Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline March 2016

The Steering Column

David Novak
Left Hand Drive
from our President
I have a feeling that the brief taste of spring is just that, a brief taste. Don'tí get me wrong, Iím all in favor of an early spring and a perfect summer, I just donít think itís here yet. However, that has not stopped me from getting back out into the garage, in fact itís inspired me!

The good news is that MG is just fine. Sitting quietly in the garage, waiting for warm dry roads before she starts her yearly ritual of terrorizing the neighborhood. I say ďterrorizeĒ but really ďenchantĒ is more appropriate, since all the little kits look and point, and even follow on their bikes, when we drive by.

The reason Iím out in the garage has nothing to do with the reliability of the MG, or dodgy Lucas electrics, that is all fine as-is (Knock on wood). Rather Iím getting the Volkswagen ready for the summer camping season! This mostly means chasing down electrical gremlins that have been annoying me for a couple of years. The nice thing about working on the van, as opposed to a British sports car, is that there is enough room under the van, that I can comfortably(-ish) crawl under the van! Which is good, because I donít have enough height in my garage to jack it up very far!

I find it fun to contrast the two vehicles. The van is an Ď85, rear-engine, rear-wheel drive automatic camper-van, with fuel injection, and the MG is a Ď74, front engine, carbureted, rear-wheel drive, manual transmission sports car. The interesting thing is that while they are very different in design, and construction, and technology, they are still doing the exact same thing, while using only slightly different methods.

While the MG has given me an insight into the technology of the time, it was more than that. It was a very tractable way to learn on something small, simple, and inexpensive. Everything Iíve learned while working on, and maintaining the MG, is applicable to the Volkswagen as well, and even to the more modern cars in the fleet.

Anyway, I hope to have both vintage vehicles on the road in the not-too-distant future when the sun is shining and the weather is warmer!

Until then, Safety Fast!

-- Dave Novak      


Ray Hansen

The Steering Column
Right Hand Drive  
from our Vice-President  
I did not buy a lottery ticket last week. I figured I was already lucky enough. I had to drive to Springfield. Thatís not the lucky part. The lucky part came before I left. My daily driver was experiencing a kind of rumbling at about 40 miles per hour and then would go away. It seemed to only happen when the car was cold. As usual, I stuck my head in the sand and expected it to be okay.

Since I had a free morning before needing to start my drive to Springfield, I took the car in to see if there actually was an issue. Truth be told, this action was prompted by my wife Susan. She seems to be able to keep cars longer than I do. The car dealer drove the car and found the same rumbling. They thought it was a wheel alignment. No. They then drained all the oil (donít ask me why but thatís what they said they did next). No. They then drained the transmission oil (again I donít know why). Thatís when they discovered a very slight leak in the cooling system that keeps the transmission cool. Seems a small gasket had failed. This meant a transmission job. Now for the lucky part of the story. I still had 4000 miles left on my warranty so the $7000.00 transmission job was on them. I was given a loaner to make my drive to Springfield and my car was ready when I got home a few days later.

There is a lesson here. Susan knows more about how to keep a car on the road than I do. For some reason she doesnít like it when I need to bring my LBC in (seems to always be expensive which I also donít like) but she thinks bringing in the newer cars for work is always money well spent. Spending money to keep your LBC running is also money well spent.

~~ Ray Hansen & Maggie    
(AKA Little Red)

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