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 Posted: Mar 20, 2017 07:55AM
Total posts: 5763
Last post: Mar 27, 2017
Member since:Mar 9, 1999
MiniMike's advice to do small things and drive (without messing with timing or fueling settings) is good. 

I'm not convinced you must drain and clean the tank, but it's never a terrible idea to ensure your tank doesn't have little bits of rust granule in it. A 30 year old fuel tank that's been half full or less for a LONG period of time can get condensation inside the "air" part and eventually cause a flash of rust on the inside tank surface that can be rinsed away after the next fill up and repeat itself and put fine sand-like silt in your tank.

The other think to consider as a possibility-- not the first thing you should check for, but a possibility-- is if you've had a vacuum leak in the system you could have been experiencing a lean running condition which will start to burn away a valve. When it gets a significant enough breech, you will get a sudden change in engine performance. A compression check will show a significant drop in compression on one cylinder (along the lines of 120-116-79-119 for example). The other thing it could burn is a head gasket. On a 1275, that's most common between cyls 2&3. If you have access to a compression tester, you may want to rule that out. It's an easy thing to check for. Don't worry about slight variations in compression numbers or what the absolute number is. Just use it to compare one cyl to the next.

 Posted: Mar 20, 2017 07:48AM
Total posts: 6927
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Feb 7, 2006
That is Bob O's old Mini and i am pretty sure it has a HIF with a 1275. As this happened after a fill up i am thinking too that fuel is the issue. Maybe pull the fuel line off the carb and pump some into a bottle to determine whether it is contaminated. 

If in doubt, flat out . Colin Mc Rae MBE 1968-2007.

 Posted: Mar 20, 2017 06:41AM
Total posts: 6963
Last post: Mar 29, 2017
Member since:Aug 14, 2002
CA
Since the problem started suddenly, with a fill-up on a very low tank, I'd suspect dirt more than water. Drain the tank, and if you can, remove it and clean it out. Then clean the fuel line and carb bowl. If you have a HIF type carb, you will need to remove it, open the fuel bowl (which is on the bottom of the carb), remove the float and inlet jet and clean the tiny filter that sits over the inlet jet.
Add an in-line fuel filter if it doesn't already have one. Use fresh fuel without additives - they may have just complicated matters.

.

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

 Posted: Mar 19, 2017 04:34PM
Total posts: 1155
Last post: Mar 27, 2017
Member since:Oct 8, 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by specialist
You said you are experiencing vibration and lack of power, these are signs that the valves are not adjusted correctly causing loss of power, poor idle and sometimes wanting to die.   Something to look into. No one can discount this possiblility.
Tony your reaching out of your box again.........Since this was a sudden onset problem it won't be valve adjustment, yes during the tune up they should be checked but there's lots of things to check before just blindly jumping in.

Mini's are like buses they come along in a bunch

 Posted: Mar 19, 2017 03:00PM
Total posts: 619
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 9, 2016
You said you are experiencing vibration and lack of power, these are signs that the valves are not adjusted correctly causing loss of power, poor idle and sometimes wanting to die.   Something to look into. No one can discount this possiblility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted: Mar 19, 2017 02:03PM
Total posts: 1802
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 29, 2001
Seafoam is light oil, naptha (like Coleman fuel) , and isopropyl alcohol.

If there was a small amount of water in the last gas fillup, Seafoam would have been a correct help. If there was a lot of water, and especially if it has settled out (phase separation), then only draining the tank  and perhaps disassembly/cleaning of the carb and/or even fuel pump might be needed. Water is bad stuff.

 Posted: Mar 19, 2017 01:09PM
Total posts: 6216
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Feb 26, 1999
if it started with the last tank of fuel, maybe you have water in the gas.  Add drygas.  It's got alcohol in it and will absorb the water.

Don't start changing stuff or fiddling with timing, carb, etc. That stuff doesn't just go out of spec. 

If it starts right up, I'd say your timing is close to spot on. If it revs up it's not engine related.  It might be electrical, like a cracked cap or ignition wire shorting out, or it could be fuel related.

Also check your ground straps. At the engine to the frame, and at the battery to the boot floor.

Keep it simple, and when you start digging into the adjustments. Do only one and then drive it and see what you ended up with .
don't do timing, carb, valves, etc all at once. You'll have no reference of what might have been wrong or what might have fixed it.

