March 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm #234053
I died the other day going to a show and have been woorking on finding the problem. Everything works lights etc. and the engine will turn over but not start. Verified I have 12V power to the coil but on spark from the distributor. I am thinking its either the electronic ignition or that the coil went bad. I put a new Bosch coil on it 6 months ago when up dating the engine etc. so can’t believe its that but maybe. Any ideas???March 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm #249797
I had my engine rebuilt, I thoroughly cleaned the carb (multiple times just to be sure), cleaned out the whole fuel system, and my car kept suddenly dying when on the road. I even checked the resistance of both windings of the coil and they were within specs, but as a last resort, I changed the coil, and it runs perfectly now. Sometimes when the coil heats up, it will reveal it’s failings. Replace it again, it’s only another $40. Also the electronic ignition could have failed but check the output of the coil first. Someone else has to chime in about checking out the electronic ignition unit. Did you save the old parts? You could put them back in and see if the car runs.March 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm #249798Paul MossbergKeymaster
What electronic ignition system did you install?
Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
2005 Intermeccanica Roadster
If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)March 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm #249799greg pressParticipant
The same thing happened to me. Mine turned out to be the gas filter. Sometimes so i’ve been told they put 2 in. One just before the carb and the other befoe the pump 2 dollars at auto zone and i also found them at a flea market for 1 dollar . I am also told there is a screen where the fuel line goes into the carb that sometmes needs to be cleaned.I always have extras filters with me.When it sat awhile it started this was before i put new filter in. One other time it just cut out and would not turn over one of the wires shorted out. This winter i replaced all wires and clips and shined up the prongs in the engine area.March 19, 2012 at 7:37 pm #249800
Test by putting the points back in (you did save them, right?) If you get good love with points (over some time, with the motor heated up nice and toasty), then your pointless conversion is NG. Some of them (cough Pertronix, cough) can sometimes be cooked by too much coil voltage.
More likely it’s the coil, but before replacing that, make sure you check all the wires and connectors back there for looseness. That particular gremlin sidelined me a couple times last year.
edsnova2012-03-19 19:40:37March 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm #249801
Thanks for the input.The eclectronic ignition was on the car when I got it last summer so not sure what the type is. I think I will try and use a ohmmeter to test the coil first, and then try and use a different coil to see if I get some spark then go from there. I know the fuel is fine so thats not the problem. Hopefully its just the coil that went out which would not be hard to fix.I am new at this and learning on the run, but having fun doing it even with a few problems.March 20, 2012 at 10:30 am #249802
The coil replacement is a no-brainer, just replace the wires to the new coil at the same position you took them off from the old coil. A 5 min job at the most, most of the time is taken by unbolting the old one and putting the new one into the bracket.March 20, 2012 at 5:43 pm #249803
Well I took out the coil and had it checked and its ok. Have on order a new electronic iginition module. So I’ll see if that will fix the problem. Talk to several VW people here and the EI can fail any time with out notice.So if takes care of the problem great but I am thinking I may want to convert to points instead, at some point any thought on that?March 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm #249804
Most of the folks I know carry an extra set of points, plugs and condenser in a box under the seat regardless of what ignition system they have. Its an emergency kit we should all carry. I think Muir’s book covers thew essentials.
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackMarch 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm #249805
Points are fine. Just remember to gap them (with a dwell meter, if possible) when you check/set the timing once each year. Unless you’re building an engine that needs to rev above 6500 or so there’s no “need” for electronic ignition. They’re just a bit more convenient.
until they aren’t.March 21, 2012 at 11:39 pm #249806Olimon RicardoParticipant
MarkYou may want to do some research before installing your new module. I run a Mallory “Unilite” electronic ignition module and if you don’t hookup the “+” and “-” wires from the coil correctly you immediately burn the module; I learned that hard (and expensive) way. In my case my Bosch coil is marked as “1” and “15”. instead of “+” and “-” and I’ve since learned that “1” = “-” and “15” = “+” .March 22, 2012 at 10:24 am #249807
Not to say that the coil is your problem, but like I said before, a coil can test OK when cold, (testing resistance of the windings), and after it is used in riding for a while and gets heated up in the engine compartment, it may fail. Then it tests OK when cold again. Like mine did. After I replaced it, my car never stalled or quit again, and the coil was the last thing to replace empirically after going though everything else, including fuel pump, carb, filters, you name it. I would get another coil and replace yours and then see what happens, see if the car keeps quitting on you. That’s the easiest and cheapest thing to do.
mrlmd2012-03-22 10:27:03March 23, 2012 at 9:05 am #249808
Well got the coil and the electronic ignition changed and now have good spark, and fuel to the carb. but still will not fire.Only thing I can think of is timing is way off but don’t have a clue how to set it even after reading about it.Any ideas??March 23, 2012 at 9:52 am #249809john barryParticipant
MarkDO you have a good air cooled V W shop near you …?Luckily I found a great person in the Wilmington NC area. I am sure there is one near you .good luck!March 23, 2012 at 10:11 am #249810
If now you have a good spark and it won’t fire up then the problem has to be fuel related if you didn’t do anything to change the timing.
