Journal

"As you probably know, smoke is what powers our British cars, and if you let the smoke escape, it won't work anymore." ó Skye Poier

1 October 2001

This car is pretty much all original, except for the paint. This IS paint, not primer although it does look like primer. Notice it comes with the racing hubs (no, they arenít chrome Ė thatís just silver paint).

The first time I drove it was when I drove it 60 miles to my home. It is a very solid little car, except for a slight shimmy which appears at 60 mph or so. I do not know exactly as the speedometer is not working. Neither are the headlights, the interior (dash) lights, the oil pressure gage, the radio, or the trunk latch. The motor seems to run fine and produces no odd noises, Shifts are crisp and sure, and the clutch is good and tight. The steering linkage is good, no wandering.

There is some rust in the lower door panels and fenders, but this was not unexpected. I will have to jack the car up and inspect underneath. Also, some bad bodywork was done to it (even worse than mine, Iím afraid).

All in all I think it was a fair deal, considering I swapped it for a tractor that had not been running for two years and I had listed for sale at $1,900 (US) and would have settled for $1,400.

12 October 2001

I pulled the speedometer out of the dash (it just came out, I donít know yet if there is suppose to be a bracket holding it in place) and found the drive cable disconnected. So maybe I can fix that simply by putting it together. Maybe not.

I also charged the battery since it was nearly dead. The alternator or voltage regulator is shot and I was surprised the car even started today when I took it for a drive. I figured out by looking at a Moss catalog which switches do what and also discovered that the brake lights only work when the ignition is on. The turn signals are now not working either. The oil pressure gage registers at maximum as soon as the key is turned on.

Obviously there are many electrical problems to look into, but I only expect there to be half a dozen or so problems to actually fix. The challenge will be to discover what they are.

I priced a Haynes manual at $15 + $4 shipping (US) at amazon.com. I will call the local Barnes & Nobel and see if they can get it for less (obviously they wonít charge me shipping since theyíre getting it wholesale). I was quite pleased with the Haynes manuals I had for both my Datsuns and I expect it to be helpful with a reasonably accurate wiring diagram as well as directions for removing the dash.
 

15 November 2001

I pulled the speedometer out of the dash and unscrewed the light bulb. I took a wire and tried to make the bulb light by touching the other end to the battery terminal, but it didnít work. The light itself LOOKS fine, but that doesnít mean anything. I think I will get another light as well as a socket that I can use for testing.

I got a book from the library with the wiring diagrams in it and copied them. The copies look pretty ugly, but theyíll do until I can order the book I want.

Iíve also been poking at the rust, wondering if I should try to get it all at once or just a little at a time...
 

7 December 2001

Iíve been looking at those wiring diagrams and I have already noticed that the oil pressure sender is wired wrong and the alternator is not grounded (maybe thatís why the battery doesnít charge...).

It is cold where I live now and I have been unable to start the car lately. I suppose I should check and see if the choke cable is connected.

I looked into the cost of new sills. Very reasonable. However, the effort to properly install them is beyond that I want to do with this car right now.
 

15 December, 2001

I found the Haynes manual was on sale at amazon for about $13. Add shipping and tax, and it was delivered to my front door for less than Barnes and Nobel. The first thing I did with it was to scan in the appropriate wiring diagram so that I could spit out copies as I needed them.

I have also been poking around under the hood and with the wiring and found a few things:

The reason none of the lights work is the switch is bad. Once I crossed the wires, everything works except for the parking lights and the brights. I think the brights not working may have something to do with the turn signals not working either, since they are on the same (column mounted) switch.

I also found an air horn connected to the washer pump, so every time I pushed the wash button I got a nasty surprise. That was quickly removed.

I removed the alternator and took it to a local shop where I had it tested by an electrics specialist who is a British car enthusiast. He confirmed that the unit was dead, and offered parts for replacement. I took it home and dismantled it and found diodes from the rectifier rattling around loose. It was plenty dead. Gerry from the MGB Experience BBS suggested I opt for a Bosch unit. After further research I found a website explaining this conversion thoroughly.
 

27 December 2001

Iíve been working on the electrics, and after my initial bouts of trepidation caused by DPO wiring fixes I have found that most of the carís problems are due to faulty switches. Fortunately some of them can be repaired, the problem being corroded / bent contacts but there are a couple worn beyond repair and I have replaced these.

I have not as of yet procured a Bosch alternator, but plan to do so soon. I think I will return to the same electrics man and explain what I want to him as he will be in a good position to help me find the correct unit.

