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No oil pressure


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Hi All,


My Mk2 Vitesse has been garaged over winter. Started up a couple of times (although not easily) and have been for a couple of runs out. Also resolved a problem with the electronic ignition. However now a total lack of oil pressure after turning the starter a few times and failure to start completely! Any ideas what the problem might be?




Andy F

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The only common area between oil pump and dizzy is the drive shafts and gears off the camshaft


problems here are unlikely


the starting could anything fuel drain back is common , and dont expect much oil pressure to show

whilst cranking, if any at all.

is the choke fully operating ?

Does yor pump have a hand prime lever ? you can raise fuel with ?

Do you get a spark at the plug leads?


its not uncommon to have to crank for a considerable time after weeks of layup


if you have the original side mounted oil filter these will drain back quickly it takes a lot of cranking to refill and start to build pressure, even the spin on filters can and do drain back

they are not rocket science , just a rubber flap valve .


there is no spec for cranking or idle oil pressures the triumph spec is 40/60psi at 2000 rpm


Just some thoughts



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I would be taking the plugs out and spinning the engine on the starter. That takes all the effort out of turning the engine over. Pressure can take a while to build as pete says.


As to not starting, it is missing either fuel (ideally not old stuff) oxygen, compression and spark. The last is the usual culprit, either lack of or at the wrong time. 

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I have seen one example of an engine that had been laid up for a long time where the oil pump had seized and the drive dog on the camshaft interface gear had sheared off, so the dizzy drive was working, but the oil pump not.


May be worth pulling the dizzy and its drive gear out and checking the oil pump with a long flat bladed screwdriver.

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I have similar problems starting my Vitesse if it's left for more than 3 weeks or so, especially this time of year :(


Like Pete states priming the Pump lever helps (If you have the standard Fuel pump?)


The oil light normally goes out on my car after cranking for ten seconds or so, but I have a Spin on conversion oil filter on mine?


I find the Choke mechanism on the CD150S Carbs to be very Hit & Miss :angry:


I must try and start mine this weekend, not been out in it since the New Year run :o

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I've got  a Vitesse Mk2 and have to say that if the carbs are set up correctly, diaphragm not split and the carbs are NOT overly worn, then they tend to be spot on. 


With regard to the choke it may be worth disconnecting it from the carb end, pull out the majority of inner cable from the dash end and lubricating the cable with oil (NOT GREASE) as you feed the inner cable back through.


Once the cable is taut at the carb end, push it back a couple of mm and then reconnect to the choke spindle on the carb. This will ensure that the cable starts to open up the choke operation as soon as the choke knob is operated. 


Using oil on the inner cable makes for a very smooth & precise choke operation and gets rid of the rough "give-it-a-tug" operation.


Another problem that is quite often encountered and not always noticed is that where the spring clip fits over the outer cable on the choke body, the outer cable can move up when you pull the choke knob and this of course cancels the movement of the inner cable and the choke does not operate effectively.


I had this problem and now use a small cable tie + screw to hold the outer cable firmly against the carb body; the spring clip is still retained - since doing this I have never had any outer cable movement during choke operation and of course simply removed when required.


Have attached 2x photos to illustrate. post-818-0-53077100-1424077578_thumb.jpg post-818-0-47852800-1424077628_thumb.jpg


Finally, I find that the choke only needs pulling out about 1/2 way; but more importantly and the GOLDEN RULE is, DO NOT depress the accelerator when firing the car up as this reduces the effectiveness of the choke operation.


Hope that helps with the "hit & miss" choke operation ??





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The Carbs where rebuilt by Andrew Turner, I've only done around 11,500 mile in the car so they are fine still?


I never have any trouble starting when warm and the car runs great with correct plug colur and good MPG.


The choke cable inner & Outer was cleaned and oiled during the rebuild and still operate smoothly, it's all set up as per the workshop manual and securely clamped.


If I prime the Fuel pump after leaving the car for a while it will start eventually on choke, but it never bursts into life, I have to let it get going without touching the throttle then coax it along with a few blips of the accelerator pedal :(  


I've learnt to live with it, I'm about ready for a new Battery too, so that won't be helping when it's cold?


I've had someone make me a very decent offer on the car so may be selling in the near future :o


Been after a TR5 or A TR250 for a while now, so watch this space!

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That sounds as though the fuel is draining back towards the tank after the car has been standing for awhile.


Starting the car up again when warm seems to point that there is fuel in carbs; which I would expect after it has been running - it's what happens after it has been standing around. 


Do you run an inline fuel filter and is it the correct way around (i.e. stopping fuel draining back ??


Also what is the state & age of the fuel pump - I presume mechanical ?? Could it be possible that some of the internal gaskets have worn, so not holding fuel pressure ??


The fact you are priming the pump suggests that it requires pressurising itself so it can then push fuel to the carbs.


As it runs okay when warm / hot suggests that there is no blockage within the pipe(s).


If any of the above suggestions are possible - could be worth investigating.


(Almost qualifies for a new thread !!)


Good luck.




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  • 1 month later...

Update time. Just got my Vitesse back from Dave Saunders at Triumph Spares near Worcester. MOT passed after a bit of fettling and now fitted with new alternator and Powerlite High Torque starter which seems to have resolved the poor ignition issues above. Carbs all set up nicely and running very well, although they will require a refurbish in due course. So a great job there. Had the engine compression tested too and all is fine in that area. 


Thanks for all the advice and 'pearls' of wisdom though.



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