No power to the engine. Could it be the carbs?

#1
Hi guys, good to see such an active forum.
I just bought a 1970 Auto with a very interesting history.

It was owned by a British diplomat in Singapore
in the 70s before it was shipped back to UK. It has
had anti rust work on it and re-leather and respray
done in 2000. It was then shipped to NZ and driven
by 1 owner till about 2007.

Two week ago bought it from an auction site without seeing her first.
She was a beauty to behold, even from crappy iphone photos,
she is all style and elegance but with such subtlety it
pleases everyone. The only major issue according to the
previous owner is that she was leaking water/fluid the last
time she was on the road and said the radiator might need
to be recored.

So I had her towed to the mechanic to revive her. He did
not had to do much, just new petrol, 8 new plugs
and new battery and she started right up. Lo and behold!
(He did not change the engine oil though, which I thought
is odd)

However as soon as he took her out on the road he said
he needed to nurse it back to the workshop as there was not
much power going to the wheels. I don't have a deep pocket so
I'm seeking opinion from the learned ones here.

He recommended that I recon the two carbs and doing up
two carbs can be quite expensive. The car had only
done 47K miles, but has not moved since 2007. Is this the most
rationale part to do first? What else could be wrong if it is not
the carbs?

Once again, thank you for any help.

raf
 

GRTV8

Well-Known Member
#3
What town are you in ?
Sounds like the mechanic might be on an elimination game in which you pay. Not all grease monkies know the P6 .
Does it rev freely in neutral ? If yes leave the carbs and go to the next place - the gearbox . Correct level on the stick ?
Hasn't moved in seven years - I'd be looking in the gearbox area first Check the fluid level with the g/box in park and motor running at 700rpm . Only use Type F oil .You may have to shop around for type F- Supercheap have it on the shelf . If your mechanic has filled it for you with dextron or other - don't drive her , drop the oil and start again .
Try that
 
#4
GRTV8 said:
What town are you in ?
Sounds like the mechanic might be on an elimination game in which you pay. Not all grease monkies know the P6 .
Does it rev freely in neutral ? If yes leave the carbs and go to the next place - the gearbox . Correct level on the stick ?
Hasn't moved in seven years - I'd be looking in the gearbox area first Check the fluid level with the g/box in park and motor running at 700rpm . Only use Type F oil .You may have to shop around for type F- Supercheap have it on the shelf . If your mechanic has filled it for you with dextron or other - don't drive her , drop the oil and start again .
Try that
Hey mate..wow..are you from NZ too? I'm in West Auckland. Thanks so much for this post. It does sound he's on elimination route which I am ok with but doing up 2 carbs can go up to $800 and that's before doing the rad. The ATF was not changed too. Same as the engine oil. From the short time I was in side the car, it idles pretty well, engine sounds fantastic with good rhythm. It starts everytime you turn the key without any issue and revs well on idle too.

I know the workshop means well but I think you are right. They do a lot of American cars and have lots of Mustang so maybe Rover is not quite their thing. Do you think it's best I tow the car back to my garage and do what I can first? Changing ATF and such I can do from home but if it's more than I'm screwed. :)

Thoughts?

Thanks for taking the time.
 

GRTV8

Well-Known Member
#5
Hello - Im out Bethells way.
A good fellow [ kiwi rover ] from your neck of the woods will be along shortly . Al is very knowledgable on these things
If your engine is revving freely I'd look at the box . You can do the oil check in his workshop . Towing a P6 with an auto box is another kettle of fish . Im pretty sure you have to drop the drive shaft - Urban myth or may be if its over a long distance . Ive never had to tow my P6 .
Gerald
 
#6
GRTV8 said:
Hello - Im out Bethells way.
A good fellow [ kiwi rover ] from your neck of the woods will be along shortly . Al is very knowledgable on these things
If your engine is revving freely I'd look at the box . You can do the oil check in his workshop . Towing a P6 with an auto box is another kettle of fish . Im pretty sure you have to drop the drive shaft - Urban myth or may be if its over a long distance . Ive never had to tow my P6 .
Gerald
When I had it towed the first time from Point Chev, it was quite straight forward but it had to go on a flatbed and the towie
was quite good. So towing is least of my issue truth be told. :)

I'll bring her home first and hopefully you or Al will have time to give step by step advice on what to do next. I'll definitely look into the box
and act on what you advice.

Happy days...feels like there's hope in the air.

Have a great long weekend and once again, thank you very much.
 
