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Re: Intermittent power loss

To: Tab Julius <>
Subject: Re: Intermittent power loss
From: Rocky Frisco <>
Date: Fri, 27 Jun 2003 14:34:02 -0500
Tab Julius wrote:
> My '78 B has an engine rebuilt to have dual carbs, high performance engine,
> etc... (iow, it's not stock).  I use it as a daily driver, and yet I
> occasionally get this intermittent power loss.... I can be going 80 (oops,
> sorry - I meant the speed limit, 65), and without any warning, on any kind
> of day (temperature & humidity wise), at any incline (flat, uphill,
> downhill), at any operating point (right after starting, after driving for
> 1 hour), at any fuel position (full tank, empty, new gas, etc.)  I'll get
> this sudden loss of power, and speed drops down to 40, giving it more gas
> doesn't necessarily do anything, engine will start to have power and then
> falter, feel ragged, etc.
> After about 5 to 10 minutes or so it'll clear up and then be fine (back to
> full power).
> It's too infrequent to test reliably.  Two days might go by and then it'll
> happen again.
> My guess is something in the fuel delivery is getting clogged, and
> eventually it frees itself.  Any idea where to look?
> I've never tried some of the carb cleaners like GumOut.  Should I bother,
> or should I do it by hand?  Obviously there are places I can't get to, and
> I don't have a ton of equipment (i.e.: no compressor).
> Any ideas welcome...

I have experienced exactly these symptoms in the Cooper S and once with
the MGA I used to race. In both cases, my problem was that the wee
braided ground strap in the distributor had come un-spot-welded to the
baseplate and was providing an intermittent ground. It took me a loooong
time to find this, since I was convinced (in both cases) that it was

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