Starting Dad's old Minor

Discuss anything Morris Minor related.
Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby Alice Minor » Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:47 pm

Hi everybody

I’ve recently inherited my late dads 1970 Morris Minor, by the time I was ready to face up to going to the garage it had stood about 2 weeks , after getting in it I tried about 6 times to start it but no luck , left it and tried again the next day, same outcome , it’s turning over fine but refuses to start, I drive a 1 year old Nissan Duke , this feels so old compared but I’d have expected it to start when I turn the key , can anybody offer any clues , help or advise ?

Thx

Alice

ianmack
Minor Addict
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:02 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting my moggy

Postby ianmack » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:22 pm

Hello and welcome. Have you found the choke control? If you’re trying to start it like a modern you need to use this. It provides a little extra petrol for cold starts.

On a 1970 it’s the right hand knob beneath the speedo. Pull it out and when the engine starts push it halfway back in, then the rest of the way in after a minute or two.

Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting my moggy

Postby Alice Minor » Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:40 pm

ianmack wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:22 pm
Hello and welcome. Have you found the choke control? If you’re trying to start it like a modern you need to use this. It provides a little extra petrol for cold starts.

On a 1970 it’s the right hand knob beneath the speedo. Pull it out and when the engine starts push it halfway back in, then the rest of the way in after a minute or two.
Hello there and thx for replying, I’ve heard they have a choke but never used one before, I did notice a black knob to the right of the ignition key , it has the letter “ C “ on it , do I need to give it gas via the pedal ? , feel a bit silly being a 31 yr old female 😬

ianmack
Minor Addict
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:02 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting my moggy

Postby ianmack » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:07 pm

Knob with a c, that’s it. You don’t need the pedal to start it, that takes over when you drive away.

Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting my moggy

Postby Alice Minor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:19 am

ianmack wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:07 pm
Knob with a c, that’s it. You don’t need the pedal to start it, that takes over when you drive away.
Thx ianmack

I’ve just been out to start her (using choke this time) , she spluttered the 1st try then started on the 2nd so I pushed the choke into half way and she conked out , I tried 3 times to restart her but she only spluttered so guessed I needed to pull the choke back out to full again, she tried the 1st time then the next 4 try’s she was only turning over and there’s a strong smell of petrol , any ideas please ?

Thx

Alice x

SteveClem
Minor Legend
Posts: 1776
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:37 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby SteveClem » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:47 am

You’ve probably ‘flooded’ her. In other words, you’ve now got too much petrol because the choke has been pulled out for too long.
You will get a feel for the choke when you’ve used it a few times. Individual cars can vary a bit.

ianmack
Minor Addict
Posts: 671
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:02 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby ianmack » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:53 am

If it started second try that sounds good. If it stopped when you pushed the choke in I’d guess that was a little too quickly for its liking. There is an element of trial and error in this and it varies from one car to another.

I would let it sit for an hour to let the petrol smell go. Then try again, full choke, no accelerator. When they start on full choke they run fast and soon run rather unevenly. When pushed halfway in it should still run fast but not unevenly as the petrol mix is reduced to normal. After a minute or two it should continue running with the choke pushed right in.

KeithL
Minor Fan
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 9:06 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby KeithL » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:58 am

Alice,

Welcome to the world of classic cars. They are a bit different to modern cars with their own frustrations but a lot more character and hopefully one day you will grow to love your Minor like your Dad no doubt did. I hope you persevere with this - you will get all the help you need from the members of this Forum.

Whereabouts in the country are you? It sounds like you could do with a 'handover' session from someone who knows Minors.


Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby Alice Minor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:29 am

Thx Ian and Keith

I’ve been back out , full choke and she started 2nd try again but this time I kept the choke out fully and you were right she does run fast and after about 20 seconds she started to run a bit roughly and another 10 seconds later the sound changed to a sort of chugging sound and the revs began to get slower and slower , at that point I thought I’d better try easing the choke in a touch as I felt keeping the choke right out she might eventually have stalled , I waited maybe 3 minutes then pushed the choke fully in and she ticked over without my help, although when I tried backing her out the garage I somehow managed to stall her and had to give her a bit choke to restart her but she’s warmed up fully now so gonna take her out

Just a question about the choke , is that the only time I’ll need to use it ? as in first thing from my garage ? , just I’m thinking about taking her to work with me on Monday morning

Alice

PS Keith I live in the cold northeast 🥶 😂

SteveClem
Minor Legend
Posts: 1776
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:37 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby SteveClem » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:01 am

You only need choke when the engine is cold, Alice.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to check the oil and water before you take her out for a run. Oh, and the tyre pressures too :wink:

geoberni
Minor Addict
Posts: 891
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:19 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting my moggy

Postby geoberni » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:25 am

Alice Minor wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:40 pm

feel a bit silly being a 31 yr old female 😬
:lol: :lol:
Don't worry about it Alice, there's plenty of 30+ Males that would have no idea how to start a pre 80s engine.
My 3 children (M/F/M) are all in their 30s and when I think about it, they've never needed to start a car with a Choke.

It is a bit of an art form using a choke, it is often a case of learning what your particular car requires.
On a cold day, some will start with just the barest pull on the choke, while others will require it pulled all the way out, the important thing to remember is to push it back in as soon as you can i.e. within a minute or 2, otherwise you're getting too much fuel and the car will cough, splutter and possible stop. It also makes the spark plugs really black and sooty looking.
You will need the choke whenever it is cold, just to get it started. So if you take it to work, or anywhere else, when you get back to it a few hours later, you'll almost certainly need choke, perhaps not so much as you had 1st thing.
So as not to flood it at the first attempt, I'd suggest possibly cranking it over with perhaps 1/4 choke for the first 2-3 seconds. If it doesn't start, try again, but progressively pull the choke fully out while the starter is turning it over, taking no more than about 5 seconds to pull it fully out.

There's all sorts of techniques drivers would use to start old choke fitted engines. Some would swear by giving the throttle a press or 2 before starting, others would say that's the worst thing you could do, while yet others would be in the middle ground and say on a not so cold day, it's no choke, 1 press of the throttle and then turn the key (or pull the start of it's a really old car).

I hope you find out what works for you and enjoy your experience with your late dad's car.
Basil the 1955 series II

Image

myoldjalopy
Minor Legend
Posts: 1169
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:32 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby myoldjalopy » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:30 am

You don't need to leave the car idling on the drive with the choke out until the engine is warmed up - in fact, that is considered bad practice and not good for the engine. Just start the engine with the choke out, drive off and progressively push the choke in until the engine is at normal operating temp (check if hot/warm air is coming through the heater).
I start mine on full choke, push it in a little, drive off and then push the choke in completely within the first mile of driving. Of course, you will need more choke for longer when starting in winter. You won't always need the choke after stopping somewhere for a short length of time as the engine temp takes a while to cool down, especially in summer.

Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby Alice Minor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:52 am

I’m beginning to understand now , so if I go to Asda shopping and I’m only an hour , maybe an hour and a half she won’t need the choke but standing from 8.30 am Monday morning till 5.00 pm I’ll more than likely need to use a bit if she won’t start without it

Thx for all this help btw

geoberni
Minor Addict
Posts: 891
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:19 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby geoberni » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:17 pm

Alice Minor wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:52 am
I’m beginning to understand now , so if I go to Asda shopping and I’m only an hour , maybe an hour and a half she won’t need the choke but standing from 8.30 am Monday morning till 5.00 pm I’ll more than likely need to use a bit if she won’t start without it

Thx for all this help btw
Thumbs1.jpg
Thumbs1.jpg (11.91 KiB) Viewed 592 times
It helps to understand the really basic principle of how an engine works, when its not being controlled by fancy electronics in a modern car.

