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  Chicagoland MG Club:Driveline
MGB Engine Rebuild
February 7, 2004, 2004 - Downers Grove, IL

John Schroeder Rebuilding the engine on my 1967 B was an amazing experience. First, I want to thank everyone who attended any and all of the three sessions. I hope everyone learned as much from the people who have done this before as I did.

December 6, 2003: As the website pictures show, removing the engine was pretty straightforward. Disconnect everything, hook up the engine hoist and gingerly pull the engine and transmission from the car. Everything when well except for that temperature sensor that did not want to come out of the head. After removing the fan and water pump and applying a pipe wrench, the nut finally let go and we were able to avoid wrecking the temperature gauge.

We had planned on quitting by 2:00PM, but it was closer to three by the time we got the engine disassembled. On December 8, I took the engine to the machine shop where everything was measured and I got the good news and the bad news. Actually, it was mostly good news, as I had already figured out most of the bad stuff. The cylinders were worn almost .018 , so I ordered .030 oversized pistons. The crankshaft journals were hardly worn at all, so I was able to use standard size bearings. I ordered an engine rebuild kit and took it to the machine shop. Nothing to do now but wait for the machinist to finish his part.

January 24, 2004: The engine is back, ready to re-assemble. The biggest snag was two brass plugs that sealed oil galleys. I had several orders of plugs shipped overnight, but they were not the right size. Fortunately, Tom Sotomayor came through with his lathe and was able to turn them for me. Note for everyone: Make sure your machine shop has a functioning lathe before dropping off the block. I was not able to find the last two plugs in stock anywhere and the shop couldn t turn them.

We started at nine, and put in a longggggg day, but by the time the last person left, the engine was assembled and ready for paint. I spent most of the next two weeks masking off the machined surfaces, painting the engine, and setting the valves and timing.

February 7, 2004: Itís been two months and we are ready to put the engine back in the car and start it up. I am both exited and nervous. We pull the engine off the stand with the hoist, set it on the floor, and assemble the backing plate, clutch, and transmission to it. We pulled the car in to warm it up. We carefully lowered the engine into the car, hooked everything up, and got ready to start it up. My apologies to Wade Keene. He was stuck under the car again, putting the rear engine mounts and drive shaft back together and making all the other underside connections.

Painted engine on stand Flywheel and clutch assembled on engine

Everything was finally reattached and put back together and the moment of truth had arrived. We left the coil disconnected and started cranking the engine. Barney said it would take about forty-five seconds for the oil pressure to come up. I was sweating bullets. At the designated time, the oil pressure gauge jumped to 80 PSI, and I began to breathe normally. We plugged in the coil, turned the engine, and it fired immediately. We turned the idle to about 2000 RPM and settled down for the cam run in. Twenty minutes and several adjustments to lower the idle speed later, we shut it down.

Lifting engine into car Smiles all around during cam run-in

Then it was just a matter of a couple of test drives around the neighborhood. I now have the first hundred miles on the engine. I changed the oil and filter, retorqued the heads, and readjusted the valves.

I should be all set for the Missouri Endurance Rally in March. And no more cases of oil in the boot, I may even have room for luggage for the Parsippany trip.

John Schroeder -- johnmschroeder@comcast.net

More photos and notes at: www.chicagolandmgclub.com/photos/engine_reb03


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