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View Full Version : My '65 suddenly started running bad today



mgless
07-02-2013, 10:43 AM
I have a 65 Sprite with a 1098 block, 1275 head. It was rebuilt by the PO about 7 years ago and has maybe 3000-4000 miles on it. I just got back from a 600 mile trip with the car last week and it ran great.

I was driving it this morning and was about 15 miles down the road. The car was warmed up to about 175 and I had around 60psi oil pressure. I was driving down a state highway at 55mph and I noticed something seemed off all the sudden. Then when I pushed the accelerator, the car made what sounded like "knocking."

Temp and oil gauges still looked good, so I limped it to my folks house about a mile away going about 15mph. Any faster, or up any inclines, and the engine would make the "knocking" sound. It will start back up again, but it's running rough and won't idle for very long before it dies.

I've done lots of work to the car over the years, but I've never had to touch the drivetrain... so I'm at a bit of a loss as to where I should even start. Point me in the right direction?

Jim_Gruber
07-02-2013, 11:24 AM
So does it have oil in it?

mgless
07-02-2013, 11:40 AM
Dipstick indicated full.

Jim_Gruber
07-02-2013, 11:54 AM
Points gone bad? Rotor Bad - there were a bunch of crappy rotors out there. Timing slipped? The "knocking" scares me though. Let's got through the simple stuff fuel, spark, air first before we jump to the hard / expensive stuff. Someone else will join in shortly I'm sure.

mgless
07-02-2013, 12:09 PM
Knocking might not be the right word. A loud clatter perhaps? I used to get a similar sound every once in awhile under heavy load, say while climbing a hill in 4th gear, just before downshifting to third. Except now it does it under very little load. I can make a video of it tonight if that would be helpful.

Trevor Jessie
07-02-2013, 12:32 PM
Does it make rattle when idling? Is it hard to start?

Jim_Gruber
07-02-2013, 12:52 PM
So are you using Premium Fuel. These engines don't run on 87 Octane, 93 or 94 if you can find it.

mgless
07-02-2013, 01:39 PM
Does it make rattle when idling? Is it hard to start?

I only tried restarting it once, but it took a few cranks and some gas to get it going whereas it usually starts easily. It ran for about 10 seconds then quit. It didn't make the rattle sound when idling but it was definitely running rough.

I am using no-ethanol premium fuel. Usually 91 octane.

Trevor Jessie
07-02-2013, 01:58 PM
Based on your description, something sounds bad wrong. The only thing that come to mind that might be simple is if the distributor popped loose. Check the dizzy and the static timing.

nomad
07-03-2013, 08:18 AM
Timing chain???? Don't know if the chain can jump on a 1098 but do know they were single row rather than double on the 1275.
Static timing check should tell for sure especially if the distributor is tight and hasn't moved.

Kurt

mgless
07-03-2013, 12:18 PM
I only had a few minutes last night to look at it. Here's a video of what it sounds like when idling. It did start harder than usual, but it stayed running.

https://youtu.be/sT3cMhfGwjs

Trevor Jessie
07-03-2013, 12:54 PM
Ack... Sounds to me like it is time to pull the engine apart.

bug_sixty
07-03-2013, 01:18 PM
Maybe, before pulling the cord due the list deal...leak down compression etc. etc. long list and patience required....

bug_sixty
07-03-2013, 01:24 PM
do the compression first bocause if she busted something in there you could end up toasting a rebuild on that engine...

Pythias
07-09-2013, 08:56 AM
That's what my 1098 did. ....

For a year or so mine would ping as if running on regular instead of premium, or as if the time were too far adavanced... I kept dialing back the timing a couple of clicks on the dizzy trying to get rid of it... and never quite could. I had the dizzy rebuilt (by Jeff) and still had problems.. when it did go away the timing was actually slightly retarded, so I put it back to "right" and started the process all over.... then when I was out for drive, I got the same sounds and lack of power as you have. It sounded like it was running on 2 or 3 cylinders instead of 4, kinda clattery.

let me know what you find when you tear it apart. I THINK i sucked a valve... ... or blew the head gasket.......or holed a piston........ I still have the engine sitting in the garage.
(I have since replaced the engine from the air filter to the exhaust tip)

mgless
07-12-2013, 11:52 AM
Compression readings from front to back: 180, 170, 20, 15. I'm assuming blown head gasket between the back two. I've never torn into an engine before, I guess there's a first time for everything!

A few things I'm uncertain about... I have a 1098 block and 1275 head. Do I use the 1275 gasket? What else would I need to purchase to replace the gasket?

Since the engine was running normally beforehand and was never overheated, can I assume it was just a cheapie head gasket that the PO used rather than some other problem that caused it? The engine has less than 5000 miles since the rebuild.

I have the Haynes and the 1275 shop manual -- are there any other noob-friendly videos or guides out there?

AN5Sprite
07-12-2013, 01:02 PM
I hate to say it but, just a blown head gasket is not going to make that kind of noise... :grey:

If it were mine I'd:
1. Not run it again, (it sounds like there's loose metal slapping around in there on your video)
2. Remove the cylinder head
3. Drink beers

Jim_Gruber
07-12-2013, 01:28 PM
And then after you've pulled the head you probably need to add more beers. 20 and 15 lbs sounds like way beyond a head gasket failure. At this point time to get out the wrench and sockets and start disassembly. Head is only torqued to 40 lbs or so and should be fairly easy to get this one apart. You know after those compression #'s that it needs to come apart. Like removing a Band Aid, thinking about it is worse than the actual event. Beside, you're missing some prime driving season. Others will need to answer the head gasket question.

mgless
07-12-2013, 01:44 PM
The metal slapping sound turned out to be the bumper bracket. It was rattling from the rough idle. :shame:

When I push in the bumper, the engine sounds about what you'd expect it to sound like running on two cylinders.


