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The unofficial I'm a moron who shouldn't be working on a 308 thread.

Discussion in '308/328' started by Dane, Sep 11, 2020.

  1. Dane

    Dane Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2002
    1,327
    Manhattan, MT
    Full Name:
    Dane
    I felt much smarter before I started this....might be time for a professional. This vintage ECU may be the issue, too. They seem prone to failure especially one of this age; I think it's from the 70's.
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  3. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,667
    San Carlos, CA
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    Mitchell Le
    I made these up because I had all the pieces and they were just colleting dust. But, these are available off Amazon.

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  4. Irishman

    Irishman F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2005
    3,486
    Raleigh
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    This might be heresy, but here goes. I have the same car. I had MSDs and all sorts of spaghetti wiring around the coils. After sorting all as best I could, I could not get the idle and advance where it needed to be at 1K and 5K RPM. Rube Goldberg mechanical stuff in the distributors was my diagnosis. I had a decision to make. Get the distributors sorted by an expert, ditch the old mechanicals, or move to something modern. I went the modern route with Elecromotive ignition. It's not cheap. But I did the work myself and my skills are limited. End result is the car starts more quickly. It idles perfectly. And, the advance seems perfect as well, though I have not checked it with the timing gun. Good luck!
     
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  5. Dane

    Dane Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2002
    1,327
    Manhattan, MT
    Full Name:
    Dane
    My car is a nice, rust free '78 with excellent paint and interior, and I've done a ton of nug work to renovate undercarriage, wheel wheels, etc.

    However, she is far from lawn grazing at an event. So, heresy is welcome in my world.

    I checked the coil, plugs and fuse, but I have not checked the distributor outside of visual inspection. Having read about those MSD 6As, especially one so old, I thought this could be my culprit, too.

    The wiring around that single coil is indeed ridiculous ("f---ing ridiculous" I may have muttered a few times over the past two weeks).

    At this point, she needs to run again especially with Montana winter so close. Sitting is non bene. Electromotive. I'll have a look.

    Thank you for the input, Kevin.
     
  6. derekw

    derekw Formula 3

    Sep 7, 2010
    1,324
    London, UK
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    Derek W
    Did you ever do the tests I suggested? Results?
     
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  8. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    1,435
    Along the Verde , AZ
    Full Name:
    Doug
    I put a Black Stallion (NLA) single dizzy conversion on my car years ago. Computer programmable spark box so you can set the spark curve. I love it. Uses a $13 Bosch distributor cap and inexpensive plug wires

    I did do a *what if*, inquiry, a few years ago in case the ICU box took a dump, and a modern MSD box would be the desired replacement to connect to the hall effect sensor in the distributor, if it ever needs to be done. FWIW.

    Those old mech adv dizzies make for some interesting running if one set of advance weights gets sticky, and has different curve than the other dizzy.

    Regarding the swivel sockets: i could see those would work well if the right OA length, as being welded, they won't come apart at inopportune times,and it is impossible to try to connect to a stand alone wobbly down inside a hole, that you can't see into, I will have to make one of the proper length. May i ask what the total end to end length is on yours?

    Thanks,
    Doug
     
  9. Jeoka

    Jeoka Rookie

    Oct 26, 2009
    10
    It all sounds like a labor of love to me, gents - no matter how many the frustrations may be!?
    Without sounding too cliche, but "they don't make them like that anymore"!
    Enjoy it to the max! ALL of it!
     
  10. Ross Benge

    Ross Benge Rookie

    Feb 12, 2015
    2
    Have you checked any of the earth connections ? I have a 79 carb car and the first thing I checked when I got her home was the main earth. That is the earth cable from Battery to chassis, it was terrible with crusty build ups etc. Then I checked the earth from the engine block to the chassis, located down low on the RHS in the engine bay, This was also in very dirty and in poor condition, all fixed with healthy spark and now able to attempt proper tune. Also i fitted BERU spark plugs , the type with the 4 x electrode tips, this made a significant improvement to the engines running, especially at idle where it was much stronger and cleaner running.
    I hope this helps.
     
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  11. Irishman

    Irishman F1 Rookie

    Oct 13, 2005
    3,486
    Raleigh
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    It is complicated for sure. Battery is a great place to start!

    I started with the coils and got new ones. I still had the MSDs. I got new plugs. I got new plug wires. I replaced the points in the distributors. It ran tons better than when I started. But I still had carb pops and exhaust pops. And, how do you solve the advance side of that? Seemed to me you need an expert with a Sun device to sort out the mechanical advance part of the distributors, right?
     
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  13. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    1,435
    Along the Verde , AZ
    Full Name:
    Doug
    Well, a distributor machine would make it a whole lot easier, but you could check to see if you are getting equal advance using a dial back timing light. I would suggest one with digital display that shows RPM and advance on the display.

    I had problem with advance weight stickiness when i had dual dizzies, on the RPM increasing side, they seemed fine, but on RPM decrease, one would hang up sometimes on the way down, causing popping at idle. Check both up and down. To make it easier,and faster, you would ahve to buy two dial back lights one for each dizzy,and compare them side by side, they aren't that expensive.

    It would at least verify any advance disparities across the RPM range.

    Yeah, taking the dizzies apart and completely going thru them would cure the problem, but i took the easy way out. I dislike points, anyway.

    Doug


     
  14. yelcab

    yelcab F1 World Champ
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    10,667
    San Carlos, CA
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    Mitchell Le
    He's only got one dizzy.
     
