Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline May 2017

(Continued from page 18)
stages of decay). A phone call found Gil, who is the "G" in G&B, wanting to close the business and liquidate everything. Also, British Motor Classics in Phoenix turned out to be closed for 12 years. In the evening, we attended a dinner meeting with Arizona MG T Roadrunners Club. I think 16 attendees were at the meeting, which was apparently a pretty good turnout for this group.

On the 19th we had a visit with Lizbeth Patterson & Rocky in Mesa, AZ for a look at Liz's MG TD with fuel leaking from the carbs, difficult starting, bad running, had been parked for five months, and the parking brake didn't work. Badly stuck fuel jets (no choke) and the fuel leak were fixed with all new jet seals (magic Teflon O-rings again) followed by adjustments and standard tune-up. Rear brake shoes and parking brake cables needed adjustment.

Original owner MGA in Phoenix
Back to Phoenix to meet Danny Young who has an MGA with MGB 1800 engine that just didn't run right. We had to replace the throttle cable and make some adjustments, and that one was running normally again. Then we cruised a few miles for a meeting with Arizona MG Club in Phoenix. This produced one more appointment for the following day. That was a rather long jaunt to visit Gale and Art McCall in Surprise, AZ. Their MG TD being hard starting was due to an extra-long choke cable with a couple extra bends under the dash being too stiff to operate the choke. Cutting the cable shorter fixed that problem. Then back in Phoenix to visit Lee Pernell who still has the MGA he bought new in 1958. This one is pretty much original, but showing the patina (and fabric rot) resulting from too much time in the sun. Seats had been replaced with early MGB seats. Mostly flat tires with sidewalls cracking, and dead battery. With brake released it will roll, and the engine turns, so it should be easy enough to revive. I had an overwhelming urge to buy a new battery and a gallon of gas, but not now.

MG ZB Magnette for service in Prescott
Next day we were off for a visit Ettore Balletto in Scottsdale, AZ who has a beautifully restored MGA 1600-MK-II that was hard to start and wouldn't run right, backfiring and no power for acceleration. This was after he had paid some pro shop for the tune-up (Grrrrr). Hard starting traced to a choke cable adjusted too long. Backfiring traced to front carburetor adjusted full lean. Low power traced to overly extended throttle cable with lots of slack, all easily fixed, and all is well with the world. Then we were two hours back up the hills to Prescott, AZ looking for "The Shop", except it was now "Prescott Tune-Up Specialists" (for more than ten years). Good news is, the current shop will indeed work on vintage British cars, and there was an MG ZB Magnette waiting for a brake bleeding and get it running.

Out of AZ, through Death Valley, see you in CA

Climbing out from below sea level to a mile high

Weekend again, we were heading NW out of Arizona, through a bit of SW Nevada, passing into SE California where we were running lots of hills (and valleys) to drive through Death Valley National Park. That was uneventful enough (in spite of the heat), but just west of the park the MGA began sputtering, apparently, victim of a burned valve. I ultimately disconnected one spark plug wire to hopefully prevent damage to the (hardened steel) valve seat. Moss Motors parts in Goleta was "just over there", but it was an interesting exercise driving another 200 miles through more mountains running on three cylinders. We will catch you up on this issue next time.

~~Barney & Elliot Gaylord

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