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Desperately needing help post rebuild car not starting!!


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I have to admit defeat, I have rebuilt my spitfire 1500 1976 including new head gasket, starter motor and starter solenoid, all new carb seals etc, new plugs and leads, plus much much more that's less relevant.


The car is turning over, there is a spark to the leads, there is fuel pumping ok and reaching the float chambers at least. However she just will not fire, even when spraying petrol into the carbs with the air filters removed. I have spent days trying but have to admit as a keen amateur who has never done anything like this I am stuck and more than a little fed up!!

I have a very cheeky request!,,

Is there anyone out there living near medomsley in Durham who could come around and help pppplllllleeeeeaaaaasssssssseeeeeeee!


I am reluctant to have afar age fetch it partly due to cost but also losing the opportunity to learn by trouble shooting with someone who knows what they are doing. I am OK to pay something towards your time...


It could be an ignition or fuel problem. Ps I have not set the valve clearances or the timing as I thought best to do this Until she's at least a rough running.


This is my first time on this forum so apologies if this is way too cheeky.

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If my calculations are correct the TSSC North East group are the nearest to you. I'm a bit confused as to where they meet, the area directory on here says one place but the club mag says another. I suspect the club mag is correct. If so the pub involved is 10 miles from you and called The Travellers Rest, Witton Gilbert, DH7 6TQ. They meet on the first Sunday of the month at 7:30pm. Too late for this month. If you're interested I'll send you a private message with the area organiser's name and number? 

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If adding fuel to the intakes doesn't get it to fire, then this is not a fuelling problem.

So it's ignition, and like Paul says you need to check that you are not 180 degrees out.    That means the distributor is firing No.4, when it should fire No. 1.

Recall that any 4 cylinder engine has the pistons move in pairs.   When No.1 is at Top Dead Centre (TDC) and the ignition fires its plug shortly before, No.4 is also at TDC but with both valves open at the end of one 4 strioke cycle and the beginning of the next.

To get it right, set No.1 at TDC, and observe the valves.  Are those on No.1 both closed?    And those on No.4 slightly open, intake going down (opening) and exhaust coming up?

Now look at the rotor arm.   Is it pointing at the ignition lead for No.1?   It should be!   

Don't worry about precision, just that the arm is pointing more or less at No.1


Now put the rocker cover and the dizzy cap back on, and do the static timing which is described in the Haynes and the Official workshop manuals, so as to be more precise about the position of the dizzie.

Then go for a start, with the dizzie unclamped, so that you can rotate it very slightly, advancing and retarding the spark around TDC.

You WILL get a start!


Now you can accurately time the ignition with a strobe gun, if you have one!

Good luck


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