My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

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simmitc
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby simmitc » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:43 pm

Correct order, but are the leads in the right place?

philthehill
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby philthehill » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:30 pm

Whilst Bradex Easy Start states on the can that it is suitable for use in starting petrol engines I personally would not use cold start spray on a petrol engine !!!
The spray is very volatile and therefore will create a much bigger and better explosion in the cylinder so there is every chance that you may damage the crankshaft bearings especially if the engine is not in the best of condition.
If you must use easy start follow the instructions on the can to the letter.
Phil


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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby pgp001 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:05 pm

Have you tried it with a drop of NEW petrol down the plug holes yet ?

Phil

amgrave
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby amgrave » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:51 am

Again, check the spark at the plugs is a blue spark and not a fat white one, if it is you need new plugs. A spark tester between the ht lead and plugs will not show the what the spark is like at the spark plug electrodes inside the cylinders.


oliver90owner
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby oliver90owner » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:12 am

While a new set of plugs would give a ‘dry’ start condition and would help in a situation of fouled plugs, I have never, ever had 4 plugs fail at the same time.

We used to (and I still have some) fit plugs which could be taken apart for cleaning, as and when required. It was not until about 1988 that i bought a new set of plugs for my 1948 kerosene burning tractor, and have another which still has those old type of plug fitted.

They only have magneto ignition systems, which still operate satisfactorily, even though the spark energy is somewhat limited compared to a coil system.

“Was running OK” sort of tells me something.

myoldjalopy
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby myoldjalopy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:30 pm

Following simmitc's advice (Correct order, but are the leads in the right place?) try swapping the plug leads around, but retaining the 1342 order. Then do the same again if she still won't start. And then again. You can see that there will be three other possible variations to the one you have now. Try these variations one at a time and she may fire up on one of them!

geoberni
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby geoberni » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:51 pm

philthehill wrote:Whilst Bradex Easy Start states on the can that it is suitable for use in starting petrol engines I personally would not use cold start spray on a petrol engine !!!
The spray is very volatile and therefore will create a much bigger and better explosion in the cylinder so there is every chance that you may damage the crankshaft bearings especially if the engine is not in the best of condition.
If you must use easy start follow the instructions on the can to the letter.
Phil
That's why I said be careful :wink:
They are fairly small and delicate engines compared to some.
Basil the 1955 series II

Image

oliver90owner
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby oliver90owner » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:51 pm

Detonation is the problem with most engine start recipes. Achieving oil pressure before attempting to start with any ether based starting aid is sensible, as is ensuring the inlet valves are intact and the engine is timed such that it it will not contra-rotate.

Re propane, there are many engines running on propane (LPG) and methane - natural gas (which is mostly methane). These low molecular weight alkanes do not easily detonate in the engine - not even at diesel engine compression ratios, requiring either an ignition spark or minimum diesel injection to facilitate the burn.

The biggest risk, I think, is for piston rings, in engines which are operating with excessive side-clearance between ring and piston, getting cracked to pieces. Shattered rings will eventually likely burst through the piston top and create more damage.

And, to add, there have been instances where ether explosions have actually destroyed inlet manifolds. Petrol/air mixtures do not explode easily. They burn with a rapid flame path which, if expansion is restricted, will lead to the container failing explosively, but that is not quite the same as an explosion (in scientific terms).

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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby knmstag » Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:54 pm

Thanks once again folks, I will try again tomorrow, as it's snow/sleet & rain here in Coventry today!
I will take note of the comments and suggestions concerning the HT leads, & order of firing etc.
I've not put any NEW fuel into plug holes yet, I have concerns as per previous post, but may try as last resort.
New plugs and new distributor cap are on order.
I'm interested in the nature and strength of spark at plugs...
I wouldn't describe it as a 'big fat blue one' - more average white spark.
I removed the cover from the voltage regulator, with ignition switched on, and moved the points together on RHS of unit.
This has a slight hissing sound and caused the dynamo to rotate, but not at high speed...Is this normal?
As I mentioned previously, I was using jump-leads to get it started before Christmas, and got polarity wrong way round on spare battery! :oops:
This was a momentary lapse of focus in poor light conditions, but I'm hoping no damage was caused, but wondered if it may have upset certain components in the electrical system. Thanks for you input and suggestion, really do want to get Morris up & running this week! :roll:
Kevin

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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby amgrave » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:18 pm

As I suspected the old fuel has affected the plugs and weakened the spark, white spark equals weak spark and the compression in the cylinder is blowing it out. New plugs should cure it but the old fuel will affect the new ones so you need to do something about removing the old fuel before fitting the new ones. Take the fuel pipe off the carb and with the ignition on allow the pump to empty the tank into a suitable container then refit the fuel pipe and add fresh fuel to the tank, job done.


kennatt
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby kennatt » Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:52 pm

