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The Dead Zone!

Discussion in 'Fuel System & Electrics' started by Matt Pettigrew, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Matt Pettigrew

    Matt Pettigrew Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Hawthorne, Brisbane
    Hello boys and girls,

    I have a mystery that I'd like some comments on. Twice now my wife's '73 had failed to restart after she parked in the same spot while picking up some coffee. The car park is off street in front of a shop, she parks nose in at about a 5 to 6 degree upward incline. The first time it happened, (about a month ago) she called me for help, when I arrived she wasn't with the car and had the keys so I proceeded to check all the electrical connections, gave them a wriggle and checked for anything lose - nothing. On her return she put the key in and it started as normal! The second time, this morning in exactly the same car park the same thing happened, but this time she wriggled the connectors and it started again. From her description of it trying to start it sounds like a fuel issue - flooded. Could the incline have something to do with this ? Either causing the left hand master carby to flood the right hand carby, OR affecting a worn fuel cut off solenoid? So after a few minutes the excess fuel has evaporated then it starts. OR is it just a Kombi Dead Zone ;-) She can't remember parking in the same spot before the first time it failed to start, and is not parking there again. Open to suggestions!
     
  2. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,741
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Usually if flooded when starts there will be a large white cloud.

    What wires did she wiggle?

    Might be dodgy key switch - that is my guess
     
  3. Matt Pettigrew

    Matt Pettigrew Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Hawthorne, Brisbane
    No white smoke, and new ignition switch. She couldn't remember which wires , 'just the ones she could see', so I gather that would be the ones on the coil. When I did it I wriggled all of them them, coil, fuel solenoids and the main ballast connector on the fire wall. The car has never done this anywhere else, that what makes me thing the incline has something to do with it - although why doesn't it do it when pulling up on a hilly intersection ????
     
  4. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,741
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    Could be inclined but I am doubtful.

    I would be guessing wires.

    Do you have car ramps?
     
  5. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,522
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Is the bus hot when it is parked? Mechanical fuel pumps can play up when too hot to fire. Which is where the age old advice off peeing on them when the car won't start comes into play. I would assume pouring some water on it would be easier for your wife in front of a busy shop.

    Or could it be an air lock? Did the bus have a full tank of fuel? Maybe it sloshed over enough to cover the entrance to a breather hole?
    I know my bus does not like facing up hill with a full tank of fuel, start to get the fuel smell when i do.
     
    David H likes this.
  6. Matt Pettigrew

    Matt Pettigrew Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Hawthorne, Brisbane

    The fuel tank was about half full this morning, no idea of the level last time. If it is the fuel pump vapour locking why does it not do it any other time.

    I do have ramps, and I see where you are going, I'll test it out. Going by my wife's description of the sound it makes trying to start it doesn't sound electrical. The first time round I thought electrical - ballast resistor, but then (1) I couldn't find one, and (2) it started up ok after a while. The fact that it ONLY does it in that spot has me baffled!
     
  7. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,522
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Unless the slope is severe I would assume it is either coincidence, or something that takes that particular amount of time to develop and correct.
    And you are right, vapour lock would most likely happen other places too. Such as freeway driving. And I think Bay's are pretty good for not getting this. I got in in my bus with the original fuel cap, replaced that and it stopped happening.

    Just thinking of some things,
    - Keys left in ignition while she gets coffee would heat up the coil, which then cools and starts. (unlikely she has the keys in the car).
    - Some crud in the fuel filter stopping flow?
    - Loose wires - If you have check connections each time, maybe it is this.
    - Loose fuse in the panel. Can take them out and bend the tabs a bit tighter before putting them back in.
    - Loose ignition wire, or an ignition switch on its way out. Apparently they are a pain in the neck to replace properly. But a cheap item, and you can test by pulling the wiring out and starting with a screw driver until you are ready to replace it fully. I think Mark - Oldman had this issue at one point.
    - What else? Col - you are good with electrical gremlins.
     
    David H likes this.
  8. Matt Pettigrew

    Matt Pettigrew Member

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Hawthorne, Brisbane
    It's a mystery! Maybe that parking spot has been built over an old Kombi grave yard!
     
    David H, TeeBee and OSF like this.
  9. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,843
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    My guesses would be long shot as don't think angle enough but electric fuel pump and no in line fuel cut off solenoid ?
    Possibly a bit of additional fuel making it past the needle/ seat.??
    Or check fuel bowl level straight after running engine.?

    The ramp test may duplicate and if it happened in same spot again and two people there then one see if they can smell fuel while cranking.

    Starting after resting does support a fuel issue.
    Electrical hot start issue would expect more random.
     

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