Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: My First Tune up

Forum to discuss Austin Healey Sports Cars

  1. #1
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Bloomfield, Michigan
    Posts
    164
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    My First Tune up

    I'm ready to tune-up my stock Tricarb after researching this forum and reading the article by Norman Nock, Dudley Haines and Reid Trummel in Tech Talk.
    Although I have owned the car for 4 decades, this task was previously outsourced.

    Some quick questions:
    1. Does the light bulb trick for static timing work on Pertronix ignition?
    2. Should I remove the balance tube between the carbs and plug the ports before adjustments?
    3. Using the Colortune, what is my target color?

    The SU carb tool kit should arrive tomorrow. I'll start with the valves today.

    Thanks.
    Douglas

  2. #2
    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Ottawa Ontario
    Posts
    961
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    As the saying goes .....If it aint broke dont fix it !!!!!!!!!
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
    Best Healey in show ABCD Ottawa 2013
    Best Healey in Show Boot n Bonnett Kingston 2013

  3. #3
    Darth Vader steveg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Altadena, CA
    Posts
    2,754
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    10
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    27
    Thanked in
    25 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    Quote Originally Posted by dcarlg View Post
    I'm ready to tune-up my stock Tricarb after researching this forum and reading the article by Norman Nock, Dudley Haines and Reid Trummel in Tech Talk.
    Although I have owned the car for 4 decades, this task was previously outsourced.

    Some quick questions:
    1. Does the light bulb trick for static timing work on Pertronix ignition?
    2. Should I remove the balance tube between the carbs and plug the ports before adjustments?
    3. Using the Colortune, what is my target color?

    The SU carb tool kit should arrive tomorrow. I'll start with the valves today.

    Thanks.
    Douglas
    1. Call Pertronix in San Dimas or LaVerne CA and ask - I doubt it.
    2. No
    3. Bunsen blue toward yellowish
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
    http://www.pbase.com/stevegerow

  4. #4
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Bloomfield, Michigan
    Posts
    164
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    As the saying goes .....If it aint broke dont fix it !!!!!!!!!
    I also like the old saying "If you want to keep it, maintain it."
    Deciding which philosophy to apply is a constant challenge.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to dcarlg For This Useful Post:

    Patrick67BJ8  (06-18-2018)

  6. #5
    Jedi Trainee Drone Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Seaford, DE
    Posts
    384
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    Douglas
    i too have a tri-carb and just put my engine together. First is your car running rough now?

    1) if your car is running i don't see a need to static time it. Go to HF or some other place and buy a timing gun if you don't have one. they are not that expensive and you can set the advance on the gun (15*BTDC). i only used static timing to get mine started that first time. and for that i used points and condenser. then switched back to pertronix.

    2) i left my balance tube in place while making my adjustments. are you thinking this for adjustments to the fuel mixture and carb balance? i set all my jets the same depth below the bridge (2 turns and then usd a depth gauge to make sure they were all the same), i just tried using a colortune plug for the first time. not real sure it was a big help. just more of a confirmation. But when i adjusted the front carb, each adjustment i made i made to all carbs at the same time because of the balance tube. then i rebalanced the carbs and checked the mixtures again. but i left the balance tube in place the whole time.

    3) on the colortune plug, i took it to all blue but then made the mixture a little richer until i was getting flashes of yellow. i think maybe some of the flashes were because of the way the plug wire sits on the plug. not a great connection. i would get a couple of flashes of yellow and then blue. so i got to a point of some yellow and blue and went with that. i never did see the orange as in the videos.

    after driving the car i felt it was running hotter (my engine has just been rebuilt with less than 500 miles) so i lowered my jets one more flat. tonight i took it out again, it is running a little cooler. Although it is tougher to start when cold than before the colortune setting. after i try this setting for a while i may try one more flat lower if the cold start does not improve.

    if your engine runs cooler, you may be able to go leaner right from the start. if you have your breathers off you can also do the lift test. And... also do some hot runs, then read your plugs.

    having said all this i will tell you the one thing i have read on more than one forum with different cars. "the biggest problem people have with SU carbs is they don't leave them alone". once i get mine set where i feel comfortable i hope not to mess with them again.

    in other words if your car runs fine after the valve adjustment and timing being set, i would leave the carbs alone.

    if you are having issues past that, i would check the floats/needle valves, and the float levels before anything else. then balance, and then colortune, in that order. if the car runs fine after either step, i would stop.

    there are certainly people here who have more experience than myself and can probably give better advice.

    one thing, once you get everything working as you like.... if you ever pull the tops of the carbs off, i would be interested in how deep your jets are below the bridge and all the steps you did for your tune up. please follow up here. i would enjoy the info.

    oh one last thing i would check before doing too much to the carbs. i would make sure my linkage is still balanced. and remember to rebalance your linkage after any changes carb balancing. each time you change the idle screw setting you change when the linkage picks up the throttle.

