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Thread: slow cranking...tight engine..?

  1. #1
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    slow cranking...tight engine..?

    Hi all,

    I'm trying to resolve a long standing problem with my Nova. It is very reluctant to turn over (enough to start) with anything other than a very good battery.

    I've eliminated any electrical/earthing deficiencies as the culprit by earthing directly between the starter housing & the battery's -ve terminal. Even like this, it still needs a battery in very good condition to turn over fast enough to start.

    I've also noticed that it is hard to turn over by hand - such as when adjusting the tappets, so I assume the problem is withing the motor itself...?

    The above is in comparison to the 1600TP motor in my camper.

    The motor does run & rev freely, and I see no unduly high oil temperatures or swarf in the oil.

    Any ideas on what could be causing this 'tightness'? TBH, this is the main reason I don't use the car as much as I'd like - I just can't rely on it to start on the button...

    Ta for any suggestions.

    P.

    PS: I know the motor could use at least a top-end rebuild...Should I be considering a full strip down instead? I know I need to address low compression on one side, but crank end-float appears to be within the documented limits, so I wasn't planning to split the case.
    cheers

    Paul

  2. #2
    Well as you say you ruled out the earth as that would have been my first suggestion, as it matches symptoms I had when I first got my Nova. It turned out to be the earth cable used house wiring (solid copper) that had fractured.

    I assume you are confident that the direct connected cable was up to the job and sound ?

    thinking aloud, could it be hydraulic lock by fuel entering the Pistons when left standing and valves open?

  3. #3
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    Thanks for your suggestion, but I don't think so...I had a hydraulic-lock problem on my hot-rod bug years ago when it rained in to the carbs (!) and this is a different feel. Additionally, even turning the motor over with the plugs out (for a compression test) was slower that I would have expected/liked...

    One thing that I thought might be the case was a post I saw on another site from someone who did a top end rebuild and found the piston rungs gummed up with stale fuel deposits. I wondered if I might have the same problem, with the stuck rings adding extra friction to hinder the motion of the pistons in the barrels...does this sound feasible?

    p.
    cheers

    Paul

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by wizrod View Post
    Hi David,

    Thanks for your suggestion, but I don't think so...I had a hydraulic-lock problem on my hot-rod bug years ago when it rained in to the carbs (!) and this is a different feel. Additionally, even turning the motor over with the plugs out (for a compression test) was slower that I would have expected/liked...

    One thing that I thought might be the case was a post I saw on another site from someone who did a top end rebuild and found the piston rungs gummed up with stale fuel deposits. I wondered if I might have the same problem, with the stuck rings adding extra friction to hinder the motion of the pistons in the barrels...does this sound feasible?

    p.
    I was once told by an engine fitter the diesel was one of the best penetrating fluids going for locked up nuts / bolts / parts. It may be a long shot but maybe try putting some down the plug holes with a syringe and leaving it overnight. Then try cranking it in the morning.... long shot and not proven

  5. #5
    Have a good clean of battery posts and clean or renew terminals. You may have a lazy starter, try another one if you can.

  6. #6
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter***
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    I've had issues with a worn starter bush which results in very slow turning over on the starter (and a sod to get the bush out) - but if the engine is tight when hand cranking it is unlikely to be that...

  7. #7
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    Thanks, Martin...I have already had that thought... Replaced with a new bushing, to no avail.

    Btw...top top for removing that bushing: screw a bottoming tap (M12, I think) in to it & and keep screwing once the tap bottoms out. The bushing will climb up the tap... Simples!
    Last edited by wizrod; 01-08-2017 at 07:21 PM.
    cheers

    Paul

  8. #8
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Have you tried turning the engine over by hand with the plugs out? Is it still stiff?
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  9. #9
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    That is my task for tomorrow evening.

    That said, I did a compression test a few months on both the Nova and my Bay and the Nova cranked noticeably more slowly than the Bay...

    We'll see what tomorrow evening holds...

    TBH I'm leaning towards dropping the motor this weekend. I know it needs top end work regardless ( low compression on #3& #4), so it may just be time for a complete rebuild and or swap for my spare motor...

    P.
    cheers

    Paul

  10. #10
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Well, if the compressions are down on one cylinder bank I guess that is a good opportunity to sort out the slow cranking. I too have had troubles with starter motor bushes, but low compression suggests another underlying issue. Engine out could be the best way to resolve it once and for all. Good luck.

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

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