A Californian drying out in South Africa

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African Imp
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Jul 27, 2019 9:09 am

Bobbycham wrote:Can you tell what it is yet?
Bob Imp005
I think its too early to say but it may just be a 1980s style number plate that would have been fitted the car in this picture?

Which was taken two days back :)
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:22 am

The alloy / GRP rear number plate will be painted black today, next is to order the letters and numbers that will suit a black plate?
I need to ensure that I use the correct font that was used back in 1975 or close.

The two plates at the top are correct, the one with the letter B on the end is a Police plate, I have no idea how that one arrived in my plates stock.

The two plates at the bottom are current and a GE font.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:49 am

I. have an Equus tachometer fitted to the car, should I fit one of their Econometer's?

Tested it works, I think this is one of those long term projects, as when I am routing some other tube or wire from the rear to the front of the car I can run the required suction pipe?

It needs to be at least 4.5 meters long and 3mm in diameter, a hard pipe like the one that feeds the Smiths oil gauge, as it will suck flat otherwise?
An Equus service pack shows the tube as a clear one which is quite tightly coiled so that is all that is needed?

I assume that I can T off the vacuum pipe to the distributor advance and retard pipe?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 29, 2019 1:35 pm

Is the Equus econometer the same as a Vacuum Meter?

As a vacuum gauge it could be used on its own to test suction at the twin Stromberg 125 CD air intakes?

I found this on a forum.

That brings back memories.

I had a vacuum gauge fitted to a car on the 70s and used the gauge to tune the carbs, set the timimg and watch the state of play. Also great fun as a spotty youth watching the needle plip from 21 to 0 and back as you blipped the throttle. Also watching how high past the 21 it would go when travelling downhill and dropping down a gear or two

These gauges were sometimes called econometers and had 3 coloured areas, red, amber and green. Obviously you tried to drive with the gauge in the green area and therefore preserve fuel.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:52 pm

Ive had one in the Vusky for a decade or so , great gauges to have , full face like mine are much better though . cant post a pic as this antiquated forum says the pic quotas full :roll:
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:22 pm

Dave ' Linwood ' Lane wrote:Ive had one in the Vusky for a decade or so , great gauges to have , full face like mine are much better though . cant post a pic as this antiquated forum says the pic quotas full :roll:
Noddy, great, please advise me how to best use my one? Imp027
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by oli » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:10 am

Surely it has to be attached to read the drop in pressure in the inlet manifold?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:22 am

The vacuum gauge looks to be more exciting than the number plate job?

I sucked a vacuum down with my mouth, then held it in place with my tongue, does the intake of a carburetor suck that hard!

Now to test it on the car.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:27 am

oli wrote:Surely it has to be attached to read the drop in pressure in the inlet manifold?
I might just try that? Imp027

Oli, I know of an Imp Club member who requires the same head liner cross trim that you supplied me with, have you got another one ?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by 617sqn » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:40 am

If you want to know how hard a carburettor sucks, put your hand over the open end of the carb on an Austin A40, just on tick over. :?

Nearly broke my 17 year old fingers when I tested that in 1972.

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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:49 am

617sqn wrote:If you want to know how hard a carburettor sucks, put your hand over the open end of the carb on an Austin A40, just on tick over. :?

Nearly broke my 17 year old fingers when I tested that in 1972.

Andy G
Its finding an A40 to try that test though Andy, they are rarer than IMPs :lol:
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by 617sqn » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:53 am

More than likely, Peter. I owned a nice black one back in the day, and traded it in for a Hillman Avenger 1500 GLS. Unbeknown to me for a few weeks following was that my sister-in-law bought my old A40 from the trader in a completely separate deal. :lol:

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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:59 am

With a cold engine and the choke on, tickover shows the needle fully in the red zone , if I then move the throttle some I see the green zone come into view, which is about where I could apply suction to with my mouth.

I used a plastic T to join into the distributor vacuum line.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:59 am

Pressure is pressure and suction is suction but does the size of the inside diameter of the vacuum hose matter?

I ask as the hole in the brass nipple on the back of the Equus gauge is quite tiny.

So will a larger suction hose require a greater suction effort?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Tue Jul 30, 2019 11:39 am

you need a restrictor in it really , i used a 0.8 copper welding tip jammed in the pipe close to the inlet
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by moose » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:29 pm

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorcycle-Car ... B07F83R7JL

In the picture in the link there are 4 white plastic T pieces these are actually valves that restrict the dia of the pipe to smooth out the pulses from each cylinder.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:10 pm

Dave ' Linwood ' Lane wrote:you need a restrictor in it really , i used a 0.8 copper welding tip jammed in the pipe close to the inlet
Thanks, I think I am still learning?

I now wonder will the vacuum on the Sport N.O.S distributor work better on my engine when a restrictor has been fitted?

