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BLOG MY RIDE: Rally MG Maestro 1600 - Car B

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  • #16
    He is right, in that a pump should really be mounted by the tank to push the fuel but that really is in 'proper competition mode'
    The pump CANNOT be mounted internally.
    Either under the car by the tank or at the front will be fine.

    Dont go with that blue top pump it's far too powerful and may well blow the needle valve out the seat.



    • #17
      "The old mechanical pump is not required so it will be removed. We need to make a plate to cover the mounting and apperture for the cam operated lever."

      Hi John,

      We have already started work, we have made a blanking plate for the rocker box where the mechanical pump was mounted. We run a fabrication and welding course so we can deal with manufacture of metal work. This will be useful because we had another idea for mounting the solid state pump - in the spare wheel well and then covering it with a sealed lid. That way we can still access it without having to jack up the car. What do you think? The Maestro, unlike the Sierra and the Mini is a hatchback which presents the problem of placing the pump in the car.

      The job will cost around 150+VAT for parts

      Nick is probably right about the Blue Top as one of my colleaugues said today that Webers have a very low pressure tolerance on the float valves!


      Last edited by John C; 11th January 2016, 09:04.


      • #18
        The car was standing outdoors for a good few years but was recently restored and returned to competition.

        On its first event it ran really well for the first half of the day, but then started losing power, conking out and being a pain to re-start.

        Eventually it wouldnt restart. Upon strip down of the carbs, it was found that there was a fair bit of gel/jelly stuck in them which had sludged them up (and also in the fuel tank). One person thought it looked almost as if sugar or methanol had been put in the tank (which they believed would have this sort of effect on petrol), although I can't see why (or who) would have wanted to do this.

        Any ideas on what could have caused it? Very stale fuel wouldn't go to gel would it?

        [FYI, I got the following responses to my post above on the British Rally Forum]

        "Very stale fuel wouldn't go to gel would it?"
        Actually, yes. Leave fuel for a long time and gums form in it.

        I've just cleaned out a tank from a car that'd been stored for 12 years - you wouldn't believe what came out - including the bottom of the tank being coated in a tar-like substance. You certainly wouldn't have wanted to run it without giving it a seriously good clean first.

        Sounds like a jolly good clean is called for.
        If carbs stand for a long time a white corrosion develops inside the carbs, once fuel mixes with it turns to a gel like substance that clogs the system.
        it's water in the fuel that has been stood. The algae, that is present as standard in petroleum, solidifies the fuel after mixing with water when stood
        Bacterial infections in oils is common and a problem for industrial engines - we've had birds get into the sump and die, even after removal, they've infected the oil and it's that microbial infection that clogs the filters and breathers. There's no reason the same can't happen to petrol. Algae is nothing more than microbial plant life, not too dissimilar from bacteria, if you've got air getting to the tank (ie, a vent) then it's spores will get in, as will bacteria and fungal spores.

        To be honest though, it's usually water that causes problems, we had a particularly cold winter recently, small amounts of water in fuel will precipitate out at low temperatures and this can gel. It probably happened over winter and was sat in the tank until you ran it, then it got sucked into the carbs.
        The ethanol content in modern fuels can also cause problems with certain types of tank, forming a gel like substance as a result of reacting with the tank material.


        • #19
          Here are the suggestions from my post on the British Rally Forum asking about where to locate the fuel pump:

          I mounted mine in the boot, in a plastic adaptable box from an electrical wholsaler, and used plastic compression glands for the pipes to go through, instead of grommets. Seeemed to be ok, never had any issues at scrutineering.

          The pump should be mounted in an upright plane , near the fuel tank as low as possible. In a hatchback this means you will have put it in a sealed box if it goes inside the car. Just from memory , Facets can come with 2 pressure settings 3 or 8 PSI. A Weber will only stand 2 to 4 PSI , but I have always used the higher pressure ones & fitted a regulator just before the carbs so as to keep a good delivery rate right to near where it is needed .

          I've always had mine under the floor at the back slightly below the tank outlet so it effectively siphons into it.

          Mine also is at the back underneath next to the tank.
          I was told red top type pumps push better than pull

          My pumps are mounted in the spare wheel well, in my Corsa. We've welded a divider across half the spare wheel well, then bolted a foam lined lid over the top, so it meets the regs, then re-located the spare wheel to where the rear seats used to be. Better centre of gravity too.


          • #20
            Some excellent advice from G200MSS #146...

