Why do i do this to myself?! - Defender Source
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Old September 9th, 2013, 11:14 PM
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john
97 D90 ST / 1957 S1 109/ 1983 LS110
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Why do i do this to myself?!

So.....My Niece turned 16 in August and we decided to get her a project Series 3 for her bday.I know i know but it sounded like a good idea at the time. I say we but I kind of told my wife after the fact (easier to ask forgiveness) She has always liked my series and even wanted me to pick her up from school in it..

She lost her parents a few years ago and since coming to live with us Ive been trying to find things we can do together...

Enter the 1973 Series 3. Solid frame and bulkhead but been sitting for about 10 years in Boston. A true project but mostly cosmetic stuff that we could do together.. or so I thought. Only seen it in pictures and knew it needed body work and some wiring. Only has 40,000 some odd documented miles so I figured how bad could it be..

It just showed up in FL this morning... The wiring is a mess as the owner lost the key years ago and decided to hook up two house light switches to substitute for an ignition!

Promptly replaced with a spare late IIa switch I got it turning over but no spark..Not sure I wired the switch right so rather than continue to mess with the rats nest of wiring decided to do a compression check...

Not good. #1 140 lbs #2 135 lbs. #3 zero! #4 90lbs.

I think I know the answer to this but is this motor toast? What causes literally zero compression on one cylinder?

Why cant I be just like everyone else and get the kid a volvo and be done with it?!
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  #2  
Old September 9th, 2013, 11:23 PM
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Bill Ski
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My guess would be valves are the culprit on the compression.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 11:26 PM
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Brian Kandefer
1957 107 wagon, 94 arles St, 101 FC
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First of all, your awesome!! Second of all a stuck valve, bad rings, blown head gasket or something like similar would cause zero compression. Best and easiest thing is to pull head to see, most likely that will reveal your issue. Good luck, and once again your awesome!
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Old September 9th, 2013, 11:29 PM
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john
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Very kind of you Brian... feeling more like an idiot right now than awesome but ill take the compliment!

So I pull the head and what am I looking for? Are 2.25l even worth rebuilding?
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Old September 9th, 2013, 11:39 PM
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Brian Kandefer
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Originally Posted by phoenix37 View Post
Very kind of you Brian... feeling more like an idiot right now than awesome but ill take the compliment!

So I pull the head and what am I looking for? Are 2.25l even worth rebuilding?
Looking for obvious issue, messed up gasket, a valve stuck open, a bent rod anything like that. If you visually don't see anything it is probably the rings. It might not need to be rebuilt, I just pulled the head on a 258. It had a blown head gasket and bent rod, I replaced both and it fixed the compression issues. Good luck
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Old September 10th, 2013, 12:16 AM
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if its a stuck valve or the like, pour marvel mystery oil into the valve cover and into the spark plug holes. That will help free everything up. Though the head gasket can probably use replacing as well. It is a very straight forward job and she will be able to do most of the work herself.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 01:05 AM
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Does it run?
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  #8  
Old September 10th, 2013, 01:54 AM
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Chris Benway
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Man you are "Awesome"!
Is she working the problem with you?
Build some new memories with/for her!
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Old September 10th, 2013, 03:31 AM
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Jake
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I'd echo the previous comments about a stuck valve or sticky rings. I'd pop off the valve cover and give everything a once over, make sure when you turn the motor over the valve train is doing its thing..
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Old September 10th, 2013, 06:23 AM
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john
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwollschlager View Post
if its a stuck valve or the like, pour marvel mystery oil into the valve cover and into the spark plug holes. That will help free everything up. Though the head gasket can probably use replacing as well. It is a very straight forward job and she will be able to do most of the work herself.

Thanks we will give that a try.

Ron it does not run. Ran when it was parked but isnt that what they all say?!

Chris we are working on it together. She had a perma grin the whole night we were working on it. Very excited for her new truck.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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Remember to that head was likely a leaded fuel head and the valve seats erode without the lubrication from the lead this will cause the valves not to seal and leak the compression right out.

The valves on 1 cylinder of my MGB were so far out of adjustment I had next to zero compression. Once I adjusted them it was 150ish like the rest. Not sure if the series valves are manual adjustment or not to be honest.

