Sunday, 29 July 2007

Still smoking, Still roaring.

The starter motor was a bit annoying, after removing it, it worked on the bench so I refitted it only to get the click again!

Removed it once more and opened it up. The screw post that the battery cable connects to is soldered to the coil winding – or at least it should be. Mine had come adrift. I set to straightening the wire (it’s more like a bar) and cleaning it up ready to resolder. The post would solder nicely but no way would the solder stick to the winding. I cleaned and heated, set fire to most things near by but the coil wire/bar wouldn’t solder.

I was ready to resign and buy an exchange unit but fortunately it was past shop closing time so I cleaned it one last time and crimped the post hard to the wire/bar and when I fitted it I twisted the post to hopefully make best contact.

This seemed to work well at least for the rest of today.

The BMW thermostat was fitted in the block. I bought an M14x1.5 tap on eBay and made a wafer thin helicoil type adapter so it would fit.

I then set the ignition timing again, and reset the carburettors to the manuals spec and tried running the engine again.

Lots of smoke and it still idles for a bit, then roars up to 4000rpm and back to idle. It does tend to spit back through the carbs occasionally too.

Quite baffled.

Friday, 20 July 2007

She's alive! ALIVE!

Getting close to starting the engine so drained the storage oil and topped up with good old-fashioned Dukhams Q. Started to fill the gearbox too then remembered I hadn’t fitted the propshaft. Without the propshaft fitted all the oil will fall out of the hole at the back.

The propshaft can be fitted when the engine is in but it isn’t easy. The trick is to keep the front wobbly bit (technical term) straight. A spare piece of shed (she likes to call it the summerhouse), a torch and a bent bit of metal does just the job.
Next the new battery was fitted and all was ready to go go.

Plugs out, spin the engine on the starter, all sounded good. Check for oil pressure, after a while it came up to 40 psi.Then needed to set the timing with the strobe.

Fuel pump on, choke and Jemima roared into life.
A little too much life, as she would tick over nicely for a few seconds then race up to 4000rpm, then tick over for a while and repeat or stop, while I was scratching my head wondering which bit to adjust.

After reading the books I went back to restart and all I got was a click.Now looks like the Starter motor has failed.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Samson back from the dead.

In 1985 I bought a blue Samson unlimited warranty battery.
Like a lot of people at the time, I wanted a good battery and as we planned to keep the car, the "as long as you own the car" warranty sounded ideal.

Despite keeping the battery trickle charged and the occasional drain it had no chance of lasting the intervening 20 years but it had a good go.

I had "heard" on the web that it wasn’t easy anymore to get replacements and Unipart wouldn’t honour the warranty anymore. But nothing ventured - nothing gained. I contacted the local Partco who were not in the least bit helpful and gave every excuse not to replace the battery, "GBY5603 - Sorry not on my list anymore. Will have to sell you a 3 year warranty battery instead" "We don't like the blue ones..."

So I set the Rottweiler on them. She contacted head office and found a nice girl who was perfectly happy to arrange an exchange for us and contacted the local Partco to tell them off and arranged a new one for collection. We went round and collected a very nice period looking, black, Unipart, 3 year warranty Battery. And the lifetime warranty continues as well, bonus.

Good result, Thanks to the wife and Unipart HQ.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Underneath stuff

This week Jemima is back on axle stands.

The plan was to fit the exhaust, clutch slave cylinder and new rear bumper.

None of which was easy.
Couldn’t find a bolt that would fit the slave cylinder mount. Then realised they are 3/8" UNC, not UNF, so bought some new ones from Namerick. When I got back, the next bolt out of my used nut/bolt box was 3/8" UNC.

Couldn’t find the bumper support bars anywhere, they were only painted last month, so started on the exhaust.
The manifold mount fitted easily enough but none of the others did. Drilled a new hole in the boot floor for the rear mounting. Then found the bumper support bars and realised they would be in the way of the exhaust.

The rear bumper irons and triangular reinforcing bracket use four bolt holes each. Three in the boot floor and one in rear lower panel. None of which really lined up. Boot and rear panels are "new" and came with holes pre drilled but not quite in the right place.

Six more holes were drilled in the boot floor to fit all these bumper supports. Then the bumper itself was not very central so more holes where drilled in the spring bars to sort that out.

I liked the look without the overiders fitted but "she - who must be obeyed" wanted the overiders. Naturally the original ones would look silly so new ones were ordered.

Drilled new holes for some M6 Rivnuts in the rear bulkhead for the centre exhaust mounting and reversed the rear mount to still use the hole drilled previously.

So, three 5 minute jobs, which took about a week.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

How much?!

It's raining a lot but the garage is dry - so far.

I thought I would look at how much We had spent on the Midget so far.

£270 Initial purchase cost in 1974, followed by
£300 for the next MOT.
£450 rebuild in 1980, lots of welding and a respray in the wrong colour.

£500 running cost over the next 10 years including
£800 garage repair work, A posts and wing, that made me "think I can do that!"failed its last MOT seriously in 1987

£6300 rebuild cost so far. inc
bodywork panels, welding = £770 (1989).
Engine = £760 (1996),

So, give or take a few missing receipts Jemima has cost us about £9K.
Not bad really.

Monday, 2 July 2007

2000rpm without the carburettors

Rather than re-chrome I bought a new bumper.
It's easy to throw money at an MG almost everything is available.

Of course now the lamp surrounds look a bit scruffy!

Having fitted the magnetronic ignition I then fitted the Tacho lead to the coil as this had been waiting for me to find the little plastic clip that the white wire wraps around for the tacho pick-up.

Now the tacho is indicating 2000rpm.

I thought the tacho was a pulse counter. Pulses ÷ 4 = rpm. But the current drawn by the magnetronic module also has an effect.

A quick search of the internet shows that this isnt just my problem so I'll look at the solutions and see what's best.

First thing is to supply the magnetronic module from a seperate source to the coil.