            Im running a solid state facet pump just now with no problems (Think its fast road spec so the cheapest and lowest psi rating). Theres a square hole cut out of the rear floor (under where rear seat would be infront of the spare wheel well) with an alloy box riveted in so the pump sits at tank level. The box has an inspection cover so its easy to work on when you open the n/s/r door.

            Im now going to switch to a twin pump system. Ive bought 2 brand new competition spec facet solid state pumps rated at 4-7 psi so if one packs up I flick the switch for the other one. They will both fit in the existing box I think which would be handy! The 40's only need 3-4 psi so I have a malpassi filter/regulator to sort it out.

            If your interested in pics of my current setup or the twin setup Im swapping to let me know and your always welcome to give me a call or ask advice on here.


            • #21
              The engine compression is down to 70psi on all cylinders apparently, so we need to ascertain if it is the bores or valves that are worn.

              I'm also considering using a treatment product:


              • #22
                Gotta find some better oil for the Maestro now.

                Nick recommends 20/50 mineral (not synthetic) for rally use in an engine of this era (70s/early 80s).

                The following oils look about right (from the lowest performance application to the highest):

                Halfords Classic Oil 20w50
                18.99 inc (shipping not offered?)

                "Halfords launched Classic Motor Oil some years back. An utterly conventional brew rumoured actually to be Duckhams Q 20/50, it’s naturally available from all its stores nationwide. However the API CE rating the lubricant wears dates back more than 30 years and so this oil is really only suited to low performance vehicles of the 1950s and 60s like Morris Minors and similar. Straight grade oils for classics of the 1930s and 40s are also available."

                Millers Classic 20w50
                35.52 inc VAT + 7.95 delivery

                Millers Classic Sport 20w50
                40.99 inc VAT + 7.95 delivery

                Golden Film SAE 15W/50 Classic Motorsport Oil
                5 Ltr 23.65 ex or 28.38 inc (+3.95 inc VAT P&P)
                25 Ltr 90.86 ex (free delivery)

                Millers COR 20w50
                40.99 inc VAT + 7.95 delivery
                Last edited by John C; 7th November 2011, 10:56.


                • #23
                  At present, the engine's compression is 70psi in all cylinders.

                  Chris is working on the car this week and advises that its key jobs outstanding are as follows the blue jobs are those that do need to be done if the car's to compete this weekend; the rest can wait!):

                  -Test engine (and test drive car round car park). Fuel pump is installed now (got some fuel hose from the stores) but needs fuel to test it (and needs Valvemaster adding to fuel before it competes again).
                  -Fit an Alu sheet over the top of the spare wheel well (to cover up fuel pump).
                  -Put oil down bores and re-check compression (to see it it is the valves that are leaking). An engine's compression is normally about 10:1 so any car ought to give about 150psi (but he has not yet checked in the manual what it should be).
                  -Do a cylinder leak test (I'm told that a cylinder leakage test is a far more accurate way of measuring losses, and will tell you if the problem is 'cyl head gasket' or 'piston' related, or if it's not leaking down that badly after all.
                  -Put an oil flush product in and then change oil to a suitable classic motorsport oil (I will mail order this to CR at CEME)
                  -Need to fit mudflaps (already supplied) on all 4 wheels
                  -Check timing with a light to ensure it’s OK for 95 Octane unleaded (or adjust as required for a Maestro’s normal diet of 97 Octane 4 Star).

                  -N/S rear cylinder was stuck (now freed off), but could do with a new cylinder in due course.
                  -Rear brake shoe Linings starting to come off on one side; OK for one more event, but need to replace it thereafter (and both sides will be changed to ensure there isn’t a braking imbalance).
                  -Needs some Welding around rear arches (fairly minimal though). It’s not on a stress point or the suspension mounting etc. so should be OK for another event.
                  Last edited by John C; 7th November 2011, 22:35.


                  • #24
                    I'd have thought a 15w50 semi synthtic would have been the best choice. Something like valvoline turbo or similar.
           - The Tickford Maestro Turbo Register
           - The Rover 200/400 (R8) Owners Club
           - My Rover Diesel Site


                    • #25
                      I used to use 15w40 semi. 15w50 would be good too, so agree with Dan above.


