Can't catch a break

Engines, Transmissions, running gear, etc.

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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:41 am

After looking at the tank and considering all of the filters are 8-9 months old, I really don't think it is gas either at this point but I am trying to knock out all suggestions and the gas lines and filters are things I am capable of doing on my own.

Personally, from what I have read; it seems likely to be a vacuum leak to me. I had to have one intake manifold gasket changed already and gaskets were not checked during the tune-up. I can see how it would also be the idle circuits/carb related. The problem with either of those is that I couldn't really fix those things because I have neither the tools or capability to re-sync my carbs. My buddy does so perhaps we will find resolution tomorrow.


No washing or water in the engine bay. What about rocker/valve related? That would be all the time too, not just at idle; right?

Here is a video of the car at 1500rpms. She idles between 900-1000rpms. don't know if this helps.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/90947876@ ... res/z1x7tC
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby RBP » Tue Mar 28, 2017 7:07 am

Not only would the rockers cause a problem throughout the operating rpm, you would have had to change/set them since you parked the car. Typically they do not change over a few months of being parked. How is the standing idle?
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Tue Mar 28, 2017 8:12 am

Standing idle seems a slight bit rough but really the issue is under load, like pulling away from a traffic light or between about 1500 and 2500 rpms. Lots of popping and I don't know if you can hear from the video, that drop out. It is more dramatic while driving as opposed to sitting.

Tomorrow's list at this point includes changing fuel lines and filters. Changing the accelerator pump diaphragms, changing floats, checking sync and carbs for blockage and checking the distributor along with a better check of any vacuum leaks.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby RS-60 mark » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:45 am

Drummer, one time I was out driving around with Goofycat (anyone remember him?) and his car started running really crappy in lower rpm range. Just before pulling a roadside jet-check we happened to notice that one of the hexbar arms had become loose and slipped towards the center of the hexbar. This, of course, totally wiped out the sync to the point the engine ran on only two cylinders until way up in the throttle range.
It is not the kind of thing that you would notice unless you were specifically looking for it (like performing a full sync adjustment procedure). But it is easy to see if you are looking for it. The hexbar arms should be basically the same distance from their respective ends of the hexbar. And, you should be able to visually observe that both carbs actuate away from their idle stops at exactly the same time when pressure is applied to the throttle. Anyway, it is an easy thing to look for that can surely cause a problem like you describe.

Dan's "sizzle test" is another easy one. Some Darwin Award contenders use their tongue to test for a cold exhaust pipe, but don't do that! The spray bottle will give you an idea if any cylinder(s) are dead at idle. Start with cold pipes, check every minute.
Last edited by RS-60 mark on Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:55 am

I will check that too. I had one side intake bolts go loose on me which dropped my hex bar completely so I always check the stacks first if I have issues but didn't think to look at the hex bar and arms. I know there is no play in the hex bar but I will check the distance and operation of.

Can't tell you all how much I appreciate the help. Carey jumped in with some suggestions as well and a care package has been sent.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby RS-60 mark » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:22 am

Drummerskey wrote:Tomorrow's list at this point includes changing fuel lines and filters. Changing the accelerator pump diaphragms, changing floats, checking sync and carbs for blockage and checking the distributor along with a better check of any vacuum leaks.


Drummer, you are doing all of this (and all of the other stuff you've mentioned) and you say you need to go to a mechanic to get a tune-up? [:0]
I think instead, you need to go here and get one of these: http://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.asp ... D43%2D5712 You can do your own precision carb sync, and be able to instantly spot check/verify it any time. Also (separate issue) if you haven't done rod end conversion on the hexbar; do it.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:24 am

No way........a much more well-versed friend is coming over for the heavy lifting. I am responsible for changing filters - maybe some lines, grabbing tools and getting beer :)

I changed the filters previously, changed the starter, cleaned the air filters, installed the 12v accessory port and changed spark plug wires.......
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Mtflyr » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:08 am

Drummerskey,

I feel for you. I recently went though pretty much the same thing. Eventually with help from folks here and some friends I pretty much got my issue resolved and learned how to do my own carb sync etc along the way. I bought a carb sync tool and a dwell tach to help. I took apart and rebuilt both my EMPI HPMX 44's several times, cleaning all jets etc. and added Jet Doctors. So I feel pretty good about working on these carbs anytime I need to now.

