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Problems starting '82 F150

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Old 06-12-2018, 05:48 PM
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Default Problems starting '82 F150

Hello, I am new to this forum. My son has an '82 F150 Auto 4X4 with a 351W and an Edelbrock 1406 carb. that he recently purchased. It it a pretty nice running truck but recently is giving him some trouble.

First question is, it had been hard to start and now will not start at all. It appears to be getting fuel to the carb, but no spark. I measured the supply voltage into the coil during start it is about 12.3 volts and drops off to 8 or 9 volts while cranking is this normal? I am not super familiar with the Edelbrock carb but it doesn't seem to be badly out of adjustment, the little bit that I have played with, before it quit it idled smooth once it started.

Do ballast resistors go bad on these trucks, would it have symptoms like this?

Also, I am a bit confused. This thing has an old fashioned distributor with points and condenser and vacuum advance. The guy at the auto parts store told me all '82's have electronic ignition with a completely different cap, rotor, etc. After looking around it looks like the ignition module (silver box on left fender well) has been modified, two of the wires have been cut between the box and the connectors and several more in the wire harness adjacent to it are cut as well. Also one of the wires coming from the ballast resister has been re-routed. It looks like someone retrofitted an older distributor and modified the wiring. Is this common, does anyone have a schematic for this?

This thing still has some kind of sensor on the harmonic balancer that looks like a crank sensor, I am wondering if the ignition was modified this is disabled or not used?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:17 PM
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These trucks don't have coil resistors, but their coils go bad. I'd install a newer E-core coil from a later truck, even if it doesn't fix the immediate problem.

No one can give you a wiring diagram for a modified vehicle. You'll have to post pics, and trace out the wires to find out what was done. If you want the original wiring diagrams, get a Haynes manual, as linked in this caption:


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There should not be any sensor on the harmonic balancer. Post pics, as linked in this caption:


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Old 06-13-2018, 11:54 AM
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Steve83, thanks for the info. Can you tell me what years have the E-coils, would they be on just F150's or other model as well?

Also, I did a resistance check on my coil the primary was at 1.4 ohms and the secondary at about 7500 ohms, from what I can tell a generic value for the secondary should be a minimum of 11,000 ohms does this sound right, this indicate a bad coil.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:57 PM
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I don't have the specs memorized - refer to the Haynes manual, Ch. 5.

All Ford gas trucks '87-96 use the common E-core coil, and it was used on MANY other Ford/L/M products of that era. This shows one in a non-standard location:


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This is the right spot for V8 trucks:


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Old 06-14-2018, 05:50 PM
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Update: I replaced the coil and it starts up fine. Also cleaned up all of the grounds I could find in the engine compartment.

Anyone familiar with oil leaks on the 351W? I have a pretty significant leak that appears to be coming from the rear main seal area, is this common, and does it require the engine to be removed to replace the seal?
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:12 PM
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It's common for any oil leak to run down & back to the bellhousing, which is also where the rear main is. So all oil leaks appear to come from that area. CLEAN the engine thoroughly, then follow the leak trail forward & up to its source.


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