What carburetor do you have? Have you cleaned it, removed the jets and made sure they’re not clogged with a spec of dirt or something?
What electronic ignition did you put in and how is the timing on that set up? That may be your problem now, may have been the coil before.
The best way to solve a problem is to go one step at a time, not two or three at once, because then you have no clue what the solution was or where the problem started.March 23, 2012 at 10:49 am #249811
Have a good VW guy here in town which can fix the problem I am sure, but then I would not figure this out on my own and learn from it. I am in the learning mode, sat behind a desk for 40 years before jumping into learning machanics. I do have a friend next door who is very good with machanics and will help me Saturday if I can’t figure it out.The car has a 30 PICT 2 carb. and has been cleaned etc. so I don’t think its that, but will go through it again. The electronic Ignition is Ignitor by Pertronix.If it is a timing issue, I have been told it won’t start at all if it is way out of timing. If its the timing I probably won’t have the skill to set it, but will get my friend next door to teach me how to do it.Thanks for everyones input, with your help I’ll get out of grade school machanics.March 23, 2012 at 10:57 am #249812john barryParticipant
look forward to your answere !March 23, 2012 at 11:31 am #249813
It might be your electric fuel shutoff valve on the bottom of the carb. Your carb should have two wires going to it. One for the choke and one for the shut-off valve. have someone turn your key to ON (not start) while you’re back by the engine. When the key gets turned on you should hear a click from that valve opening. NO click, check that the wire is connected. I have a procedure on rebuilding a Solex PICT 2, 3, 4 carb that I can send you. It’s a pdf format. Let me know. newkitman2012-03-23 11:32:58
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackMarch 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm #249814
Allen I just rechecked checked electric fuel shut off and that works also. The carb was rebuilt about 800 miles ago also. The carb seems to be getting plenty of fuel. I have spark from the coil and it appears I have spark to the no 1 plug.Only thing I can think of is the timing is so far out it won’t start. Possibly the no 1 head is in the exhaust cycle and not in the firing cycle if that makes since. When I look at the distributor the rotor is in line with the mark on it where the no 1 firing order I think should be, the the crank shows that the TDC is where it should be in relation the block mark?.March 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm #249815
Okay…check this. Take the valve cover off the right side of the engine and with the timing marks at TDC, check to see if both valves on No. 1 cylinder are closed. If they are you ‘ll be able to rock the rocker arm end and feel the play. If they’re not both closed you’re more than likely 180° out. If it is out of time and was running before, then I’d search for something that made it jump timing. Good leuck and let us know what you find. An education for us all.newkitman2012-03-23 14:27:12
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackMarch 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm #249816
Allen once I take off the value cover and say find out I am 180 off what action should I take to just that?March 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm #249817
Mark, don’t take off the valve cover yet. Your spark timing may indeed be a little off after installing a new Pertronix. Changing from points to the Pertronix caused me to have to turn the distributor about 20 degrees in order to get her to fire up the first time. Switching back to points gave me the same problem in reverse.
Do you know how to find the timing marks on your crank pulley (or Top Dead Center (TDC))? If so, do it. If not, look here.
Next thing, once you know where TDC is, you can time it about 7 degrees before TDC by using any kind of electric test light you have. This is a static timing procedure and it’s all you need for a vacuum advance distributor. You can get your car started just by setting the rotor at or near the notch in the distributor rim as you get close to TDC. The engine should start then.
To time it “right” the old skool way:
- Put the transmission in neutral and set the parking brake.
- Unfasten the clips that hold the distributor cap (a medium-sized
screwdriver works best for this).
- Lift off the cap and find the notch on the rim
of the distributor body,
either by sight or by running your fingernail around
the rim under
the #1 spark plug wire. You will find the notch at
about 5 o’clock on vacuum distributors and about 7 o’clock on the 009
distributor (these two types of distributors are 90 degrees different
from one another).
