As the icy grip of winter takes hold and the slow days of January creep around the corner, its that time of the year when things like to break and old cars really show there age. There Is nothing like running out to start the old girl and instead of that thunderous carburEted growl of a cold start you get a couple cranks and then silence. That dreaded feeling that can only be described in two words, O Shit.
Luckily for me I was already at home and already in a parking spot so I didn't need to worry about a tow. Also did not have TO start hunkering down for the night with fingers crossed the van would magically repair itself over night, which might I add is now a standard procedure on roadtrips. So the tool bag got pulled out along with the mighty and powerful Haynes Shop Manual, and the investigation began.
For four days it was nothing but a back and forth of tracing old wires and removing old tape that hid many of past repairs. Every wire I could find was checked for breaks or shorts, then properly taped back up and tucked out of the way of anything that could disturb it. Finally after replacing a couple parts as hopeful guesses and digging even further into the wiring harness I found the problem. Well three problems to be exact, first was a live wire that broke off its connector and was energizing my entire firewall, second was terribly corroded major ground wire connection, and third was a tear in of the wires going to my distributor. A bunch of fresh wires connectors, a good wire brushing, and some tape, and it was time to see if she would fire up.
With fingers and toes crossed I put the key into the ignition and within two cranks she roared to life, after a couple billows of black smoke from all the leftover fuel she idled like a new car. Not only was the problem solved but by repairing that ground and replacing a couple parts like plugs and wires, she know ran better then she ever has, and gained a throttle response I never guessed the big girl had in her.