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61 BT7 wont start!!!!

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oldwarhorse Avatar
oldwarhorse Ryan Hadskey
Memphis, Tennessee, USA   USA
HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ive got a 61 BT7 that cant get to run, not idle...just run!!1
Ive got spark, I replaced everything in the ign system. has good spark
Had carbs rebuilt and reshafted... New fuel pump(SU) New Fuel tank...
This is a rebuilt motor that was done 30 years ago and has been sitting ever since...
Ive got compression between 75-95 pounds cold.. I set the valves to .015 cold...
Any help is appreciated.,


Thanks

Ryan

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Jack T Avatar
Greensburg, PA, USA   USA
Ryan,

Are you certain the fuel is getting to the engine? I had new / new also and had junk from the tank clogging the filter at the inlet of the carb. If you are getting fuel to the engine, did you check that the distributor is not 180 degrees out?

Good luck.

Jack

oldwarhorse Avatar
oldwarhorse Ryan Hadskey
Memphis, Tennessee, USA   USA
the fuel is getting to the carbs, ive even set the float height. although ive read it should be with 7\16 for plastic floats and 1/8 with brass. so ill have to change that.also the distributor has been installed correct. when we first got it ti was 180 out so we were very careful putting it back in. im gonna reset the float level and go from there.

Any other suggestions???

Ryan

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bluecatmodels Avatar
bluecatmodels Silver Member Dave W
Three Rivers, CA, USA   USA
Ryan,
The compression seems low to me. Have you tried using some starter fluid just to see if it fires? I think the valves should be set at .012 cold. Check you manual on that.
Dave

petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, New York, USA   USA
Ryan,

Make sure the little wire mesh baskets in the covers of the float chambers aren't clogged.

Pull a fuel line off a float chamber and turn the ignition switch on and off to check for fuel flow.
Use a can and a strainer and see if any rust comes out in the gas, just to be sure.
Have plenty of rags and a container handy.

**Don't leave the ignition switch on to long without disconnecting the positive lead from the coil or you'll burn out the coil**

Alternatively, pull a dash pot and see if gas comes up through the jet bearing with the switch on.

How old is the gas?

Use at least 93 octane for better running.

Original cylinder pressures are 175 psi.
The low pressure you have could be a contributing factor especially if every cylinder is that low.
You might not have enough compression for a good explosion?

Champion N12YRC plugs gapped at .024 has always worked for me.

Double check TDC and rotor pointing to number 1 cylinder.

Exhaust and intake valves are closed on #1 cylinder.

Go with 7/16" on the lever in the float bowl cover.

I can't think of anything else right now but I'll write back if I do.

When all else fails check the Factory Workshop Manual, that's what I do.

Good luck, I hope it's not the compression.

Peter

rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, California, USA   USA
Ryan,
Pete Carbone has pretty much covered everything. The only other thing that could help the compression is to squirt a little oil in each cylinder through the spark plug holes. Automatic transmission is great for this. Then leave the plugs out and spin the motor over a few times. This will distribute the oil all around the cylinder and help lube the rings then recheck the compression. It should be higher. It could be that the rings are stuck in the ring lands since it has been sitting for 30 years. You can leave the oil sit for a few days and then try to start it as the oil will penetrate any places that may have a little corrosion. My engine sat for over 30 years as well and it was frozen. I sprayed some ZEP penetrating oil in each cylinder and let it sit for a month. The next time I went to turn it over is was completely free.
I would like to say one thing about your Healey. I just LOVE the "patina" of the paint. In the hot rod world right now it's all the rage and people are paying big money to have their car look old and weathered like yours. Hope you decide to leave it that way, it adds to the name on the passenger door.
Pete

pkoot Avatar
pkoot Peter K
Alkmaar, NH, Netherlands   NLD
The right order of firing? I did - only once - made this mistake by myself....

