Over the past few weeks I have:
- Fitted some Mini Spares 1.5 ratio rockers. Word of warning the quality of these IMO are no where as good as the original. I had to shim several of them so that the rocker pads aligned directly over the valve stems;
- Fitted new valve stem seals;
- Used a mini spares copper head gasket;
- I also discovered that HIF44 SU which is 1.75″, (OK 1.732″ for the anal amongst us), was mated to a Mini Spares Centre inlet manifold. Trouble is the port size on the SU side was only ~ 1.6″ or less. This meant there was a obstruction to the air flow of a ~ 0.075″ annulus as the air/fuel flowed from the carb into the inlet manifold. So out with the Dremmel and carbide bur, and kazam it soon disappeared! It also had a very bad lip moulding imperfection that I managed to blend out;
- I also took this time to fit a new $90 aluminium radiator, as my old copper one had become incontinent;
A week ago I started it, but nearly straight away the water shot out of the radiator and thermostat bolt holes like a water fountain. Bummer, #1 & 4 cylinders had coolant in them, and water was in the oil also. Blown cylinder gasket!
A few people suggested a BK450 so I purchased some from Lyndsay Siebler at Minis Plus (nice guy). I had a inkling that maybe my torque wrench maybe wasn’t torqueing correctly, so not having easy access to a calibration lab, I conducted a very simple, most probably extremely inaccurate test.
What I did was mount my Warren & Brown beam TQ wrench in a vice with the knob supported by the scissor jack from my Renault, which was itself on top of my digital bathroom scales. I set the TQ wrench to 50ft/lb. and then slowly wound the jack. From memory it clicked at around 40lbs. By the way the TQ wrench’s fulcrum was 1 foot, if you are doing this yourselves, you will have to use the formulae: Measured force (weight) * 1/measured fulcrum length in feet.
I guess that it needed re-calibration; so to expedite the progress of my head problem I purchased a new Kincrome TQ wrench from work. I also performed a back to back test with this new one. My old one was ~ 25% low!
- Started her up, and guess what no leaks;
- Car needs a lot of tuning due to the VE changing i.e. rockers and the port matching;
- Took for drive; whoa even with the poor tune, boy has it got a lot more mid to top end;
- Acceleration enrichment needs looking at, as it flat spots on mid to large throttle jabs;
- Has a new ‘growl’ to the intake noise, not unlike a Weber or Dellorto;
- I think the plugs need looking at; they were very gunged up when I blowed the head gasket;
- Oh, forgot the ride was more comfortable since I pumped up the Hydrolastic suspension with my new home made hydro pump (grease gun). This will save me a lot of money in the long run;
- Oh I nearly forgot; driving with my new Cobra Le Mans seats, made it very comfortable. I still hop in and assume the ‘crapping’ position until my body realises that I don’t have to hunch over;