                      • #26
                        Thanks guys; I bought this stuff as it is made for engines of the right sort of era as mine (the car is '83 but the R-Series is pretty much a Maxi E-series from the 70s):

                        ++++++++++++Classic Oils
                        Morris Golden Film Classic Motorsport SAE 15W/50
                        19.16 ( 22.99 inc VAT)

                        + bought some Millers Engine Flush for 4.99 inc VAT

                        Delivery 6.95 inc VAT


                        • #27
                          I bought the Oil Flush because it recently had the oil changed but it looked black/dirty again almost straight away (and the old oil had been in there for years and looked like tar when it came out, apparently).

                          Graham advises that there is a smell of petrol in the oil when the rocker cover is removed, so it appears that there may be some bore-washing going on and/or worn bores allowing mixture to get into the oil.

                          I went to see the car last thurs night and the Class Racing guys got it fired up shortly before. Graham warned me that it runs rough. It didn't sound too bad to (as a non-mechanic), but the Class Racing guys' skilled rebuild of the carbs (inc new jets) was obvious as soon as I drove off in it. Before it had no power below about 3000-4000rpm and then it took off like a scalded cat above this rpm. Now it pulls cleanly and hard when you floor it from any speed -much more tractable. I only tested it in the car park so could not get more than 40mph approx in 2nd gear, but I was impressed by what I did see.

                          When I came smartly off the gas at high revs the car pulled strongly to the left under engine braking -what could be causing this, do you think?

                          Unfortunately the new Facet fuel pump was leaking despite Chris tightening up the unions again -it might even be coming out of the main body of the pump. Hopefully removing and refitting it will show if it was a problem with the unions, or if it is indeed the pump body at fault. It was brand new from ebay so it will have to be returned. I sourced another one from ebay at v short notice and got it mailed out Special Delivery, but then the rally sprint event we were aiming for a couple of days later got cancelled due to the field being water-logged again.

                          The Class Racing guys have also made a very nice, professional looking job of fitting mud flaps at the rear, and generally the car is coming together nicely.

                          The rear spoiler (black rubber) needs to be re-affixed on the bottom left hand side.
                          I also need to clarify if the Compression Test was done with the throttle held wide open and a recently charged battery.

                          There are no events for this car now until approx 21 Jan 12, so there's over 2 months of 'off-season' to work through some of the above jobs in slow time.


                          • #28
                            I've also mail ordered a 400ml can of Ametech RESTORE to Class Racing, CEME:

                            as suggested on this thread:

                            It's worth a try and I will report back in due course with any long term improvements in compression etc.


                            • #29
                              I found a VIN plate on the car (which has no reg plates) and it states:

                              PAINT: NMF TRIM: LCH

                              NMF is "Arum White 1982-1985 BLVC 449 "

                              Here's what "Arum White" looks like:


                              There's also some info on the different types of white on here:

                              1 window has this Reg etched into it: C477 ADU
                              The other windows appear to have no reg numbers etched in.

                              I put this Reg number into the DVLA site and it came up with the following gen:

                              Vehicle enquiry
                              The enquiry is complete.The vehicle details for C477 ADU are:
                              Date of Liability 01 04 1994
                              Date of First Registration 01 06 1986
                              Year of Manufacture 1986
                              Cylinder Capacity (cc) 1598cc
                              CO2 Emissions Not Available
                              Fuel Type PETROL
                              Export Marker N
                              Vehicle Status Unlicensed
                              Vehicle Colour SILVER
                              Vehicle Type Approval Not Available
                              This vehicle can be licensed at a DVLA Local Office without the V5C Registration Certificate

                              I believe, therefore, that the door is form a different car as the above info says AUSTIN not MG, the year is 3 years later than the car was built (if the info linking it to the '83 Austin Rover Rally Sprint is correct), and the colour is silver (not white as the rest of the car is).

                              Therefore, it appears that this car was probably the MG Maestro that Metro 6R4 Group B legend Tony Pond raced in the '83 AR Rally Sprint. However, there 2 of my 3 Maestros appear to be white underneath (and this is confirmed by their VIN plate), with the 3rd being silver. There were numerous silver Maestros in the Sprint race, but only one white car (driven by Pond), so has anyone got any ideas why there would be a 2nd white car? I can only think that either:
                              a) one was a spare car held in reserve
                              b) it was repainted to another colour for the race e.g. John Watson is seen racing a black car on the video



                              • #30
                                C477 ADU isn;t the right registration number. Arum white was discontinued by then and also so was the R series engine.
                       - The Tickford Maestro Turbo Register
                       - The Rover 200/400 (R8) Owners Club
                       - My Rover Diesel Site