Our son, daughter & I took BOP & Hazel out for a picture or two yesterday (an ideal Christmas Day activity!) & all went well until Hazel suddenly expired. The engine spun over well but did not start. Fortunately we were near home & towed it very slowly back the short distance.
Today it started & ran very well for about 30 seconds then died again & I've only been able to start it for a few moments since. Both fuel & spark are good & the timing/points etc are OK (it ran really well for a short time).
Is it a condenser issue? I did replace this a few weeks ago but reading elsewhere on here they're about as reliable as snow at Christmas
Run it until it dies then check for a spark.
If it stops then starts right up, start it with a plug on the end of a lead on top of the engine and run it until it stops watching the plug. That way you will see if the motor stops becsuse of lack of spark.
If it does it may be condenser or coil.
Thanks for your suggestions guys. I tried one or two things without success then changed the 'new' condenser & like magic Hazel is running pefectly again!
Anyway, here are a couple of shots taken on Christmas Day, inspired by taking part in a Practical Classics photoshoot 22 years ago (Feb '98 magazine). It's a case of getting the camera shutter speed correct as the cars are only doing about 20 mph, but the photo car is bumping the camera up & down .
Hazel's just having her front pads renewed. The driver's side were almost gone, whereas the passenger's were still very much in good health. I'm not sure how that has happened as the brakes always work well & were evenly matched at a recent MOT
Despite the blue sky in the distance, I had to wait a while for the sun to shine on the car. For those of you interested in old railways, the trackbed of the former 'Malton & Driffield Junction Railway' passes through the middle distance in this picture; Malton going left & Driffield to the right. The photo is taken on the North Yorkshire / East Yorkshire boundary near Fimber.
It was a trip out for my elderly mother after 13 weeks inside, but now in an extended family "bubble"so outings can resume. My late father & mother owned a '67 TC & a '73 TC before 2 x SD1s. Obviously where my P6 fixation came from! (I'm a fan of SD1s, too )
Hazel has had some starting issues recently & this manifested itself in traffic after cutting out.
I traced the problem to a crack in the fuel filter as I saw the fuel level wasn't being maintained when it was cranked over (& the carb bowl had no fuel in it ). It was a pattern filter which the olives don't fit very well, so I'd shaved some plastic off & this had obviously weakened it. The fuel was leaking out rather than getting to the carbs.
It all looked a bit desperate & under Covid restrictions the AA will take a car home but not its passengers. As we were only around 12 miles from home I came up with a bodge that did the trick. By sacrificing a non-working expansion tank hose (more about that another time) I reconnected the fuel line without the filter. It ran superbly after that!
I replaced the errant filter with a working used one I had (always handy to hang on to these things) & will now get an original filter
All's been reasonably quiet on the Hazel front recently. However, as we've got into the colder weather the car had got back into the habit of very poor starting.
I've never been sure why; it's pretty well timed & runs (& sounds) really well. I thought I'd have a look at the battery terminals & the connections, which tbh were poor - the +ve clamp was only just pressed on the terminal, so I eased it apart so it was a snug fit:
This seemed to make a big improvement & like many things, I should have checked it before.
Now I have another problem: I took Hazel out on Sunday (about 25 miles) & when I got home it refused to restart - the battery was totally flat! It doesn't stop there; 'BOP' has an identical battery on, bought in December 2017, & exactly the same thing happened yesterday within 24 hours of Hazel's. Both batteries seem to have recharged well enough, but I'm a little nervous relying on them at this time of year.
Winter is hard on batteries that are near the end of their life. Hard starting cold is another sign of poor battery health. 3 years from a modern battery is about all you can expect. Methinks you'll be at the battery store soon! Maybe best to be proactive and get one now.
Re the batteries, have had a similar experience. Have a garage queen (928) that I keep on a trickle charger, and only take out for local runs of 20-30kms. One day I happened to do a run, park, then out again to pick up g'daughter from school , then park - flat as can be. Got it jump started and home. Did a test at next opportunity - put a DVM on the battery while it idled . All good , showing 14.1v (fully charged battery)...for 20 mins, then the volts fell right off - alternator failing once thoroughly hot. With a new alternator the 6 year old battery is doing fine. 928s having a large complicated electric system (32 fuses and more relays) an annual electrical maintenance is recommended - clean and deoxit all fuses, pull relays and reseat, undo and clean all ground connections. So, with any little used car I recommend something similar, especially the ground connections - undo, clean with something abrasive, apply Deoxit, refit. With a ground cable that is shrink wrapped they can develop whats known as black wire corrosion inside the wrapping, so they need checking, and occasional replacement.
I have had good luck using C TEK chargers, I have a few of them hooked up to various things. At around 40 quid they would make a good Christmas prezzie.
I suppose there is a balance to be struck between the price of a charger and renewing batteries for fresh when they fail, but the convenience of having a car that always starts is a plus.
My stand out example is a relatively cheap Halfords branded battery bought new in 2008, always been on a C TEK and is as punchy as new today. I thought it had died last year when starting problems arose, took it to be discharge tested at the auto electrician, it performed as new, turned out to be an earth issue.