A-Series experience?

ok, not a motorbike, but having issues with our old Mini starting. Thought the spark plugs and wires needed changing, which I did today; afterwards it started really quickly and nicely which I thought was good. Took it out for a short drive to halfords to get some oil; go to start it up again, and it just wouldn’t. Got the AA man out, managed to get a little life into it (first on 1 cyclinder, then 2, then 3…but it wasn’t ever happy - then it died.) So ended up towed back to home (ah the joys of classic motoring…) So need to start investigating other options to what it might be - I think ignition is good, so I guess fuel is the next coulprit? anyone got any experience troubshooting these engines?

Hows the rotor cap and arm?? Could some of the contacts be worn so its not sending a spark to the plug?

Cap was ok + arm was replaced - although the previous arm seemed ok. Might take another look at the cap just to make sure it is still ok after that trip./

I have a 1964 mini van
You need to check the disrupter for condensation also check the coil is wired the right way round you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I’ve seen it wired the wrong way
Make sure you have the right arm for the cap there was many variations on the A
You would be better off putting in the later contactless electronic dizzy
Make sure you haven’t knock off the auto advance and retrad pipe
Get it all dry and stay with water repeleint
What year is you mini ?

it’s 1990 Mini Mayfair 998cc. 

Thanks will check all those things tomorrow… I’ll consider this contactless dizzy.

also the choke cable seems very slack, so i need to check that at some point.

Choke cables should never be tight
They ware and most people use s peg as a spacer to hold it out
You have a A+ engine with a HIF 38 carb I think but I’ll ask a real a series geek when I see him

Fuel pump …
Plus check the earth cable from engine to body is intact .they have a habit of snapping then earthing through the choke and throttle cables but not very well

I thought 1990 A+ minis used an mechanical fuel pump

For my two penneth its sounds as if its failing to fire up because its flooding due to a weak or no spark at the plug. On the assumption it was a runner I’d be checking the plugs, HT leads, distributor cap, rotor arm and points.

My last Mini was a '68. 

Yep they did but very prone to failure
If memory serves me well firing order was 1342 points gap if fitted was a rizzla packet .
Did you line the cap up on the dizzy correctly
Centre carbon brush intact
Leads pushed in firmly

How many times did you swear as you scraped your hand getting into the awkward position of undoing the dizzy cap clips ?

Hey all, slight update. I pulled and cleaned all the plugs; 4,3,2 were quite wet (3,2 especially), 1 wasn’t to bad. And it started on about the 3rd crank; but only ran on 3 cylinders (I may have not put the lead on fully on that one…) Then 2, then it died. After that it didn’t want to start (and I didn’t flatten the battery trying…) 

So, I think it’s flooding itself quickly (as many people have mentioned…) But at the moment, not to sure what would cause this. If it were weak spark, then when it ran on 4, it wouldn’t the engine sound pretty rough? (it was running fine, with smooth idle etc)

I’ve already changed the plugs, leads and arm (not the cap; ) I could get a electronic replacement dizzy for £50 which would be an upgrade + sports coil to get really good spark…but if its a problem with the carb, that’s another matter. 

Anyway lots of googling and investigation todo around this, please keep the suggestions coming :) 

Did you do the plug gap correctly ?

Find the problem first before spending money
For the sack of a few pence always replace the cap and arm
Have you checked the points and condenser ?
If you have flooding you would smell fuel
Wet plugs could be down to no spark pull the leads off and use a spare plug to check to see if you have a spark
It’s a case of check from the source to the end
So start at the points and work your way to the plug and all bits in between concentrate on one element first (electric )
Then work to mechanical (fuel)
If you have a sticking piston inside the carb unscrew the black cap at the top and rest in on the carb crank over the engine and watch if it rises and drops
Make sure it has some oil in it

Plus did you get the corect plugs …ie if resistance type or non resitance

@TimR - they are gapped as per Haynes manual - I did check them.

  • Find the problem first before spending money - I agree, I also extend this to fiddling with other bits of the system (like float height etc)…
  • For the sack of a few pence always replace the cap and arm - Arm was changed, but cap wasn’t (the one I got was the wrong size…)
  • Have you checked the points and condenser ? no, i’ll find out how to check them.
  • If you have flooding you would smell fuel. The plugs smell of it; and the back of the car does as well (I didn’t check during the time it was running on 3, as it dies if I take my foot off the accelerator)
  • Wet plugs could be down to no spark pull the leads off and use a spare plug to check to see if you have a spark. -> Pretty sure i’ve got spark, as it starts if I clean the plugs - quality of the spark, i’m not sure about.

I’m going to make a plan for next weekend on things to check, assuming nothing and checking everything in a systematic function.

think its worth checking the ‘static’ timing?

Plus did you get the corect plugs ..ie if resistance type or non resitance TimR
I got the ones listed in the Haynes manual. they were non-resitance type.

If you haven’t altered the timing leave it
If you have a spark then check the fuel supply
You. Say you r chock cable is slack check you. Haven’t got chock that’s stuck on
Don’t keep pushing the accelerator pedal or you will flood it
A few stabs should be fine

Sell it! I’ll buy it! Always wanted a project classic mini!!

ha no chance!

Not really relevant but can you post some pictures of the Mini?