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  #26   IP: 173.20.99.40
Old 03-15-2011, 04:31 PM
sailhog sailhog is offline
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Here's the latest on my endless starting problem....

I did another compression test: #1:85; #2:65; #3:85; #4:70.

I also check the spark at each plug as per Dave Neptune's directions, and they all appeared to have fire. While check #3, I felt a nice jolt of 12 volt running through the head.

I got her running on three different occasions for approximately 5-6 seconds, and then she quit, as though fuel starved. Working the throttle did nothing. I got her started using starting fluid on one of those occasions, but then she died.

Fuel puddles in the bottom of the carb after a few seconds of cranking, so the fuel pump would seem to be operating properly. Also, fuel would seem to be getting through the carb (I think).

I'm wondering if the problem could be as simple as bad fuel. However, I've changed it twice, and the interior of the tank appeared to be clean. Also, she doesn't start with starting fluid (except for one instance).

One last potential clue.... After trying and failing to get her started, she sometimes makes a strange racket -- like a clicking -- while the starter is attempting to turn her over. She doesn't make this noise at the beginning of the attempt, only at the end -- after about ten seconds of cranking....

Whoever figures out this mystery gets to date my wife. She's 45, pretty, good legs, great attitude.... Just trying to keep you all motivated!

Last edited by sailhog; 03-15-2011 at 04:41 PM. Reason: forgotten clue
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  #27   IP: 12.166.158.242
Old 03-15-2011, 04:41 PM
Kurt Kurt is offline
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Hmm - that is definitely problematic compression on cylinders 2 and 4. May be time to try a Marvel Mystery Oil treatment on those cylinders to see if you can at least raise compression enough to get her started. The A4 can start with good compression on at least two cylinders, which you appear to have, but your compression values are likely contributing to your problem.
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  #28   IP: 24.152.131.220
Old 03-15-2011, 04:43 PM
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I'm pretty sure the clicking is the electric fuel pump. Cranking her for a bit will produce enough oil pressure to close the safety switch and energize the pump.

I keep going back to your non-functioning choke. With my engine the choke needs to be fully closed to start (cold) but needs to be opened within about 5 seconds after starting. In post #7 you said your choke was non functioning, wired fully closed.

Somehow it needs to be opened pretty quickly after starting. How are you accomplishing this?
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Last edited by ndutton; 03-15-2011 at 04:47 PM.
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  #29   IP: 173.20.99.40
Old 03-15-2011, 04:59 PM
sailhog sailhog is offline
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Kurt,
The cylinders and valves are bathing in MMO as we speak...

Neil,
I'm not accomplishing this, as the wire is corroded to the housing.... I'll get on that. If it were the choke, why wouldn't it at least start and run for five seconds every time I tried to start her? Also, why does starting fluid rarely work when I have the choke open? Venture any theories?

Thanks to all....
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:08 PM
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No, I'm short on theories. With the choke functioning it can be either confirmed or eliminated as the problem or as a contributing factor.

With a remote starter switch at the engine you can remove the cable and operate the choke by hand for testing purposes.


edit: Here's one theory
Quote:
If it were the choke, why wouldn't it at least start and run for five seconds every time I tried to start her?
After initial start, five second run and die, could easily be flooded or at least way rich. Trying to restart with the choke still fully closed would aggravate the condition until fully flooded.
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Last edited by ndutton; 03-15-2011 at 05:13 PM.
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  #31   IP: 161.213.49.1
Old 03-15-2011, 05:22 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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[QUOTE=sailhog;34477]
I also check the spark at each plug as per Dave Neptune's directions, and they all appeared to have fire. While check #3, I felt a nice jolt of 12 volt running through the head.

What you felt on the spark plug wire was more than 12 volts! Electricity outside the wire leads me to believe the spark plug wires are defective. To test: Start the engine at night in the dark and look for shorting to ground (the engine). You will know it when you see it. Sometimes you can hear kind of a snap as the wire(s) short out. This can get a little trickey because when you move the spark plug wire away from the engine to test it may not short to the engine because it is lifted away only to short out when it is close to the engine in its normal working position.

