Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline April 2017

books The Library Muse

Looking through the Club’s calendar of events, I see that Reinout and crew have scheduled numerous driving trips, some of which are a weekend long. Some of you may be thinking that sounds like a great trip, but are worried that your MG may break down away from home. Of course MGs don’t break down, they just need occasional unscheduled maintenance. If your car happens to become the lucky recipient of one of these roadside tech sessions, don’t worry. We always get them back.

Back in 1996, when Deb and I were new to the club, we attended Indy ’96, the first ‘all register’ gathering. Our B developed a leak at the water pump. Pick up a couple of water jugs at the 7-11 and we make it back home without further incident. I subsequently install a new water pump. Unbeknown to me at the time, the fan sat a little closer to the radiator than on the old pump.

The next road trip that year is off to Grand Rapids for John Twist’s summer party. Upon leaving we decide to take a scenic route back to the hotel and banquet. Due to Deb’s poor navigation skills I hit a giant (even by Chicago standards) pothole. What a jolt! The car shakes and sputters, but then clears up and we continue on our way…..for about two blocks. Then we are engulfed in a cloud of steam and the sweet smell of Prestone. We nurse the B back to the main road. Can’t quite make it up to the next gas station for help, we’re dead on the side of the road, steaming away. Both the car and me. I raise the bonnet and discover that the fan has gone thru the radiator. Too little clearance and weak motor mounts. No easy roadside fix here. No more than a couple of minutes pass and Phil and Dallas Smith pull up in their TD. Strangers to us, but being fellow MG’ers they stop to offer assistance. They head off to the hotel and get word to the Chicago club.

After a short while Reinout Vogt, Jim Evans, and Gene Cooper pull up in Bill Cooper’s American sedan and flat tow the B back to the hotel lot. We make it to the Saturday dinner in time. After several pops I feel better (who says alcohol can’t solve problems?) and plan to get the car over to Twist’s shop Monday. However that night at the parking lot party I am presented with a ratty looking radiator. Someone had gotten word over to John Twist and one of his folks brought it over. It looked bad but guaranteed to hold water. Not too bright and way too early Sunday morning Deb and I install the radiator, using washers and longer bolts from Ann and Jake Snyder to increase the fan clearance. We finish in time to make the parade lap and brunch at the Grattan Race Track. Then home without incident. Like I said before, we always get them back.

A-Antics Tech Tips
Michigan chapter NAMGA Register, 3rd edition, 1991, 245 pages, loose bound

At the Swap Meet Jim Michel donated about ten books to the library, A-Antic Tech Tips being one. I haven’t gone thru it yet but it appears to be crammed full of good info for the DIYer. Even if you don’t have an MGA, a lot of this information should carry over to MGBs. Barney Gaylord said that he has a copy and peruses it from time to time, so it must be good.

-- ~~ Bill Mennell

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