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Hi all

I have been trying to get the Vitesse back on the   road after 7 years. On starting up the ammeter jumped around strangely and a clicking noise at regular 2 second intervals could be hard from the control box.

The Ameter glass on the dash misted up also. I have not tinkered with wiring and is all as it was when I rested the car up.


The car did start but was eratic and all over the place, but the carbs were blocked too, so I am just working on the needle valves and float chambers on the car at the moment.

I just wanted to see if anybody has any input on what I see could be an electrical problem.

Many thanks




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If the battery is good enough to crank the engine, then it is probably not the problem.  Next thing is to clean up the control box contacts, and then have a quick look at the dynamo. 

A multimeter is a cheap and really good investment.

Hopefully in a few more days you will get some additional suggestions - if not, try Googling it, and then look for a garage with someone old enough to understand control boxes.

I know just the chap in West London, but I don't know where you are located.

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Just seen more information provided in a personal reply.  I have suggested checking out the ammeter as this is would be non-standard, and may have dodgy connections (which will cause the control box to misbehave).  Disconnect the battery, bridge the contacts of the ammeter, and see if the control box behaves itself.  Then check all the connections in the charging circuit, including the dynamo.

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Hi ,

thanks for the replies ( the car was stood in garage for 7 years and some damp present in last 18 months when car went to rural indoor location)

I cleaned up all contacts in control box and it seems to be ok now. After trying to start it , the clicking has stopped and the ammeter is no longer jumping around. However the car will not fire up now!

The fuses all seem ok

New petrol now out of a cannister to try to get it started.
Unleaded fuel with octane booster.
Carbs stripped and no sticking needle valve, it functions fine with the floats floating as they should and closing off the needle valve
Float height set to 19mm as per manual.
Tappets all reset from cold. ( 7 years of cold!)
Coolant system re done and new water pump.

Mechanical pump pushing fuel into carbs.
Carbs filling up with fuel
Spark from HT leads
Spark from coil to distributor,
Distributor cap spot on
Plug elecrode gaps reset and cleaned
Seems to be a vacuum to draw fuel into cylindrs as the plugs are getting wet with fuel

BUT it will not fire up. It is as if I had taken the dizzy off and refitted it 180 degrees out. But it worked when it went to bed 7 years ago!

The car did fire up and run the other day for around a minute,  but after I turned it off and it will not start again
Starter motor working and cranking engine : not a high torque one, just the standard spec starter motor.

Battery new
Ran it flat turning car over but had jump leads on hand.
SO I have fuel going in
Fuel seems to be in cylinders, sparks are present from spark plugs, pump is pushing fuel fine but not firing.

I have electronic ignition fitted, I do not know how to check this but would assume as the car ran for a short period, although very lumpy, then the electronic ignition was ok?
I thought I had this nailed, but I am struggling...
Thank you


thanks for the replies

I cleaned up all contacts in control box and it seems to be ok now. After trying to start it , the clicking has stopped and the ammeter is no longer jumping around. However the car will not fire up now!

The fuses all seem ok

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Thanks all

I have sparks from HT leads

Sparks from coil

all timed ok : Static timing

Fuel evident on plugs so the vacuum must be OK.


Now it hurts but had to send car off as I had done all I could do. I even put new dizzy cap on and new rotor arm just in case.


The guy feels I may have affected the pistons capabilits to rise up in the carb bodies as I used oil that was very thick and heavy. This is his starting point on getting the engine to run. I will report back on the full solution when the car comes back to me.

I had done all I could do and still could not get it to fire up:  static timing OK, all HT leads on in correct order to correct cylinders, fuel being pumped, fuel in carbs, fuel seemed to be evident on plugs, sparks at all HT leads and coil producing sparks too.

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just to add did you check the coil was being fed when cranking and when just 'on'  


was there any hint it wanted to fire but couldnt ?


oil in dashpots is sae 20 engine oil  but 20/50 engine oil is  what you get these days


no thin cats pee, its a damper and thin oil wont give you the richness needed when accelerating.


you still could have a choke problem  are they what i call  thames barrier with a rotated ramp to raise piston and block air flow or


starting valve on the front carb.  the fuel bleed ports can get corroded up with storage and you dont get the fuel ratio to start a cold engine


wet plugs may just be excessive cranking and not firing.


good luck with the  send away , hope they finger the problem



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  • 6 months later...

sorry for very late update. I had put too heavy an oil in dash pots and was told I had put the back plates of the K and N filters on the wrong carb. It appears they are handed, so when I put it on the wrong carb it was blocking off part of the inlet or some part of the carb that needed to be open. That was causing the fuel to pour out of the last carb in the line. The pistons in the carbs could not rise on acceleration due to the V heavy oil I had put in the dash pots. Very odd that I had put the backplates on wrong from the air filters. I was not aware that they were handed to the RH LH carb or the fact that they could block of passage wages in the front face of the carb.

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