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Lorrie Van Haul, a 1967 Dodge P200 Postal Van needs your help.


172 replies to this topic

#1 JCAllison

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Posted February 18, 2013 at 06:35 pm

Hey All,

Check here for an introduction to Lorrie Van Haul:

 

http://www.allpar.co...200-postal-van/

 

Lorrie and I have come to the end of our rope. Am at a total loss as to what to do next.

 

Permit me to explain the situation:

 

Lorrie has been fitted with an HEI System consisting of a NOS Mopar Electronic Distributor, a Ford E-Coil, an LX301 Control Module, and a set of NGK ZFR5N Spark Plugs gapped to 0.045".

 

Right after the installation, she was running wonderfully until the FIRST cold day of November, 2012 when for some unknown reason, she quite starting.

 

She was running just the day before, was out and about, came home and shut her MIGHTY 225 Slant Six Engine down.

 

The next morning the temperature was in the high 20s. Went out to run an errand, and Lorrie's Engine would not start.

 

There was other work that had to be done, and so Lorrie sat from early November till a couple of weeks ago, when the other work was finished, and the focus once again turned to Lorrie Van Haul.

 

A NEW set of NGK ZFR5N Spark Plugs gapped to 0.045" were installed, and Lorrie started right up!

 

Was so glad to have that happen and was thinking that maybe the FIRST set of NGKs was the problem. But since her restart a couple of weeks ago, she has once again failed to start whenever the weather is cool. She WILL start SOMETIMES when the ambient temperature is approaching 70 degrees, but she won't start all the time. Whatever is wrong is intermittent.

 

Have gone back over everything multiple times. Everything seems to be in order.

 

One thing though: A while back, Lorrie was given a NEW Voltage Regulator which turned out to be delivering over 18 Volts to the Battery. When that was noticed, the VR was changed out for another NEW VR. And it subsequently was found to be putting out well over 16 Volts to the Battery. It is presently the VR that is in Lorrie.

 

So my question at this time is: Could the Voltage Regulators putting the 18 and 16 Volts, instead of the 14.6 Volts that is nominal for this application have damaged the LX301 Control Module to where it will sometimes work and sometime won't work?

 

And is there a way to check the LX301 Control Module?

 

Am asking for help, and will supply complete answers to any questions that might be asked.

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

 

JCAllison



#2 TWX

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Posted February 18, 2013 at 07:02 pm

Is there a ballast resistor present?

 

Where did you get the Mopar ECU?  This I ask because a friend of mine went through FIVE bad ECUs, new out of the box.



#3 JCAllison

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Posted February 18, 2013 at 07:31 pm

Hey TWX,


> Is there a ballast resistor present?

 

There is NO Ballast Resistor incorporated in this HEI System. The HEI System is the one that is delineated here:

 

http://slantsix.org/...169e8f135abc926

 

 

> Where did you get the Mopar ECU?

 

IIRC it came from Summit Racing. This HEI System doesn't use a Mopar ECU. It is a GM style LX301. You will see it on the above referenced URL.

 

> This I ask because a friend of mine went through FIVE bad ECUs, new out of the box.

 

The fact that Lorrie will sometimes start when it's not too cold, and sometimes NOT start when it's not too cold, and will not start at all if it is below 40 degrees indicates to me that the LX301 is functional, but it may not be functional all the time.

 

What I am wanting to do is find out HOW to test to see if the LX301 is functional.

 

Thanks for the response.

 

JC



#4 JCAllison

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Posted February 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Hey All,

Tuesday Late Morning Update:

Just got back in from seeing if Lorrie's Spark Plugs were getting Spark.

Pulled
Spark Plug Wire Number 5, put a NEW NGK ZFR5N Spark Plug in it, laid it
on a Ground, Turned on the Run Switch, and hit the Start Switch and got
NO SPARK.

Did the same with Spark Plug Wire Number 4. Got NO SPARK.

Pulled the Wire from the Ignition Coil and did the same thing. NO SPARK.

Pulled the Distributor Cap. With the Run Switch OFF, hit the Start Switch. The Rotor turns.

Hooked up the Test Light and fastened the Alligator Clip to a Ground,
turned on the Run Switch, and touched the Probe to the LX301 Control
Module's IN Terminal and got a light. So there IS 12 Volts going to the
LX301's "+" Terminal.

