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Thread: Weak spark, won't start!

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    Apprentice special ops's Avatar
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    Default Weak spark, won't start!

    The old girl is turning over but not firing up. I suspect ignition side of things but can't be sure. Tested for a spark from king HT lead to block and it was weak and orange, not vigourous at all.

    I have replaced coil with Lucas gold type, fitted new points and condenser, and made sure baseplate earth wire is in place and looks in ok nick with no improvement.

    What would be the next thing to check/replace?

    Tom

  2. #2

    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    How much play is there in the distributor shaft? try checking the rotor arm, plugs and cap/leads. Is the battery ok? Does the exhaust smell of petrol, it should if it's not got a spark.

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    Engineer holly76's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    try a jumper wire from the battey to the coil, to isolate the ignition switch. also check the engine earths, suplemnet with jump leads if neccacery. if bad the volt drop to the engine will be reduced when the starter is turning. try turning the engine with the starting handle, to see if the starter is killing the power for the coil. maybe replace the HT leads. is the coil the correct type?

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    I haven't noticed any play in the dizzy shaft, I set the timing earlier and it was fine when checked again. The rotor arm is new as well, as are the plugs (NGK's). I checked the spark at the king lead so shouldn't that discount the cap? It may be the king lead, but I'm just wondering if I've missed something in the dizzy, 45d4, that may be earthing/not earthing properly, but it all looks as per the diagram in the green bible. I'm getting very confused with it.

    Haven't checked the exhaust smell, will do next time, but pulled the throttle linkage and the petrol squirt was there in the carb.

    Cheers

    Tom

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Quote Originally Posted by holly76 View Post
    try a jumper wire from the battey to the coil, to isolate the ignition switch. also check the engine earths, suplemnet with jump leads if neccacery. if bad the volt drop to the engine will be reduced when the starter is turning. try turning the engine with the starting handle, to see if the starter is killing the power for the coil. maybe replace the HT leads. is the coil the correct type?
    Ignition switch was one of my suspicions, how big a wire should I use to bypass from battery straight to coil? Would a multimeter tell me where the fault is? I had problems with slow starting when I got the Landy a year ago and fitted some heavy duty earths (including one from starter to chassis) so I know that is ok at least! I think I will order new leads in any case, coil is Lucas gold sports jobbie from simonbbc.

    Could do with a distributor re-build thread/link if anyone knows of one.

    Tom

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Is your battery in good condition? Try putting the multimeter across the battery (on volts !) and see what voltage it registers while you are turning over the engine if it drops below about 10.5-11volts you may have a dodgy cell and that would reduce the spark.

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grid Man View Post
    Is your battery in good condition? Try putting the multimeter across the battery (on volts !) and see what voltage it registers while you are turning over the engine if it drops below about 10.5-11volts you may have a dodgy cell and that would reduce the spark.
    The battery seemed ok, it was turning the engine over at a reasonable rate, but it hasn't seen any action for around 5 months. I'll have to get a multimeter off fleabay, are they all the same or are automotive ones different? Probably a stupid question.......

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Try starting it in the dark and look for tracking over the dizzy cap. Have you replaced the dizzy cap? (I have a spare one if you want it posted). Mine did this shortly before I ripped it out and put a diesel in. I think mine had a faulty condenser that caused the weak spark. Try a different one.
    I don't trust Fastcardirect.co.uk as they do not honour sales
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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Have a look at the battery terminals I clean mine & use vasalean to stop oxidation.You can crank it & see if your headlight dim that will give tell you if the battery is any good.
    Brian

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Quote Originally Posted by Richie_asg1 View Post
    Try starting it in the dark and look for tracking over the dizzy cap. Have you replaced the dizzy cap? (I have a spare one if you want it posted). Mine did this shortly before I ripped it out and put a diesel in. I think mine had a faulty condenser that caused the weak spark. Try a different one.
    Will give that a go next weekend, am I looking for sparks jumping round the outside of the cap? I think I've got a spare one if it's a dodgy cap, but thanks for the offer though. I got two sets of Lucas points and condensor from simonbbc that come as a complete set so I can swap that out for the spare one. I just suspect that it could be something that I've missed out, like an insulator or earth connection but its doing my head in!

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Quote Originally Posted by gunnerman View Post
    Have a look at the battery terminals I clean mine & use vasalean to stop oxidation.You can crank it & see if your headlight dim that will give tell you if the battery is any good.
    Brian
    Thanks for that Brian, will do that at the weekend. Although if I'm caught sneaking out of the house with the wife's vaseline to do "a bit of tinkering on the old girl" I may get a black eye!

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    It could be that your new condenser is faulty, so try a different one. Also, re-check the points gap or ideally, if you have one, get a dwell meter on it. Testing the dwell angle will give a much better result than just using feeler gauges to set the gap, because any wear in the dizzy shaft will be compensated for.

    David

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Quote Originally Posted by phoenixdave View Post
    It could be that your new condenser is faulty, so try a different one. Also, re-check the points gap or ideally, if you have one, get a dwell meter on it. Testing the dwell angle will give a much better result than just using feeler gauges to set the gap, because any wear in the dizzy shaft will be compensated for.

    David
    I don't have a dwell meter but I was going to get a multimeter this week and have seen some with dwell mode on them. I'll try the other points and condensor unit to eliminate that. Where can you get the braided earth wires that go in the dizzy? Might as well replace that too.

    Tom

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    Quote Originally Posted by special ops View Post
    Where can you get the braided earth wires that go in the dizzy? Might as well replace that too.

    Tom
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Earth-lead...item48425cff2c
    I don't trust Fastcardirect.co.uk as they do not honour sales
    Before you judge someone to be an idiot, first walk a mile in their shoes.

    That way, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes !
    ( What kind of idiot lets you walk off in their shoes anyway?)

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    Default Re: Weak spark, won't start!

    I think it might be the cold wet noth wind the blows up hear Bob was having the same trouble this time last year.He came from the south coast not used to the cold wet wether.He is now used to it and starts first time.
    Brian

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