Is the inside of the distributor cap clean?

One last potential clue.... After trying and failing to get her started, she sometimes makes a strange racket -- like a clicking -- while the starter is attempting to turn her over. She doesn't make this noise at the beginning of the attempt, only at the end -- after about ten seconds of cranking....

The clicking you hear may be the starter as the battery runs down while you crank. Try shorter bursts on the starter and give the battery more time to recover.

Hope this helps. Your engine wants to run - it just doesn't know it yet.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:23 PM
sailhog sailhog is offline
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Neil,
I see your point.... Thanks for all your help. I can't tell you how badly I want her to frickin run....
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:26 PM
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I have a feeling you're very close.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:28 PM
sailhog sailhog is offline
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John,
The spark plug wires are new, as are all the engine-side ignition parts -- cap, rotor, points, condenser. I'm wondering if the reason I felt the shock is because my arm was lying atop the head as I did the test. Would that produce the shock?
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:40 PM
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One more question....

I screwed the mixture adjustment in all the way, then back it out exactly one revolution. Is this the correct setting? It's a late model carb.

Thanks, gentlemen....
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:48 PM
JOHN COOKSON JOHN COOKSON is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
John,
The spark plug wires are new, as are all the engine-side ignition parts -- cap, rotor, points, condenser. I'm wondering if the reason I felt the shock is because my arm was lying atop the head as I did the test. Would that produce the shock?
Yes it would.
Can the theory with the wires.
The next thing to do IMHO is to get a properly functioning and adjusted choke as others have suggested.

TRUE GRIT
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
One more question....

I screwed the mixture adjustment in all the way, then back it out exactly one revolution. Is this the correct setting? It's a late model carb.

Thanks, gentlemen....
One and a half turns out.
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  #38   IP: 71.118.13.238
Old 03-15-2011, 06:09 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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Talking A confirmation

Sailhog, now we know you have spark! I have one question regarding the ignition~~have you twisted the distributor or possibly mixed up the wires?

The thing that puzzles me is that you said it tried to start with a bit of "motor crack" ~ true? I have started wet motors with it. I'm beginning to think that the carb is plugged inside with permatex but you say the throat is wet. This coiuld be that the carb is flooded and that won't work as it is just to much fuel.

Don't put anything else in the cylinders and leave the plugs out so they (the cylinders) can dry out. If you can drain out a bit of fuel from the carb or the line that feeds it into a clear jar. Let it sit and see if there is any water collecting under the fuel~~this could also keep her from running!! If you find water I have a good starting procedure for wet engines.

Your compression is a bit low but it should easily run with it!

Check back~~the possibilities are narrowing.

Dave Neptune
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  #39   IP: 24.152.131.220
Old 03-15-2011, 06:20 PM
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Rather than mess with the existing choke cable, consider this.
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Old 03-15-2011, 06:30 PM
sailhog sailhog is offline
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The choke is next on the docket....

Dave,
I was exceedingly careful with the permatex, and used it only at the far end of the threads so as not to have it come in contact with flowing fuel. I'm pretty dang sure I didn't make this mistake.

Regarding the wires: I've got this correct, I believe.... 1,2,3,4 on the distributor, moving clockwise, starting with the connection furthest from the block. These connections go to 1,2,4,3 on the head, starting at the flywheel end. Correct?

Regarding the flooded carb: I'm wondering if this is because I have my choke wired closed. After trying to start it several times, I'm thinking it flooded. Does that sound right? I'm going to replace the cable and housing tomorrow.

I'll drain the fuel and let it sit tomorrow. FYI: my engine was flooded with freshwater during a long lay-up. I seven hours away, so couldn't look after her adequately.... makes me heart sick....

I've changed the oil four or five times now. I think she's pretty dry, but will follow your instructions.

Thanks again....
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
FYI: my engine was flooded with freshwater during a long lay-up...
Sailhog-
Can you give us a little more info on the water flooding?
How long was the engine flooded?
What parts were flooded?
Did it dry out long enough to rust?
Has the engine started or run since that episode?


Give us as much of the history as you can...
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  #42   IP: 24.136.67.99
Old 03-15-2011, 11:03 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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Good news!

