Archived Message
Engine would not start
Took the RV8 out for a run today and managed to get stuck in a traffic jam and was stopping and starting for over half an hour with the temperature in the shade reading 30 degrees. Eventually arrived home and left the car outside to cool down as the engine was very, very hot. Went to put the car in the garage a couple of hours later and the engine wouldn't start. Left it another couple of hours and it started first time. I am concerned because I did consider swithing the engine off when I was stuck in the traffic. I am not mechanlcally minded but could it have been the fuel vapourising? I have suspected that the engine has been running hot and it is booked in with an MG specialist to investigate. Has anyone any ideas why the engine would not start?
Many Thanks
Malcolm Roots
18/08/2012 @  16:02
Under topic: RV8
 
Archived Reply(ies) received for this Message
Engine would not start
Was the engine spinning over on the starter at the usual rate or was it turning over slowly?
Jon Moulds
19/08/2012 @  00:42
 
Engine would not start
Jon
It was turning over at the usual rate.
Malcolm Roots
19/08/2012 @  01:00
 
Engine would not start
Malcolm,

Could be the ignition amplifier module attached to the distributor. Have you ever had any work done to this module? Original or replaced? If yours is overheating and failing, it'll shut down the ignition system. After the engine cools, it may work well enough to start and run the engine.

One way to test; next time the failure-to-start occurs, remove a spark plug, connect it to its lead, ground the plug against a good ground, have someone turn the key to start and look for a spark at the plug. If no spark, I'd be looking at replacing the module. If a good spark, then likely fuel related. If the car has just started doing this, I'd lean towards ignition rather than fuel issues.
Simon Austin
19/08/2012 @  01:28
 
Engine would not start
Simon
I have only had the car since January but cannot see anything in the history relating to the amplifier module. This is the first time it has happened but then I have never been stuck in a traffic jam with the kind of temperatures experienced today. As I said previously I have suspected that the engine is running hot but I have carried out a number of recommendations mentioned in a previous thread and it has made no difference.
Malcolm Roots
19/08/2012 @  03:09
 
Engine would not start
Well that rules out starter and earth point issues, then. So we're down to ignition and fuel.

Simon makes a good point about the ignition amplifier, but I've never liked that testing method. It's a bad habit to get in to when you can spend about twelve quid on a set of inline spark testers by Laser and they'll last you until you're dead. They take up next no space in the boot and are invaluable for roadside trouble shooting. They are also a great diagnostic tool as you can fit them to every lead and compare the brightness (and therefore strength) of each spark to that of the other cylinders, notwithstanding that it will "smart a bit" to put it mildly if you get a shock from the HT side of the electrics.

Anyway, I digress... If it happens again, make a mental note of whether or not you hear the fuel pump kick in before you turn the key to engage the starter. It's been a while since I've driven an RV8 but if memory serves me correctly it's a barely detectable high pitched whine rather than the tick tick tick you would associate with an MGB variant.
Jon Moulds
19/08/2012 @  03:36
 
Engine would not start
Malcolm,

What makes you suspect the engine is running hot?
Geoff King
19/08/2012 @  03:58
 
Engine would not start
Geoff,
I posted a thread in July asking the question "Is my engine running hot?". The reason for the question was that even after a relatively short run the engine appeared ever so hot to the extent I could hardly bear my hand on the bonnet. The temperature gauge does not move past 12 o'clock but apparently this is normal for the RV8. I had a long chat to John Cumming along with some helpful recommendations from members which I have carried out but I still think it is running hot. That is why I think the engine not starting today is related to the engine running hot. As I said it is booked in with an MG specialist to investigate but I would like to try and nail the problem myself.
Malcolm Roots
19/08/2012 @  04:29
 
Engine would not start
Sorry Malcolm, we have so many threads concerning hot engines I didnt remember that one. Ive had a bottle or two of wine since then too. Fuel vaporisation is unlikely; the initial running of the fuel pump primes the injector fuel rail with relatively cool fuel from the tank returning the hot fuel back to the tank.

I agree with the previous comments and would suspect the ignition but finding a fault that isnt there will be difficult. Incidentally, if the ignition fails so does the fuel injection as it needs the ignition signal to fire each bank of injectors at the right time so when fault finding always check the ignition system before the fuel injection.
Geoff King
19/08/2012 @  05:03
 
Engine would not start
Keep us updated on what your specialist finds, Malcolm.

I've never heard of the testing leads Jon mentioned. Sounds like a worthy investment.