The op said he filled with new fuel in the summer,Whilst fuel does go off,it takes a bit longer than a few months,some of mine stand a lot longer than that,and still start and run,sometimes with a shot of easy start,but they still fire up. I have a petrol generator which sometimes stands for over a year,still fires up with old petrol. I don't see how a spark can blow out,it jumps the electrodes in a millisecond,if there is a charge of petrol and air in the cylinder and the spark jumps at the correct time, with enough compression,it will ignite the fuel.
he states , he has fuel in the cylinders and a spark at the plugs,and the engine is in good condition so for me the only check woud be to go back to the basic timing ,check tdc on firing stroke, on number one ,that the no one lead is in the correct place that the rotor is pointing at no one terminal in dizzy,and the rest are 3..4..2.(I strongly suspect that the timing/ leads are the problem)

myoldjalopy
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby myoldjalopy » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:06 pm

knmstag wrote: I removed the cover from the voltage regulator, with ignition switched on, and moved the points together on RHS of unit.
This has a slight hissing sound and caused the dynamo to rotate, but not at high speed...Is this normal?
Yes, doing this will cause the dynamo to run as a motor, although not sure why you should get 'hissing', unless its just the dynamo pully rubbing against the fan belt? Or it should try to run (it may 'twitch') - the tension of the fan belt will usually stop it rotating, so your fan belt may be a bit loose. Anyway, I wouldn't mess with the regulator, that won't be your problem.

If you have 'an average white spark' at the plugs, do you have a blue spark at the king lead if you remove it from the dizzy and hold it with insulated pliers close to the engine block? That test will give us a good clue............

pgp001
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby pgp001 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:16 pm

Have you got a good electrical connection at the battery posts ?
Any resistance here will drop the voltage at the coil when the starter is in use. Might explain the hissing sound as well !!

I keep mine covered in vaseline to prevent corrosion.

Phil

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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby knmstag » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:28 pm

Good news! - I've finally managed to resuscitate my Morris Minor! :P - and it is back on the road!
Having replaced various components and carried out various checks over the past three weeks, today I replaced the distributor cap and fitted new Champion spark plugs. I checked the HT leads for correct installation, and confirmed the 1-3-4-2 , with No. 1 on compression - It fired up first time!!!
My thanks to all of you who have offered ideas and suggestion to help me. It was a process of elimination, albeit frustrating!
I consider myself a capable engineer, but was baffled with this problem :-? Its a good car, low mileage, but refused to start after a couple of weeks of winter hibernation! - I will get the timing electronically refined with a strobe gadget, and intend to enjoy it on the leafy lanes of Warwickshire.
Thanks again to you all!
Kevin Murray - Coventry.

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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby amgrave » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:50 pm

Glad you have got it sorted, enjoy :D :D :D


palacebear
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby palacebear » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:53 pm

Glad you've had success at last. You could always stray further... then I may see you in the leafy lanes of Worcestershire perhaps...? :D
1956 4-door called Max

myoldjalopy
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby myoldjalopy » Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:08 am

Congratulations on getting the car going again, Kevin. However, I hope you don’t mind me pointing out that had you answered my original question about the quality of the spark, this would probably been sorted much sooner. We only found out that you had an ‘average white spark’ several posts and well over a week later, despite me and Amgrave repeating the question. If we knew you had a blue spark at the king lead, but not at the plugs, our focus would have been on the dizzy cap, plug leads and the plugs themselves. Anyway, glad its sorted – and now you have some spare ignition parts (I hope you kept them, particularly the coil!)

oliver90owner
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby oliver90owner » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:03 am

Now try it with your old spark plugs - the ones ‘supposedly compromised’ by old fuel. Odds are that it will run OK, just as it did before this episode. I would never, ever discard a virtually new set of plugs for the reason suggested. I often need to drain incombustible (not ignitable with a spark) fuel if my KD engines get too cool to start on kero.

So which single simple operation put it right? Because there are not many cases where two, or more, faults occur at the same time :D

RAB

pgp001
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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby pgp001 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:14 pm

It would be interesting to put the old distributor cap back on as well and see if the problem returns.

IMHO I still think the root of the problem is the fuel volatility, in particular that which has been sat in the float bowl, fuel pump and fuel lines.
If the vehicle was running perfectly well when you parked it up, not much else could have changed over time really, surely the distributor cap did not develop a fault while it was just sitting there did it ?. or was it just damp inside the cap all along and tracking to earth that way.

Glad you got it going, but i would be interested in the definitive reason why it would not start for you.

Phil

P.S. I would personally avoid "Champion" spark plugs and fit NGK equivalents, the failure rate on new Champions is abysmal. I was told that by someone who worked for them as well as having experience of it myself.

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Re: My Morris Minor (1971) will not start!!

Postby knmstag » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:59 pm

I really do appreciate the support received fro you guys. It's a relief to get it sorted eventually. :)
With regard to the strength/quality of spark at plugs, it's difficult to assess the result, as it's very subjective 'shades of blue/white'!
Once I have given the car a good run-out, and added some fresh fuel, I will replace the cap, and replace plugs with the older ones to see which item was the root cause of this non-starting event.
I have attached a couple of pictures of the car, it's a late model, 1971, peat brown, red interior, with 27,000 miles on clock!
Regards,
Kevin
Attachments
ENGINE BAY.jpg
Very original, positive earth with dynamo
ENGINE BAY.jpg (1.01 MiB) Viewed 460 times
FRONT ISO LHS.jpg
Taken outside the Stoneleigh Club, Warwickshire.
FRONT ISO LHS.jpg (885.21 KiB) Viewed 460 times
LHS.jpg
Not perfect, but a good un-restored example.
LHS.jpg (1.06 MiB) Viewed 460 times


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