in front of the PS shock tower right behind the starter relay. Tight I know and probably not the best location either since it's getting a lot of engine heat from the exhaust manifold. Positioning was difficult due tight configuration in have in there. I made a heat shield for it to hopefully deflect some of the heat, but I know that generally heat is not good for electronics.
 

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I'm thinking vapor lock with the well known FE starter drag.
Does the car perform normally in cool weather or before the motor warms up?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm thinking vapor lock with the well known FE starter drag.
Does the car perform normally in cool weather or before the motor warms up?
Art: So far, this problem seems to manifest after the engine has run awhile. During my last drive, car ran well during the cool morning hours, then during the pm hours, the problem surfaced. Don't know much about vapor lock. Is this a common problem? Has to do with overheating of the fuel mixture doesn't it? Is there a cure to that and how can I know for sure?

Thanks for your input,
Dennis
 

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May want to check your fuel line routing and be sure it has some clearance air gap from the hot spots as much as possible....especially along the top of the motor or near exahaust areas. Does sound more like a fuel problem than electric but you never know...
 

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Vapor lock is when fuel boils in the carburetor and/or fuel pump. FE engines generate a LOT of underhood heat.
Some things you can try, 100% gasoline, cooler thermostat, heat insulator spacer under the carburetor, blocking the exhaust crossover heat in the intake.
Maybe some FE Cougar owners have more suggestions.

Art: So far, this problem seems to manifest after the engine has run awhile. During my last drive, car ran well during the cool morning hours, then during the pm hours, the problem surfaced. Don't know much about vapor lock. Is this a common problem? Has to do with overheating of the fuel mixture doesn't it? Is there a cure to that and how can I know for sure?

Thanks for your input,
Dennis
 
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