Author Topic: Power packs  (Read 273 times)

djbthatsme

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Power packs
« on: November 21, 2018, 02:59:49 PM »
Hello fellow Carltonians,
I had a problem starting the Carlton the other day so I decided to check and clean the ignition system. I was about to remove the distributor cap and give it a good clean up when I decided to let my favourite breakdown service enjoy the experience. As we all know removing and replacing the dizzy cap is a pain in the proverbial due to its position. With it being located between the rear of the engine and the front of the bulkhead its an awkward job to undertake.

When the  breakdown operator appeared, which was later than initially claimed by the service provider, the weather was damp and cold so not the best conditions to be working in. Still its what they do and I'm sure they enjoy it (tongue in cheek).

The cars starting system should have been on the ball considering that a starter motor had been replaced earlier in the year and the earthing components had also been upgraded. Other parts, battery etc were in good nick , at least that's what I thought. The engine was turning over at a great rate of Knots but it wasn't firing perhaps because the car hadn't been used for three or four days. Whatever the case was the car was started when the mechanic used a Power pack giving the battery a boost. Once the car was started it was left to run for about half an hour to help remove the damp and rejuvenate the battery.

My question is can anyone recommend a Power pack they've used to help start a vehicle. There are a number of them on Ebay and it seems wise to have one available when the problem arises again.

All comments gratefully accepted.   

DKT1

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 11:40:46 PM »
I can't comment on the power pack issue as I've never owned one.
But having owned my MK3,2.0 for 18yrs and a Mk2,1.8 for 8yrs before that, I can say that you shouldn't be having starting problems from just not using it for 3 or 4 days.
I sometimes don't use mine for 2 or 3 months parked outside on the drive and she starts first time every time (now that's tempted fate  ::))
Earlier on I had most problems from the HT leads, as they tend to break the carbon fibre inside when they are pulled off the plugs, this then sparks across the gap until it burns it away enough to hinder starting, usually when there is a little dampness around and it shorts to the inside of the metal sleeves so you don't even get to see the spark.
Getting someone else to start it in the dark while you look under the bonnet, can some times show you exactly where the problem is.
I cured this by getting some 10mm thick leads, as soon as I fitted them you could tell the difference and they haven't broken when unplugging.
If the damp problem is in the distributor cap the first thing to check is that the plastic disc/plate is still there, this is fitted for exactly that reason, to stop condensation inside the cap.
It's easy for mechanics to leave this out when fitting a new cap as it's so hard to get at and see what your doing.
I always remove the N/S engine mounting and let the engine drop down, it only takes 2 - 3 minutes and gives so much more room, saves all those cuts to the back of the hand from the screws and sharp bits that they strategically placed right there.
The next problem area is with the distributor cap and rotor arm as there are two types and two makes, they look the same but aren't, the later caps have a central pin in each lead hole, you can fit the later leads on the early cap but not the other way round, the later cap holds the leads in better.
I found if you fit the wrong makes together you can get the rotor arm burning out on the tip, which at first isn't a problem as you don't notice any difference, its only after a while you suddenly get starting problems, I now buy Bosch everything and leave the cheaper stuff alone, it seems to work OK.
Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2018, 11:45:33 PM by DKT1 »
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nightmare

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 12:01:52 PM »
I just use a spare battery(096) and jump leads.
Easy going untill PUSHED!!!!

djbthatsme

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2018, 04:19:02 PM »
Thanks for your replies Nightmare and DKT1,
Todays events may well throw some light on the cars predicament. I tried to start the car without any success even though the battery was pumping out energy. The engine was turning over at a great rate of knots without any positive outcome - it wouldn't start. So after some time I decided to contact my local friendly garage who have been very supportive over the years.

From what I was told they had plenty to keep them busy so I would probably have to wait a while before they appeared. About 20 minutes later they were banging on the door ready to do my bidding regarding the car. Ignition was checked out and seemed to be OK then to make sure, the batteries were connected between the garage vehicle - landrover I believe- and the Carlton. Even though this gave the Carlton a boost it still wouldn't start. The mechanic told me he could smell fuel indicating that petrol was being delivered. I  didn't smell any petrol but perhaps that's because my senses are older and less acute.

At this stage it was decided to take the car in so within about 10 minutes the car was being towed away.

So as we can see using jump leads have not solved the problem nor would have using a power pack been of any use.

I take on board your comments DKT1 which are welcome.
There is certainly something fundamental that's causing the problem which I can relate to.
Like yourself I have owned Carltons for many years without the problems I'm experiencing.
I bought my first Carlton a CDi in 1990 when it was 3 years old, what a magnificent beast, which I didn't have these problems with. Then I bought a CDX in 2003 which as proved to be a good car that I've admired but there have been misfortunes particularly with the ignition system recently. HT leads have disconnected from the cap on a number of occasions until that was resolved and I have been left wondering at times whether the Dizzy was playing up or not. The upshot being I now buy only OEM  which turns out to be Bosch in many instances.

I must admit that I cannot remember any plastic dish/plate being in the distributor cap when I've bought them - I nearly always buy the parts, so your comments come as a surprise. Can you tell me where the dish/plate would be located exactly.
I have an original brand new Bosch cap in my spares at the moment which I will check to ensure that it is complete.

