R10 wont start!
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Thread: R10 wont start!

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    Default R10 wont start!

    I'm hoping some of the clever/experienced froggers can assist me in getting my R10 started. I took it for a 5km drive around the suburb and then parked it in the garage. it was running beautifully, no flat spots or misfiring and it never overheated. When I came to start it the next weekend, the starter spun the motor with no problem, but it would not fire.
    The electric pump is pumping good, I've checked float level, blown out jets, and the pump jet can be seen pumping. I then turned to the ignition and noticed that the spark at an earthed plug looked rather weak. I fitted new points and condensor, but no change., so I replaced the coil with a new (no ballast resistor) Bosch coil, and replaced the ht lead from coil to distributor, still no luck. There is 12.8 volts at the coil, which drops to 10.8 volts while cranking the starter. According to an article I "googled", this is suffficient as the coil will pump up the voltage to about 300v anyway. I've re-set the points, re-set the timing (static) and checked that wire from condesor is not earthing inside and outside of distributor. I've even disconnected the rev.counter to eliminate the possibility of a short there in. I keep the battery fully charged and there is no problem turning over the motor. The spark plugs have only done about 300 km. I even tried putting a 12v supply direct from the bat. to the coil, all to no avail.
    What could have possibly gone wrong between switching off, and trying to re-start one week later? Starting fluid doesn't help. No one else has been near the car. PLEASE HELP!
    Cheers, Henry

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    After an attempted start, have you pulled a couple of plugs to see if they're wet? What about your plug gap? Can you turn the engine over with the crank handle? Can you feel any compression?
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    After attempting to start, the plugs do get wet, the gap is as per the book, I have cleaned and dried them a few times before re-fitting. There is plenty compression when turning with crank handle. Thanks for the input.

    Henry

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    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    Certainly sounds more spark related from what you mention.
    As Kim said, it would be worth pulling the plugs and cleaning (it's free) or replacing if you have another set. I'm assuming the coil was replaced with "like for like"? is that worth checking?

    I would also suggest changing the rotor button and/or cap but again, only if you have a known good spare(s) - I wouldn't rush out and buy them yet.

    When you changed the points - are they installed correctly. If you manually move the dizzy with the ignition on, do you get a spark across the points where you expect to? (static timing).

    You haven't mentioned timing? is the dizzy still tight or loose - could the timing mark have moved (although you mentioned no misfiring etc). If it is retarded the motor normally spins quite slow; but I'm not sure what the opposite effect would have.

    KB
    KB


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    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    Hi there, Yeah I have tried a complete dist. cap , rotor and plug lead set which came off a running motor, no luck! dist. button seems good. I believe the coil is the right one for R10. When the dist. is turned with ignition on, with timing marks lined up, the points arc with rotor aimed at no. 1 plug lead on cap. The dist. had not come loose on its own but I have loosened it to check static timing which is as per spec., ie sparks as stated above. Have double checked points install and gap. All good. I think my next move will be to fit a new set of plugs, even though they are hardly used. who knows? Thanks for your input.
    Cheers, Henry

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    1000+ Posts Frans's Avatar
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    There is a little spring clip holding the points down in place. Make sure that it is not touching the points metal parts.
    Disconnect the electric pump and try to start. If it starts OK then it will be needle and seat issues.
    Frans
    Old enough to know better
    Young enough to do it anyway.

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    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
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    Try a bit of fuel down the throat of carbie and crank over
    Nothing
    Then loosen distributor and rotate while cranking, maybe 180 deg out of whack. Is No1 actually No1 and not No4
    Nothing
    Open oil filler and see that valves are actually opening closing, if not big problems
    If Ok start at beginning of the thread

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    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Many sensible suggestions., but light is fading and lights in shed not good. I will resume battle tomorrow and keep you all informed.

