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Old 08-05-2009, 09:56 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: Ford B700
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Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

I have a 1989 Ford Carpenter B700 Bus. It has a Ford 370 Gas engine that has ran great and I have put about 10k miles on it in the last 12 months. On my last two trips I have been having a bit of a problem with the engine. It runs great until I am about 1/2 hour to an hour on the road and going about 60 mph + and need to let of the gas either coming off a hill or needing to slow down and it starts to back fire and spudder so bad that it will kill the engine and I need to put it in nuatral possition and re-start the engine and it starts right up and goes. This is getting frustrating. Some one told me they think it might be the vaccum advance on the ditributor or the wires in there. I have checked everything else and think it might be just that. Any ideas??? Never had an engine do this at that speed or to that extreme that it kills the engine. Any help and ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Jeb
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:57 PM   #2
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

Timing certainly could be suspect given the symptoms and unfortunately it's going to be hard to check going down the road. To be backfiring like that though the timing would must likely be staying too far advanced which isn't very likely. Generally they fail to base timing. What kind of shape is your carb in? Is it dying because of load or because of the hill itself? By that I mean that the fuel moves in the bowls on a hill. This can cause it to flood as the float keeps the needle open. Likewise, the fuel can slosh such that the bowls are nearly empty, but the float keeps the needle closed. Ask anyone that fourwheels. People run fuel injection for a reason.

Check the basics. Make sure your base timing is good as is the rest of the ignition system. Make sure the vacuum hoses are correct. Try loading the engine up (stalling the converter i.e. doing a brake lock for a short period of time like 20 seconds is a good way). Try going up hills, down hills, etc. See if you can narrow down the conditions a little more as that will help with the armchair diagnosis.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:26 AM   #3
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

how long has it been since the fuel filter has been changed, they used tu be in a can on the fuel pump, lower front left of the engine, also check the flexable fuel lines for cracks, next look at the distributor internals, hook up an ohm meter to the trigger/pickup coil in the distributor, use a hair dryer/heat gun to warm the electrinics up and then amve the wires going to the trigger, it's not uncommon for the combination of age heat and the movement of the vacuum advance to cause an intermittant electrical failure/open.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:36 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Year: 1989
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Engine: Ford 370
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

Thanks for the idea's. To answer a few a the questions now. I dont think any black smoke is coming out the exhaust when this happens. I rebuilt the carb less than a year ago. It doesnt happen when im going up a hill or when I am pulling a big load. I have pulled my big boat up the hills of TN and had no problems. It is when I get on the highway and get going faster than I care too and let off the gas. It acts like its flooding it self out, but if thats the case, why can I start it right back up while coasting down the road. Any thoughts about the distributor and its vaccum advance? Keep the ideas coming. I appreciate them. Thanks.

Jeb

I've attached a couple pictures of the inside if the distributor if that helps. Thanks
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

Paul,
That is what I have been thinking about the distributor. I dont understand what you are saying about checking the advance, but I think that is what needs to be done. Can you tell me step by step what I need to do to check that. I also need to change the fuel filter as well. Thanks
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

the vacuum advance, external canister with a diaphram in it moves the plate that the blue pickup coil sits on, when the throttle position changes, the vacuum changes and moves the advance plate, when this happens the wire to the pickup flexes and with time the wire fails internally usually right where it goes into the coil. remove the lower plastic dist cap housing, disconnect the pickup wires at the harness plug, install your ohm meter on the wires and check for continuity/resistance, with the meter still connected, move the advance plate either by applying a vacuum to the advance cannister or by pulling the linkage forward while watching the meter for a loss of continuity, also move and tug on the wire at the pickup, next heat the coil up with a heatgun and repeat/continue testing for continuity.

your looking for an electrical problem that is caused by the vacuum actuated movement of the advance plate not a vacuum problem
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

OK. I put a new distibutor and fuel filter on and the engine runs great. So I took it out on the highway today and ran it for about 1/2 hr and let the engine get nice and warm. Went to try to pass a couple semi's and was going about 60mph. I had to let off the gas to get in other lane and it did it again, backfired and shut down. I turned egnition off and put in nuetral and started it up and took off. I am very confused. I just dont understand what it could be. Coil? If so why will it start right back up. Carb? Again why start right back up. Trying to leave tomarrow for trip. Would like to get this figured out. Any other ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:11 PM   #8
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

Stupid question but could the choke be sticking?
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:27 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Year: 1989
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Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: Ford 370
Rated Cap: 65
Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

I tried the gas cap trick. No luck. I dont think the choke is sticking because it is a manual choke.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: Help with my Ford 370 Gas Engine

it still sounds like an electrical open or resisance problem when everything is warmed up good, start checking all of the electrical connections, unplug and replug after lookink for corrosion, look real close at the ground wires, battery cables and all of the little braided grounds between the body,frame and engine, also check the electronic module on the left fender for grounds and continuity, use a heatgun/hair drier on the components to simulate being warmed up
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