Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline March 2009

Jim Evans The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive

from our President

I read a cute article in a hobby publication a few months ago. The author postulated that Einstein actually developed the theory of relativity as a result of working on his car out in the garage one day.
His scenario ran like this: Mrs Einstein leans out the door of her house and says “Achtung! Albert vat are you doing out there for the last 9 hours and your dinner ist now too gechilled for eatink”. And Albert, he says something like: “Mein Gott, Voman! I haff only just gotten the verdamt franistan calibrated to the doohickey – it can nicht be 9 hours!”. And so, the postulate goes, Albert later pondered on this and formulated the thought that time is relative: after all, how could many hours pass so quickly for you but so slowly for others when you’re working on your car?
Perhaps this has happened to you, also. It has to me. There’s just something about the satisfaction of having your curiosity challenged and then pursuing the solution to a mechanical problem that makes the time move quickly. There’s just something about a nut that breaks loose and spins off readily that helps cement your belief that the universe is a predictable and orderly place. Something about accurately performing a reasoned adjustment which produces positive results that reinforces your belief that all is well in the world.
Of course, there’s always the other side of mechanical efforts. Maybe you could call these experiences the “dark side” of mechanics. You know, the nut that seizes and resists every wrench in your toolbox…every application of penetrating oil compounds…maybe even an acetylene torch…maybe even the giant leverage applied by a 6 foot pipe on the end of your wrench. And then – Oh no! – it snaps and leaves you saying “What will I do now?” Or perhaps you say something different (actually, I do too).
Perhaps this has happened to you, also. It has to me. But there’s also just something about eventually solving these types of frustrating problems that also produces satisfaction and makes you fell good in the end when they are overcome.
Old Albert was, by all accounts, a pretty cool dude and I believe would likely have had fun as an MG owner if life had sent one his way. Just imagine the consequences of that: would quarks be called Mowogs? Would quantum mechanics be taught in back alley garages? Would rally's end before they started? Would the term “black hole” describe MG maintenance to the world?
We will all have some great opportunities this year to test our position on these theories of relativity: how does time


pass in your MG on a back country road compared to being in your Honda on the Kennedy at rush hour? How does time pass at a club tech session with a wrench in your hand compared to a dandelion digger in your back yard? How does time pass at Natter ‘n’ Noggin as compared to those company committee meetings?

Questions to ponder. Relatively speaking, that is.

Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans

dave_peterson The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive

from our Vice - President

Last month I mentioned the work my cars need.  Some of the "nagging bits" on the roadster include replacing the J.B. Weld plug in the intake manifold, installing a Pertronix ignition, putting in a relay for my halogen head lights.  Those "bits" sound like major jobs to me.  The manifold will entail removing the carbs and manifold and taking the manifold to a machine shop to be tapped for the new plug reinstallation (note to self to be sure to order any gaskets that may be required).  The carbs will need to be checked.  The shaft seems to be tight enough but the difficult cold starts and sometimes funky running may be trying to tell me something.
The Pertronix is supposed to be an easy job.  There was an article in MGB Driver sometime back about an inexperienced teenager performing the task with no trouble.  I would expect his vision is better than mine.  I think he did the install with the distributor in place.  I'll have to remove the distributor and work on it in a vise to see what I'm doing. I know John Twist makes removing and replacing a distributor look easy (it's supposed to only go back one way), but for someone who's paranoid about getting plug wires messed up anytime I'm close to the distributor it seems daunting.
The relay for the headlights should be no sweat.  I have a friend who's a retired electrician who has put such a relay on both of his 356 Porsches so hopefully I can just watch him do mine. These "bits" start to sound like major jobs that could keep my driver off the road the whole season.
In the meantime the "project" GT just sits there.  I bought the GT several years ago with the intention of doing

Continued on page 4

The Club welcomes all MG enthusiasts to call on its gatherings. Please call any person listed above for more information.

The Driveline is published by the Chicagoland MG Club. It is the sole property of the Chicagoland MG Club. Reprinting of its contents is allowed by members and other car clubs with credit for original source. Please keep in mind that the technical advice and opinions offered are those of their authors and do not necessarily represent those of the club as a whole. Modifications and procedures presented may violate state or federal laws. They might not even work. The Driveline and the Chicagoland MG Club will not be liable for any consequences. Send all Driveline Newsletter contributions to:
Deadline for submissions is Saturday after the monthly membership meeting
Pg 3 of 12 homebacktopnext

©2009 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.