THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.10
  October 2000

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HELPFUL HINTS and IDEAS.


Stripped thread on gearbox drain plug or spark plug hole.

These can be repaired using Helicoil threaded inserts. The stripped thread is first drilled out, then a special thread is cut that accepts the helicoil insert which is then inserted. It forms a new thread for the drain plug or spark plug. This job can be done by most engineering workshops or good mechanics and should be around 30 minutes labour plus a few (your currency units) for the insert. Tell them what you want helicoiled and they will understand you.

The gearbox casing is made of soft aluminium alloy - the drain plug does not need to be as tight as most people think, hence the risk of stripping the thread.

Temperature Gauge Calibration.
To check that it is working correctly:

With a capillary type gauge (mechanical):
Remove the sender unit from the head .Fill a small pot with water and bring to a rapid boil using a propane torch be careful to keep the flame away from any fuel or body parts. Insert the sending unit bulb into the boiling water. Your gauge should read 212 F or be on the start of the "H" area of the later models. If it reads otherwise, and the gauge can be pulled apart (eg Smiths) remove the gauge from the dash, and remove the chrome bezel , Twist the rim until the slots line up, remove the glass lens (it will usually needed cleaning anyway), gently pull the needle off its shaft, and replace it at 212. Reassemble the gauge, replace the sender unit, top up coolant.

With an electric type gauge:
Remove the sender unit from the head as with the capillary gauge. Using as before a small pot with boiling water, Insert the sender unit with another wire from an earth on the car . Once again your gauge should read 212 F or be on the start of the "H" area of the later models. If the gauge can be pulled apart (eg Smiths) it too can be recalibrated in the same way as the mechanical gauge.

Reassemble the gauge, replace the sender unit, top up coolant, and you are on your way, now with confidence in what your instruments are telling you.