We’re told from a young age that ‘some things are meant to be’, well at least I was. If this is the case, the Mini was meant to be a problem after four months of ownership. An advanced warning would have been nice. Although based on my dad’s initial reaction to the purchase, perhaps that was the warning.
During the first couple of months of ownership, she was trouble free. Which proves my theory that classic car motoring can be as pain free as modern motoring in a NCAP and emissions regulated car. This brings joy to my face, as does it when I take her out for a drive.
It wasn’t long until some niggles surfaced. The first was admittedly my fault. If I’ve got the order right, that is. A spontaneous evening drive out to my Nan’s resulted in a dented bumper and number plate. Granted, I was aware that my Halogen bulbs weren’t great in the dark, but it wasn’t until that blast that I realised the consequences of dire bulbs. A month later, I invested in a set of Osram H4s that would see my lighting increase over a longer distance and allow me to go out on more evening drives. This was without a doubt, a result!
The second fault: July brought along with it more problems, or more character building if you’ve been into classic car ownership for long enough. There was a rather worrying engine hesitation that had appeared when applying the throttle along with changing gear. I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t sure as it what it was initially. I took it upon myself to ask the wise on Twitter and see if I could work out the solution that wouldn’t match a stupidly long list of ‘what it could be’ from Haynes. After the overwhelming response, I decided to get in touch with Mike Humble. Renowned as a Austin Rover Guru from what I’ve read and heard. He suggested that I bought some Gen501 and changed the plugs. Simple enough eh? That was just the start of it!
Following the changed plugs that my mate and I forgot to gap, and some Gen501 the Mini did seem to improve. This improvement lasted about 20 minutes. Then, as if by magic the hesitation revived itself. I persisted with it until I finally gave in and took it to a Jaguar specialist in August. The owner managed to change the fanbelt, which I avoided doing, gave the exhaust a tad of a weld and tweaked the carb so that it wasn’t burning so richly.
So on to August and early September. The hesitation still remains, albeit when the engine is warm. I’ve got a feeling this could be down to the change of the HT leads that I carried out recently. I am now in a war against time to get the car running sweet. The question is, do I buy a new Rotor Arm and Distributor Cap? Unfortunately, my plan of tweaking the carb myself is out of the question without a tachometer.
Can I have a Rover R8 GTi please?Thanks to Aronline.co.uk for the image