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Attempting to Start an old 2.25

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Hello knowledgeable Series people :)

I am going to try and get the engine to show some sign of life in my Series III tomorrow. From the engine number I have ascertained that it is a 2.25L petrol 3mb. So nothing special there. It *may* have a Weber carb on it rather than the older (Zenith?) type, but I don't know for sure until I can look in more detail tomorrow.

My first problem is that I don't know if the engine will run or what condition it is in. It does go round if I tow the vehicle with it in gear, so it's not completely seized.

My second problem is that I know almost nothing about older petrol engines and their systems. I understand the basic principle of a carb and how it draws fuel into the air flow etc, and I know that there is a coil generating a large HT voltage, which is then distributed to the plugs by the dizzy. Mechanically. My mind is running away with the idea of Megajolt in the future though... :lol:

I guess what I want to know is, how should I go about this? The engine has been standing for a number of years so I don't want to muck it up by doing something silly. My plan is to address these issues:

  1. Put a decent battery in (current one is long dead), and check for corrosion of the joints in the starter circuit (solenoid being separate, which threw me a bit I have to admit!). Grounds too.
  2. Make sure there is some coolant in the system and that it hasn't frozen (car is outside at the moment).
  3. The fuel in the system will likely be old and gunged up, so I thought I would drain the fuel hose from pump to carb and then remove the feed from the tank and put the pipe in a small can of fresh petrol.
  4. I will whip the plugs out and check their general condition and the spacings as per workshop manual.
  5. I am loathed to open up the dizzy unless it won't go, as I'm hoping the ignition timing won't have adjusted itself since it was last run. Hoping the coil and HT leads are not US too.

If I can get it to turn over at a normal speed, but it won't fire, then I guess I'll have to check that I have:

  1. A good spark at each cylinder
  2. Fuel in the cylinders (wet plug was the test for this, or something?)
  3. Good compression in each cylinder (will have to buy a tester :()
  4. The timing set up okay.

So yeah, I know this is a lot of info I'm asking for, but if anyone has any advice I'd be most appreciative! I'm hoping I'm roughly on the right lines, as I say this is all new to me.

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You're on the right lines, 2.25's take a lot to hurt them so it should start :unsure:

but I'd;

Take plugs out and clean

Take distributor cap off, clean out spiders etc. If points are closed I'd open and give faces a wipe with petrol on rag.

Petrol in carb will be off. Drain float chamber. Carb probably gummed but there again......

Give HT leads a good squirt of WD40, they'll probably have got damp in.

Don't overdo choke.

Stand back and light blue touch paper......

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Whilst you have the plugs out put a squirt of new engine oil in each pot and turn it over on the handle a few times, this will lubricate the rings.

Then spin it on the starter to get oil pressure up, put the cleaned & adjusted plugs back in.

Fresh petrol in the tank and bleed it through the fuel system using the primer lever on the lift pump.

Lift the top of the dizzy, make sure it's clean & dry inside and the contacts open & close with the handle. Check there is a spark at the HT lead from the coil.

Put it all back together (you did remember to mark the HT leads??), pull the choke and go for it.

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Forgot to mention, if you do find any spiders they should be returned to their proper place, ie the bottom right hand side of the windscreen.

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Something worth mentioning

If its been stood for a few years its worth checking the enginge block core plugs. They may look ok on the outside(usually covered in carp and oil) but can corrode from the inside. Mine stood for a year with no coolant and the head off and started leaking once it was up and running and warmed up. I was miles from home, no bucket, no tap! nice... A hot jet of alien blood on the hot exhaust manifold signalled its time to ring the AA!

You can't pop them out for a quick look as they are a persuasion fit, but its worth swapping them out.

They cost pence to swap out. Hit the centre with a punch to deform them, flip them out, clean the holes with a cloth(NOT emery cloth), apply a smear of non setting gasket compound and tap in with a socket and hammer. Simple and stops big problems later.

Good luck

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Thanks, that is definitely something I will do once the vehicle is in bits and the engine is more accessible :)

Some progress was made today, took out all the plugs (one sheared it's top off, so four new ones went in) and the gaps looked to be okay, not too sooted up either from what I could make out. The engine turns over nice and quick on the starter (even quicker with no plugs of course), and the oil pressure light on the dash goes out while cranking, and comes back on a few seconds after you stop.

I put some water in the cooling system as it appeared to contain none.

Only issue I had was on the fuel side. I have identified a Weber carb on the engine, so it's been upgraded at some point. I took the fuel feed pipe off the carb end and there was no fuel in it. Good so far. Only problem is that I can't get it to supply fuel to that point now. If I do the manual prime lever on the fuel pump (lifting it up and down) and hold my finger over the carb end of the pipe, then there is pressure built up in it. However, if I crank the engine over for 10 seconds, there is no pressure built up :huh:

The glass thing next to the fuel pump has some fuel in it, and it still seems to be liquid.

Any suggestions? :(

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Sounds like the filter in the tank is blocked, remove the pipe from the inlet side of the pump and try blowing down it.

You could try filling the float chamber with the hand primer, it should run for a few seconds.

The cam follower on the pump may be stuck, you'll have to remove the pump to have a look.

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Yes, my next step of action I think is going to be to remove the pipework from the pump completely (hopefully without snapping off the connections), and try and re-prime the system with just the inlet pipe going into a pot of clean fuel.

