Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline May 2015
Technical Stuff

Fix It With Steve...

Hi Folks,

Well a few weekends ago we were pretty eventful at the ‘Fix-it’ garage. I have three stories to tell;-

First the B GT Air conditioning is almost finished apart from some cosmetics and useful things like a charge of R134a. I did start to use it to shake it down and try to tease some gremlins out. Needless to say they arrived. The biggest headache (actually hand ache judging by the cuts on mine) being a speedo cable that keeps coming undone from the head. It took two hours Wednesday night to get it back on and it was off again by Friday………….grrr. A couple of other troubles arrived and got dealt with, however with the Missouri Endurance Rally around the corner the speedo is something I need to get fixed.

Second up was on Friday night. You might remember back last fall Steve LAFond had a problem with his Bs left turn signal coming on by itself? Well the problem came back with the car just sitting in the garage. Problem, left turn signal lights on, front & rear and the dash warning light with the ignition off. I found the connector under the bonnet/hood where the wire from the dash splits to go to the front & rear lights; separated them all which caused the dash warning light & front turn signal to go out. The rear was still lit and the connector had 12V on it. So when all the wires were connected the power from the rear signal back fed and powered the front one and the warning light. So the problem was that the rear turn signal was getting 12v from somewhere it shouldn’t and what’s more that supply was on all the time and not switched on by the ignition. Some studying of the wiring diagram showed the culprit was the trunk light. This is a fused circuit but permanently powered and the only one of this type in the rear loom. (The fuel pump for instance is also powered but only when the ignition is turned on, so it wasn’t at fault) So there had to be two faults. The insulation on the turn signal wire and the trunk light power supply had to be damaged in the same place and the bare wires then touching. An inspection under the car showed a couple of spots where the loom was touching the starter motor and the outer blue sheath covering the individual wires was damaged. I


moved the loom away from the motor and tied it in place to stop any further damage. The quick temporary / semi-permanent fix was to disconnect the power to the trunk light. Problem fixed. A longer term solution would be to open up the loom, find the damaged wires & repair them, or of course just buy and fit a new rear loom. Somehow I think the fix I did will there for a long time! Of course all this movement in the wiring gave Steve another couple of issues, but I think they will be quickly resolved.

Finally the weekend saw a 1957 Austin Healey get a new clutch. Like the TRs the gearbox comes into the car leaving the engine behind. A great deal, with that 3L 6 cylinder monster! The gearbox was out in 2 hours! The clutch disc was worn but I think the major problem was it was glazed over, looking very polished. We will see in the next couple of weeks when some other jobs have been finished and the car is going again. We are also replacing the exhaust and working on the carbs. The choke linkage is like that on MGAs with a long lever under the carbs to pull the jet down. The ones on the Healey were missing some bushes so most of the action of the choke cable was to take up all the extra lash. Some new bushes were made out of tubing & the result looks very pleasing. We shall see.

I needed to either sort my MGB GT so it’s ready for the Missouri Endurance Rally in two weeks’ time or bite the bullet & get the TR6 ready. It needs its clutch slave cylinder rebuilding. Sunday there is a 1964 Spitfire coming over for a tune up. Plus no doubt there will be carry-over work from the week to finish off.

Oh boy, I just made it to the DuPage Inn on Ogden Avenue in time for some pints of R&R.

As always there will be lots going on in the shop on weekends. Stop on by if you get some time.

-- ~~ Steve Skegg

The Senior Driver

As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him, "Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on 280. Please be careful!"

"Hell," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"

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