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Daily Driver Challenge
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petelang



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 225
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had a similar problem in the past but caused by a faulty condenser.
Have a good close look at the points. If there is any sign of burning on them, or a white deposit around the surface. Try a replacement condenser. There are so many really rubbish ones about.
Peter
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having had condenser issues in the past that was one of my first ports of call and the points are nice and healthy. I'm more inclined to think the carburettor is simply worn out, it's always been more troublesome than it ought to be. If dirt is getting in, I really don't know how at this point, perhaps there's some dirt inside a part of the carburettor I cannot get to without a professional clean.

The new fuel filter is still nice and clean as is the fuel in it so I don't think it's contaminents from the tank or line. I have had issues with the current carburettor 'sweating' in use, a problem that is apparently due to the casing going porous which is an affliction some SUs of this type had in the late 70s and early 80s. It's anecdotal evidence, I've never found any technical proof for it.

Suffice to say, replacing this carburettor will likely resolve the issues. Interestingly, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine over in America and we got talking about fuel injection conversions since he's done just that on his 80s Grand National SS. Much simpler on his car in his country due to parts availability but it did make me wonder what might be involved in converting the O series in the Princess to fuel injection and, of course, electronic ignition. The latter is easier to achieve since the Lucas 45D distributor is well catered to with a good range of electronic ignition kits available. The former, not so much. I had heard someone was attempting to retrofit the injection system from a Montego onto their Princess engine, but nothing further seemed to come of it.
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alanb



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 346
Location: Berkshire.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about your air filter? I once had a Ford escort that started to misfire and would not go above 40mph, it turned out to be the air filter collapsing and being sucked into the carburettor, the car had only been serviced 6 weeks earlier.
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old tourer


Morris 8 two seater
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emmerson



Joined: 30 Sep 2008
Posts: 1188
Location: South East Wales

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vulgalour, I know everything seems to point to a fuel problem, but have you fitted a new coil? The symptoms sound like my Range Rover, and like you, I tried all sorts of fuel repairs, to no avail. For some reason I lifted the bonnet in the dark, and the coil looked like Blackpool! New Lucas coil cured the prob for about a month,then it re-occurred so I took the coil back. Again, only a month or so, so I bought a Bosch coil. Twice the price of the Lucas one, but its now on the third Range Rover, and hasn't missed a beat.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd have to check the dates on when I fitted new components as I don't have them to hand. However, I can tell you the following have been replaced in the not too distant past and all currently check out as perfectly fine:

Spark plugs
Plug leads
Contact breaker points
Condenser
Rotor arm
Coil
Distributor internal earth wire
Distributor cap
Air filter - in good health with no signs of collapse and still quite clean
Fuel filter
Fuel pipes (these haven't suffered the common perishing or cracking issue other classic users have experienced, thankfully)

I can find nothing amiss on the ignition side of things. Everything is working exactly as it should now and nothing is showing signs of being anything other than optimal. The problem really does seem to be fuel delivery reliability and given the fact that I've had issues that appear and disappear at random with the carb from the day I bought the car, I'm very much inclined to believe the carb fitted is the source of the difficulties. Sometimes it takes a while to narrow down where a fault is, and the process of elimination has been ongoing to the point that the only location we keep getting issues now is the carb itself.

I've also been through the various settings and gaps to make sure everything is optimal and it is. Even the in-tank electric fuel pump is priming and providing fuel as it should.

I have had it suggested more times than I care to recall that I should just fit electronic ignition to cure all woes. I don't doubt it will improve efficiency marginally, I just can't imagine it will be this miracle cure people claim it to be. The car has done perfectly fine, if not flawlessly, for nearly forty years on the factory ignition set up and I see no need to change it just yet.

Fuel injection, however, is looking very tempting at this point! If only there were a bolt on kit for a 1700 O series.
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alanb



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 346
Location: Berkshire.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what distributor you have, but I had a problem with my Morris 8 a couple of years ago whereby a resistance had built up between the alloy upper body and the steel shaft and as the distributor is earthed by the clamp on the shaft this caused a poor earth within the distributor, attaching an earth wire between the upper body and the engine block solved the problem of misfiring and poor acceleration and loss of pulling power.
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Morris 8 two seater
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Bitumen Boy



Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 1338
Location: Above the snow line in old Monmouthshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vulgalour wrote:


I have had it suggested more times than I care to recall that I should just fit electronic ignition to cure all woes. I don't doubt it will improve efficiency marginally, I just can't imagine it will be this miracle cure people claim it to be. The car has done perfectly fine, if not flawlessly, for nearly forty years on the factory ignition set up and I see no need to change it just yet.



I've lost count of the times I've seen people on various forums in trouble with electronic ignition that's stopped working for whatever reason. Fine when it works but when it doesn't fault finding can be much harder than before - with points a methodical approach will always find the fault in the end, and components are cheap enough to test by substitution. Somehow I've never been tempted myself... Laughing

Of course, much the same goes for fuel injection conversions, maybe you can get better economy but to my mind the loss of simplicity is too high a price to pay. If I want a car that I can't fix myself due to baffling black boxes and a rat's nest of wiring I can just go and buy a modern, any modern, they're all the same!
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3400
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bitumen Boy wrote:
Vulgalour wrote:


I have had it suggested more times than I care to recall that I should just fit electronic ignition to cure all woes. I don't doubt it will improve efficiency marginally, I just can't imagine it will be this miracle cure people claim it to be. The car has done perfectly fine, if not flawlessly, for nearly forty years on the factory ignition set up and I see no need to change it just yet.