    Good luck
    TL

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Drone Dog For This Useful Post:

    Editor_Reid  (06-12-2018)

  8. #6
    Jedi Warrior roscoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Esparto, CA
    Posts
    626
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    5
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    I prefer " If it ain't broken, then break it". My shorthand for commencing a job without the complete knowledge, tooling, or skill to complete said task. On the one hand it takes you longer. On the other hand when you're done you know what you have and what to avoid next time. Hopefully the expensive bits will still be good and you will have zero parts remaining on the bench. You have also prompted me to commence an overdue tune up on my car. That cork valve cover gasket on the shelf is getting dusty and stiff.......thanks loads.
    Jon Robbins
    1956BN-2 (do it all yourself, you'll be glad you did)

  9. #7
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Bloomfield, Michigan
    Posts
    164
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    Drone Dog, I've been following your posts closely, trying to learn. My car runs pretty well, but is hard to start without ether and warbles a bit when coasting. Also, the co-pilot complains of strong odors. I think the middle carb is running rich, after looking at the spark plugs. Besides, I want to try out my HF timing light and Colortune. Both are unused.
    I'll post progress and results.

    Jon, I had left-over bits when I reassembled my transmission once. Needed to start over.

  10. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Gloucestershire England
    Posts
    72
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    I've just been thru all this with my BJ8. See "Carb tune" post. Yes, I know, only 2 carbs! I found mine ran better when I increased the plug gap by 5 thou (inches) as recommended by Petronix and it likes to run on the rich side.
    Have you checked all the chokes close fully and evenly when you push the choke back in. When I had a starting problem I found that the choke wasn't set properly, the jets didn't go down far enough when I pulled the choke out. I renewed the cables and adjusted them, one cable was longer than the other an it was rather difficult to get the chokes to open equally. When it's correct a small amount of fuel is pumped out of each jet when the jets go down, that didn't happen on mine. When I got it right it started ok.
    AJ

  11. #9
    Jedi Trainee Drone Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Seaford, DE
    Posts
    384
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    well if it is any help, my jets are set .071 below the bridge. that is about 1 flat past two full turns on the mixture nuts for my car. and one flat more than i felt the colortune plug wanted me. my car actually idled best after the colortune plug adjustment and ran really nice. but i would rather be a little rich at this point with my engine temps.

    check your float chambers. make sure nothing is sticking there and they are set properly.

    Agree also with AJ on plugs and choke setting. i think my plugs are gapped .032 actually. the choke cables on these things are crazy. i am not sure i have my choke set up like it should be. plan to work on that next.

  12. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Greensburg, PA
    Posts
    91
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    Quote Originally Posted by Healey Nut View Post
    As the saying goes .....If it aint broke dont fix it !!!!!!!!!
    Oh. I thought it went "If it ain't broke, fix it again". Now i know what i've been doing wrong.

  13. #11
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Bloomfield, Michigan
    Posts
    164
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    OK, valves are now adjusted to .012" cold. They were mostly tighter. I used the Rule of 13, then rechecked them.
    New spark plugs gapped at .032" and installed. NGK BPR6ES. I found that some suggest .030", some .035" with Pertronix ignition and Flamethrower coil.
    Magnecor wires retained. I'll look under the hood for sparking while the engine runs after dark.
    Found and fixed a vacuum leak.
    The jets had returned to the up position after I pushed the choke back in, as designed.
    Onto the carbs tomorrow. The SU Carb Tool Kit has not arrived yet.
    Besides, tonight is Pub Night for the SE Michigan AH Club and I'll drive the Tricarb there.
    Regards.
    Douglas

  14. #12
    Great Pumpkin Keoke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LosAngeles Calif.
    Posts
    12,329
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    4
    Thanked in
    4 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    OH! An adjustable timing light from Sears should be cheep right now?
    1966 Daimler V8 Saloon; Safely Fast, Built to Last & and; Smooth as Glass.
    1966 BJ8 [ 2 ] Lil Red & Miss bLU
    1985 XJ6 Saloon
    1948 & 70 Lincoln continentals
    1973 Volvo P1800ES

  15. #13
    Jedi Hopeful
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    West Bloomfield, Michigan
    Posts
    164
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    Updates!
    Previously, I fixed the vacuum leak which helped with cold starts and diminished the popping exhaust when coasting.
    Today I checked the timing with my HF timing light with adjustable advance. It was set at 18 degrees BTDC. Changed to 15.
    Removed dashpots and pistons. Needles were centered and shoulders flush.
    The jets were recessed: #1 at .079", #2 at .099", #3 at .098". (Drone Dog requested this data.)
    Maybe that's why the co-pilot was complaining about odors! Too rich.
    I reset them to .076" and reassembled the carbs.
    Then I fiddled with the SU Carb Tool Kit, but the carbs seemed synchronized.
    Moving on to the Colortune, I leaned out each carb 4 or 5 flats to achieve mostly blue with a little yellow.
    Adjusted the idle to 750 RPM plus or minus.
    Will try the lift pin method, then a test drive later.
    My Tricarb now starts easier, has reduced popping while coasting and less run-on during shut down. Hope the fumes are diminished too.
    I learned to use the timing light gun, SU Carb Tool Kit and the Colortune, set the mixture and the idle.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and patiently giving me advice.
    Happy Father's Day to all!
    Regards.
    Douglas

  16. #14
    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Lusby, MD, USA
    Posts
    2,898
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    7
    Thanked in
    7 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    "Also, the co-pilot complains of strong odors. I think the middle carb is running rich"

    It is easier and much cheaper to adjust the carb's mixture than to change the co-pilot.
    I second your exploring carb adjustment and ignition timing setting, etc.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier (FOR SALE)
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

  17. #15
    Jedi Trainee Drone Dog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Seaford, DE
    Posts
    384
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    6
    Thanked in
    5 Posts

    Re: My First Tune up

    With the changes, you might want to watch the engine temps and other signs of running too lean.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •