While trying to star my car today I noticed some backfire. I heard a coil buzz, but not the usual buzz, buzz, buzz. The # 3 coil was on constant. I moved it around and still the same. Is this coil dead?
Omar, sounds like the wire from the timer to the coil is grounded somewhere. If the coil is buzzing all the time, disconnect the ground wire at the coil box for the #3 coil and turn on the ignition to battery to see if it's still buzzing which it shouldn't be. If it's not buzzing, then the problem is a ground problem in that wire or timer. Your terminal for #3 coil could be touching the engine block at the timer connection which would be my guess. The other possibility is the brass shield (if you still have one) in the timer has came loose and causing the ground short.
Yea, Kenny I moved the coil over to the # 1 and it buzzed the same.
I had that happen last summer on my TT and found the #3 post on the timer was shorted to the case.
Ray Elkins discovery is one of those sneaky little problems that will crop up every once-in-a-while. My brother and I had this problem occur back in '83 when we first got his T on the road. Easiest way to track that one down is to use an ohmeter or "buzz light" and connect on lead to the timer case and check each terminal with the other lead. If the ohmeter goes to 0 or the buzz light lights up, there's your culprit. This typically will happen with the roller timers, either Ford or Tiger and can usually be traced to either a crack in the insulator or fiber washer on the outside of the case which will invariably have a carbon track burned in it. Won't happen with a New Day due to its construction (or at least ain't likely) and is also possible on an Anderson timer (most likely a well aged one).
You're fairly new to this if I recall so I'll also suggest you look at the crankcase bolt located directly under the timer. Most bolts holding the block and oil pan together are assembled with the bolt coming up from the bottom and the castle nuts on top. This one should be turned over so the nut is on the bottom. Real easy to get a short to ground when the spark is advanced since this bolt can sometimes make contact with one of the lower terminals on the timer.
The other thing I do to avoid potential grounding on timers is to mount the flag terminals on the wire harness so the wire is at the front of the timer rather than the back (roller types and Andersons). On New Day timers I mount the flag terminals so the wires are on the front and up against the timer rather than hanging off the ends of the timer tabs. New Day Timer tabs stick out so far that the lower terminals really increase the possibility of shorting to that bolt down below.
Hope this helps
Omar, if I understand correctly you traded coils with the #3 and #1 spot and the #3 coil at the number 1 spot still buzzed? Or the #1 coil at the #3 spot buzzed? I don't understand how the 1st example could happen but the second example would still lead to a ground issue in the wiring or timer. Do you have an extra coil to install in place of the one you think is bad? What year car and where do you live? How about a picture of the coil box?
Just about impossible for a coil fault to cause itself to buzz continously regardless of which slot you put it in unless you have something metal on TOP of the coil that is hitting the metal sides or metal lid of the metal coil box. That should be somewhat obvious. If you suspect that - take off the coil box lid and try again. The more likely thing is that you have a coil POSITION (1,2,3,or 4) in the metal box that has its timer wire terminal (side of coil upper connection) permanently grounded. This isn't all that uncommon. Trace the wire from that upper terminal on the outside of the box under the hood to the other end of that wire which is at the timer. There is a short to ground there somewhere most likely and perhaps even INSIDE thet timer itself as others have suggested. I had this continuous buzzing happen once and the wire was shorted to the radiator support rod under the lock nut at the dash. The #3 wire was draped under that nut and tightened up which cut through the insulation and grounded it permanently. Not easy to see without pulling the hood off since that radiator support rod is sorta hidden up under the hood on the black era cars. Good hunting.
Found the issue, TIMER WIRE GROUND!! Thank You for all your help.