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Rebuilt 1147 won't turn over

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ccren89 Avatar
ccren89 Colin Crenshaw
Keokuk, IA, USA   USA
This summer I picked up a 66' triumph spitfire that came with all the le mans bits. The seller had the engine in his shop which led me to believe his claims were valid when he told me the engine and transmission were rebuilt. Judging by their overall appearance they looked to be in very good shape and/or new (if that's possible). I recently have placed the engine on the frame and the ever so eager me wanted to start it but it will not turn over. I have checked everything I can think of out -I have oiled the engine and put mystery oil in the cylinders with the plugs out and the starter won't turn it over. I have tried another starter which came with the car and it still will not turn unless it is out of the car. Also, when attempting to turn the crank by hand a wrench is needed as it feels very stubborn. Anyone have any ideas what I should do?

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
How many miles/time on the engine? What work was done?

Are the spark plugs out?

If it turns with a wrench, it is not rusted or seized. If the starter is good, it should turn it over. But it may well be tight.

If the engine is fitted with a new cam and lifters, you will want to break them in during a first start.
Regardless I might want to prime the oil pump (with a counter clockwise drill) before starting the first time.

ccren89 Avatar
ccren89 Colin Crenshaw
Keokuk, IA, USA   USA
The original car had only 15,000 miles on it. I don't know much about the rebuild other than what he mentioned "It was rebuilt to factory specifications." The plugs are out and it spins just as stubbornly as if they were in.
I checked the valve clearance on two different pistons and they were around .13 or more which I assumed may have been why it was so stubborn.

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Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
I can't see valve clearances making it stubborn.

Please describe stubborn? How much effort involved?

Why rebuild such a low milage engine??

How much effort to pull the oil pan off and plastigage the bearings? (Doing so could save you an engine!)

trrdster Avatar
trrdster Wayne Tate
Spencer, NC, USA   USA
Get the pan off and check the bearing cases. Very possible one is cocked.
Piston drag would not cause what you discribe.



Wayne
1970 TR6
2000 Jaguar XK8
1949 Triumph Roadster 2000
1978 Spitfire (rust victim)
1971 GT6 (tarp covered for 12 years, rusted inside out)
1980 Spitfire (getting all the good GT6 parts, all poly suspension and Spax shocks)

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
Colin,
As above, How stubborn?
Can you turn the engine with a socket on the crank pulley bolt? It's rather large, 1 13/16th". You should be able to do so with one hand.

Is the resistance constant or intermittent as you turn with the plugs out? The first is good, as long as it's not too much, the second indicates faulty assembly.

As said above, you may need to re-rebuild it. checking the main and big end bearing clearances with Plastiguage, in case it was fitted with too large shells. Some try to do this to compensate for crank wear, without reginding the journals.

Did the starter come with the engine? Was it rebuilt or reconditioned? Does it need a look?
Is there full voltage getting to it?

Buying a "rebuilt" engine, not from a known supplier, is a 'pig-in-a-poke' problem - you never can know what's in there!
John

65or66 Gold Member Jim B
Lake village, IN, USA   USA
1965 Triumph Spitfire MkII
1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Jusanudda Munny Pit"
You didn't mention if the trans is still attached to the engine, but wondering if it's in gear (without drive shaft) may be increasing effort. A sloppy shifter can make it hard to judge if it's in gear or not. Just hoping for something simple and easy here first.

But dropping the oil pan and check out the crank, bearings and thrust washers sounds like the direction to look.

If you could post your findings after, it might help out someone else later on. Always good to add to the knowledge base.

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spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
In reply to # 1505016 by tapkaJohnD Colin,
As above, How stubborn?
Can you turn the engine with a socket on the crank pulley bolt? It's rather large, 1 13/16th". You should be able to do so with one hand.

John,
The crank nut on an 1147 or for that matter any small journal Spitfire engine is 1 7/16" the large journal engines went to 1 13/16", but those are MkIV 1296 and 1500 engines.
All the best,
Paul

spitfire50 Avatar
spitfire50 Paul Mugford
Rochester, N.H., USA   USA
Colin,
That engine is way too stiff. I have an 1147 with fresh pistons, rings , bores, crank, bearings , cam. No plugs in it and well lubricated. I can turn the crank with one hand by grabbing the flywheel bolts screwed into the back of the crank, (no flywheel). No, I don't have hands like Supermanspinning smiley sticking its tongue out
All the best,
Paul

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balloonfoot Avatar
balloonfoot Gold Member Lloyd Faust
Southlake, TX, USA   USA
In reply to # 1504963 by ccren89 This summer I picked up a 66' triumph spitfire that came with all the le mans bits.


new on this forum. What are "all the LeMans bits"?

lef2wander Avatar
lef2wander Gold Member James Thomas
Hatfield, MA, USA   USA
All of the suggestions are good.
How adapt are you on mechanics?

You have separate rebuilt units(?)
The most likely is the motor.
The tranny input shaft (could be an issue. However unlikely)
Your gonna have to do some work to find out.
Valve clearances are unlikely the issue, however valve guides could be. If they weren't reamed.

You could pull the motor and tranny.
Or you could pull the tranny and then test, trouble shooting both separately. Money is on the motor.

Good luck.

I have 76 on an engine stand, it turns over by hand with a little resistance. The head is off. I turned it over after 9 years of being idle. After soaking the cylinders with mmo for 2 weeks. I went out with a breaker bar and socket, with a great amount of determination and grit in my mind.
Pumped up on beer and courage I set to it. In the end I was able to break it lose with 2 fingers on the bar and a beer in the other hand.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-12-30 03:27 PM by lef2wander.

Growe58 Avatar
Growe58 Greg Rowe
Hatfield, PA, USA   USA
Going from memory here so someone jump in if I'm wrong, but I had a similar problem once following a connecting rod and main bearing refresh. One of those sets (I can't remember which) goes with the bearing tabs abutting instead of at the expected mirror image opposite sides. I installed them wrong and it made the engine very difficult to turn. This was a 1500 but I'm figuring the 1147 would be similar. Sorry it was some years ago and I'm hazy on the exact details but something to check.

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
In reply to # 1505101 by spitfire50
In reply to # 1505016 by tapkaJohnD Colin,
As above, How stubborn?
Can you turn the engine with a socket on the crank pulley bolt? It's rather large, 1 13/16th". You should be able to do so with one hand.

Either way, its a biggun. You may have to buy the the socket, it won't be in aset
.
John,
The crank nut on an 1147 or for that matter any small journal Spitfire engine is 1 7/16" the large journal engines went to 1 13/16", but those are MkIV 1296 and 1500 engines.
All the best,
Paul

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I'm always skeptical with a build being offered cheap from a mechanic.

He knows what it is.

Ask.

Waning: Prepare to put in the time he doesn't want to,

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 1505111 by balloonfoot
In reply to # 1504963 by ccren89 This summer I picked up a 66' triumph spitfire that came with all the le mans bits.


new on this forum. What are "all the LeMans bits"?

The Le Mans Spitfires looked like this.


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13c42187ccba11c5061a5f37218c671c.jpg

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