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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well for some reason my car started backfiring today. I went and got the carb looked at, and the fuel/air mixture was good and all, but the guy looked at my distributor too, and said my points weren't looking so hot. Sounds electrical to me (in my limited knowledge), although I haven't done anything electrically on the car in a while.

I've been thinking of upgrading to a Pertronix Ignitor III and Flame-Thrower III, and it looks like that upgrade might come sooner than I thought! Anyway, I wanted to hear people's thoughts on the upgrade. Has anyone done the III specifically?

I'm looking at these, and just want to make sure those are the exact right parts I need for my car before buying:

Pertronix 71281 Pertronix Ignitor III Kits

Pertronix 44001 Pertronix Flame-Thrower III Coils

Thanks in advance!
 

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cuudyk and I were just kicking this around the other day in this thread...

http://www.allfordmustangs.com/forums/classic-tech/225961-anyone-try-pertronix-iii-yet.html

After hearing how much better his car is running now I went ahead and bought the full Ignitor III Distributor setup and am waiting for it to arrive like a kid waiting to open up his Christmas presents. :grinroll:

Looking at the link for the kit you posted that looks to be the correct one for your application. As for the Flame-Thrower III Coil, you don't have to use that specific coil if you don't want. Any coil with the same amount of voltage (45,000) will work just as well. I picked up a sweet chrome Accel one at the local autoparts store for about $10 less and it works great. It's up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah yes, I did see that thread. Good to hear it's working well! I haven't thought about going with a whole new distributor, but that sounds like a nice setup. You'll have to let me know how it does once installed.

Well I think I'm going to order the Ignitor III and coil tonight. I just wanted to make sure those were the right ones. Can't wait for some new toys :)

And hopefully it solves the backfiring problem, otherwise I have to figure out which part of my 40-year-old wiring is going out!
 

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In my humble opinion I would believe that the new Ignitor Kit would probably solve the backfiring issue. You might double check your spark plugs as well to make sure they're still in good shape.
 

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Going to the Pertronix setup is a great upgrade. But why spend the extra money on the Pertronix Ignitor III and Flame-Thrower III, when the Pertronix Ignitor II kit does what you'll need & is cheaper.

I run the Pertronix Ignitor II and Flame-Thrower in my 289...
 

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Going to the Pertronix setup is a great upgrade. But why spend the extra money on the Pertronix Ignitor III and Flame-Thrower III, when the Pertronix Ignitor II kit does what you'll need & is cheaper.

I run the Pertronix Ignitor II and Flame-Thrower in my 289...
I completely hear ya on that 1966er. The thing I liked about the Ignitor III distributor setup was that it has a rev limiter built in so just in case I want to use that later on down the road it's there.

I suppose I see your point though if you're just going with the Ignitor Kit that goes into your stock distributor.
 

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mine did the same and would shoot fire from the carb and it was the distributer shaft. it was changing the gap on its own because the stock uses bushings and they wear out, the aftermarket like mallory unilite use ball bearings so they can handle way more rpm's and alot more life, also my mallory made every thing better. the startup change was crazy, i could start in cold weather with no choke by just 2 pumps and turn the key.
 

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1968 289 Backfiring, want to get Pertronix

Hello macgeek,
I wish I saw this thread sooner.

You MAY be on the right track with the dizzy - - BUT

I would have like to investigate a little more before pulling things.

What type of back-fire? Thru the carb out the exhaust?
When does it happen?

Did anyone put a dwell meter on the car? Does the distributor shaft have any play?

You could be 100% correct in changing things - - but I sure would like to feel more certain.
As you know - - back-fire can be caused by a number of things including
1. - Bad plug
2. - Bad wire - crossed wires
3. - Even old fuel
4. - Carb adjustment (too lean for example)
5. - Sticky valve

I don't want to discourage you from an upgrade but I don't like to spend money
unless I am pretty certain it will help.
In this case - -it may cure the problem - -but it may not.

Just my 2 cents - - Print Dad
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone. I put in new points today (my grandpa had given me an extra points set) while waiting for the Pertronix parts to see if that would fix the issue. After a little test run around town, I didn't have any backfiring, and the engine didn't feel like it was going to cut out when accelerating. However, at one point my car did die when I came to a stop sign, which sounded more like a fuel issue (maybe fuel pump?), but that belongs in another thread.

Print Dad, thanks for your input. It was backfiring out the exhaust, with a nice loud report. It happened I think 4 times total on Wednesday, each time I was just cruising, doing at least 35.

I haven't used a dwell meter on it yet, but I could give that a try. I'll also check the distributor shaft to see if it's loose at all, although I didn't notice any play when I replaced the points.

As for the cause...
- I replaced my plugs back in November.
- The wires looked good too, and I checked the order when I did the plugs.
- The fuel is good, since I've been driving the car around regularly.
- I had the carb checked the same day after it backfired, and the guy at the shop said my mixture was good and the carb sounded good.
- Could be a valve. I know the engine was rebuilt before the previous owner, but other than that I don't know about the inner condition of the engine.

