[Top] [All Lists]

Re: Help... Getting over my head rapidly

To: Jurgen Hartwig <>
Subject: Re: Help... Getting over my head rapidly
From: Carl Elliott <>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 12:41:47 -0400
Don't give up Mike. It may be a head gasket. Gas and spark don't run.
Head gaskets are not a big deal on a Midget or B. Just take your time,
If you have a Polaroid camera take pictures as you take everything apart.
And if you have a reassemble problem look at the pictures and use the shop
manual.Just take your time. Carl E.

Jurgen Hartwig wrote:

> Michael Graziano wrote:
> > Now she won't start.  I'm getting spark, and gas, but not ignition.  When I
> > try and turn it over,  it turns a little then it's as if something catches
> > the engine and stops the cranking dead.  (Maybe 80% of the time, spins
> > normally without ignition other times)  Battery is in decent shape.  And
> > every once in a while Poof... a big cloud (as in ALOT) of smoke out the
> > intake and what seems like other places as well, even out the valve cover.
> > Not sure of color (looks white),  but smells of gas.  ALso frequent
> > backfiring (constant little pings, and an occational louder one accompanied
> > by lots of black (not blue) smoke.
> >
> Check the timing.  Make sure nothing is backwards, although you didn't
> specify if it was running fine before your suspension work.  Check the
> points.  IF they are pitted, replace them.  Also, replace the
> condenser.  Verify that you are getting regular spark.  The backfiring
> is a hint that you might not have the timing correct (wires reversed),
> but one thing you mention is that you have to have the choke out.  This
> would indicate that you are running lean.  Lean running produces
> backfires.  MAKE DARN SURE you do not have vacuum leaks.  This is bad on
> carbed cars, and is very frequently a horrible and frequent problem on
> FI cars.
> > I thought maybe the timing chain, but the valves are moving when I crank it.
> > That's timing chain driven, correct?  Carb seems to be in OK shape.  No rips
> > in the piston gasket.  Never found an intake leak.
> >
> Keep checking for intake leaks. If you cannot find any leaks, then
> proceed to a check and adjustment of the valves, timing, and then
> carbs.  To find intake leaks, you can use most any flammable lubricant.
> WD-40 is fine.  Some endorse propane.  Others promote other fluids.
> Spray at all areas of the intake.
> > I REALLY have no idea what to do next.  I'm afraid the whole intake
> > backfiring thing has been leading up to this.  Maybe my valves are all
> > screwed up?  I now keep the carb relatively rich,  and the choke partly out
> > to keep the engine smooth.  I was also not driving it too much until I had
> > time to solve the backfiring problem.
> >
> Unless your intake valve is open during the firing stroke (due to very
> bad valve adjustment), I don't see how you could be getting backfiring
> through intake, due to valve adjustment alone.  This is screaming LEAN
> mixture.  I don't think you mention what carbs you are running.  If SUs,
> make sure your pistons are falling all the way down.  Make sure you are
> getting plenty of fuel in there.
> > If I need to pull the head off this damm thing,  what should I purchase
> > ahead of time (tools, parts) to do it?  And what should I read other than
> > the Bentleys and Haynes as prep work?  I would think I need a new gasket,
> > some sort of machinist's straightedge to check for warping,  and if all
> > seems lost when I get it off,  an elephant gun with a dozen or so rounds.
> >
> I wouldn't jump to that side of the fence yet, until you can rule out
> ignition and fuel. Until then you are shooting from the hip, and what
> you hit is random.
> If, however, you are very bored and have nothing else to do, for pulling
> the heads, you need a breaker bar, extension, and I believe either a
> 9/16" or 5/8" inch 6 point socket to remove the head bolts.  You need to
> remove the exhaust from the head and free from the studs.  Take the head
> to a machinist and let him do the checking.  Ask around first.  Some
> machinists couldn't find a straightedge, even if it hit them in the
> head.  A good machinist is like a pot of gold.  Again, don't rip the
> heads, unless you have good reason.
> > I getting QUITE frustrated at the rapidly deeper hole my car seems to be
> > climbing into.  And I just don't have the know-how to pull it out.
> >
> Michael, when my dad gave me the '78 B about 5 years ago, I didn't know
> anything about cars.  My expertise was limited to oil changes.  Now,
> I've owned and maintained two MGBs, a Porsche 912E, and a Porsche 911 is
> in the works.  These MGs have taught me so much and given me so much
> confidence.  I tackle engine rebuilds, paint and body work, interior
> work, suspension work, and brake work with ease.  It's not hard.  It's
> fun.  And if you do the work yourself, you'd be surprised at how cheap
> it really is, especially when you consider how much a new car costs
> these days.  I've put about $5k in my '70 B, and it's carried me over
> 30k miles in the past two years.  How's that for value.  I'm selling it
> now, and if I get the $3k asking price, I'll have spent $2000 for all
> that fun and learning.  Not a bad deal in my book.  Especially given I
> would have been driving a Civic for that price.
> > Sorry to vent like this,  but I seem to be at wits end here.  WHat other
> > info should I be revealing and any suggestions on what I need to do next?
> >
> I've vented here at least 10 times, and someone always comes to my
> aide.  I've replaced the top myself ( with help, of course), replaced
> the U-joints on my car (very tough job with no tools, BTW), and learned
> about ignition, all because of kind listers who stepped up and gave me
> advice.  I salute all of you enthusiasts.
> Take care and keep yer chin up
> Jay
> --
> When you were born you cried
> And the world rejoiced.
> Live your life so in death you rejoice
> And the world cries.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>