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Author: Subject: Xflow starting - oh so close! Or is it?
Stuart Walker

posted on 19/4/21 at 06:41 PM Reply With Quote
Xflow starting - oh so close! Or is it?

Hi all,

Sorry to be one of those who disappear when everything is going well and come crawling back for help when it won't work, but errrrrr...

1300 xflow with DHLA 40s. Had sat for 10 years, but now almost going. I just can't solve the final hurdle - could be simple but if you have a minute to watch (listen really) and tell me what you reckon I'd be really grateful!

Video hopefully here - about 24 sec in is the best attempt: [img]20 210418_174007 by Stuart Walker, on Flickr[/img]
or if not then this link - https://flic.kr/p/2kTMktz

Ignition:
- New condenser, cleaned up points, new plugs. Decent spark at all plugs.

Fuel:
- Couple of weeks old. I took the fuel pipe off the tank outlet and put it in the plastic can. Facet electric pump seems to be working fine.

Carbs:
- They were full of crystallised old fuel and a bit grotty but now all cleaned through, new diaphragms and you can see fuel spraying into the venturis when you press the throttle. Jetting will be way off but it has run with these jets before.

Timing:
- Set on the markings to about 8 degrees BTDC. Pretty confident I'm not 180' out (set to the TDC after inlet valve closes and piston rises)

Starter:
- At first it was getting hot and draining the battery. Took it off, cleaned where it touches the engine and refitted, so it should have a good earth.

My question is this...
It seems to fire and the starter disengages (whizzing sound), but it doesn't fire. Do I just need to fiddle with the timing? If so I need to invest in a new manifold so I can move the distributor (the good old faff with the distributor and the manifold). I have tried moving the dizzy maybe 5 degrees each way and nothing changed, so I wonder if some genius can hear something else I'm missing?

There will be air leaks between the manifold and the head but I thought even so it would at least fire and run terribly for a while?


Any thoughts appreciated!
Cheers,
Stu

PS. Does anyone know if the motorcraft distributor is less tall than the bosch? I've got the bosch so if so that might be an easier swap than a new manifold.

[Edited on 19/4/21 by Stuart Walker]

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pmc_3

posted on 19/4/21 at 07:07 PM Reply With Quote
When my old Pinto did that it was the ignition timing out. I'd try loosening the dizzy and just keep turning it a bit until it runs and then time it with a light.

[Edited on 19/4/21 by pmc_3]

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Schrodinger

posted on 19/4/21 at 07:22 PM Reply With Quote
What is the white stuff in the carb trumpets?

Have you tried using something like Easy Start?

[Edited on 19/4/21 by Schrodinger]





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britishtrident

posted on 19/4/21 at 07:42 PM Reply With Quote
Classic sign of the ballast ressistor not connected or has an open --- run a 12v wire straight to the coil + for a short test





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obfripper

posted on 19/4/21 at 08:26 PM Reply With Quote
It's been a few years since i had dhla's, but the following gave the best chance of starting first go.
Don't use the choke (they tend to just flood the engine), just pump the accelerator 3 times, then crank with no throttle input until it fires, then only a slight amount to bring up the idle until it's stable.

Dave

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Stuart Walker

posted on 19/4/21 at 09:08 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks. Not sure what you mean by white stuff Schrodinger, could it just be the reflection on the mesh? Not tried any of that stuff. I did try fuel straight into the bores and it coughed.
I heard that about the choke Dave so have avoided it, I've been trying four pumps then trying to start on medium throttle. I'll try like you said next.

Sounds like I probably need to adjust the distributor a few degrees each way while turning over. Time for the new manifold so I can actually get it to turn then. I've tried the wire straight to the coil britistrident, might need a bit more investigation.

Thanks all, sounds like at least I'm roughly on the right track and not missing something really obvious.
Cheers

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russbost

posted on 20/4/21 at 08:00 AM Reply With Quote
I can only hear it fire on a couple of cylinders, would suspect firing order is incorrect as it seems to be firing too early sometimes & stopping the engine from spinning over freely, it could just be over advanced, but I would certainly check firing order as a priority - seem to remember Kents had a slightly odd firing order was it 1,2,4,3?





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Stuart Walker

posted on 20/4/21 at 08:28 AM Reply With Quote
Thanks. Yes it is 1243, and I did think I had it correct, but I will check again when I get it set up with the new manifold. I have been taking the distributor in and out to try different angles (0, 90, 180, 270) to try to find one where I can get some adjustment, so have been swapping the leads around and could easily have made a mistake.

Spent ages last night looking at alternative distributors again - the Motorcraft looks less tall body but I can't find a side exit cap anywhere so I think I'll stick with the Bosch for now (especially as I've got an old Lumenition I hope to use for it later). Manifold is on the way so hopefully that will give me the space to twist around and get it sorted.

