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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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FORD: I have a 1982 Ford F-250. It has a Petronix Flamethrower

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I have a 1982 Ford F-250. It has a Petronix Flamethrower distributor and coil. It basically has a all new performance type set up. All the original stuff has been thrown out. Anyway, the truck runs great but it will backfire and die while im driving but will start back up and do it again. There is no ignition module. Just a simple set-up. What do you think is going on?

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


Do you know if you're losing spark when this happens? If you're losing spark then it is going to be a problem with the ignition in the distributor, the coil, or a momentary loss of power to the ignition system. Depending on exactly how it acts it may be hard to determine if you're losing spark, but if it doesn't restart immediately that would be a perfect time to see if you are missing spark.


If so then the first thing you'll need to do is check for power at the coil with the key on. This power source comes from the ignition switch and through a resistor for normal operation with the key on, assuming the coil is still wired through factory wiring.


If power at the coil is ok then the igniter in the distributor may not be sending a signal or it could be a wiring issue between the distributor and coil.


If all of the ignition parts were replaced in an attempt to fix this problem and it's exactly the same then you should be able to rule out the coil and igniter. If you're missing spark despite replacing all these parts and it's still the same then you have to be losing power somewhere on it's way to the coil.


A loss of fuel can also cause the engine to backfire and die but it would usually hesitate and lose power right before it dies.

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