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Vitesse won't start. Help! Print
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Bish
October 31, 2016, 8:49pm Report to Moderator
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Hello good people

My Vitesse decided to die on me a couple of weeks ago. It just puttered out with no dramas, knocks, or untoward noises. Will be a simple fix I thought. It had been running so sweet up until that point.

Well, since then I have rebuilt the carbs, new coil and dizzy, new fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator fitted, new plugs and a new fuel filter. Still no joy!

I have a spark, and I have fuel (at the carbs at least) the engine just spins and spins on the starter and won't fire! I'm not too sure I'm getting fuel to the plugs as they seem pretty dry. Should they be sopping wet?

Am I missing something obvious? Or, has the old girl died on me and lost all compression? Surely that can't be the case without so much as a cough or smokey splutter, can it? I don't have a compression tester but have turned the engine over on the key with a spark plug out and there seemed to be compression.

I suppose the next job is to buy a compression tester. But any suggestions or other avenues to try are welcome!!

All the best, Bish.
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Spider
October 31, 2016, 9:54pm Report to Moderator


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spray some plusgas or similar flammable liquid into the carb's (air filters off) I use petrol in a spray bottle and if the engine runs briefly then it is a fuel supply problem , if it does not run or even try to fire the suspect ignition.
Have you changed the condenser in the distributor? Can be a bugger to diagnose that one if you have not had one fail on you before.


Spider.
GT6 MK2, 1970 yellow. Off road waiting refurb/restoration/modification.
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glang
October 31, 2016, 10:03pm Report to Moderator

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exactly what was the car doing when if failed? I cant see any reasonable way you can lose compression on all cylinders simultaneously so I dont think you need to buy a tester just yet. How about injecting some aerosol starter spray with care through the carb intakes to see if you can at least get some firing going - if it works it indicates a fuel problem if not remove the rocker cover and check the valve gear operates as the engine turns.
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Bish
November 7, 2016, 4:52pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the replies.

I have tried some easy start today and still no joy. Didn't even try to fire. I have a spark at the plugs so surely I should get some kind of firing from the engine? But it won't give so much as a fart!

I have had the rocker cover off and all looks well with the valve gear. I have had spark plug no 1 out and checked the piston is at tdc and the rotor arm at no 1. All looks ok. The dizzy is a new electronic ignition type from powerspark, so no condenser etc to fail.

I rebuilt the carbs with new everything, and the car had run beautifully all summer, but I'm still not sure fuel is getting to the plugs. Should they be sopping wet after cranking the engine? They look pretty dry to me even after using the easy start. Any ideas? When the car died on me it just sputtered to a stop, so almost like it ran out of fuel I suppose.

I must admit I'm stumped, and a bit pissed off with missing the last of the decent weather to go for a spin in the car!

All the best, Bish.
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yorkshire_spam
November 7, 2016, 5:11pm Report to Moderator

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ok, oddball left field option.... (which I don't expect to be right) does the rotor arm spin in the dizzy as you crank over? (If the drive has broken it's never gonna run!)
Sorry - I see you have spark at the plugs - ignore my ramblings!
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glang
November 7, 2016, 6:03pm Report to Moderator

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when you say all looks well with the valve gear did you turn the engine and see rockers going up and down? Where Im coming from is a bit unlikely but the cam drive chain could just fail.....
Even if it was a fuel problem as youve got a spark it should have done something with the easystart
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Bish
November 7, 2016, 9:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from yorkshire_spam
ok, oddball left field option.... (which I don't expect to be right) does the rotor arm spin in the dizzy as you crank over? (If the drive has broken it's never gonna run!)
Sorry - I see you have spark at the plugs - ignore my ramblings!


All ramblings are welcome! Thanks.
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Bish
November 7, 2016, 9:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from glang
when you say all looks well with the valve gear did you turn the engine and see rockers going up and down? Where Im coming from is a bit unlikely but the cam drive chain could just fail.....
Even if it was a fuel problem as youve got a spark it should have done something with the easystart


Yep, took the rocker cover off and went through the valve clearances. Turned the engine by hand using the fan blades and all moved as it should.

I can't believe it hasn't done anything with the easy start either. Even if the timing chain has slipped a few teeth the engine would try to run, wouldn't it!?

