Last night I was restless, probably due to having too much caffeine. I started thinking about why the carbs might not be getting fuel and had some ideas. I’d already ordered replacement parts anyway, but the thought of getting the engine running was too tempting and I went to the garage to work. As I suspected, the float bowls for each of the 2 carbs were full of gum and varnish from old fuel. The floats push up on a ball valve when the bowl is full, but these valves were clogged and stuck closed. I took my time and stripped them down and cleaned them thoroughly. One of them took quite a while actually! I also shot some carb cleaner through the jets and to my surprise, both were fine! (I’ll still replace them later, just to be safe) By the time I was completely finished, it was 3am, so I decided to call it a night.
The next morning, after going to the local Cars & Coffee meet-up I got back to work on the Mini. I checked my previous work just to be sure and then tried to fire it up. After a couple of tries I had the engine running continuously under its own power! I did notice a lack of oil pressure though, and decided to check that out before running it any longer. It’s a good thing I did too because the oil pump wasn’t moving any oil. I remembered reading an article on the Seven Mini site about priming the oil pump after long term storage without disassembly. I found the article again and followed the instructions. This involved disconnecting the oil return line from the filter to the engine block, pouring oil into a funnel shoved into the hole and hand cranking the engine until it sucked in all the oil. I had to do it this way since mine is up on jack stands with the wheels off and the brakes disassembled. The process worked, and sure enough I had oil pressure when I started it up again. Of course, I couldn’t get away without something breaking. I noticed a small bit of coolant leaking from the heater valve, so I tightened the nuts holding it down. As soon as I did this, more came out and I noticed this brand new valve had a crack. Thankfully I did have one old, but still functional valve to replace it. I got that all taken care of and mounted the air filters on the carbs and she fired right back up with no problem. The engine actually sounds pretty good now