If after all the initial preparation she won't start...

The SOS Guide to Brithish Seagulls... written by our members

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If after all the initial preparation she won't start...

Post by BrendanM »

...There are several common reasons why, which is often why the engine has been left in a shed unused for some time, before you bought it on ebay :D

1. Fuel supply
2. Poor spark

1. Fuel supply. Old fuel that has been left in the tank is often a cause of poor starting running, along with dirty fuel and remains of old fuel in the carburetor. Try the following - Drain the fuel tank and discard safely the old fuel, but don't use it in the car! Rinse out the fuel tank using half a pint of fresh fuel. Remove the fuel pipe from the tank and carb and clean using fresh fuel or parafin. Allow both tank and fuel pipe to dry and then inspect for crud.
Remove the float bowl from the carb and clean out using fresh petrol or parafin, a small brush is often useful here. Again allow to dry out and inspect the rest of the carb for any dirt or debris, ensure the throttle lever operates the carb slide up and down smoothly. Ensure air inlet is clean.

After all this the fuel system should be clean, dry and ready for reassembly. Reassemble and fill tank with fresh fuel with correct oil mix.

2. Poor spark. Firstly remove the spark plug and inspect the spark plug lead. Hold the spark plug against the cylinder and spin the flywheel to see if the plug is sparking. If the engine has not been used for a while then the ignition points could well be dirty, corroded or closed up. Undo the nut holding the flywheel on, and then remove the cover undernith this, to expose the ignition system below. The points are within a small brass "tin" which has a lid that can be slid off after the spring loaded retaining arm is slipped to one side. The points can then be viewed and cleaned by inserting a small piece of fine grit wet and dry between the contacts. Once clean rotate the flywheel untill the points are open and check the gap, which should be aprox 0.020" or 0.5mm or the thickness of a fag packet(!) If the gap is incorect, then this can be adjusted loosening the lock screw and carefully prising the points backplate into a wider or smaller gap.
Once the gap is adjusted turn the flywheel a few times and recheck the gap.
Now reassemble the points cover, flywheel cover and tighten the flywheel nut. Spin the flywheel and check for a spark at the spark plug. If all is good then reassemble the spark plug and spark plug lead, ensuring all is secure.

The fuel system and ignition system should now be ready to go. The seagull bug could be about to bite :P
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