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Re: Tales of Woe

Subject: Re: Tales of Woe
From: Bob Howard <>
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 09:04:52 -0400
   Running hot can have several causes. First, though, ensure that it
really is running hot.  Put the thermostat back in, or install a new one.
Without it and without a thing called a "blanking plate" the water does
not circulate through the radiator effectively to be cooled.   With
radiator cap loose so it doen't build up pressure, drive around until the
needle gets to its customary hot position.  Cautiously remove the cap and
dip a thermometer into the water.  Temp should be 180-190 or so,
depending on thermostat.   If it is, then you may have a gauge issue.
  Things that affect running temperature include  ignition timing, lean
fuel mix and obstructed air flow.   Water pump could affect it, if pump
isn't working at all, but it is unlikely that the blades on the
circulating pump are totally gone.  Most frequent water pump complaint is

> temp gauge went right up to the white square at "H".
> But even without  the thermostat, driving along at highway speeds 
> (70-75) she is still almost pegged at the "H".
> Now, I'm ready to replace the water pump except that I also have the  
> following problem and am thinking it may be related.

   Check ignition, points resistance, dwell angle and the timing.  While
the stumble, fast going, then no response sounds like carburettor, it's a
standard gag in the MG world that 90 percent of carburettor troubles are
in the ignition.  Check it first.   Just set everything to the specs in
your handbook; you can tweak it later.  I don't recall 1971 specs, but
for '72 it's   60 degrees dwell and 15 degrees BTDC at 1500 rpm, which
should work OK at this point. 

> When starting off - like from a light - (warmed up), I give 'er gas 
> and  she s..l..o..w..l..y  starts off and then Oh My God! Here We 
> Goooooo!!!!>   Then, we get up to cruising speed - let's say 65, and
step on the 
> gas  and --- nothing happens.> 
> We accelerate - slowly - to about 70 and then, nada.  Put your foot 
> through the floorboards and hold it there and the car won't go over 
> 4500 rpm's. (which may be good because I won't be able to over-rev and
blow the 
> engine, but is absolutely no fun.)> 
> And, if I drive like that, my gas mileage is about 15, maybe 16 MPG.

You can get that into mid-to-high 20s easily.  
> It was around 20 highway driving 
> And, lastly, as I drive along at 65, foot steady, no attempt at 
> accelerating - since it won't anyway - the engine "hiccups", that 
> is,  it's as if someone reaches down and shuts the ignition.
> It only lasts a second and then off we go.

This can happen from incorrect ignition settings. 
Until you have ignition straightend out, leave the SU carbs alone, other
than to ensure that you have oil in the dashpots (unscrew the top nut
,plastic or brass, and fill with oil to the little ring about 5/8" below
the top of the hole.  And check your fuel filters.  If they aren't new,
replace them.


> Any suggestions?  I drive to Augusta and Bangor on a regular basis 
> and 
> the heat, hiccups and fuel consumption is getting me down.
> Cordially,
> Michael Torrusio, Jr.
> Paralegal
> Manager
> Research Associates, LLC
> P. O. Box 18194
> Portland, ME 04112

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