I have also been doing quite a bit of web surfing on MGB restoration and have found that many people will spend plenty of time and money on cars that are in much worse shape than mine and this is heartening. Some of the more complete articles are MGB Online, MG place and MGBnet.

I have looked under the car and in the wheel wells and have found much less rust then I had expected, yet I still expect to have to replace the sills and patch some rusted portions of the rear wheel wells and floor. However, this will wait until I have the time to do a total restoration.
 

12 January 2002

I found a Bosch alternator at a junk yard for $17.50 and two hours of pain and tedium removing it.  Even if I have to replace the brushes, voltage regulator and rectifier I will still come out ahead of what I had to do to rebuild the Lucas unit. And I get 20 more amps! I think though that I will probably only have to replace the brushes. I will take in to the same electrics man sometime within the week.

Thanks to Al McMillan on the MGB Experience BBS for telling me that I just have to unscrew the tip of the horn button to remove it. After removing a spot of corrosion the horn switch now works, but I still donít have a working horn to use it with. Out of the same Fiesta I got that alternator from I also snagged a hazard light switch for $2, and it looks like I can fit it into the same hole without breaking anything. That will do until I can find appropriate replacements.

I found a local source for the small screw base bulbs, but theyíd have to order the little bayonet base bulbs for the brights and ignition indicators. They can only order them by tens and there are only the two in the whole car. Iíd hate to have to mail order them and end up paying more for the shipping than I paid for the bulbs.

I decided to have a look at the choke to find out why the car wouldnít start. In the process I found the fuel tube from the bowl to the jet was leaking fuel. Since I knew if I removed the carburetor Iíd feel the need to rebuild it and replace everything, I managed to avoid that by just removing the leaking tube, with the help of my Dremel. After a little fiddling I replaced that tube and no more leaks from there.

I also found that the choke was REALLY messed up, and since the Haynes manual give me no clue about how to adjust it, I went back to the BBS again where Brian Moum clued me in to how it was properly done. The FPO had it set up so it wasnít choking anything at all, and as I suspected the lever was incorrectly positioned on the connecting shaft.

However, these fixes did not help and the car still will not start. I checked the timing and it was advanced pretty far (-40º or so). I set it back to about -12º, figuring I could optimize it when I had the car going. But it still will not start. I am wondering if the timing chain skipped or something. I will have to take a look down the oil spout to see if the cam shaft is moving...
 

26 January 2002

After further exploration, I discovered the reason the car would not start was ignition problems. Both the distributor cap AND the spark plugs were bad. After I replaced them, the car started right up without any choke at all.

I finally got the back-up lights working. There were FOUR things wrong: 1) A wire was broken off at the switch; 2) The switch was not making full contact because the FPO had installed an extra spacer for some reason; 3) All the contact points on the lamp holders were corroded; and 4) The bulbs were burned out. Once all of those problems were taken care of the lights worked fine.

I managed to remove the tachometer with great difficulty ( a small vice grips was required, as was considerable patience). The unit was very corroded and one of the bolts was bent. It also seems to have metric threads, though Iíve found both metric and normal threads on this car already. I will have to find some wing nuts that fit so I can make some sort of bracket for it as I plan to use the tachometerís bracket on the speedometer, which was hanging loose from the dash.

The big news is the alternator. I took it in to get it tested, and as expected it was dead. So I took it home and pulled it apart. Then I brought all of the parts in and had them tested. Everything checked out except for the voltage regulator, which couldnít be checked anyway. I got a new one, with brushes included, for $13. I put it all back together and had it tested again. 14 volts at 50 amps! Yes!  All for about $35. I have pictures of this which I will post eventually. I installed the alternator in the car with a new fan belt (a slightly longer 36", as the original wasnít long enough). Okay, add another $11 for the fan belt. Still a damn sight cheaper than trying to redo that Lucas.
 

10 February 2002

I got a horn out of a Datsun just to have one until can afford a pair of the ďproperĒ horns. This being a unit that self-grounds I had to make a plastic bracket to mount it on so it could use the existing wiring. Sounds ugly, but it works.

I got those little bulbs for the brights and ignition indicators. Ordered them from the Little British Car Company lbcarco.com and they showed up a week later. I was quite pleased with their service, and I will use them in the future.

I took the tach apart and saw on the back what appeared to be an adjustment screw. So, I hooked up an external tach as a reference and after warming up the car so it could idle I turned the screw to the left until the reading was pretty close to the reference. I checked it at different speeds, and it seemed consistent. Not that the reference tach is accurate, but still. Now I have a reasonably accurate tachometer. I decided to use the tach brackets for the tach after all, and leave the speedometer loose until I can find it its own brackets.

