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Car won't stay running after sitting for 1.5 years


Corbu73

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I have a 1973 2002 that has been sitting for about a year an a half :( because I've been recovering from a back injury.  The last time I drove the car, I went to get some gas on my home, and when I went to turn the car back on it was completely dead.  After some guys helped my push start it, I drove it home and parked.  Fast forward to this afternoon, I removed the air filter on the carb to be able to inspect my starter and being new and naive to working on cars, I stupidly pushed on the choke plates on the carburetor (closing them, they had been about half way open before that).  After reconnecting the wire that had come loose from my starter I went to start the car and I can't get it to start.  I had some help while trying to start it, I would pour a very small amount of gas into the carb while my wife tried starting the car.  The car will turn over and start up but die immediately.  I feel like it might have been my "adjustment" on the carburetor that is causing the issue, that or a faulty fuel pump. I have questions, do you all (without a doubt more knowledgeable about cars than me) think it is the fact that I pushed on the choke plates, closing them.  Or could it be the mechanical fuel pump, which has always seemed a bit weak (I've had the car for 11 years).  OR... am I just way off in your estimation, what else could it be?  Thanks for any knowledge you may be able to impart.

 

Cheers!

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Do some logical troubleshooting to determine the cause:  you need spark and fuel for an engine to run.  You said it would start and run for a few seconds if you poured gas down the carb throat, so you must have spark.  I'd check anyway; pull a plug, connect it to its plug wire and lay it atop the valve cover.  Have someone turn the engine over and look for a nice, fat blue spark at the plug's end.  

 

But it sounds like a fuel problem.  A car that's sat for 1+ years will have a completely dry fuel line; it will take 20-30 seconds of cranking to pull gas from tank to carb, and that's if everything is working.   Does your car have its OEM Solex two barrel, or a replacement Weber?  IIRC you can fill the float chamber on both carbs with a squeeze bulb or small funnel (or big, veterinarian-sized syringe minus needle).  Advise which carb you have and I can give you directions on how to fill.  

 

With a full float bowl, the engine will start and run long enough for the fuel pump to begin pulling fuel from the tank; if that doesn't happen, you're gonna have to troubleshoot back from the carb back through the fuel pump, the fuel lines and the fuel pickup unit in the tank to find the problem.  My '02s routinely sit for 6 months to a year, and manually filling the float bowl (I use an old ear syringe--don't laugh--it works) will let 'em start after a few seconds every time.  

 

Let us know about that carb so we can continue troubleshooting.

 

mike  

'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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Siphon out the old gas and replace with some new gas. Fuel lines may be gummed up same with the fuel pump and carb jets. Are you running points? It's always the points.

Andrew Wilson
Vern- 1973 2002tii, https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/blog/304-andrew-wilsons-vern-restoration/ 
Veronika- 1968 1600 Cabriolet, Athena- 1973 3.0 CSi,  Rodney- 1988 M5, The M3- 1997 M3,

The Unicorn- 2007 X3, Julia- 2007 Z4 Coupe, Ophelia- 2014 X3, Herman- 1914 KisselKar 4-40

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9 hours ago, mike said:

With a full float bowl, the engine will start and run long enough for the fuel pump to begin pulling fuel from the tank; if that doesn't happen, you're gonna have to troubleshoot back from the carb back through the fuel pump, the fuel lines and the fuel pickup unit in the tank to find the problem.  My '02s routinely sit for 6 months to a year, and manually filling the float bowl (I use an old ear syringe--don't laugh--it works) will let 'em start after a few seconds every time.  

 

Let us know about that carb so we can continue troubleshooting.

 

mike  

Hey Mike,

 

Thanks for your reply.  I have attached a couple of images of the carb, I think it's a weber but honestly I'd need some help identifying it for sure.

 

I will try the spark plug trick also to check for spark.

 

Looking forward to making some progress on this, so i really appreciate your help.

image1.JPG

IMG_2885.JPG

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9 hours ago, adawil2002 said:

Siphon out the old gas and replace with some new gas. Fuel lines may be gummed up same with the fuel pump and carb jets. Are you running points? It's always the points.

Please pardon my ignorance, what are points? How can i tell if I'm running points? Thank you!

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Points go in the distributor (The orange cap with all the wires coming out). Since you said the car will start if you manually put gas into the carb, its probably not an electrical problem. Start by checking the fuel.

