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I need some troubleshooting advice, guys.  I have been doing my fall maintenance over the last couple of weekends including a semi-annual removal and cleaning of the webers as I had noticed a increasing roughness over the last couple of months.  Since then the car seems to run on about 3 1/2 cylinders - 3 good and one not completely out of it but not healthy.  My first thought or course is clogged idle jet, but after a couple of removals and thorough cleanings I am not so sure, nor do I really want to remove them again.  Could it be that the old adage or "Most carburetor problems are ignition problems" be true?  What is the best way to diagnose?  I will try the old "remove one plug wire at a time" trick, but I would like to hear other suggestions.  This seems like a more regular misfire that usual from a clogged idle jet and it seems to happen at all RPMs.

 

Today was the first Saturday in several weeks where the weather was good enough to drive the Speedster to Cars and Coffee and I was pissed that I couldn't.

 

Also - I need to buy some spare idle jets for the carbs (.060s) and wonder where the best place is to get them.

1957 Beck Speedster ('06 Carlisle build car)

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Long distance, without looking at (or hearing) the car, anything we come up with is going to be a guess. It could at least it can be an educated guess, except that the only education I ever had was in high-school shop, and a couple of years working in a service station back in the pre-EFI stone age.

 

Back in the day, a guy with his name on a work-shirt would have been able to hook your car up to an oscilloscope and pinpoint where your problem was. However, at this point, you're kind've reduced to looking at (and changing) ignition parts one by one.

 

I'd start with the plugs and wires, followed closely by the cap and rotor. After that, it'd be the points (if you've still got them). Last stop on the guessing train would be the coil. My money is on the cap and rotor, but new plugs and wires every couple of years are a good idea regardless.

 

... and yeah, 95% of carburation problems are ignition. 95% of the time, that advice works every single time. This advice and a dollar will buy a small coffee at any McDonald's in America-- you can take that to the bank!

Last edited by Stan Galat

And plugs? Start at the basics- if you have points, what do they look like? How old is the condenser? Do a valve adjustment just so you know everything there is right. John Connolly (sp?) at Aircooled.net seems to care about parts quality, has an online presence on the Samba and really supports the hobby, so he's one I recommend.

When you did the carburetor cleaning and replacement, did you use new carburetor base and manifold base gaskets? (if you removed the manifolds)

 

I never re-use a carb base or either manifold gasket.

 

If those were new each time and the condition persists, then you may have a bad plug wire, rotor or disti cap, or it could be as simple as the #1 plug boot is loose or not fully seated.

 

At least you have plenty of things to look at......

 

If you're looking at a set of plug wires, Taylor makes a really good, silicone jacketed 7mm set carried by CB:  

 

http://www.cbperformance.com/P...asp?ProductCode=2083

 

Don't forget the cap and rotor, too.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Wires (8mm) and rotor ordered from PerTronix.  I didn't remove the manifolds but did have to reuse the carb base gaskets.  I will order some and replace.

 

When I had the distributor cap off I noticed that #1 terminal had some green corrosion around it that the others didn't have.  I was going to get another cap as well, but can't seem to order just that anywhere.  Still looking.

 

EDIT: Just read all of the responses (you guys are quick) and will answer some of the questions.  I have no points or condenser, having replaced the original 009 (with electronic ignitor) several years back with a PerTronix FlameThrower II Billet distributor.  The plugs are relatively new and I would prefer not to have to remove as it is such a pain to get to the front ones.  I will check a few more things once the engine cools down.  I suppose it's possible that #1 wire is loose at the plug.

Last edited by Lane Anderson
Originally Posted by Stan Galat, '05 IM, 2276, Tremont, IL:

... My money is on the cap and rotor, but new plugs and wires every couple of years are a good idea regardless.

 

... and yeah, 95% of carburation problems are ignition. 95% of the time, that advice works every single time. This advice and a dollar will buy a small coffee at any McDonald's in America-- you can take that to the bank!

Green corrosion in the cap? Cha-ching!

 

For today, scrape the corrosion off with a flat-bladed screwdriver (the 'ol hick-town tune-up), and I'll bet it runs better.

 

Get a new one (and rotor), and you can buy me that coffee in the event you ever meet me. As an aside: at some point, you're going to have to make some provision or other to be able to easily remove #1 and #3 plugs. Having an ignition problem, and not looking at the plugs is like trying to read a book written in Mandarin, with the lights off, and your glasses on the night-stand.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Lane,

I've had exactly the same problem on idle circuit intermittently only on   #2 cylinder on my 1914cc with dual weber 40's for months. After taking the carbs apart and cleaning them, rechecking the valves, putting in a new spark plug, checking the cap ,rotor, and wires I did a compression test yesterday and all cylinders checked out at 135 Lbs. I  filled up with hi test yesterday  at the same station that I had gotten it a while back and the car ran like crap again. I usually get regular locally but was taking the tub to the drag strip (V-Dub Drag Fest)

After driving 160 miles on route 80 this am I ran the car 4 times down the track and did pretty well. I raced my buddy's new Fiat Arbath 3 times and beat him out of the hole each time but once his turbo kicked in he left me. I beat a bug sedan which had a stinger exhaust but I don't know what engine it had.My best times were 10.917 in the1/8 and 17.392 in the 1/4, top speed 75.89 mph.

