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 Posted: Jun 20, 2017 03:57AM
Total posts: 1829
Last post: Sep 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 29, 2001


there are some inconsistencies in this thread that concern me . Sorry if this sounds conspiratorial, but......

compression went from low to normal: 

(1) by removing the adjuster nuts that felt "so tight they started to strip." How does one reassemble that? Stripped= not hold. 

(2) performed without asking for advice on cam lobe location and adjustment sequence, yet other questions suggested lots of help needed on simpler procedures.

(3) can someone explain to me how a head that was running fine (except for coolant leak) and had presumably normal valve adjustment, say .014", have that head removed, then replaced, and the valve lash on all four cylinders be not just a few thou but all way far off, thus lifting the valves off their seats and losing compression? A way too thick new head gasket, yes. Anything else? (I am excluding a warped head or heaped up around the studs since the compression figures are now reported normal and there is no coolant leak.) Someone may answer "it happens" but I'd like to hear more.

 Posted: Jun 19, 2017 11:52AM
Total posts: 8521
Last post: Oct 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
The quote function isn't working for me so...

From DrewM
"I replaced the coil because that was the easiest to do. Once again it ran for 5 seconds and died. No throttle response and it won't refire. The bowl is full.

Progress but back to where I started. Why the heck is the fuel not getting from the bowl to the cylinders? I cleaned the piston and needle assembly before. My next step is to clean the bowl assembly."

I am glad you got the compression back up.  That's a good start.

When you say it ran for 5 seconds and died, was it running when you released the key or only when you held the key in the start position?

You put a new coil on.  Which coil did you install?  What are the colors of the wires on each coil terminal?  Look carefully at the colors.  If one on the coil (+) terminal appears white, make sure it is not "off white" or "pink".  Let us know the coil wire colors.

Refresh my memory.  Which carb(s) do you have, HS series or HIF?  If HS carbs, do you have a single or dual carbs?

When you say the bowl is full, how full is it?  With HS carbs the bowl is to the side of the main carb body and you can inspect the fuel level by removing the 3 screws and taking the lid off.  The bowl should not be full, it should be about 1/2 to 2/3 full when there is no float taking up space.

Doug L.
 Posted: Jun 19, 2017 07:25AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
Ok, so I bought another heat gun and was able to adjust the valves. As we all suspected, that was the cause of the compression issue. It's now at 170, 170, 180, 180. 

No fire.

I replaced the coil because that was the easiest to do. Once again it ran for 5 seconds and died. No throttle response and it won't refire. The bowl is full.

Progress but back to where I started. Why the heck is the fuel not getting from the bowl to the cylinders? I cleaned the piston and needle assembly before. My next step is to clean the bowl assembly.

 Posted: Jun 17, 2017 04:24PM
Total posts: 8521
Last post: Oct 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
Failing breaking the adjusting nuts free by force you can try heat.  You can also get a replacement rocker assembly from another A-series engine.  In addition to Minis, you can get rocker assemblies from Sprites, Midgets, and Austin Americas.

Doug L.
 Posted: Jun 17, 2017 11:47AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
Ive tried it all. Theyre not going to budge.

 Posted: Jun 17, 2017 11:06AM
Total posts: 8521
Last post: Oct 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
Focus on torque and grip.  As I mentioned earlier, try a 6-point socket on a ratchet wrench.  Use a big wrench with a long handle.  Put an extension pipe on the handle if necessary.  They will break free.  

You cannot focus on carb or ignition adjustments until you resolve these low compression values.  Hopefully they are just from valves that are terribly out of adjustment.

Doug L.
 Posted: Jun 17, 2017 10:10AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
Doug, youve got to believe me. I went to adjust them again today and they're so freakin tight. They had to have been adjusted when they were hot. Theres no way to get them that tight when theyre cold without destroying them. Would a heat gun be able to heat them enough to loosen those nuts? Ill go buy a new one if it will.

