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Thread: Non starter

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    Active Lancista setiabakti's Avatar
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    Non starter

    Firstly, thanks to Tye and Dave for their spark plug / fuel pump recommendations.

    1979 Lancia Beta Zagato, 2000cc, carburrated.

    When I try to start the car, it turns over fine, but does not fire
    If I prime the carburetor with some gas, it fires, runs well for 2 seconds then dies

    When I detach the gas line from the gas filter and add a clear plastic tube (photo) attach a hand siphon pump, gas flows freely into the filter and clear tube.

    I am guessing problems with the new pump I fitted or is there something else I should be checking?

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN2757 -1.jpg  
    Mike ....

    1979 - Beta Zagato
    2006 - Aston Martin Vantage
    2018 - Lexus IS200t (Wife)
    2015 - Mercedes ML350 (Daughter)

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    Re: Non starter

    Running briefly w/ a manual prime of the carb def. sounds like a fuel supply issue. Note that normal starting procedure should be to fully depress the throttle pedal once before cranking; this sets the automatic choke and primes the carb with a squirt of fuel from the carb bowl.

    The bowl may be dry if the car has sat for several days. If so, you may need to crank for several seconds to refill it, then press the throttle again to prime the carb. Normally the fuel pump should only run while cranking or while the low-oil-pressure light is off, as a safety feature to prevent hosing down the site of a crash with raw fuel. However, you can reprime the fuel line and bowl without cranking by disconnecting the oil-light switch (on the oil filter mount, facing the battery side -- you may want to add a terminal on that wire someplace more convenient to reach) to let the pump run without a running engine, then simply turn the key on for a few seconds to run the fuel pump, then reconnect the oil-light switch and try starting. While it's possible to run with the oil-light switch left disconnected, this is not advised for safety, and fuel supply could get cut off while driving if the dangling disconnected wire terminal happens to touch a ground.

    Check fuel flow w/ your test hose again, but going from the barb on the hardline closest to the carb where the last length of fuel hose connects, to test for a blockage in that hardline. Also, under the supply/return barbs on the carb itself you'll see a large brass hex head; this holds a thimble-shaped final fuel screen, so unscrew that hex to remove and check that screen and clean/replace if necessary.

    Check the fuel cutoff solenoid on the back of the carb (facing the cam towers). Listen for it to click when you have an assistant turn the key on (not cranking), or if there's a convenient terminal in the wire to to that solenoid, have the key on and test dis/reconnecting that terminal, listen for it to click each time you do. Consider unscrewing the solenoid to make sure there's no deposits/debris on the end of the plunger and test that the plunger operates smoothly. Some advise removing the plunger, but that's only an emergency stopgap to get underway if a failed solenoid strands you roadside; otherwise, a bad solenoid should just be replaced.
    Best regards,
    -Tye (1979 Lancia Beta Zagato spider)

    "In theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
    -Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

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    Active Lancista setiabakti's Avatar
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    Re: Non starter

    Tye - thank you : I'll update here as I progress!

    I am slowly (very slowly, after recently having a couple of strokes) updating several components on the Lancia.
    I have also just replaced all the fuel tubing in case of leaks, etc.
    Mike ....

    1979 - Beta Zagato
    2006 - Aston Martin Vantage
    2018 - Lexus IS200t (Wife)
    2015 - Mercedes ML350 (Daughter)

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    Re: Non starter

    It does take quite awhile to get the fuel primed up to the front with adequate supply after sitting for a long time or replacing many components. Splashing some gas in the carb can shortcut that but may only run until gas in the carb bowl runs out, at least until whole supply primes completely. If electric pump, you can run it for awhile with key in on position but not engaging starter. Sometimes this can help priming. You should be able to hear the fuel pump start with key on. If its really loud, the pump itself is not yet primed.

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    Re: Non starter

    Quote Originally Posted by LanciaDave View Post
    If electric pump, you can run it for awhile with key in on position but not engaging starter. Sometimes this can help priming. You should be able to hear the fuel pump start with key on. If its really loud, the pump itself is not yet primed.
    As noted above, that should only normally be possible if the oil-light switch has been disconnected, or if the relay it activates has been bypassed; in stock configuration, the fuel pump should only run when cranking or while the engine is running.

