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  #1  
Old 12-26-2012, 04:23 AM
Griffin Griffin is offline
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Default And so it begins...help!

Hi all. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

So, on Christmas eve the 61 convertible arrived. The battery was flat after sitting for five weeks but I jumped it and turned it over for a while it started and quickly settled down to an even idle. I took the car around the block and it went well. The top mechanism worked properly and it went down smoothly. The top is currently down.

Today the car wouldn't start. After a lot of cranking it fired up but wouldn't idle and quickly died even when revved constantly. I suspect it's the in-line fuel filter and have bought some spares and will install another tomorrow. The car still has its original fuel tank and it's had a lot of shaking up over the past month.

More worrying is that the top doesn't work now. I wanted to open the deck lid to get into the trunk but nothing happened. No noises or clicks when I press the button. It worked fine two days ago but is dead now. The battery is fully charged and I jiggled the shift lever in park and neutral in case the cut out was stopping it. I've spent a couple of hours reading past threads on convertible tops not working but most of these problems seem to relate to tops stuck half way through a cycle. I have also been reading the workshop manual but to be honest, it's not that clear. Can I assume that a top control switch and actuator switch are the same?

So, given that the top worked perfectly two days ago, should I start with the two circuit breakers near the starter relay?
Can I use a test lamp to test these circuit breakers?
Also, how do I get to the top control neutral relay, top control switch and relay power bus bar located?

I was expecting the car to need some sorting however this is a bit of a surprise.

Regards
Mark
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2012, 09:40 AM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Seems like all of us convertible owners are a special breed. We are gluttons for punishment and feel your pain! In the past 3 years of ownership I have learned:

You MUST study the top operations manual. Buy it or download it, but read it several times before touching your car. Then take it to the car and read it again looking at the components. I even put labels on all the switches and relays to ID them when working on it.

Don't let anyone work on the top without a manual!!!!!

Only one thing happens at a time!!

You must make the jumper wires as described in the manual (I also use a 25' wire with a 50 amp circuit breaker in it with an aligator clip to attach to the + battery terminal to hot wire things in my shop.)

The neutral safety switch must be in proper adjustment. If the engine cranks, the top should have power past that point.

Remove the back seat, clean and tighten all the screws on the bus bar and make sure all the relay terminals/connections are clean.

Make sure the pump motor is well grounded. Don't hesitate to use a wire with a clip on each end to add an additional ground to whatever you are working on. Grounds are important and often overlooked on an old car.

And most importantly, what you initially think is wrong, probably isn't!!!

Take your time and ask questions! There is a lot of help here and in the manuals.
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2012, 12:24 PM
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I would check the circuit breakers near the starter relay first. If one of them is bad or tripped nothing will happen. They are slo-blo fuses and should reset after a few minutes. If they are weak they can trip and stay off. You can use a test light to easily check them. As for the rough running I don't know the condition of your gas tank. If it's the original I'm sure it's loaded with rust and scale even if it's been used regularly. A fuel filter doesn't remove everything so it's possible your carburetor got clogged. If a new filter doesn't solve the problem you may have to take the carburetor apart and clean it out. Look down the carburetor and work the accelerator linkage and see if you get a strong stream of gas from both sides.

John
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2012, 12:21 AM
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You were right John. The top problem was simply the main circuit breaker near the starter relay. Phew! Changing the in line filter made no difference to the starting problem and so I have a mechanic coming over on Monday to look at the carby. For some things like trouble shooting starting problems I prefer to be shown how to do it first before I have a go at it myself.

Cheers

Mark
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2012, 03:42 PM
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Mark,

Glad your top problem was something simple. Hopefully your rough running will be something as simple as a dirty carburetor.

John
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2013, 01:56 AM
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Why do mechanics make the rest of us mere mortals look like idiots? He came to look at the car this afternoon, lifted the hood and said, 'did you notice the power wire to the coil is just sitting there, not quite connected?' He pushed it on properly and the car started straight away. He then looked over the rest of the car and found that the heater core was leaking onto the passenger side carpet. I will bypass the heater tomorrow until I can source a new heater tap and core.

There is also an oil leak at the rear of the motor, fairly close to the driver's side wheel. There a no real drips under the centre of the engine or from the bell housing. Would a rear main seal drip there or is it more likely to be something like a rocker cover gasket leak?

Cheers

Mark
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:03 AM
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It's called the, 'Forest for the Trees' syndrome.

Most owners simply cannot see the simple important things. That's why it's far easier to work on someone else's car.

Examine your last problem; OMG! The top stopped working! Then it turns into sleepless nights of worry about, 'expensive things it could be.'
And, what was wrong? John (from half a world away and sight unseen) suggested, Step One: Check for power.

This happens to more owners than you may realize. That's why the Shop Manual is so important. It gives a step-by-step, starting at square one. Sound troubleshooting practices start there and they progress to the next step without getting sidetracked.

John is a great mechanic with over 40-yrs of experience. He knows to start with the basics because that is where most problems occur. (Most, but not all...)

Settle down and observe. Realize what you're 'seeing' and what is missing. For example, what you don't smell will tell you that gas is missing from an engine that won't start. Or, a heavy gas smell may suggest a flooded engine.

The mechanic pointed out an obvious wiring problem. Are all your connections and grounds tight? Never assume when restoring your car, but put your hands on things and check them. Hope this helps.

As for the oil leak, check from the intake manifold and work your way down. - Dave
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin View Post
Why do mechanics make the rest of us mere mortals look like idiots? He came to look at the car this afternoon, lifted the hood and said, 'did you notice the power wire to the coil is just sitting there, not quite connected?' He pushed it on properly and the car started straight away. He then looked over the rest of the car and found that the heater core was leaking onto the passenger side carpet. I will bypass the heater tomorrow until I can source a new heater tap and core.

Cheers

Mark
It's fact of life that a 'new set of eyes' will locate a problem you can't find by yourself.
If you're ever stumped get a knowledgible mate to cast their eyes over the problem area and ask the relevant questions.
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  #9  
Old 01-04-2013, 02:51 AM
Griffin Griffin is offline
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I spoke too soon. I thought it was too easy. I took the car down for a roadworthy this morning and it drove beautifully. The motor kept on cutting out on the way back and it was very difficult to restart. I gave up after about 6 times and had it towed to my mechanic. Hopefully the problem will be sorted next week.

However, in the short time that it was going, it was really nice to drive.

Mark
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:13 AM
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Progress so far: The mechanic went over the fuel system. The carby is clean and he thinks the fuel pump is faulty. I've ordered one and it's on the way.

The mechanic also thinks there is a problem with the electrical system. The engine is idling roughly. He says he's having trouble adjusting the dwell angle and is only getting 4-6 volts into the coil. From what I've read, the the system uses a resistance wire which should run 7-9 volts into the coil.

He suggested installing a Petronix electronic ignition system with a Petronix coil. This also has been ordered. My question is, if there is not enough voltage getting to the coil, will replacing it solve the problem?

Thanks

Mark
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