I've lost count of the times I've seen people on various forums in trouble with electronic ignition that's stopped working for whatever reason. Fine when it works but when it doesn't fault finding can be much harder than before - with points a methodical approach will always find the fault in the end, and components are cheap enough to test by substitution. Somehow I've never been tempted myself... Laughing

Of course, much the same goes for fuel injection conversions, maybe you can get better economy but to my mind the loss of simplicity is too high a price to pay. If I want a car that I can't fix myself due to baffling black boxes and a rat's nest of wiring I can just go and buy a modern, any modern, they're all the same!

The only faults you will fix with an electronic ignition are; faulty condenser as the kits have the condenser built in, or faulty points assuming the points are replaced , which they are not with all electronic ignition kits.

Dave
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like many a convenience, electronic ignition is great when it's working and a nightmare when it isn't. I have come to the conclusion that the system of choice should be down to what the user is confident and comfortable with. As things stand, I'm not ready to invest in electronic ignition just yet, there's still other items that need attention.

---

Today, the Princess was incredibly difficult to start. So much so that a neighbouring workman popped his head around the hedge to ask if it was always so difficult to get going. I was beginning to doubt the Princess' ability to fire myself until, eventually, it did. Then the difficulty was keeping an idle.

As usual, I went through the usual suspects to try and find a problem and there was nothing apparent. I was getting fuel, a good spark, the points hadn't closed up, the carb wasn't flooding... it was almost as if there was a massive vacuum leak somewhere which seemed unlikely since on the roadside repair I'd checked for that and there wasn't one.

I had nowhere else to look so started checking for possible problem areas when I spotted the gasket between the carb and the spacer block had a bit of a tuft. A quick squirt with carb cleaner (it's what I had to hand) highlighted that this was indeed a massive vacuum leak.


On removing the carb I found that there was a big chunk of the gasket missing, it looked like it had just been blown out. I also noticed the inner hole of the gasket was breaking up and the carb had quite obviously been sucking little fibrous bits of it in. Perhaps I've also found what was blocking the carb internals up and possibly the root cause of the fuel starvation issue. It would explain how stuff was getting into the carb without going through the fuel filter. Perhaps I damaged the gasket at the roadside when I did the repair, perhaps it was already damaged and recent fettling was just a bit too much for the gasket.

Out with the Flexoid to make up a new gasket. This gasket paper has helped Mike out with difficult to find gaskets before so I know it should be up to the task.


With the new gasket made I reassembled everything and the car, predictably enough, was much happier. A short test trundle proved that things seem to be okay, I'll know better when I've gone on a longer run, I just didn't have the time for that today.
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Penman



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3982
Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HYi
Not sure about the bits getting sucked in to the carb, surely the vacuum would be sucking them towards the valves.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A similar observation was made on another forum and now I think about it I concur. So who knows where the dirt in the carburettor has really been coming from?
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20357
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember a "failure to proceed" moment when a pal and I went for a spin in my 2.5 Spitfire years ago. The car wouldn't run right for love nor money, so in the end we retired to the nearest pub and waited for the AA man to arrive, to take us (and the stricken Triumph) back to our respective abodes.

In that case too, it turned out that whoever had fitted the carbs during the conversion, had used an unidentified gloop instead of gaskets when installing the carbs, eventually leading to the issues you've recounted above.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today has been rather trying. After replacing the gaskets the car drove really well when I went out on my errands until I was on my way home. Poor running began and then the car just died on me, fortunately in a place where I could coast into a car park. I got the car to fire up again but with a wandering idle and a reluctance to rev. Creeping around the car park I found that I could use the choke to counteract the wandering idle enough to limp the car fast enough to not be a hazard to other road users so made my way home again.

Within about a mile of home, the problem got worse. I was struggling to maintain 15-20mph doing a dance of pedals and choke and, since I was slow enough to be a hazard I put the hazard lights on and deployed hand signals. I hope the learner driver behind me was educated or knew what hand signals were, certainly they were kind enough to give me plenty of space and I was blessed with clear roads to make the journey home safely.

Once home I could investigate more properly and I found that the points are burned badly enough that they need replacing. That, combined with the way the car was behaving, leads me to believe the condenser has failed, especially so since the problem is worse when the car is up to operating temperature which is when similar symptoms appeared with my previous condenser failure. I could purchase a new condenser and a new set of points but I decided that instead I should put electronic ignition to the test to see if the recommendations given really would pay dividends. Personally I still find points and condenser systems perfectly adequate providing you can acquire good quality versions of both, I just haven't had a great deal of luck with condensers over the years.

The other issue that has been becoming apparent lately is that the rear suspension is firmer and bouncier than I'd like. I suspect they require a re-gas so that's a job for the new year. I'm hoping the pivot shafts in my spare rear suspension assemblies aren't seized as I'd far rather send those out for rebuilding so I can at least use the car while I wait for them to come back. I'll do the fronts at a later date as I don't have spares and they're in good order, so I'd rather wait until a time I can comfortably disable the car for a while.

This has certainly not been the best week of the challenge. Thankfully, I have very little driving to do between now and January so I may well get through the next few weeks without having to stop the challenge. We shall see.
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20357
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you decide to revisit the distributor, have a look at the thin wire that runs beneath the base plate (assuming there is one), the feed from the LT connection on the side of the dizzy to the points. I had real issues with an older vehicle a while ago, where it'd cut out, pop and bang and so on. I'd changed the coil, points, condenser and so on but it continued, right until I removed the base plate in the dizzy to spot that the wire beneath it was loose and randomly arcing against the dizzy's body. With that sorted, normal service was resumed.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 131
Location: Middlesbrough and Kent

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that's the same wire we've already replaced very recently after it fatigued at one of the crimps and caused running problems. Since doing that it's been a sort of miniature cascade failure of parts, presumably as stress has been put on other parts. Certainly I'll be sure to check the internals when the new kit arrives.
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