When the mechanic turned up today I put to him your claim regarding dispensing with the plate/dish which he failed to agree or disagree with. But I believe that its fair to say that the car would probably have started given the attention its had today if the dish/plate had been thrown away. There was a spark at the plugs which indicates that there is more to this than meets the eye, which should be thrown up sooner I hope than later. I'll let you know what happens.


Thanks for your input guys.




DKT1

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2018, 06:51:15 PM »
http://ecat24.com/opel/images/Opel/V87/P/35.jpg
The link above, should show the position of the "stop condensation plate" (that's what it's called  ;D).
It fits on the back of the head and has an "O" ring on it to seal the distributor cap.
Hopefully they'll find the problem as it's usually easier to find it when it doesn't work at all, rather than it works sometimes  ::).
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djbthatsme

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 08:11:20 PM »
Thank you very much DKT1 for your reply,
Having reviewed the link you provided perhaps you can verify my interpretation as you understand it.
The disc or plate that you referred to initially is known as the "stop condensation plate" which is secured by some means to the rear of the cylinder head. Between the stop condensation plate and the distributor cap is an "O" ring which serves to keep out any dampness\wetness.

I have in front of me a brand new boxed unit (without an "O" ring) which leads me to believe that the "O" ring is not included with the distributor cap when the cap is purchased. This being the case its more than likely that the "O" ring on my car is worn or as been removed but not replaced which could cause the problem.

To continue my story, the car had been taken away on Friday and on Saturday it was dropped off at my house. Since then its been used several times and started without any signs of a fault. During the next week I shall be checking in to see what was done and argue\pay the bill. I'll let you know what transpires.

Thank again DKT1     

DKT1

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2018, 05:34:03 PM »
Yes! the "O" ring is on the "stop condensation plate", it is attached to the head on an interference fit basis, on the central hole.
I have recently just purchased a new Bosch distributor cap with the outer black cover on it, I had previously bought a distributor cap that my original black cover didn't fit onto and was never happy with it.
Along with a new Bosch rotor arm and the new 10mm plug leads, she starts fine, almost perky and raring to go  ;D.
Glad they got it sorted so quickly, it can't be that dear a repair  ;)
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djbthatsme

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2018, 09:06:57 PM »
Thanks for your reply DKT1,
Unfortunately the cars not out of the woods yet.

Having received the car last Saturday from the garage I decided to test it out, so since then I have run the car every day up until Thursday, whether I needed to use it or not.  On each occasion it ran without Mishap. Then I decided to leave it for a couple of days until I needed it today (Saturday). It started up , but unlike previously , it struggled to start.

I drove it off my drive and within 15-20 yards it died on me and wouldn't start again. However by this time I was in the middle of a main road covering one of the lanes - not the best place to be. Within a few minutes of this happening three  drivers\passengers  alighted from their respective vehicles and pushed the Carlton off the main road back toward where I'd come from. The garage was contacted and they arrived within about 20 minutes but they couldn't get it to start so I left it to them to take the car in for further investigations.

I don't know what they did previously, which is what I need to find out, but on this occasion I have left a copy of the diagram of the distributor which you had kindly provided a link to. This was left in the car so that the garage could perhaps understand what I've been telling them.

I've tried to trace the "O" ring that is on the "stop condensation plate" by conducting a web search to no avail.

Happy days. 
 

 

DKT1

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 06:35:11 PM »
Sorry to hear it's not fixed DJB, maybe now it doesn't run at all, they can pin point the exact problem?
I seem to have jinxed myself with saying mine "starts first time every time"! ;)
Went out on Sunday (it's what us old grey haired balding guys do) and the ABS light came on.
As I'd replaced all of the sensors about 4 - 5 Years ago (about 2k miles) I thought it can't be one of them, unless it's a broken wire?
So Yesterday I stripped down the front and checked the sensors, found it first time, N/S/F sensor no resistance (broken wire) took the sensor and wire off, easy with them coated in copper slip.
Cut into the wire where I thought it might be broken, going on the meter readings when I pulled the wire about.
Couldn't believe my luck when I found the broken wire right in the centre of the cut, quickly soldered it up, fitted some shrink sleeving and taped the section back up with some self amalgamating rubber tape for a good waterproof seal.
At this point I was quite please with myself!
But that didn't last long, as today (Tuesday) I went to the doctors, car started normally, came out from the doctors, it wouldn't start! :(
Just spinning over no sign of life at all, gave everything a wiggle (plug & coil leads), still nothing.
Then suddenly as if the plug leads were on wrong it started to misfire and stop it turning.
Kept on trying four or five times more, and then again just as suddenly it started as if nothing was wrong, drove home perfect, been out several times and tried it and it starts first time???? :-\
So now I'm wondering if it will do it again?
Going to Cornwall next week so that will be interesting ::)
I'm thinking crankshaft sensor or possibly a broken wire near the plug/connector next to the rocker cover, as I replaced the sensor last year?
Fun! isn't it?
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24Vdiamond

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Re: Power packs
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 09:02:23 AM »
The joys of running old cars! just out of interest the O ring on the moisture plate is not sold as a part on its own by GM, the moisture plate & O ring part numbers are 90376980 for the Valeo part and 90297425 for the Bosch part, no idea if they interchange though
280,000 miles of 24V fun and slowly dissolving!!