For the spark plug to explode the fuel/air mixture, it needs to be in the right mix, not too much or too little fuel vapour combined with the air.
When it is warm and running, the Carburettor controls all this from the throttle/accelerator.
But of course, the amount of vapour or 'fumes' being released by the liquid fuel varies from a hot to a cold day.
If the engine and the fuel being put into it by the Carburettor are cold, then not enough vapour is being released by the liquid fuel, so the Choke increases the amount of fuel liquid going in, thus increasing the amount of fuel vapour available for it to get the right fuel/air mix.
As soon as the engine and fuel start to warm up (within as little as 30 seconds on a not too cold day), then the amount of vapour starts to become too much which is why you experienced ...
I’ve been back out , full choke and she started 2nd try again but this time I kept the choke out fully and you were right she does run fast and after about 20 seconds she started to run a bit roughly and another 10 seconds later the sound changed to a sort of chugging sound and the revs began to get slower and slower ,
Within those 30 seconds or so your engine got warm enough that it was getting far too much fuel in the mixture so was struggling to ignite it properly.

So myoldjalopy's advice is spot on.
Don't leave it idling on the choke to warm up
Progressively put it back in over the first couple of minutes.

Learn what works for your engine. :D
Basil the 1955 series II

Image

philthehill
Minor Maniac
Posts: 6799
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:05 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby philthehill » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:22 pm

Two wooden cloths pegs under the choke knob for cold initial start up.

One wooden cloths peg under the choke knob whilst warming up.

No wooden cloths pegs under the choke knob once warmed up.


myoldjalopy
Minor Legend
Posts: 1169
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:32 pm
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby myoldjalopy » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:53 pm

The clothes peg 'technology' is frequently seen in a Minor but the choke knob *should* stay out on its own. However, this doesn't always work, especially if the choke cable has been fitted to the carb without twisting the cable about half a turn clockwise, which is how it is supposed to allow for different settings. This should allow the choke to be fixed in any position...the knob itself may need to be twisted to get it to 'catch'.
As for how long you can leave a warm engine switched off before it needs choke again is variable, depending on the mixture setting and the outside temperature but, as others have pointed out, trial and error will soon teach you how and when to use the choke.

simmitc
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3599
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 9:43 am
MMOC Member: Yes

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby simmitc » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:26 pm

When moving off from cold, the car may lack acceleration until its warmed up and the choke is in. It's not a problem, jst something to be aware of, as modern cars give (nearly) full power from cold, but with a Minor you need to be careful to not stall it when trying to do a fastr get away at a junction - take your time, get the engine warm, and be safe. You'll enjoy the car when you get used to it.

Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby Alice Minor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:40 pm

Thx simmitc

I came across that a short while ago when I left my friends house , she’d stood about 2 hours and when I came to leave i thought about the choke then thought no she won’t need it, turned the key and she started 1st try but spluttered and stalled, she started again next try but coughed and spluttered as I revved her until she sounded ok and I went to pull away and she kangarood about 20 meters along the road till she came to a stop 😡, turned the key again but she didn’t start, my friend came running along from her house and helped me push her to the side of the road and jumped in , I tried her again but she only turned over it was then I went for choke, just half incase I flooded her and she started 1st try so I kept it out till I got home , she’s now in the garage till tomorrow

Alice Minor
Minor Friendly
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:12 am
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby Alice Minor » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:55 pm

myoldjalopy wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:53 pm
The clothes peg 'technology' is frequently seen in a Minor but the choke knob *should* stay out on its own. However, this doesn't always work, especially if the choke cable has been fitted to the carb without twisting the cable about half a turn clockwise, which is how it is supposed to allow for different settings. This should allow the choke to be fixed in any position...the knob itself may need to be twisted to get it to 'catch'.
As for how long you can leave a warm engine switched off before it needs choke again is variable, depending on the mixture setting and the outside temperature but, as others have pointed out, trial and error will soon teach you how and when to use the choke.

I’ve played about with the choke knob a fair bit to figure what is 1/4 , 1/2 and 3/4 settings for my next cold start which will be tomorrow morning, I have an older friend who’s back from holiday tonight, she had a Vauxhall nova years ago before I could drive and she always used to try her nova 3 times before using choke just to see if it would start , I’m gonna ask her to come round tomorrow and maybe through some ideas my way , as well as you guys on here, you’ve been great, I think it’s gonna take me a while but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it eventually 😍

ampwhu
Minor Addict
Posts: 500
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 8:51 pm
MMOC Member: No

Re: Starting Dad's old Minor

Postby ampwhu » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:50 pm

nova, there's not many of them left!


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 14 guests