After I put the tach back in and made sure it still worked, I mounted the turn signal switch. Unfortunately, when I tried that I blew two fuses Ė one in the main box and the other for the emergency flashers. After fiddling around and unplugging wires, I determined that the short was somewhere between the switch and the connector under the hood, possibly the switch itself. I thought this very odd, since everything was working before I put the tach back in. It turned out that the FPO had used a much longer screw to mount the turn signal switch and it was grounding out on the connector. I cut the screw off with my Dremel and put it all back together. Works fine.

With that, everything electrical is now working as it should except for the license plate lights. And Iím not going to worry about them until I take the bumper off because thereís current at the connector in the trunk. Hail the Prince of Darkness!

After I got the steering wheel back on I drove around my neighborhood for five minutes or so. First time the carís been out since October. Unfortunately the speedometer still does not work, so I will have to pull it out again and see if the drive cable is turning.
 

9 March 2002

Looking through MGB sites I find many people have removed the air pump, but hardly anyone seems to have done anything about the bracket. Iíve seen a few pictures of where the owner has cut it off, but by far many just stick out there. Of course, this accompanies the plugged holes in the head. But that doesnít look nearly so odd. As it is so common (even more common than cars with the air pump intact, apparently), I guess it could be called typical if not normal. For a MGB.

I have begun to attack the rust spots and the FPOís Bondo. Apparently the FPO has a Bondo philosophy opposite to mine. Mine is to use as little as possible. If you have to put more than half a pound on the whole car YOU ARE USING TOO MUCH. The FPO caked it on so thick that it was bulging outward from the surface of the car. I took a finish sander with 60 grit paper to it, except where rust was underneath, then I used my drill with a wire wheel chucked in it. It seems like I am taking more Bondo off than I am putting on.

I am using a rust converter on any rust I find after going at it with the wire wheel. Then a little Bondo. Then some primer filler (basically thick primer to cover up the small mistakes). I can get about a gallon of gloss black laquer for $40 or os, but I was told on the BBS not to use it if it doesnít have lead, so I will have to check for that.

I am not going to be too fussy with this paint job. To me it is more of holding the rust at bay until I have the time/ energy/ money to restore the car, which wonít be for a few years yet.

I have also been taking a ball pein hammer to the small dents in the rear bumper, now that it is off the car. Seems to make quite a bit of difference. And as expected the licence plate lights were just burned out, though I plan to replace the wires as they are damaged also.

And I have decided to remove the antenna, since the car does not have a working radio, and I really donít feel the need for one anyway. I learned (off the BBS again) that hole plugs can be procured at a mobile radio shop.

I have now included a gallery section, which will be updated with pictures of my progress on the little car as they become available. Enjoy!
 
 

2 April 2002

I havenít been working on the little car very much because Iíve been busy with my house, sanding the floor in the studio.

But Iíve basically finished with the passenger side, removed all the trim, door handle and lock Ė as well as getting the nasty parts primed. Iíve begun work on the driverís side, scraped the rust out and sanded down the DPOís Bondo. Iíve had to add a little of my own, but it still seems to be less than I have removed.

I still havenít had time to remove the speedometer and work on that yet, but as the weather gets nicer I will probably become more motivated.
 
 

18 April 2002

Since it was a damn fine spring day, I fired up the little car and backed it out of the garage. I pulled out the speedometer and jacked up the ass end so I could put it in gear and watch things. When I put it in gear an let out the clutch, the speedometer cable was not turning at all. This MIGHT mean the speedometer is okay, but it also means I have to crawl under the car and check the end at the transmission drive.

Also, I pulled the worm out of the tube and found it to be almost dry in spots, so I took the opportunity to lube it up with 20 weight oil. It was a little stiff in spots turning and pushing it back in, but when it bottomed out it seemed to turn smoothly. I got it to where it felt like it was in the tranny and would not turn, but when I fired the car up again and put it in gear it still wasnít moving. Damn. The ride height on my B is about a tenth of that on my truck, so even after itís jacked up and put on blocks it will still be a tight fit under there. Oh, well.

I have done a little more bodywork on the driverís side. I got a little primer on over the Bondo and removed the door hardware so I can touch up those spots. Who knows? Maybe in another month it will be ready to paint!
 
 

1 May 2002

I jacked up the front end of the car and squeezed under there to look at the speedometer linkage. It looked okay, but when I took off the 90ļ adapter I found it was messed up. So now I will have to get one of those if I expect the speedometer to work.

I guess the lack of lubrication mentioned earlier contributed to the demise of this part, but I turned the worm in the cable smoothly and without any binding, so a little lube goes a long way.

I am almost finished with the bodywork and could do the wet sanding in a couple weeks.
 
 

26 May 2002

Every time I plan to take the little car out of the garage to begin sanding it rains!

But I did manage to take the front bumper and grille off, which means all of the external stuff is off the car now. Oh no wait... I still have to remove the wipers. As for the washer jets, Iím just going to tape them over. Then thereís just the door gaskets and the piece of trim around the back to be removed.

I have also updated the links page, with a few more reviews and a couple new links.
 
 

18 June 2002

I am pretty much finished wet-sanding the little car. We had a run of nice weather, so I wanted to paint a little on my house and that took away from car time but I did finally manage to get the little thing out and scrub it off and wet sand. I used 3M 320 grit, all I wanted to do was roughen up the surface of the old paint so the new paint would stick better.

This is going to be a temporary 12 foot paint job, meaning if it looks okay from 12 feet away I will be happy with it. I am going to use Western Hi-Glo gloss black enamel. I was told it was an easy paint for beginners to work with.

I found a 90ļ speedometer cable adapter for $20 and some other used parts for a total of $40 from Matt Hartley, so maybe I can get the speedometer working after the paint dries.

I also have been pounding the dents out of the bumper overriders. Itís amazing what a little effort will produce. Itís far from perfect, but it looks a damn sight better than it did.

I will have pictures of all this stuff eventually.
 
 

14 July 2002

I have been SO busy with work (70-80 hour work weeks) I have not had much time for the little car. BUT I did buy the paint, and painted the car in my garage.

I bought the paint and all the other chemicals and accessories for about $90. I got a small paint gun, mostly because I have a small compressor but also I figured I would get into less trouble.

I put three coats on the car and after a week or so finally got around to sanding off the mistakes. Then I wet sanded most of the car with 1500 grit and finally nearly the whole thing with 2000 grit to even out the overspray and other Newbie mistakes. I am almost done with that now, and then I will polish it with 3M Finish Restorer.
 
 

2 August 2002

Little bit of a setback. Had to respray the lower portion of the left front fender aft of the wheel because as I was sanding the paint it was thin enough to see through. That is done now and tomorrow I will rub it out again.

As Iím finishing the car I am putting it back together. As of now, everything is on the back part of the car except the side trim. The left brake light doesnít work, so I will have to look into that, but otherwise it all looks good. Then I will move up to the doors.

My neighbor came over and complemented my work. I was quite happy he thought so highly of it because this is only the second car Iíve painted.

Before I put the tail lights back on, I had thought that using the rubbing compound on them would remove that haze of wear and shine them up a bit. I figured that since paint was basically sprayed on plastic the cutting compound would work the same. I was right! Looks pretty good, too. I will have a picture of it.
 
 

12 August 2002

[homer] WOOOHOOO!! [/homer]

I got the little car all back together now, take a look at the new picture at the top of the page. The only thing left to do is to install the speedometer drive adapter on the transmission to try to get the speedometer working. This is not a priority.

My little sister came to visit and I took her for a drive. We went about 50 miles altogether, mostly on some good driving roads. The car is so solid that it feels like Iím driving a skate board! Itís the longest drive Iíve taken in the thing since I started taking it apart months ago. I even got a couple of ďthose hatsĒ required for driving a British sports car.

I also have many new pictures of the painting and reassembly in the gallery.
 
 

01 September 2002

Iíve been driving the little car occasionally, took it out just this morning, and plan to again this evening.

I made a valiant effort to get the speedometer working with the help of Gerry from TMGBEBBS and the pinion gear he sent. Unfortunately, when I drove the car I heard a SNAP which was probably the new used 90ļ angle drive breaking. I will have to take it apart again to find out, but Iíve decided to wait until winter as Iíd rather be driving the car this time of year than working on it.

Tomorrow being Labor Day, I plan to drive the little car first to my motherís and then give her a ride to my sisterís. She was going on about seeing an MGA and a Triumph in the late í50ís so Iím sure sheíll get a kick out of it.

Happy motoring!
 
 

21 September 2002

Today is a beautiful Saturday and of course I took the little car out for a drive! Tomorrow looks to be just as nice, and I will probably go for another drive. This may be the last nice weekend of summer (as well as the last official weekend) so I am going to enjoy the little car while I can.

The car seems to be running fine, although sometimes it does idle a little rough. But that is probably due to the fact that I have not yet tuned the carburetors. I can get to that over the winter.

I have had the little car for a year now and sometimes I think of driving up to the DPOs house and show him just what has become of it. Probably in better shape than the smelly old tractor he got in exchange, but then again the tractor is a lot tougher.

Happy motoring!
 
 

5 October 2002

The weather has gotten much colder and wetter. I doubt there will be any good driving weather left this year. The last nice drive I took was down Highway 9 and then west on Highway 20 to Burlington so I could test drive a Lexus SC400. Nice car, but I doubt I will get it.

I bought a couple bedsheets from the Goodwill to use as dust covers. I plan to buy a couple more and then sew them all together to have one big dust cover. The car is garaged, so I won't have to worry about weather.
 
 

04 November 2002

Where's the rain?

From my last entry I had figured the typical weather pattern would set in. Lots of rain. But I guess not. It has been sunny and dry, albeit a bit cool, and I have driven the little car again and again thinking this will be the last time this year (most recently Saturday 02 Nov).

Not that I'm complaining mind you...
 
 

30 November 2002

The rain showed up and went away again. It's clear now, but a little too cool. Not quite needing a MGB fix that badly yet. A couple weeks ago it was really warm (65ļ) and I drove the little car. I stopped by a friend's place and she said it looked like it was smiling.

Of course it was!

I've gone through the Links section. Removed some dead links and added a couple new ones. Check 'em out!
 
 

01 January 2003

I resolve to drive my little car whenever I want to!

I said that TWICE on TMGBEBBS (I am a regular poster as "iggy") and I meant it.

I figured out my sewing machine, so now I can sew those bed sheets together. Might get to that this weekend. Maybe one day I will just break down and buy a car cover, like from Harbor Freight or something.

I saw a pair of jack stands at K-Mart for $15, I might go ahead and get them if I can't find some decent ones cheaper somewhere else. Then I can put the little car on them and start work on the speedometer problem.
 
 

18 January 2003

Took the little car out for a drive today. It was sunny but cold, so I put a coat and a warm stocking cap on.

I finally sewed those sheets together. Then when I drape them over the car I find I only needed three! So I rip one off the end and just drape it over the middle. Iíll take a picture some time.

The ďMG Site RingĒ (the UK one) has finally put its foot down and dumped sites that arenít in the ring. You can now go though the whole ring and see the ring info to get to the next site in the ring. I wish the other webring would do the same, although its better than some webrings Iíve seen out there.
 
 

25 January 2003

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

I went to a tool sale and paid $10 for another pair of jack stands. Now that I have four, I jacked the car up so I could have a good look underneath and fiddle with the speedometer.

The good news is mechanically the car seems alright. All the wheels turn freely. The differential has a small amount of play, but the u-joints are firm. The steering gear is nice and tight with no play. The brake and fuel lines look good (from the outside) and are secure.

The bad news is the speedometer. Turns out the angle drive on the back of the speedometer is broken. So I took it off and put the speedometer drive directly into the speedometer. Put the car in fourth and spun it up. Damn. The thing sticks.

The odometer seems to work normally, but it looks like I will have to take the speedometer apart and see what's wrong with it. Don't really mind the angle drive as I had planned to replace the cable with an O.D. one anyway, but I'm not exactly looking forward to fiddling with the speedometer. I have the .pdf on speedometers, so I can probably figure it out though.

The ugly is finding more rust underneath than I had thought was there. Up until now I had only been under the passenger side of the car (and that was only to get to the transmission area). Over on the driver's side there are a few rust holes in the floor and more rust in the sill than on the passenger side. But that's alright. After encountering the DPO's Bondo lumps prior to painting the car I had decided the car was too much trouble to fix...

I think the next time I buy an MGB (or anything, for that matter) I am going to take a look underneath and see what's down there.
 
 

3 February 2003

After looking through the speedometer pdf I started to take the speedometer apart. At first I thought the spring on the needle shaft was bent out of sorts, but upon further examination I discovered it was suppose to be that way to be properly calibrated.

I continued dismantling the speedometer and found the end of the needle covered with dried out grease and crud. I cleaned the works with brake cleaner and dug all the crud out of the recess with a toothpick and a paper towel. Then I put a very small amount of lithium grease on the end and put it back together. The needle now turns freely, and will quickly and smoothly return to zero when I move it.

I ordered an O.D. speedometer cable from chris roop (roops MG), and hopefully when I get it installed I will have a working speedometer in the car. I was also thinking that I may make a new hole for the cable on the driver's side, but I probably won't need to do that with the longer cable.
 
 

11 February 2003

I got the O.D. cable from chris in the mail yesterday and put it in this afternoon. It was a nice sunny (albeit cold) day, so of course I had to drive the little car to check and see if the speedometer worked. And it did. Sort of. It seemed sluggish. Slow to get up there, even slower getting back down.

Someone on the BBS said I shouldn't have put any grease on the needle bearing, and I had thought that maybe the cold weather might be gumming the grease up. So I took the speedometer apart again. Went much faster this time. I cleaned out the hole, but there wasn't hardly anything there (I had used a VERY small amount of lithium grease, just enough to film it over really), so I figured there must be something else.

I took a closer look at the spring that I thought was wonked, and sho-nuff, it was touching the drag cup. Just barely, but that's enough to give the sluggish performance I'm getting. So I have to figure out a way to fix that without screwing it up even more...

I put it back together and figured I should take another test drive :-) just to be sure it wasn't the grease after all. Nope. Same results. I'll have to think on this a while before I go taking it apart again.

I also have a couple pics of the dismantled speedometer in the Gallery.

MEANWHILE...

The past few times I've driven the little car I've been at a stoplight and seen all the gages go slowly uuuuupp, then back dooowwwwn. Today they went tits up entirely. Guess it's time to build myself a voltage stabilizer.
 
 

7 March 2003

No real news on the little car, it's sitting in the garage because I'm working on the truck I got last month. I'm also still waiting on the voltage regulators from Wray.

The real news is this website. After making some decisions as to how I wanted to do it, I have moved this to paid hosting, which means plenty of good things like no banners, no pop-ups, dynamic linking, I set up the killer new guestbook how I wanted it.

I've also been experimenting with CSS, which makes updating the site much easier and cuts down on page size a little bit. The site SHOULD look the same, except for now the gallery has the same font as the rest of the site.

I need to go around to things like the webrings and registers to update the link...
 
 

2 April 2003

Took the little car out for a brief drive today... NICE! It was a little chilly, but the heat works good.

Haven't driven it in about six weeks or so (because my truck was parked in front of the garage and I had the interior stripped out of it), so I cranked the engine a little bit to get the oil flowing, then pulled the choke out and she fired right up!

Just drove around town a little, stopped by work (since I haven't worked in a few months!), and did laps around a traffic circle. Car's running good!

Maybe tomorrow I will finally pull the old voltage regulator out to see if I can build my new solid-state one in the old case...
 
 

12 April 2003

I finally got around to building my Wraybilizer. Took about 15 minutes. Had to make a minor change to accommodate connecting the dash lights to the battery side like the original. Put it in the car and it checked out at 10.12 volts.

Took it for a test drive and everything worked, although the gas gauge was a little sluggish at first Ė could have been a corroded connection getting better as the bouncing of driving wore it into shape.

Also went over the car, checking the coolant and topping up the oil. Added a little air to the tires. Probably should have checked the brake fluid too, but I wanted to go for a drive before it started raining again.

Hoping for a clear day so I can take a real drive...
 
 

17 May 2003

WOO-HOO!!

After a couple hours of fiddling I have finally fixed the speedometer! Not that I really worry about how fast I'm going, but there are speed traps and school zones to worry about.

The little car is running fine, I've had it out a few times. I still haven't tuned the carbs yet, I need to get a Uni-syn first. If they don't have them at Napa, I'll have to order one off the internet somewhere. Seems to idle/run fine though, so it can't be too far off.
 
 

1 June 2003

I finally got around to adjusting the valves and tuning the carbs.

Adjusting the valves was pretty straightforward, some were a little loose and a couple were a little tight. I suppose I should check them hot, but the Haynes says to set them cold.

Ran some Sea Foam through the carbs before I worked on them.

The carbs were straightforward as well. I didn't bother with a UniSyn as I used the ear-tube method which to me seems to have worked just as well. The main problem with the carbs was the linkage being kind of messed up. Once I set the carbs I went over all the linkage to make sure it was set right and working smoothly.

Took the car for a test drive and it runs a bit better. Only did a little tweaking after that.

Went for a drive down Mosquito Lake Road today and it was a blast!
 
 

25 June 2003

Car is running good. Nice weather for it too, but I am working long hours right now so can't really enjoy it. :-(

I changed the oil and after that gave the interior a good vacuum with the shop vac. While I was doing this I noticed the carpet looked a little strange. Pulled the pile apart and it was LIGHT BLUE! The DFPO had spray painted the carpet black! Jeeze looeeze, will the adventures never cease with this little car?
 
 

2 August 2003

Had this past week off and got a few miles on the little car. It's running good!

Or at least it was...

We had some hot weather here, so I attempted to close the heater valve (the controls are not connected) by making a hook out of a piece of coat hanger. Unfortunately, after I did that, the car left little puddles behind.

