Worn butterfly spindles are sometimes the cause of erratic and unstable tick-overs. Replacement spindles and re-bushed bodies seem to be the only cure. Even then it becomes a good policy to blank off the non linkage end of the housing with a brass turned cup tapped home. To provide an air tight seal the linkage face may be sealed with a thin small diameter ‘0’ ring.
When the butterfly is in the closed condition, the mixture signal will be improved via the mixture screw. Also any fuel dribbling down the choke tube will not leak out via the spindles resulting in a much cleaner carburettor.
When a hot engine is switched off there is a sudden heat rise into the carburettors. This causes the fuel to boil which expands and is now forced up the emulsion tube then down to the butter fly hence leaking fuel out of worn spindles. Heat rise has always been a problem with all Bristol engines, 6 cylinder and V8s. ‘Tufnel’ or ‘Packsalin’ insulation plates provide an excellent barrier to this heat rise. The main body, on later V8s, was even made from ‘phenolic resin’ in an attempt to prevent this heat rise. These insulation plates are 0.062” or 1.5mm thick with the required gaskets. One is fitted direct to the head with a gasket top and bottom and then the fulcrum bracket is put on, a further green gasket, then the second insulation plate and then the grey gasket, finally the carburettor. When fitting the carburettor assembly to the head, do not forget the mounting flanges must be flat. Do not over tighten the thin retaining nuts, they can warp the flanges.
Note, the information in the handbook or workshop manual is only correct at the time when it was written. It does not apply now ie the jet sizes quoted are for standard engines on 82-3 octane fuel. Most engines are not standard by any means so, with heads that have been skimmed and distributors that are no longer accurate, engines will not be giving their best power. For an incremental rise in compression so must a change in the size in jets be considered.
Consider one 320cc cylinder using 83 octane fuel, the compression could be 8.5: l. For the same cylinder with a refurbished head that may have been skimmed and now running on 93-5 octane fuel, the compression could be as much as 10:1. What you really need to know is the clearance volume in the cylinder head to determine the compression ratio. This is when you need to look at your jet sizes. I know this is not easy, in fact it took BCL some time to finalise these settings. A word of warning; if receiving any rebuilt carburettors, strip and carefully reassemble them yourself. This was always done at BCL. It has been known for carburettors to arrive with different needle valves in one to another, different thickness washers one to another, throttle plates not centralised, etc. The choke plate will require lapping if it is to function at its best.
Also remember that fuel density is dependant on its temperature so the hotter the fuel the weaker the mixture. Remember, on fuel injected cars, fuel is in constant circulation in an effort to maintain this density.
Fuel pump pressure. Ex works, fuel pumps were always stripped and adjusted before fitting. Make sure yours is right, 2psi is about right. How? Drill and tap the front banjo bolt, fit screwed tube, connect to a sensitive low pressure gauge and observe the pressure reading, adjust the large fuel pump spring until correct. Remove the screwed tube and replace with a blanking bolt.
Starting from cold, the load on the starter motor and battery can be eased considerably by fitting an electric fuel pump. An ordinary SU fuel pump fitted in the fuel line with a manual electric switch with a warning light should ease this problem. How? From the delivery side of the fuel tap take a flexible pipe to the inlet side of the SU pump, from delivery side of the pump connect to the inlet side of the AC mechanical pump. Now just switch on then wait for the SU pump to stop ticking, switch off – instant engine start. Why? Carburettor float bowls are full and ready to go. Before with float bowls nearly empty it took a little while for them to fill. This is why a priming leaver is fitted to the AC pump.
Whatever fuel you use or condition your engine is in, the ignition must be adjusted accordingly. Marks on flywheels, or bits of metal and marked front pulleys are of very little use in this changed situation; usually a slight retarding is required. Remember your distributor was recommended for replacement at 40,000 miles or so. So how is yours?