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Engine wants to stall shortly after starting


whizzbang

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Hello all,

Hmm, strange one. Or having said that, maybe not!

Every time I start the car from cold it seems to want to stall until it is warm. This is fine if I start the car and immediately get going on the road without needing to slow right down or stop, but if I do slow down or stop the car it will do its best to cut out (usually flipping the throttle stops this from happening). This always happens for the first few minutes, then it's ok. This happens with the choke in or out.

I'm not sure that increasing the idle speed is the answer. I'm also not sure if it's related but the car wreaks of fuel - all the time - too. I've seen a few posts about fuel pipes and tank breathers, I'm going to check these things when I get a mo.

I've had a search on the forum and though I can find quite a few instances of engine cut out problems, they tend to be at higher speeds and when the car is already running at temperature - mine is fine once it gets going.

Any ideas?

cheers

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The most likely culprit is a weak spark or, as already suggested, a badly adjusted choke. Start by checking your spark plug gaps, either too small or too big will give the symptoms you describe as a strong spark is essential when the engine is cold. Check your timing too for similar reasons.

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thanks very much, i'll look into it. i did manage to get a bit of time with the spitfire last night, but decided to take it for a spin rather than lift the bonnet!

one thing i thought i'd add - when starting i need to push the throttle in a little, that helps to engage the engine and start the thing, then i let my foot off the throttle briefly while it settles, then put it back on to increase the idle speed a little. like that it's fine, it's only when i then lift off the throttle that the car starts trying to stall.

i'll look into the suggestions kindly given though...

by the way what does a tank breather look like?

yours novice-ly,
whizzbang

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Whizzbang

The breather is a little rubber pipe type cap thang that sits on top of the petrol tank,  may be seen for inside boot looking up or from the inside if you remove the back panel. It tends to crack or disintegrate with age. You will only get a whiff of petrol from it - If your car wreaks of petrol then its more likely to have a sticky float chamber needle, look for petrol leaking on the float chambers once youve started the engine!!! The extra rich mixture would give you lumpy running on 2 cylinders which would want to make the engine stall (but i would expect this symptom to continue once the car was running warm)
On the other hand you can also have a sticky main jet that will cause a similar symptom, once the engine has warmed a little and the choke fully home, try pushing the red plastic protrusion at the bottom of each carb upwards (these can reset themselves with vibration a little while after the choke is disengaged and the symptom dissappear)

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