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Firing, Plugs, Wires, Timing, Cap, And Coil.


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So the car is turning over and wanting to catch, but not quite there. What order would you address the following? Just cleaned tank, replaced carb, alternator bushings, and new battery. Anything helpful. I realize there are other resources on this site; however, I need things dumbed down a bit to gain a thorough understanding. Thanks in advance.

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1.  Is the starter turning the engine nice and fast, or very slowly?  If the latter check grounds at battery and engine.


2.  Did you look down the carb throat while working the accelerator linkage to see if the accelerator pump discharge nozzle is giving out a healthy squirt of gas?  If no gas, you need to either fill the carb's float chamber (let us know what kind of carb you have) or proceed to #3 below... 


3.  Have you tried a squirt of ether (starting fluid) down the carb throat?  Sometimes that's all an engine needs to get enough cylinders going to start the fuel pump pumping.




'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Hans, yesterday I pulled hose before fuel filter and1 turned the car over for a while to get the bad gas out of the system. I would turn over for about 5-7 seconds and fill up an 8oz container.

Mike, I felt like the engine was turning over pretty consistently. I can't say it was at a fast pace but definitely enough to start if it planned on starting. I didn't not check the throttle linkage and fuel supply by squirting because I felt that it would take a while to get everything primed. Instead, I put a little gas in each barrel. We are working with a Weber 32/36 DGAV

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There´s a plug in the bottom of the gas tank. Drain the tank and refill with fresh fuel?


Over here (Sweden), the guy at the gas station told me they have an maximum storage time of fuel of three months, after that it loses quality. Add water from air humidity and dirt to that..

Before I used to fill the tank before winter storage to prevent rust in the tank, but not anymore. If I do, it does not run right come spring. 

Ola Gustafson
1975 Taiga Euro 2002 3685483 - Weber 38/38 DGMS - Pertronix Ignitor - H&R Cup Kit - TEP headers and Simons 2" sport exhaust - 3.91 LSD.

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Lets start from the bottom.

Take the valve cover off. take the spark plugs out.

rotate engine by hand clockwise until you see a notch in the camshaft on gear end sit under the oiler hole. FYI in this position both cam lobes of the #1 chamber shoud be down allowing relaxation of the rocker arm.

lets assume your crank ->cam timing is correct.

at this time either check the rotor position in the distributor, or loosen the distributor clamp bolt and lift the dizzy up enough past the gear mating and turn the rotor shaft counter clockwise about 1/2 or so past the timing notch shown above. re-insert the dizzy, the spiral gear will turn the rotor close to the correct position for static timing. you may need to do this a few times to get it close. The Factory service manual shows the distributor housing oriented with the vacuum advance pot to the exhaust corner of the valve cover.

replace valve cover, replace spark plugs, check firing order 1 being the wire in the cap under the rotor...342 going around clockwise from that position.

Try and start. you might have to loosen the dizzy clamp to advance (turning the dizzy housing counter clockwise) a little to get it started.

now you need a timing light.

disconnect and tap the open port from the vacuum advance line. this is that little hose from the mushroom growth coming off the distributor and runs to the intake manifold just below the air stem in the carb.

set the idle at 1600rpm, timing light hooked to #1 wire.

there is an oval notch in the tranny bellhousing, just to the exhaust side from the starter. standing on the driverside aim the light into that hole and look for a flash from a ball bearing. turn the dizzy until the ball is holding at the top of the oval. BTW this is difficult without practice or ever having done it before.

or aim the light at your crank pulley and line up the mark with the pointer(which assumes your pulley has marks and your chain case has a pointer)




Please get yourself a Haynes manual just to familiarize yourself with some of these components and processes

Edited by daron
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Hence my question about whether you had touched the distributor. If you didn't, and the car ran before you started working, then I'd be looking at fuel issues. If you did, then follow the instructions to check/set timing. On the fuel front, you may need to drain the whole tank and start over if the fuel is contaminated.

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