 

Disconnect the rubber fuel line from the carb and put it into a plastic bottle. Have someone crank the car over and see if gas is pumped into the bottle. If gas is pumped into the bottle, then likely the problem is the carb and the jets should be cleaned. If gas it not pumped into the bottle need to check the fuel lines arent clogged or the fuel pickup in the trunk isnt clogged. Fuel pump might need replacing.

 

By the way pushing on the chock plates doesnt mess up the carb or change any settings!

1976 BMW 2002 Chamonix. My first love.

1972 BMW 2002tii Polaris. My new side piece.

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Yep, that's a Weber carb--aftermarket replacement for the less-than-reliable OEM Solex.  You can fill the float chamber on your Weber by (1) removing that cast aluminum adapter atop the carb's throat, then (2) locate a small opening inside the throat on the side facing the front of the car.  That's the air vent for the float chamber.  

 

You'll need to use a very small funnel or what I use--an ear syringe.   That's a small rubber bulb with a nipple on one end that is normally used to clean wax out of your ear and can be found at any drugstore (just don't use it for ear cleaning too!).  

 

Then pour a little gas into a tin can or other small container and either use the funnel or syringe to squirt gas down that small opening.  It'll take a couple of syringes-full of gas to fill the float chamber.  

 

Once done, then try starting the car.  

  •   If it still won't start the jets--especially the idle jets are probably gummed up.  Check archives on how to pull 'em and clean.  They're accessible from the carb's exterior, so it isn't difficult.  
  •  If it runs for 10-15 seconds and then dies, test the fuel pump per Stevenc22's above directions to make sure the fuel pump is functioning.  Just keep in mind that if there are any air leaks in the fuel lines upstream of the pump, the pump won't work as it would much rather suck air (less dense) than gasoline.

Let us know whatcha find...

 

mike

'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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+1 for fuel.  The fuel in the clear filter looks yellow but should be a lot closer to clear.  If it starts after fuel is dumped in the carb and then stops, it needs more fuel.  Float, orifices, lines, any of them can restrict flow is they get gummed up or sticky.  Take the fuel line off and spray carb cleaner everywhere you can in every orifice, hole, line, linkage, etc.  Good place to start anyway... might get lucky.  I typically take the line off at the inline filter and put it in a small can full of fuel.  The mechanical fuel pump with draw it out of the car instead of the fuel tank.  If it runs its bad gas.  If it doesn't run its gummed up in the carb.

 

If none of that makes any progress I'd go to the ignition system, starting with points.  There is a TON of information about this stuff online and what you're dealing with is on the simple side of stuff.  Read up...

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20 minutes ago, esty said:

you have it fully choked in the picture...open the choke plates wide open, just push down on the front and they will open... prime it and try and start it...

Thanks for the reply.  When I manually open the choke it just flips back to the closed position... I did hold it open while my wife tried starting it last night and it keep cutting off.

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Does the car sputter to a stop or does it die as soon as you let go of the key? if it sputters than it likely to be gas if it's dying when you let go of the key it's your ignition resistor bypass not providing 12 volts when in the run position. 

If everybody in the room is thinking the same thing, then someone is not thinking.

 

George S Patton 

Planning the Normandy Break out 1944

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I used Mike's suggestion to fill the float bowl with a couple of syringes full of gas and it cranked and stayed on, on the second attempt. It idled smoothly for 15 minutes or so, not over heating, so I took her down to get some air in the tires and put about 30 miles on it on country roads. Everything seems to be running as well as it did last time I drove it (without the starter issue now).

 

Also, just curious about the negative rating I received on my initial question in this post. If I did something inappropriate/ wrong, could you all let me know, I'm here to learn, and hopefully... eventually help.

 

Thanks to you all,

-Chris

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Cool, glad it's all resolved! May you have many miles of smiles.

Andrew Wilson
Vern- 1973 2002tii, https://www.bmw2002faq.com/blogs/blog/304-andrew-wilsons-vern-restoration/ 
Veronika- 1968 1600 Cabriolet, Athena- 1973 3.0 CSi,  Rodney- 1988 M5, The M3- 1997 M3,

The Unicorn- 2007 X3, Julia- 2007 Z4 Coupe, Ophelia- 2014 X3, Herman- 1914 KisselKar 4-40

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You might find that the negative rating comes from somebody having 'fat fingers'. Nobody is particularly negative around here. 

 

I accidently gave someone a down vote the other week. I could correct it by upvoting twice. 

rtheriaque wrote:

Carbs: They're necessary and barely controlled fuel leaks that sometimes match the air passing through them.

My build blog:http://www.bmw2002faq.com/blog/163-simeons-blog/

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