Quite well, in fact, now that I found why it had no spark.
After doing some research on wiring diagrams on Friday, and deciding that I was overcomplicating things by wanting to trace and probe wiring under the dash and to the steering column/ignition switch.
(bonus points if you see the spiders I didn’t when I was under there)
So instead, I simply ran a wire from the battery positive to the brown (red in a past life maybe) wire on the right, which is the 12v input for the ignition coil in the distributor cap.
Once I connected the battery, and went to hit the key to see if I would get spark (easier than pulling out the test light and probing everything, or checking each plug wire) and sure enough it coughed and spit instead of just cranking over. So I grabbed my phone and hit RECORD:
(bonus points if you spot the mouse jumping out of the hood as I watch the engine idle)
First try, it fired up with the key and just a few pumps of the gas pedal. I was so not ready for it, that I forgot to even turn the electric fuel pump on, hence why it nearly stalled.
It ran for more than five minutes. It didn’t like to rev off idle TOO much (it would misfire, and backfire through the carb a bit), but would do it if given throttle gingerly, and make glorious unmuffled V8 noises. There were a LOT of missing, unplugged, and plugged vacuum lines going to the carb so I was just impressed that it started and ran at all without fixing any of them.
I stopped it from idling any longer because it started to smoke from the back of the motor, either from all the turds and leaves under the distributor that I hadn’t cleaned out, or the heater hose I found later that had disconnected from the nipple on the back of the passenger head, and was lying on top of the bellhousing for the trans.
Either the heater core was plugged and it wasn’t flowing out like it should have been (radiator was 3/4 full of coolant) or it was coming out of the nipple as the engine got warm.
In either case, it refused to re-fire and would only pop and sputter when cranking, which in doing so killed the battery I borrowed from work. Oops. I’m guessing the alternator wasn’t doing its job keeping it charged.
Oh well, it ran, and that was good enough for me. Now I can do more important things, like “replace the floors”.
The dash and door panels are coming out next, so I needed something to lean or sit on, so I borrowed some shelving from work.
With the remaining juice in the battery I verified that the wipers work, the radio comes on (tuner doesn’t work, presets just ‘POP’ and no static comes out), and the gauges all seem to work, minus the clock and speedo.
But I had to wiggle the key to get anything to work, which is why it failed to have spark in the first place. I think the ignition switch is bad, and it wouldn’t send the 12v to the coil.
That might be why it was parked.
Such a simple fix, really.