View Full Version : Not starting

07-18-2015, 05:15 PM
My 64 ranchero v8 has been hard to start lately and today it just won't start up.

I have fuel, engine turns over fine but I have no spark.

Accel street billet dizzy.
Accel super street coil.


07-19-2015, 05:31 PM
I can't believe that no one has an answer for a cranking but no spark issue on a 64 falcon ranchero v8 issue. I would randomly guess an ignition switch issue but could be distributor (which is accel street billet) or coil, This is a daily driver and I need some expertise from some experts.

Where do I start?

07-19-2015, 07:13 PM
Hello, TJ.

I am by no means an expert, but have you taken off the distributor cap and looked inside? There is a carbon button on the inside of the cap that the rotor touches. That button can wear down or even fall out. If the button is not there the car will not start or run.

Also check that the central wire to the cap is plugged in tight at both the cap and coil.

Thanks, Dennis.

Jeff W
07-19-2015, 08:28 PM
Dennis is right. The first thing to do is I good visual test. If all looks good I would get out your manual and go to the Ignition System Trouble Diagnosis and Testing section. Those ford guys (or Chilton) have it all down in more detail than we c an type in a post.

If still stuck, the information the book testing will help narrow things down and the group can offer suggestions on specifics.

Is an Accel street dizzy a solid state unit or still use points?

We want to help, just need more to go on (at least I do).

Jeff W
07-19-2015, 09:03 PM
Found that the Accel unit is solid state.


This link has troubleshooting in the lower right of the page. Start there and let us know your results.

Main thing is to check your voltage where they tell you. I remember you were having ignition switch problems last year... May be related.

07-20-2015, 09:04 AM
Here is the latest and greatest-

Yes, I did have an ignition switch problem last year and solved it with help from you guys; I really appreciated it too! Thank you again.

It was running just great on Friday and it just would not start again on Saturday morning so, I checked fuel which I had plenty of, did a visual of everything and all seemed just fine. I used a test light on Saturday and verified by putting clip end(ground) to a good ground on the chassis and put point on positive side of battery to be sure the light was working. (all was good)

I knew I had power to the starter etc because the car turn over fine, dash lights and gauges all worked with key on. With key on I checked the coil with tester, clip grounded- point to positive no light and the same with negative side, same result. I kind of concluded it may be the switch since I had no power when the switch was in the on (run) position.

The only thing I did as a last thing on Saturday was jiggle the ignition switch around a bit with the key in and just closed it up a bit frustrated and just left it, never tried to start it again. Well this morning I went out and checked all again and low and behold when I checked the coil again I had a light on both sides with test light! I was shocked and almost afraid to try to start it. I did the usual one pump on the gas and turned the ignition and it started right up!!!!

So am I on the right trail- probably ignition switch, harness or connection at the same place? (I'm guessing I should have replaced it last year)

Jeff W
07-20-2015, 09:38 AM
One other place to look (if the system hasn't been modified too much) is the firewall connector. There are two square connectors next to the Brake Master Cylinder. In a stock set-up, the power from your ignition switch gets to the coil through one of these connectors. Maybe you want to unplug yours, squirt some electrical contact cleaner in there and a small dollop dielectric grease on each terminal.

Intermittent electrical issues are hard to find.

07-20-2015, 11:27 AM
Intermittent wires in wrapped harnesses are rare. Most issues in an ignition circuit are often at the switches, since they are always in motion or ignition components.

The key ignition switch actually has two contact points with key-ON; for accessories inside the car; and one to feed the PINK resistor wire to the + side of the coil. You generally are not supposed to add anything else to that tap of the switch connector, but memory says it's connected to the charging light too. It is generally not the feed of other normal 12 volt key-ON things. You have to check at the switch. It is possible to have 12 volts powering other things, but not the PINK resistor wire. The switch side of that PINK wire is 12 volts and the coil side (actually terminates at the firewall connector and then goes into the red w/green stripe wire) will be about 9 volts - give or take.

You also have start and run circuits - each fed differently. Because you have a no start condition when cranking over the engine this source for the +12v on the coil is from the starter solenoid. When cranking you get a full 12 volts from there (the "I" terminal) to feed the coil to start for a hot spark. When the engine fires you release the key to the run position and the coil now gets the lower voltage from the PINK wire. It's not uncommon to have an engine catch, then fail to run when you release the key. This is usually a PINK wire failure. When neither the crank or run position will cause a start condition it's usually a component like a coil or ignition module.

You gotta get good with a volt meter and know where to poke it. ;)

07-20-2015, 05:01 PM
I knew you guys would have some answers, I've ordered a new switch and harness connection and will begin the process tomorrow to check out the possible causes from all your input. If I'm going to be into the dash etc may as well put in a few new items that I should have done before.

You guys came through again, Ill let you know what I find.

thanks again,


Jeff W
07-20-2015, 07:53 PM
Keep in mind, from what I have read, your Accel Street Billet Distributor needs a full 12 volts so you need to bypass that PINK resistor wire if you replace any wiring.

