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In a Quandry about Intermittent Starts

To: "Triumph List" <>, "Spitfires" <>, <>, "Spitfire-Enthusiast" <>
Subject: In a Quandry about Intermittent Starts
From: "S Twigg" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 22:54:19 -0500
        I've encountered a problem with my '80 Spitfire for the past few
days.  The car will turn over for a while but will not start.  I'll let
it rest for a minute or two or come back later in the day and it will
start with some mild effort.  
        Here's what I've done.
        I tested for spark a few days ago and I didn't seem like it was
getting any, so I thought plug wires.  The wires were all in the correct
resistance range.  I tested the coil and it was getting voltage with the
ignition on.  I tried a Lucas Sports Coil and no change, with or without
ballast wire connected.  Then on the next try, with the old coil
attached, it started.  I changed the rotor with an old one and it has
made no difference, I still experience the same problem.
        I was getting ready to come home this evening and it took a few
minutes to get it started.  The starter was engaging and I could get the
car to move if I left it in gear and bumped the starter with the
ignition.  I waited a minute and it started.  So currently I am at a
loss at what to inspect.
        My ignition setup is Lucas HEI(Black Box) which had the innards
replaced with the GM HEI module last year, stock coil that is relatively
new, plug wires are a year old, rotor is a year old and the old one is
3-5 years old.  The timing is to spec and the spark plugs are properly
gapped and 6-7 months old.  I even changed Distributor caps and this had
no effect when I tested it.  Since the problem is intermittent, I'm not
sure what is next on the checklist/replace list.
        Any and all thoughts, suggestions, and recounts of past, similar
experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Sean Twigg
'80 Spitfire

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