Common Moke Hints & Tips

Hints & Tips

The information provided on this page is compiled from articles submitted by readers and from extracts taken from the Mini Internet International (M.I.N.I.) email mailing list. It is provided as is, and no guarantee of correctness can be given.

Things to make them go better...

Extractors. As with almost any car this is probably the best investment you could make.

HiLo Suspension Kit. Not to raise the car into the clouds but to give it a small lift or alternatively lower it. The existing suspension is essentially a large block of dry rubber sitting at the end of what looks like an ice cream cone. Once the block of rubber compresses over time (usually a short time) it drops onto a small block of rubber on the lower suspension arm (the bump stop). The result is a very rough ride. What the HiLo kit does is replace the bottom of the cone with a large threaded bolt, by adjusting the nut at the base you can ‘wind up’ the car off the bump stop.

Silicon on the distributor cap. To make it keep going in very wet conditions. Put a small ring of Silastic around the plastic cap where the surface will sit against the metal housing (unlatch the two clips either side). Lightly reseat the cap (do not refit the clips yet), once dry replace the clips to put a small amount of pressure on the new Silastic seal.

Bigger Carby. As always!

Change of Diff: Lower the ratio, less torque more top end speed. Higher the ratio, the more torque, lower top end speed. My Moke is fitted with the 3.44:1 derivative as fitted to the Mini 1000 and Cooper S.

Straight Through Stainless Steel Exhaust System: Allows better extraction of exhaust and stainless steel being more heat resistant, allows cooler air flow and better performance!

Alloy Cylinder Head: A cylinder head that will almost 'bolt on' to a mini is a BMW head from the 4-cylinder bikes (BMW K100 for example). The block requires the stud holes moved, and the head requires some drilling of oil-ways (as the head is normally on its side, and being up the wrong way won't let the oil flow down!). They are available from the scrappy's here in oz for about $400 complete.

Common things that need fixing

  • Trailing arm pin: These have a habit of breaking after lots of neglect or good old fashioned abuse (not recommended). The trick with these is to check them at regular intervals, lift the car off the back wheel (very high yes) and after securing the car wiggle the rear wheel from left to right, if the whole arm holding the wheel moves then work needs to be done (if just the wheel moves replace or tighten the wheel bearing). Fixing the problem means replacing the trailing arm pin OR if the pin isn’t worn then the hole may be elongated. The only way to fix the elongation is to get a piece of steel welded on the other side of the hole. If there is wear in the shaft/bearings then the only solution is a new kit. This requires some time and patience but also a reamer.

  • Front Engine Mount: Check where this seats against the body. If it has not already been reinforced then I recommend you do so as they often crack here.

  • Rear Sub frame: Check for cracks where the suspension cone seats on the sub frame (Weld a triangular piece of metal over any cracks).

  • Differential: Can go due to lack of oil getting to the centre. Some people have fixed this by lightly grooving the centre pin in a spiral to allow oil to penetrate (Do not cut the grove too deep or this to will cause failure).

  • Drive shafts: Usually break off at the spline (No suggestions here!).

  • Gear Shift Mounts: Found under the car directly below the gear lever. There are a couple of black rubber 'cotton reels' that attach to the car body, check them for cracks or breaks.

  • Gear linkage roll pin: Found where the gear linkage connects to through the back of the gearbox. It is worth putting a loop of wire through the centre of the roll pin to ensure if it falls out it doesn't get lost.

  • Timing Chain: There are single and double chains fitted to various models. These can stretch over time and the sprocket teeth can wear. Fitting a double-row can provide some longevity ion this area..

  • Radiator: There are two thicknesses. The 1275cc Australian 'Californian' Mokes came with a wider body for extra capacity. This was also known as the 'Tropical' radiator.

  • Radiator Fan Blades: There are two types 'Plastic' and 'Metal'. The plastic blades have a tendency to flex & break and once one blade breaks it takes out the rest !..

  • Ball joints (swivel), replacing:

    1. Get a ball joint splitter fork.

    2. Undo and split top and bottom swivel tapers and track rod end.

    3. Undo, remove and support calliper (saves fluid loss).

    4. Pull off complete hub assembly and pull drive shaft out of inner diff cup.

    5. You can then stick the whole thing in a vice on the bench and life is easy peasy.

    6. Don't shim TOO tight, and make sure the lock tab is bent over ALL the way round, else the rego check will fail it and you risk a nasty crash.

    7. Grease up and reassemble.

Should take around an hour per wheel.

  • Brake pad squeal: The pads are vibrating at high frequency resulting in the squeal. If you apply a smear of copper grease to the BACK on the pad (NOT the friction surface) then the squeal should go away. The pads are probably due for replacement.

  • Brake drum, curing oval drums: Developed a bit of ovalness in the rear drums? Drive around for about 10 mins with the handbrake half on. Leave over night with the hand brake off (left in gear).

  • Alternator, how to check if it is working: Two simple ways to test if your alternator is charging the battery :-

    1. Start the car, let it idle and then switch main beam on. If the revs drop slightly then the alternator is converting mechanical energy to electrical energy to charge the battery.

    2. The headlights should get brighter as the engine is revved up. This shows extra power is generated by the alternator.

  • Alternator not charging: If the red ignition light on your dash is burnt-out/disconnected the regulator won't be able to find it's reference, and this can cause the alternator to not charge, or even worse, not regulate the system voltage, blowing up electronic ignition etc

  • Charge warning lamp, when does it light? The red lamp has +12v on one side and the other side goes to the voltage regulation circuitry in the alto. The light won't light if you pull the plug off the alternator, as you have disconnected the lamp. The lamp will light if the voltage generated by the alto is less than that of the battery (i.e.: It is not charging, hence it is called the "charge warning lamp"). This usually occurs when the alto speed drops (eg: broken fan belt).

The light will NOT light when:

    1. The lamp has a bad connection

    2. The main current wire to the alto has a bad connection

    3. The battery is low

    4. Engine earth strap broken (not 100% sure on this one)

The lamp will light when:

    1. Fan belt broken or slipping

    2. Alternator innards not working (electrical or mechanical)