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Tune up time

Subject: Tune up time
From: "A.D.Smith" <>
Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 12:20:01 GMT
Well I finally decided that enough was enough, and it was time to give my Midget
a tune up. Normally I leave this to the local garage, being a bit worried about 
messing it up, but not this time.

I spent the evening before last outside from 7 - 10 pm, in the dark. It's 
actually quite a good time to do the tuning because you can see the strobe etc.
really well.

Here's what happened.

First off, timing.  I hooked up the strobe and then couldn't find the timing 
marks. It turned out they were so covered in filth that the indentations were 
not to be seen.  I cleaned them up with a finger and a bit of my jeans. I can't 
believe that they've been visible for many years (so much for the tuning done
at my local garage !).  The timing was at about 8 degrees BTDC.  It should be 10
BTDC, so I changed that.  It's very easy to see the strobe on the white 
fluid I painted on, especially at night.  I got a shock from touching the HT 
where it plugs into the strobe lead, but not too painful.

Then time to balance the carbs.  I've got a carbalancer so not many problems 
The only problem I had was knocking the gauge bit around when swapping from one 
to the other.

Then out came the colortune.  I'm amazed at this little thing, the difference it
makes just turning the jet screw a little bit on the flame colour is quite 
It makes setting the mixture a doddle.  Then a rebalance, and a quick check on
mixture again.  Really I could use 2 colortunes, then I could do both carbs at 

Then the hard bit - getting the clamps on the throttle link shaft tight without
turning them round the shaft.  Who designed this thing ? 

It seems to have made a difference, there's less vibration, the car idles 
and I now understand how it works a bit better. 

Just one question really : what is the expected lifetime of plug leads ?
Number one plug lead seemed to be grubby and a bit rusty in the end where it 
over the plug head.  This might mean that the rest of the lead is getting past 
it's best, might it ?


Andy Castellano Smith.          | email:
Image Processing Group.         |
Cunliffe Labs, New Guy's House. | tel. : 0171 955 4208
Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT. | fax. : 0171 955 4913

       1977 Chrome Bumper Midget "Mungo" for short.
DPO of 1975 Rubber Bumper Midget "Mary"  for short.

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