TE21 won't start.

For all TD 21, TE 21, TF 21 and TC108G cars
haysx0
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:28 am
Name: Steve Haycock

TE21 won't start.

Postby haysx0 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:31 pm

I took my TE for a quick spin on Sunday to get it warm for an oil change and to check the tappets. It started immediately on choke and ran perfectly.
We then jacked the front up removed the wheels and rocker cover and proceeded to remove the plugs which we gapped and cleaned for future replacement. We then changed the fan belt and removed the Distributor cap to check the points gap at 15 thou. No adjustment was required and we re-assembled having changed the oil and filter and greased the front of the car. All seemed fine!
With it all back together the car refused to fire / start. A removed and earthed plug sparked as expected and the there was a spark at the points! Petrol supply to the carburetors was checked (electric pump) but it still refused to fire.
Subsequently I have replaced the points, condenser and rotor arm. Checked the voltage to the auxiliary carburetor and it's solenoid operation (you can hear and feel it energise as the switch is pulled) The battery is good and provided long periods of cranking. You can see a spark at the points when you crank with the cap off though I must admit I have seen better.
It does not fire let alone start though it has always been good at both. The plugs when pulled seem a little wet but not dramatically so.
Any one got any suggestions of things to test? s there a way to check the thermo carb is working other than by simply checking the solenoid is lifting the disc?
Is there anything that can happen so suddenly to get me where I am?
Any thoughts are welcome. Amy tests you can think of?

RichardWallach
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 am
Name: Richard Wallach
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby RichardWallach » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:55 am

Steve,

Check to see if the little carbon brush at the top of the distributor cap is in place. They do fall out which means the spark has to jump two gaps.
If you have a spare coil it is worth substituting. Check your fuel filter. Lastly was the distributor turned by any chance or the micrometer inadvertently rotated? You need to ensure that the spark is happening at the correct time which is 10 degrees BTDC.

Richard
Melbourne

Peter Martin
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 5:26 pm
Name: Peter Martin

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby Peter Martin » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:07 pm

Steve'
You seem to have covered everything, however..

Re starting carb, 1,is the needle free & being pulled down by induction suction when you crank the engine, (it should be), 2 is petrol getting from the main float chamber of no2 carb to the starting carb,you should be able to see petrol if you look down the nostrils of the starting carb, there is a minute hole in the casting that links the two items,if it is blocked then no petrol.My TE had this problem.
re electrics, 1 presume rotor arm is new from a reputable source,try another one, .My TA had this problem as the first replacement was a dud. 2 are the plug leads old fashioned copper wire cored, as you can have endless continuity issues with the carbon dust filled jobs.3 I have had issues with rubber waterproof plug caps which seem to fail internally, the repro Champion ones seem ok.

Good luck & tell us what finally gets her going
Peter

haysx0
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:28 am
Name: Steve Haycock

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby haysx0 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:01 pm

Thanks Peter, I must assume the starting carb is getting fuel since when you remove the solenoid and disc petrol is visible. In fact I am going to blow the outlet because I cant see why fuel should be sitting there as its directly connected to the inlet manifold and therefore I expect it to be empty. I have not looked at the starter carb needle to see it being pulled down by manifold suction but I will do next time, certainly it is perfectly free.I might pull the needle and see if fuel is sitting in the well as it should be (to the level as per the no2 float chamber) That will confirm the feed from the no2 carb to the starter carb
I have a spark at the number 1 plug when you crank though I must say it's not impressive.
Next trick to try is a hot wire to the coil so if the ignition switch is duff and making a poor connection when you are in the crank position I will by-pass the problem. Then a can of easy start will check the fuel /spark question. If it fires on easy start then it has spark and the problem is fuel.
Chris is sending me a coil and I can also get an ignition switch if that is the problem.
I have a nice drawing and operation / setting instruction sheet from SU for the thermo carb if anyone wants it.
Hopefully I will see you at IAW in a TE and not our SUV!

haysx0
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:28 am
Name: Steve Haycock

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby haysx0 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:07 pm

Thanks to Richard as well. The dizzy cap is good and the brush is there and the dizzy was not moved or the vernier touched. In fact we did nothing that is relevant to starting and running except pulling and re-gapping the plugs! Hence I am stumped. changing the oil and a fan belt should not affect anything the way it has! Obviously pure coincidence.

Peter Martin
Posts: 158
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 5:26 pm
Name: Peter Martin

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby Peter Martin » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:21 pm

Steve, Another thought and
not wishing to insult you..

Have you mixed a couple of plug leads,3,4&5 are easy to interchange by mistake ,she'll never start and you might blow the exhaust off when all the unburned petrol finally ignites, huge bang & very dramatic!

Peter

RichardWallach
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 am
Name: Richard Wallach
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby RichardWallach » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:36 am

Steve,

Lucas used a screw cap on the distributor where the wires were wrapped through a little disc and then held in place by an "acorn". These were not soldered so it worth checking the electrical integrity of each.

Richard

DeaneHarding
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:18 pm
Name: Robin Gilbert

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby DeaneHarding » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:01 pm

If all the above good advice fails, then you may have to look for a more unusual cause. Here is one. It is not unknown for an engine to swing backwards against compression as it comes to rest when swiched off. If this occurs with a worn timing chain/sprockets/weak tensioner it is possible for the chain to jump a number of teeth on one of the sprockets and re-engage itself in the wrong position. A check of the ignition timing should reveal this fault but to be absolutely sure check that the valve events match those for the ignition in case the chain has re-engaged itself 180 degrees out. I recall a member relating how he had stopped his car and switched off before he got out to open the garage doors. When he got back in the car refused to start and he only realised what had happened when he found no compression on all cylinders.

vaningen
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 6:55 pm
Name: Charles Van Ingen

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby vaningen » Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:00 pm

I agree with Peter Martin; check that the plug leads are connected correctly. I had this problem in my early days owning a TD21. And I recommend going for the simple solution; if it was going fine before, it is unlikely that anything unusual has suddenly happened.

RichardWallach
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 am
Name: Richard Wallach
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: TE21 won't start.

Postby RichardWallach » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:12 pm

Steve,

Also check that the distributor has not disengaged from its drive. This is possible if the clamp was loosened. You can tell as the rotor button will rotate easily. It is easy to put it back in place as the dog is offset.

Richard
Melbourne


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