Also touched the Probe to the LX301 Terminal that is connected to the Ignition Coil's "-" and got a light. Should THAT happen?

Am going to go out in just a bit and do all those tests again just to
make sure. If there is no spark then there is something wrong with
either the LX301 Control Module, or the Ford E-Coil.

Will let you know the results of the recheck.

JC



#5 JCAllison

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Posted February 19, 2013 at 01:47 pm

Hey All,
Tuesday Early Afternoon Update:

Went out and ran the test on Lorrie's Spark Plugs again. NO SPARK.

Have
removed the HEI System (LX301, Heat Sink, Ford E-Coil, and attendant
Brackets). It is all sitting on the work bench even as I type.

Will
be taking the whole assembly to Livingston the next time THAT trip is
made and will stop at Smith Auto Electric to have everything tested.

Am
thinking that instead of going back with another STOCK NAPA Voltage
Regulator, that maybe we should put in an Electronic Voltage Regulator.
Is that EVEN possible?

Anyway, nice today, rain tomorrow and into next week, so nothing more will be done till THAT inclement weather is passed.

Will keep you all updated on any progress.

JC



#6 68RT

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Posted February 19, 2013 at 06:25 pm

See bottom for change to electronic regulator.

 

http://www.allpar.co...electrical.html



#7 dana44

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Posted February 19, 2013 at 09:28 pm

When you say she won't start, are you talking turning over but not firing? If this is the point, check the spark at the plug itself to see if it is sparking. If weak or none, it may be humidity/cold doing it. If it is sparking fine, and if you haven't done it yet, try a shot of starter fluid to verify it isn't actually a cold fuel problem (or the opposite, flooding). Cold and humidity can be a problem at times if it is electrical, dielectric grease on the connections tends to help.



#8 JCAllison

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Posted February 20, 2013 at 09:15 am

See bottom for change to electronic regulator.

 

http://www.allpar.co...electrical.html

 

Hey Mr. 68RT,

Thanks for the reference. THAT is exactly the kind of information for which I was looking.

 

JC



#9 JCAllison

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Posted February 20, 2013 at 09:31 am

When you say she won't start, are you talking turning over but not firing?

Hey Mr. D44

Yes.

If this is the point, check the spark at the plug itself to see if it is sparking.

Had done THAT many times, and every time there was a big, fat, Blue/White Spark. BUT yesterday, that was done and there was no spark at the Plugs, nor was there spark at the Distributor end of the Coil to Distributor Wire.

 

 

> If weak or none, it may be humidity/cold doing it.

 

Although Lorrie had been running GREAT, it was the first COLD morning of the Winter early last November that she first refused to start.

 

> If it is sparking fine, and if you haven't done it yet, try a shot of starter fluid to verify it isn't actually a cold fuel problem (or the

> opposite, flooding). Cold and humidity can be a problem at times if it is electrical, dielectric grease on the connections tends to

> help.

 

Have tried Start Fluid. Sometimes it helped. Sometimes it didn't even make the Engine cough. And everything HAS been assembled with Dielectric Silicone.

 

This is an intermittent problem, the hardest kind to diagnose because one cannot ever be sure that one is able to recreate the same conditions. What works one time won't work the next time. While this can be aggravating and disheartening at times, am taking this situation as a learning opportunity, and by the time Lorrie is back Up&Running, we'll know a great deal more than we did when we started.

 

Anyway, thanks for the response.

 

JC



#10 JCAllison

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Posted February 22, 2013 at 08:33 am

Hey All,

Friday Early Morning Update:

Have the NAPA VR32SB Electro/Mechanical Voltage Regulators out of
Lorrie, all packaged up, along with the Standard-Bluestreak LX-301
Control Module taken apart from the HEI Module, and am planning a trip
to Livingston today to see if either Smith Auto Electric or O'Reilly's
Auto Parts can test them.

Am planning on going back with a NAPA Echlin ECH TP45 Control Module,
and either a NAPA Echlin ECH VR438 Electronic Voltage Regulator, a Mopar
Performance P3690732 Electronic Voltage Regulator, a Standard VR 128
Electronic Voltage Regulator, or an Echlin VR1001 Voltage Regulator.