    As for pump noise, that really only applies to the cheap solenoid-piston type of pump (e.g. typical Facet "cube" type), which clatters mightily until the fuel lines are fully primed. The Carter gerotor type of pump I recommended above is nearly silent, at most producing a very faint whine that may be audible from the cabin.

    If you don't have an anti-drainback valve in your supply line, you may want to add one, or replace yours if you've got the cheap plastic type that always fails. I got a nice brass one with NPT threading from my local hot-rod shop, just needed to add NPT hose barbs and installed it inline right before the supply barb on the carb.
    Best regards,
    -Tye (1979 Lancia Beta Zagato spider)

    "In theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
    -Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

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    Re: Non starter

    Update:

    I found the plastic tubing very educational, got to see the exact flow of the petrol.
    Connected the tubing as shown in the photo, switched on the ignition, heard the customary ticking from the tank area, saw the petrol flowing through the plastic tubing. When the clicking stopped, cranked the engine, it fired and ran until I switched it off.

    Great news, but I have no idea what I did to cure the non starting issue!
    My first thought was a blockage in the rubber tubing I removed, but no - 100% clear; although the diameter of the plastic tubing is greater than the diameter of the rubber tubing

    Whilst I am pleased that it seems to be fixed, I am at a loss as to why ... any suggestions?

    I need to get a replacement tube for the one I removed since I needed to cut it off - lets see that it still works with new tubing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails DSCN2757 -1.jpg  
    Mike ....

    1979 - Beta Zagato
    2006 - Aston Martin Vantage
    2018 - Lexus IS200t (Wife)
    2015 - Mercedes ML350 (Daughter)

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    Re: Non starter

    wrong photo Click image for larger version. 

Name:	DSCN2761 -1.jpg 
Views:	13 
Size:	1.38 MB 
ID:	13964
    Mike ....

    1979 - Beta Zagato
    2006 - Aston Martin Vantage
    2018 - Lexus IS200t (Wife)
    2015 - Mercedes ML350 (Daughter)

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    Active Lancista setiabakti's Avatar
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    Re: Non starter

    All fine with the new tubing. Started immediately and ran like a charm.

    I can only assume that when I was using the clear tubing and siphon I dislodged some blockage in the fuel delivery line somewhere ....
    Mike ....

    1979 - Beta Zagato
    2006 - Aston Martin Vantage
    2018 - Lexus IS200t (Wife)
    2015 - Mercedes ML350 (Daughter)

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    Re: Non starter

    [QUOTE=setiabakti;74268]Firstly, thanks to Tye and Dave for their spark plug / fuel pump recommendations.

    1979 Lancia Beta Zagato, 2000cc, carburrated.

    When I try to start the car, it turns over fine, but does not fire
    If I prime the carburetor with some gas, it fires, runs well for 2 seconds then dies

    When I detach the gas line from the gas filter and add a clear plastic tube (photo) attach a hand siphon pump, gas flows freely into the filter and clear tube.

    I am guessing problems with the new pump I fitted or is there something else I should be checking?

    Thanks[/QUOTE
    ….are you sure new pump lines are connected right?...…..

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    Re: Non starter

    Quote Originally Posted by setiabakti View Post
    All fine with the new tubing. Started immediately and ran like a charm.

    I can only assume that when I was using the clear tubing and siphon I dislodged some blockage in the fuel delivery line somewhere ....
    Great, glad to hear it! Could also be that the lines weren't fully primed, or maybe the fuel pickup in the tank had some rust or other debris blocking it that fell away. I once suspected that on my own car and decided to try plumbing my fuel pump backwards to blow into the tank, then replumbed it correctly and had it start up just fine afterwards. Ever since, I've had a strong magnet (salvaged from an old desktop hard drive) attached to the tank where it draws away any ferrous debris that may get near the pickup, never had that problem again.
    Best regards,
    -Tye (1979 Lancia Beta Zagato spider)

    "In theory there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
    -Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

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