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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!
How do I check whether the engine in my Spider '84 is in good mechanical condition or not? We can exclude the fuel supply and the electrics. The engine is running (but not well - misfire, stalling etc) and I have no history about any service since the PO died 4 years ago and the car was parked in a garage until now. I want to be sure with the status of the engine itself before I proceed with other work (cables, carbs, hoses etc).

br/Alen
 

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A compression test &/or leak down test will give a good indication of the ability of the rings & valves to seal the combustion chambers. They won't be able to say much about the condition of the bearings however.

Is the fuel fresh? Filters (air & fuel) replaced? Ignition parts good?

See the link in my signature for a page of info about tune-up/diagnosis of the L-jetronic system as used in the USA versions. Does your car have carbs?
 

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You'd also like to see what the oil pressure is. If the gauge works, check the oil level and consistency first. If not bad, fire it up and see what reading you get. If the gauge doesn't work, you can hook in a mechanical test gauge. 2000s are pretty reliable in the oil pressure dept if not abused, though the crank passage plugs can fall out, creating low pressure. This was I believe mostly a 70s, not 80s, problem.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just checked valve clearance and it was spot on accordding the small tag in the engine bay (0.45 on intake and 0.50 on exhaust).
BTW, is it OK to test compression without carbs mounted?
 

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Yes, fine. Disconnect the ignition, remove all the plugs, hold the throttle wide open, spin the engine over. Get the engine warm first for most reliable reading.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why is it necessary to have the throttle open - air supply? As I said I have removed the carbs so there is no throttle at all now :). I will have to do a cold test now and 'warm' test later when the engine is complete again.
 

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Yes, otherwise you getting a partial vacuum from the throttle plates and the pressure numbers don't build up as high. Yes, with no carbs on is fine too.
Andrew
 
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