The heater valve was visibly dripping at that point, so I took it off and out of curiosity dismantled it. I found the rubber part was torn, and also found blue RTV on it as well.

I ordered a new heater valve from lbcarco.com and it should be here in a week or so.
 
 

2 September 2003

Been busy with work so I haven't had much time to drive the little car. I did get some driving in over the long weekend though.

The heater valve installed easily enough, and it has its own detent to keep it closed off, so my little bracket that started the whole mess is unnecessary. However, when I went to look under the dash for the cable to try hooking it up to the control, I couldn't see anything. So I took the other end out of the engine compartment. It will stay in the Ďoff' position until it gets colder.

As I was driving yesterday, I noticed a buzzing from under the car, which I think is the exhaust hitting somewhere. I don't remember going over any big bumps, but who can tell. I will stick my head under there and have a look later today.
 
 

28 October 2003

Nothing to report, really. It's been pretty wet and stormy here for the past couple months, and I've only had the little car out a few times. But she fires right up and is eager to go when I can...
 
 

13 January 2004

Been cool and wet here. None of those dry, crisp days that I'd want to go for a drive in. The little car is safe and dry in the garage. Kim from the MGBEBBS might have some carpet for me so I can replace the blue spray painted stuff. That'd be a good winter project.
 
 

13 February 2004

I got the carpet from Kim in the mail today. I spread it out so it could flatten out a little and looked at it. I'm not sure if the tranny tunnel piece is wide enough, I'll have to wait and see. I may try to get a regular black piece of auto carpet and cut it to shape if I can't make it work.

I took the passenger seat out of the little car and ripped up the carpet from the floor. Underneath I found house-style yellow waffle type padding! And, where it overlaps it is still light blue! the DFPO painted it black after he put it in the car!

I actually had the opportunity to take Suzette out for a brief drive this past week, it was sunny but cool. She ran crappy at first, but that was just the dregs of old gas. When I gave her some new gas and zoomed her around a little she seemed happy.
 
 

16 March 2004

I havenít had much time to work on the little car lately with everything else going on. I have managed to get the insulation and fit the floors. I am fiddling with the tranny tunnel, and I think I will glue that in place with contact cement, trying to keep it in shape.

I still need to get a piece of carpet for the tranny tunnel, as Kimís will not fit, though I will take her suggestion and use it as a pattern. I will test fit it over the insulation and see how much I will have to add.
 
 

30 March 2004

I finally finished installing the new used carpet. I ended up using Kimís tranny cover after all, as when I sized it up it was only Ĺ" from the floor at the most, easily covered by the floor pieces.

It was pretty straightforward, only the tranny tunnel was trying. When I glued down the padding I weighed it down to keep it from moving around, and when I put the carpet in I used stainless screws with cup washers to hold it snugly to the curves. I glued the seams up and they came out pretty good.

The best part is having the battery cover carpet that snaps down and stays in place. I will have pictures eventually. I celebrated by taking a drive yesterday, it was a record high 76ļ
 
 

26 April 2004

The weatherís been nice lately and Iíve been driving the little car more. She seems to have developed a good oil leak, I think itís from the pushrod covers. Iíll get around to looking at it. Eventually. Rather be driving! :-)
 
 

18 May 2004

Gary was already a long time member of the MGB Experience BBS when I joined 2½ years ago. He was always kidding and joshing, and would often end his posts with a hearty ďGOOD LUCK, BUDDY!!!!!!Ē I would tease him mercilessly about Canadian currency and Monopoly money (He lived near Victoria, B.C.), but he took it in stride.

This boisterous sense of humor manifested itself as the Full Moon Oíer Nawlins, when Gary showed his good side.

I got to meet him in person when he stopped by my house on his way to St. Louis during his trek we dubbed ďGaryís Big AdventureĒ He let me drive his car!

We first learned something was wrong back in December, when he wasnít posting. Back then the prognosis was good and he even returned for a brief time. I had thought of his ordeal as Garyís Other Big Adventure.

Alas it was worse than that and after a long and brave fight Gary passed from this earth peacefully Wednesday May 12th. Gary is no doubt driving an MGB in the sky where the weather is pleasant, the roads are fun, and there arenít any goddamn slow pokes in the way.
 
 

20 June 2004

Very warm weather here lately and Iíve been driving Suzette more. Had this odd experience of an imaginary leak, but it turned out to be nothing.

The exhaust seems to be hitting the underside of the car somewhere, causing an intermittent yet irritating rattle. I will have to get under there with a crowbar and pry it down a bit.

Still havenít tended to the leak...
 
