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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I searched around on the site and have not been able to find any threads that pertain to my problem. I recently purchased my first two broncos, both '78s with 351s. I'm planning to combine them into one really solid Bronco when all said and done. Now, I bought one with a "blown motor" (but supposedly good transmission) and the other in good running order.

The one with a "blown" motor looks like an idiot had been working on the engine for some time. Most of the vacuum lines had been disconnected, some had been cut in half and both parts plugged with screws. A good portion of the vehicle's electrical system was disconnected as well.

Right after we purchased it and trailered it home, we decided to go ahead and try to fire it up. It turned over fine, everything sounded alright. We poured a bit of gas into the carbeurator and the engine came right to life :rockon but it turns out that when you put it into gear (automatic) nothing happens, the engine idles exactly the same, and you never hear it 'clunk' into gear. When you press on the gas pedal, the higher the engine revs, the more the bronco rolls (its on a slight hill).:duh . I have checked the linkage cables and everything appears to be connected, but I need to do more looking. If you have any ideas let me know, but this isn't the real problem.

Here's the real problem. The engine started up great on that first day, revved fine, idled fine, sounded strong and peppy, didn't blow any oil. It will not start anymore. It turns over, nothing sounds wrong, but it will not fire up. Since that time, I have replaced the following parts: ignition control module (the old one had mostly melted down), distributor pickup (old one's wires were practically falling apart), but in the process of replacing the pickup I kinda broke some stuff in the distributor, so I went ahead and replaced the whole distributor. I also parked the other bronco (that runs fine) beside it and repaired the vacuum system as much as possible to how the other one is -- there are still a few plugged lines, but there aren't any that are just sitting wide open anymore.

Now it still will not start. It wasn't firing at all and I thought it was a timing issue, and then (with me doing nothing), it started firing intermittently but not enough to start. Then, once, it fired right up again and ran fine (burned a bit of oil though). Since then, it occasionally fires but won't start.

I have tried replacing the rotor, coil (put in a 42000v accel coil). I also swapped the dist. cap off of the other bronco and still no luck.

Parts I have tried off the non-working bronco onto the working one: rotor, dist. cap, coil, ignition module. All of them worked fine on the working bronco.

I'm :banghead getting very annoyed and rather confused. If anyone has any ideas please let me know what else I can try. The next thing I was going to do was re-gap all my plugs and see if that helps, but I don't know why it would start occasionally with bad plugs? I'm going to test the resistance on the plug wires too, but I'm confused in the same way. There may be some vacuum leaks still, but it fired up in its current configuration so.. ? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Sorry if I rambled a bit.
 

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machine gun preacher
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welcome to fsb!

are you sure you are getting spark to all 8 cyl? Verify that. From there, its your fuel delivery.

sounds like you've put a lot of parts into the old girl! hopefully you'll be able to enjoy it shortly.
 

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for the cheap to get the engine running you can get a dizzy which uses points and a coil from a 68 -70 ish VW. wire 12 vdc to the + side of the coil, and the points to the negitive.

if you have gas going in the carb. it will run.
 

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www.lifted4christclub.com
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how much oil did it have in it when you started it? i had this happen to my 302 in my 86, war running fine, started it up to get some running time on it before i had a chance to replace tranny, was running fine, idleing fine, gave it gas and it just shut off. oil pump went out and ruined engine. i would check everything else electical, and try to turn engine over by hand, if you can't turn it over odds are something happened in the oil delivery. i hope that is not the case, good luck and feel free to post up as many questions as you have on here, there are great guys on here with plenty of knowledge.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
When we picked the bronco up, the oil level was in an acceptable range (on flat ground), though I am not sure the exact amount. Right now there's no way to really tell since its on a hill. I'll check and see if all cylinders are getting spark. Thanks for the help, hopefully I'll have good news soon!

big_ol_bronco86 -- The engine turns over, with a 2' breaker bar and a socket I'm able to rotate the engine fairly easily.

secondechomatt -- The other Bronco is running so I do have something to play with :D I bought the non-running one because the frame and some other parts are in really great shape fully expecting the thing to not run... so if I can get this thing running I really get a bonus :)
 

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www.lifted4christclub.com
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if you can't get it to turn over by hand, i would just keep your eyes out for a 460 and drop that in and make that a two rig/tow and keep the other to drive daily more.
 

