OK. Last week fitted a 1.8 distributer, coil and module. All ran fine.
Drove 300 miles on the weekend. As good as ever. Drove to work Monday morning, fine. Got a lift Monday night.
This afternoon drove back from work. Started off fine. Then I noticed a bit of pinking under load. This seemed to get worse. In the end I decided to stop and adjust the timing etc. Pulled over in layby. Divved about with timing and vacuum advance. Then tried to start car. It was having none of it.
Then some workmates turned up. We checked for spark. There was spark. We checked for fuel. There was fuel. Still wouldn't start. So then I went round all the new connections and pulled them off and put them back on. Wouldn't start. Rechecked fuel. Then it started. Odd. It didn't run very well. Then it stalled. Then it wouldn't restart. So we took a plug out and checked for the spark. Sparked fine. We repeated messing about. I pulled the fuel pipe off and it started. So we quickly reattched the fuel line and I reckoned it was good enough to nurse home.
So I drove home. I did wonder if putting Diesel in the tank a few months ago had anything to do with it. So I called in a petrile station and brimmed the tank with £30 of unleaded.
Dum de dum. Car wouldn't start. WTF. By now I thought I'd seen a pattern emerging, so I removed the fuel feed pipe and it started. Then I put the fuel feed back on and managed to nurse it home. It was pinking really badly when I put any load on it, so I managed with a top speed of 40mph.
At home I was convinced that the fuel was contaminated, so I emptied a load out. It smelt like Diesel. Maybe. Or was I imagining things? I poured some of the fuel into a plastic lid. Sheez, it looked bright Yellow! I was convinced this wasn't correct until I compared it with some fresh petrol from a Green can. That was the same colour.
Next I removed the fuel feed line. Oddly, this seemed to draw air into the pipe when I released it, rather than ****ing out loads of fuel.
By now I was starting to suspect that the fuel pump or filter might be to blame. So I jacked the back of the car up. I took the filter off and connected it to the pump backwards. I used a jump wire to start the pump. As I back flushed the filter a right load of murky crap came out of it. Hmm, maybe the pump and filter were contaminated.
So this evening I went rounf to pick up Rob and we went down to the workshu shop. A right bundle of laughs sitting at the lights having to rev the engine to 2K to stop it stalling, max speed 40mph, people behing getting irate at my slow progress.
Down the workshop we tried another fuel pump from a spare car. This made no difference, though I was surprised by an air lock in the feed pipe. Next we bypassed the filter and flow damper. No difference. Next I wondered if the tank feed was blocked, so I blew compressed air down the feed pipe. This was entertaining since it pressurised the tank.
In the end we made a completely seperate system out of a spare pump, some garden hose and some bypass wiring. Even with this then the engine was difficult to start and pinked under load/rapid throttle.
By now I was wondering whether the fuel pressure regulator might be to blame. When I looked at the fpr there was a patch on it where it had been rubbing something previously, and this had worn all the way through the casing into what looked like rubber.
We removed the fpr and shove a bolt up the feed pipe to it. With this done then the engine seemd to start better and not pink. Looked like bit of a result.
By bodging a pressure gauge onto the feed pipe we saw that the pressure was 6.5bar without any return. Not a good idea, but maybe it proved the problem.
If we'd had a T piece then monitoring the fuel rail pressure would have answere our question instantly. Sadly we couldn't do that, so I'm not 100% sure. However, I think that fitting a new fpr should be the first move tomorrow.
For the journey home we tried crimping the fuel return pipe flat to raise the pressure. This helped with the engine starting but didn't make much difference on the pinking.
Anyway, I'm convinced that the logic is good. What do you think?