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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #16
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
Well I'll challenge you!!! Because I have decided to become your forum troll!
"The Trolls are small creatures who live in an almost perpetual state of happiness, singing, dancing and hugging all day long"

How true Tony

Good point made though; I read back to the bit where @reneb says swapping over the leads results in no starting at all so you (may be ) right.
But swapping the leads would do that because both cylinders would be firing at the wrong time.

But if everything ignition related has been changed, you end up chasing your tail even more by not widening the search for the cause of the problem
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #17
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
But if everything ignition related has been changed, you end up chasing your tail even more by not widening the search for the cause of the problem
Yes but then you are at risk of going off on a complete tangent. When the only obvious change has been the distributor has being removed.

If it was me I would go back to basics. Line all the timing up manually on the flywheel, making sure you have the rotor arm pointing to number one on the distributor cap, making sure you have the HT leads on the right cylinder etc... I am not sure if this has been done, as previously it has been mention that the HT leads were plugged into the wrong cylinders?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #18
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by Vitesse View Post
If it was me I would go back to basics. Line all the timing up manually on the flywheel, making sure you have the rotor arm pointing to number one on the distributor cap, making sure you have the HT leads on the right cylinder etc... I am not sure if this has been done, as previously it has been mention that the HT leads were plugged into the wrong cylinders?
I think @reneb should do that but I fear his response might be "I already have done." As quoted:

"I am still messing with this car and unable to resolve this issues. I replaced the electronic ignition with points, I replaced all wiring, plugs, cap and rotor. Checked the timing once more and it still runs on only the first cylinder."

He seems to know what he's doing and has done it thoroughly. It sounds like he's hoping for a bit of lateral thinking to help out. I reckon the car needs a vigorous tow-start and if that fails he can carry on to @Bigvtwin996 's home for retired Fiat Automobilia.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #19
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Re: ignition issue

don't want the whole car... just the engine.....
Well ok the gearbox/starter too as well as the new engine will be a 3 bolt starter

I would say that it's a sign from above that it is destined to be replaced with one of those more modern units 110F or similar....
must be past it's best before date......
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #20
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Re: ignition issue

This reminds me of an interesting chat with my local buddy on the weekend about my distributor.

He said effectively: "before you ever unbolt the distributor from the engine, make 100% sure you check the precise alignment of the rotor. When you put it back in, the rotor needs to be pointing exactly the same way otherwise you will pull your hair out with a car that won't start"
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #21
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Re: ignition issue

Assuming you have checked all the timing and valve operation, think about the distributor. basically all it does is open the points at the right time and connect the coil to the correct plug. Only two active positions. Engine runs on one cylinder so turn distributor through 180 degrees and swap HT leads at plugs. Try not to disturb anything else. If engine now runs on the OTHER cylinder the is a fault with one position of the distributor (bad cam, bent shaft faulty cap whatever). If the fault is the same it's highly unlikely the distributor itself is at fault.
What type of pick up did the electronic ignition use? if it was the points, changing it will not have ruled much out.


Sometimes you can get too close to a fault and not see the "obvious" try standing by the engine with someone (does not have to be someone who knows about engines) and talk through everything you have done from the beginning. This can often help clarify what is going on and separate the "wood from the trees"


Robert G8RPI.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #22
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Re: ignition issue

Is the spark plug on the non-firing cylinder becoming wet with fuel when the engine is run on one cylinder?

As several others have said, if the problem started only after the distributor was removed and replaced, then I too would be thinking hard about what might have been damaged/disturbed/upset during that work. Are you certain that nothing else was done?

Anyone playing tricks on you?? (e.g. you can have good compression and a spark at the right time but that cylinder won't fire if it's exhaust port/pipe is blocked....if a sort of hissing sound, similar to a football deflating, is heard after switching-off the engine, then you possibly have an exhaust blockage).

I'd try what 'fiat500' suggested and remove the rocker/valve cover but in addition I'd disconnect the plugs leads (leave the existing plugs in situ) and insert known good plugs into the leads, resting the plug bodies on the engine cowling (to earth them). Then with the ignition switched on, I'd turn the engine over slowly using a wrench/socket on the generator nut (press down on the slack-side of the drive belt if it slips), while watching what is happening. You'll be able to feel the compression building up on each cylinder in turn when that cylinder's valves are closed, as you near tdc, that same cylinder's plug should fire. One complete turn of the crankshaft later the process should be repeated on the other cylinder. Just before each spark occurs, stop turning the crankshaft and listen for gas leaking from the exhaust or back up through the carb.

If the engine runs on one cylinder, then you can eliminate (afaik) the ignition switch, ignition coil, coil lead, condenser and carburettor (if original single choke type). You have good compression on both cylinders, new spark plugs. The problem must surely?? be somewhere in the distributor (as g8rpi has suggested). Was it dropped? disassembled? any parts changed? Distributor cap sitting correctly in situ? Take a look at the distributor operation with cap removed while turning over the engine with a spanner/socket as suggested above, you'll probably be able to see a small spark at the points as they break (start to open). If you check the points gap (ignition switched off!), do so on both lobes, the results should be virtually identical, otherwise something is worn/damaged.

Al.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #23
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Re: ignition issue

Gentlemen,

Thanks for all your replies, suggestions and recommendations.
I finally solved the mystery about this engine running on one cylinder after playing with the timing.
I once again checked the timing, fuel, valve clearance and compression. To my astonishment I found absolutely no compression in the second cylinder!!
After removing the head I found a failed head gasket. Never mind that I had checked the compression in both cylinders shortly before working on the timing and finding a healthy 125 psi in each.

Funny how something unrelated can crop up at the same time you are working on something and totally confuse you.

It also turn out that the distributor cap is of a 126 with the reverse numbers as is mention in an earlier post. That confused me too.

This is my first Fiat (actually an Autobianchi bianchina Transformabile) and it is fun to get to know the in and outs of these engines/ cars.

Thanks again for your help.
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