Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline April 2016

Tamin' The B
Tales of the Mongrel

The MGB although the later British Leyland product with many refinements was really never meant to be driven on US highways under US driving conditions. It is a subtle car and its beauty is that its bones are basically "indestructible" - it was meant to be tinkered with (loved) and it served its master well who knew it and took care of it. Its character was cornering on those interesting English roads....a mellow drive through the country-side getting from one place to another in a subdued common manís class and comfort!

OK, 2016 and Chicagoland MG Club Driving Events featuring its 2 MOST SOCIAL events and which also feature most miles on the road events i.e. Jo Daviess Tour in June and Wine, Cheese & Beer Tour in September!

Being a co-sponsor of WBCT (Wine, Beer & Cheese Tour) and having participated on JDT (the big JOE in June) I know what it is like to be on I-88, I-39, etc... at 70+ mph. It's hot, its loud and it vibrates #@$!%&!! My 1972 B does well at 70-75 on the highway but Susan and I find ourselves EXHAUSTED at the end of day. Sooooo, what does one do about that??

Being in an MGB as long as I have I decided there were 4 things I could do.

Tamin' #1 - Insulation. Cheap and easy and did I say cheap! Basically Moss Motors or Victoria British sell sound insulation rolls and although it means taking seats out it is worth the effort. Under hood insulation nice and fresh also helps.

Tamin' #2 - Seat. Last year after 2 decades I finally totally rebuilt my seats from frame up. U-Tube was a great help and the seats are 100 times better....WOW!! Try this fix! However a hint here is once you have your old seat back forms out cut the center form with a metal straight edge and razor knife and then tuck that in as more lumbar support into the new formed and covered seat. YES, it is better!

Tamin' #3 - Exhaust System. The system I had on was a Merlin that fit perfectly and was actually less expensive than buying one and installing myself ....what the heck! Only issue is that it had of 2 resonators only and was loud.


Susan and I put up with this for a few years but the time to change had come. With some research I found the quietest system to be the Moss Motors standard exhaust. Yes, I said quietest!! In addition, I replaced the very loose exhaust header (I had replaced the down pipe and manifold years ago) with a heavier gauge steel one.

All 3 of these cost me about $650 dollars which is not bad.

Tamin' #4 - This might (and I say "might") be the big one! I am sold that the conversion 5-speed transmission will reduce RPMs at 70mph by close to a thousand. That's going from 4100 to about 3100 which is a big difference in ride. At issue is cost. $4000!

Not sure I am there as yet so we will see what Tamin' 1 thru 3 do for me while I hope the markets recover some.

~~ Ralph Arata

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