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Old 07-07-2009, 02:39 PM   #1
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Engin sizeing and stalling problem

I have a 1983 Thomas shoty, with an Intrenational engin. How do I go about finding out what size engin this is? It is built like a Ford with the distrubitor in the front.
Took it out for the first time on the fourth of July and it ran great to the camp ground but on the way back it started jerking and stalled. Lifted the hood and found I had an oil leak and oil had blown every where but oil level was ok. Checked for fuel, was getting plenty so checked for spark, none. Replaced the coil and it started right up, but half mile later was stuck in the midle of the highway. I fooled with the coil again and it ran another half mile and died at an intersection. Found oil all over the coil thouhgt it might be shorting out so cleaned it and it ran again but got caught at the light, bus died on the other side of the intersection, by this time the cops where there and we gave up and got it towed to the house. It would be about the same amount of time between starting, almost like something was cooling down then getting hot and killing the engin. Water level was fine and temp.
When I took the old coil in the guy laughed at me when I said International and told me good luck finding parts. Not knowing what size engin he kind of just matched a coil up and said it SHOULD work. Was thinking that might be a problem but don't know a thing about coils.
Any sugestons or answers would be greatly accepted!
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:36 PM   #2
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

Just a guess here, but. I will assume the distributor has points (is not an electronic ignition) If so, look around the coil somewhere (maybe even on the firewall) for a ballast resistor. (most look like a 1/2"x2 1/2" white block w/1 wire in and 1 out) If it has one, they are cheap to replace. And any 12V coil that fits should work.
Aside from writing down the numbers on the block and maybe a picture or two, taken to a IH dealer, Don't know that much about the cornbinders.
Was the coil really hot to the touch?
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:25 PM   #3
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

I've got a 1982 Thomas 65 pax cornbinder. It has an IH v-345 gas v-8 that matches your description. Mine, however, has an electronic ignition - not points & condenser. I have no records from it's past to know if it's the original distributor or not, but I have no reason to believe it isn't the original, and no "extra" holes in the firewall where a ballast resistor may have been mounted previously.

My starting battery is factory mounted on the upper right hand (passenger) side of the fire wall. On the side of the battery shelf, facing outboard, is a sticker that shows the vacuum hose routing. At the bottom of the sticker it states what engine it is. I'll try to post a picture of it when I get a chance.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:18 PM   #4
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

Thanks you guys for the help ! Giff that info was right in front of my face, my engin is a 345 too. Smitty all of the parts you mentioned were brand new but will check them anyway. Papabear the only thing that remotely looks like what you discribed is a small metal box on the firewall. To follow the wireing it should be from the distributor to he pos side of the coil out on neg side and then up to ballas correct? I'll have to cut into my wire harnes to follow it, to see if the wiire goes to that box.
Again thank for the help, if I haven't mentioned it I'm a new bee, to the sight and the bus. I'll be trying to get some pictures up soon.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:20 PM   #5
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

And Papabear the coil was pretty hot I couldn't hold it in my hand.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:49 PM   #6
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

The ballast resistor could, in theory, be on coil negative, but that will make it a bear to start that thing. You should have switched power from the ignition switch to the ballast resistor which then goes to coil +. There should also be a wire from a terminal on the starter solenoid, usually labeled "I" or "R" that will go up to the coil +. This way when you are cranking the coil sees the full 12 volts to get a nice, hot spark to touch off the fat mixture. Once the engine is running and the starter is de-energized you will fall back to the resisted ~8 volts to keep the secondary ignition happy.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:38 PM   #7
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

Thank's Exp_03 ! So your telling me there should be a total of three wires on the pos+ side of the coil. I only have one coming up from some where to the neg- then one off the pos+ to the distrubitor. It ran great on a fifteen mile run then two days later on the return trip about ten then all hell broak loose. I still haven't found the ballast on my bus yet, but will be hitting it hard in the morning.
Thanks again,
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:03 AM   #8
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

Nope, there should only be 2 wires to the positive post on the coil, one from the resistor and one from the starter. There should then be a wire from the coil negative post which goes into the distributer and breaker points inside. With the points closed you are in dwell allowing current to flow through the primary windings of the coil thus building up a magnetic field. When the cam on the distributer shaft comes around and opens the points the path to ground on coil primary is opened. This causes the current (and voltage) to drop to zero which collapses the magnetic field, thus inducing high voltage in the secondary windings which travels out through the coil wire to the cap, rotor, out of the cap again, down the spark plug wire, and to the plug where it makes a boom happen.

But...all that really doesn't matter if you have an electronic ignition. Have you taken the cap off yet to see if there are breaker points or a pickup coil yet? I thought most binders of that era used the Holley "gold box" external ignition module (i.e. electronic, no points) though I do know they still had points in some of them, especially if the distributer has been swapped.

*edit* Your parts guy sucks. Find a new one. Coils are pretty damn generic. Your coil is the round canister type, correct? If that's the case then the oil you saw very well could have been coming from inside it. That's what happens when they get too hot and that's why you run a ballast resistor. However, excessive spark plug gap, poor contacts in the cap and on the rotor, a lean mixture, and bad secondary wires will all contribute to the need for an excessively strong spark. You often need more spark energy cruising down the highway than accelerating because of the mixture, actually. Anyway, if something else is bad it will require higher spark energy, thus overtaxing the coil.

*edit again* One other thought. I know you're looking for a big ceramic ballast resistor, but it's perfectly likely that you have a resistor wire which will be far, far less obvious. Check and see what the voltage is at the coil + terminal with the key on and then with the engine cranking. Also, you might not have two wires going to the coil + terminal if you do in fact have a ballast resistor. Some of these were engineered to have nearly zero resistance while cold, but would heat up (hot!) after running for a bit which made them more and more resistive until you got to the 7-9 volts you needed. I really wish I was more familiar with Binder ignitions. I've seen all the types out there...I just don't know exactly what type you have.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:07 AM   #9
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

I can't tell if you are saying you have three wires on the + side. But the third one would be for the Tachometer if your bus has one. If not it is a nice thing to have and that is where you connect it.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Re: Engin sizeing and stalling problem

Tach would go on coil negative. Coil positive is going to have voltage all the time. The tach needs the pulsating signal from the points or coil negative to work.
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