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1970 Mustang 302 starts but shuts off!

Kory T
New User
Posts: 4
Joined: 04/14
Posted: 04/28/14 03:39 PM

Hi folks,

I have a 1970 Mustang coupe (302, 5L, 2V engine/ Automatic transmission). This is a car I am restoring, so it has been sitting in the garage for a long time now. I do try to start it every week or so, but don't always get around to it. Anyway, last week, I started it, it ran fine, but ran out of gas and turned off. So, I went and got some gas, (about 5 Gallons), poured it in, and the car started just fine! fast forward to today - I start the car, it cranks and turns on just fine, but after a few seconds, it shuts off. I've tried this several times, and always the same response. On one occasion it started, and remained on until I put the car in gear, and it immediately turned off!

One thing I did notice, the first time the engine started today, was that a lot of what appears to be water & oil (mixture) blew out of the exhaust! I am hoping this doesn't indicate a major internal issue going on in the engine!

Anyway, I would appreciate any suggestions.


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Posts: 65
Joined: 10/13
Posted: 05/03/14 11:57 AM

where did you get the gasoline from...   you might want to start by gathering a fuel sample..  making sure the contamination is not from the fuel or fuel container you used..

check the coolant level in the radiator..  a coolant percentage tester can be purchased for under 5 bucks at most parts stores.. to verify the Freeze protection level. as many places in the country it froze this past winter..  you could have freeze damage to the block and heads..

check the engine oil level.. check the oil filler openings for signs of milky sludge.. you may want to pull the PCV from the passenger side valve cover and look down into the opening..  make sure there is not any sludge build up.. or milky residue from moisture mixing with oil and being pulled into the intake manifold by the PCV system..

starting the engine for only a few minutes can cause moisture and sludge to build.. as the engine may not reach operating temp for long enough to boil the water vapor out of the engine and send it thru the PCV system to be burned..

i have ONE test to check for some types of blown head gaskets and cracked combustion chambers..  place some sandwich wrap over the radiator filler neck. place a depression into the plastic.   use a rubber band to secure it to the filler neck.

block off the overflow hose.. so you don't loose any air out that way...

you can crank or start the engine for 15 seconds.. if the depression puffs up.. then you probably have a crack in the combustion chamber or the head gasket.. there could also cracks in the cylinder walls.. .

if you have access to compressed air..  a remote starter button.. a hose type compression tester..    remove the valve core from the end of the compression tester hose..  you can now perform what is a modified cylinder leak down test on each cylinder and check for leaks into the cooling system...

or.. borrow a radiator pressure tester..   take out all 8 spark plugs..  pump the pressure up to 13 PSI ... let it stay there for a while..  then use a remote starter button to crank the engine with the spark plugs out.. you should NOT have any coolant coming out the spark plug holes..

so.. there are a few things to check..  

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