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why are you spending so much time and getting annoyed if you knew it was blow and werent using it? But anyway, my guess is bad ign switch or power or ground to Ign control box. wire it (the ign box) direct and try starting it.
 

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www.lifted4christclub.com
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i know it must be annoing to have it running and then nothing, hope you can find the problem out
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bob_G -- I am just frustrated/annoyed/confused WHY it seems to run intermittently -- teasing me that the engine may be okay after all. I'm excited that it may end up being an OK motor. I'll try wiring the ignition module directly, thanks for the suggestion.

Big_ol_bronco86 --I haven't quite figured out what to do with the 2nd Bronco when all said and done. Maybe sell/trade it for a 70s F250 to have a bigger truck around for towing.
 

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good deal, hope it works out. you pretty much proved its not the ign parts, so far.
 

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www.lifted4christclub.com
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i think you could turn that into a cheap tow rig, but also you can get good money for jsut the parts if it's in good shape.
 

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Check the neutral switch from the tranny.This can cause some real problems if its not plugged in or in the proper position when you try to start it. good luck and welcome to fsb:beer
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for your help. It ended up being two things -- 1: 12v switched source for the ign control module was bad, so I replaced some wires and got that fixed, and then 2: I pulled all 8 spark plugs and tested them -- not a single one sparked. The gaps on them all were fine, but I guess something rusted out or got screwed up internally... and maybe is somehow weather/heat dependant? I dunno, but with the spark plugs all replaced the engine fires right up. It is smoking quite a bit so I'm going to see if the head gaskets are any good.

So, now that the engine is running, I'm on to working on the transmission. When I got the engine running today, I noticed that I have fluid dripping rapidly out of the bottom of the transmission. When I tried to shift between gears, absolutely nothing changed (as before), but when I finally put it back in park there was a bit of a grinding sound.

The first time we got the engine running when I bought the truck, putting it in gear didn't drop the RPMs or introduce any kind of load on the engine. The bronco was parked on a 10-15 degree angle (facing downward), and when I put it into reverse it sat okay, but as I applied more power to the engine, it started rolling forward. Any quick ideas? I'm guessing that I'll have to pull out the transmission in order to fix the leak and I'll probably figure everything out then, just curious if anyone had some ideas off the top of the head.

I also found a 79 Ranger XLT with all interior panels in nearly perfect condition, doors rust free, but no eng/trans (rolling chassis tho, both axles remain) that I bought today ($300), so I'm excited about that as the doors on both my broncos have rust on the bottoms and interior panels are cracked in places or missing -- plus both my broncos have the Custom interior. :)
 

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Hey Dan. I would suggest a compression/leak off test which will tell you the condition of your cylinders & heads (& of course head gaskets). Good luck with that tranny & congrats on the score of the parts Bronco.

That is weird about the spark plugs.
 

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So, now that the engine is running, I'm on to working on the transmission. When I got the engine running today, I noticed that I have fluid dripping rapidly out of the bottom of the transmission. When I tried to shift between gears, absolutely nothing changed (as before), but when I finally put it back in park there was a bit of a grinding sound.

The first time we got the engine running when I bought the truck, putting it in gear didn't drop the RPMs or introduce any kind of load on the engine. The bronco was parked on a 10-15 degree angle (facing downward), and when I put it into reverse it sat okay, but as I applied more power to the engine, it started rolling forward. Any quick ideas? I'm guessing that I'll have to pull out the transmission in order to fix the leak and I'll probably figure everything out then, just curious if anyone had some ideas off the top of the head.


In the first para... sounds like the transfer case is not engaged... engine just spining the transmission... in the secound one it sounds like you have almost no transmisison fluid.... And yes you would have to pull the transmission to fix the leak... might as well freshin it up while you have it out....
 

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www.lifted4christclub.com
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my advice is to just pull it and have it rebuild, you can get them rebuilt really cheap, probably only around 300-350, and it's well worth it. Even though mine is shifting fine, i'm saving up now to have it rebuilt next winter/spring, have it beefed up some while it's being rebuilt
 

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you been in a coma for 20 years? this is not 1985. :toothless


probably more like 600-700 for a c6 rebuilt.
 
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