The 78 Ford F250 broke down
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    Zebrafive's Avatar
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    The 78 Ford F250 broke down

    Thursday I hauled a large trailer load of wood, no problems.
    Friday I did the same. The truck was not running right. It acted like it was not getting enough fuel and low on power, and back firing. I am thinking the fuel filter is getting plugged up or the plug wires are damp and it's misfiring.
    I got the load of wood and got it delivered and it's running worst, really lacking power and back firing.

    I made it within 3 miles of home and it quit. By the time I walked home my daughter had just came home form College for Christmas break with the Suburban. I used it to bring the trailer home (thinking it might not be there the next morning).

    By now it was 5PM so I decided to wait to tow the truck home for daylight.

    It was 3:30PM before I could get help to tow the truck home. No EASY way to get it into the pole barn, so I had an hour of daylight to work on it. New fuel filter, new air filter, new spark plugs, cleaned cap and rotor. Still no start and out of daylight.

    I am thinking the pickup coil in the distributor has failed, or the brain, box or coil.

    Next day I tried a spare brain box, still no start. So off to the auto parts store to buy a pickup coil. Not in stock, have to order it. You would think they would have parts for a 36 year old truck So I ordered it for next day deliver.

    Picked up the distributor pickup coil and installed it today. Still no start. My next thought is it jumped time. Before I pull everything off the front of the engine. I put a socket on the crank to turn it by hand to see how far of the rotor is from #1 when I get it turned to TDC. When I check it's off by a cylinder and 1/2, meaning it's not pointing at #1, but between the next two terminals on the distributor.

    I don't know why, but I grabbed the rotor and tried turning it. And it turned all the way back to #1, almost 1/4 of a turn. Being gear drive from the cam it should not have turned!

    I pulled the distributor and found the roll pin for the drive gear sheared. What was left of the roll pin in the shaft had bound up the gear about 80 degrees off.

    A new roll pin later, distributor ready to install, but does not want to seat. I hooked up a remote starter button and start turning the engine while tapping the distributor shaft with a rubber mallet. FINALLY it seats.

    After everything is reassembled, I try starting it. Fires right up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and runs like it's old self.

    That was my 4 day weekend. All because a 1/8" x 3/4" roll pin sheared. At least the drive gear did not fall off into the oil pan.
    Gizmo2, DRobinson, rgd and 10 others like this.
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    rtgt's Avatar
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    Since you've already done a tune-up, I'd say you're good to go for the next 30 years or so.

    Just can't beat a good old truck!
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    56FordGuy's Avatar
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    So let me get this straight. Your 1978 Ford broke down, and you ended up fixing it with a hammer?

    I love old trucks. I miss my '78 F-100, and have the itch for a 70's era F-350 extended cab with a 460. They're not very common, but there's one running around town here that looks really nice.
    Gizmo2, DRobinson, rgd and 5 others like this.
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    Superglidesport's Avatar
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    Funny! While I was reading your thread I was thinking timing chain or distributor drive gear issue. Seen it many times over the years on mid-late '70's Fords. Good to get to the root of the problem though isn't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zebrafive View Post
    Thursday I hauled a large trailer load of wood, no problems.
    Friday I did the same. The truck was not running right. It acted like it was not getting enough fuel and low on power, and back firing. I am thinking the fuel filter is getting plugged up or the plug wires are damp and it's misfiring.
    I got the load of wood and got it delivered and it's running worst, really lacking power and back firing.

    I made it within 3 miles of home and it quit. By the time I walked home my daughter had just came home form College for Christmas break with the Suburban. I used it to bring the trailer home (thinking it might not be there the next morning).

    By now it was 5PM so I decided to wait to tow the truck home for daylight.

    It was 3:30PM before I could get help to tow the truck home. No EASY way to get it into the pole barn, so I had an hour of daylight to work on it. New fuel filter, new air filter, new spark plugs, cleaned cap and rotor. Still no start and out of daylight.

    I am thinking the pickup coil in the distributor has failed, or the brain, box or coil.

    Next day I tried a spare brain box, still no start. So off to the auto parts store to buy a pickup coil. Not in stock, have to order it. You would think they would have parts for a 36 year old truck So I ordered it for next day deliver.

    Picked up the distributor pickup coil and installed it today. Still no start. My next thought is it jumped time. Before I pull everything off the front of the engine. I put a socket on the crank to turn it by hand to see how far of the rotor is from #1 when I get it turned to TDC. When I check it's off by a cylinder and 1/2, meaning it's not pointing at #1, but between the next two terminals on the distributor.

    I don't know why, but I grabbed the rotor and tried turning it. And it turned all the way back to #1, almost 1/4 of a turn. Being gear drive from the cam it should not have turned!

    I pulled the distributor and found the roll pin for the drive gear sheared. What was left of the roll pin in the shaft had bound up the gear about 80 degrees off.

    A new roll pin later, distributor ready to install, but does not want to seat. I hooked up a remote starter button and start turning the engine while tapping the distributor shaft with a rubber mallet. FINALLY it seats.

    After everything is reassembled, I try starting it. Fires right up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and runs like it's old self.

    That was my 4 day weekend. All because a 1/8" x 3/4" roll pin sheared. At least the drive gear did not fall off into the oil pan.
    Great that you got it running again. I had a 72 F250 with the 390 engine auto trans and that thing was a WORK truck. I pulled a 28 foot travel trailer over Wolf's Creek pass in Colorado with that thing without missing a lick. 11,000 feet up with a two barrel carb. Over 12,000 lbs gross. Wish I still had it as we usually do after selling it.

    Dave
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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    So let me address the elephant in the room. Why did the roll pin shear?
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    The 78 Ford F250 broke down

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    So let me address the elephant in the room. Why did the roll pin shear?
    Wonder myself, I suppose a seized distributor shaft.... I have seen it before many years ago and replaced the distributor as it was junk then.. Maybe oil pump issue also.

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    Last edited by xhere; 12-15-2014 at 08:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    So let me address the elephant in the room. Why did the roll pin shear?
    I was wondering the same thing.


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    A loose timing chain can cause the problem due to slack take up. Also if a piece of grit gets lodged in the oil pump it can cause the roll pin to shear.


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    Or maybe the roll pin was 36 years old

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