Mowog's Handy Hints
Does your Mini go out of tune within about 5000 km after its last tune up? Invariably its due to the distributor mounting being worn and allowing the distributor to move, thus upsetting the ignition timing. Series A engines are very particular about their timing and some cars have been seen where the distributor can move by more than ten degrees. Incorrect ignition timing can also be detrimental to your engine's health. Now here's the weird part - the rotor inside the distributor rotates anticlockwise but the distributor will usually have moved in a clockwise direction!
The answer to the problem, apart from replacing the distributor and mounting, is to place a mark on the stem of the distributor which lines up with another mark on the mounting clamp. Now you'll be able to see how far it moves and restore it to approximately it's correct position without the need for a strobe timing light.
Does your Mini suffer from loss of oil pressure when you go to fast around right hand corners, especially roundabouts? This problem is caused by all the oil draining to the left side of the sump and away from the oil pickup which is located on the right hand side. The resulting induction of air into the lubrication system can result in an engine staved of oil for several seconds.
The solution to this problem is to fit a central oil pickup pipe, which is available from most Mini parts suppliers. However fitting the oil pickup pipe is not straight forward due to the fact that the normal oil pickup can't be completely removed without dismantling the gearbox. So if you're getting your gearbox rebuilt then its worthwhile to get a central oil pickup installed as an extra bit of insurance for your engine.
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