Problems and lessons learnt

Here’s a quick overview of the mechanical problems we’ve been faced with what we’ve learned so far:


This is an engine.

Question 1 – Work out exactly why she stops (500 yards down the road from where we bought her!) and refuses to start…

Response 1 – Hit starter motor with hammer – no joy
– Rock back and forward – no joy
– Keep turning key in frantic expectation – success!

Resolution – Eventually got her to a mechanic who gave us a list of things we needed to take a look at, and hinted that it may be a solenoid problem. Tom bridges solenoid with a trusty hammer (useful tool, this hammer) and she starts amid a shower of sparks. Here’s the offending item…


So we got the Haynes manual out and changed it for a replacement… and it actually worked- Mechanical Success!

Question 2 (still on first journey) – Why does she stall when you take foot off accelerator (whilst running very rich)?

Response 2 – Absolutely no Idea, but it’s very worrying at large round-a-bouts!
– After much internet research we decided to fiddle with the carburetor- this helped very temporarily and then made things slightly worse…
– So we took a quick look at the spark plugs to work out what was going on, and this is what we found:


Ouch.. time to replace them then – second Mechanical Success!

Still no joy with the idling problem so we went up the chain to the distributor:


– We then thought to take a look at the distributor to ostensibly set the points gap, realised we didn’t have a feeler gauge so popped the dizzy cap back on and voila… she now didn’t start!

Resolution – Time to call in the professionals. The lovely people at the AA came round and spent a grand total of 2 minutes, fixing her by firmly pushing down on the dizzy cap – we hadn’t put that back on properly. Now time to take her to someone who knows what they are talking about, enter Challenger 4 x 4!

Result – idling problem ‘solved’ by tuning of the carburetor!



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