Sailhog, from your #40 post I eel fairly confident that either you have a bit if water in the fuel or carb. Worth a check and it doesn't take but a few minutes for the water and fuel to separate.

Flooded with fresh water set off a few alarms. You could easily still have a bit of water in the intake runners, manifold and/or around the rings. That with a flooding senario would explain the not continuing to run after the start on the "motor crack".

First get the choke operational and be sure it closses all the way.

I worked as an O/B motor mechanic for a while and we were always getting "dunked" motors. We would drain the carb and or the tank so we KNEW we had good fuel. We'd blow off the flywheel area with an air hose and check for spark. If we had spark we would heat the sparkplugs on the stove until water would sizzle on them and install finger tight with a piece of hose (there blooming hot and don't worry about tightening them hurry ) as fast as we could. Then a small shot of "motor crack" and start. The added temp in the plugs really helps with a wet cylinder. Sometimes they'd start and run right away and other times it may take 2~3 tries.

A word of caution, if it starts and stumbles to a stop don't try to restart~~heat the plugs again and give her one more LITTLE shot of "motor crack". Russ, love your "motor crack" crack and I can see you fidgiting now. This is about the only time I use it is to get a wet one to spin and finally catch.

Dave Neptune
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:06 AM
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Lightbulb

sailhog..yes..it sounds like you have the plug wires correct...there is a nice pic that rigspelt made up of the plug wires too...(see below)

There are a series of events that must occur in proper succession for the engine to turn over, start & run. Proper choke operation is part of this. You can spin the starter all day long with the choke open and it will never start. You spray some "crack" in there, she lights up for a few seconds, burns up the "crack", but the open choke doesn't keep the fuel/air mixture rich enough to keep the cold (or wet!!) engine running.


I second (or third or fourth) getting the choke operational..it is an integral piece of the puzzle. My engine will not start if I can't get the choke to operate correctly.

Dave, I'd forgotten the piece-of-hose-on-a-hot-spark-plug trick..great idea.

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Old 03-16-2011, 03:18 PM
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"An alternative to that pesky choke cable"

Sailhog,
Here is a picture of my current choke actuator. Since I was in the process of building a new gauge cluster and in need of a longer choke cable I decided to go electric. The actuator is actually an auto door lock motor. I have been testing this unit for the last couple of months and it seems to be working just fine. I stole the idea from outboard motors that use a similar approach for chocking.
Tom
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
Regarding the wires: I've got this correct, I believe.... 1,2,3,4 on the distributor, moving clockwise, starting with the connection furthest from the block. These connections go to 1,2,4,3 on the head, starting at the flywheel end. Correct?
Sailhog,

This sounds correct, but brings up another possibility. In the course of all this troubleshooting, was the distributor removed? If so, it needs to be replaced with the rotor pointing straight away from the block while the engine is at TDC on cyl #1. If it wasn't, your timing could be way off and it won't start or run.
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Old 03-16-2011, 06:43 PM
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Okay gentlemen.... I have a question for you.... Guess whose A-4 engine started today? Here are a couple of clues: The sailor's name begins with a "S" and the last syllable of that name rhymes with "dog."

I don't have time at the moment to post the blow-by-blow... but I will later this evening. However, I do have time to thank everyone on this wonderful forum.

Thank you.

I'll be back....
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailhog View Post
I'll be back....
I have a feeling this will be a good one...
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:02 PM
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me too, but the good news, it is apparently running...the story is just gravy!
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:37 AM
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I just want to know who gets to date his wife!
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Old 03-17-2011, 08:48 AM
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Smile Running?

I'm all ears! I'll check back in today a bit for the story.
I am heading out of town so to speak for a raft up this weekend in Newport Bay. We're doing a wagon wheel and were hoping to set a US record. We already hold the west coat record but now the weather is deteriating so many may back out. I'm hoping the H/M & H/P still let us tie up together. Last year we had 46 boats power and sail, this year we are hoping for 70+ for the record and have 100+ say they will be there. With the weather turning we are getting a few cancelations.

Fair winds _/) _/)
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