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1952 Super won't start


Hans1965
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You may recall that my 49 Riv and 52 Super Riviera were under water for a few days last July. While the 49 was quite easy to revive I struggle to get the 52 Super running again.

 

What has been done to the engine:

- head was off, all valves replaced. New valves were NOS from Pete (thank you!) and from Bob's

- oil pan dropped, oil pump cleaned, engine cleaned from underneath as good as possible, but not disassembled (after the water was out we had put diesel into it for many weeks)

- exhaust manifold changed, mine was cracked. New copper gasket from Cars Inc. 

- carburetor completely rebuilt

- distributor has not been taken fully out, but upper parts removed, cleaned, condenser changed, points cleaned (not changed)

-starter, generator, ignition switch, relay disassembled and cleaned, oiled etc. All cables checked 

- tank cleaned and sealed, gas line flushed

- lifters all disassembled, cleaned and refilled with oil.

 

Now I do have good spark, and gas, but not a single ignition, no matter how I position the distributor. Took out and dried the plugs in the process.

 

Spark and rocker arm / valve movement seem to be in line.  As we never pulled the distributor, that should be okay, right?

 

I worried that my brand new 6V 2EH battery is not giving enough power to  turn the engine quick enough. Other battery same speed. I will clean the ground connection again, never took that off. Couldn't find my compression tester, that's next. 

 

Oiled a little the cylinders to get better compression.... 

 

Have the feeling it does not suck any air into the carb. 

 

I am really not a technical guy, just following what I read and learned over time. But I am running out of ideas.

 

Any idea what I am missing here? 

 

Thank you. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Of course there was much more work put into the car:

- all gauges removed, disassembled, cleaned and reassembled

- brakes completely rebuilt

- differential cleaned, wheel bearings cleaned and regreased

- all lights and switches, horns, relays repaired or changed

- interior washed at least 5 times

- suspension regreased

- radiator flushed 

 

Not done anything to the 

- dynaflow, only drained so far...

- shock's

- exhaust, still contains some water, that partly came out during the starting process.... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First, you must have adjusted the valves if you had the head off.  Is there any way you adjusted them too tightly, which would hold the valves open?  That would give you no compression.

 

Second, I noticed that you installed a new condenser.  They are not always good these days; you may want to reinstall the old one and see if that helps.  Bad condensers can do strange things.  

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May I ask if the engine has been set to top dead center on its timing mark on the flywheel and verified that: 1- the valves are closed on the #1 cylinder. And 2- that the points are open at that positionand 3- that the spark plug wire in the cap is going to the #1 cylinder?

 

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1 hour ago, Aaron65 said:

Is there any way you adjusted them too tightly, which would hold the valves open?

That^^^ would be my first guess if you're suspicious about lack of vacuum.  Even if rings are worn or stuck there should be enough vacuum to allow the engine to at least try to run.  Once the distributor timing has been confirmed, run through the firing order and adjust the valves for each cylinder to the hot lash specification (which I think might be 0.015") with an allowance of 0.003"~0.004" to account for the fact that the engine is cold.  (I used 0.019" as an initial cold setting for my '38 320 CI straight-8).  If ignition is functioning you should be able to dribble a little gas into the carb and see it try to run...

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1 hour ago, EmTee said:

That^^^ would be my first guess if you're suspicious about lack of vacuum.  Even if rings are worn or stuck there should be enough vacuum to allow the engine to at least try to run.  Once the distributor timing has been confirmed, run through the firing order and adjust the valves for each cylinder to the hot lash specification (which I think might be 0.015") with an allowance of 0.003"~0.004" to account for the fact that the engine is cold.  (I used 0.019" as an initial cold setting for my '38 320 CI straight-8).  If ignition is functioning you should be able to dribble a little gas into the carb and see it try to run...

He's probably going to have hydraulic lifters, in which case they're adjusted two turns of the screw down from zero lash.  Finding zero lash on these straight 8s is easy; the tip of the rocker doesn't contact the valve until zero lash. 

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Yes, the car has hydraulic lifters.

13 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

May I ask if the engine has been set to top dead center on its timing mark on the flywheel and verified that: 1- the valves are closed on the #1 cylinder. And 2- that the points are open at that positionand 3- that the spark plug wire in the cap is going to the #1 cylinder?

 

Hi John, as we never took out the distributor in the whole process and the car ran nicely before I did not, but that's next. Thank you. 

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13 hours ago, Aaron65 said:

First, you must have adjusted the valves if you had the head off.  Is there any way you adjusted them too tightly, which would hold the valves open?  That would give you no compression.

 

Second, I noticed that you installed a new condenser.  They are not always good these days; you may want to reinstall the old one and see if that helps.  Bad condensers can do strange things.  

Aaron, i will switch back to the old condenser. i check on the valves, too. We filled the lifters as much as possible with oil before, maybe too much? Thanks!

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12 hours ago, EmTee said:

That^^^ would be my first guess if you're suspicious about lack of vacuum.  Even if rings are worn or stuck there should be enough vacuum to allow the engine to at least try to run.  Once the distributor timing has been confirmed, run through the firing order and adjust the valves for each cylinder to the hot lash specification (which I think might be 0.015") with an allowance of 0.003"~0.004" to account for the fact that the engine is cold.  (I used 0.019" as an initial cold setting for my '38 320 CI straight-8).  If ignition is functioning you should be able to dribble a little gas into the carb and see it try to run...

I will pay attention to that. The lifters are hydraulic but maybe the system is really too tight. Will try early next week. Not at home currently. 

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1 hour ago, Hans1965 said:

Aaron, i will switch back to the old condenser. i check on the valves, too. We filled the lifters as much as possible with oil before, maybe too much? Thanks!

The lifters being filled with oil might make it hard to adjust the valves, because if the lifter can't compress, the valve itself will open when you're making your adjustments.  Usually, a couple of rotations with the starter will balance things out, but you may want to go back and check the adjustment if you've been cranking on the starter for a while.  

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Had zero compression on cylinders one and two. Used a 2nd battery cable to give the starter more punch (and ordered a thicker battery cable!), oiled all cylinders a bit and with a little adjusting on the carburetor and some yelling and using bad language the damn thing started, when we thought it is already a lost game. Hope the piston rings on 1 and 2 will loosen up. Could not run it for long as I didn't want to kill me and my buddy with the smoke. But a start has been made. Thanks, you all. 

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