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well i have to say my ownership isn't going that well so far.

having taken the car for a great drive to warm it all up, everything working well, engine running clean and pulling up to the redline without any trouble, i managed to get the old sump plug out the other day, and changed oil and filter. while lying around under there i thought 'i ought to get some degreaser onto this and give it all a clean'. so i gave it all a liberal spray with a kind of foaming degreaser from halfords, and then hosed the engine down with water afterwards, from above and below.

i also got some new plugs from halfords and changed the plugs. i think a little water that had collected around the plugs made it's way into the cylinders, but not much. so that's what i've done; since then (apart from getting 300m down the road, then pushing it back with helpful neighbors) it hasn't run at all.

i've got a very weak almost non existant spark, so i checked the ht leads. the main ht lead from the coil to the distributor was quite badly corroded, and another lead looked quite dodgy, so i've replaced them all with new ones from halfords. i've had the plugs out and spun the motor in case i've got more water in there than i thought, left the plugs out for a day, and pointed a blowdrier into the cylinders for a while. i was advised to use some vaseline to protect the connections against further corrosion.

i was quite careful where i sprayed water, and i've left the distributor cap off for a while in case it's wet in there, it doesn't look wet but to be frank i'm clutching at straws here. since in my car the coil is in a protected extra fibreglass box attached to the rear engine bulkhead i'm pretty sure i didn't get any water in there.

what might i have damaged on the distributor, and how can i find out where my spark is going? also, could i have got water into the carbs somehow? i'm copping quite a bit from the mrs as so far the car is in worse shape than when i got it!

on the positive side, i sorted out the alternator problem, and i won a couple of elise seats on ebay which will go in as soon as possible, so while the car won't go, at least the project progresses!

simon

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Try spraying all the ignition electric liberally with a water displacement oil (WD40 or similar).

It sounds like it's either a corroded joint with water in it, or you've managed to dislodge a connector and it shook itself further apart.

Andy

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Apart from standard dizzy cap, rotor and plug leads, the contents of the distributor is 'solid state' so I dont think thats your problem. I would try disconnecting the plug between the ignition amp and the distributor and 'dry' it with WD40 or similar. Assuming you have not filled the box with the amp & coil I cant see why washing the engine would cause you a major problem. Turbo carbs are airtight, so you will not have filled them with water.

The engine will not like it if all your spark plug wells have water in, so make sure these are dry (although it sounds as though you drained these into the engine.....)

You probably just need a nice hot sunny day to get it dried out.

cheers Steve

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have you tried replacing the coil? see what the spark is like from the main king lead, if its very weak it could be your coil. erm as for vaseline no, wipe it all off it shouldnt be there at all. when i first got my car i had starting and spark issues turned out to be the coil, put a new one in and never had that problem again!

Edited by bigsi
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how do you check the spark from the main lead? do you just turn the ignition on and hold it close to a clean earth bit of the motor (lke you do when checking the spark at a plug)? i guess the motor wouldn't need to be turning over? i'll take the cap off and give it a good squirt with wd 40, and also investigate the wire running to the dizzy.

it's sunny today so fingers crossed!

cheers

simon

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Hi Simon - ahhh electrics, my old foe!

It sounds like water is your cause mate, given the car roared along before you turned the hose on her. I would go straight to the dizzy and clean it up as described above. As for leads, have you tried the 'crank it over in the dark trick'? This is a great way to find where the spark is going. Just have someone else crank while you peek around in the dark garage with the light off.

Do you have a multimeter? If so, you can check the coils primary and secondary resistance and see if the coil is shot but I doubt it since it worked fine just before hand.

Your question about the main lead - yes, just place the HT lead from the coil near an earth, but you still have to crank. Technically, you should get 4 sparks to one that you get from a plug. Remember and use well insulated pliers etc.

Iain

Edited by iainskea
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checked main coil and good strong spark. put the main lead back in and checked a plug, much weaker spark. i'll take the cap off and give the terminals a good clean on the inside, ditto the rotor with some fine sandpaper. on a happier note when i put the plug lead back on the mrs (who was assisting) managed to start the car! charger is back on as battery was weak, with cap off again for a bit of cleaning i may be back on the road. fingers crossed!

cheers

simon

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