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Dead cylinder for the first mile

Didn't fix it so £300 down the drain... now looking at scrapping / parting out car I spent £16 000 on a bodywork restoration only six months ago.

It was a bit better, but still just un-burnt fuel exiting the cylinder at idle and under load.

Regards,
Henrik Morsing
 
Well, it's... fixed?



Volvo_exhaust_temp.jpg

Go figure? :e-shrug:

I sent a mail to a company who tests distributors for free explaining my problem. He replied back saying that could not possibly be caused by the distributor and that I most likely had a cracked valve.

His response annoyed me so much I thought if he said it couldn't be the distributor, it had to be the distributor. Even though I had testing the ignition system thoroughly, the distributor was still a single point of failure I hadn't managed to swap out, which is also why I wanted a professional to check it over.

I pulled it out and took it apart (I had only partly done this before) and found:

- Circlip under fly(?) wheel (the one with the blades/wings) was bent and not sitting right. This could have lifted the wheel up beyond its normal height.

- Weights at bottom were a bit stiff so oiled them

- Here's the worst one: The vacuum canister was *full* of oil! I must have drained 50ml out of it!

On top of that I, for the twentieth time, swapped plug, HT lead, cap and rotor.

So one of these things fixed the problem. Still not sure which. Plug, HT lead, cap and rotor I had swapped many times before. Not sure how not advancing the timing would make it not fire, especially as it was (also) happening at idle.

I haven't been out for an actual drive in it, need to get it taxed again for that, but will see if I can't do that tomorrow.

I know this was a painful thread in the end but really, a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who inputted into it.

Test drive tomorrow, hopefully I won't be disappointed.

Regards,
Henrik Morsing
 
I don't think a suboptimal spray pattern is enough to completely kill a cylinder, alas.
It is when the engine is cold. If it's all pissing in a steady stream on the cyl wall or the back of the port, it won't burn right and then fuel fouls the plug until it's hot enough from the coolant to vaporize properly.
This sounds like a leaky or otherwise funky injector.
 
It is when the engine is cold. If it's all pissing in a steady stream on the cyl wall or the back of the port, it won't burn right and then fuel fouls the plug until it's hot enough from the coolant to vaporize properly.
This sounds like a leaky or otherwise funky injector.
Agreed, but morsing got a good look at it injecting into a bottle and I think they'd have seen if it was just doing a single stream.
 
Good morning,

The injectors were not the problem, spark was. Still not entirely clear in my head how, the problems I found in the distributor should not have affected the strength of the spark, only the advancement.

Regards,
Henrik Morsing
 
Good afternoon,

I have been able to re-create the problem, it was caused by a break in HT lead #1 in my old set. I have been mulling over what went wrong through all this and maybe it is just food for thought.

When cylinder #1 died, I made the obvious mistake of assuming it was dead for the same reason as #2 was having problems. (In case it has been lost in all this, the original #2 problem was caused by a leaking injector)

In hind-sight, if something else breaks, don't assume it is related and don't be afraid to start over with the most basic checks. In my mind, I had already tested the leads and plugs, so didn't think to do it again. I think what happened was the constant swapping over of leads broke the lead by the distributor cap. If I bend the lead in a certain direction, #1 starts firing.

But I did test spark after #1 died, remember the video of my spinning the rotor by hand hooking up a spark strength tester to #1 post? I think bending the lead to the front of the engine was enough for the HT lead core to bridge the gap in the break and appear fine.

Have just been out for a drive and it drives better than it has for a long time no doubt owing to half a dozen fixes through all this. And the valve re-grind and new injectors new means my economy gauge once again rests on the left stop for the first time in well over a decade:

Image-1.jpg

Moral of the story, don't be afraid of going back to square one if things change.

Regards,
Henrik Morsing
 
^^^ Nice set of gauges, it took me a moment to figure out why they looked a bit weird, then I realized that yours must be right-hand-drive.

Glad you figured it out and kudos to you for sticking with it for so many months. Any idea how the oil got into the vacuum canister? Seems like a really weird place for oil to end up -- in a sealed canister at the end of a vacuum line. Could your earlier plugged PCV have somehow pushed oil into that line???
 
I think the blocked flame-trap caused an un-told number of problems. Oil absolutely everywhere, Outside of engine and transmission, inside inlet manifold, throttle body, etc, maybe just years of oil and air pressure waves pushed a little bit of oil down the line, but I agree, it's a bit counter-intuitive.

Regards,
Henrik Morsing
 
I had a car in the shop for weeks I couldn't figure out once. It came in running, but I did a little bit of work on it and then it wouldn't start at all. It was a 2003? 3.8L V6 Buick. I was doing everything I could to get it running. Finally somebody finally told me they are known for coolant entering in the intake manifold. I removed the upper intake manifold and found a pool of coolant. "Aha! That's the problem." I fixed the coolant leak, but it still wouldn't run. I confirmed compression, I confirmed fuel injector spray and pulse,confirmed fuel pressure, pulled the front end apart and confirmed mechanical timing, confirmed spark at all 6 wires by arcing plug wires and using a spare spark plug. Finally another tech came over and had me pull the plugs and they looked ok to me, but he said they looked shot. After that car was on my rack for almost a month, I put 6 spark plugs in it and it fired right up and ran great and didn't come back.

I understand the frustration.

Glad you didn't set it on fire.
 
Yes!, well done Henrik! I appreciate you keeping the group here well informed of your progress during all this. It's been an adventure. Glad you got things sorted and are enjoying the fruits of your labor.
 
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Good afternoon,

I have been able to re-create the problem, it was caused by a break in HT lead #1 in my old set. I have been mulling over what went wrong through all this and maybe it is just food for thought .....

Happy to read you've found and solved the problem. Great news!
 
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