The 2.25 is great for a 16 yo there is little to no chance of speeding
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  #12  
Old September 10th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Awesome! I fully support your decision to get her one, and I am sure you can get it going. If you want help verifying the wiring I am sure several of us can help, even if just comparing to ours.
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  #13  
Old September 10th, 2013, 11:10 AM
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john
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Well im starting with the simplest solution first.. Had a couple people now mention Marvels to me so I just poured some in the cylinders and the valve cover. Let it sit for a couple of days and see where we are. Really rather not pull the head if I dont have to.

Appreciate the offer on the wiring Charles. Ill post up some pics of the rats nest later and get your thoughts.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 04:41 PM
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My first car was a Series 3 109. Still got it.

That truck has taught me a lot about life and has shaped me into the person I am now.

Do it. Being broken down 100 miles from home REALLY teaches you how to be resourceful.

Also being mechanically inclined has helped me out in so many other venues. Lately I've been interviewing with a company and just knowing how things go together made me extremely appealing over my competition.

For right now, get it running then see what it needs. Then talk it over and go from there.

BTW, pulling, rebuilding, and re-installing my rover engine was a very fond memory I have with my father. Taught me a lot. He was very generous to basically pay for the entire thing. It was awesome.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 05:42 PM
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Steve Maietta
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pull the valve cover and see how (if) all the valves are moving. especially check out #3 valves of course that nothing seems too tight or lose etc.. FYI, you check valves by "The rule of 9" so you check #1 (front most), with #8 (rearmost) fully compressed, you check #2 with valve #7 fully compressed on down the line. the valves should be set to .010" use the hand crank to turn the engine over for this, pull the plugs to east the compression makes spinning the engine over easier.

If the valves looks to be moving and nothing looks too odd with #3 then you can pull the head to check the gasket and get a visual on the rings valves etc.. Pull the air cleaner out, disconnect the throttle and choke, disconnect the manifold from the down pipe, take off the manifold, disconnect the oil line from the rear PS of the head, radiator hose off, drain the coolant, take out the plugs, take the head off. (make sure to keep the head bolts in order! (Punch them through a cardboard box in the pattern they came off)

hopefully its just a really blown head gasket!

That girl is lucky- she's gonna have really strong arms, be a great driver, a mechanic, and a down to earth girl. Good job man! Glad to hear she's smiling through the whole thing.
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  #16  
Old September 10th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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Give it dose of seafoam before pulling anything off, pour some down the plug holes let sit for a bit then turn it over, replace plugs and watch it smoke. Do not do this in doors!
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Old September 10th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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mark kellgren
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Since it's not a daily driver yet, borrow or buy a engine hoist and engine stand, pull that littke ebgine and overhaul it. On a stand, it will go quick abd u want her to have a reliable and postive experience. You dont need her constantly breaking down at school, going to school or in an intersection. Make it solid or her live for rovers will fade quickly. That engine is too simple to not do it.



Put a new harness in it too from british whatever they are called.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 07:15 PM
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You have my vote for the best uncle!
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  #19  
Old September 10th, 2013, 07:46 PM
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Raub A.
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X2 what Max said in HS I got IIa with a cracked head and block, bad breaks, horrible wiring but a new frame under it from Atlantic British. Funny my father did very little with me but we found a block and head in a field from this old Florida Cracker/hermit that lived in the swamps way west of Palm Beach. Literally had flowers growing out of the cylinders. Fun times. Sir, you are very solid in my book. You said the truck is in Florida, where?
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  #20  
Old September 10th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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john
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Thanks guys..appreciate the support.. Jeff Ill post up pics in a bit. The bulkhead and frame are in remarkably good shape and the truck is very complete except for the wheels and ignition switch.

My friends in Maine generously donated wings, wheels, bumper, dash to the cause so I've got a good head start..

I agree Mark the truck needs to be sound before she is left on her own with it. She has 6 months with her permit before she can drive alone anyway so ive got a bit of time but she is excited to get out there and start learning.

Ill see how things go the next couple days. It may end up that I start looking for a good running take out motor for the time being. As much as a rebuild would be nice Im just not sure I have the time for it right now.

Like you guys said the goal here was to teach her a little about cars, driving a stick and self reliance... My oldest is only 7 so we are still getting the hang of having teenagers at home but I know those are the lessons that stuck with me from when I was her age.

Raub in Ponte Vedra...
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