The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Mon May 03, 2021 12:58 pm 
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Is the car running a ballasted coil/ignition? If so sounds to me like the ballast resistor feed is missing. Easy to check. Turn on the ignition - don't try to start it or turn it over) and check you have power to the coil - if the points are open there will be 12V both sides of the coil, if the points are closed then you should get roughly 6V one side and nothing the other.

Explanation - when cranking there is a direct 12V feed to the coil fed from the starter solenoid, as soon as the starter disengages this 12V feed is removed, the ignition should then continue to run on the "ballasted" supply, but if the ballasted supply to the coil is missing then the engine will stop.

It was a system that was used to "boost" the spark when cranking as the starter puts a heavy load on the battery and reduces the voltage available to the coil, so they used a 6V coil fed via a resistor under normal running but fed direct when the starter was being operated.

If the car doesn't have a ballasted coil then ignore what I said!

Roger
Hi I don't think that the 1300 have a ballast resistor coil.
I found this on here:

The Toledo had a ballast resistor mounted traditionally by the coil. When the Dolomite 1300 came out it had a resistor wire built into the wiring as the rest of the range so that was no longer required. The supply to the coil +ve was therefore a ballasted white and yellow wire and a link wire was then connected to the solenoid to give 12v when cranking only.

Let me known what to do now please. Thanks Laurence

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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Mon May 03, 2021 2:26 pm 
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Are the spark plugs connected in the right sequence?

Do you have another ignition switch you could try?

Is the positive high tension lead to and from battery / starter in good condition, ie. none of the strands missing or damaged or loose?

Can you put a voltmetre across the starter terminals to check voltage or in series to check the current pull?

If the rotor arm in the distributor hasn't been changed that might be worth a try... sometimes they have a minute crack which is difficult to see but can cause problems. Try changing the distributor cap itself as well.

I'm sure you'll find the solution :)


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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Mon May 03, 2021 2:37 pm 
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As the car is running on points ( was running ) has the condenser been changed ? , lot of crap ones about :D

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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Mon May 03, 2021 2:42 pm 
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Hi I don't think that the 1300 have a ballast resistor coil.
I found this on here:

The Toledo had a ballast resistor mounted traditionally by the coil. When the Dolomite 1300 came out it had a resistor wire built into the wiring as the rest of the range so that was no longer required. The supply to the coil +ve was therefore a ballasted white and yellow wire and a link wire was then connected to the solenoid to give 12v when cranking only.

Let me known what to do now please. Thanks Laurence
Assuming the car has a ballasted system then usually early cars had a separate resistor bolted to or near the coil, later cars I think had a resistive wire in the loom - these are now of an age where they are starting to fail! The coil it self looks the same whether or not it is "ballasted", basically the difference is the voltage it is designed to run off. You can check by measuring the coil resistance - but as the car was working and now isn't I wouldn't bother as it will just create more confusion!

As I said you can check by just turning the ignition on and measuring the voltage on the coil +ve terminal with the points open and closed - let us know what they are.

OR

A quick and dirty check is to disconnect all the wires from the +ve side of the coil and supply the coil with power direct from the battery by running a separate temporary wire straight from the battery +ve to the +ve side of the coil. Then try to start the car. If it starts and runs then the ballasted coil supply is the problem.

NOTE: to stop the car you will have to disconnect the temporary supply wire from the coil, just turning off he ignition will have no effect!!!!

If that works then we can work to sort where the ballasted system has failed.

Roger

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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Mon May 03, 2021 5:12 pm 
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Good call that Roger 8)

Tony.

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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Wed May 05, 2021 12:03 pm 
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Posts:104
Location:Glasgow
Quote:
Are the spark plugs connected in the right sequence?

Do you have another ignition switch you could try?

Is the positive high tension lead to and from battery / starter in good condition, ie. none of the strands missing or damaged or loose?

Can you put a voltmetre across the starter terminals to check voltage or in series to check the current pull?

If the rotor arm in the distributor hasn't been changed that might be worth a try... sometimes they have a minute crack which is difficult to see but can cause problems. Try changing the distributor cap itself as well.

I'm sure you'll find the solution :)
Hi yes the plugs are in the correct sequence. I have always had them numbered.
I don't have access to another ignition switch.
The high tension lead seems to be in good condition.
I don't have a voltmeter.I have aultimeter if you tell me what to do please. There is only one connection to the starter motor.
Anthony tried a different rotor arm.
I will keep in mind your thoughts on changing the distributer cap.
Thanks for your help👍

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Laurence


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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Wed May 05, 2021 12:09 pm 
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Quote:
Hi I don't think that the 1300 have a ballast resistor coil.
I found this on here:

The Toledo had a ballast resistor mounted traditionally by the coil. When the Dolomite 1300 came out it had a resistor wire built into the wiring as the rest of the range so that was no longer required. The supply to the coil +ve was therefore a ballasted white and yellow wire and a link wire was then connected to the solenoid to give 12v when cranking only.