  15. Andrew McLaren

    Aug 21, 2020
    27
    Auckland
    Full Name:
    Abdrew McLaren
    My 79 GTB has a swivel plug spanner that I've always thought came with the original toolkit (complete and intact as far as I know). This has a normal hex head, which is easy to put a ring spanner on, and no problem at all removing the plugs from the front bank. This has a rubberised centre, and simply lifts the plug out when it's undone, or vice versa to reinstall. I'll get a picture of it when I'm back home
     
  16. Ross Benge

    Ross Benge Rookie

    Feb 12, 2015
    2
    Here you go spark plugs are BERU XU79.
    Check the fundamentals first, Earths and battery as well as they effect absolutely everything down stream, then all basic fuse terminals and wiring connections.
    I say this as Image Unavailable, Please Login Image Unavailable, Please Login MSD ignitions are virtually unbreakable so if it has run well before it should run well again !
    With my car, also a single dizzy model- Dec 79, all the insulation on the trigger points wires had hardened and fallen off .
    This was causing all sorts of troubles as the car when received was "just running" using the standard ignition components.
    T
     
  17. Ed Cantera

    Ed Cantera Rookie

    Oct 15, 2019
    1
    Full Name:
    Ed Cantera
    I worked on a Porsche 356 replica where the owner had a similar issue where it ran fine for months and all of a sudden there was no spark. He had an older MSD box like yours, but not quite as old, and after checking everything out it ended up being the MSD box itself. Apparently they fail like an on/off switch. We followed some troubleshooting guides online and in the manual and determined that there was no signal coming from the box and replaced it. Car started right up and has been running ever since. It’s not terribly expensive or difficult to replace so I’d run some of the tests and replace it myself if anything doesn’t check out.

    https://www.holley.com/support/troubleshooting_techniques/

    https://documents.holley.com/6425.pdf
     
  18. derekw

    derekw Formula 3

    Sep 7, 2010
    1,324
    London, UK
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    Derek W
    Did you ever find the problem Dane? Let us know as closing the loop is part of the quid pro quo for free advice :)
     
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  19. Dane

    Dane Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2002
    1,327
    Manhattan, MT
    Full Name:
    Dane
    I did Derek! Yesterday!!

    My disclaimer: I am not a mechanic so this took some time with trial and error.

    Since my 308 quit running (good fuel but no spark) in September 2020, I did the following:

    1. Checked ignition fuse. A-ok.
    2. Pulled single coil and checked. Within limits.
    3. Checked distributor. A-ok.
    4. Replaced spark plugs, gap tested and spark checked. Zero spark. Wires or ignition control?
    5. Contacted MSD about the car's truly vintage MSD-6A (at least 30 years old!) and ordered a replacement.

    Yesterday, I enlisted the help of a truly good friend (races Harley's and owns an H-D dealership) who knows how to weld and understands electronics far better than I. We installed the new MSD-6A.

    I primed the carb's and said, "Well, let's go."

    First crank. No spark.

    Second crank. No spark.

    Third crank. Nothing. Maybe not enough fuel. Let pump run for another 7 seconds and hope I don't flood it.

    Fourth crank. A single fire from one cylinder! SPARK. WOW. Alright! Good news!

    Fifth crank. She fired and then quit.

    Sixth crank. She fired with the help of what I call the "308 -tap-tap-tappity-too" on the accelerator. She kept running!! Amazing. What a feeling.

    All cranks were short as not to abuse the starter. After nearly three months of trial and error, bow-hunting season and a trip to Rome to see my wife, I finally have a 308 that runs, again.

    The culprit. An aftermarket ignition control. It made me proud of the original car; nothing failed. My little 308 is winterized and ready for late Spring 2021.

    THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR HELP. Cheers. Dane
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  20. ragtop1

    ragtop1 F1 Rookie
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    Nov 11, 2006
    3,167
    Ontario, Canada
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    Larry Warren
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  21. Andrew McLaren

    Aug 21, 2020
    27
    Auckland
    Full Name:
    Abdrew McLaren
    Reminded me that I had forgotten to post a picture of the spark plug spanner from my tool kit. I've always assumed this was a standard toolkit item? This one has a swivel, and a simple hex shaft, and you simply use a standard hex (14mm) ring spanner. This makes it vert low profile, so trivial to get access to the forward plugs. It has a rubber insert, so the plug simply comes out with the spanner.
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  22. Miklas

    Miklas Karting

    Dec 10, 2018
    52
    Luxembourg
    Any idea where I can get a hold of a similar tool that works on the 308?
     
  23. Dane

    Dane Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 25, 2002
    1,327
    Manhattan, MT
    Full Name:
    Dane
    Even with my friend (in the photo) and his help, I felt pretty damn good! Thank you, Larry! Great photo. That kid's attitude...too funny.
     
  24. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,339
    socal
    Standard in 308 carb car kit. The tool box/roll had a place for it
     
  25. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,339
    socal
    In that era all we had were aftermarket optical triggers and msd units. They failed all the time. Aftermarket had no clue how to engineer oem robustness. Remember that few integrated circuits were in cars. We had circuit boards with giant transistors resistors and capacitors. How stone age.
     
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  26. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2003
    25,021
    PNW
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    John
    One tip for front bank plugs that helped me when I had mine was to do the front bank while standing in the car. Obviously only works on a GTS though. It's WAY easier to reach over the targa bar and down than in from the side. It's still fidly but I'd also 2nd Steve's comment on the magnetic socket wrench, it helps!
     
  27. mike996

    mike996 F1 Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    5,817
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    Mike 996
    "Aftermarket had no clue how to engineer oem robustness."

    Not convinced the aftermarket does any better now. ;)
     
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