I'd be ok with using a mild flame if necessary but only with the rocker assembly on the bench. 


If that doesn't work, yeah maybe a trip to the machine shop will be necessary. Im crossing my fingers I don't have to take it apart again.

 Posted: Jun 17, 2017 09:34AM
Total posts: 8521
Last post: Oct 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
60,100,80,60 ?

That sounds to me like the head is not fully seated or the valves are horribly out of adjustment.  Did you go back and adjust the valves?


Doug L.
 Posted: Jun 17, 2017 09:09AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by h_lankford
 Start with basics- please provide compression figures to be sure that new head gasket is doing its job. 


60,100,80,60

And now no spark. The plugs had fuel on them and so did the compression tester.

It was running before. I'm going backwards. (Sigh)

 Posted: Jun 9, 2017 09:44AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
again, i tasted it. it was coolant.

 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 05:36PM
Total posts: 8521
Last post: Oct 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewM
I did taste the coolant on the ground. I didnt see any cracks in the head when I took it off.

When I went to set the valve lash, the retainer nuts that hold the adjuster screws were so tight that they started to strip. So I just left it. 
What did the liquid on the ground taste like?  Sweet = antifreeze.

Did you sniff or taste the liquid you saw coming out of the exhaust?  As above, sweet=antifreeze.  No strong taste= condensation.

When you change a cylinder head you cannot leave the rockers the way they were.  Sorry. Use a 6-point socket and ratchet wrench to loosen the adjusting nuts.  That won't round the corners.  When you re-tighten the nuts after setting the clearance, use a box end or combination wrench.  You can also use a flare nut wrench to tighten the nuts as they are typically 6-point which makes it unlikely they will slip.

Doug L.
 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 02:59PM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
I did taste the coolant on the ground. I didnt see any cracks in the head when I took it off.

When I went to set the valve lash, the retainer nuts that hold the adjuster screws were so tight that they started to strip. So I just left it. Someone obviously ran into this problem before too. Theyre all beat up. If i loosen the whole rocker assembly, will those nuts loosen?

 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 02:32PM
Total posts: 1829
Last post: Sep 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 29, 2001
ASSUMING your correction of the gasket solved the intake system leak, then there is a second problem. 

If it ran well before you disassembled the carb, but not now, then maybe you should retrace those steps. 

I would pull all the plugs, check compression at all four cylinders, and be sure that valve lash is set right. If indeed coolant was coming out the tailpipe ( did you taste it?) then a warped head or cracked head are posdibilities. All this is speculation. Start with basics- please provide compression figures to be sure that new head gasket is doing its job. 

 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 01:58PM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
Ok so i did a little closer inspection and found that i forgot to replace one of the gaskets between the carb and the spacer. Oops. So now it runs but only at a very rough idle and there is absolutely no throttle response. I took off the cap and the points look new. I will admit I did not get a chance to look through the links today though.

 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 12:07PM
Total posts: 7313
Last post: Oct 21, 2017
Member since:Aug 14, 2002
CA
Doug's suggestions about cleaning the points is excellent. I was taught to remove the points and take them to a (clean) bench to work on. I was taught to open the points and inspect each face separately, file off any protrusions and make them very VERY slightly convex - they could be flattened or concave (cupped) and shouldn't be. Then the next step was to polish them with crocus paper, an extremely fine abrasive paper, until they were mirror-smooth. Lastly, close the points and make sure the two faces line up perfectly.

Coolant spraying out the tailpipe? Are you sure it wasn't just condensation or rain/wash water? Fuels produce carbon dioxide and water (and other nastier stuff). When you start a car, the exhaust pipe and muffler are cold and the water from combustion cools and condenses. The exhaust flow will push drops of water out the tailpipe and on a cold day you will see condensed water vapour (steam).

