19-29 April 2015

Details matter!
Details matter!

After I hosed off the engine (second time), on Sunday,  I had had starting problems – I had not been as worried about the electrics. Last night, I tried WD-40 to dry wires, without success. Today, I took off the coil wire and with the air gun blew out both ends of the high tension connection to the coil.  Brad arrived, he hooked up his spark detector, and we had spark.

The motor started, and we ran until 60 C coolant temp.  Then since #3 and #4 were not always firing, we  inspected the plugs – #3 & #4 were wet- fuel.  We cleaned with brake fluid, replaced, restarted, and it ran smoothly.  Time for an around the block cruise, and it seemed fine.  As we were coming back, it seemed to “load up”, and in the driveway, it ran poorly.  Checked wires, etc.  Checked plugs – seemed better.  Would start, run poorly, and then die, and not restart.  Several times.

Went to the Lorain County British Car Club meeting, and conspired with others.

Back home, we wondered if a rest would have helped – did not. As it almost caught, there was  backfire?   Removed valve cover, re torqued head – which was needed. Almost, but not quite a start.  As we were about to pack it in, I noticed that choke levers were in the on position – a banged them off with a screw driver: old problem, old fix.  Brad said: “let’s see if it starts.” It did, and ran.

Could this be THE issue?

On Thursday, I shall:

o charge the battery a bit – lots of starting.

o push throttle down, and SLOWLY pull out choke.

o If it starts, I shall:

– let warm up

– make certain choke is FULLY off

– go for YATD (yet another test drive).

If that is a success – runs well the whole trip, and easily restarts in driveway – what is needed before Sunday AM for Solon is:

o adjust rear brakes

o check right height (not a must), setting it high enough to clear for full lock on left front.

o clean, and detail

o organize spares and credentials

I could use some help with the first two – Saturday any time.

18 April 2015: a good start!

Mini at Ace Hardware Avon Lake on 18 April 2015
Mini at Ace Hardware Avon Lake on 18 April 2015

Today Allen (son)  arrived and we set out on objectives:

 1 first spring start up and run
 2 resolve oil leak
 3 adjust ride height, so we

o swept out the garage

mini in corner
mini in corner

o moved Mini out of corner

out of corner
out of corner
o jacked up car and wiped off any old oil from underneath

o with air gun blew out area around spark plugs

o removed plugs and squirted oil into each cylinder

 o added about 1 pint of 20w50 engine oil

o ran engine on starter with ignition off until oil pressure registered

o installed plugs, and turned on ignition, let float bowls fill, set choke, and pressed starter switch

o fired right up – always a good sign!

o running about 2000 rpm, let coolant temp come up to 40C (it runs well with choke off there)

Went for test drive – all well, except bottomed out left front on full lock.

Back home, we let it set and consumed the noon repast. A bit of oil leaked onto garage floor, and we could not find source – seems to be near engine front, and below cylinder head.

Allen replacing left front
Allen replacing left front

We worked on ride height, set type pressures, and then went for another test drive – bottoming out reduced.

matched suspension travel to design curve
matched suspension travel to design curve


After another several hours wait, only a bit of oil still leaking.  Could it be residual?

Next step: clean engine below head with Very Hot water – avoiding electrics – and then drive, park, and observe.