I'm a new member here on behalf of my computer illiterate dad. This story is a little long winded but i'm trying to get all the information I have into this post to save other members suggesting something i've already tried.
He has been having an intermittent fault on his escort 1.6 cvh causing it to break down suddenly after a few miles and then restart after a few minutes. My first idea was that the coil was breaking down and after a few minutes cooling it would enable it to restart, (a problem I had on a mk1 Golf a few years ago). However, after replacing the coil the fault still occurred.
Eventually after a few months I travelled down to my dad's to have a look at the car and do a service on it. I renewed the oil and filters etc and also cleaned out the carburetor. I then took it for a spin and after around 15 miles it broke down on me. The rev counter dropped to 0 but with the engine still running under its own steam until I trundled to a stop. It would not restart and has not restarted since.
After towing it back to my dad's it was clear the battery was flat so I connected another battery to attempt starting it again. The starter motor was turning but there didn't appear to be a spark. After removing a plug and then the king lead to the coil it was clear there was no spark.
At this point I make the conclusion that the distributor and/or ignition amplifier had packed up and ordered a new one. The new one is a Lucas model with a 3 pin plug as opposed to the original 2 pin black and green wiring. The seller of the distributor informed me that the positive (black wire) attached to the right hand amplifier pin, the negative (green wire) attached to the left hand pin, and that the centre pin was for an earth attachment but this wasn't essential.
I took him at his word and fitted the distributor, but still no spark! I then spoke to friend who is a former motor electritian and he suggested a completely different wiring configuration, and that the earth should definitely be used, and that using the other set up would have blown the amplifier.
So, I spoke to the distributor seller again and he agreed to send another amplifier but that he was sure that he had told me how to wire it correctly.
This is where I am at the moment and I don't won't to attempt to wire it again without being 100% sure. Also, could there conceivably be another problem that has caused this apart from the distributor?
I also understand that there is a wiring converter available 84AG-12045-BA but this is nearly £50 including VAT from Ford. For 3 wires I think this is extortionate so if anyone knows of a cheaper one or a breakers part, that would help.
Well, that's it really! Could that be the longest ever post on here?
Any help would be gratefully received as it's a 100 mile round trip to my dad's which is costing me a fortune in fuel and time with no rewards at the moment.
Thanks in advance.
p.s he's had a new fuel tank and pump fitted in the last year and fuel is getting to the carb.
Update 29/06/11. It seems this problem has got everyone stumped, never mind.