Some noob questions

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kennyele11
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Some noob questions

Post by kennyele11 »

Hello everyone, I have a few questions regarding my roadster. First off though I want to disclose that I’m aware that I’m missing a distributor wire and my thermostat housing is off the car. Anyway I’m trying to figure out the source of my overheating problems and I am suspecting it is a problem with the timing and the carbs not being tuned properly, I have read about setting the timing but the first step is to make sure your car is desmogged and I am fairly new to working on cars so I’m completely unaware wether or not my car is smogged. I have attached some photos and hopefully from the photos the answer will be obvious. Also I have read about the clutch fan potentially being the source of over heating as well and my clutch fan is always spinning when the car is on. Does this mean I don’t need the spacer for the fan?
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spl310
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by spl310 »

You don't have the smog pump, so you are part the way there at a minimum. You should still run a spacer on the fan as it keeps the fan in the shroud and increases the effectiveness. Many will tell you to buy a 4 blade fan, but the one that you have will work fine it will just make more noise. To check if you are desmogged on the distributor, you need to verify what point cam is in there. That means pulling the cap and usually pulling the breaker plate to see what the cam has stamped on it.
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jrusso07
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by jrusso07 »

Here are some diagrams of the emission control systems for late model cars. https://www.carpartsmanual.com/datsun/s ... l-device#1

As SPL310 said, most, maybe all of these items appear to be missing from your car. Overheating may be associated with the distributor cam and the timing setting. A de-smogged distributor is set at 16 degrees BTDC (7.5 marked on distributor cam) whereas a smog distributor is set at 0 degrees (17.5 marked on cam).

Here is some info on the distributor types http://www.datsunroadster.com/PIC_PAGES ... -10_24.htm
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theunz
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by theunz »

Looks like your fan clutch has been replaced by a spacer. Leave it like it is. Have you checked your radiator for proper flow? They can look fine but be partially restricted. A bad head gasket is a common (and expensive) problem. The radiator can be checked for signs of gasses getting into your coolant from a leaking head gasket. Is it boiling over or just showing hot on the gauge? A cheap infrared temperature gun will confirm accuracy of the gauge. Good luck and hope it’s a cheap and easy fix.
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by redroadster »

If it's driving it's not the cam or ign timing
I use a coolant fill funnel to be sure it's full and doesn't have a air bubble trapped in it .
Likely the radiator needs a rot & rod out ?
You might pull the thermostat see if overheats then
It's not compression blowing the radiator ?
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Gregs672000
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by Gregs672000 »

Welcome. Folks here have done a good job of directing you to what a "desmogged" engine configuration means. Dave Premo recently added to my knowledge that it's still important to change the distributor to the non-smog curve regardless, though the engine will usually be OK with the smog curve as long as the idle timing is set to 0, not 17 as that will be WAAAAY to much advance (and will damage the engine). So, check your timing, most easily done with a timing light (Harbor Freight has a cheap one that will work, dial-back ability too to determine amount of advance is being added). Ask about timing etc if you're not sure as ignition timing is very important for lots of things. If you still have the smog curve, then seek a recurve kit or consider an upgrade to the EI distributor or the 123 Distributor for even more timing control. It (EI or 123) is one of the better upgrades you can do for the engine really, so save up if needed and plan for one in the future. I also strongly suggest getting a carb balancing tool (the "snail" is the best, Amazon or elsewhere, worth the extra cost for ease of use). Air/fuel ratios can have some impact on engine temps, but usually not to overheating/boil over levels unless it's a race car. We can take a look at your spark plugs to get some idea as to what's going on (I suggest you pull yours and post pics if you're not sure what they should look like, noting any differences between plugs, keep them in order).

Tell us when and under what circumstances the engine is over heating, how fast etc. That will help us diagnose the problem better. Be sure to read up on how to get the sending unit in the thermostat housing to ground (via the metal tabs in the gasket or by jumper wire) or it won't work right. Ask if needed.

Being new to engines and/or Datsun Roadsters we can guide you on general maintenance and things like valve adjustments, carbs, tools needed, upgrades, etc (I personally dislike the sound of a 6 blade fan, a 4 or an electric would be better IMHO, but that again can be done anytime). We'll get you working right!

