This blog, in addition to the usual maintenance details for classic mini cars, an attempt is made to explain the "whys" and "wherefores" of the various jobs.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Lubricating the Distributor

Again one is working in rather cramped quarters, and since lubrication should be accompanied by a check of the condition of the contact-breaker points and readjustment of the gap, if necessary, there is a lot to be said for removing the front grille, thus rendering the distributor immediately accessible (and, incidentally, con¬siderably simplifying the work of changing the oil filter element). Alter-natively, the distributor may be removed from the engine, as described in Chapter 7.

Remove the moulded cap from the distributor by springing aside the two retaining clips. The rotor should then be pulled off the end of the central shaft, exposing a screw within a recess in the shaft to which a few drops of thin engine oil should be applied. It is not necessary to remove the screw; a clearance exists between it and the inner face of the spindle through which oil can reach the spindle bearing.

While the rotor is off, lightly smear the faces of the cam with a very small amount of grease. Over-lubrication should be avoided owing to the risk of grease being thrown on to the contact points, where it will become carbonized and cause misfiring. A few drops of light engine oil should also be squirted through the hole in the contact-breaker base-plate through which the distributor spindle passes and just a spot of oil should be placed on the pivot pin on which the moving contact arm swivels. Again over-generous lubrication can do more harm than good.

Do not forget to replace the rotor and make sure that the driving lug on its underside engages correctly with the slot in the spindle. Push it home as far as possible.