If I can get fuel at the carb, then I can try again, and if it doesn't fire then I'll start checking the ignition side of things.

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squirt some engine oil down the bores and crank with the starting handle gently as you don't want a piston ring seizing.

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squirt some engine oil down the bores and crank with the starting handle gently as you don't want a piston ring seizing.

That's a good idea, I'd never have thought of that :rolleyes:;)

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I did that when the plugs were out, had to use the starter though as I don't have a handle. Should it have one? :huh:

No nasty noises when turning over so hopefully everything is okay inside.

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I did that when the plugs were out, had to use the starter though as I don't have a handle. Should it have one? :huh:

Yes, its about 4 feet long and goes through a hole in the bumper, chassis and onto a fearsome dog on the crank pulley. If you ever get one and feel tempted to show off your muscles, it swings clockwise but don't wrap your thumb round as it can kick back and you won't win the battle :ph34r: It stows behind the seats, but has probably gone walkies.

It is a very satisfying feeling as it fires up though!

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Yes, its about 4 feet long and goes through a hole in the bumper, chassis and onto a fearsome dog on the crank pulley. If you ever get one and feel tempted to show off your muscles, it swings clockwise but don't wrap your thumb round as it can kick back and you won't win the battle :ph34r: It stows behind the seats, but has probably gone walkies.

It is a very satisfying feeling as it fires up though!

It gives you a very knackered feeling when it doesn't though! :D

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I only ever managed to start my series 2 on the handle in warm weather- perhaps i need to go to the gym a bit more though. :ph34r:

Good that the oil pressure comes up- the engine is basically healthy then

Even though i drive a v8 everyday, i still love the sound of a 2.25- that lovely raspy burble :D And the feeling of getting an engine to run that hasn't for a while is awesome.

Good luck!

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That's a good idea, I'd never have thought of that :rolleyes:;)

Ah yes, I see you have amended your original post :ph34r::lol:

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Just had a thought, does the Weber carb have a vent on it's float bowl? I could put a bit of petrol in that way if so?

Cheers

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Re starting a S3 on the handle, mine runs now runs a contactless dizzy with about 15 deg of static advance. With the battery she will start instantly, but no chance with the handle as the advance is too great. If my battery goes flat I need to retard the ignition to TDC then a hand crank works OK. It is worth scratching the relevent marks on the dizzy adjuster bracket so you can reset without a strobe light.

In my dads days a lot of pre war motors were fitted with a manual advance/retard on the steering column this was useful to hand start the engines.

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Re starting a S3 on the handle, mine runs now runs a contactless dizzy with about 15 deg of static advance. With the battery she will start instantly, but no chance with the handle as the advance is too great. If my battery goes flat I need to retard the ignition to TDC then a hand crank works OK. It is worth scratching the relevent marks on the dizzy adjuster bracket so you can reset without a strobe light.

In my dads days a lot of pre war motors were fitted with a manual advance/retard on the steering column this was useful to hand start the engines.

That's a good point. If you look at the dizzy bracket there may be a slotted hole in it, through which a setscrew locates the dizzy to the bracket. This allows quick adjustent of the timing between two fixed points.

If you were to somehow arrange things so the screw didn't grip the bracket and at the same time didn't fall out you could hold the dizzy in the advance position with a spring and use a choke cable to retard it from the cab.

Rotate the body in the same direction as the rotor to retard.

My old Riley had a hand throttle & retard control on the dash which made starting with the handle a breeze.

CORRECTION - The setscrew coes through the bracket into the block.

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Right, a bit of progress was made today. I removed the fuel pump (my god that's fiddly) and took it apart, all seemed well with the diaphragm etc, and during an out-of-vehicle test it managed to pull some fuel up the line from a jerry can of fuel. I put it back on the vehicle, and fitted the pump end of the suction tube. What would be the tank end is now sitting in the jerry can on the floor under the vehicle.

With the pump fitted back on I now get a good flow of fuel at the carb on both manual pumping and cranking, I know this because this silly joining piece is leaking quite a lot:

post-10578-12636626916_thumb.jpg

post-10578-126366268949_thumb.jpg

It seems to actually be coming through the pipe, so I believe it's likely that the rubber inside has perished.

They're not expensive but the clips don't show up in my usual parts supplier's listings, so I assume a normal fuel line clip in the correct size will be fine?

My other theory is that the carb may be blocked up in the fuel side of things, is this possible?

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Use standard fuel pipe and clips.

I suppose the needle valve in the float chamber may be jammed shut, fix the leak first.

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I'll see if I can get some fuel pipe and clips tomorrow as a temporary measure, but since the 'proper' part is so cheap I think I'll put that on when I next do a parts order.

Load of rusted bolts to cut off anyway tomorrow, so plenty of work to be done even if the engine doesn't burst into life :)

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Hi,

It maybe worth stripping the carb and finding someone with a sonic bath to shake the tinny dirt particles out of all the passage ways as it could be dirty or old fuel is sitting in there. I did this to an old Yamaha motorbike so I guess it would work for a land rover!

Steve

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Hi,

It maybe worth stripping the carb and finding someone with a sonic bath to shake the tinny dirt particles out of all the passage ways as it could be dirty or old fuel is sitting in there. I did this to an old Yamaha motorbike so I guess it would work for a land rover!

Steve

Thinking about it, if it's been stood for ages it could be bunged up with that horrible white gunge.

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