Determining which Electronic Voltage Regulator is the next part of this
equipment selection. Is any of the above mentioned Electronic Voltage
Regulators preferable?

Hopefully these NEW items will cure Lorrie's problem of not starting.

The NAPA Echlin ECH TP45 Control Module apparently has a couple of built
in features that make it better than the Standard-Bluestreak LX-301
Control Module in that it has a an RPM Dwell Control Function that
limits the amount of Dwell Time that the Ignition Coil sees at low RPM.

It also has a Voltage Regulator feature that keeps electrical spikes
from damaging the unit, which it is suspected to have, over the time
that Lorrie was up and running with the HEI System, destroyed the
functionality of the Standard-Bluestreak LX-301 Control Module.

One of the things that is apparently imperative in the switch to an
Electronic Voltage Regulator is that the Alternator HAS to have
dual-Field Terminal.

The Alternator presently in Lorrie HAS dual-Field Terminals, though the
OTHER Alternator here DOESN'T, but apparently there is a way to convert
it to a dual-Field.

There is also another modification that is recommended when installing
an Electronic Voltage Regulator is to wire a REDUNDANT Ground System for
the entire Charging System.

Anyway, will let you all know of any progress later today.

JC



#11 68RT

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Posted February 22, 2013 at 09:47 am

Do you mean a two terminal alternator? The older style had the field grounded internally while the later style has the ground external. There is only one field winding. The link i sent you shows the older style alternator with the internal ground. The later alternator withtwo terminals requires one of the wires coming off the field connector be grounded externally.



#12 JCAllison

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Posted February 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

Do you mean a two terminal alternator? The older style had the field grounded internally while the later style has the ground external. There is only one field winding. The link i sent you shows the older style alternator with the internal ground. The later alternator with two terminals requires one of the wires coming off the field connector be grounded externally.

Hey Mr. 68RT,

Am not sure what is meant by "two terminal alternator".

 

As was mentioned previously, there is an Alternator here with only one "Field" Terminal.

 

And then there is the Alternator that is presently installed in Lorrie's Engine Compartment that has (IIRC) TWO Terminals labeled "Field".

 

At the bottom of the page to which you sent the link, it shows that there are two "Field" Terminals on the Alternator in the electrical diagram for the Electronic Voltage Regulator Circuit.

 

At this point, I am still trying to learn and understand what all is involved.

 

The present situation is that Lorrie has refused to start reliably since early November.

 

And then last Saturday, she began to refuse to start completely.

 

The conditions that led up to this was: 1. A NEW NAPA VR32SB Voltage Regulator was found to be allowing over 18 Volts to the NAPA Legend 75 Battery. That VR was removed and another NEW NAPA VR32SB was installed. And it seemed to be fine for a while.

 

Then: 2. On the first cold morning back in November, Lorrie refused to start.

 

Due to other work being done on another vehicle, work on Lorrie's refusal to start was delayed until last week, when a NEW set of NGK ZFR5N Spark Plugs was installed, and Lorrie started right up.

 

BUT her starting up was not consistent. She would start at times and at other times she would not. When she WOULD start, she would run wonderfully.

 

It was then noticed that the second VR was allowing over 17 Volts to be sent to the Battery.

 

Then: 3. Last Saturday Lorrie began to refuse to start altogether. A test showed that there was no spark to the Plugs, and there was no power to the Distributor. The Ignition Coil was tested and it was fine. Also there is 12 Volts going to the Control Module. 

 

Since then, I have been doing research on what could be causing this, and came across many references to high voltage taking out the Control Module in an HEI System.

 

Lorrie HAS an HEI System with a Mopar Electronic Distributor, a Standard-Bluestreak Engine Control Module, and a Ford style E-Coil. So that HEI Assembly was removed from Lorrie's Engine Compartment with the intention of taking the ECM to be tested.

 

While doing the research on the cause of Lorrie's recalcitrance, I also found references to the effect that an Electro/Mechanical Voltage Regulator COULD cause the ECM to go bad. And that is what has prompted me to put an Electronic Voltage Regulator in place of the Electro/Mechanical Voltage Regulator.

