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1967 Ford Mustang Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This forum and the topics have been incredibly helpful as a lurker over the past few years. I've run into a problem that I have been unable to remedy after reading the prior posts/threads on similar issues.

Background - car was running reasonably well but then sat for about a year with only intermittent driving (between 25-50 miles a year, would start the car every two to three weeks). When I would drive it the engine would get hotter than its run in the past. I replaced the radiator, water pump, thermostat (180 degrees), and timing chain. After that work was done the car appeared to run fine but would still get a little hot.

For whatever reason I decided to pull the heads and intake manifold. There was a fair amount of corrosion in the intake manifold. I didn't perform an incredibly detailed inspection of the heads but there wasn't much, if any, corrosion in the coolant passages. Replaced the head gaskets and reinstalled everything. Tightened the vales following the firing order, etc.

Problem now is that the car won't start. It turns over. I've pulled the distributor and set it at TDC. Spark plugs are getting a spark. The car cranks but won't fire. It half started for a second. There was a backfire at one point but nothing to keep it actually running.

I pulled the distributor cap and moved the engine to TDC. The distributor cap rotor was 180 degrees from pointing at the number 1 cylinder, which I thought was odd given that I had set the timing previously. So I pulled the distributor out again, confirmed it was TDC on the compression stroke for cylinder number 1, and reinstalled. The car will still not start despite turning over with a spark going to the wires. I've confirmed the coil is getting power.

I'm out of ideas at this point. In a prior life I was very familiar with working on the 289s but it has been about 10 years since I've done anything significant so it is entirely possible I've made a mistake or overlooked a simple step in this process.

Any comments/troubleshooting/suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

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07 Mustang GT
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Make sure you have power to the coil+ terminal while cranking. If the distributor is in correctly with the correct firing order and dwell (point gap), all that is probably required is to advance the timing a little to get it going and then retime.
 

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1967 Ford Mustang Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Make sure you have power to the coil+ terminal while cranking. If the distributor is in correctly with the correct firing order and dwell (point gap), all that is probably required is to advance the timing a little to get it going and then retime.
I turned the key to the on position and used a test light to confirm there was power to the + coil. I make sure the wires are on tight. I will turn the distributor to see if I can get it to fire. The points were replaced a number of years ago with an electronic set that dont believe have given me any problems in the past.
 

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The electronic ignitor may be the problem. Did you check to see if you are getting actual spark at the plugs?
 

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1967 Ford Mustang Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I wasn't able to get it started after adjusting the timing. I hooked up a timing light to the plug wire and it flashed. I suppose I should actually pull the plug to see if it is sparking.

So it fired up this afternoon. I am not sure what, if anything, was done between last night and today. I aligned the distributor with the marks that I made before it was pulled while doing the heads and tightened everything down. There is some valve noise so I will need to readjusted but otherwise it seems ok. Started twice. I really have no idea.

I appreciate the various thoughts/input and will continue to participate in this forum as I am sure to run into future troubles with the car.
 

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07 Mustang GT
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It's hard to diagnose your issue over the interwebs. Are the valves adjusted right, check for compression at cylinders? If you operate the throttle do you see 2 solid streams of fuel spraying? If you have continuous flashing of the timing light when cranking I'm going to assume your ignition is working.

I don't usually recommend this but I would spray some starting fluid down the carb while cranking to see if it will do anything.
 

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Glad you got it going, I had a "similar" problem on my 66' 289 when I first got it all together, I couldn't get it to start, it would try but never run. One of my dad's old buddies told me, sounds like you got the distributor 180 degrees out of sync, so we had to pull it, hold the rotor stationary and spin the base, and reinstall. Hadn't heard that before. This guy knew it by ear!
 

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A word about adjusting lifters. The book says to tighten the rocker nut until resistance is felt while twisting the push rod. This is only for new parts. Replace with this: tighten rocker nut until no vertical slop. Then the half to 3/4 extra turn. The first way may cause you to have open valves.
 
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