View Full Version : Wedge TR8 Won't Start

08-11-2003, 06:34 PM

A friend of mine hasn't been able to start his TR8 for the past few weeks, and we're stumped. I haven't played witness to all of this, but this is what he's explained to me.

He recently installed a new ignition coil, new Crane pointless ignition, and a new Holley carburettor to replace his old one. The car ran fine, so he drove it in a British car driving event and had no problems. Several days later, while in his garage, he decided that his car might be running a bit too rich, so he adjusted the richness screw, and the car stalled. Figuring that he had done something wrong, he then turned the screw back to where it was before, and he hasn't been able to start the car since.

Figuring that he probably had the carburettor setting back to where it was when it was running fine, he began trying other things to rememdy the problem. Here's what he has done so far.

He verified that he is getting fuel to the cylinders.
He installed a new distributor cap and ignition wires purchased from TRF.
He verified that he is getting spark at the plug end.
He has apparently checked the timing by cranking the engine while using a strobe to verify the timing hasn't changed.

I'm wondering if he may have misadjusted his carburettor while fiddling with it, but he claims that it is back to its original setting. Do any of you have any other idea's??

Thanks for anything.....

Scooter images/icons/confused.gif

Dave Russell
08-11-2003, 08:58 PM

What in the world is "the richness screw"? Give me a clue. Also what model Holley?

[ 08-11-2003: Message edited by: Dave Russell ]</p>

08-12-2003, 09:41 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Scooter,
What in the world is "the richness screw"? Give me a clue. Also what model Holley?

Hi Dave,

Sorry.....I should have called it the "mixture" screw. He is using Model 4160: 390 cfm, 4 barrel, vacuum secondaries and electric choke.

P.S. He also tried ether, but it did not make a difference......


[ 08-12-2003: Message edited by: Scooter ]</p>

Dave Russell
08-12-2003, 04:11 PM
I'm still confused. The 4160 has two idle mixture adjusting screws on the primary barrels. You have refered to "the screw" singular, which makes me wonder if you are refering to the single float level adjusting screw located on top of the primary float bowel. I doubt if the carb is the problem.

In any event, if he really has accurately verified everything claimed, it obviously should start, especially with ether. One of the advantages of ether is that it compression ignites & doesn't even require much of a spark.

I'm baffeled, don't know what to suggest, recheck all of the things previously mentioned. The problem occurring after the carb adjust may be a coincidence. Or there may have been something else done which was not mentioned.

Sorry that I'm not more help.

08-12-2003, 04:32 PM
Sounds like severely fouled plugs.
If the carb was put on "as-is" (without checking to see if the high/mid speed jets, accel. pump and idle mix was correct), the car may have been slowly "loading up". That electronic ignition may have kept things going for a while, but it can't work miracles if there's too much fuel. Also, I would always check float levels, even on new carbs (just in case it got banged around during shipping).
Put in a new set of plugs. If it runs OK for a while and loads up again, it's time to choose the correct high-speed jetting, idle mixture, etc.

08-12-2003, 06:22 PM

Thanks for the ideas. I have not physically stood in front of the car during all of this, so I'm just relaying information here. I'm also not at all familiar with the Holley setup, but I did pass along the helpful information that you've provided. When I asked him about the "two" idle-mixture adjusting screws, he acknowledged that he knew there were two. When I mentioned fouled plugs, he said that he already replaced them, but there was no change with fresh plugs. He told me that he was planning to check his cylinders with a vacuum gage, and will also double check his timing this evening.

Stay tuned......


Dave Russell
08-13-2003, 04:39 PM
Who knows -- Kind of hard to get the whole story third hand.
Yes I would expect that one tooth slipped would retard the timing by 16 degrees.

Couple of things to check;
What are the compression readings now? Retarded cam timing (tooth slipped) should lower the compression readings.

What happens if he "retards" the distributor back to where it was. If it won't start, it means that the timing wasn't where he thought it was in the first place.

How does the car drive now with the present distributor setting. If the same as original, the cam timing couldn't have slipped.

08-13-2003, 07:50 PM
this 8 cyl have a timing chain...and if so ...how many teeth?

if so ...is the chain worn..
is the ditrubutor shimed corectly?

was it retightened after the new install?

the plug thing is very likely as well

things to think about..

and just curious....has any one actually had a chain skip?



08-13-2003, 08:45 PM

Weird situtation! The only thing I can think of is stuck timing advance weights (in the distributor) or stuck vacuum advance (also in distrib). As Dave says, it's tough to figure these things out third-hand.

Put the timing light back on it and see if the timing advances when he revs the engine (that'll tell you if the advance systems aren't working).


To answer your question, I've never seen a timing chain skip in over 35 years of fooling around with cars......I've *heard* that it can happen, but I've never seen it.

08-13-2003, 08:47 PM
remember it just had a pointless electronic ignition put on it on it.
maybe it died


08-14-2003, 03:04 AM

Well, for those of you who are keeping up with this thread, I spoke briefly with the TR8 owner this morning. He checked the compression last evening, and got a reading of around 130 PSI on all eight cylinders. He was happy with that, so he then decided to try his next move (trying anything he could think of to get the car started). He then had his wife get into the drivers seat to crank the engine while he rotated the distributor. Sure enough, while rotating the distributor the engine started. He told me that the timing is now approximately 20 degrees advanced from where it should be.

My first thought was that maybe the timing chain skipped a tooth on the timing gear, but wouldn't that retard the timing rather than advance it?


08-14-2003, 12:53 PM
From the GoMog Plus8 web page: The standard Rover timing chain is not good. It's one virtue is that it is quiet. It is a single chain system with a nylon cam gear and one keyway on the crank gear. They ALL stretch and after 50-70,000 kilometers it can hang like a wet rag. A stretched and loose timing chain makes timing imprecise, combustion less than optimal and you will have difficulties finding a smooth idle. It also does nothing to help restrict camshaft "walk" which in turn creates a situation where either the distributor drive gear on the camshaft or the matching distributor gear chips which throws off the timing even further or can even cause your distributor to fail.

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the additional idea's. I found the above information on the GoMog (Morgan) website, so next he'll be looking into the timing.

I'll keep you posted.....