The tube I am using is over 4mm in diameter on the ID. :o
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:11 pm

moose wrote:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Motorcycle-Car ... B07F83R7JL

In the picture in the link there are 4 white plastic T pieces these are actually valves that restrict the dia of the pipe to smooth out the pulses from each cylinder.
Again thanks, this backs up what Noddy has said. :D
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:35 pm

The suction hole in the nipple at the back of the gauge is very small, even this pin will not fit inside it.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by oli » Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:29 pm

I may have another header rail panel Roy, I'm sure there were two together when I found up the one for you last time. Will have to look after National Weekend is all over.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:45 am

oli wrote:I may have another header rail panel Roy, I'm sure there were two together when I found up the one for you last time. Will have to look after National Weekend is all over.
Oli, Cheers, enjoy the National ! :D
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:40 pm

Just when the SAPO was starting to improve on delivery?

JOHANNESBURG - SA Post Office CEO Mark Barnes has resigned.
Barnes was appointed three-and-a-half years ago to turn the ailing state-owned entity around. :(

That my be The Nuns package to me on the shelf behind Mark?

Slow delivery has become the norm, I will add that deliveries are at least happening and in both directions.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:23 pm

Yes I recognise the tape :o
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:43 am

Todays SAPO news:

Barnes was instrumental was in the Post Office’s partnership with the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) which was officially endorsed in September last year in what he described as a huge inter-governmental partnership.

Barnes, who has been at the helm after three-and-a-half years, has been credited by the board for leaving the company stabilised and without debt.
Mark Barnes became the latest CEO to resign from a state-owned enterprise following clashes with the board.

Post Office board member Charles Nwaila: "With the support of the board and the ministry, we are confident that the company will not be impacted by that."


Meaning that Mark Barnes turned a dept ridden state owned enterprise around and with no dept to worry about, I would think that now they have go rid of Mark they will rob the coffers and allow the SAPO to return to chaos again?

Note, in an unrelated matter, the Hout Bay post office was held up at gun point yesterday, probably as it was the end of the month and cash was plenty??
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:25 am

Do I have Points Bounce?

Now that I can see what revs the engine is turning at I can see whats going on from that side, a drive just now and with the intention to see if the loose plug cap was the reason for a top end misfire I find that again and at 5800 rpm there is still a missfire.

Is this points bounce or could it be a shortage of petrol flow?

Plugs and points were cleaned and reset recently.

I am now no longer allowed to post images :(
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:55 pm

Looking in the forum and under the term Misfire I see many suggest a change of Condenser, to that end I have selected a collection of genuine Lucas condensers and will start by changing those over in the morning, one at a time that is.

Then I will try a change of points and again those which are stamped Lucas, some have Made In England on them also.

The actual Lucas distributor came to me via a club member and as NOS found in a jumble sale in Belgium, it is a genuine Imp Sport one.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:17 am

A change of condensor did nothing, so then it was go back home to the garage and try another distributor cap, its none Lucas and looks nearly new, the copper wire plug leads and NGK plug caps are new, that changed nothing.

I went up the hill on the main road and found I could not reach the speed in third gear that was normal, I had just put one and a half gallons of unleaded petrol in the tank, so its not a shortage of petrol?

The in line fuel filter is one with the nearly clear plastic body, its nice and clean.

Time to change the points next?

I hope my system is finding out what is not the fault, with luck I will soon find out what is the fault?

Just like Noddy the forum no longer allows me to post a picture :(
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:34 am

New points fitted, they look like Lucas but are not stamped as such?

Also tried a different rotor, it is Lucas which is old stock of course.

I fitted a spare hose onto the vacuum advance on the distributor then gave it a good suck, that lot works fine.

I also did a static adustment of the points to TDC, that has slowed down the tickover which is 800 rpm now.

Various road tests and it still is breaking down over say 5500 rpm, the fuel filter is full to the line where the feed and outlet pipes are.

Otherwise the engine runs and drives really well!

Next I. need to inspect how much petrol is pumped from the AC pump, I have checked the internal filter of the pump, it was spotless as was the pump itself, with lots of petrol in the top of the pump also.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Sat Aug 03, 2019 4:41 pm

Check the dizzys not worn with a dwell meter , Dwell angle shouldnt vary by more than 5˚no matter how hard you rev it , any more than that and the dizzys goosed esp if its over 4000RPM . What happens is the centre shaft starts to run eccentrically which closes the points gap up until a point is reached where they wont open , this causes a misfire
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:07 pm

Noddy, Thanks on the advice, in this case the sport distributor is as new, so I suspect no issue there.

What I did find when I fitted it was a marked increase in the power band, that has slowly vanished.

I will fit a rebuilt AC fuel pump in the morning and see if that changes things?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:35 pm

African Imp wrote:Noddy, Thanks on the advice, in this case the sport distributor is as new, so I suspect no issue there.

What I did find when I fitted it was a marked increase in the power band, that has slowly vanished.

I will fit a rebuilt AC fuel pump in the morning and see if that changes things?
Just coz its new doesnt mean its any good , id still check the dwell to rule it out if nout else
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:12 am

Dave, it was last year that I posted the dwell meter that I have, it is NOS and still boxed.

Made by Rite Autotronics Corp, LA, USA, model 1557.

