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Apparent timing issue that required rotating the distributor

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TomSunIVGT Avatar
TomSunIVGT Tom McVicker/T
Bay Village, Ohio, USA   USA
I am very late posting this. Last July I got my Series IV, 1964 on the road after six months awaiting my mechanic of 25 years to have time. I've owned my car >40 years but do at times seek outside expertise. Anyhow, I found another mechanic who in one day determined the timing reached a point that the distributor needed rotation - well beyond my personal shade tree know how. The motor would rapidly turn but would not fire. Prior to this starting issue I changed electrical components of plugs, points, condensor, wires and coil. So, apparently timing reached critical mass causing the car not to even cough.

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Ex Pat Avatar
Ex Pat Anthony Boothman
Barrie, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Did it run before you replaced all those ign parts?

TomSunIVGT Avatar
TomSunIVGT Tom McVicker/T
Bay Village, Ohio, USA   USA
It ran in December when I drove it home after getting a replacement starter motor. Then for a few months it would rapidly turn but not fire or even cough even with my spraying dry gas down the carb.. I replaced gnition parts and a friend installed the points. I never bothered to learn to do points the >50 years I've owned my Sunbeam because, I was lazy some, and it wasn't ever an issue. Another variable the garage guy who got it running was he replaced the fuel filter because he found a slight leak. I never smelled gas. Over the years I know what gas, oil, hydraulic fluid, antifreeze all smell like! I did see gas being squirted into the carb before he did that. So, I can only guess it was an extreme case of timing{?}.
On the brighter side, last month I had several bodywork rust repairs with perfectly blended paint match! I also replaced the passenger side window regulator/ winder with a used one. Decades ago I did the driver side and remembered it was a tough replacement job.
Have a great spring!

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Ex Pat Avatar
Ex Pat Anthony Boothman
Barrie, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Ok the problem you originally had could have been the points closing up over time therefore loosing the gap. So first you say you have gas o the carbs, next is spark. To check spark pull the plug wires off the plugs (one would do ) put a spark plug in it and rest it on an engine ground like rocker box or anything metal on the engine, now turn the engine over and check for spark at the plug gap. This is easier with 2 people 1 in the car turning over the engine and 1 watching for spark. You can hold the spark plug on the engine whilst it's being turned over you wont get a shock as long as it's grounded. If no spark make sure you have a points gap. You can do this by removing the distributor cap and rotor and have some one spin the engine over ( you can disconnect the wire going to the distributor) no if as the distributor cam rotated watch the points they should open and close 4 times per rotation, if not they need adjusting. If they are opening and closing next check the small wire ( white I think) going to the distributor with the ign turned on with a test lamp in the wire connection and the other end grounded see if you have power. If you have power at that wire this suggests that the points are ins.talled wrong, usually the small whitish insulators where the points spring is attached to the points. PS I am a retired mechanic, and have an Alpine. See pic. with two of my bikes I restored.


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TomSunIVGT Avatar
TomSunIVGT Tom McVicker/T
Bay Village, Ohio, USA   USA
Thanks for your, learned, thoughts. It's been running well since using it more and nicer weather after the paint job. I have taken the top off for the summer. You have great looking bikes and a BRG Alpine.


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