I've got to the point where I'm clutching at straws, so any ideas are welcome from anyone, no matter how Leftfield they may be.
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yorkshire_spam
November 7, 2016, 9:27pm Report to Moderator

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Not sure if it's possible on this car, but is the dizzy timing right? Some can be fitted 180 degrees out?
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Nick Jones
November 7, 2016, 9:33pm Report to Moderator

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If you are getting no action at all even when spraying easy start - it's pretty much got to be ignition.  Even if you've got the plug leads in the wrong order of the dizzy 180º out (both very easy to do - I have the T-shirts), some popping and banging would be expected.

Are you getting a big, fat, purple spark at the plugs?  Or a skinny little blue one.......?  The HT side can be troublesome - leads, cap and especially the rotor arm.  New ones worse if anything.

Nick


Nick Jones
Somerset UK

Vitesse Mk 1.5 Convertible EFI, Survivor of RBRR 2008, HCR & 10CR 2009, HCR 2010, 10CR2011, HCR 2012, 10CR2013, 10CR2015, HCR 2016 & HCR 2017.
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Nick Jones
November 7, 2016, 9:35pm Report to Moderator

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Also, what breed are the plugs?  My recent(ish) experiences with NGKs suggest that they are useless after one fuel soaking

Nick


Nick Jones
Somerset UK

Vitesse Mk 1.5 Convertible EFI, Survivor of RBRR 2008, HCR & 10CR 2009, HCR 2010, 10CR2011, HCR 2012, 10CR2013, 10CR2015, HCR 2016 & HCR 2017.
GT6 Mk3 Roto - project in progress
Spitfire MKIV son's project now on the road as a daily driver
2.5 PI Saloon now EFI (PIe?), Engine rebuilt and running sweet.  Diff howling...... Survivor of HCR 2013 & 2014 Gone to live in Swansea

http://www.tengaston.plus.com
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Spitfire6
November 7, 2016, 10:02pm Report to Moderator


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Hi,
I would do a compression test. Easy-start and petrol has a habit of reducing the compression if it doesn't work after a few attempts.
Only a long run down a steep hill sorted everything out with my car.

Cheers,
Iain.


Me in Burnley, GB
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Bish
November 8, 2016, 12:17am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nick Jones
Also, what breed are the plugs?  My recent(ish) experiences with NGKs suggest that they are useless after one fuel soaking

Nick


Plugs are from James paddock. Triple electrode, not sure of the make, but had been fine. I have replaced all six with brand new the same.

Any recommendations on better?
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Bish
November 8, 2016, 12:26am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nick Jones
If you are getting no action at all even when spraying easy start - it's pretty much got to be ignition.  Even if you've got the plug leads in the wrong order of the dizzy 180º out (both very easy to do - I have the T-shirts), some popping and banging would be expected.

Are you getting a big, fat, purple spark at the plugs?  Or a skinny little blue one.......?  The HT side can be troublesome - leads, cap and especially the rotor arm.  New ones worse if anything.

Nick


I have a new coil and dizzy (electronic ignition) but wouldn't say it's the best spark I've ever seen, the only thing I haven't changed are the ht leads. I foolishly broke my original Lucas dizzy whilst messing with the timing. On twisting the distributor body the vacuum can snapped off in my hand! I really am having a bit of a mare!!

Also, my battery has taken a hammering with all the failed attempts at starting, so I tried the bigger one off my daily driver, but no joy there either!

I think Iain's right and it's time for a compression test.

Thanks for your help, it's appreciated.
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Bish
November 8, 2016, 7:26pm Report to Moderator
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So this afternoon I took the rocker cover off again to have another look at the valve gear whilst I turned the engine over by hand to get to tdc on number one. All looked well with the valve gear and I lined it all up on tdc and looked down at the distributor to check the rotor was in the correct position. There was the answer! All the ht leads were in the correct order but one position too far clockwise from where they should have been. What a doughnut!! I put the leads where they should be and she fired straight up and settled into an even tick over.

Sweet relief and happy days! I still don't know what the cause of the original break down was I suppose, but I'm glad to be back on the road. Hopefully I will get some time to give her a tune up tomorrow and get some miles in before winter sets in and the gritters are out.

All in all I learnt a lot along the way, so thanks to all for your suggestions and help!

All the best, Bish
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