Once again, I can't thank you all for the time you've put into getting
my problem solved.
Here's the updated report:
I put the new distributor in, changed the plugs (which were a nice
chocolate brown - good, I believe, yes?) and the wires. The
distributor came with new cap and rotor, so that makes everything new.
Started it up - and it did! - then attached the new vacuum line from
the distributor to the intake manifold.
The car then idled at almost 2000 rpm.
Took it on a short highway/street test drive. It was a very hot day.
Revved it up - sat in traffic, the works - - the needle never went
beyond one needle-width on the high side of "N". Perfect.
Now, I've read three books and listened to everyone, and - even though
to me it makes no sense, it does appear as if either a thermostat or
some sort of "baffle" needs to be in the engine block in order for it
to work at its best. So, I reinstalled the thermostat (although, with
our heat, I put in a 160 - I'll save the 180 for our wicked cold
Another test drive and it all seems perfect.
The idle was still at 1200 or so which is not a good thing, so with my
Porter Manual, my Bentley manual and my Ebay copy of tuning your SU
carbs in hand, I started in.
I followed along and adjusted everything. When finished, I could get
the idle down to just about 1,000 rpm but no less.
At that point I took another look under the car trying to located the
timing marks and finally figured out the the little nubs of paint
drippings that I had been looking at, were in fact the timing mark
Talk about small!
I hooked up the timing light and found the pulley mark to be at about 7
o'clock ( lying on the ground and looking at the engine), so I adjusted
the timing such that the pulley mark is at the 4th "tooth" from the
left - again, looking rearward with the right(passenger's) side on your
left and the steering wheel on your right)
When I took it for a test spin, the car "bubbled" for about 5 -10
seconds, then accelerates nicely. However, if I pull the choke almost
1/2 way out, the car takes off like the preverbal "bat out of Hell", so
I'm assuming the carbs are not adjusted correctly.
My questions are: what do I do to rectify this, and more importantly,
as I need to drive the New Hampshire today - can I drive down with the
choke out like that and figure on fixing it later?
It's now 11:30 in the morning and I'm hoping someone is on who can help
out before I leave - which will be at 1:00 PM.
Oh, an interesting other problem (never start fixing your car - it will
always break something else.) I now have a small dribble leak coming
out of one of the bolts that hold the thermostat housing in place. I
rechanged the gasket and know it isn't that - it literally is coming
out from under the bolt head. I put a gasket sealer on when I
assembled everything but that didn't help. I did notice that two of the
three bolts have both a flat washer and a lock washer, while the
leaking one only has a lock washer. Could that be it? Any idea why
this is happening and any suggestions?
Michael Torrusio, Jr.
1971 MGB with new distributor.
Research Associates, LLC
P. O. Box 18194
Portland, ME 04112