#7
Hi Raf, welcome aboard. I was watching that one on TM, looked very nice.
There are a bunch of things it could be but you'd want to start with a good tune up. Have you any mechanical capabilities yourself? A lot can be achieved without spending any money. Start by cleaning and gapping the spark plugs, clean and gap the points and set the timing then balance the carbs and set the mixtures. Then you can start to figure out if it's an engine or trans issue. It may just need a bit of use to free things up a bit if it's been sitting.
I'm in Glen eden so could probably come and take a look if you like. Just send me a PM and we can make a plan.
Al...
 

GRTV8

Well-Known Member
#8
The guys on here have guided me through a few jobs that I would never have tackled without their advice .
I guess we all have to start somewhere if we aren't born with a spanner in the hand .
One job I took on was to upgrade the V8 oil pump . Didn't have a clue where it was on the motor yet all this advise came tumbling down the ether .
A bit of oil and blood letting and it all came together .
They are a great bunch and this forum is one of the better ones for it .
Don't forget to upload lots of pics as they are all a bit strange and forget what a P6 looks like if you don't remind them with photos.
Gerald
 

ghce

Well-Known Member
#9
There are a bunch of NZ P6 owners on this forum as there were and still are many P6 about, what with NZ having a P6 assembly plant.
There is no shortage of help parts and just good advice from the members on this forum.

Graeme
 
#10
KiwiRover said:
Hi Raf, welcome aboard. I was watching that one on TM, looked very nice.
There are a bunch of things it could be but you'd want to start with a good tune up. Have you any mechanical capabilities yourself? A lot can be achieved without spending any money. Start by cleaning and gapping the spark plugs, clean and gap the points and set the timing then balance the carbs and set the mixtures. Then you can start to figure out if it's an engine or trans issue. It may just need a bit of use to free things up a bit if it's been sitting.
I'm in Glen eden so could probably come and take a look if you like. Just send me a PM and we can make a plan.
Al...
Al, you're like godsend. Thanks so much, all that you are saying makes a lot of sense. The car had quite a bit of bids on TM and I did not even know anything about this car or heard of it. All I know it looks beautiful and I just bid as $1500 was my maximum budget. I just bid and then went to sleep, totally forgotten about it. 3-4 days later I had an email from trademe saying my bid is successful. I couldn't even remember what I had bid on. But when I saw the picture of the P6, I was all smiles at the office...like a loony. That was some joy. The other thing is I have little to no experience with engines let alone classic cars.

The workshop has changed all 8 plugs, batt is new and front brakes reconditioned and they have put new brake fluid in, that's costed me quite a bit already. Glen Eden is not far from West Harbour, so I'm very very keen for you to have a look. The workshop is open only after the long weekends, so I'll arrange for it to have it towed back to my house here and I'll definitely by in touch. I just hope the workshop has not sent the carbs to the specialist.

I love the car and can't imagine the life it had for last 45 years. Imagine all the stuff the car had seen in its lifetime. It's like a time machine.

I'll be in touch Al once I get the car back. Thanks again.
 
#11
ghce said:
There are a bunch of NZ P6 owners on this forum as there were and still are many P6 about, what with NZ having a P6 assembly plant.
There is no shortage of help parts and just good advice from the members on this forum.

Graeme
Hey mate...thanks for dropping in and saying hi...feels real great being part of something real...
Were you the one you had this fantastic write up about some gear conversion? Where you took the gearbox from a BMW and use it on your P6?
I stumbled upon it a few weeks back when I was reading UK review on Rover P6. That was an amazing story.
 
#12
GRTV8 said:
The guys on here have guided me through a few jobs that I would never have tackled without their advice .
I guess we all have to start somewhere if we aren't born with a spanner in the hand .
One job I took on was to upgrade the V8 oil pump . Didn't have a clue where it was on the motor yet all this advise came tumbling down the ether .
A bit of oil and blood letting and it all came together .
They are a great bunch and this forum is one of the better ones for it .
Don't forget to upload lots of pics as they are all a bit strange and forget what a P6 looks like if you don't remind them with photos.
Gerald
Thanks Gerald...you guys have no idea how much all this input and help means to me. I was very lost since Thursday coming back from the workshop.

I don't know where I should start sharing pictures, but I have uploaded it all here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id= ... sp=sharing

If you think it's best posted in another board, I can do that too.

c
 

ghce

Well-Known Member
#13
rafrover said:
ghce said:
There are a bunch of NZ P6 owners on this forum as there were and still are many P6 about, what with NZ having a P6 assembly plant.
There is no shortage of help parts and just good advice from the members on this forum.