I hate to say it but, just a blown head gasket is not going to make that kind of noise... :grey:

If it were mine I'd:
1. Not run it again, (it sounds like there's loose metal slapping around in there on your video)
2. Remove the cylinder head
3. Drink beers

Gerard
07-12-2013, 02:09 PM
A few things I'm uncertain about... I have a 1098 block and 1275 head. Do I use the 1275 gasket? What else would I need to purchase to replace the gasket?

Since the engine was running normally beforehand and was never overheated, can I assume it was just a cheapie head gasket that the PO used rather than some other problem that caused it? The engine has less than 5000 miles since the rebuild.

I have the Haynes and the 1275 shop manual -- are there any other noob-friendly videos or guides out there?

Yes, you need to use a 1275 head gasket. You always match the head gasket to the head. You should use the best Payen black head gasket. I think the number is BK450P. It would also be a good idea to at least use 1275 head studs and torque settings, but I would go with ARP head studs. The couple other things to check is that you do not have any recession of the brass plugs in both the head and the block where the water jacket holes are. Your head swap requires relocation of the water jacket holes in the block to match the head, so you'll want to check that and make sure it was done right.

Jim_Gruber
07-12-2013, 03:32 PM
Good news on the metal slapping sound. This thing sounds fixable all of a sudden.

bug_sixty
07-12-2013, 07:37 PM
???? Am I missing something here... Why are we putting a 1275 head on a 1998 low end?

Jim_Gruber
07-13-2013, 12:03 AM
Bigger valves?

mgless
07-13-2013, 11:13 AM
The previous owner built it. I have no idea why he did it.

bug_sixty
07-13-2013, 12:14 PM
Opps meant 1098... Well as a previously FYI, the jackets either don't match or have to be altered... I know racer's back when used 1098 cranks and other things in 950's.. but 1275 's no....but I'm no expert....

bug_sixty
07-13-2013, 12:18 PM
Daaa....if the water jackets didn't match in the back two cylinders you would have enough heat to do the damage described...

David_Doan
07-13-2013, 01:01 PM
So pull the head off already and post some pics....

AN5Sprite
07-13-2013, 01:18 PM
P.O.'s.... :nonod:

Glad to hear that the death rattle was the bumper bracket.

Shouldn't be too hard to find a good 12G295 head if it turns out you need one.

Gerard
07-13-2013, 01:23 PM
The previous owner built it. I have no idea why he did it.


This was a pretty common combination for race Mini engines, even on 850's. I have one that's already been machined I'm going to try to get up and running at some point. Might be a good setup to try my Judson with HIF44. Yes on the bigger valves.

cdsmith
07-15-2013, 10:11 PM
It sounds a little like my car did with stuck valve... Maybe check for blow-back through carb? That was the first indicator of what was possibly wrong - pulling valve cover was confirmation of stuck valve...

For me - a quick valve job and everything is fine (at least as "fine" as fine can be for my car...)

cd

mgless
07-28-2013, 07:26 PM
Pulled the head off today. You can clearly see the blown gasket between the back two cylinders. I purchased a new Payen 1275 gasket from Worldwide to replace it with. Looks like it will work, but it doesn't quite match the old one with the elongated cylinder holes.

A few noob questions... I assume the surfaces need to be immaculately clean. Anyone have a preferred cleaning method?

I tried to be careful pulling the pushrods out, but on two of them I heard a sound like a falling bolt. Was that the tappet? Will that be a problem when I re-install?

I searched the forum and saw that some people recommend re-torquing the head after a certain number of miles, and one person that uses threadlocker. I didn't see mention of these in the manual. Thoughts?

Thanks!

28338

Trevor Jessie
07-28-2013, 07:52 PM
Is it an optical illusion? The #4 piston looks different shaped than the rest.

mgless
07-28-2013, 08:06 PM
Is it an optical illusion? The #4 piston looks different shaped than the rest.

The pistons are all the same size. The old gasket has elongated holes.

AN5Sprite
07-28-2013, 10:36 PM
I tried to be careful pulling the pushrods out, but on two of them I heard a sound like a falling bolt. Was that the tappet? Will that be a problem when I re-install?

I've had this happen to me. It is possible to pull the tappet out of it's home and drop it. You should be able to see if this happened by shining a light down the pushrod hole. If it did you'll have to pull the side cover off and put the little guy back in his hole. Not really a big deal. (unless you fail to realize/correct the situation)

I've always used paraffin oil and/or acetone to clean the surface. Razor blade if I need to scrape off a little gasket hanger-on.

Hope that helps.

nomad
07-29-2013, 03:14 AM
When removing push rod's I learned early that you should push firmly to the side as you lift them out to avoid the tendency for them to stick to the tappet's. As mentioned sometimes the tappet will stick till it comes out of its guide and cause you more work.
Most will say its not necessary but I like to use copper seal on the head gasket, block and head. Just a little.

Kurt.

Jim_Gruber
07-29-2013, 09:05 AM
I know 1098's and 948 have side covers and I thought those went away on 1275's. So is there a problem with 1275's in removing pushrods and possibly pulling out the tappets? If so how do you get them back in place? And if side cover is to be removed, guessing that cannot be done with engine in the car? Carious as I need to pull the head off of my spare 1275 that will go into Bugsy II.

Trevor Jessie
07-29-2013, 09:24 AM
1275 lifters are captured, so no problem there.

Jim_Gruber
07-29-2013, 11:11 AM
Thanks Trevor. Didn't want to cause a problem I could avoid with knowledge up front. I do enough of htat as is.