Peter

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oldwarhorse Avatar
oldwarhorse Ryan Hadskey
Memphis, Tennessee, USA   USA
Thanks for all the advice guys!!! Im still not getting it to fire... Would 90lbs across the cylinders be enough to make it fire???

oldwarhorse Avatar
oldwarhorse Ryan Hadskey
Memphis, Tennessee, USA   USA
Yes the Patina on this car is amazing!! It will never be painted!! It is also nice when working on it, that you can just lay your tools on the fender and dont have to worry about scratching It!!!! In fact it helps the look. The only thing i might do is spray a clearcoat over it to maintain the "Look"

Ryan

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petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, New York, USA   USA
Don't waste the clear coat Ryan, let it age naturally like you're doing.

You'll deepen the patina and add more character to an already beautiful body.

petnatcar Avatar
petnatcar Silver Member Peter Carbone
Watertown, New York, USA   USA
Not exactly sure about that compression Ryan.

Call a local garage and ask a mechanic to be sure or stop by a small shop and pick their brain.

Although I've worked on my car for 45 years I'm not a mechanic and I've never encountered the problem you have.

Has the engine been running since you've owned it?

I hate to tell ya brother but it might be that time... for a rebuild.

Take it to a machine shop that specializes in racing/stock car engines if you want a good job.

You should have a well known shop in the area that services stock cars so go talk to them

That's what I did with my engine in 2000 and it's still running like new although I only put 2-3,000 miles a year on it anymore.

I checked the compression a couple years ago and it was 192 psi average. 175 is stock.

sliproc Avatar
sliproc Kevin Quistberg E
Long Beach, california, USA   USA
Ryan,

When you say you have spark have you pulled a plug and actually seen it fire on the spark plug electrode? If so and the carbs are delivering fuel it has to fire, the laws of nature won't permit any thing else. And even with the firing order screwed up as Peter suggested(good idea to check by the way)it would still fire occasionally if that was the problem. Same with the low compression, it won't run well but it will run. We're not talking about starts right up and runs smoothly at this point. You're just trying to make sure you've got the big three(air, fuel, fire)in the cylinders.

oldwarhorse Avatar
oldwarhorse Ryan Hadskey
Memphis, Tennessee, USA   USA
Thanks for all the feedback!! It has spark to the plugs, when spinning it over #1 wire sparks right as the pointer on pulley passes TDC. The engine was rebuilt by a shop in Baton Rouge 30 years ago(Candy and Hues) then was put on shelf and sat.... When we put it in we pulled oilpan and looked underneath and all was well. shiny bright crank, rods, bottom end looked good. the rockers have a little oxidation\rust but are oiling the rocker shaft...When we first discovered the low compression 2-4 valves were set to tight and not making comp. have since fixed and have 90psi across all six. the valves are all moving the full stroke as are the rocker arm??????

Do you think i could have rust\corrosion on valve surfaces not letting close all the way??? or maybe rings have sat for so long that they are weak???

One would think that we should have some form of combustion with fuel\spark\air..Im not even really getting combustion on ether. its almost like the fuel is not moving from one side of the manifold to the other..

I guess next step is remove the head and take a look. can i use a borescope to avoid this?? where can one buy one fairly inexpensively??

Thanks,
Ryan

wagonaire144 Avatar
wagonaire144 bill d
mequon, wisconsin, USA   USA
Ryan,
before you remove the head, please tell me if you've actually found fuel on the plugs. Having started some 'field cars" in the past, i found nests in the intake manifold, in the carb. bodies, and in the balance tubes on tri-carb engines.Use a vacuum cleaner to test flow/remove nests in inlet passages. Look in spark plug holes for nests built in cylinders with open exhaust valves,allowing creatures to get in thru exhaust valves and build their future on the piston top.
If you have fuel on each plug, and still no start, replace the condenser, and substitute the ign. rotor and coil with known good parts. 90 psi is not great compression, but will allow things to stagger to life. Keep us posted!
billd

oldwarhorse Avatar
oldwarhorse Ryan Hadskey
Memphis, Tennessee, USA   USA
Heres a couple more pics for you guys..
The car will be a sleeper, with the engine and compartment done up nice as well as the trunk. With the old paint on it..

Ryan

PS. If i have to pull the head, I think ill go with the Weber setup!!


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