My back-yard test is good for a quick test. I used it the other day on a Honda Civic to pin-point a faulty ignition.
Simon Austin
19/08/2012 @  11:55
 
Engine would not start
Laser HT Lead Ignition Spark Testers Pack of 4 Screwfix product Code: 61411 for 9.99 inc. VAT or numerous suppliers on eBay from about 12 to 19.
Geoff King
19/08/2012 @  15:43
 
Engine would not start
As Jon mentioned, did you hear the fuel pump prime? A questionable earth would cause a non start up also if the fuel filter itself has slowly become sedimented up.
Peter Garton
19/08/2012 @  16:07
 
Engine would not start
Peter
The engine started first time this morning and I did hear the fuel pump prime. I still think the problem is linked to the engine overheating in the traffic jam yesterday because after it had cooled down it started first time. As I mentioned previously I believe that the engine has been running too hot.
Thank you Geoff for the info on the Spark Testers I will purhase them from Screwfix. My Grandson works there so I may get a discount!
Malcolm Roots
19/08/2012 @  20:09
 
Engine would not start
We have also extremely hot weather over here at the moment, Malcolm. What I can do is to take my RV8 for a run into Koblenz and then when I get back home measure the temp. on the bonnet outside and the engine temp. itself reporting back with my results. The module that Simon is referring to was a defect that bugged Land Rovers a few years back. The ignition distributor module (that thing mounted on the side of the distributor) got terribly hot and failed completely i.e. no spark at all!! Since your car seems to start even though it gets hot and cools down a bit I don't necessarily see that as the cause of your problem then. As I said, I'll get back to you with my measured engine/bonnet temperatures next week, Monday or Tuesday. I notice you did not mention that the header tank had exploded all over the road via the overflow when you stopped so I would suggest that the engine was not overly hot. Did you check the coolant level (in the header tank) after everything cooled down the next morning prior to starting up? Were you using the airconditioning?
Peter Garton
19/08/2012 @  22:15
 
Engine would not start
Thank you for your help Peter. To answer your questions. The coolant level had risen to just over half way up the header tank after the run yesterday and this morning had gone back to normal. Its a UK spec car so no air con. I have also checked for air in the system and thats OK. I will be very interested in your temperature readings I will do the same.
Malcolm Roots
19/08/2012 @  23:27
 
Engine would not start
We are making progress, Malcolm! Your enging is certainly not overheating since the header tank level is perfectly normal with no airlocks apparently. I have 35C in the shade on my balcony at the moment and it will be again very very hot tomorrow and Tuesday. I've dug out two thermometers (one from my greenhouse) and will use both of them, as promised. When you take the MG to the experts get them to check the fuel flow first of all from the tank via the small fuel filter and priming pump at the rear end of the car.
Peter Garton
20/08/2012 @  00:29
 
Engine would not start
Gents, heres a thought for the melting pot If these ignition modules are so prone to packing up when they get hot, then logically they either need shielding from the heat or some sort of method of dissipating the heat should be devised to promote a bit more longevity.

When I was a kid I used to mess about with model RC cars and it was always impressed upon me to never run one without fitting a heat sink otherwise the model would go boom.
To that end, has anyone ever tried gluing a small heat sink such as those you might find fitted to an RC car to the unit to help dissipate the heat a little? I suppose it doesnt necessarily have to be attached to the ignition module itself? A heat sink just attached to the case of the dizzy would help draw some heat away from the component mounted on the side.
Jon Moulds
20/08/2012 @  02:03
 
Engine would not start
As Geoff pointed out earlier if the ignition fails so does the fuel injection so the module could well be the problem. What is so frustrating is I don't know whether the engine is overheating or not as the guage never moves past 12 o'clock. When I take it to the MG specialist is there any modification that can be carried out so the guage shows the correct temperature. In a previous thread a Fiat part was recommended.
Malcolm Roots
20/08/2012 @  02:59
 
Engine would not start
You mentioned earlier that "the temperature gauge does not move past 12 o'clock but apparently this is normal for the RV8." Stefan Matthaei mentioned in his RV8NOTE207 with the title "Your RV8 temperature gauge is lying!" that the RV8 Repair Manual notes under the heading "Coolant Temperature Gauge" that ". . . the signal from the temperature sender is passed through an ECU which modifies the signal to the gauge. The needle is maintained at midpoint until a high temperature signal is given, the needle is then moved to show high temperature in the red sector." His note then goes on to describe in detail how the wiring to the Temperature Gauge ECU (located behind the tachometer in the dashboard) can be modified so the gauge then shows "accurate readings on your temperature gauge." If you go to Volume 7 on your RV8NOTES CD you will find RV8NOTE207. Copies of the CD are available at: http://www.v8register.net/V8Shop/v8shop2012/v8publicationsordernow.htm
V8 Webmaster
20/08/2012 @  04:54
 
