Jan 24, 2008 update to the Innocenti Mini Cooper project car

Getting a Carl Heideman Tune-Up

Carl Heideman gives our Mini the expert touch.
Installing the Pertronix electronic ignition
The Mini goes to work.

Carl Heideman came to visit us earlier this week, and while here he took a look at the Mini. The good news: He proclaimed it a good, solid car. A compression test yielded more good news as all four cylinders were between 155 and 170 psi.

He didn’t like our engine’s mid-range flatspot, though, so he worked to cure it. Our distributor exhibited no obvious problems and the vacuum advance tested okay, so he simply installed a Pertronix Ignitor and fresh NGK plugs. He then set the ignition timing to 20 degrees of advance at idle along with 33 degrees of total advance. We started the day with 15 degrees at idle and 28 degrees total. The car seemed much happier.

He then checked out our carbs. He found no leaks around the throttle shafts, the chokes were operating correctly, and both carbs were in synch. After a test drive, he richened the carbs just a tad for better tip-in performance. Now that the car is just a bit nicer to drive, it has come to the office a few times this week.

After leaving, Carl helped us write up a shopping list. Our upper radiator hose is looking a little tired, and some of the fuel lines should be replaced. While we’re placing that order, we’ll also get a new valve cover gasket. That should help keep things clean under the hood.

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