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1957(ish) Hillman Minx Convertible - recommissioning
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, just to confuse matters further... Both battery terminals are exactly the same size. One has 'P' and 'N' stamped onto it. There is no radio, nor any wires to attach one to...

I'll take a look at the threads detailing how to convert from positive to negative earth, and see if I can find any clues.

I suppose the obvious question is: will I do any damage by simply attaching a battery (negative earthed) and turning the starter key? I presume that no fuel will be pumped in if its the wrong way around?
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing in the car's original equipment (with the exception of a radio) will be damaged by changing the polarity.

The P and N terminals may look the same but the diameter of the battery posts are slightly different so you will get a better fit connecting the P to + and N to - terminals.

The original fuel pump is mechanical so no change there. If it has been fitted with an electrical pump you might damage the pump by changing polarity.

The item shown here:



..is the starter solenoid and it won't care about polarity.

If you do connect the battery differently from its previous state you may find the dynamo doesn't charge but this is very simple to fix.

Try it and see and let us know if it charges. (Your's is the Minx Deluxe and I think it does have an ammeter although it might read the wrong way around if its terminals were not reversed when the previous owner went to negative earth.)

Peter
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1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bolted the loose terminal to the chassis, connected a battery - negative ground - and turned the key...

All the lights and wipers work, the engine turned over and, because i hadn't selected neutral, the car jogged forward. So it appears that the car has been changed to negative ground (unless the car was in reverse, but I very much doubt it was).

When the engine has new oil, filter and water pump fitted I'll report back about firing her up. So far so good...

many thanks for all your help.

Jab
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a go at starting the old girl today, to begin with there was no petrol reaching the carb, but a bit of pumping on the hand pump, and then a bit more, sorted that out.

Still no joy. There's no spark. I've checked for a spark back to the cylindrical thing (I presume this is the coil?) but nothing coming out. I've put a meter on the connections to the coil, but not sure what I should expect to see. Neither terminal recorded 12 volts when I turned the engine over.

All thoughts on what to do next are most welcome.

Jab

PS. does anyone know the high and low voltage ohm specs for the coil?
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most likely cause will be points that are either not opening or when closed are not making good contact. Take them out and clean the contacts then rest the gap to 11thou.

Peter
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1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter scott wrote:
The most likely cause will be points that are either not opening or when closed are not making good contact. Take them out and clean the contacts then reest the gap to 11thou.

Peter

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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great news! I followed your advice, cleaned up as many contacts and connections as I could find, cleaned out the Dizzy and re-gapped the points. After a few turns it suddenly kicked into life. Spluttery at first with a few backfires, but quickly took on the sound of a sewing machine.

I haven't got the new water pump yet, so couldn't run the engine for longer than a few seconds, but this bodes well. If the new pump arrives next week, I might be taking her for a trial MOT much sooner than I thought.

One final question. there seem to be two schools of thought regarding lead fuel additives. One school says that because there wasn't much lead in the fuel in the 50s, there's no need for an additive; the other school recommends it.

is there a definitive answer from a Hillman owner?

Have a good weekend.

Jab
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Minxy



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 218
Location: West Northants

PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly why would you want to change from a cartridge filter to spin on? The cartridges work fine and are generic and readily available.

I use a lead additive in my Hillman. There is a train of thought that for the low miles a majority of old cars do that valve recession should not be a problem- my train of thought is for the sake of the negligible cost of lead additive I use it.
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My only reason for wanting to change filter type was that I presumed, incorrectly, that the old ones would be hard to source. My classic boat has an old Mercedes engine for which I was unable to source the correct cartridge filter. To make replacements easier, a firm supplies a filter converter. I presumed the same situation would exist for my Hillman. Fortunately, I was wrong, my local car spares guy came up with the goods immediately (much to my surprise).

Regarding lead additive, I will probably only do low miles in this car, however, it's hilly around Dorset, consequently, the engine could find itself working quite hard. So, on your advice I'll use an additive.

It would be great to do the odd car rally, if I felt the old girl was up to it. We'll find out soon enough.

Jab
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pmarshal



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be wary of the cooling system, very prone to rusting up and then causing the car to overheat. Flush the system well and check the radiator thoroughly.
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tip regarding the cooling system. I will check it thoroughly, not least because, there's clearly been a problem there already.

Two new questions spring to mind:

1. there is no wire connected to the water temperature sender. There is a loose wire in the engine bay - green and red - that is just long enough to reach the sender, but it has a small round connector on it, not a large spade connector to fit the sender. What colour should the temperature sender wire be, and where does it feed into?

2. My floor is rather rusty, though not holed. I would like to get some protection on it before I start using the car. Just wondering if there is a rust treatment I should use before I apply some paint, i.e. phosphoric acid, or should I just wire brush it and apply some straight-to-rust hammerite. (I've never used phosphoric acid, so have no idea how it works or what it does?)




Many thanks
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bob2



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 1722
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would use anything but hammerite!!!
A good session with the wire brush and then when thoroughly clean from any rust a good session with phosphoric acid is the way forward or alternatively check this website out http://www.bilthamber.com/
I can recommend their products.
Then paint.
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The temperature sender connection is green and red.

Peter
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1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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pmarshal



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use this, then hammerite smooth.

http://www.bilthamber.com/corrosion-treatments/hydrate-80
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D4B



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 2068
Location: Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with the above ~ JUST NOT THE HAMMERITE BIT ~ Confused
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