 

So that is where this all presently sits. I am getting ready to take the Standard-Bluestreak LX-301 Control Module to be tested this morning, along with the two NAPA VR32SB Voltage Regulators that are allowing excessive Voltage to be sent to the Battery, AND the Legend 75 Battery to be load tested, as it MIGHT be that it has a shorted cell, which would cause the VR32SB to be putting out excessive Voltage.

 

If it turns out that the Legend 75 Battery is going bad, it is less than a year old and will be replaced under warranty, but I seriously doubt that there is anything wrong with the Battery.

 

If it turns out that the Standard-Bluestreak LX=301 Control Module is the culprit, it will be replaced with a NAPA Echlin PT45 Control Module.

 

And at this point, the Electronic Voltage Regulator has yet to be chosen. Have found the following Electronic Voltage Regulators from which to chose: Standard VR 128, Echlin VR1001, Napa Echlin ECH VR438, and Mopar Performance P3690732.

 

Please understand that other than working on Lorrie Van Haul since 1975, and on Ms. American 3.14159 (a 1964 Ford Galaxie Police Interceptor) who has lived with me since 1986, I am pretty much a novice/dilettante at all this, though over the years I have become pretty good at fixing things on these to wonderful, old vehicles. 

 

This dealing with Lorrie's MIGHTY 225 Slant Six Engine and the converting of it from a Points&Condenser Ignition System to an HEI System is all pretty much virgin territory for me. We are needing all the help we can get. Am certain that for those who are professionals at doing this kind of thing, that this whole problem is probably pretty simple. The biggest problem with this situation is my lack of knowledge and expertise. Am progressing through a fog, and doing the best we can.

 

Anyway, thanks for the response. Am getting ready to shut down here and head out.

 

Hope this finds YOU doing well.

 

JC

 

 



 



#13 JCAllison

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Posted February 22, 2013 at 06:16 pm

Hey All,
Friday Evening Update:

Ms. American 3.14159 took me to Livingston today at 9:30 a.m. She
performed flawlessly, though the first mile or so was kind of bumpy
because she had been out and about last Sunday, and had been sitting
patiently since being parked and her tires had gotten flat spots on them
that didn't return to round till they got warm.

Took the year old NAPA Legend 75 Battery to Smith Auto Electric and had Wesley do a load test on it. It failed the test!

Took the Standard-Bluestreak LX-301 Control Module to O'Reilly's to be tested. It failed the test!

Took the NAPA Legend 75 Battery and two faulty NAPA VR32SB Voltage
Regulators back to NAPA. They replaced the Legend 75 Battery with a
BRAND NEW one, and traded the two faulty NAPA VR32SB Voltage Regulators
for a NEW NAPA Echlin PT45 Control Module to replace the
Standard-Bluestreak LX301 Control Module.

So NOW, what needs to be done is to decide on which Electronic Voltage
Regulator is needed, order it on line, and see if we can find
instructions on how to hook it up. If any of you have any relevant
information, don't be shy.

Will be installing the NEW NAPA Echlin TP45 Control Module on the Heat
Sink, installing the Heat Sink on the HEI System Module, installing the
Assembly back into Lorrie, and then when the Electronic Voltage
Regulator gets here, installing it.

So we seem to be well on the way to getting Lorrie back to being mobile.

Will keep you updated on developments.

JC



#14 JCAllison

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Posted February 23, 2013 at 04:45 pm

Hey all,

Well, in doing my homework, I found THIS:

http://www.4secondsf...calsystems.html

And THIS:

http://www.4secondsf...lator_tech.html

Have finished reinstalling Lorrie's HEI System.

Have bolted the NEW NAPA Echin PT45 Control Module to the Heat Sink with
the "special silicone grease" between the Control Module and Heat Sink
and installed a Ground Wire that goes from the CM to a Valve Cover Hold
Down Bolt.

Have bolted the CM/HS Assembly to its Bracket.

Have bolted the CM/HS/B Assembly to the E-Coil.

Have bolted the CM/HS/B/E-C in place.

Have connected all the Wires to their proper locations.

Have installed the Connector from the CM to the E-C.

Have connected the Ground Wire to the Valve Cover Hold Down Bolt.

Have installed the NEW Legend 75 Battery.

All that is needed now is to get the Electronic Voltage Regulator.

BUT, I have some questions.