Thanks again

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rusty nuts

posted on 20/4/21 at 09:20 AM Reply With Quote
If you can find one a distributor, the small wiring loom and ignition coil from a Valencia engined Fiesta works well and has a reliable electronic ignition unlike the Lumenition
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Stuart Walker

posted on 20/4/21 at 01:44 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks, I'll keep an eye out for one. I sort of would like to use the Lumenition I've got if I can as my uncle gave me it (about 10 years ago, when it was probably already 10 years out of date!) but if it's going to be totally rubbish then I'll give up the nostalgia and get something decent. To be honest I'm not sure if it works, which is why I'm trying to get it running on points first then swap to the Lumenition so at least I can see if it makes things better or worse!

Just slowed down a video of the plugs sparking (clamped them all to the studs and turned it over - obviously moved everything fuel related first!) and I think you're right Russ - looks like I had them 1-2-3-4, on that attempt at least. Full start again job once the new manifold is on anyway so I will try to concentrate better...

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steve m

posted on 20/4/21 at 03:56 PM Reply With Quote
The Lumenition ignition system is really out of date, i ditched all my stuff about 15 years ago

I would recommend Accuspark, its incredibly easy to setup, and once its in and running, never touch it again





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Theshed

posted on 20/4/21 at 05:25 PM Reply With Quote
Hmmm

I put an accuspark distributor into my daughter's Morris Traveller. It lasted about 2 months. I am not sure if it was genuine or knock off. I replaced the transistor unit with...points. What a clever little device they are. If they go wrong then you can adjust them/clean them on a rock/ bend them/all with a swiss army knife and a packet of Rizzlas.

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gremlin1234

posted on 20/4/21 at 07:12 PM Reply With Quote
I was told a VERY old trick especially on engines that flood, was to take the spark plugs out, put them in the oven for a while, then try again with the nice hot plugs.
once it runs at all; it is much easier to troubleshoot

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perksy

posted on 20/4/21 at 07:58 PM Reply With Quote
Once you've checked the firing order etc I'd replace the sparkplugs (or clean them well)
Try some Eazistart and see if it runs, If it does at least you'll know its fuel related

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Stuart Walker

posted on 20/4/21 at 09:44 PM Reply With Quote
That's what I'm thinking gremlin, as soon as it is at least running I can set the timing properly with a light then look at setting up the carbs, then test the various ignition options. I just put a new set in perksy (since the video, but it made the same noises), so I can rule out plugs I think. Thanks. I'm optimistic that when the new manifold is on and I can adjust the dissy while turning over I will be able to get it going. Fingers crossed and I will report back!

Thanks for all the Accuspark / Lumenition / points thoughts too

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coyoteboy

posted on 21/4/21 at 09:01 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by gremlin1234
I was told a VERY old trick especially on engines that flood, was to take the spark plugs out, put them in the oven for a while, then try again with the nice hot plugs.
once it runs at all; it is much easier to troubleshoot


Ahh this old trick does indeed work, and it works better than just blowtorching the tips, but that's also a fast solution.

Many moons ago I spent about 2 night debugging (chasing several different) faults on a BEC, we had two sets of plugs - one was being torched while the other was being tested It only took 5 seconds of cranking to make it a total no-start situation, swap in dry plugs and it would fire right up.

[Edited on 21/4/21 by coyoteboy]





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ReMan

posted on 23/4/21 at 07:32 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by coyoteboy
quote:
Originally posted by gremlin1234
I was told a VERY old trick especially on engines that flood, was to take the spark plugs out, put them in the oven for a while, then try again with the nice hot plugs.
once it runs at all; it is much easier to troubleshoot


Ahh this old trick does indeed work, and it works better than just blowtorching the tips, but that's also a fast solution.

Many moons ago I spent about 2 night debugging (chasing several different) faults on a BEC, we had two sets of plugs - one was being torched while the other was being tested It only took 5 seconds of cranking to make it a total no-start situation, swap in dry plugs and it would fire right up.

[Edited on 21/4/21 by coyoteboy]


Haha, Burned my fingerprints off with many old two strokes doing this, usually held them over a gas ring in pliers , but still had to get them into the engine :-)





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Stuart Walker

posted on 23/4/21 at 09:54 PM Reply With Quote
It lives!

Thanks all for your tips - the new manifold arrived this morning, at lunchtime I swapped over, set valve clearances, set points, cleaned the plugs, checked firing order and roughly set the timing. Additional ability to rotate the distributor was enough to get it closer to correct... tonight (after 4 pumps of throttle then holding just above idle) it coughed, spluttered, and finally started! Lots of bangs and flames from the carbs at first but it's running OK now and holds a reasonable idle. Bloody loud too!

Feels like a big step forward! Thanks again for your help.

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gremlin1234

posted on 23/4/21 at 10:38 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Stuart Walker
Feels like a big step forward! Thanks again for your help.

yes that is a big step forward! well done

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