The only problem with the #MG
is that, briefly, it ran as sweet as a nut. That is a problem solely because it gave me a frame of reference and, although the car is not exactly running badly at the moment, it is definitely not as healthy as it was during that short period.
I mentioned last month that I thought it was timing-related. The method for checking the timing is absurd. Instead of working from the crank pulley, there is an inspection hole in the flywheel cover- open it and you can align a fixed pointer with marks on the flywheel itself. Well, you can if you use a mirror.
Dad and I changed the points, condenser, rotor arm and distributor cap then tackled the timing. It wasn’t easy to see the marks, but we advanced it to what we thought was about 5 degrees BTDC. It ran no better, however, so we retired to consider our options.
Comedy - it's all in the timing #MG-1300
Run by James Page
Owned since June 2014
Total mileage 94,214
Miles since September report 82
Latest costs £50
A few days later, I was flicking through the handbook and suddenly wondered if the ‘5’ that I had just about made out was part of ‘15’, making the timing far more advanced than it should have been. I taped one of my wife’s vanity mirrors to a screwdriver - she’s very understanding - and tried again. The timing was indeed closer to 15 than 5, so I retarded it to the correct position and set off once more.
It was still no better. I fitted new plugs, too, plus air filters. Dad remarked that the LT lead to the distributor felt “a bit lively”, and while the exterior wire looked fine, the section inside the distributor was very frayed. I sourced a replacement at Moss and slotted that into place. Dad fitted some extra insulation on the outer wire just in case, then I tested the coil. It was showing 3ohms primary resistance between the LT terminals, and 4.5kohms secondary resistance. According to figures I found online, those seemed to be broadly correct.
The HT leads look healthy, so for the time being I’m stumped. Port has suggested a specialist near Newbury that has a rolling road and is used to tuning the A-series engine - it feels a bit like admitting defeat, but as I continue to run into dead-ends it’s looking like an increasingly attractive option.