Tested the Wire attached to thee Alternator's Field Terminal using a
multi-tester. The probes were placed between the end of the Wire
connected to the Field Terminal of the Alternator, and to a ground.

Multi-tester indicated a "short" circuit!

There is a WARNING printed on the OLD NAPA VR32SB Voltage Regulators that says: "Do not short any terminal to ground".

If we are getting a short circuit between the Field Terminal on the
Alternator and Ground, wouldn't it also ground the VR32SB if that wire
were connected to the Voltage Regulator's Field Terminal?

Also, am getting a "short" between the Field Terminals of BOTH Alternator's and their Case. Is this normal?

Anyway, the Electronic Voltage Regulator referenced above looks to be
able to be installed without modifying the Wiring. Just connect it up
the way that the NAPA VR32SB was connected.

Whaddaya think?

JC



#15 68RT

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Posted February 25, 2013 at 09:29 am

If you have a single field wire terminal, their will be a connection to ground but it will have resistance of the file winding. If you have "0" ohms, that is a short (and a problem) but if you have some resistance (I do not know what that value is) then it is the normal resistance in the filed windings.



#16 JCAllison

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Posted February 25, 2013 at 01:52 pm

If you have a single field wire terminal, their will be a connection to ground but it will have resistance of the file winding. If you have "0" ohms, that is a short (and a problem) but if you have some resistance (I do not know what that value is) then it is the normal resistance in the filed windings.

Hey Mr. 68RT,

Just tested the single Field Wire Terminal Alternator using the Ohm Setting on the MultiTester. It showed over 3 Ohms resistance. So can assume that THAT Alternator is alright?

 

JC



#17 JCAllison

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Posted February 26, 2013 at 05:33 am

Hey All,

Tuesday Morning Update:



Ordered Lorrie's Electronic Voltage Regulator yesterday. It is one of
the FBO VR-1s. Talked with Dan Gould at FBO. Very
nice fellow. Very helpful. Says it takes no modification to the
Electrical Circuitry. They cost $29.00 per unit, plus $8.00 shipping by
FedEx.

 

The NEW VR-1 should be here NEXT Monday.

FBO also makes a digital Electronic Control Module which replaces the
NAPA Echlin PT45 Control Module. They claim that the Mopar Electronic
Distributor MAY have a bit of a problem triggering a GM style Control
Module. So far, Lorrie's Mopar Distributor has not encountered THAT
problem. We will just have to wait and see. Time will tell. If the PT45
does indeed eventually have a problem triggering, will try the FBO
Control Module as a "fix".

Also, the fact that there is a closed circuit between the "Field"
Terminal and the Case of both of Lorrie's Alternators doesn't indicate a
problem. It would only be a problem is there was no resistance in THAT
circuit. Tested the single Field Terminal Alternator, and got over 3
Ohms of resistance between the Field Terminal and the Case.

 

Will keep you all updated as progress occurs.

 

JC



#18 68RT

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Posted February 26, 2013 at 09:29 am

Three ohms seems about right.



#19 JCAllison

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Posted February 26, 2013 at 09:36 am

Three ohms seems about right.

Hey Mr. 68RT,

You know, electricity and electrical stuff is weird! Some time ago, when it appeared the Lorrie wasn't any fire to the Spark Plugs, I did a MultiTest on the Ignition Coil to Distributor Wire and couldn't get any continuity. Bough a NEW Wire. It wasn't continuitous either. Then I found out that THAT is not the way one tests a Spark Plug or Distributor Wire. That one has to measure the Ohm resistance. All of the Wires were good. Now this with Alternator. 

 

Anyway, thanks for the VERY informative post.

 

Hope you are well.

 

JC



#20 JCAllison

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Posted February 26, 2013 at 04:54 pm

Three ohms seems about right.

Hey Mr. 68RT,

Checked the Alternator that is presently in Lorrie.

 

Got an 11.3 Ohm reading between the end of the Wire connected to the Field Terminal on the Alternator and a Ground.

 

Got a 00.00 Ohm reading between the Bolt that is now where the second Field Terminal used to be and a ground.

 

Am thinking that Smith Auto Electric (who rebuilt the Alternator) grounded the second Field Terminal to the Alternator case.

 

JC




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