What to test/try next? (engine died/won't fire)

Started by KingpenM3, February 23, 2022, 08:18:46 PM

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KingpenM3

Short story- I'm going 65 mph last night cruising and the car just dies. Engine goes to 0 rpm. I try to get going again and cranked it too many times, nothing. I've tested spark and got some by putting screwdriver in spark plug #2 line and holding near ground. Not sure what to do next.



Working on old cars... The highest of highs... Lowest of lows.



I'll try to add any information that I think would help here, thank you all for any suggestions.

Set out to fix a bunch of low hanging fruit on the ride about a year ago (bought it about 2 years ago), mainly suspension. Of all the things I didn't expect, suspension (including shocks) appeared to be all original except for new coils. So I did shocks and hi-lows. Ended up losing all of the fuel from the tank while doing back left shock. Replaced leaking rubber clutch line. Tightened up exhaust leak. Replaced leaking left axle seal. And then at some point real life took me away from the project for a full year (car stored inside a garage).

Yesterday I got to try to finish what I can. Level out all of the hi-lows, bleed the clutch, put fresh fuel in. Put 5 quarts of VR1 in since all of the oil drained out when replacing seal.

Engine seemed to get going once the fuel came through the line, but did not want to hold idle, or anything else without the choke for the longest time. (In Louisiana, chilly, but not cold right now). Finally sat outside letting it run for about 10 minutes, working the choke, accelerator, letting it work the bugs out and warm up and finally good enough to take for a spin. Suspension was amazing compared to what I had before, idle was leveling out, made another run out to the highway and back and everything just started clicking, running perfect. Came back and my daughter and boyfriend wanted to go for a spin, went back out the the highway, got up to speed and engine died on me at about 65 mph. Pulled over and the engine had not interest in starting again whatsoever.

Tonight I went and checked spark, seems good to go there. Pulled the same spark plug that I tested the line and it looks brand new, clean, dry.

I guess you could say the engine seems like it is flooded, but that doesn't make much sense to me.

So before I unbolted anything else, or threw something, I figured I'd hop on here and ask for help. Only other assumption that I have is that it is all a carb issue, but boy it doesn't seem like something in the carb would just give out to 0 like that. Thanks for any input!






KingpenM3

Thinking out loud, but it does seem like it just wasn't getting any fuel, I guess I could pull the fuel line from the bottom of the carb and have someone crank the engine and see if I'm getting any fuel to the carb.

gr8kornholio

Yea, first thought was did you run it out of gas?

If there is fuel in the tank then definitely check the pump working.  The SU style pumps have points and they don't like to sit. Just guessing that may be what's on there from description of other stuff. 

You can take the air cleaner off and shoot carb cleaner in it.  If it try's to run on that then you can pinpoint it back to fuel delivery
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

MPlayle

The float needle may be "sticky" from sitting.

If the car has the SU electric pump, follow gr8kornholio's advice and check it is working.  Your car may still be using the old style mechanical pump which requires cranking the starter to test.

When checking for spark, try more than one plug lead.  Also check for stuck points in the distributor.

MiniDave

This is a later model (90's) car, so it won't have points.

The needle and seat on an HIF38 or 44 carb is in the bottom of the carb, a sharp whack with the plastic end of a screwdriver wouldn't hurt it just to see if it's stuck, but my guess is that it is and you'll need to pull the carb and clean it and replace the needle and seat.

The ethanol in modern gas does nasty things to the rubber bits used in those days, you need to replace all of the hoses that carry fuel with modern ethanol proof stuff. Same with the needle, they usually have a rubber tip and the ethanol can make it swell and harden or deteriorate.

Normally I would say to do your proper diagnosis - start with compression.....it doesn't matter how much fuel or spark you have if the timing chain broke or slipped.

Then go to spark, and fuel last......but since you were driving it and it ran well, I think fuel is the problem.

So new hoses, new filters, clean/repair the carb and of course make sure the pump is moving fuel too......
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

KingpenM3

Thanks for all of the help! Carb/pump pictures added.

Another quick question, are you guys running timing advance? My advance tube is just laying across the engine not hooked up to the carb (the way it was when I got it).




94touring

Run about 30-32 all in with the vacuum disconnected with a timing gun to it, then hook that vacuum line back up.

MiniDave

What he says /\

The vacuum advance helps with fuel economy too

That's def an HIF carb - (horizontal internal float)
Complete failure at retirement

1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
2014 Audi Allroad

gr8kornholio

#8
If the vacuum advance is disconnected from the carb then make sure the little tube for it on the carb is plugged.   Zoomed in on pic and I see something there but can't tell if it's plugged.   

Also, make sure the overflow nipple (since yours doesn't have a hose) from the left of carb isn't plugged.  Don't ask how I know this will keep it from running. 
I am the GR8KORNHOLIO! Are you threatening me?

Saussie Aussie 1965 Australian MK1 Mini.
"Beavis" - 07 MY/MY MCS, B/MY Konig Daylites, JCW sideskirts, TSW springs, TSW lower rear control arms -- Exploring the country with new friends since 11/09.

BruceK

Yeah, what Mark said. And the overflow nipple, which should be unplugged, should have some type of hose (rubber) or pipe (copper or steel) fitted leading down to below the engine to dump any overflow fuel onto the road if that unlikely situation should ever arise.  You really don't want overflow raw fuel to dump onto the toasty exhaust header!
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
1992 Toyota LiteAce (JDM)
1997 Jeep Wrangler Sahara

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