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-   -   78 powerwagon wont start after couple mile drive and sits for 30 min? (

jody.v4 04-13-2013 08:14 PM

78 powerwagon wont start after couple mile drive and sits for 30 min?
Okay, so I am relatively a newbie with working on vehicles. I just purchased a 1978 power wagon and am having a problem troubleshooting this starting problem. It starts fine if I just let it sit in driveway and idle for 20 min, or even if I drive it around the block,....turn the engine off...and it will restart no problem after sitting for 20 min. But if I drive it for a couple of miles and return home and shut the engine off, if I let it sit for more than 15 min off, it will turn over slower and slower then nothing...even after sitting for an hour. I thought alternator draining battery because i disconnected the neg terminal while engine running and the engine died. Replaced the alternator, fuel filter, spark plugs. Thought the problem fixed until I drove it for a while today and same problem. After it sits for awhile after a few miles of city driving it will not turn over. This problem is driving me crazy....any advice or direction will be appreciated.:thk:

Burkdadhemi 04-13-2013 09:03 PM

Sounds like you need a better ground from the engine to the frame.

crazzywolfie 04-14-2013 01:04 AM

do you have a voltage meter? i would be checking the voltage at the battery with the truck running. if you take the battery terminal off the battery and the truck dies then the alternator is not putting out power. if your truck is similar to the bit newer trucks you will have a light green and red wire going to the field terminal on the alternator. if so you should check the red wire for power with the key in the run position. it should be close to the same as the voltage you see at the battery.

jody.v4 04-14-2013 07:42 PM

k...will check with volt-meter, and for a good ground. But I must add that after sitting all night, the truck started fine this morning. Could the problem be maybe the sparkplugs are getting fouled with oil or another fluid.? If the alternator or battery was the culprit, wouldn't the battery have to be charged or jumped to start working again?

92DodgeRider 04-14-2013 11:44 PM

After rereading your post. I understand that my previous comment was WRONG. Sorry.
I was thinking that it would not start after 30 mins of running. Sounds like it could be the ground between the engine and frame. Like the other people have posted.


crazzywolfie 04-15-2013 12:12 AM

if the battery does not have enough power to turn the engine fast enough then it may not want to start. when you go try starting the engine after it cools off it take less effort because the cylinder would have eventually let go of the pressure. also if the alternator is not charging the battery like it sounds like then that could big reason why it is not wanting to start. you should be able to take the positive and negative battery clamps off and your truck should continue to run. i know i have swapped batteries in my truck while it was running. just makes the alternator work a bit harder.

Gen1dak 04-17-2013 10:25 PM

Ignition timing is too hot (too far advanced). Loosen (just loosen, no need to remove) the distributor hold-down bolt and give the distributor a slight twist clockwise. Snug it back down and re-test. If it improves you're on the right track. Aside from that, it should be able to run on battery without the alternator. Had that battery tested?

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