P.s. You have a U20, but your profile says 1500/1600.
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kennyele11
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by kennyele11 »

The engine overheats under normal driving conditions, after about 15 minutes of going 30-40 mph. Needle is almost pegged at 250. Opened up my distributor and noticed 17.5 marked on the cam. Check the shaft and bearing and everything feels okay. Pulled the spark plugs and from the photo - looking left to right is cylinders 1-4. The red is rtf due to a spark plug insert. Does anybody have a recommendation on a carb balancing tool? I’m not sure exactly which one is the snail type so a link would be appreciated. Anybody have a source on how to set the timing? I’ve never done something like this but if I need to proceed with changing the timing I’ll go ahead and buy a timing light as well as a infrared thermometer. When I pulled the thermostat it appeared the old gasket didn’t have the metal tab to make a ground but I was still getting a reading on the gauge. Will also take a look at the radiator, the car has sat for over 15 years so it’s entirely possible the cooling system is clogged
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by jr02518 »

It looks like the vacuum advance canister and the connection to the advance system is missing from the distributor. Attached are pictures of the distributor, non functioning as is turns out, from my car.

David

ImageImage
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kennyele11
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by kennyele11 »

I took it off while following some instructions, everything look normal other than it being disassembled?
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by Bwk2000 »

The minimum I would recommend is to complete the de-smog process is to get a cam recurve kit (7.5 degs), reset timing to 16-17 degs BTDC, switch to an electronic ignition (Pertronix works well) and get some new plugs.

Of course, none of this can be done without a timing light - So yes … Go buy one!
Many here can step you through the timing/tuning process once you’ve got the parts.
Last edited by Bwk2000 on Wed May 18, 2022 6:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Gregs672000
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by Gregs672000 »

OK, good info. First, I'd like you to Google "what is an ignition timing curve" and understand what you're doing for the engine and what you are changing. I think that theory is important to understanding and then doing this stuff. Terminology you will need to understand are things like "top dead center" or TDC; ignition advance and retard; dwell (point gap); engine load. It's not hard to understand.

You have a smog distributor/curve. Idle timing is set to 0.

Since you removed the points, I would suspect that the dwell or point gap is now wrong if I recall how this whole process works, unless it went right back to the same position, so the car may or may not run now (sorry, I have not had a distributor for a long time so others need to verify). Not a big deal, it just needs to be set (see manual for step by step, or ask). You will need a set of feeler gauges. Once that is all back together right you can check ignition timing using the light (see manual, or YouTube, or ask) and make sure it's working as designed. Once you either obtain a recurve kit (check with vendors... see list) or decide to replace it with an EI set up, we'll help you through that change over.

Do you have a manual? If not download the one on this site.

Carb balance tool


Feeler guages


Correct plugs


Timing light
https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=Timing%20light

You need a 160 or 190 thermostat, stock or correctly made gaskets with NO SEALER on the metal tabs (or jumper wire you make) so the sender grounds correct (or it will not work).

Unhook the top rad hose, remove the bottom hose and flush water through it from the top down, see how well it flows and what comes out. Drain the block from the valve located on the drivers side under the header. If it seems OK, then once it's back together we can check and see if there are cold spots on the rad (plugged areas) and see if it still overheats.

There's a lot to learn, but you can. Reading through the manual will help even if it doesn't all make sense! Once you have made progress repost about where you are, or what you are struggling with, or help you need. There can be some issues when bringing a car back to life.
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kennyele11
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by kennyele11 »

Im afraid some of the links you posted didn't go through. If you don't mind trying again or pming me the link that would be greatly appreciated. I will start watching videos and pick up a timing light asap. I think I will go with the EI route too. I ordered a 160 thermostat and some gaskets too, one with the metal tab. When you guys are referring to plugs do you mean spark plugs or something else?
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by jrusso07 »

Looks like Amazon links don't work

Snail Air flow meter: https://www.pacificcustoms.com/ac000124.html (Amazon is less $)

You won't need the following if you go EI distributor but you will need the timing light

Feeler gauge set https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools ... 1732fb30df

Another good/handy tool for tune ups is a dwell meter (to set point dwell). This one has lots of options including RPM (dont trust your mechanical tach)https://www.jbtools.com/actron-cp7677-d ... 8bddc65b9c
Last edited by jrusso07 on Tue May 17, 2022 2:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by Bwk2000 »

Lol … yes, spark plugs, sorry.
Forgot to mention, might want to pick up a new distributor cap & rotor as well. No use in throwing cheap, old, used parts back in.
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Classic Cars - Because clean fingernails, free weekends, intact knuckles and financial stability are totally overrated.
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Bwk2000
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Re: Some noob questions

Post by Bwk2000 »

jrusso07 wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 2:42 pm Snail Air flow meter: https://www.pacificcustoms.com/ac000124.html (Amazon is less $)
Not to hijack the thread, but I should probably get me one of those - Always have done it just by ear. Is that the best one for the buck?
Kai
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‘69 SPL311 Sports 1600

Classic Cars - Because clean fingernails, free weekends, intact knuckles and financial stability are totally overrated.