Handy Hints


 We are often asked on the phone for technical advice. So we thought we would cover a few of the most often asked questions. 

I can't believe that my Camper is so cold in Winter, what can I do?

The whole heating system relies on the air arriving at the front warm and in a decent enough volume. The main problem is that the pipework from front to rear is made from many pieces and over the years the various parts move/ rust away and each joint leaks a bit of warm air. When the piping was new it was insulated to keep the warmth in, often this insulation is now missing, and the pipes require re-insulating. The air for the heater is also the air that cools the engine, so every joint and pipe needs checking from fan housing to dashboard. The other main problem is that pattern heat exchangers do not have as many fins inside, the fins are the aluminium area inside the heat exchanger that the air is blown over, which transfers the heat to the air. Genuine heat exchangers are becoming harder to find, so snap them up when you see them. You should also make sure the heater cables are functioning correctly, otherwise the flaps on the heat exchangers will not open and no heat will come down the pipes you have just repaired.

 Can I fit seat belts in the back of my Camper?

Post-August 1967 models that have the second digit of the chassis number as a 2, 3 or 4 all have the mountings fitted from the factory. Depending on the layout of the cupboards if yours is a Camper, you should be able to fit lap belts and or 3-point inertia reel belts. On models that do not have mounts as standard, you can drill your own holes in the rear bulkhead/wheel arch tubs just behind the rear bulkhead is the fuel tank so please be careful). If you do not have factory-fitted mounting points and have drilled your own holes, you will need to install a stress plate on each mounting point to ensure the bolt cannot pull through the bodywork in the case of an accident.

Please note: It is very important on Campers that the cushions are very well fixed, otherwise in an accident, the cushions may move and the seat belt can become a noose ... food for thought. If you have any doubts about fitting seat belts or the condition of your existing belts, please contact a reputable garage ... Be safe not sorry. Just Kampers sells a 3-point inertia real seat belt and a lap belt.

My camper keeps cutting out at idle.

This is a common fault on the 1200cc to 1600cc engines. Here are a few simple things to check.

1)      When the engine is cold, check that the automatic choke is working. This is found on the right-hand side of the carb and actuates a stepped mechanism on the left-hand side. Turn on the ignition, push the accelerator pedal down once, then check that the 'hammer' is on the largest step. If it is, start the engine and allow it to warm up, as the engine warms up the 'hammer' should work its way down the steps until the engine is warm and the choke is no longer engaged. If this is not the case, setting up of the choke is explained in detail in both the Haynes manual and the John Muir 'Idiots guide'.

2)      The twin port engines have two rubber boots that join the central part of the inlet manifold to the two cast manifolds that meet the cylinder heads. These boots crack and split allowing air to be sucked in and therefore making the engine run too lean, hence the stalling. Replacing the manifold boots is the only solution.

3)      On the side of the carb is an idle cut off valve. It is a round barrel-shaped solenoid that is electrically powered from the coil. With the ignition on but the engine not running, remove the wire from the solenoid, you should hear a clicking noise as the plunger opens and closes. If there is no click, check the wiring, sometimes they become dirty on the internal shaft and can be removed and cleaned, otherwise if it still does not work you can easily replace it with a new unit.

4)      Idle is incorrectly set. The idle speed can be adjusted by turning the idle mixture screw (often referred to as the Volume Control Screw). This is the small screw that is on the left-hand side of the carb just above the bottom spindle. It is also worth removing the screw to make sure it is not blocked (count the ·number of turns out and then you will know how many turns to screw it back in).

5)      The bottom spindle (where the accelerator cable mounts) can wear out, allowing air to seep in and change the idle mixture. With the engine off, take hold of the bottom spindle and see if there is movement up and down and side to side. When the wear is bad it can leak fuel out so you may see that this area is washed clean by the leaking petrol. If there is play you will need to either have the bushes replaced or fit a new carb. See special offers pages!

Please note: It is recommended that you have the CO2 set up by a reputable garage that has a 4-gas analyser. It is almost impossible to correctly set the CO2 at home. The CO2 is the measurement of the quantity of fuel that is burnt when the engine is running.

I've got gearbox problems ... Help!

In the last few months, the number of gearboxes failing seems to be dramatically increasing. To save yourself a lot of time and trouble, check that you have good clean gearbox oil in the transmission. From talking to customers, although the engine oil is regularly changed, somehow the gearbox oil never gets checked, let alone replaced.

The drain plug is in the middle of the underside of the gearbox (all years with manual transmission). There is no dipstick on a manual gearbox, instead, there is a plug (that needs a 17mm alien key J11205  to remove it. The oil should be (when the vehicle is on level ground) up to the drain hole. You should fill manual gearboxes up with EP80/90 1968>79 models (manual) require 3.5 litres. 1980>92 models (manual) require 3 litres.