Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

Starting issues. Starting to try my patience.

Ok. So the Phaeton's all back together after lots of labelling, dismantling, stripping, painting, cross-referencing, ordering, wrong-part-returning, swearing, reassembling, racking-of-brains-because-your-labelling-was-wrong, and all the other good stuff.

By the way, if there's anyone else considering rocking an 1800CVH, don't. I'm not being disparaging of the engine itself (we all know it's a boat anchor, I don't need to tell you all again!) but it's damned near impossible to order the correct parts online. People are determined to send me 1800 Pinto stuff, despite their descriptions and listings saying the parts will fit the R2A engine.

So, the last nuts and bolts were done yesterday. Was too excited to leave it sitting hopefully ready to rock, so went back again today. Filled with water and cheap oil (coolant and decent oil will go in after the other stuff is flushed out) and went to turn her over, minus plug leads just to get some oil circulating first. Clunk, slap, grinding noises. Not good. Then it comes flooding back - we got a faulty starter for reconditioning in the pile of spares we got with the car. Obviously dick brains here fitted this in place of the good one. Oh well, quick roll around on the workshop floor and we get it sorted.

So, try again. Much better. Battery obviously healthy too. Crank for a bit then decide to fit the leads and try it, just in case it wants to start. Again, lots of cranking, but not even a cough. Check the leads versus the firing order. Oh yes Roy. Even though your OCD would like the firing order to be 1-2-3-4, it's really has to be 1-3-4-2. Ok, I can compromise on that.

Here we go again. More cranking, but still not even a fart. Gauge says half a tank but I'm not entirely sure I believe that. Stick some fuel in. Still no joy. Pull and inspect spark plugs. Sooty and bone dry, i.e. no fuel coming through despite the cranking. Replace plugs, testing each for spark first. All firing ok.

Yank fuel inlet hose off carb and shove in bottle. Crank lots. Nothing. Interesting. Fill another bottle with fuel and attach to fuel pump inlet. More cranking and fuel cooing through, so pump's working, just not drawing from tank. Probably a perished or blocked hose but we'll deal with that later and keep the bottle-feed for now. Crank more. Plugs still dry and no reek of fuel from carb. So pump's pumping, but carb's not... carbing?

Dump some fuel down venturi and crank. Nothing at first, then cranking eases up and she fires. Get fuel bottle back onto inlet but it's not drawing through, just running off the fuel I've dumped in. Cuts out. Try same trick again to confirm.

Out of electricity. Oh well.

So we're back on charge with the battery. I blew through the idle jet as it's the only one you can remove from the top, i.e. without stripping the carb apart. Things I'll check next visit:

  • Gauze filter in fuel inlet line - might not be fitted but will check for presence/condition.
  • Condition of float chamber/valve.
  • Other jets, if filter/float check doesn't resolve.

But the good news is the replacement engine runs. Bad news is that it does breathe a bit. No mayo under the cap or in the dipstick, but it does produce a bit of smoke out the oil filler cap if you remove it while running. But then again, what CVH doesn't? Did anyone ever check if they did it brand new from the factory?

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Comment by Roy Kemp on June 26, 2015 at 22:12
Might be an option if I can't resolve this quickly.
Comment by Roy Kemp on June 26, 2015 at 21:37
Martin - it's the standard Pierburg 2E3 from the Sierra. Previous owner said he thought water got in. But it did sit for 3 years before we got it so swarfega-like fuel in the float could be a good shout.
Comment by Roy Kemp on June 26, 2015 at 21:26
Hey - it got V Power, no less!

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