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Old 13-02-2005   #1
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Exclamation Uno Starting Problem (OIL LEAK CAM MOUNTED DISTRIBUTOR – FIRE ENGINE)

I have a L reg Fiat Uno 999C.
The car was fine and started first time, until a friend decided to clean the engine with degreasant and hosepipe.

Now the car turns over but will not start. I think the petrol is coming through fine as i can smell it under the bonnet, but there does not appear to be a spark at the spark plugs.

I unplugged a lead and put a screwdriver against it and turned the engine over, but there is no evidence of a spark at the end of the lead.

Any ideas?

Also, the 5th lead from the distributer goes to a small unit attached top the body near the suspension mount. Any idea what this is, and should it be making a noise all the time when the ignition key is in the 'ready to start' position? I have tried replacing it with one from another car, but that one makes a noise too, and the car still does not start

Please help!!
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Old 14-02-2005   #2
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Re: Uno Starting Problem

Yes, I think I know what this is. The distributor cap will be full of water. Take it off and dry it... and try again. :-)

BTW I like a clean engine, but... been there, done that.

-Alex
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Old 14-02-2005   #3
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Re: Uno Starting Problem

The part near the suspension is the coil.

this is energised, and makes an electromagnetic force (emf).

When it is de-energised, the magnetic field collapses, whick creates a high voltage e.m.f

This is used to create the sparks at the spark plug end.
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Old 14-02-2005   #4
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Re: Uno Starting Problem

Cheers. Cleaned all the water and oil out of the distruibuter cap, and seems ok now.

I can see now, that the coil starts the spark. Is it meant to be making a noice constantly when engine is in ready to start position?
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Old 14-02-2005   #5
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Arrow Re: Uno Starting Problem

Hi chrisgirdler,

My 999 IE makes a faint whining noise when key at running position – wi engine running or not. It sounds like Buck Roger’s Ship…

There is also another noise when you first turn the key (on). It lasts about 2 seconds, but I imagine it’s the fuel pressurizing, or ECU initializing.

Can you fire her up?

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Old 14-02-2005   #6
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Re: Uno Starting Problem

Yeah. Starts up fine now i've cleaned the distributer out.

Just never noticed the noise before on the coil. Maybe cos i'm not normally looking for something to be broken.

Mine makes the noise with the fuel pressurising as well for a few seconds when you turn the key
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Old 14-02-2005   #7
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Arrow Uno Problems?

I first noticed the Buck Rodger sound after doing 2 things too closely together...

I fixed the front engine mount. It rang like a bell at certain revs.

Then I added an injection cleaner product (from Asda) to my first full tank.

The noise remains – annoying after 1,000 miles. As you say you can be looking for something wrong – you convince yourself there is.

I thought my tappets had problems till my friend started her Fiesta…

Rgds,
Louie Bee.
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Old 15-02-2005   #8
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Re: Uno Starting Problem

Oil in the distributor cap is another common FIRE problem (as is another thing I forgot to mention: two of the spark plugs get 'drowned' easily in their holes).

The distributor shaft seal is a replaceable item that doesn't last forever... I suggest you re-check the distributor cap in a few weeks or watch for a trickle of oil (which leads the way to the clutch... not good!)

Unfortunately the seal is an odd size and so has to be ordered from a FIAT parts counter... cheap enough though.

-Alex
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Old 15-02-2005   #9
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Arrow Distributor O Ring Gasket?

EZ Alex,

Could that be the Distributor O Ring Gasket? I’ve had one on order since last October. They cost about 75p + vat. You try buying one round here…

These is a leak (not from usual - cam cover gasket) so I keep mopping up oil. I never really thought about where its leading TBH.

A new clutch and probably if I was less wise a new gearbox.

Spot on tip once again Alex – Chears M8.
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Old 17-02-2005   #10
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Re: Distributor O Ring Gasket?

Thanks Louie (or 'easy' as you guys say )

I think the distributor has two seals - an O-ring around the outside (where it pushes into the cam housing) and the oil-seal on the shaft itself (which you have to dismantle the distributor to replace: not difficult).