 Posted: Mar 19, 2017 05:08AM
Total posts: 8339
Last post: Mar 29, 2017
Member since:Jun 5, 2000
US
There is still a bit more information that is needed.  We now know it's a 1275 with electronic ignition but we don't know the carburetor type and if the electronic ignition is the factory Lucas type or an aftermarket like Pertronix.  It might also be helpful to know the year of the car even if it is put together from many different parts.

As for fuel filters... on carburetted cars there are no stock/factory ones fitted except the small screen present on some HIF carb float valves.  

Mike has asked the other questions I would like to know the answers to.

Doug L.
 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 11:36PM
Total posts: 142
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Feb 18, 2010
US
I would check the timing as well at idle and at full advance around 3500 rpm with the vacuume line disconnected. I had a similar rough running issue that was caused by a faulty pertronix unit.

John

 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 08:45PM
Total posts: 24
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 25, 2016
Good points.  I'll add a fuel filter to the order.

 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 08:33PM
Total posts: 192
Last post: Mar 18, 2017
Member since:Jun 4, 2012
US
Have you replaced the fuel filter? checked fuel float bowl?

 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 06:45PM
Total posts: 619
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 9, 2016
Adjust the valve to the right specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 06:25PM
Total posts: 24
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 25, 2016
Oops, sorry--I did leave out a lot!  It has the 1275 engine, with electronic ignition, so no points.  I do have the Haynes manual, and I noticed the plugs that were in the car are not the ones listed in the manual (same brand).  They are sold on this site, though, as a good general plug.

We're going to replace the vacuum line, because we are suspecting leaks, so that's a given.  

As for when it started running poorly, it was after I got the last tank of gas.  Again the question--bad gas at the station, or junk in the tank stirred up by running too low?  Since I don't have a very good gas gauge, I've been filling up by mileage.  The last fill-up was 7.07 gallons.  The previous one was 6.1.  I think there was a tank before that, but I've only had the car since late October.  It ran fine then.  First hint of problem was with the last tank.  BTW, we (Villagers) use non-ethanol around here for older cars, and my husband has filled up from the same pump in the 356, never had a problem.

 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 06:13PM
Total posts: 6216
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Feb 26, 1999
Assuming it's a classic mini as you did not put the year of the car in your post, but it has points.

First get a Haynes workshop manual. It will tell you how to do basic tuneups.

second, a leaking vacuum line will result in loss of power and tape rarely is enough to seal the leak. Get a new hose.

you can test for a vacuum leak by starting the engine and using a propane torch, NOT LIT, and let the gas flow along the vacuum line, along the gasket of the intake manifold, and if the engine speeds up, that would be where you look closer for a leak.

Sooty plugs are an indication of it running too rich. Again start with the simple stuff. Don't touch the carb adjustments until you fix that vacuum leak.

And is the car new to you?

When did it run better?

When did it start not running well.

Also, look at the 'elbows' on the vacuum line. they're common causes for leaks at the bend.

 Posted: Mar 18, 2017 05:25PM
Total posts: 24
Last post: Mar 28, 2017
Member since:Aug 25, 2016
Ok, Angela is clearly unhappy about something, and we're trying to troubleshoot.  The symptom is a vibration, and lack of power.  Seems to be in the 2100 to 2400 rpm range where it's at its worst.  At first cruising at a steady speed was fine, but accelerating (like from a stop sign) seemed to bring out a definite miss.  Now I'm experiencing what is best described as "rough running" even when cruising. Here's what we've done so far:

1.  I put some Seafoam in the gas tank, and I've burned about 2 1/2 gallons of the treated gas so far.  I did this because I first noticed the problem after filling up, and I thought either I got some bad gas (non-ethanol premium), OR I ran the tank down too low.

2.  We pulled the plugs and cleaned and regapped them.  They were pretty sooty and the gap was too large.  All looked even, though.  I'm planning to order new plugs.

3.  There was tape on the vacuum line and we replaced that--it actually came off a couple of months ago.  Planning to get a new line.

This netted a little smoother idle, and a little better cruise (tested around the block), but there's still something not right.  What should I check next?  What should I replace?  Should I get new plug wires when I get the plugs?  And how can I rule out fuel vs. electrical?

Sorry if this is elementary to all of you--I'm trying to learn how to service the basics on this car, and hubby is teaching me.  He didn't want to have to maintain another classic (we also have a '64 Porsche 356 SC), and I don't feel like running 60 miles to the local classic British car guru for every hiccup.  So, I need serious (hopefully friendly) answers!

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