View Full Version : cold, damp, and going nowhere

04-14-2005, 08:32 PM
What's the trick to starting a Triumph on a cold damp morning?

04-14-2005, 08:48 PM
Buy an MG??? lol J/K /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

how about a nice new set of wires? the can be effected by the dampness. a lot of my older toyotas always had a rubber boot that went over the dizzy, perhaps something like that may help?


04-15-2005, 01:21 AM
A good distributor cap, and a little choke, seems to always work just fine for me.

04-15-2005, 08:02 AM
From all I've read, worn or poorly gapped spark plugs are responsable for the majority of stubborn starting on cold motors.
Needless to say , this is assuming the car is in tune otherwise. A poor spark is the reason, now we have to find out the cause.

04-15-2005, 09:31 AM
Wombat! Hello! As with the A-series stuff, new wires, correctly gapped plugs, and (if you want to invest in it) a Pertronix ignition. When you've got all that installed and tune up the car it should start fairly well.

I've found mine will start even after long periods of sitting if I: 1) turn on the key and let the fuel pressure build up (electric pump) 2) pull the choke out all the way and crank the car for about 5 seconds without any expectations it will start, 3) push the choke in half way and crank while using the gas pedal to open the throttle. If I take those three steps it will usually start within three or four cranks even after sitting for months regardless of the weather.

04-15-2005, 09:58 AM
A little starter fluid sprayed into the air cleaners? "wink"

04-15-2005, 10:13 AM
With a GT6, a well-tuned engine on a cold morning needs about 4 pumps of the accelerator, a full choke to turn her over, then half choke for maybe 10 seconds.

Takes practice, and most of all, a well-tuned engine to minimize the need for choke. In warm weather I never use the choke, just a few pumps of the accelerator.

I hope this helps!

04-15-2005, 12:16 PM
one pump on the gas pedal, turn the key.

oh ya, I park my tr3 in the garage...

...in california

04-15-2005, 01:25 PM
As one who has used a Spitfire and a TR-7 in New England winters, here are my hints:

1. Pull a spark plug and check to see if it's gunked up with oil or fuel residue. Clean them up with sandpaper and check the gap. If you've cranked them full of fuel, clean them and put them in a pan in an over at 250 degrees fof a few minutes. Or start fresh and buy a new set.

2. Check the point gap [if you don't have the Lucas electronic ignition]. It needs to be spot on. And the points shouldn't look like little files or little coneheads, either. Turn the key on and separate the points with a small screwdriver. You should see a good spark at the gap.

3. Invest in a new cap, rotor and spark plug wires. Without a healthy high tension spark, your car won't start.

4. Pull out the choke; check to see if it's really connected to the carb. You should see a lever move on the carb and you should feel some tension at the cable. Use ether as only a last resort. It washes oil off the cylinder walls, so it's not helpful in the long run.

My Spitfire, MGB and TR-7 all had some awful version of a Leyland water temperature automatic choke. Despite the bizzare set up, all of those cars started and ran successfully in winter weather. You can do it!


04-15-2005, 02:06 PM
Vagt6, what carb(s) do you have? Are you running Webbers? Pumping the throttle won't add any fuel to the system if you are running Strombergs (or SUs).

04-15-2005, 02:37 PM
I took a couple of those mirowave heatable thingys, put them together on a towel. Heat them up, place around the crbs, take a shower, dress, have breakfast, remove, start the car and drive to work. Don't have to do that often here in Atlanta, but it seem to work. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif

Geo Hahn
04-15-2005, 02:49 PM
Yeah, we like to pump the accelerator 'cause that's how old Dad taught us to start the car. But as noted, it's useless on SU & ZS carbs.

I found that my (SU) choke linkage had enough wear that the rear carb's 'choke' lagged the front by quite a bit. An adjustment that took this slop into account got both jets pulling down in similar fashion and made the choke more effective.

04-15-2005, 05:26 PM
Both my GT6s had Stroms, and the process wouldn't work if I didn't pump the accelerator.

Go figure. It's a Triumph, that's why!

04-16-2005, 07:31 AM
Wombat, have you tried pumping the lever on the fuel pump before going through the usual starting ritual? If mine has sat for a while, I will always give the lever a few blips first, full choke, peddle to the floor, crank and quickly back off the choke a bit once it catches. I can foul my plugs in a heartbeat if I don't do it right.