    Henry

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    Henry, believe it or not I have just had the exact same problem with my R17TS. Changed every thing three times and to no avail it just wouldn't fire at all. Reset carby float levels, sprayed aerostart etc. I did get it to back fire once by moving the leads back 25 degrees. Mine also happened to have a weak spark. Then after several days of trying everything I and a couple of mates could think of, out of the blue it started and has not been a start problem since. How ever it doesn't run well when it is hot. I cannot even see the timing marks with a timing light and I cannot get the static timing in the right place.

    My thought is that the timing chain may have jumped a tooth.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    No news is bad news!
    I've tried starting without the fuel pump running, with a dash of petrol down carb, then with no petrol, then with stating fluid: No luck.
    I opened the carb again, checked float level, needle and seat (new) looks fine, no leaks in floats, all good but no start. I removed "hairclip" points retainer and tried starting without it-- No luck. I then found new R12(sold) points and fitted these, paying special attention to gap and ensuring nothing goes to earth--No luck. I removed tappet cover and checked everything is turning and made sure (by checking the valve action) that tdc position is firing is on no. 1 cylinder. No luck. Why? Why? Why? I'm getting close to fetching the petrol can and matches. I think I'll wait until it gets dark and see if there is any sparking in wrong places.

    More suggestions needed
    Cheers, Henry

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    COL
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    Hi Henry

    This is probably not the problem but have you tried another condencer on the distributer??

    Another thing if the plugs are wet from having to much fuel (you have flooded the engine) they will not fire. I would remove all four plugs and clean them. Then I would use a propane torch and heat the plugs to make sure that they are dry, get the plugs nice and hot (you may require gloves so that you do not burn your fingers) and then put them back in the engine connect everything back up and try to start the car. Hope this may help.
    Regards Col

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    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    Latest!
    I've removed the plugs, cleaned them with engine cleaner, then with soft brass brush, re-set the gaps and dried and warmed them with a fan heater for about 40 minutes. I re-fitted while still warm and......No luck! A new condensor was fitted this week, to no avail. Getting desperate.

    Henry

  13. #13
    IWS
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    Not sure if this will be of any help at all ...

    I had great trouble starting an Alfa Romeo Spider (that I am trying to sell for a [sick] mate). I'm not at all familar with Italian cars and this is not my car. So called the RACV (roadside assistance). Old style mechanic arrived. Tried all sorts of things - checked fuel, checked spark, dried and warmed plugs. No good. Car would almost fire but not quite. He ordered a tow truck for us but before leaving said "I reckon if you had a good push down a hill you would get this clutch started", And we did - after a few backfires.

    So I wonder if it is worth your trying a clutch start - so that all the voltage is going to the plugs (and none to the starter motor).

    But then again - re reading your posts - maybe there is some weird electrical problem at work in which case my "solution" would be none at all.

    Ian.

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    Thanks again guys for all for your input.
    I cranked the motor in the dark to check for any arcing/shorting....but nothing. I checked again for spark at the plugs and where once there was a weak spark, there is now.....nothing. I will now concentrate on the ignition switch and the supply wires from there to the coil.(tomorrow) Watch this space.
    Cheers, Henry

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    Hi Henry, I wish I could help.
    Do you have spark at the plugs if earthed to the block?
    Right back to basics I think. Start at the plugs as it sounds more like electrics to me. If you have spark at the plugs, and timing has not changed.... You posted while I was typing! Next with ignition on check for spark at the points, healthy? I do suppose the rotor is still in there and the centre carbon in good condition? Frans, please leap in and suggest a proper sequence!
    Very nice pics by the way. Oh for an R10 up this way!
    Last edited by kiwia110; 3rd July 2012 at 05:48 PM.

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    G/ DAY Harry have you checked the point plate earth as ive seen them fail under stress or when the advance plate is turned by the vaccume can
    Cheers Peter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter J Kent View Post
    G/ DAY Harry have you checked the point plate earth as ive seen them fail under stress or when the advance plate is turned by the vaccume can
    Cheers Peter.
    Sounds electrical, I agree, as if something changed from isolated to shorted to earth or earthed to isolated at that moment when the engine was switched off. Now you've changed almost everything it's hard to check things one at a time.