There's 4 pages of my issues over in the Tech General forum under Alt red Light, here's my last post and what I did on my similar issue:

Ok, so after checking my valves, timing, coil, changing the spark plugs, and added new MSD 8.5 mm plug wires, a new Mallory distributor cap & rotor, removing and cleaning both carbs cleaned all jets and adding Jet Doctors on both carbs (removed and cleaned twice), syncing and fiddling with the idle mixture. Some friends came over to help me and turns out at least it appears to have been a fouled spark plug and somewhat finicky idle mix issue with the carbs.

We used a point and shoot infrared heat gun to find the cool cylinder ( As Larry suggested) switched plugs to confirm then added 4 new plugs again and used a dwell/tach to fine tune the idle mixture they were very sensitive and the tach helped us to dial in best idle for each cylinder. During the test drive the popping/backfiring issue is gone. :D We'll see if it holds up.

Thanks again to all here who really helped out esp Larry.

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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:54 am

Thanks Pete. I don't believe that I am incapable of doing the work myself but I am visual and usually have questions through the process so doing it on my own is out of the question on the Spyder. Now, if I can watch someone do it (which I get to tomorrow), I will take a crack at it. I have toyed with the idea of buying a Bug to tinker with but that plan is on hold for more garage space.

Last summer, it ran amazing. Better than it has since I owned it and that was after timing, re-sync, points check, new plugs, new wires, electric fuel pump, new fuel lines........That's my biggest issue with this is that a lot of the stuff is pretty new so although it isn't impossible for it to be bad now, I feel like it has to be something that wasn't touched.

Thank you for the encouraging words.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:44 pm

Update:

First, I want to thank Carey Hines and Brad at Special Edition. For someone who doesn't even own one of their cars directly, they continue to show me how business should operate in the United States and why so many people are loyal Beck customers. They don't have to help me, they don't have to answer questions about my car, yet they always, always always there to answer my calls/emails and give advice. If you are looking for a Spyder or 356, buy it from Special Edition; you will not be disappointed with their cars and definitely not disappointed with their service.

Changed fuel lines, fuel filters, fuel pump and accelerator pump diaphragm and dialed the carbs in a bit. She is running again. Still needs some fine tuning and I didn't run her very far from the house because it was late, there is a night a day difference between yesterday and today. Thank you for all of your help here.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby BB73 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:09 am

Glad to read you are back to running right.

Just to get an idea of what actually fixed the problems, had the carbs been rebuilt since you got the car? Do you think it's fair to say it was a bad accel pump diaphragm that was the problem?
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:21 pm

If I had to guess, it was either bad gas or the accelerator pump diaphragm. The guy who helped had crunchier ones but one of mine had 3 ripples and worn off material. I got new ones from Special Edition that are of better quality. My carbs haven't been rebuilt but I have only had the car for a year and a half.

We synched the carbs today and she is doing even better
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby TSchommer » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:46 pm

Just a thought... do you run non-oxy gas in your car? I'm wondering if some of these issues could be caused by running standard e10 pump gas in an old carbureted system that was designed to run regular gas?
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby Drummerskey » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:18 pm

Dunno. I was told to run the highest octane I could (I run 93) and I get pinging if I run anything lower.
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Re: Can't catch a break

Postby TSchommer » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:15 pm

Here is a thread on ethanol infused gasoline.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=14544&hilit=Ethanol

Not sure where you live, but there are usually gas stations that sell non-oxy gas. There is usually a note on the pump saying the gas is for classic cars, motorcycles, boats etc. there are a few web sites that give locations based on your zip code.
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