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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
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ignition issue

I removed my distributor including the shaft from my 500 with a 110.004 engine recently.
The car ran fine before removal although the timing looked to be off when checking with a strobe timing light, but again the car ran fine.
The distributor has an electronic ignition unit installed

After re installing the distributor following a standard procedure of first cylinder at TDC etc., The car only runs on one cylinder (second)
I checked for sparks at the sparkplug for the first cylinder which is has. New sparkplugs made no difference, the cylinder got good compression and all else seems ok.
Timing is now reading correctly with a strobe timing light.

WHAT AM I MISSING?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: ignition issue

Are the leads pushed all the way into the dizzy cap. Try changing cables over
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: ignition issue

Thanks, The cables are connected and inserted correctly resulting at plugs that produce sparks upon testing. Is there a possibility in setting the timing such that it will only run on one cylinder? Currently what is indicated as number 2 on the distributor cap feeds cylinder 1. Reversing the wiring results in a car which does not start at al.

How can an engine run and start easily on one cylinder while the other cylinder gets compression, spark and I assume fuel by the smell of it, too.

Totally confused by this.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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Re: ignition issue

If the engine is persisting on only running on 1 cylinder, it could be that the 'non-running' spark plug has, because it is not firing, got 'wet'---try taking both plugs out, cleaning them, checking the electrode gap, DISCONNECT THE 'KING-LEAD' and cranking the engine with you foot fully down on the throttle (with the plugs still out). this will blow any surplus fuel out. Then, with the plugs nice and dry and correctly gapped, refit them, reconnect the 'king-lead' and try starting the engine again.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by reneb View Post
I removed my distributor including the shaft from my 500 with a 110.004 engine recently. WHAT AM I MISSING?
Basically I think your engine is now scrap... you need to send it to me.. and I will supply you with a fully rebuilt engine as a replacement at a reasonable cost :-)
Not that I am influenced by the fact it's a 110.004 engine in the slightest!!!

If this engine number does not match the alloy chassis plate then clearly the wrong engine for the car and the engine itself has decided that it needs a new home in my garage.

Other than that I have no idea what's wrong...
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by Bigvtwin996 View Post
Basically I think your engine is now scrap... you need to send it to me.. and I will supply you with a fully rebuilt engine as a replacement at a reasonable cost :-)

....or you could remove the spark-plugs, leave them out overnight, charge the battery and then fit new plugs and give it a try. Sometimes plugs will be faulty even though you see a spark when they are removed.
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Last edited by fiat500; 4 Weeks Ago at 23:17.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: ignition issue

I agree with all the advice from members above and you do seem to have already checked all the usual things.

You say the engine ran OK'ish (presumably on both cylinders?) until you removed the distributor. Now with the distributor refitted the engine only runs on 1 cyl.

Did you do anything else to the car while the distributor was out?

Any chance that something got disturbed/damaged in the distributor while it was out? You didn't say what type of electronic ignition is fitted but maybe the pick-up in the distributor got damaged. I've seen one where one finger of the rotating chopper (Hall Effect pick-up?) was bent and threw off the timing badly on that cylinder.

Check out the plug leads with an ohm-meter if you have one, including waggling them while testing. Otherwise swap both leads over at both ends (plugs and distributor if the leads are long enough).

Sometimes a plug will fire when connected to a plug lead outside the cylinder but will fail to fire when installed and under compression pressure.

Check the inside and outside of the distributor cap for any cracks or tracking marks (looks like a spidery line of carbon on the cap surface).

Try running the engine in the dark and watch for any sparking that shouldn't be there.

You say there is compression on the cylinder that is not firing, but have you got enough compression? Can you measure it and compare with the other cylinder or the figure in the manual? If compression is low, try checking/resetting the valve clearances (valve lash) and re-measure. Low compression can cause a misfire, even lower can result in non-firing on that cylinder.

I've heard it said that new spark plugs will foul with fuel easier than used plugs... I assume the plugs you're using are the correct heat range, although even plugs that are way colder in heat-range should fire for a while before fouling with fuel.

Only other possibility is that a Gremlin has gotten into your engine. Very difficult to find and eradicate Gremlins....

Al.
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Last edited by F123C; 4 Weeks Ago at 04:04.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: ignition issue

Thanks for all your replies. The problem however persist so BigVtwins suggestions must be correct

I am however not about to give up: In response to F123C,
The care ran beautiful before I took the distributor out. Both cylinders show 125 PSI compression. I use an accu spark electronic ignition. played around with the plug leads and spark plugs which made no difference.

Plan on taking the accu spark out and installing points to see if that makes a difference. I guess after that I'll take the front bumper of to see if that makes a difference unless any of you has a better suggestions
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #9
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Re: ignition issue

I had a problem years ago with a montego, sometimes it would run like a pig,eventually I found that the porcelain part of the plug was cracked and therefore producing missfiring
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #10
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Re: ignition issue

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.
Same compression in both cylinders (125psi)
Carb was rebuild some time ago and I am finding no issues there.
So I have fuel, compression and spark, but only one cylinder which is happy with what I am doing.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: ignition issue

It's a bit concerning that in an earlier post you said you "Currently what is indicated as number 2 on the distributor cap feeds cylinder 1. Reversing the wiring results in a car which does not start at all". Are you sure that you haven't put the distributor back in 180 degrees out.

When you line up the timing marks on the flywheel so that they line up with the mark on the crankcase that indicates TDC, what direction is your rotor arm point?

The fact that all you have done is removed the distributor would suggest it's not been put back in correctly. It's easy to mistakenly put it back in 180 out.

Tony
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: ignition issue

That really is a mystery, and although I have learned not to take anything for granted, it looks like we can eliminate all apects of ignition.

Compression may be good, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all is well in that regard. It is still possible that the valve clearances on the number 2 cylinder are too wide, perhaps resulting in poor induction of fuel/air and/or insufficient exhaust. I had this situation in an instant when one of the nuts holding down the rocker-shaft came loose.

I think it's worth taking off the rocker cover to look for problems of that variety.
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Last edited by fiat500; 2 Weeks Ago at 20:43.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #13
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
That really is a mystery, and although I have learned not to take anything for granted, it looks like we can eliminate all apects of ignition.

Compression may be good, but that doesn't necessarily mean that all is well in that regard. It is still possible that the valve clearances on the number 2 cylinder are too wide, perhaps resulting in poor induction of fuel/air and/or insufficient exhaust. I had this situation in an instant when one of the nuts holding down the rocker-shaft came loose.

I think it's worth taking off the rocker cover to look for problems of that variety.
You beat me to it sounds more like a valve timing issue to me. you could have one valve completely closed and still get compression. could be related to the distributor being 180 out. Need to go back to basics and ensure TDC, timing marks and valve operation are all correct.

Robert G8RPI.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #14
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Re: ignition issue

Quote Originally Posted by fiat500 View Post
That really is a mystery, and although I have learned not to take anything for granted, it looks like we can eliminate all apects of ignition.
Well I'll challenge you!!! Because I have decided to become your forum troll!

How can you eliminate all aspects of the ignition, if reneb says it only runs on one cylinder with the HT leads swapped around? I understand your alternative theory. In reality if all someone has done is taken the distributor out, the most likely cause of the problem is going to be distributor related. It would be extremely unlucky to suddenly get a valve issue at the same time.

In my experience of fault finding you always look for the obvious first, what has changed recently and what was happening at the time that could have caused it?

Troll Tony
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #15
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Re: ignition issue

My understanding of the orientation of the distributor is that it doesn't actually matter if you get it 180 degrees out as long as you switch the plug leads too.
In fact, the numbering on the 126 distributor cap and presumably the orientation of the rotor-arm at TDC are opposite to that on the 500.
Incidentally, I think you can be a bit out on the tooth alignment of the distributor and still get the engine to fire as there is a lot of leeway in the fine adjustment available.
It is probably wise to avoid either of these scenarios but if the engine fires enthusiatically and actually "runs" on one cylinder, you are pretty good on timing already.
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