404 ute -electrical problems doing my head in!
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 404 ute -electrical problems doing my head in!

    Now I have finally got the oil in the water problem sorted in my ute, the ignition system has taken over as the reason why I have gone from being somewhat unhappy with it, to now hating it with a passion.

    To cut a very long story down to just a long one, it had been running like crap, so I replaced the spark plugs, coil, condenser, points (which were visibly fried after only a couple of hunderd miles running). Then stupidity on my part when changing the starter saw me not reconnecting the wire from the alternator to the starter. All I knew is that the voltmeter was in the red negative area so I took it straight to my auto electrican mate who worked out what I had done (it was earthing on the block and after reattaching the wire and checking that the now very hot alternator was still working properly I set off for the North Island. By the time I got there it was backfiring through the carb and running very badly (again!).

    Suspecting the condensor I replaced it (again!) and the points weren't looking good either so we replaced them but is still ran roughly. More spark plugs and still not happy. Looked at the coil and discovered I had used one which needed an external ballast, without an external ballast, whatever one of those might be!

    I rang the auto electrictrician who confirmed that could result in fried points and condensor and not help the plugs either. So with another coil fitted I hit the road. It got 8 miles up the road before spluttering and dying. No bloody sparks! Changed condensor and points and tried again. This time 20 miles before backfiring and stopping. After a lot more investigation, it was found the regulator was pushing 17 volts into the battery!
    So... regulator adjusted and checked. Alternator checked. New plugs. New coil (the non-ballast type), new condensor and new points.

    For the first 200 miles it went well but 100 miles later it was idling roughly and not feeling great but it got me home. Yesterday I started it and left it warming up on half-choke. It was idling very roughly then just stopped. And would not show any sign of restarting. I whipped a plug lead off and guess what - no spark! Took the distributor cap off and the first thing was the end of the points had been very hot, the metal had discoloured it had been that hot. Diving in with my test light. Power was getting into the coil, but none coming out! Taking a used coil out of the rubbish bag (not one which had already been fried on this engine I might add) and connecting it up, gave the points a quick file and it started imemdiately. Yes, it seems the new coil has failed.


    So, the burning question... WHY has a new coil failed and a new set of points been fried? Something seems to have gone fundamentally wrong in the electrics and I have no idea where to start looking.

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    Last edited by 1915 type 153; 2nd October 2013 at 06:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
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    When power was getting into the coil but none coming out, you are checking with the points open? I assume you're checking for + on the - side of the coil? If they're closed it will be a closed circuit and will be - at the neg side. To check for power going through coil check with points open.
    Is there anything else connected to the - side of the coil other than the points? (If it had a taco that would be the only other thing that should be connected there). If there is anything other than the wire to the points, disconnect it and just leave the wire to the points. (Could be something supplying + and shorting he points when closed or feeding off).
    What points gap did you run? Is there any movement in the distributor shaft causing points gap to close up? And have you left the ignition turned on for longer than a minute or two with engine not turning (and points closed).


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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Mike Tippett's Avatar
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    Is the engine block properly grounded?
    1966 Peugeot 404 Coupé Injection post-restoration reassembly underway!
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  4. #4
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    Done with points open, closed and also with motor turning over. Points gap set at .002 in. Nothing else running off this part of the electrical system, and it hasn't sat with the ignition on. What is really odd is that it started up fine the other day, ran for a minute or so then just stopped dead.

  5. #5
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    Forgot to add, distributor shaft has no wear or slop at all

    Quote Originally Posted by angru View Post
    When power was getting into the coil but none coming out, you are checking with the points open? I assume you're checking for + on the - side of the coil? If they're closed it will be a closed circuit and will be - at the neg side. To check for power going through coil check with points open.
    Is there anything else connected to the - side of the coil other than the points? (If it had a taco that would be the only other thing that should be connected there). If there is anything other than the wire to the points, disconnect it and just leave the wire to the points. (Could be something supplying + and shorting he points when closed or feeding off).
    What points gap did you run? Is there any movement in the distributor shaft causing points gap to close up? And have you left the ignition turned on for longer than a minute or two with engine not turning (and points closed).


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  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Tippett View Post
    Is the engine block properly grounded?
    Yes, everything seems screwed down as it should be

  7. #7
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    Is that points gap correct? I don't know but it seems a bit small to me.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1915 type 153 View Post
    Done with points open, closed and also with motor turning over. Points gap set at .002 in. Nothing else running off this part of the electrical system, and it hasn't sat with the ignition on. What is really odd is that it started up fine the other day, ran for a minute or so then just stopped dead.
    According to my "Peugeot 404 Instruction book" (this is the handbook issued by Peugeot with each new 404), the correct points gap is 0.016" (16 thou) which is equivalent to 0.40mm.

    John T

  9. #9
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    Finger trouble - gap was .020! Don't think that will cause coil failure?

  10. #10
    mud
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    have you tired fitting a ballast resistor type coil with a ballast resistor? the ballast resistor limits the voltage that goes through the coil which, as your auto elec. has said, might save the points from frying, along with the condenser. the problem could be that your elcetrical system is meant to have a ballast resister in the circuit.

    just a thought.

  11. #11
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    Sounds to me like there's a direct short somewhere. All wiring needs checking. Particular attention to the isolating washers on the dizzy.
    The polarity of the condensers. The wires from the alternator. There is a fault somewhere and someone has to find it and understand what they are doing.
    Make sure the springs in the dizzy are intact as they can break and cause shorting intermittently.

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