Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline May 2009

Jim Evans The Steering Column
Left Hand Drive

from our President

I recently had a brief discussion with Mark Leuck of Quality Tire, our host for the annual Tune Up party, concerning the correct anniversary of this popular event. He thought 24 years and I thought 23, but the true answer lies in the web site archives: the first Tune Up party hosted by Mark occurred in April 1987.
Back then, Mark operated a tire dealership/repair shop in Lyons, IL just off of Ogden Avenue near the old Riverside water tower. Our club had previously held sporadic annual get-it-out-of-mothballs get togethers for several years at various members’ homes. The move into a professional repair shop environment in 1987 was a first for us, and has become over the years one of our longest running traditional events. Mark has moved his business twice during that time, and the cars and owners that show up have also changed over the years. One thing that has stayed constant, though, is the appreciation that our members have for this opportunity to come together to observe/repair/address technical issues in a professional setting.
There’s an old saying that “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. Seems to me to be a lot of truth to that as it relates to club activities.
For example, this month we will again (after a multi-year absence) be presenting a “rally school” at our monthly meeting. One of the hallmarks of sportscar ownership, going back to bias ply tire days, is the “rally”. If you’ve ever been a Camaro guy, or a Mustang guy, or a GTO guy, you can probably confirm that rallys are not native to those hobbies. Rallys are, frankly, somewhat mysterious to the uninitiated – kind of like a secret society activity. What exactly goes on at a rally? How is it done? How is it finished? Our rally school will fill in the blanks for you. We have a good selection of rallys on the calendar for members this summer: Land’s End Rally, Lucas Night Rally, Halloween Rally, and also a rally in conjunction with the Austin-Healy club. Come to the “school” and see if rallying sounds like fun to you – and, if it does, plan on joining us over the summer for our rally program. Who knows? – you might even win a trophy!
And, by the way, the Land’s End Rally is probably our oldest continuing driving event, dating back to 1981 (according to the web site archives). Our event is named after the original Land’s End Trials; an English endurance rally back in the 20’s where various British manufacturers vied to showcase the superiority of their products (sort of the original “what-wins-on Sunday-sells-on-Monday” marketing). And you probably can guess who won in 1925. Our rally has morphed over the years from one form to another, from a Sunday afternoon drive in the country to an overnight trip to Wisconsin and now back to a Sunday afternoon drive. We’ll be on some of the same roads this year as we were in 1981 – and some of the same cars will be on them. And yes, quite likely some of the same drivers.
Our club has a long tradition of providing a variety of


enjoyable activities for our members. If you find that rallying is not for you, then a Tour or an Autocross might be more to your liking. Or maybe a garage based tech session. Or maybe joining other members at a local car show. Check the club calendar for upcoming events of all types.
Another old saying starts off: “Something old, something new...” Seems like a good recipe for a car club, so we’re planning to add some new activities to the established ones mentioned above. Hope you agree with the thought and enjoy the summer driving season with us.
Safety Fast, -- Jim Evans

dave_peterson The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive

from our Vice - President

After 10 years of driving my '72MGB Roadster with a malfunctioning (eventually non-functioning) speedometer I finally removed the offending instrument and sent it off for repair.  When I first got the car, the speed would read either 20 or 60, frequently waving erratically between the two, but the odometer seemed reasonably accurate.  On advice of club members I pulled the cable and lubed it with no noticeable improvement.  I even bought a new cable with a right angle drive but never got around to installing it.  Finally, even the odometer stopped working and I've relied on estimating my speed based on 17 mph per 1000 RPM for some time now. I don't think that's very close since traffic backs up behind me when I'm driving 3000 RPM in a 45 mph speed zone.  In 4 to 6 weeks I should have the speedo back and hopefully working.
Of course removing the speedo reminded me of other issues in the dash area.  Like none of the lights work. I need to check all the grounds and clean the switches to rectify that (probably replace all the bulbs while I'm at it).  I've been told that the best way to do this is to remove the dash (at least get it loose) and get access to the back of it.  It sounds like a good task to take on before reinstalling the speedo.  Supposedly, loosening the dash is not too complicated.  However, I've found that these "not too complicated" tasks tend to be more difficult than they should be because there always seems to be at least one fastener that is stripped/or broken that makes removal difficult, and invariably when things go back together there is some glitch that ends up making  it "almost right".  These things seem to add to the symphony of rattles and buzzes from previous projects that were almost right but remind at every bump in the road that I've settled for less than perfection. Oh well it's just a driver.
The non-driver (741/2 GT) has been getting some attention too. I've decided to not rebuild the engine at this point, even though I'm about 1/3 of the way through the removal process.  Instead I'm going to get it back on the road as a driver and evaluate things from there.  My first task is to rebuild the front suspension, which I had started to work on some time

Continued on page 4

Pg 3 of 12 homebacktopnext

©2009 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.