I don't know if your coil needs full 12 or needs it dropped through the PINK resistor wire. You should look up the specifications of your exact model number.

07-21-2015, 10:27 AM
Keep in mind, from what I have read, your Accel Street Billet Distributor needs a full 12 volts so you need to bypass that PINK resistor wire if you replace any wiring.

I don't know if your coil needs full 12 or needs it dropped through the PINK resistor wire. You should look up the specifications of your exact model number.

What he said... [thumb]

Most new ignitions can handle full 12 volts and may perform less than gooder with the resistor feed of the PINK wire. Just unplug the PINK wire at the plug near the IGN switch and plug a wire into it and run it directly to the coil + terminal. You can leave the PINK wire there in the harness, doing nothing. Wrap the connector you unplugged in heat-shrink to make sure it doesn't short under the dash. It will be at potential.

So now when you crank you have 12 volts to the coil from the "I" terminal of the starter solenoid and 12 volts to the coil in the RUN position.

07-22-2015, 03:03 PM
Thank you for the new additional info, I will work on that tomorrow. The Accel distributor does not require a resistor so I will check that out. Does require a 8145 breakerless coil which it has.

Today new switch, ring, spacer and harness came so I pulled the old ignition switch out. Odd thing, the old switch had the harness with three connection points under the harness plus a connection to the center nut which is all fine. The new switch is the same as old one except it has a 4th connection point out side the harness on the switch but the old one only has a hole there. I can see into the hole and as you turn the key a copper contact moves at the bottom of the hole.

I assume that the old one probably had a connect also but was removed or broken off!? What would that be for?

07-22-2015, 03:21 PM
Older switches didn't have that terminal - newer [replacement] switches do. I'm drawing a blank on what I concluded from it, it's been a while. Something up there between my ears says 'ground' but I'd have to check again to be sure. If this terminal is not common with any of the others, then maybe that was it. Would need to hook it to a volt/ohm meter again to refresh the memory.

Bottom-line is your car does not use it and you can ignore it.

07-24-2015, 07:55 AM
Installed the new parts yesterday and the car is up and running again. Thanks for the info about the extra connection on the switch.

In the process I found the pink wire that is connected to a red wire from the ignition but it also has a black wire attached to it? I'll need to do a little more research on where that wire goes and check voltage to the coil to see what it is now.

Just in case the problem turns out to be some crazy connection problem and the car doesn't start again. Since it cranks but didn't start could I run a jump from the battery positive to the coil positive running power and use the ignition switch start to get the car going again? I'd hate to get stuck somewhere!

I'll keep you all posted on continued progress but as of yesterday it starts and runs just fine.

thank you all so much,

Jeff W
07-24-2015, 01:21 PM
The 12 Volt jumper to your coil will power your coil no problem and is all you would need for a stock distributor set-up and a coil that can handle the full 12 Volts.

If I understand your Accel Street Distributor correctly, I think you would also need a second jumper to the positive terminal on your Accel Distributor to power the trigger mechanism.

With both items jumpered to your + battery terminal, it should get you home. Of course you will need to unhook the jumper wires to get your engine to stop running as your key switch is only used to turn the starter motor at that point.

That is all assuming the intermittent problem isn't in your coil or distributor.

07-27-2015, 07:34 AM
Well it seems all my issues turn into really puzzling projects-

Car has been starting and running just fine, went out Sunday morning and it started and ran fine. Parked it for about 4 hours and it would not start.

It has power to both sides of coil fine and cranked fine just as before it had no spark and would not start?!:(

I let it sit for about an hour and tried again- it coughed once and started and ran just fine?1:confused:

This is just driving me crazy

07-27-2015, 08:49 AM
You may have a coil going intermittent. Here's a very good page explaining some diagnostics you can run - and will save all a lot of typing the same thing.



07-30-2015, 09:42 AM
I thought I would fill you guys in on the latest-
I have checked all of the components with every test I can find and nothing is out of the ordinary. Also the car has been starting flawlessly since Sunday afternoon and I must have tried to get it not to about 20 times!

The problem is like waiting for a book to fall from the shelf, I know I've done nothing to fix the problem it just went away for now!:NERVOUS:

thanks again we'll see how it goes,

07-30-2015, 10:46 AM
Ahh... the joys of intermittent failure. Why couldn't it just break completely and get it over with!


08-04-2015, 08:21 AM
Had a no start on Monday but it did start about 30 minutes later. I going to just start a long process of elimination since nothing is showing up. I'm going to redo all connections on starting side- solder and shrink. If nothing else it will be therapeutic!

08-11-2015, 09:15 AM
After checking connections under the dash, it appears that the previous owner had left the pink wire tucked away and still connected. Rewired and have better voltage to the coil now. Car has been starting regularly and for some reason seems to run and sound better?! Tach is now steadier now also.
Go figure!

thanks for all your help,