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Remanufactured stock distributors are good as new at half the price for your MINI. As a distibutor wears out the control of ignition timing is increasingly difficult. While it is an easy project to replace the points and condensor, the distributor shaft and bushings that is worn will result in poor running, lower gas mileage and could even cause hard starting. One of the best methods to determine the condition of your distributor is to simply use a timing strobe light and watch the timing mark on the flywheel at verious RPM's. It by the very nature of a mechanical system will show a 3 to 4 degree 'boucne' of the timing mark. As the distibutor wears out, this bounce could get to the point that it exceeds 10 to 15 degrees.
To wire this distributor: the module has 3 inline terminals. Do not use the middle one. Hook up the coil negative wire to the pin farthest from the module's center, the "outside" pin. Hook up the coil positive wire to the pin closest to the module's center, the "inside" pin.
Improving Your Mini Cooper Gas Mileage
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Most engines (and all Minis) use an electric spark to start the burning of the fuel/air mixture which in turn powers the car. If the engine is to run properly this ‘electric spark’ must happen at the exact right time. Setting your timing means you adjusting the time the plug fires relative to the position of the piston. Piston position is defined as follows: at the very top of the cylinder the piston is said to be at TOP DEAD CENTER. At the bottom of its stroke it's said to be at BOTTOM DEAD CENTER. The crankshaft is marked in 360 degrees. At top dead center, the crank is at 0 degrees. At bottom dead center the crank is at 180 degrees. Timing is measured in degrees and most often ‘before’ top dead center ( BTDC degrees). It is most often measured either with a timing light (which is a "stop motion" strobe light which fires with the spark plug and "freezes" the crankshaft timing mark for observation), or mechanical setup (static timing). Your ignition timing changes as you drive. The number of degrees BEFORE TOP DEAD CENTER (BTDC) is called the ADVANCE. This is done mechanically (centrifugal advance), or by vacuum (vacuum advance), or by a combination of these. Whatever the setup, advance increases with engine RPM and decreases as the engine goes under a load.