M201 not starting....Now Running

1956-1966, Hotchkiss, Quarter-ton jeep® series, Wanted, For Sale, and Knowledge Base
Post Reply
G-Private First Class
G-Private First Class
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:38 am

M201 not starting....Now Running

Post by moonus » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:50 am

Hi all.
This is my first post on here, so please be gentle with me if I’ve not completely followed the correct protocol.
I’m having an issue with my Hotchkiss not starting. So I think the best place to start is with a bit of history first.

When I first got the jeep it was running OK. After bring the jeep home on a car transporter, I drove it for about 10 miles and then put it away in the garage. It was always my intension to renovate it first before using it, as I didn’t know the full jeep’s history and wanted to make sure things such as engine oil, diff oil, etc were good first. So like most things life got in the way, and what was going to take a couple of month’s turns into 3 years of renovating the jeep.

The work I’ve carried out in that time has all been on the chassis, such as new road springs, shackles, break shoes, bearings, bodywork and so on. Now all that’s done, I’ve now tuned my attention to the engine.
I didn’t want to do too much in one go, so I changed as little as possible so if there was an issue when restarting it, then not too much would have been changed from when I put it away. Hopefully making fault finding easier.
Before I stated any work on the jeep, I wanted to make sure the engine was in good shape first, so the first thing I did was a compression test and the results were.
1 piston 105psi
2 piston 95psi
3 piston 95psi
4 piston 105psi
I also wanted to check the valve clearance, but I’m having an issue with the timing marks not lining up in the window with piston 1 at TDC. It looks to me that the fly wheel is 180-deg out?

I know that the previous owner adjusted the ignition timing by a number of degs, this was to allow for unleaded fuel to be used with the original valve seats in. I want to put this back to its original setting and use fuel additive, but left is as it was for now as I want to get the engine running first.
The distributer is the original sealed type with the coil enclosed inside. All the watertight HT leads were replaced (not by me) with normal type of HT leads and caps. These leads just had the copper core splade back and then pushed down into the top of the distributer, this is not the best solution, but as it was working when I got the jeep I’ve left them as they are for now.

The engine parts that have been rebuilt are as follows:
1. PVC valve
2. Heat valve assemble (mounted below the carb)
3. Cooling water thermostat (new one fitted)
4. Ignition switch contacts cleaned & tested.
5. Solex carb rebuilt with carb kit.
6. Fuel pump rebuilt with pump kit.

Before trying to starting the jeep a few days ago, an aux fuel tank (the bottle type used for motorbikes) was rigged up to the fuel filter. This was because the original fuel tank was found to be leaking. The carb was fitted and the fuel lines bleed/flushed using the fuel pump priming leaver. With the carb connected, choke fully out (accelerator pedal left well alone) I went for the first start, the engine turned over fine, but showed no sign of starting. There was no hint of it trying to fire up, but there was a strong smell of fuel. I did find fuel seeping out from the seals around the butterfly shaft on the carb, even though these were replace with new seals.
After removing the carb, looking down into the inlet manifold I found it to be full of fuel. I rechecked the seals on the carb and all looked to be fine. I tested the float needle to make sure it was shutting the fuel supply off, this was working correctly.
I refitted the carb, but reading a number of forums found that the Solex can be sensitive to the fuel inlet pressure. With this in mind, I’ve lowered the position of the aux tank down to the same level of the original tank so as to reduce the head pressure. I fitted spark plugs testers to each plug and can see a good strong spark on each plug when cranking. This time when trying to start, there was far less fuel leaking around the carb seals, and although it didn’t start, this time it would back fire through the carb after about 3-4 seconds of cranking. The air filter isn’t fitted, but I shouldn’t think this should make much difference?

So a few questions that may be someone can answer:
1. On these engines, is no 1 piston at the water pump end?
2. Is piston no 1 on the distributer cap located at approx. 5 – 5:30 position?
3. Is it possible for the flywheel to be fitted 180-deg out?
4. Is it worth getting the carb rebuilt for £200 or get another Solex?

Any ideas or suggestions will be much welcome, as I’ve run out of them.

Cheers Roy.
Last edited by moonus on Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

G-Private First Class
G-Private First Class
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:38 am

Re: M201 not starting....HELP

Post by moonus » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:53 pm

Hello all. I finally got the jeep started.
In the end I fitted a new Solex carb, as the original one just kept flooding and no matter what I did with it, it wasn’t going to work.
After fitting the new carb, I went for the first start, and although the engine wasn’t flooding anymore it still wouldn’t start. So I went back to the basics, and used my newly purchased TDC whistle. Once I had found TDC for piston 1 using the whistle, I took the distributer cover of only to find the rotor arm pointing at positon where number 3 HT lead should be. So after changing the HT leads around in order to suit the firing order, I went for another start and it started first time. I’ve only had it running in the garage as it’s still not ready to go back on the road. The engine is popping a couple of time at tick over, so I’ve had the plugs out and they are all a bit black, but this could be down to a faulty ignition or the carb needs setting up a bit more, so I’ll do a bit more testing once I get the jeep back on the road. At least the jeep is running.
Thanks all

User avatar
Posts: 9239
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:37 am
Location: Ozark Mountains, USA

Re: M201 not starting....Now Running

Post by gerrykan » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:54 pm

Glad to hear you got it running again.
I am much better at diagnosing motor problems in person than over the internet, so I hesitated about supplying any suggestions.

I don't think the Hotchkiss sub-forum here has a lot of traffic, as there are a lot of great mechanical minds on this site.

Also don't worry about asking questions.
Very few people here will attack you for a simple question, unlike a lot of other sites.

Post Reply

Return to “M201, Hotchkiss, Quarter-ton jeep®”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest