Fuel pump ? , Fuel tank vent ? The timing will jump around if it's running rough...whats the vacuum doing before it quits ?...did you hook a test light to the coil (+) and see if it loses juice....or Put a glass fuel filter or sediment bowl (farm tractor) in the line and see if you're getting gas.
It won't restart without turning the dist ? are you sure ?...thats a biggie...get that one right, for sure....which way are you turning it ? same way each time
I cant actually open the hood and get a read on it while it show symptoms...only happens reliably when driving...cant just stand there for hours waiting for it to die. It will restart by turning the key...however wont run for too long after symptoms start w/o resetting the timing
When you replaced the distributor did you put a new vacuum advance on it too ? Have you checked the fuel pressure off of your fuel pump ? What about the ignition switch itself ?
Have you done a vacuum test on the motor when it`s running ?
If the engine is shutting down it`s either fuel or electrical .
Its gotta be electrical, however i havent tried the above and will (changed ignition switch, not the one w/ a key)
Lucky You! I suspect you've got two problems and are chasing them like they're one. Try dividing them between the cut out problem and the timing problem and see if you can make some headway on ONE before you work on the other.
Oh yeah, did ya check the timing chain and gearing?
It's the same problem..it ALWAYs cuts out like you shut off the key..only when the timing changes too much does it backfire and cough. I Havent checked the chain yet b/c of lack of expertise, but will have it done if I run out of options.
Before you gut the engine, try replacing the ignition module if you have electronic ignition.
Been there done that.
I was having a similar problem. I replaced both the ignition module and the coil and the problem didn't go away. Then I replaced the pickup coil in the distributor. I haven't had a recurrance in 2 1/2 years/30k miles.
Great suggestion, although I'm not positive b/c I replaced the entire distributor and it still has the problem.
Thanks for the suggestions I'll try some of these and keep you posted.