You're about to set off on a journey, but your Series Land Rover engine cranks normally and fires, but will not run. Repeated attempts to start it fail.
A simple initial check is to inspect the slow running screw on a diesel distributor pump, or on the petrol carburettor, to see if it has vibrated out of position. Turn the screw by increments and crank again. If the engine doesn't run then back off the screw to the original setting.
Is fuel issuing from the fuel pump? Try pumping into a container (CARE!). Also look for air bubbles in the the fuel caused by a leaking joint/gasket.
Fuel filter(s) partially blocked? Inspect and replace if necessary (by-pass filter in emergency).
Unlikely, but possible cause, is the air vent in the fuel filler cap being blocked. Remove fuel filler cap and try again.
Series Land Rover Diesel engines:
Could be one or more heater plug(s) not working. Early Series Land Rover engines had heater plugs connected in series so if one plug fails they all fail. Test for current supply and continuity of heater circuit.
Is fuel leaking from unions or joints anywhere in the fuel system? This causes air to enter the system.
Could be an injector problem. Only replacement injector(s) will confirm this as the cause of the problem.
If there is a recent history of blue/grey smoke from the exhaust and lack of power, then lack of compression due to tappet clearances being out of adjustment, worn cylinder bores or a broken piston ring or valve spring could be the cause.
Any chance of water in the fuel? Check the drain plug at the bottom of the fuel filter. Water is denser than diesel.
Series Land Rover Petrol engines:
Check the ignition leads, spark plugs and distributor cap are all securely fitted and not damp.
Use the starter handle to turn the engine until the contact points are fully open then set the gap for Lucas to 0.015in(0.38mm); Ducellier 0.017in(0.43mm). If the surface of the contact points is corroded or pitted, they can be cleaned with abrasive paper temporarily. Then fit new points and re-gap.
A carburettor jet could be blocked or the float not set correctly.
Are the spark plugs clean and gaps correct? Clean if necessary and set the gap to 0.030in(0.75mm).
Check for a cracked distributor cap.
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