But yes, the oil seal for the shaft is also cheap but difficult to get... It's a common thing with other FIATs, e.g. the Tipo, basically any FIAT with a cam-mounted distributor - you gotta watch it.

A friend and I really did have a neglected Uno 45 FIRE to sort out - the end of the engine and gearbox was covered in oil, and the new clutch was stuffed... After we cleaned up the engine and put it into a different car with replacement clutch, we ran it to see where the oil was leaking, and it was only the distributor making such a BIG mess! It kinda sticks in my mind... :-)

-Alex
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Old 17-02-2005   #11
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Exclamation Uno Problems A Starting !! FIRE

Just put an O-ring gasket on order elsewhere. The guy said he’s got 9 on order, but only since this February, so I should be onto a winner soon.

Ill ask them about the “oil-seal on the shaft itself” bit soon . It’s been leaking for some time now – I hope I’m not to late lol.


Regards All,

Louie Bee.
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Old 21-02-2005   #12
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Arrow Re: Uno Starting Problem

Look what turned up when I went to cancel my order (attached). The O ring Gasket from my local dealer.

Turns out FIAT have changed the minimum order and they now have to order 22 (of these)– but can now return any unwanted

I’m thinking of complaining to in writing FIAT Auto UK LTD. How long did it take them?

Ill Soon have one spare lol.
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Old 19-03-2005   #13
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Post oil-seal on the shaft itself.

Hi All,

This is the brakerless FIRE Distributor in bits. Look at the old O Ring gasket in 2 pieces. – new one fitted.

The shaft seal it intact as no trace of oil from there lol.

I forgot to mention I fitted a new timing inspection hole cover some time ago (Old is attached). The leaking oil was just missing the hole, but this has not always been the case – look how the old one is perished and covered in oil. I guess the old owners normally parked on a different camber / hill.

Its funny how a couple of rubber seals replaced in time saves Many .

Alex, how do you get to the shaft oil seal? Also see inverted link . Do you reckon anything will spring out? Thanks in advance for any help!

Regards All,
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Old 19-03-2005   #14
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Arrow Oil in Vacuum advance?

Hi All,

I've successfully replaced my distributor , keeping only my working vacuum advance. So far I only replaced the O-ring gasket, still a little head scratching on the shaft oil seal lol. The oil seal is OK on the substitute distributor for now.

What has really puzzled me is the working vacuum advance unit its self was full of oil! Can anyone tell me if this is normal As the Diaphragm is not leaking I reckon there is only one way in – from the other end of the vacuum pipe. The old pipe also had oil in it???

Nearly rebuilt distributor pick attached – too dark to take pick as no flash lol. After a short test-drive no oil leak – and more top end although ECU is only partly reset…

Ill put new NKG BCPR6eS plugs (for IE) in tomorrow and try 0.95 MM gap – Should be between 0.85 – 0.95 according to all sauces other than Haynes… dam Did I fitted Champion last time.

New air filter breather pipe and hot air intake pipe as well as new air filter... I’ll then check timing. – or should I fit my Induction…


Regards All,
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Old 20-03-2005   #15
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Re: Oil in Vacuum advance?

Louie,
Sorry I've been away for a few days (OK, I suppose I've still been here, but too busy with a new job at an electronics shop) AND I'm a bit sick at the moment

To take the shaft out of the distributor, remove the keyring-shaped spring rings from around the drive dog (yes that really is the technical name for it). This lets you push out the pin that holds the drive dog to the shaft. It would be a good idea to mark the drive dog so that you refit it the correct way around (or take some more pics). You wouldn't want it to be 180-degrees out!

Grasp the distributor body and tap the distributor shaft (the end that had the drive dog) on a hard surface and, from memory, I think it will push the seal out of the housing. So, an easy job, and I bet that the old seal will be rock-hard compared with the new... that is, if you've managed to get the new one yet?

I tried to get a new seal from a bearings/oil seals supplier, and that failed because of it being a very odd size. So, I think you will have to venture back to the FIAT dealer...

Cheers,
-Alex
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