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'Nother one of those weeks...

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So, Saturday I replace the driveshaft in my '74 because it was doing that clanking thing that U-joints do when they begin to die.


Sunday, when driving to Southcenter to take my Mom to a movie for Mom's day, the truck cuts out on the freeway for about 2-3 seconds, like the ignition was shut off. I put the clutch in to coast and the engine fires right back up on compression, like nothing happened. Behaves the rest of the day.


Tuesday, on my way home from work, it does it again. Longer, but it cuts in and out with a really good backfire when it refires. One time was nearly 10 seconds long and I was headed to the shoulder when it roared back with a bang (blowing the muffler to kingdom come). I continued on, but less than 2 miles later it cuts out for 20 seconds and I go to coast off an offramp, the second I put the clutch in it fires right back up on compression (at no time do I touch the key).


Each time I smell gas, as the tailpipe is filled with unburnt fuel. It's quite obvious it's an ignition issue- the spark is cutting out.


Pull into a gas station, truck is running/idling fine now. Pop the hood, wiggle all the wires looking for something loose. Nada, keeps idling merrily away. I do notice the old tach lead on the negative coil post. There's no tach in the truck, it was an old sunpro that died long ago. Follow the wire... it had been taped off and tied up under the dash. Not anymore- it's dangling, with the bare end nearly touching the clutch pedal. So I tap the wire to the pedal arm- off goes the ignition.


Pull the wire, hasn't done it since. However, I have blown the muffler to smithereens so in the interest of NOT getting a noise ticket I don't drive it the rest of the week.


Drive the '76 instead. Thursday. 9AM. Pouring rain. Suddenly the wipers and heater slow way down. Crap, I bet the alternator has taken a dump. Sure enough, hit the offramp and the ALT light comes on, turn signals nonop unless I shut off the headlights. Park it and find the alternator charge wire has fatigued and burned off.


Crimp on a new ring terminal, hook it up, the alternator light won't turn off but now it's VERY bright and the wipers run at an astonishing speed. Multimeter confirms- 18.5V. That's with EVERYTHING on, lights, heater, wipers, brake lights. Well, that's a good way to blow up the battery.


End up calling my folks, and my Mom drives me back home to grab a spare alternator and a couple Voltage Regulators (no new ones, had to pull them from my other trucks). Fortunately it was just the regulator, charging is back in a sane range. However the events appear to have taken out the choke relay as now the choke is getting no power. So that's the next thing to try (though the relay is fed by the voltage regulator so it might just be the regulator).


Since these things happen in threes, I can't WAIT for the next one.

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