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Distributer with no vacuum advance

chris57

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Soooo. I bought this basket case about 5 years ago. It's progressed in spurts as inspiration has inspired me. Mechanicals are complete back to front. The engine is rebuilt, spins nicely under battery. Has good Oil psi. Carbs are gorgeous. I'm really close to letting it see gas except.... The distributer that came with this project, 1. has a keyway as if it's supposed to engage something when slid into the engine. But no corresponding key in the opening. AND 2. I've got no vacuum advance on this thing. It doesn't seem to match anything that Moss or my manual show. Thoughts??

I should add. It's suppose to be a 64 sprite. Engine is the 1275
 
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dklawson

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The Mini Cooper-S ran a 23D distributor which did not have a vacuum advance. Look for a 5 digit number beginning with "4" stamped on the distributor housing. The Cooper-S dizzy would be 40819.

If the distributor was not installed in the engine when you got it, the drive gear may be missing. The drive gear would have a slot to accept the drive dog on the bottom of the distributor.

The image below is the 23D distributor. If you open it in a new window and look at the bottom end you can see the drive dog. That goes into the drive gear.
cooper_s_exchang_503e0f6acb2cb.jpg

EDIT: I should have mentioned, you can run the Cooper-S distributor in your 1275. A lot of people have done that... including apparently the previous owner of your car.
 
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chris57

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Wow. I love this forum and all the intelligent / experienced folks. You nailed it. I believe my drive is good. What had me confused or concerned was the keyway cut into the side.

Thank you. Now I have to decide.. Do I try and start it (for the first time in 16 years I am told) or go fishing. It is a really nice spring day here in Western NY



2017-04-02 07.30.59.jpg2017-04-02 07.31.14.jpg
 

JPSmit

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start it start it start it
 

JPSmit

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still waiting
 

Mickey Richaud

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Start it and drive it to your fishin' hole!
 
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chris57

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It's gonna have to wait a couple more days. Got one other dilemma to resolve. Not sure if the generator was changed over to Neg ground or is still positive ground. And I have an electric fuel pump that does care about polarity. And I have to buy gas. What octane? Is 93 OK or do I need to go higher.
 

dklawson

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Use the 93 octane and when you fit the distributor set the static timing to about 5 BTDC. That won't be your final timing but it will be good for starting and should not ping or knock. You can worry about the final timing later.

Remember on the first start to pull the sparkplugs and crank the engine over until you get oil pressure, then refit the plugs. Fill the radiator with coolant but do not fit the radiator cap. As the engine warms up the t-stat will open and the coolant level will drop. Keep filling the radiator following each drop (2 or 3 times) until no more fluid is needed, then refit the cap.
 

Jer

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My 67 Midget had a non vacuum advance distributor when I bought it & from reading the Terry Horler bible (I believe that's where I read it) the very early 1967 1275's came with mechanical advance distributors - seeing my car is an "early" 67 model I assumed that was correct, always had difficulty tuning it, sent the distributor into Jeff (advanced distributors) & he called me up to let me know it was indeed a cooper-s & wouldn't work right on my engine but said he would give me a proper vacuum advance core for that era & he could make a cooper owner very happy - the unit I got from him works excellent (had to locate the vacuum port on my manifold that was capped with a very brittle plastic cap), but I would still like to know what the proper mechanical advance distributor for my Midget would have been if the cooper style isn't the one that was used, I wonder what was used on those early 67 models...
 

dklawson

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I am curious why the 40819 distributor did not work in you 1275. Regardless, I'm sure Jeff gave you good advice and I'm glad you are happy with what he assembled for you.

My Mini currently has a Hitachi distributor from an '84 Nissan. I plan on sending its 23D4 distributor to Jeff for rebuild. I just keep putting it off. I will be asking Jeff to make recommendations on the curve and/or if I should be using a different dizzy based on the build of my car's engine.
 

Jer

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I am curious why the 40819 distributor did not work in you 1275. Regardless, I'm sure Jeff gave you good advice and I'm glad you are happy with what he assembled for you.

Don't get me wrong, my car ran with that distributor, just tempermental - acted funny at steady throttle, random misfires, it seemed as if someone was under the hood constantly adjusting the timing, Jeff wasn't surprised when I explained the symtoms & yes very happy with his solution, runs like a top now !!
 

nomad

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My Mini currently has a Hitachi distributor from an '84 Nissan. I plan on sending its 23D4 distributor to Jeff for rebuild. I just keep putting it off. I will be asking Jeff to make recommendations on the curve and/or if I should be using a different dizzy based on the build of my car's engine.

Would that be off the E series engine fitted to the Sentra's?? Driven off the end of the cam? I wasn't aware you could do that. I have several Nissan distributors and there electronic is fool proof.

Kurt.
 

dklawson

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Would that be off the E series engine fitted to the Sentra's??

I don't know the model or serial numbers of the Nissan donors. You can read more about the conversion in the PDF linked below.

The Nissan dizzy only requires a drive dog swap and minor modifications to the mounting flange/foot to drop in the A- and B-series engine blocks. The electronics are pretty bullet proof as you said. However, the advance curve isn't really right for the A-series. I've lived with that for a while. I have my Mini set up with about 32 degrees max advance at 4k RPM. I am not sure where that puts me at idle or while cranking. With the Hitachi you cannot measure or set static timing. Regardless, my Mini's engine with the Hitachi is temperamental about starting when cold. That's why I am planning on getting a different and re-curved Lucas distributor.

So why did I go with the Hitachi conversion? I guess it was really just an interesting thing to try. I am past the novelty now and want an engine that starts as easily as my Triumphs do. I figure the easiest way is to get a better curve where the equivalent static timing would be somewhere between 5 & 8 BTDC.

https://www.starchak.ca/tech/pdfs/hitachi.pdf
 

drooartz

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Interesting discussion. My Morris Minor has a 1275 with a distributor with no vacuum advance. Car came to me with a Weber, but now has a single HIF44 carb. No vacuum port on the carb, but I suppose the manifold could be drilled for one. No idea what the dizzy is (can't see any numbers, but it looks like a standard Lucas unit with a Pertronix). Car does seem to run just fine, so I haven't been interested in messing with it at this point.
 

bugedd

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Had the non vacuum advance dizzy on my 1275 with Weber DCOE40, car was a screamer, no issues. And I did convert it to the Pertronix as well.
 

nomad

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Thanks for that, Doug.
Yes that is the dizzy for the E engine in the mid 80's Sentra. That engine will bolt up to the Datsun trans we like to use but the distributor drive off the end of the overhead cam is a problem. Engine is a hemi head with lots of power potential if one wants to set up a crank fire system. Neat stuff to know...the Japanese association with the British car industry carry's on.

Kurt.
 
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