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Can't get '67 Alpine started!!! Please Help!!!

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by clockman666, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    This is my first post here, I am stumped!!! So this past spring I was driving my '67 Alpine, and all of a sudden I lost oil pressure and the engine started knocking. I immediately shut it of and pulled to the side of the road. I had it towed to my garage, and pulled the oil pan off and there was a little bit of metal shavings in there. What had apparently happened was my oil pan was leaking so over the winter I had replaced the gasket. When I initially took the pan off I had thought I had cleaned it out well, but I guess behind that baffle there was all kind of sludge and when I cleaned it, it broke up the sludge but didn't come out when I was cleaning it. So after I changed the gasket, and put fresh oil in, that sludge had come out and completely plugged up the oil pump intake screen. And thats how I lost the pressure. So now when I try to start it again it cranks but it won't start at all. While I'm cranking the oil pressure is building up. But I get nothing. I have fuel, and spark. I thought maybe I put the oil pump back in wrong, but I read the manual again and everything seems to check out, but it seems like the time is way off. I did a compression test, and I have 115 cyl. 1, 120 cyl. 2, and 140 in cyls. 3 and 4. Any Ideas???? I was having a really hard time getting her to start cold, before all this happened. But once warmed up she would fire right away. But it would take like 10 minutes of cranking letting it sit and cranking again to get it finally going. But like I said that was before I lost the oil pressure. I have changed plugs, wires, coil, ballast, relay, starter, points, condenser, and distributor brush. I did put a webber on it when I was initially having the problem starting it. That did nothing to help.
     
  2. 65sunbeam

    65sunbeam SAOCA Membership Director Platinum Level Sponsor

    With no oil pressure you sure don't want to start it now! Pull the oil pan again and be ready to turn down the crankshaft and get new bearings as a minimum at least- if you are lucky......
     
  3. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    After I cleaned it all out properly this time, and put it back together. I do have oil pressure when I try cranking it. So I do currently have oil pressure.
     
  4. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    Have you tried giving it a shot of starting fluid? Not a lot, just enough to tell whether its fuel or electrical. It either barks or it doesn't. Also, just in case you misinterpreted the manual (its easy to do) and did put the pump back in 180 off, swap the plug wires 180. Finally, hot wire power to the coil and see what happens. Maybe its a bad ignition switch.
     
  5. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Have you changed the rotor? Back in the day, I had a rotor develop a hairline crack that allowed spark to ground to the distributor shaft. Initially was hard to start, progressed to no run.
    Bill
     
  6. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    Yeah I've tried starter fluid and nothing. The plugs are sparking. Right now on top dead center on the compression stroke the rotor is pointing to the #1 cyl. Sorry I'm not much of a mechanic, how do you move the plugs 180? Like move the wires one spot on the distributor counter clockwise?
     
  7. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    I have not changed the rotor. It looked fairly new so I didn't mess with it. But I'll order one now, and give it a try. Like when I first bought the car it fired right up every time. But started to get progressively harder to start. So that could be it? Thanks!
     
  8. RootesRooter

    RootesRooter Platinum Level Sponsor

    Besides the rotor mentioned by Bill, could your dist cap be cracked?

    And yes, as I wrote "...swap the plug wires 180..." on the cap.

    If you're getting visible spark, I'm very surprised that using starting fluid didn't generate at least a backfire.

    Also, how about the little cloth-covered wire in the distributor?
     
  9. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    I'm betting that you put the oil pump back in wrong. It's quite easy to put the pump back in with the slot about 180 deg off. Very common error. How did you assure that the crank was at TDC #1 Firing position when you installed the oil pump? If it was at TDC, but #4 firing, the actual firing order will be 180 deg off.

    It's also possible that the previous owner installed it wrong and compensated for it by swapping the plugs 180 , and then when you assembled it correctly his 180 shift was causing wrong firing order. So check that the wiring order is correct.

    Swapping 180 deg is simple. Swap wire # 1 with wire #3 at the distributor, and wires #2 with #4 at the distributor.

    Tom
     
  10. sunalp

    sunalp Platinum Level Sponsor

    Toms suggestion sounds like the culprit. You can see this easily if you take the valve cover off and take out
    #1 sparkplug. Rotate your engine, by hand and watch the valves open & close. When # 1 intake and exhaust are closed
    at TDC, what position is the rotor in? If Tom is correct, and I believe he is, the rotor should be pointing to #4 instead
    of #1. Then switch the wires as suggested and you should be running.