Coolant out the overflow tube? If the rad was filled to the neck before putting the cap on and starting it, the coolant has nowhere else to go as it expands. The top tank of the rad should only be about half-full, leaving air space for expansion. That's about 1/2 to 1 inch over the core tubes. Any more and expansion pushes the excess out. when the engine cools, the rad cap is vented to let air back in, preventing the rad from collapsing.

Back in your first post, you said the engine runs until you push the choke in. That still points to a massive air leak in the intake system, probably a result of not getting the manifold back on properly. If you have an original cast iron combination intake/exhaust manifold, it needs to be reinstalled with the exhaust pipe disconnected. Check also the carb connections - most common SU carbs have a port for the crankcase ventilation that needs to be either properly reconnected or capped off.

You are on a steep learning curve about Minis but seem to be handling it well.


.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 10:12AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012

Thanks for that info Dan and DK. I'M going to read through all of it now. As far as fitting new points, I have no reservations about doing that. The parts are so cheap.

 

I changed the head gasket because I noticed coolant spraying out the exhaust while it was warming up last week. I also noticed a lot of coolant came out of the overflow tube after the first drive. I just bought the car a month ago too. I've put maybe 20 miles on it. Probably less.

 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 09:27AM
Total posts: 8521
Last post: Oct 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
Harvey makes a good point.  Why did you have to work on the head?

Since you said you have not set points before and Dan said the video could be better, I suggest looking at the webpage linked below.
https://www.howacarworks.com/ignition-system/fitting-and-adjusting-contact-breaker-points

I have also found that the ignition system article on "How Stuff Works" is very helpful in building an understanding of what you are doing when you make adjustments.  Take a look at the webpage below and be sure to click "NEXT" to move through the subsequent pages.  The animations and text are very helpful.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/ignition-system.htm

The point article linked above will walk you through points adjustment.  HOWEVER, there is one area that Dan mentioned that the article does not cover well... cleaning points.

During normal operation, material is transferred to/on/around the contact faces of the points forming mounds of material.  Prior to setting the points with feeler gauges you need to remove those mounds.  They used to sell points files to remove the high-spots.  I haven't seen them in years.  What you are NOT supposed to do is use wet/dry sandpaper to dress them flat.  However, that is exactly what I do.  The argument against pulling strips of wet/dry paper through the points is that bits of grit may come off the paper, stick to the points faces, and hold the contacts apart.  I have never seen that happen.  I think points are a lot harder than they were "back in the day".  I know whenever I tried a thread file on new points they barely touched the surface.  If in doubt, fit new points.  Regardless, don't try setting the points gap until you know their contact surfaces are  clean and flat.

Doug L.
 Posted: Jun 8, 2017 03:27AM
Total posts: 7313
Last post: Oct 21, 2017
Member since:Aug 14, 2002
CA
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewM
Ok I can do that. I've never done this before. Is this video a good explanation or is there more to it?
Not a very good video - it only shows how to adjust the gap of the points, and not very well. But it does show that you need the cam to fully open the points to do the measurement. You also need to check the condition of the point faces. Chances are if they are not reasonably new, they will be pitted or "toothed" - metal transfer from one to the other - by the sparking. One also needs to check that the condenser is good, that all the wires both inside and outside the distributor are good and well connected and that everything is clean. I have never seen the insides of a distributor look so dirty as the one in the video. It looks like it has been submerged for some time. You also need to check the distributor cap and rotor. Then check the spark plugs and wires. When all is right, you need to check the spark timing.

It seems like a lot, but you can learn to do it. The process is very similar for any car with a points type ignition system.

.

"Hang on a minute lads....I've got a great idea."

 Posted: Jun 7, 2017 12:12PM
Total posts: 1829
Last post: Sep 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 29, 2001
first things first - what prompted the need to replace the head gasket?

 Posted: Jun 7, 2017 11:22AM
Total posts: 89
Last post: Aug 9, 2017
Member since:Sep 20, 2012
Ok I can do that. I've never done this before. Is this video a good explanation or is there more to it?

Found 45 Messages

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