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  #1  
Old 10-12-2014, 05:46 AM
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Default 1992 Rover black smoke, SPI swapped for HS4

So a couple of weeks ago my car (1992 Rover 1.3) started to idle rough and had black smoke, then it wouldn't stay running as I drove to the Garage. The day before it was running just fine.. From what I have read the black smoke is the car running too rich. So I asked the guy to rebuild the carb. He speaks ok English, but is not familiar with Minis, he came recommended from some guys that have Skylines and Silvias, and with the car not running he is kinda the only option at the moment.
So far he has checked the motor and fixed the oil leak and replaced the motor mounts, but after rebuilding the carb he is not having any luck. He has a Mini specialist coming on Tuesday to try and help him out.
Also the VIN says this car was a SPI but it has an HS4 now. Is it common to swap to the carb? Would it be better to swap back or just get the carb adjusted to work again.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:31 AM
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Hmm. This one is sort of tough to tackle without all the details and some good pictures.

Yes, a lot of people swap out the SPI for carbs. It's not exactly a 1 for 1 swap, so swapping back isn't going to be a friday afternoon job. And it will not be all that cheap.

Converting to carb includes pulling the entire FI setup (throttle bocy, manifold, injectors, fuel lines leading into the TB, and ECU. Then you can put in a (usually 1 3/4" HIF) carb and a matching manifold. I don't know the specifics on the wiring now that the ECU is gone, but you basically replace the ECU with a simple relay. It usually needs a fuel pressure regulator and a new distributor as well. Then new wiring and plumbing for all of this.


With all of that said... If you went back to an EFI setup, I would definitely not pick SPI as my first option. It was always seen as lacking compared to others such as MPI and the aftermarket kits like Specialist Components.

Personally? I would stick with the carb if it was running before. The first steps are to look at what changed. Weather? New parts? Just been sitting forever? I would have the carb completely rebuilt, have the timing checked, and do a general tuneup. Spark plugs cleaned/replaced, and new fuel filter. Black smoke can mean a few things. 90% of the time it means you're running too rich. The question is why? SU carbs are very simple, so a rebuild is nothing more than some gaskets and a good cleaning. Unless it's damaged in some way or just thoroughly worn that would mean you need a new main jet and needle or float seat.

What I'm getting at here is that a mechanic should be able to rebuild any SU and then "bench tune" it to a stock spec, slap it on your mini, and no more smoke. Then a decent tuning will get you running perfectly. If that doesn't fix it, there may be another problem. Refer back to what I said earlier about moving to timing and other tune-up items.

That was probably a novel more than you wanted, but without seeing the car myself it's rather hard to tell. Hope your mech friend can get you sorted.


Side note, I see you're in Fussa. Which means you are probably stationed at Yokota AB. I manage the HF antennas that we operate out of there and Tokorozawa. And all of the other HF assets around the world.
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtyMous View Post
Yes, a lot of people swap out the SPI for carbs. It's not exactly a 1 for 1 swap, so swapping back isn't going to be a friday afternoon job. And it will not be all that cheap.

That was probably a novel more than you wanted, but without seeing the car myself it's rather hard to tell. Hope your mech friend can get you sorted.
Thanks for the info, it was what I was looking for. I didn't expect a diagnosis over the net, was just looking for some general information about what is going on and the reason for someone swapping in the carb.
There was nothing changed, it was running just fine before, and that day is just went wonky. If this guy doesn't have any luck soon I may post a video of it. If I had a garage I would have tried to fix it myself, but having it torn apart in the parking area is not an option.
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:02 PM
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Rog. It's possible for a gasket or any other small piece of the carb to give out and instantly lose mixture. Hope he gets it figured out.
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