- Rotate the engine clockwise with the 19mm wrench on the generator pulley
until the rotor is pointing directly at the notch in the distributor
rim and the crankshaft pulley lines up with the split in the crankcase at 7.5 o BTDC, then put the cap back on and clip it down.
- Get out your static timing light (just a 12-volt bulb in a
long wire and an alligator clip on one end and any
kind of a metal attachment – a pointy thing – on the other).
- Clip the alligator clip to the connection on the coil where
the thin wire (usually green) from the coil to the distributor
- Turn on the ignition key (DO NOT START THE ENGINE!).
- Move the engine backwards a little to take the
slack out of the distributor, then clockwise again until the timing park
on the pulley (7.5 o BTDC) lines up exactly with the split in the engine crankcase.
- Now loosen the distributor clamp bolt (10mm) and
hold the pointy end of the static timing light to ground (e.g., the
engine case). Rotate the distributor clockwise until the test lamp
turns off (points
closed), then slowly counterclockwise until the
open and the test lamp just flashes on. Tighten the
distributor clamp bolt.
- To check – while holding the pointy end of the static timing light to
ground, rotate the engine backwards (counterclockwise) a little, then slowly forward, watching the
timing mark (7.5o BTDC) and the light at the same
time, so when the light comes on you are ready to stop turning the engine.
- If your engine is timed correctly, the light will go on when
the 7.5o BTDC timing mark is lined up exactly with
the crack between the two halves of the crankcase.
- If it’s right you’re through–if not, loosen
the distributor clamp bolt,
and re-adjust the distributor in accordance with Steps
#g and #h above, tighten the clamp bolt, and check it per Step #i
at it until it’s right.
- Switch off the ignition as soon as possible.
Note 1: This procedure is for use on centrifugal
advance (009) and single-vacuum/dual advance distributors with
points ONLY — and even with these distributors, it is only
approximate. Setting the maximum advance timing with a stroboscopic timing light is much more
important. Dual vacuum distributors and distributors equipped
with electronic ignition must be timed with a stroboscopic timing light.
Note 2: If you have a single vacuum distributor,
there is no need to remove the vacuum line to static time the
distributor. However, if you are going to use a stroboscopic
timing light, the vacuum line must be removed and plugged so
that air will not be sucked into the carburetor during the test.
Note 3: Make absolutely sure that piston #1 is at
TDC. It is possible to inadventently set piston #3 at TDC, which will
position the notch on the distributor and the rotor 180 degrees out. If
this is the case, make sure #1 is at TDC by using the Finding TDC
procedure above, then rotate the distributor until the notch is at 5
o’clock from vacuum distributors and 7 o’clock for the 009 distributor.
Note: You may find that the nut on the forward end of the
clamp bolt turns when you try to loosen or tighten the clamp bolt. It
is difficult to get a wrench on this 10mm nut; we finally kept it from
turning by wedging a small flat-blade screwdriver against it.March 24, 2012 at 9:12 am #249818
Thanks Allen for the help.We have got to go out of town today and will work on it when I get back next week. I talked to a friend in our VW club here last night who builds VW racing engines and he said he would come over next week and help me correct the problem and show we steps for the future, plus teach me various things which will be great. I’ll write and let everyone know what we find. Good learning project.By the time I get done with these types of learning projects and finish the rebuild of an extra engine I purchased to learn on with a friends is help, I may yet get out out of grades school machanics. HA.March 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm #249819
Well got back in town and my friend came over and fixed th problem.First the coil and electronic ignition that I took out for some went bad.Second he went over all the items I put in and checked the distrib. and that was in right. We had current etc. at the coil but still no spark from the coil to the distrib.Well to make a long story short I had put the choke wire on the – negative side of the coil not the plus + side which kept the coil from sending current to the distrib. Several wires were the same color so I just put them back on in the wrong order. Then we re-adjusted the timing, which I had close.Lesson learned if you take something off make sure you write down what is what and what wire goes where. I have started a book of my own as I work on the car for future reference.Thanks again everyone for all the input to try and help me.March 29, 2012 at 11:31 pm #249820
If the wires are the same color, put on a dab of your wife’s nail polish on the wire and where you took it off to match them up again. Use different colors for different wires of you have many of them.
Coils are a funny thing. Like I said they can test OK as far as the resistance of the windings. but still fail when in use because of the heat. The only way to tell if the coil is bad sometimes is to replace it with a new one and see if the problem has resolved.
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