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Starting after a long dry spell  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 02-22-2012 06:14 am
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davidpayne
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I'll preface this by saying I'm new to auto restoration, but have always dreamed of doing one. Having admired Jensen Healeys since I was a kid, I decided to take the leap. I purchased a 1973 (VIN 12466) in Sacramento CA from the original owner a couple of weeks ago. The car has been sitting for quite awhile. The gas tank was completely rusted out.

After trying to repair a couple of used tanks, I gave up and purchased a new aluminum one from Jorge in San Diego. It showed up last weekend and I installed it along with a rebuilt sending unit from Delta.

I drained the oil by disconnecting the hose from the filler to the pan. I replaced the hose while I was at it. I have new spark plugs ready to go. I think I'm ready to try to start it.

Any advice on things I should do (or not do) prior to trying to turn it over for the first time?

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 Posted: 02-22-2012 02:11 pm
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Dan (Florida)
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Corroded electrical connectors and fuel leaks from dried out carb gaskets come to mind. The distributor is directly under the carburators and will ignite any fuel leak that drips on it. I cover the base of the distributor cap with a strip of duct tape.

Check the electric fuel pump in the trunk to make sure it is working and check the fuel lines for leaks. If there is a plastic tee in the fuel lines to the carbs, replace it with a metal one. many JH's have been lost to fuel fires. 

There is an absolute wealth of information on this site.

hth Dan

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 Posted: 02-22-2012 08:51 pm
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Ron Mau
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I would absolutely change the timing belt. If the belt goes it takes a bunch of valves with it.  New points, condenser, plug wires. Rebuilding the carbs would be a good thing to do.
  You can replace the o ring on the bottom of the carbs with out taking them off. Just get an o ring from  the local parts store, taking an old one with you for the correct size and replace it. You just pull gently on the plug and it should pop out.
  I would turn the key until the fuel pump fills up the carbs and check for leaks under the carbs. If there are none go ahead and start it.

Ron Mau
16367
Davenport, IA

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 Posted: 02-23-2012 11:48 am
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MikeIsotech
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Something that I was advised to do was to take of the cam box covers and apply a special lubricant to the lobs to stop them wearing badly when you first start the engine. The stuff I used was:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Piper-Camshaft-Assembly-Lubricant-Millers-30ml-/380154670042?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item5882fbebda

The second thing to do is whilst you have the cambelt off. Mark the position of the aux pulley so that you can put it back in the correct place later. Use a cordless drill to drive the centre of the aux pulley to get the oil pump and system primed before turning over the engine. Check the oil pressure guage to see that it's worked. Then put the aux pulley back in the previously marked spot and refit the cambelt. You should be safe to start the engine without risking oil starvation.

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 Posted: 02-24-2012 03:30 pm
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davidpayne
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Dan, Ron, Mike and Tim,

Thank you for your advice. I am going to change the timing belt, along with the other things listed. I've never done a timing belt, so it should be interesting.

David
12466

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