by Callum Tooey
A new coil arrived quickly and I was feeling excited to finally get Nutmeg up and running again, the weekend finally rolled around and I had the idea to try the coil without actually removing the old one. Also worth noting is that in my efforts to cut out any possible 'aftermarket' fault I had swapped all of the HT leads to original spec units, the spark plugs were the same as originally fitted.
Connecting them up I was full of optimism, but my optimism was short lived as Nutmeg simply turned over, so back to the drawing board! I checked voltages across all wires, ignition wires were reading 12v, the secondary coil wire was reading 12v and the battery was reading good levels.
I checked the resistance on both the new coil and the old one, I even tried connecting up the original coil but nothing I did would seem to help, a few comments pointed fingers at the new distributor/electronic ignition, claiming there were known dead units currently for sale; So to cut out a possible issue I swapped the distributor back to the original points ignition but this didn't seem to help get her started.
I started to doubt myself severely at this point, knowing that I had changed so many parts I started wondering was it possible I had completely messed up the car? Was I positive that those HT leads were on in the right order? Was that rotor arm the right one? And more silly questions.
After yet another disheartened post on the group with pictures of my (lack of) progress, a few members suggested directly connecting the coil to the battery, thus bypassing the ignition, I wasn't very optimistic at this idea, as nothing I had tried had worked previously but figuring I had nothing to lose I decided to make up some test leads that Monday after work.
I found some wires that were designed to be used with a modern ECU plug system that had crocodile clips off both negative and positive, cutting the end of the wires I fitted a spade connector onto the bare end and connected it directly to the positive terminal and coil.
Hitting the starter whilst holding the coil lead against an earth I saw some powerful sparks arcing across, figuring what the heck I plugged the coil lead back into the distributor and pressed the starter again and she fired up on the first turn, a very unmanly high pitched triumphant 'YES!!!!' screamed out from the garage in my excitement, she sounded slightly metallic which I found was some loose cables being caught slightly by the fans but other than that she sounded great!
Knowing that the car will fire with a direct lead from the battery told me two things:
I stripped the wire back. Fortunately there was plenty of inner left to make a new join with fresh wire, I made the connection, connected it up and turned the engine over from inside the car. She fired straight up!!!
I gave the throttle a few blips, she seemed to rev strong and clean, no knocks, no rumbles, just nice smooth running. I didn't have any black pvc tape to hand so I wrapped the connection in the rather fetching green/yellow instead, happy my car was working rather than worrying about the aesthetics of the wiring system!
With the engine now running I decided to give the brakes a release and pull her out of the garage, she slid into gear softly and pulled away. Finding reverse was easy and before long I had her parked up on the kerb outside in the glorious British sunshine. I noticed some fine smoke entering the cabin, concerned I killed the engine and opened the bonnet, luckily it appeared to simply be some grime burning off the exhaust manifold, no fires!
I fetched a bucket and car shampoo and gave her a well deserved clean, taking the time to clear out the boot that was overflowing with parts that until now I hadn't had the space to look through, I found various rubber sections (both screens I believe) as well as chrome trims, wheel trims, and surprisingly the original carpet which didn't look in bad condition. My guess is a previous owner pulled it up to restore the car or fix any rust. I haven't yet made the decision whether I will keep or replace it with a different colour.
I must have done something right with her though as whilst she basked in the sunlight a neighbour made conversation and enquired about the possibility of buying her, 'Sadly...' I said 'she isn't for sale!'
Next step, let's get some locks and start on the interior!
Filter by Author
Filter by Month