Engine just shuts off

Terry Hauck

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Gees Terry that is a list for sure. One thing then the other. How long have you had the car? Did you restore it?
About 7 years. I rebuilt the engine but that was the main problem. I changed the steering to manual, it's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I just have to put the power unit back on, if it will fit. I flushed the radiator yesterday and that seems to have fixed that. I think the gas gauge trouble is the tank sending unit. It's always something with these cars. Part of the game. It's still drivable and maybe I have to high of expectations. Still love it.
 

RonLiv

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I've been chasing this very same problem now for a while, thought I had it solved. The symptoms are the same, and as I understand there could be multiple causes. I replaced the fuel pump and fuel pump push rod, thought it was solved, and it was for a while. Then I replaced the electronic ignition box and ballast resistor, thought I had it solved, and it was for a while. Then this weekend on Saturday night after it cooled down outside a little bit (It was 90+ degrees here this weekend) I decided to take the Road Runner out for a drive and fill up the tank for the trip over to the show on Sunday. Of course I took the long way to the gas station and the extra long way home. And to be honest I was pushing it on occasion, what fun is it if you don't, right? I don't have a temperature gauge, just the one with the needle on the dash. While sitting at a red light about 1/2 mile from my house and the gauge creeps up while sitting there to about half way. So it was a little warmer than where it is when running, which is usually around the 1/4 mark or slightly higher.

The car starts to choke a little bit, so I put it in neutral and the idle goes back to normal. Then about 10-seconds later it shuts off and won't start. F#&%!

I get on the phone to call for help and the Cops come. They were nice enough, sympathetic, and helped push it off the road so traffic could get back to normal. As I'm waiting for the tow truck to arrive, I get in the car and try to start it, it starts right back up! I drive it home and put it back in the garage like nothing happened. Called and canceled AAA.

That Sunday is our Mopar clubs car show and I say screw it, I'm going, I don't care what happened yesterday. It's about a hour drive and I'm supposed to meet a new guy with his first Mopar, a 1970 Plum Crazy Purple 383 Challenger. Nice car, but its a project, but a solid bones running car that could be left as is, or restored. Anyway, I make it to the show, another hot day, lots of red lights, but no problems for either of us. While there I'm talking to a fellow bird owner about what happened the night before and he says "The same thing was happening to me, follow me" and he takes me over to meet this other guy, who is a mechanic and corrected the problem on his car. He proceeds to tell me it sounds to him its what he called the "Distributor clip". I stare blankly off into space as I do most times when things mechanical related to engines are being discussed. But he said you take off the D-Cap, and it is under the Rotor. If it goes bad, and apparently they do, if the car gets a little hot it will cease to work and the car will shut down until cool.

I made it back to the garage after the show that afternoon, no problem, really hot again over 90 degrees outside on the ride home. My temp gauge is holding at 1/4 to 1/2 way over depending if I'm moving or not. We're about a 1/2 mile from the garage and glance in my rear view and the Challenger is no longer on my tail. I call Ruben, and he tells me his car just shut off at the bottom of the hill, so I get in the Jeep and head down to at least be moral support and discuss what to do. His car has an after market temp gauge on it and it was over 200, but its not spitting water or anything. He is pulled over in the shade, I tell this problem sounds familiar and we decide to lift the hood and wait for about 30-minutes and let it cool down a bit, and the car starts right back up like nothing was wrong.

I'm going to do some research on this distributor clip thing and make a few calls. Any input here would be appreciated as usual.
 
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Russ69Runner

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Bend the tab on the rotor button up to make better contact with that button. When it get's hot act's like a by metal coil. Have done this many times with other vehicles.
 

V.R.D

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if he is talking about the pick up coil there is an ohm's test for that check the manual and the test should be there.

did you watch the video's i posted ? there is some test to check
 

Terry Hauck

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I did suspect the distributor but since I made better connections on the orange box and chassis ground I haven't had any problems. I hope it is fixed now. Let me know what you find out please. By the way, that was a very well written post.
 

RonLiv

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Bend the tab on the rotor button up to make better contact with that button. When it get's hot act's like a by metal coil. Have done this many times with other vehicles.
I will do this, thanks!
 

RonLiv

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if he is talking about the pick up coil there is an ohm's test for that check the manual and the test should be there.

did you watch the video's i posted ? there is some test to check
I didn't watch, but will. Thanks!
 

RonLiv

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I did suspect the distributor but since I made better connections on the orange box and chassis ground I haven't had any problems. I hope it is fixed now. Let me know what you find out please. By the way, that was a very well written post.
I will, thanks
 

RonLiv

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OK, I think I finally have gotten to the bottom of at least my problem. It's not the distributor, the thing and the wiring is pretty much brand new. I pulled the cap off and the contacts all look nice, so I didn't go any further with that. But I had some issues again on Saturday with the car just quitting while going 60MPH, just shuts itself off.

My ignition switch has always been a little bit funky. I'd have to wiggle the key to get it inside and do the same to get it to turn. After Saturday, the car would start, but quit after a second or two. So I basically hot wired the car and bypassed the ignition. It started right up and ran. When digging into it, the plug in also looks a bit worn with some frayed wiring, so I'm replacing the switch and the plug.

I'm pretty sure this will fix the problem, at least mine. Might want to look at this Terry.
 

Terry Hauck

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Well it did it again. Died right in my back yard this time. Hooked up an extra plug wire with a plug and no spark. Only does it when it is hot. This time I ground off the orange coating on one side of the box and used a braided ground strap. Drove it for about 30 min and no problem. Stopped and let it cool then started it up a few times and no problem so far. Last time all I used was some star washers that dug into the orange box. We will see what the dedicated ground strap does.
 

RonLiv

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Well it did it again. Died right in my back yard this time. Hooked up an extra plug wire with a plug and no spark. Only does it when it is hot. This time I ground off the orange coating on one side of the box and used a braided ground strap. Drove it for about 30 min and no problem. Stopped and let it cool then started it up a few times and no problem so far. Last time all I used was some star washers that dug into the orange box. We will see what the dedicated ground strap does.
I'm no expert, but the braided grounding strap seems like a lot
 

Russ69Runner

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Yes I also put a braded ground strap to my CEU box plus one from the motor to a bolt under my batterie box. Cleaned off the paint on the bolt on the ECU box. Think that is a good thing to do for a good ground. When restoring we paint every thing so well that a ground is hard to achieve sometimes.
 

Terry Hauck

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Will you guys please send me pictures of your orange box wiring. You see the relay to the right of the orange box? I'd like to see what the wiring looks like without it. Thanks.
 
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