1971 Westy 1600 Lost Power and Stopped

Guys,
I was driving up a very steep incline yesterday (about 10% grade). I was getting very little power in third gear so had to keep downshifting
to second gear. All of a sudden, my bus lost all power to the engine and then would not restart. It cranks and the lights work. It does not sound like it is getting any fuel, and will not start.
Any ideas what happened all of a sudden? My thinking is that the Fuel was dirty and clogged something.
How can I troubleshoot this. I just spent an outragious amount on a new Muffler system and can't afford to take it back to the shop.
Roger Denver
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Roger wrote:

I agree, sounds like fuel (lack of).
Take the top of the carb off (5 screws). Careful not to lose any of the tiny parts. The fuel level should be roughly 3/4" below the rim. You can pour fresh gas in to that level if empty. That will make re-starting much easier.
Assuming that the bowl *was* empty, where to look next? You could pull the hose from the tank off the pump inlet. Fuel should flow by gravity as long as the tank isn't near empty. If no flow or a dribble, the tank outlet mesh screen is probably clogged.
If there *is* good steady flow, the pump is suspect. The pump...OR...the pump pushrod. Once in a while, the rod will seize in the bakelite block, especially when hot.
Much less likely, is vacuum buildup in the tank due to faulty tank venting. That would have dissipated by now and wouldn't affect the flow test. If you do suspect a venting problem, leave the filler cap loosened and go for a test drive (if you get it to run).
That should give you enough things to try till tomorrow...
Speedy Jim http://www.nls.net/mp/volks /
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Jim,
I was getting good flow from the gas line. I replaced my fuel filter in the engine compartment and tried to start again. I noticed (while my girlfriend turned the key) that the fule filter filled up quickly, so I am assuming that the pump functions and filled the filter.
I checked the carb and found that the resevior was almost completey full (Could this be the culprit ?). I checked for spark and after banging on the regulator, it sparked from the coil. I replaced the regulator cause I had a new one handy. I charged the battery for about an hour and tried again.
Still the engine turns and sounds like it trying to start, but no luck it just turns.
Any other ideas?
Roger Denver, CO
Speedy Jim wrote:

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An engine needs several things to run. Metered fuel, compression, and a timed spark. You have confirmed you still have fuel. Compression....does the bus turn freely by hand or can you feel the resistance build and release during the process of roatation? If you had no other odd signs.....big oil cloud etc indicating catastrophic ;loss of compression just before failure....severe over heating...etc....well...I'm going to move on to a timed sparkl. Check your points. ;^)
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I agree, if you have fuel, check your points. I've broken every set of the points which have a fiberglass tab that rides on the distributer shaft... the plastic ones dont break. Every break down I've had like (many) that has been points related or a clogged fuel filter.
Check the points gap too. .016"
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No cloud of smoke. No indication at all, no dash lights lit up, the bus just died going up a steep hill. I turned the engine over by hand and I feel compression on all 4 cyls. My points look okay, no sign of burnng out or anything?? When I turn the key both my oil and gen lights light then go out when I crank the engine.
Also, when i pull the throttle linkage, I hear a spray sound.
Is it possible that the car went that far out of timing that fast?
Roger
Gary Tateosian wrote:

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Roger wrote:

Is your distributor too tight to turn? If its clampend and you can't turn it...its not likely to have jumped time. Check the black wire on teh coil for power. If you don't have a meter or test light simplly unplug it with the key on and re-attatch. It should give a little spark indicating juice is present. It should be hooked to the positive terminal on teh coil. Check that the green wire that leads to the condensor is securely attached to the opposite negative side. WIth key on and points closed...open them with a screwdriver....spark???
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Roger wrote:

<SNIP>
Aha!!
Quote: " When I turn the key both my oil and gen lights light then go out when I crank the engine."
This is the big clue.
OIL/GEN *must* stay ON during cranking!
The Coil gets power from same place as OIL/GEN lights, so the Coil is going stone dead during cranking.
Most likely the Ign sw has failed.
This may not quite explain what happened on the road, but it needs to be fixed.
Try this experiment: Run a jumper wire from battery + post direct to the Coil + terminal (where the Blk wire(s) is). Now crank it over.
If still no joy, read the article on my web site: "Why won't my engine start?" Skip down to the section about "No Spark".
Speedy Jim http://www.nls.net/mp/volks /
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Also, unplug and check all wires connecting to the coil. Make sure they are clean and not loose. If any of them are loose, slide them onto the post and then squeeze them down with pliers. Once had a loose connector do exactly what you described. Went through a puddle and the bus died. Couldnt get it to start, waited a few hours thinking it was "wet" and still no joy. Turned out once of the connectors was just loose and dirty, making a poor connection. Discovered this after buying a new coil, points, and dist cap. Should have spent more time troubleshooting before going to the parts shop.
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Okay... I checked all the connections squeezed on tight with pliers. Checked the spark from the coil.. No spark ( a neighbor was helping last night and said he saw a spark?). Checked the voltage to the black wire on the coil 10.6 Volts. Tried to connect from the positive battery to the Black wire on the coil, no start. Oil/Gen lights do light up and the gen light stays on when cranking.
Read the article on no spark. Distributer looks fine. Since no spark is coming out of the Hi Voltage wire on the coil, I did not complete the tests to the ditributor.
Would I be correct to assume that there is something wrong with the Coil?
Roger
Speedy Jim wrote:

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Roger wrote:

Do the tests outlined in my article, step-by-step. I wouldn't assume anything yet.
Speedy Jim http://www.nls.net/mp/volks /
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jim,
Gald you told me to do that... I did all the tests and found that it is the points and condensor. Difference between 60 bucks and 13 bucks for the parts. You just saved me again. Now to find the parts LOL.
Roger
Speedy Jim wrote:

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Okay guys... It turned out to be the points. The little bakelite thing that is pushed by the rotor spinning broke. They were stuck open. I had an old point to install, checked the gap, retimed and I am back on the road. I guess the points dod not like going to the gathering r being pushed up a 12% incline in second gear...
Thank you to all for all the help. jim, your site is awesome.
Roger
Roger wrote:

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Be sure to grease the shaft inside the distributor where that little plastic or fiberglass bit rubs, otherwise it will wear out much more rapidly.
--
Michael Cecil
http://home.comcast.net/~macecil /
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