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Re: Air Pump Belt (missing)

Subject: Re: Air Pump Belt (missing)
From: (James Fischer)
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 10:32:51 -0500
    Dave asked:

>Newbie! I purchased an 80B late last fall. In checking the service manual
>I've been tracing the car to learn the parts. I found the air pump belt is
>missing. What would the consequences be of not replacing part of the emission

    The belt is most likely gone because the air pump wore out,
    and the bearings in the air pump started making unbearable
    bearing sounds.  The owner removed the belt to stop the
    noise.  Net effect on the car's ability to run: nearly zero.

    There are two schools of thought on this issue:

        The "purist" school of thought says that everything that
        British Leyland put on the car is something to be lovingly
        restored.  This sort would buy a new belt, new air pump (if
        required), and make all the emissions equipment work.

        The "performance" school of thought says that extraneous
        kludges like emissions control equipment should be removed,
        restored for APPEARANCES sake, and put back on ONLY when
        when is going to a show.  This sort would clean up the
        (presumed useless) air pump, buy a belt, but leave them in
        a box forever, since performance types enter rallys associated
        with shows, but never get around to preparing their cars for 
        the actual judgings, despite their intentions.

    I fall into the "performance" school.  I don't even have an air
    pump.  Years ago, I gave mine to a friend who lived in a 
    emissions-testing state.  Nowdays, the replacement air pumps 
    are easier to find.
    The bad news is that this may not be a personal decision.  Depending
    upon where you live, state inspection may REQUIRE you to restore your
    emissions system to working condition, or at least restore it to
    what LOOKS like working condition.  The other bad news is that air
    pumps are not a shade-tree mechanic repairable item, and new ones
    can run well over $200.

    So check out your local inspection requirements before you do 
    anything.  If you were sold a B that cannot pass inspection,
    you have a valid complaint that should force the seller to
    help out with the expense of making the emissions system work.

    In VA, there is an exemption to emissions testing for cars as 
    old as my 72 Midget, so I can do what I like.  If your 16 year
    old B is also exempt, there are a number of books that cover the
    process of removing all the emissions stuff, if you are so
    inclined.  Save all the parts regardless, as you might move to
    a less understanding jurisdiction in the future, and none of
    that stuff is cheap.

    I still feel that the prices on such equipment are a form of 
    "extortion", since some customers are forced to buy these 
    emissions components, regardless of cost.  Parts that are 
    required for ANY operation of the car (for example an alternator)
    have more expensive sub-assemblies, but somehow are cheaper
    than emissions equipment (like air pumps).  Strange, eh?

    Do B's and other Little British Cars pollute?  Sure, all internal
    combustion engines do, but LBCs have the advantages of being small,
    mostly well-maintained, and tuned with anal-retentive precision 
    on a very frequent schedlue.  This means that a well-tuned LBC 
    with no emissions gear is less of a problem than a typical 
    modern car, where the hood is raised only when it fails to start.  

    LBCs also have the advantage of being great "long-term" cars, since
    it will be easy to convert their engines to other fuels when gas
    becomes too expensive.  Propoane, methane, hydrogen, even SOLAR!!!

            A college (I forget which one) took a 1953 MG-TD and 
            converted it to solar panels and DC electric motors, 
            leaving nearly everything else "orginal".  If this
            can be done by college kids with a TD, I presume that
            MGs and other LBCs will be around long after their
            fuel-injected, computer controlled competition have
            been scrapped.

       No software will ever be able to compress information to the 
       extent a human female does when she merely raises an eyebrow.
 james fischer             

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