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Hi all

Thought I would test drive the Vitesse to see if I have found the cause of a vibration as discussed in the Play in Vitesse Diff thread.

Car has always started and idled well since its been back on the road, so was surprised whilst sat at the lights this morning at a busy 5 way junction the car just cut out.

Been idling at about 10,000 rpm and warms up prety quickly with the electric fan fitted.

First thought was have I've ran out of fuel, but had only refuled the other day, gauge 3/4 full.

Had ignition light, car spins over fast, almost tripping over itself but won't start. Gave a bit of choke nothing, was just going to get out and push, with a line of cars behind me when it started. I was turning right which leads to the M20, but the Inside lane gave way, and drove straight ahead, pulling over just past the lights. The car idled fine, couple of revs, silky smooth, ticked over nicely then just died, and wouldn't start. 

Checked for fuel leaks, and the coil wire to distributor, all looked good. 

Started to think who I could call to get a tow, didn't fancy waiting for RAC. Only 1/2 mile from home. Waited a minute, tried the car again and it started. Let if idle, revved a few times, seemed ok. Did a U turn hoping it wouldn't cut out and timed it to get a back through on a green light.

Drove back home perfectly. I have an FIA type cut out, so wobbled and tugged at all the wires, under the dash, under the bonnet, but all seems good.

My first thoughts where fuel, but there was no hesitation, like fuel starvation, just cut out, so now thinking ignition. 

I am running the original coil, but thought they either worked or didn't, so not sure if this could be at fault. Points look good, right gap no pitting. I will check the float chambers for any cr*p as a bit suspicious if the fuel hose I bought is genuine quality or copy.

Don't like these kind of faults, rather it just die and stay dead until the cause is found.

Any ideas?


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I'm not surprised, Mark!   

Idle it at 10,000 rpm and it won't last long.












But such intermittent cut-outs are almost certainly electrical, and probably low voltage side.    That's where I'd start, anyway.   And double, double check anything you have done recently, especially in investigating your diff.vibration.

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Thanks lads

Yes John 10,000rpm at idle could cause a few problems:biggrin:

The tunnel cover has been in and out several times, and just placed over the gearbox at the moment. It has got snagged a couple of times, possible I've loosened something. I'll double check the wires going to the ignition switch and cut out again tomorrow.

I did have the car ticking over and at the same time pulling, shaking the loom and ignition wires, with no affect.

I'll have a closer look at the distributor and Roto arm also.

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You were both right!

Low tension wire from the ignition. On installation of the FIA type cut-of switch, the live from the ignition switch is connected through the spades on the back of the cut out.

After a few attempts at wobbling the male spades on the switch the engine cut out.

Once removed I could see the back of the switch with the four male connectors was coming away slightly from the rest of the body.

I have fitted this type of cut out on a couple of cars and there is always some movement on the spades. The red on/off knob is spring loaded, and tightens everything up once turned, making the connection between the main battery lead and the low tension ignition wires.

The two small rivets were not holding the switch tightly together, and the internal spring was trying to push the bottom of the switch off.

Just another, hardly used,  poor quality part.

Drilled the rivets out and replaced with a couple of machine screws and nuts. Tested on the bench and its working fine. Fit it tomorrow and take the car for a drive to see if Ive cured the vibration.

Pic of the back of the switch starting to come away.


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Hi John

That's how it is working.

Before with the red knob in the on position, the ignition spade connection could be pulled out slightly, enough to break the contact. Now the gap between at the  bottom of the switch has been closed with screws, the spade can still be moved with the knob in the on position but can't be pulled away to break the internal contact.   


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I've had interesting results with the cut outs.  The good quality switches (Autolec) have a slightly longer pin on the key than the cheap switches.

If you use a cheap key in a quality switch it will power up the main supply to starter, but isn't quite long enough to make the switch for the ignition cut out.

....much swearing before I found the cause of the engine cranking, fuel pump / lights etc working - but no starting!

Watch out for cheap crap!

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