    I agree re internal low tension wiring - could be points plate or maybe that little internal wire to the points has failed inside its insulation or has worn through the insulation and is earthing against the distributor body.

    I'd wonder whether one of the 12V wires to the distributor or coil has failed inside its insulation.

    I wonder whether at the ignition switch, when the key turns to the "operate starter" position, the positive to the distributor is cutting out.

    You seem to have changed almost everything though......

    After checking that the wires to and from coil and distributor are OK, and that the insulating blocks, where the 12V goes INTO the distributor, are intact, I'd do the following:

    1. Switch on ignition. Remove HT lead from coil. Fit test lamp between distributor low tension terminal on the side and earth and remover distributor cap. Crank car with handle and see whether the test lamp goes on and off as the points open and close. Check the points gap is more or less correct.

    2. Since you've moved things around, check that the static timing is right, that is light goes on just as the mark on the gen belt pulley reaches the pointer on the timing chain cover.

    3. When the points are closed, open them with a small screwdriver and check for little "fat blue" spark and an audible "crack".

    4. Repeat 1. but with a plug out and all HT leads in place to see whether you now have a spark at the plug. Manual cranking this is, not starter motor.

    5. If you have no spark at 4. maybe an HT problem with rotor button or main lead or coil or maybe replacement capacitor a dud or wrong capacity (should be 0.2 to 0.3 microfarad I think).

    6. If spark at 4., repeat with starter motor and test lamp and HT leads off, and see whether test lamp lights up with starter motor as it did with hand crank.

    7. If spark on testing 6, it ought to go unless the thing is (as suggested by someone) hopelessly flooded - needle and seat failing or too high fuel pressure issue with electric pump.

    I guess people have covered this earlier, but I'd be very systematic. I'd have done 1-6 before replacing anything.

    Best of luck. Infuriating things..... It's pretty unusual for these cars to be bad starters.
    JohnW

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    Default Any progress?

    Just curious.......
    JohnW

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  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! rubyalpine's Avatar
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    Halleluyah, Praise the gods! All of them!!!

    It started!

    I decided to disconnect the rev. counter to see what happens and with a touch of the key it fired up as an R10 should. After some fine tuning to timing and dwell angle which can only be done with running engine, I switched off and she/it stated again with no problems. I've decided I will use it for a while without rev counter, and maybe later I will re-connect it one wire at a time, until I see which one is faulty. I think the worst case scenario is that I may need a new rev counter. It seems strange as the rev. counter has been working fine since installation. (although it's about 40 years old)
    Thanks again to all the fellow froggers out there who assisted me with the problem solving.

    Cheers for now, Henry
    Last edited by rubyalpine; 6th July 2012 at 12:41 PM. Reason: typing errrorsss

  20. #20
    COL
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    Default Rev Counter

    Hi Henry

    Glad you got it going, sounds like you have found the problem.

    I would hook the rev counter back up and see if the car will start, if not I would then disconnect the wire that runs from the coil to the rev counter at the revcounter end to see if it is a wiring fault or it is actually the rev counter.
    Regards Col

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    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubyalpine View Post
    Halleluyah, Praise the gods! All of them!!!

    It started!

    I decided to disconnect the rev. counter to see what happens and with a touch of the key it fired up as an R10 should. After some fine tuning to timing and dwell angle which can only be done with running engine, I switched off and she/it stated again with no problems. I've decided I will use it for a while without rev counter, and maybe later I will re-connect it one wire at a time, until I see which one is faulty. I think the worst case scenario is that I may need a new rev counter. It seems strange as the rev. counter has been working fine since installation. (although it's about 40 years old)
    Thanks again to all the fellow froggers out there who assisted me with the problem solving.

    Cheers for now, Henry
    That's great. You hadn't mentioned it had a rev counter fitted, but I wouldn't have thought of that as a potential problem anyway! I wonder whether the wire from the coil is short circuited, dropping the coil voltage which then won't fire. you could run a separate wire (outside the car) to test that.

    I'll not forget that possible cause - it honestly wouldn't have occurred to me I suspect.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
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    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

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