House move and more Mini EFI

House move

Yesterday my landlord knocked on my door (he lives next door) and said that he was having both his and my house surveyed for his bank. Now I might be a little slow sometimes, but this was no boundary survey. It took all morning for both his and my house including all buildings to be 2D/3D laser mapped . One of the operators said it was the first part of a chain of events to get planning permission to build his new house that will occupy both blocks of of adjoining land. The architect was to get these plans.

Bugger! I knew that this was to eventually happen as the landlord’s wife had told me shortly after moving in that my house was to be demolished at some time. So much for the long term tenancy I asked the real estate agent for!

So rather than wait for a moving out notice, I’m on the lookout for new abodes.

Update 12th April 2016

Put an offer in on a property a week ago, no go. Luckily the second place I applied for was a goer, and a better fit for my future lifestyle, so the old adage “what’s for you won’t pass you by”, is a real truism.

New place (it’s only three years old) has a large double garage and a dedicated study. It was a good feeling to give notice to my current landlord… hopefully there will be no retribution!

So now it’s pack, pack some more and move the Mini and the Peugeot over to their new ‘digs’. Till I’m settled in, I will not be doing anything on the Mini, but once settled I’ll get back into it.

Update 23rd April 2016

Second day into packing the house ready for the move to the new abode this Friday. I decided last week to let the Peugeot 306 go to the wrecker, a shame I know, but I decided that I didn’t need two project vehicles, and the unknown fault of the auto transmission determined its fate. Good thing is the wreckers paid me for them to take it away.

Good thing about moving house is the things that you find, and the crap that you throw out so you can make more room for future junk!

snoopy moving house

Update 17th May 2016

House move is completed! The final box was dispatched to the huge pile waiting to go to the recyclers. It feels good to be able to walk through the house without tripping or having to sidestep packing boxes.

I’m looking forward to re-instating the fuel injection, especially the mapped ignition side of things as the advance curve and vacuum advance is totally wrong for this engine.

Time to relax now!

Mini EFI

Injector Deadtime

For the one or two followers of this blog, I have been doing a lot of bench testing of the MegaSquirt MS3 on the bench with the JimStim stimulator etc.

I have found a few things that would have affected the last tune that I was using. I was not getting a changing injector deadtime when the injector voltage (car battery voltage) changed due to me not setting up the  curve correctly. In my defense I can’t remember what I did yesterday let alone the profiling/characterisation of this injector. That said the problem as the MS3 software says: “Specifies the percentage change in injector deadtime vs. system voltage.
13.2V is typically 100%. At lower voltages the deadtime % will be above 100%; at higher voltages it will be below 100%”

Injector Dead Time/PWM Voltage Curve
Injector Dead Time/PWM Voltage Curve

Edit 28/02/2016 For context I’ve add the default injector deadtime/PWM curve below. Note that the 100% crosses at the default 13.2V point. I will be re-profiling all of the injector characteristics prior to re-implementing the EFI. I have a new injector ( the previous one was a reconditioned one) and it might be a lot different from the original.

Default TunerStudio Injector Dead Time/PWM Voltage Curve
Default TunerStudio Injector Dead Time/PWM Voltage Curve
Calibrate Battery Voltage

Well this is one I thought I had done before, but maybe it had reverted to default values after a software/firmware upgrade? Who knows.

Anyway this is an very important setting, as the MS3 needs to to know the correct battery voltage for a multitude of calculations.

The internal ADC (analog digital converters) in the MS3 are not always linear, as well as external component tolerances can transpire to skew the readings.

Calibrate Battery Voltage
Calibrate Battery Voltage

As you can see from the calibrate battery voltage dialog above the default values are 0V and 29.7V. My testing showed that the 0.7V and 31.4V gave me nearly spot on readings (within ~0.1V) when I altered the MS supply voltage between 7 – 18V. From memory at normal supply voltage of around 13.8V, the MS3 read around 11.xV. Obviously one of the issues affected by this voltage variance would be injector deadtime.

Now I don’t have time in this post to outline the procedure I used, but will expand upon it if anyone requests so.


I have noticed lately that I have had no comments, nor any spam ( I usually get ~100 spam comments/day).

Mmmm what’s happening? A plugin called Aksimet which collects these, had lost the API key and all spam and legit comments were sent to the big dustbin in the sky, so I’ve got it working again. So if you want to re-post your comments please do. My apologies!

The Brakes are a Braking

Just a little update for today. I spent most of the day cleaning the garage and whilst there I put the Peugeot on charge, as I will start looking at it shortly.

I had time this arvo to adjust the rear brakes on the Mini; the L/H drum was the worse. I also removed the ATF fluid from the SU damper using a piece of clear plastic tubing as a pipette. Don’t use non-clear tubing for obvious reasons! I then filled it up with 20-40W motor oil.