Engine would not start
I had exactly the same symptoms many years ago with an MG 1100, turned out to be the coil breaking down when hot, started fine when cold but could not take the start up load when hot. Swop the coil and see if it cures the problem. Best of luck
Pete Jevons
20/08/2012 @  06:41
 
Engine would not start
Just got home after a run in my RV8. Admittedly the outside temp. is not yet too hot (only around 30C) but I can supply you some data which might assist, Malcolm. I put a thermometer into the engine bay just on top of the plug cables and shut the bonnet lid. I recorded a temp. of approx 120F or 50C. The bonnet lid was hot too and I could just about my hand on it and recorded a temp of 110F/45C depending where I placed the guage. I talked to Bosch as well and the chappy there, who I know quite well, suggested that in order to check the modul on your distributor just put it under stress by judicious use of a hair dryer applied to the module itself after a short run when the engine has reached normal temp. Then see if the engine starts again. He also indicated that if the coil was defective you would have permanent problem starting and here again you can use the hairdryer test eliminating one or both. Thus, if you go out today and if the coil or module is really defective when the engine is hot, it won't start up again and this would be a repetitive problem.
Peter Garton
20/08/2012 @  16:14
 
Engine would not start
Took the RV8 out for a short run which included some motorway and some town driving but no traffic jam. The outside temperature was 27 degrees. When I got back I did the same as Peter and put a thermometer under the bonnet with the lid closed. Unfortunately my thermometer only reads up to 50 degees and it hit that very quickly. The outside of the bonnet read 45 degrees the same as Peter's. The car started first time after about quarter of an hour. I am now going to wait to see what the MG man says which will not be until the 6th.September due to holidays. I will report back then. Once again thank you to everyone for your input.
Malcolm Roots
21/08/2012 @  00:15
 
Engine would not start
On faulty coils contributing to overheating difficulties it would be worth reading V8NOTE388.
http://www.v8register.net/subpages/V8NOTE388.htm
V8 Webmaster
21/08/2012 @  00:50
 
Engine would not start
Jon,

There is a method to increase the longevity of the module. I've put together a workshop note regarding installing a "Remote Ignition Module Kit" that I've sent to Victor.

In short, this is a kit designed for Land Rovers but works quite well on our RV8's. It's designed to move the module off the distributor and place it somewhere away from heat. The kit's new module is mounted to an aluminium bracket that I've attached to the inner fender under the air filter. There's a long lead that runs back to the distributor that attaches to a "dummy" module that replaces the original module.

On the mounting bracket, a new white and a new white/black wire attach to the coil along with the original white and white/black wires. You'll have 4 wires coming off the coil.

The workshop note explains the kit and includes photos of the installation.
Simon Austin
21/08/2012 @  15:34
 
Engine would not start
I have uploaded Simon Austin's note on the RV8 remote ignition module and you can reach it via the link on the Recent Changes log. The upload was via my netbook using a WIFI link alongside a roadside cafe in Wiltshire so I do hope it has been reliable but I will check both the note for typos and a successful upload when I am back.
Victor Smith
21/08/2012 @  17:59
 
Engine would not start
Simon, thats a really neat little solution to the issue - great note. The new position of the module is probably in the best possible position it could be. The fact that it's been placed right next to the air filter means that there will be a stream of air constantly being drawn past it to feed the inlet whilst the engine is running - the next best thing to having a dedicated cooling fan, eh?

In many ways we're very lucky that the Rover V8 was/is so successful commercially. When you consider that there arent even 5000 examples of factory built V8 BGTs/RV8s the access we've got to spares etc. is pretty remarkable really. Like I said before, great note that both RV8 owners and anyone contemplating an EFi V8 conversion alike can make use of. Cheers,
Jon Moulds
21/08/2012 @  21:29
 
Engine would not start
Isnt that where you fitted the coil and amplifier to your converted car Jon? Its where I fitted mine more than ten years ago, and the ignition is from a 1985 Rover SD1. Im tempting fate by saying that and one day it will fail of course I really must get around to fitting the EDIS that I bought years ago.
Geoff King
22/08/2012 @  00:41
 
Engine would not start
Geoff,
I did fit the coil in the same place and it worked well. It didn't have an amplifier though - I ended up re-using the P6 ignition system and Im sure you recall the two big ram pipes through the bonnet to feed the original P6 carbs?
Jon Moulds
22/08/2012 @  02:07
 
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