    Cheers!
    Steve
     
  11. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Platinum Level Sponsor

    I would also bet on the distributor being 180 off. I followed the manual as carefully as I could when I rebuilt my engine and still ended 180 out. I didn't want to have to pull it out and unbutton everything once I figure out my mistake and did as Tom suggested and just swapped the plug wires. That was about 15 years ago and the engine still runs great.

    Also, I don't want to insult you, but since you said you are "not much of a mechanic", I just want to make certain something Steve said is absolutely clear: "Rotate your engine, by hand and watch the valves open & close." I wasn't much of a mechanic the first time I adjusted my valves (I'm still not, but working on it) and didn't think through what open and closed meant relative to the valves. The valve is open when the rocker is all the way down, closed when it is up. I got it backwards my first time and cost myself quite a bit of money. But, on the positive side, it did earn me a free hat 35 years later. :) https://www.rockauto.com/Newsletter/archives/7-24-14.html
     
  12. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    To make sure it was TDC on the compression stroke, I pulled the #1 plug out and put my thumb over it and had someone else crank it. So I new that it was the compression stroke when it pushed the air out through the plug hole. Then checked the arrow and the marks on the crank pulley. When it is in that postion the rotor is pointing to the #1 plug. If it was 180 out wouldn't it be pointing to #4?
     
  13. Tom H

    Tom H Platinum Level Sponsor

    Yes. Assuming you understand that #1 cyl is at the front of the engine, nearest the radiator, it all sounds about correct. But do note that both #1 and #4 cyl will "push air" out of the spark plug hole at TDC. But #4 will have a valve open during most of that stroke, and #1 will not . If you actually felt significant pressure on your thumb such that you could not hold your thumb in place then indeed that cyl was on the compression/ firing stroke. What you said was that it "pushed air out" . Not quite the same as "I could not hold my thumb in place". BTW, I see I made a mistake in how to do a 180 swap. You swap #1 wire with #4 and #2 with #3.

    Tom
     
  14. Barry

    Barry Platinum Level Sponsor

    An engine will almost always start / run if it has adequate compression, adequate fuel and adequate spark at the right time.

    Your reported values of 115, 120, 140 and 140 PSI cranking pressure are very low compared to the standard value of 175-185 PSI shown in WSM-145 for a Series V Alpine engine. Based on your reported numbers, it is not surprising that your engine is reluctant to start.

    You also posted that "the engine started knocking", but you did not say anything about checking the main and / or rod bearings.

    It might be time to have a qualified shop take a good look at your engine.
     
  15. hartmandm

    hartmandm Moderator Platinum Level Sponsor

    I think the interesting comment was the car would fire up right away when you first acquired it. Then it slowly deteriorated to it taking about 10 minutes of cranking + waiting to get it started. I'm not sure what that might point to ...

    What carb are you using now - the Weber or Strombergs?

    How do you know you are getting fuel during cranking? Do you have the original fuel pump or an electric pump?

    Using a choke that is properly adjusted?

    Did you check the valve lashes?

    Were those compression values obtained with all spark plugs removed?

    Mike
     
  16. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    "Were those compression values obtained with all spark plugs removed? "
    And the throttle wide open?

    Bill
     
  17. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    Yes like you said it blew my thumb right off the hole, on the cyl. closest to the radiator. I just tried swapping the wires around and still nothing...
     
  18. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    I did not check the bearings... I guess I probably should of. I'm a bit of a novice that is somewhat mechanically inclined. I am a certified clockmaker, so I'm somewhat handy, but I didn't think to check that stuff.
     
  19. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    I have the weber 32/36 that I put on a few months back. I have the original fuel pump that I rebuilt, so you can see it in the glass bowl, and I took the hose of the carb and cranked it and gas shot out, also you can see the gas squirt in the carb when you open the throttle. When I pull the choke out it closes the plate all the way. I did not check the valves. Yes I took all the plugs out when I did the compression test.
     
  20. clockman666

    clockman666 Donation Time

    All the plugs where removed but I didn't have the throttle wide open. does that make a difference?
     

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