I haven’t had time to look at the Smiths instrument voltage regulator yet, maybe tomorrow. I’ll also road test for the flat spot in the carb as well as the brakes.

Mini and Pug back in garage after garage clean up
Mini and Pug back in garage after garage clean up


  • Adjusted rear brakes.
  • replaced SU damper oil with 20-40W motor oil.

To Do

  • Find out why instrument regulator is not working yet again!
  • Enjoy car!

Nice to do, but not required!

  • Fit the new heater. (Not doing until I have car on the road and tuned in… it is summer after all!)
  • Get a wheel balance and alignment.

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It Friken Lives Again!

Jeez I’m getting sick of working on this car! Anyway got it going (see the Done section below) just in time to take it over to my sons place some 42 km’s away to share pizza with him.

I have not completely finished it, in fact I still haven’t installed the under bonnet firewall sound deadening and also the internal dash cards along with some tidy up required of the wiring.

It drives very well, but the advance curve is not right, and I think it’s running a bit lean… I didn’t have time to adjust the mixture. The car sits better at the rear, the hydrolastic has evened out a bit better since I put a couple of washers in the front.

Very happy it’s back on the road though. Now to start looking at the Peugeot 306’s automatic transmission.


  • Removed blanking plate and installed mechanical fuel pump
  • Removed Rover SPI fuel tank and wiring, installed smaller Morris tank
  • Removed EFI filter from rear sub-frame
  • Installed Davies Craig thermatic fan controller as previously the fan was controlled via the MegaSquirt
  • Replaced a rear exhaust hanger and discovered that the previous company that had installed the exhaust system had done up the system under tension and all of the hangars were damaged (rubber breaking away from the steel). Fixed this after a lot of swearing.
  • Bleed the brakes again
  • Installed the HIF44 SU with new gaskets and connect accelerator and choke cables
  • Installed the Lucas 65dm4 electronic distributor and ignition coil and set distributor to roughly 8 degrees BTDC
  • Installed fuel pipes for fuel tank and carburetor along with a fuel filter
  • Filled radiator
  • Prayed
  • Turned ignition and it started once the fuel primed up
  • Set the timing so that I had no more than 32 degrees BTDC… this distributor’s advance curve is way wrong for this engine… so stay put for future developments on this matter
  • Drove it 42 km’s to my sons house, no problems! Hopefully return leg will be also!

Edit: It made it back!

To Do

  • Find out why both the fuel and temperature gauges are not working… most probably the +12v to the instrument regulator is missing
  • Adjust rear brakes and try to bed in the brakes
  • Put back the sound deadening on both sides of the firewall… it’s deafening without it!
  • Wire up the tachometer again
  • Enjoy car!

Nice to do, but not required!

  • Fit the new heater. (Not doing until I have car on the road and tuned in… it is summer after all!)
  • Get a wheel balance and alignment.

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Engine is ready to go!

Didn’t achieve as much as I wanted to today…. nothing unusual there!


  • Firstly I re-arranged my workshop so as to fit both my recent acquisition the Peugeot 306 and also the Mini in it, this involved moving the work bench to rear and  and getting some of the clutter from the sides stored away.
  • I washed the Mini as it was really dirty and was bugging me a lot.
  • I then adjusted the tappets to 0.015″ (normally 0.012″ but I have 1.5 high ratio rockers). All were tight which was to be expected as I had further compressed the head gasket, except for one, as I have re-torqued the cylinder head. Hopefully the tappets will be a bit quieter, especially the loose one.
  • I then gapped some new NGK BPR6ES spark plugs to 1 mm  (0.039″). Normal specification is for 0.025″, but the wasted spark coils run high voltage and work better at slightly wider settings.
  • The MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) rubber tube installed a few years ago was starting to go hard, so I replaced it along with a proper rubber grommet through the firewall into the cabin to mate up with the MegaSquirt ECU.

Some pictures for you.

Mini first wash in months
Mini first wash in months
Mini and Peugeot in shed
Mini and Peugeot in shed
Doing Mini tappets
Doing Mini tappets

To do

  • Continue to wire new EFI harnesses to relay/fuse blocks and to sensors.
  • Fit MS to bottom of dash rail using nut inserts (more secure).
  • Test and set-up PWM for radiator fan control
  • Relocate new power brake booster backwards by ~ 2″ to allow for a cold air/filter box to feed the MAF sensor that will be fitted at a later date. Doesn’t sound much 2″ but we are talking about a mini’s engine bay, there is not much room!
  • Bleed all brakes as all 4 corners have been drained.
  • Fit the new heater.
  • Fit the new rear boot brackets (front ones done) and remake a boot board to fit on top of these brackets and also to wrap around the front of the tank.
  • Check timing and adjust the index position using TunerStudio to give the base timing value.
  • Adjust VE table to get it running OK
  • Take it for a drive to dial in VE table using TunerStudio’s VEAL.
  • Check that it runs!
  • Get a wheel balance and alignment.

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