I had a very experienced VW engine builder listen to my engine and he was convinced it was a  plugged idle jet.On the 160 mile trip home this PM the car stumbled at idle and oil temp went to 240-I was pushing it too hard. It's time to change gas stations and install an oil cooler after I reclean the carb.

 

Joel

DANG! I hope you can find that gremlin get the motor sorted out and back to smooth operation, Lane!

 

I must say that I never had an issue with the Kadrons or the stock ignition on my 1835 in the nearly 100,000 miles I logged on that engine (with off-the-shelf-whatever-is-on-sale 30 wt oil). The only problem I had was a broken throttle cable on a 200 mile cruise. Without a spare, I was able to MacGuyver a fix with some shoelaces I found on the roadside...

 

McGuyver

…and made it the remaining 100 miles home without a hitch.

 

I know what you're all thinking…that MUSBJIM is such a dick!!! 

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Last edited by MusbJim
Originally Posted by MusbJim - '14 VS SoCal:

       

DANG! I hope you can find that gremlin get the motor sorted out and back to smooth operation, Lane!

 

I must say that I never had an issue with the Kadrons or the stock ignition on my 1835 in the nearly 100,000 miles I logged on that engine (with-off-the-shelf-whatever-is-on-sale 30 wt oil). The only problem I had was a broken throttle cable on a 200 mile cruise. Without a spare, I was able to MacGuyver a fix with some shoelaces I found on the roadside...

 

McGuyver

…and made it the remaining 100 miles home without a hitch.

 

I know what you're all thinking…that MUSBJIM is such a dick!!! 


       

Like a boss...
Originally Posted by Gordon Nichols - Massachusetts 1993 CMC:

MUSBJIM is NOT a dick........

 

Huh?... confused?

 

OHH - heh... I see that Jim jokingly called himself that.


I thought you were referring tothe phrase 'like a boss'. It is the vernacular of the youth of today. Apparently it's intended to be a compliment. Something like "the person with all the power".

 

I will try to stick to terms more relevant to our generation.

 

Ted

Last edited by TRP
Originally Posted by Hoss 2004 SAS 356A Cabriolet Loudon TN:

Me too Lane, I thought "dick" meant the same as "prick" used to mean back in the day.  Perhaps we should attend a lecture given by the colloquial police, soon to be featured at a library near us.  

I hate to tell you, John, but libraries are 'so yesterday'.  The lecture will be delivered on your ipod or ipad, or whatever the heck they are called.

 

Not yet.  If I can locate the old plug wires and they will fit this distributor cap I will try to swap out #1.  The new wires and rotor won't arrive for a few days, and the new cap and gaskets are probably a few more days out than that.  I swear I ordered new idle jest as well, (I need spares), but neither order lists them.  DOH!

 

I should have some free time tomorrow evening to poke around and see if I can learn anything new about it.

If it's any consulation Lane, Natalie is done for the season.  The carbs have been boiling over for awhile now and I've been getting by by shutting off the fuel pump.  On Saturday, it finally gave out with lots of backfiring and coughing.

My plan was to make my annual pilgrimage to Brenen on 11-4, because Ford gives me Election Day off, but found out that Carey is delivering a new Speedster to the Detroit area in about 3 weeks and can trailer Natalie home for the winter, so that's the new plan :-).

Lane, webercarbsdirect.com is in Long Island, NY. They will have your jets to you in a day or two. And for cheap too!

 

Tom, my carb top gaskets need to be replaced, got a brake upgrade to do, and ball joint replacement as well. But I'm waiting until the season is over as it is sweet driving right now. Other than tomorrow, no rain, cool, and dry!

Last edited by DannyP

Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled thread...

 

When I got home from work some of the parts had arrived so I installed them.  I now know somethings that the problem ISN'T.  It's not:

  1. A bad spark plug on #1.  I pulled #1 and #2 and they looked the same, so I swapped them.
  2. Carb base gaskets.  Replaced 'em.
  3. Idle jets.  Got four nice shiny new ones in there.
  4. Distributor cap.  Pretty new one didn't help.
  5. Rotor.  Nope, that didn't help either.

So I am hoping the new plug wires arrive tomorrow.  If that doesn't help then I guess I jack it up and remove the passenger-side valve cover and take a look-see for something more expensive.

 

To recap, the car seems to be running on 3 1/2 cylinders.  Pulling the #1 plug wire has only a minimal effect on idle while pulling any other one damn near kills it.  The car starts well enough and the misfire seems to be very consistent.

 

Ideas, anyone?  I'm going to miss some spectacular weather this weekend and I am not happy about it.

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