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Dave Vizard's "tuning The A-series Engine"

Discussion in 'General chit chat' started by Dr B, Apr 10, 2019.

  1. oedbachgen

    oedbachgen Top Poster

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    I can remember buying a 1966 mk1 Cortina in 1968, and a 1970 mk1 Escort in 1972, never supped them up though. Did do a lot of work on the mk1 Escort though after I had it for a while, Mechanic no, just liked working on it myself then worked on the others I had. Now I struggle to bend down to check the tyre pressure.
     
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  2. TrickyDicky

    TrickyDicky Life in the slow lane

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    LOL! when i think of all the cars and bikes i have built and tuned..hours lying underneath etc ...now i avoid it at all costs.
     
  3. rangelandrob

    rangelandrob Engaging Member

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    I had great fun with cars in the Late 70s early 80s I worked at a garage that did Lotus, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. We also did a few Ferrari and even a Bugati that the original owner brought in, he had raced it at Brooklands in the day. Lotus 7, Elans and sprints were good fun the Afa Sud Sprints,Cloverleafs and Ti's were were fun until they messed the gear ratio's up ( big gaps between gears).
    The V8 Maserati were a good and all of them were interesting to work on, the Esprit was a pain to work on (rear/mid engine)
    Good times no electronics just points and multiple (up to 4) twin choke Webber/ Dellorto carbs to play with, 8 chokes to balance.
     
  4. norman

    norman Donator

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    Just got back from the local garage...he does my MOT for me & checks things over....he was sat in a relatively new car with one of those plug in fault finder jobbies on his lap..."how much do I owe you" I asked..."£60 quid Chris"..."what are you up too I asked"?

    Turns out an old customer had bought this car in saying it struggled to get up the local hill...said it wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding & guessed it was only running on 3 cylinder's...the mechanic said he'd sort it....turn's out it only HAD 3 CYLINDER'S....fookin foreign cr@p...:facepalm:
     
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  5. joncaddy

    joncaddy Engaging Member

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    Seem to remember he did a similar book on air cooled VW engines in the early 70s. Not many tuning gear available in the UK back then.
     
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  6. Dr B

    Dr B Grizzly Airgunner

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    I seem to also remember was it - Howley engineering, Oselli (spelling???) engineering and Richard Longman cylinder heads......dunno why these A-series names are still in my head, I've not touched a spanner in 25years.....

    Someone did an 8-port overhead cam conversion for the a-series as well, though never got my hands on it....

    And who can forget Paddy Hopkirk???? :cool::nana:
     
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  7. scanner

    scanner Engaging Member

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    the 8 port head was done by Arden, always fancied one but couldn't afford it. more recently KAD did 16 valve heads
     
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  8. BallisticBill

    BallisticBill Posting Addict

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    Yes, I went the same route...
    The early Coopers were 998 then 1071cc. I'm not sure where the 1098 came from - it's what I thought I had until I dug out my copy of "Tuning the Mini" - or pehaps that's what the standard 1100 engine was. Anyway, when I was working on them the 1275 didn't exist (so it's not in my book) and I assumed these followed on from the 1071.
     
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  9. BallisticBill

    BallisticBill Posting Addict

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    Loved the Sprint, except for the twin SUs and cooling problems... one carb would stick open, the car would take off with foot off the pedal and the engine would overheat. Fantastic (in a straight line) when everything was working. Had a few challenges from 3 litre Capris but could always outrun them... most satisfying when they lost acceleration changing into 4th and I'd surge forward by flicking from 3rd into 3rd overdrive.

    Unfortunately the Stag had the wrong engine... should have been the 3.5 V8 (as Rovers)... or how about two Sprint engines on a common shaft. That would have been a beast... would need the cooling sorted though!
     
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  10. mike-carter

    mike-carter Major Poster

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    Aah the famous A series lump. A great engine. Had a Clubman and a beautiful Morris 1300 GT, a very underrated car back in the day, everybody seemed to buy Cortina's and Escorts for screamers. Not me, I had a lovely 1300 GT that my brother-in-law fettled with. We used to leave the Old Kent Road about 2am and drive to Gatwick Airport just for coffee, a great trip.(err, trip? no not the weed sort of trip)

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. BiggaJ

    BiggaJ Donator

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    Disagree over wrong engine mate, the 3 litre was/is a lovely engine that just wasn't sorted at the time I loved Triumph's balls to go it alone instead of taking the tried and tested route using an engine traced back to the USA.

    Of course, not having a fully sorted car was the preserve for British manufacturers of the time and its really no surprise that Japan overtook everyone by copying and basically sorting out all the problems. To this day they still lead the way and time after time show a clean pair of heels in reliability to virtually all others.
     
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  12. rellum

    rellum Posting Addict

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    The 1300GT my mum had a white one, then an Orange one, and the last one on an L plate (1973) in bright red. These GTs were powered by the last of the true Cooper S engines twin carbs the whole shooting match and they went really well proper wolfs in sheep’s clothing.Sadly most of them are now gone to the scrapyard with terminal tin worm a lot had their engines removed and fitted into Minis
    Great little cars brings back many happy memories of my childhood thanks Mike.
     