It has some instructions, one being Dwell Angle Function.

It mentions points and instructions how to adjust the dwell angle ( see fig 4 ) fig 4 is missing!
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by Bobbycham » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:15 am

Dave ' Linwood ' Lane wrote: Just coz its new doesnt mean its any good , id still check the dwell to rule it out if nout else
SOUND ADVICE,nowadays.

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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:35 am

Petrol pump off, then when I found that the rebuilt spare one has a pump arm that is a few degrees different ( it is higher ) and will not fit properly, I refitted the one that was on the car.

While doing this work I was able to do a pump test using the manual arm, there is more petrol pumping than would ever be required, so I am ok with the supply of petrol.

Now to discover how I test the dwell angle and what it should be and how to adjust it?

I can fit a spare distributor first I think?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 04, 2019 11:23 am

Noddy said this a while back.

So to summarise .

whatever the dwell angle is on tickover it shouldnt vary by more than 5˚ no matter how much you rev the engine - If your initial dwell angle is too high, the contact-breaker gap is too small. If it is too low, the gap is too wide.- if you have electronic ignition its set but still shouldnt vary when the engines revved.

Before you switch off the engine to adjust the gap, make the following checks. First ask someone ( maybe your beloved ) to press the accelerator to increase the engine speed slowly to about 2,000 rpm, then let it drop back to idling speed while you note the reading.

The angle should remain about the same, with no more than two or three degrees deviation.

Secondly, increase the engine speed quickly to about 3,500 rpm, then let it drop back to idling speed while you again note the reading.

The angle should again remain the same, fluctuating by no more than two or three degrees.

Carry out these two tests several times so that you can take an average of any differences in the readings.

If the reading constantly fluctuates more than two or three degrees, the distributor-shaft bearing or advance-retard plate may be worn, or the cam itself damaged.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:24 pm

Somethings not right because its not reading anything at all :?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:57 pm

The Nun wrote:Somethings not right because its not reading anything at all :?

Funny, I cannot think why, I will read the instructions again and have another try tomorrow?
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:23 am

If the dwell proves to be ok, the next check and change will be to try some NGK spark plugs, change the Lucas sport coil also.

Below was the comment from Moose on spark plugs a while back.

Re: Faulty Champion N9YC spark splugs?

Postby moose » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:29 am
my carburettor expert (28 years in the trade) would never use champions they always fitted new NGK before attempting any alterations on the carb in fact 9 times out of ten before we start work now we have to sort the ignition system out properly which is a s costly as playing with the carbs at times, as to get decent quality products is expensive to some people. A few years back we had an NGK new plug fail from the moment it was fitted causing us a right headache setting up some SU's on a hornet, we swapped the plug out and got the job sorted. I looked into NGK and if you believe the internet NGK road plugs are no made in china the iridium and race plugs are made in Germany (this may have now changed) I took Pete Richards advice and went for Denso, fitted them to Geoff taylors imp engine that i had re-built and we went testing at wigan three sisters, after a few laps and Geoff saying everything was good a quick inspection in engine bay and one plug lead was not at the angle i installed it at. I went to twist the rubber boot back to correct angle and the white insulator part of the plug spun in the metal section! so they came out of his car and mine, we are now on NGK iridium which are more expensive but you can either use plugs at under two pounds each that can cause a miss and ruin a rally and all the expense that goes into your weekend of fun or have one drop to bits and wreck an expensive engine or suck it up and realise that to get the quality you need to pay but it is like insurance protecting the mechanics wages hotel bill and fuel, entry fee etc. For road going cars think about booking a week off work to go on holiday drive round Scotland and you live in Sussex @50 on a set of plugs you will probably never change in ten years or £1.80 each and a miss fire for the whole journey at best or maybe a holed piston 50 miles from home no refund on hotel costs etc. Buy cheap, buy twice, the skill is not paying over the odds for something that is still poor quality.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:36 pm

NGK plugs were fitted and the gaps set at 32 thou, as recomended, I think the issue moved up the power band a little, there were more revs available anyway.

I think that the tickover is a little lumpy now, the exhaust sound has also changed.

I next fitted a spare Lucas coil, RSA made but that should not be an issue, the fault still exists so that coil can come off and the Lucas sport one will be refitted.

Testing the dwell?

The instrument when connected indicates nothing at all, not on dwell or on the rev counter.

I will fit the spare distributer in the morning.
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African Imp
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Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:09 am
Club Member: Yes
Car Model: Hillman Californian, built 3rd February 1967
Location: Hout Bay near Cape Town, South Africa.
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Re: A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:37 am

The spare distributor was fitted, the car ran easier from cold with that there, the misfire has moved higher up the band, its still not right and 6100 rpm is not really possible.

I have now changed the lot, plugs, leads, caps, coil , rotor , condensor, tested the AC fuel pump for a good supply and nothing really has changed?

Is this an incorrect fuel float level in the twin Strombergs I wonder?

The car is a joy to drive otherwise, as long as more than say 5500 rpm is not passed.
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