[Mgs] No Go Mystery

Gordie Bird mg_garage at comcast.net
Wed May 4 06:25:23 MDT 2016

I’ve seen the coil fail intermittently, seems fine when cold, but fails when warm.  You have coil mounted on inner fender or bracket (like 1600), right?  Unlikely all plug wires would fail at same time, but,  if the coil wire was bad…
Have you checked spark once coil heats up?  Weak coil possibly producing a weak or no spark when hot?
Sudden failure as you describe; to me would indicate something in the electrics.
I’d throw my spare coil, then condenser, then coil wire at it and see what happens.

Good luck!

’62 MGA

From: Robert J. Guinness via Mgs
Sent: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 8:05 PM
To: MG List
Subject: [Mgs] No Go Mystery

While on a long drive in the hinterlands of KY in my 1960 MGA with a 3-main 1800 MGB engine, I nearly ran out of gas after about 170 miles that day.  I found a gas station and refueled (the gas had alcohol and I usually run non-alcohol gas).  About 30 miles later, the car started to lose power and then quit. Figured it was a clogged fuel line, but fuel was pumping out of the fuel line at the rear carb and there was gas in both float bowls. Cleaned out both float bowls.  Had spark from the coil and to all plugs.  Had just replaced spark plugs and gapped them to spec two days previously. Regapped points (1 year old 25D distributor). Nothing.  Sprayed starting fluid in the carbs.  Nothing. Locals towed me back to town. Locals played with wires under the bonnet at the coil as I politely batted them away.  As a last ditch effort, I advanced the timing and it caught at high revs!  Drove a few miles, but lost power as I accelerated and stopped.  Stripped and reattached coil wire to harness.  Started, drove a couple of miles, faded, and stopped. Towed it home.  At home, it started reluctantly.  It drove for a couple of miles and it faded and quit. Gas  in rear carb float bowl but no gas at the front carb float bowl. Blew air from fuel pump back to gas tank with audible air flow at the gas tank.  Replaced the float bowl needle and seat at the front carb.  Fuel pumping nicely at both front and rear carbs.  Have spark from the coil and to all plugs. Static timed.  Nothing, doesn't even try to catch. I do not have a fuel filter other than stock sleeve in the fuel pump. No odd sounds. I am stupefied ( except for the possibility of clogged jets, but if so why wouldn’t it start with starter fluid).  If it is the coil or condensor, why am I getting spark?  Why would advancing the timing get it to go at such high revs that one time, but normal timing gives you nothing at all, not even a spit? Do I have a cam flat spot problem? How have I angered the British engineering gods?  Any hints or diagnostic suggestions?  I have also posted to the MG experience folks

Robert Guinness

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