Graeme
Hey mate...thanks for dropping in and saying hi...feels real great being part of something real...
Were you the one you had this fantastic write up about some gear conversion? Where you took the gearbox from a BMW and use it on your P6?
I stumbled upon it a few weeks back when I was reading UK review on Rover P6. That was an amazing story.
No not I, that is Warren Just one of the many talented and keen P6 owners on this forum (Warren like my self is in Christchurch)
P6's are wonderful and very easy to work on and they generally give far more than you give.

Happy Roverering
 
#14
KiwiRover said:
Hi Raf, welcome aboard. I was watching that one on TM, looked very nice.
There are a bunch of things it could be but you'd want to start with a good tune up. Have you any mechanical capabilities yourself? A lot can be achieved without spending any money. Start by cleaning and gapping the spark plugs, clean and gap the points and set the timing then balance the carbs and set the mixtures. Then you can start to figure out if it's an engine or trans issue. It may just need a bit of use to free things up a bit if it's been sitting.
I'm in Glen eden so could probably come and take a look if you like. Just send me a PM and we can make a plan.
Al...
Hi Al, I'm afraid the car gonna take another week before I can have it before. I took the advice here to bring the car back but last Tuesday the workshop has already took out the carbs and the rad to have them reconditioned. The mech suggested I let that take place so that when I collect the car I can at least drive it back home when I come to collect the car. And after spending $1500 on doing the brakes, change battery and replace plugs the next bill will be about $1500 which was what I was trying to avoid. Just bleeding money at the moment which is not great but hey it is what it is.

What's abit surprising is that when the first test drive was done and little power went to the wheels, the engine oil from 2007 and ATF oil has not been replaced too, so what you guys were saying it's spot on that they are on the elimination route as I would have hope they would do the small things first.

I will update when I know more, wished I can just get a tow truck and bring my Rover back.
 

testrider

Active Member
#16
It's not going to help the lack or power but the engine oil should be changed as soon as possible really - 8 year old oil won't be doing any lubricating.
 

PeterZRH

Well-Known Member
#17
I'd suggest actually you look at the distributor. Check the advance mechanisms. Unfortunately this can be tricky to do as a meter and timing light don't necessarily tell all the story. My car ran but was dead on its feet after 11 years of storage and at first inspection the timing was right. Even checking all the speeds listed in the manual the advance was clearly working.

Then I noticed when revving how slow it was to operate. The distributor was really sticky in action. After some years some grease had got in (or been put in) and went hard. I cleaned this and carefully lubed the usual places with light oil. Result must have halved the 0-60 time.

Try this. It'll take you 10 minutes at most. And even if it isn't the cause it is probably a good thing to do anyway.

With carbs I found on the HS6 that I could only really successfully centre the needle with the SU tool. Now conventional wisdom says using the actual needle is better. Well I disagree, the widest part is still narrower than the jet and the tapered shape can allow it to pivot out of alignment and yet still move freely. The SU tool is the correct width and long enough to avoid this (and is very cheap and the little spanner is particularly useful with the awkward positioning on the V8). Other opinions of course are available. Even though there is new petrol in it, did they pump out the old and clean the carb float bowls? Are the floats doing their job? Simple (and free) things to check.

Good luck with the car. The V8 is well know for being an excellent "sleeper" but you will get weird and "wonderful" issues when bringing them back to life that can seemingly defy all logic and usual diagnosis, things sticking, binding, leaking and most annoyingly seals and gaskets drying out. Basically use the car at least every other week, especially with the autobox as they tend to drain out into the casing and then the ground.
 
#19
Yo guys...still not much to update..she's still at the workshop much to my dismay. Hope to hear more from the mechanic next week who said she should be done by then.
I had a bit of time today on a cold Saturday morning before the kids start getting restless at home. So decided to share my story here... viewtopic.php?f=21&t=20906

Thanks for all the advice on the ATF oil, I will ensure the workshop know about it.
 
#20
Hi guys its finally back home where it belongs. Got all my girls helping me to do the first wash.
Al has kindly offered to help me so hopefully I can do this the right way.

The carbs are back and recond, they look awesome. No radiator at the moment as I will recore it
At Trevor French workshop. Then will do tune up.

Thanks for all the sdvice. Keep them coming. I will update more.
 

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