Good morning to you all,
I have recently added a 1919 Speedster to my stable, nice looking car and obviously restored fairly recently.
This Saturday, "chuckling" along, the engine suddenly lost power and stopped. After some time, I discovered that it will start, but now only with full advance (distributor)! When it is running, it has no power and runs much rougher than before.
There would appear to be a manifold leak (exhaust, and maybe inlet), but would this really account for my issue?
I hope that the timing gears have not jumped; carburetor appears to function normally - and no leaks.
Any ideas gratefully received.
Thanks in advance - Colin Williams
You can check the timing - where is the piston when the breaker points just open? If it's way off and late = retarded at full advanced, then it's a possibility it has a failing fiber timing gear. Or maybe it's the distributor drive gears that is failing without grease? Both issues are very fixable, though it can be hard to find gears for some types of distributors.
Thank you Roger - that's a task I will do next weekend - thanks for your inputs.
Replace the points, it will drive you nuts trying to find the cause I had the same problem on another car.
What brand or type is the distributor? Some of the cam shaft drive gears are threaded and lock to the cam shaft others such as clip on Bosch and Atwater-Kent rely on the clamping force of the nut to keep the gear from moving.
Checking the location of the rotor when at TDC would be a good place to start.
First Step: Check timing.
Second Step: Depends what the first step reveals.
Gentlemen, thank you all for your assistance.
I will do the work over the weekend and (hopefully) get it going.
I will let you know what happened.
Colin, does your dizzy have a condenser? They are notorious for causing all kinds of problems that mimic other problems, especially when heated up and then cooled. Even new ones can be at fault, been there. I've seen them cause many different problems in the last forty+ years, the ones available now are even worse. Dave
David - thank you - I will be sure to check the condenser.
Thanks to all posters - I advanced the distributor by about 25 degrees and it runs much, much better. I just hope it stays like that!
Thank you for the update. Been wondering.
It isn't supposed to change timing by it self like that, so it would be best to check the distributor drive gears. Apparently some types of gears can loosen up and move on the camshaft. They need to be packed with grease from time to time, anyway.
Some distributors used a thread-on gear that has a nasty habit of not threading quite all the way on when first installed. They thread on where the stock timer nut goes. They apparently did this quite often from what I have heard. I had one of those many years ago. It was a repo unit using a Volkswagen distributor that was made back in the '60s and '70s. I think I have seen a couple original era units that had a similar thread-on drive gear.
Often, there will be a bit of a burr or widening of the threads on the original cam that stops the gear just short of bottomed. The car runs great for awhile, then the material or burr gives a bit, and the gear slips a few degrees, or maybe a half turn or more killing the engine. Most discussions around club meetings and tours years ago indicated that they "usually" only do this once. However, sometimes they will do it a second or even third time.
And of course, Colin's distributor could be an entirely different setup which slipped for an entirely different reason.