I was planning on upgrading to Pertronix anyway, so I won't count it as a loss if the problem reoccurs.

Since it seems to be electrical, based on what I was told and the symptoms, I also cleaned up my wiring a bit under the dash (I did a bit of a shoddy job with my aftermarket gauge wiring...) to make sure that wouldn't cause it. It is possible that something did short out down there that day.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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1968 289 Backfiring, want to get Pertronix

Hello macgeek,
Sounds like you have a handle on things pretty well.

I would suggest a few things still (me and my big mouth:rollgrin:)

1. - It is most likely not a fuel pump. MOST of the time, they work or don't.
I know there are times when the diaphragm will leak but not too often.
Before changing I would do a test on the pump.

2. - When I have a crazy stall situation like yours, I would try the simple stuff like adding fresh fuel (high test) and see if it improves.
Todays fuel is not great. Perhaps a touch of bad gas. I would try a fill up and see if things get better.

If it still happens, I would next change the fuel filter and perhaps check the bowl heights. I like to do the easy, inexpensive stuff first. Wouldn't hurt to add a can of "dry gas" as well.

Keep us posted - - P Dad
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well you learn something new every day. After my car had trouble starting today, and sounded like it was cutting out again, I decided to check the dwell on my points. This is the first time I've done points, and I knew nothing about the dwell angle, so I had just put them in, only making sure they opened and closed right. Well my dwell was about 10º too high, so I fixed that, and then checked my timing, and discovered it was off as well. I suspect my timing was off all this time, since I've only ever checked it once and didn't do a terribly thorough job. After that little tune-up she's doing better than ever :) I can't wait to get the electronic ignition in and see how that improves things even more.

Thanks again, Print Dad and everyone else!
 

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1968 289 Backfiring, want to get Pertronix

Hello macgeek,
GREAT news. Good to hear.
Seems like your grandpa knew a few tricks with the extra points.

These old girls are not all that complicated and require a little tender loving
sometimes.

It is great to see people learn more and more about their cars.
Setting the timing and points gets easier and easier with time.
Once set correctly, they should be good for a long time.

I bet you find the car is a little peppier and gets better mileage if you don't push it too hard.

Thanks for taking the time to write. Keep us up to date.

Print Dad
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I've got the Pertronix setup installed now. I had to readjust the timing after installing it. I'm not sure how I did it before, but it took a heck of a lot of brake cleaner and wrestling with the darn distributor to adjust it this time!

I finally got the initial timing back to 6º BTC per the spec in my shop manual, but, with the timing light hooked up and the vacuum advance hose plugged, when I revved up the engine, it started backfiring again! Also, when idling, it seems to have a slight sporadic shudder. Has anyone had to change their timing after installing a Pertronix kit?

I'm going to take it out for a test drive and see how it handles without the timing setup. I admit, though, I don't know how to tweak the timing to get it just right :( Any tips?

Thanks a million, everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I may have spoken too soon. The test drive was a complete success, no backfiring, and a definite improvement on response from what I've been getting since I started driving her :)

I'm going to go ahead and discount the backfiring as a byproduct of having the vacuum advance host plugged for the timing check, since I don't know what else would've caused it >_>

Thanks again!
 

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.....I admit, though, I don't know how to tweak the timing to get it just right :( Any tips?.......
Yes, you should check your timing after installing a pertronix.

If you do not know how to tweak it, how did you set it in the first place?

Also, I do not understand the 6 deg business. I do not have a manual for your year but my '65 289 2v calls for 8 degrees with an automatic. I run a pertronix and I just set mine for 10 degrees. You should try it. The key to success is that it does not ping. You will feel a signicant difference in performance between 6 and 10 degrees. You may have to adjust your idle down, as well.

Also, if your distributor was that hard to turn, you should remove it and clean up all the surfaces, including the block bore, possibly replace the oring and lube it up with anti-seize when reinstalling. Once you loosen the clamp, that distrib should rotate easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, I just meant that I don't know how to get it to an ideal setting. I was able to get it back to 6º BTC like I said, but I don't know if that's ideal or not. I could try it elsewhere between 6 and 10, but how do I know if it's any better? I never noticed a ping, even when it was off before.

I'm a little wary of pulling things out of my engine at this point, since it is my daily driver, but cleaning up the distributor will definitely be on my list.

And yes, I did bypass the pink wire from the ignition switch to run the coil and Ignitor.
 

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Oh, I just meant that I don't know how to get it to an ideal setting. I was able to get it back to 6º BTC like I said, but I don't know if that's ideal or not. I could try it elsewhere between 6 and 10, but how do I know if it's any better? I never noticed a ping, even when it was off before.......
Set it at 10 degrees. You WILL notice a difference in bottom end performance between 6 and ten. You will also get a little better milage and the engine will run a little cooler, especially if your cooling system is marginal on hot days.
 
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