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  13. terry1001

    terry1001 Major Poster

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    To the best of my recollection the first Coopers had a 997cc engine which gave problems and was changed to a 998cc with shorter stroke/bigger bore and which worked well. The Cooper S came out with either a 970cc or 1071cc engine, presumably to fit into some copmpetition classes? The 1071 had a longer stroke and had problems and the 1275 was introduced, I don't recall the actual dates etc for this. The 1098 engine was the one fitted to the 1100 series cars and they later had a '1300' which I think was a 1275 cc actual capacity - this was not the same as the S engine. I don't know anything about the 1300gt models but I doubt that they had an S engine, more likely a twin carb version of the standard which I think could also be found in some variants of the 1300, maybe the Riley version?
    The 1275S engine was excellent except that the valve seats almost touched and many of the heads cracked inthis area. Mine did this after I got involved with a TR5 and something else quite quick anddid about 10 miles on the rev limit in top gear before I turned off the dual carriageway to go home, I think the cooling caused it to go. Although I did tour in Europe with it the car was really only suitable for twisty roads although I did have twin tanks and it cruised ok at sensible speeds. In the early 70s drivers in Belgium, Holland and France expected people to be travelling fast and would pull over as soon as they saw you in their mirror, doesn't happen now they are almost as bad as in the UK.
    In the late 60s and into the 70s Rover and Triumph seemed to be bitter rivals and wouldn't have anything to do with using anything which the other company had, one of the reasons the Stag didn't have the Buick derived V8. Quite a lot of Stags were converted to take this engine when the Triumph one eventually failed, as most did. These were the days of non existent quality control, cost cutting and trade union problems so most cars had a load of issues on top of rampant tinworm. I had one of the first Dolomite Sprints off the production line, they all came in yellow and my enjoyment of the car was badly affected by a variety of problems. The first one I found was that some cost cutting idiot had decided that the bottom distributor plate (carrying the points) would stay in place through friction and gravity but of course it didn't and the plate moved around at will changing the points gap from zero to 250 thou, needless to say the engine didn't run well like this. That was annoying but the next one was a lot worse, I was happily exploring the performance overtaking a truck when the throttle linkage fell apart leaving me on the wrong side of a single carriageway with no power and oncoming traffic. The front alloy wheels (very smart) were eaten away by brake dust and after a service the wheels came loose and almost fell off because the factory hadn't pulled the studs properly through the hub and when the wheels were tightened after the service (they used to take them off back then!) the wheel nuts loosened with predictable results. My car spent more time in the workshop than on my drive and after a year I swapped it for a year old BMW 2002tii which was brilliant.
     
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  14. mike-carter

    mike-carter Major Poster

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    I absolutely loved mine. After my brother-in-law sorted mine it was awesome. I christened it the Batmobile as it spewed out flame from the exhaust I also had a Wolseley 6/72, all leathered and like a gentleman's club to sit in, had to ensure the illuminated Wolseley badge was working. Then for the old woman I bought the Allegro Princess Van Den Plas (their monicker was All Aggro) They, in my eyes, were not as bad as people said they were.
    Oh for the British car industry to return.
     
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  15. rellum

    rellum Posting Addict

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    The 1300GT if I remember Mike had a real sporty feel to the inside all black interiors Alloy Sports steering wheel rev counter on a real nice dash. My Mum started off with the Minor 1,000,Austin A40,Morris 1100,3 1300GTs ,Mini 1275GT.Then the Allegro Vanden Plas She was a District Nurse/ Midwife for years.
     
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  16. BiggaJ

    BiggaJ Donator

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    My grandad had a white 1300GT, black vinyl seats, black vinyl roof, real wood dashboard and went like stink over the Yorkshire moors.

    As a nipper pre child seats I used to love it when he took me out for a drive in it. My mum on the other hand was carping herself until we got back as my grandad never used to hang about.

    If anyone knows the moors roads round Ilkley then you can imagine the fun we had.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  17. mike-carter

    mike-carter Major Poster

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    Know it well BJ, nowadays I sedately meander around these roads although I'm proud to say that I can still cut it.
     
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  18. BiggaJ

    BiggaJ Donator

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    I thought you may do Mike. From Burley-in-Wharfedale over to the cow and calf and all round the moors, bloody marvellous. I wanted my parents to keep the car after he passed away, I was only 6 so it would have been around 1973 but they sold it.
    Would love to find a good example and have it fettled with more modern suspension and get the stock engine tuned etc.
     
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  19. BallisticBill

    BallisticBill Posting Addict

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    I don't have the data but I believe the 3.5 is lighter and it clearly stood the test of time subsequently used in the Rover SD1, Land Rover and Range Rover. I agree the Triumph 3 litre was a good engine once the cooling had been uprated... just not as good as the 3.5. Same problem with the Sprint, not enough cooling. I fitted electronic ignition and an electric fuel pump on mine. Should have put two twin choke Webers on too.

    You're right, I meant to type 997 but my thoughts were ahead of my typing! :oops:
     
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  20. mike-carter

    mike-carter Major Poster

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    Over the last year or so I have been looking at the 1100/1300 range (in any guise) but the prices are ridiculous, we're looking at at at least 6 bags (bag of sand = grand) for a good one. 10 times the price when brand new. I have yet to see either an Austin or Morris GT, I'd figure you'd have to add a few bob more to secure a good 'un.
     
    Finnthedude likes this.

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