Let me known what to do now please. Thanks Laurence
Assuming the car has a ballasted system then usually early cars had a separate resistor bolted to or near the coil, later cars I think had a resistive wire in the loom - these are now of an age where they are starting to fail! The coil it self looks the same whether or not it is "ballasted", basically the difference is the voltage it is designed to run off. You can check by measuring the coil resistance - but as the car was working and now isn't I wouldn't bother as it will just create more confusion!

As I said you can check by just turning the ignition on and measuring the voltage on the coil +ve terminal with the points open and closed - let us know what they are.

OR

A quick and dirty check is to disconnect all the wires from the +ve side of the coil and supply the coil with power direct from the battery by running a separate temporary wire straight from the battery +ve to the +ve side of the coil. Then try to start the car. If it starts and runs then the ballasted coil supply is the problem.

NOTE: to stop the car you will have to disconnect the temporary supply wire from the coil, just turning off he ignition will have no effect!!!!

If that works then we can work to sort where the ballasted system has failed.

Roger
How do I measure the voltage at the coil please? I have a multimeter. I am not sure how to open and close the points.
I have a wire prepared to try your second dirty suggestion. I will have a go at the weekend and let you know how I get on thanks.

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Laurence


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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Wed May 05, 2021 12:12 pm 
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As the car is running on points ( was running ) has the condenser been changed ? , lot of crap ones about :D
Hi I have not changed the condenser or the points. Anthony cleaned them and checked the gap which was spot on. There is a spark at the plugs. Should I still change the condenser please?

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Laurence


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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Wed May 05, 2021 12:52 pm 
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Joined:Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm
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Location:Highley, Shropshire
Quote:
Quote:
As the car is running on points ( was running ) has the condenser been changed ? , lot of crap ones about :D
Hi I have not changed the condenser or the points. Anthony cleaned them and checked the gap which was spot on. There is a spark at the plugs. Should I still change the condenser please?
If you have a spark at the plugs (preferably all of them) that would tend to suggest the points and condenser, along with the coil cap, rotor arm and leads, are all doing their job.

For the car to run, you need spark, fuel, compression and timing. You have a spark and unless you or Anthony have messed up badly, you should have a semblance of timing. Since it has BEEN running well recently, we can tentatively exclude loss of compression. That only leaves a fuel system problem to cure.

With one proviso! If you are getting a spark at the plugs when cranking, that does not exclude the possibility of a ballast failure, since the ballast is bypassed during cranking. IMO the most satisfactory test, is to turn the engine by hand till the points are visibly open, then, with ignition on, put an earthed test light on the end of the moving contact arm of the points. If it lights, the ballast is OK, if it doesn't the ballast is duff. Seemples! Do this BEFORE you start out out on a fuel system witch-hunt! 95% of all "fail to run" events are ignition failures of one sort or another.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Thu May 06, 2021 11:55 am 
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Quote:
Quote:
As the car is running on points ( was running ) has the condenser been changed ? , lot of crap ones about :D
Hi I have not changed the condenser or the points. Anthony cleaned them and checked the gap which was spot on. There is a spark at the plugs. Should I still change the condenser please?
If you have a spark at the plugs (preferably all of them) that would tend to suggest the points and condenser, along with the coil cap, rotor arm and leads, are all doing their job.

For the car to run, you need spark, fuel, compression and timing. You have a spark and unless you or Anthony have messed up badly, you should have a semblance of timing. Since it has BEEN running well recently, we can tentatively exclude loss of compression. That only leaves a fuel system problem to cure.

With one proviso! If you are getting a spark at the plugs when cranking, that does not exclude the possibility of a ballast failure, since the ballast is bypassed during cranking. IMO the most satisfactory test, is to turn the engine by hand till the points are visibly open, then, with ignition on, put an earthed test light on the end of the moving contact arm of the points. If it lights, the ballast is OK, if it doesn't the ballast is duff. Seemples! Do this BEFORE you start out out on a fuel system witch-hunt! 95% of all "fail to run" events are ignition failures of one sort or another.

Steve
Hi I will give it a go. Thanks.👍

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Laurence


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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Sat May 08, 2021 11:54 am 
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Hi good news guys. MIG wielder advised changing the plugs and then spraying easystart into the air inlet after removing the filter. So after the plug change Lynn (the wife) sprayed the easystart and I started Dolly and away she went. I heated her up and she was idling fine. However the exhaust fumes were a bit black.
I turned the screw on the carb clockwise. I refurbished the carb myself a few years ago. The fumes are now a bit more like white. I will need to read about setting the mixture.
Thanks everyone who helped. 👍

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Laurence


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 Post subject: Re: Car not starting
PostPosted:Sat May 08, 2021 12:36 pm 
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Hi I think it was the throttle adjusting screw that I turned.
There is a second screw that enriches or weakens the mixture. Would I be right in saying that the mixture is too rich and needs to be weakened pleat?

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Laurence


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