 

31 July 2004

Gerry from the BBS had said that my imaginary leak was a warning sign and he proved to be right!

I went to back the little car out of the garage and it wouldnít roll. At first I thought it stuck parking brake, but then got out to see a flat tire. I took it to the tire dealer and had it fixed for less than $12.

While I had her butt up in the air, I took a crowbar to the exhaust pipe to move it away from where it was hitting underneath. Better now, but because I see a hole in the muffler I suppose I will get some muff-tape to fix that.
 
 

12 September 2004

I finally got around to putting the muffler tape on. After taking the car for a drive on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, I am not impressed. It sounds like thereís nothing there (maybe there isnít, I havenít looked yet). I think when it wears off Iíll just stick a piece of sheet metal on there with JB Weld. Canít be any worse.

I also made an 8 sticker for the little car. This is something Iíve been wanting to do since I painted it black a couple years ago as it would look like the 8 on an 8-ball. There are a few pics in the gallery.
 
 

27 October 2004

There have been a few clear, cool days this autumn, just right for driving. Today was one of them. Car is running a little rough, but is eager to go when I step on the gas. Still haven't got around to fiddling with the muffler again. I figure that's what winter is for.
 
 

1 December 2004

The past few weeks have been miserable and wet, so the little car was holed up safe in the garage. Weíve had a few clear days lately, so Iíve managed to get her out for a drive.
 
 

16 January 2005

The weather has been really shitty lately – either miserably cold or pissing down rain. The little car is safe and snug in the garage. One of these days I will jack her up to do a little work on her.
 
 

5 February 2005

Well, I finally got the little car up on jack stands today for some much needed maintenance. I need to check and adjust the rear brakes, and get under the car to patch that annoying hole in the muffler and attend to some rust.

Last month there were a few nice days for driving and one day when I was backing the car out of the garage I saw it was spilling gasoline all over the place. I found out the feed tube on the front carb was broken. Not wanting to spend $30 to replace the jet assembly, I took some fuel line and replaced the tube.
 
 

17 March 2005

Finished with the brakes and the car is back on the road! Even had a few nice days to drive.

While I was inspecting/ adjusting the brakes, I noticed the handbrake cable was scraping on the gas tank, so I will have to figure out what is wrong there. It was suggested the cable was routed incorrectly.

Also, I decided to lean the carbs out as the spark plugs. etc. were getting carbon build-up. It doesnít run quite as strong, so I will have to find some compromise.
 
 

16 June 2005

Been driving the little car when I can. Sometimes the weather is crappy and sometimes Iím just too busy. I will advance the timing and balance the carbs when time permits.
 
 

30 June 2005

POP! brrrrrrrrrrr... I was driving the little car one day and the fucking thing just up and died right there in the middle of the street. Fortunately I have AAA and so I got a free tow home. I suspect it is some simple ignition problem, but it will have to wait as I do not have time right now with work and stuff.
 
 

15 July 2005

The ignition problem was pretty simple... the distributor came out! The DFPO put the clamp on backwards. Once I fixed that, it fired right up. I set it to 30ļ BTDC. Itís still a little rough from being rich. I will replace the air filters and check the float levels next.

Had a good time at MG 2005 which was only 150 miles south of me so I didnít have any excuse not to be there. Saw a few people from the BBS and a whole lotta neat cars!
 
 

31 August 2005

I was driving the little car one day when I noticed a strong smell of gasoline. Thinking it was a leak, I took a peek under the hood to find gas squirting out of the rear bowlís overflow. For whatever reason, the fuel pump was giving it too much pressure all of the sudden. I replaced it with a Carter universal pump. The car runs really crappy now, so I will have to fiddle with it.
 
 

12 November 2005

Between work and the crappy weather I havenít had a chance to drive the little car very much at all. So I took some time to update the links page - removing dead links and adding a few new ones.

I also added a few photos to the gallery.
 
 

7 February 2006

Finally had some nice weather to fiddle with the little car. Decided to remove the carbs and intake and found the linkage was loose AND the DFPO invented intermittent vacuum leaks. Put it all back together and it runs better now. Not good, but better. I still need to fiddle with the mixture. It acts like itís lean, but the plugs look okay. The car liked a richer mixture with the old fuel pump, so maybe I will have to give it that again.
 
 

25 March 2006

The little car is up on jack stands now getting some attention to the underside. I will also connect the BCV hose to the air intake.
 
 

10 April 2006

Finally finished and got the car on the ground. Took a little drive and it seems better. Now I need to give it a good cleaning...
 
 

Go back
Home
Check the
Links
View the
Gallery
Use the
Contact Form
Meet the
Owner