Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline July 2011
Tech Corner
MGB Differential Clunk Removal
June 18, 2011 - Naperville, IL

This tech session was a little different from the one eight year’s earlier, like working on eight cars in one day rather than just one. The idea was to surgically remove the clunk from the rear end of as many MGBs as might show up for the service. We ordered thrust washers, gaskets, seals and gear oil in advance. Gear oil for the cars was picked up in the morning along with donuts, coffee and soda for the workers.

We had three service bays and a work bench in the shade on the patio to work with. If the count is right, we had 10 visiting cars and 13 people before day's end. With this many hands available the work would clip right along.

Work progressed well with success on all cars except for two—Dean Swanson’s car had difficulty in removing the wire wheel bearing and had to abort until another day and John Kearns had a prior time constraint and had to leave before there was a bay available for use. All in all it was a successful day.

-- Barney Gaylord


Useful tools and parts
to keep your comfort level high for a 100 mile Sunday drive:

1) Used fan belt, (2) ½-inch wrenches and (1) 9/16” wrench or ratchet & sockets, rotor for distributer, mechanic’s wire, selection of nuts and bolts, tape. These cost almost nothing and can fix a lot of problems.

Flashlight, owner’s manual, unopened can of brake fluid, 1 quart of oil, 1 gallon of water or coolant, test lamp, jumper wire, accelerator cable.


Emergency fuel pump


Complete working distributor


Electrical wire 12 or 14 gauge, butt connectors, and crimping tool.

How to have a happy Sunday drive:

Check the fluids – brake master, clutch master, engine oil and coolant. (Check the gearbox, rear axle and carburetors at least once a year). Top up the fluids. Check for fuel leaking on the ground. If there is a leak, do not drive the MG.


Start the engine and let it warm up. The oil pressure should be 50 psi at 3,000 rpm and the ignition lamp should be out. Otherwise do not drive the MG. Check that there is fuel in the tank.


Get your cell phone and IPASS transponder. Take your family radios or CB radio along. Do you have AAAPlus or equivalent? (Also NAMGBR if you are a member). Now you can leave your driveway.


Most common failures: Fuel pump stops working (and does not start when bashed with a wheel hammer), distributor points ‘slip[ closed’. 1975 and later also have an ignition key relay on the right inner fender.

Toolbox Tips
Excerpt from University Motors LTD. Technical Book - 2007

Stuck screws—Use a hammer and a good screwdriver, use heat, or use penetrant and a lot of time. For a speedy removal of a Phillips screw, clean the slots with a small pick, seat a proper sized screwdriver into the slots, strike the screwdriver with the hammer, not only to seat it into the slot, but to jar the threads, and the screw will almost always turn free with a little effort.

Broken Studs—If a stud is broken off above the surface, remove it carefully by heating the area around the stud and extracting with vise grips. If the stud is broken off at or below the surface, weld some metal to the stud with a MIG welder, then grasp that new weld with the vise grips. A MIG welder easily welds to the metal in a stud or bolt, but not easily to cast iron. As a last resort, drill and tap!

Anti-seize—Regular anti-seize for undercarriage nuts and bolts, and nickel anti-seize for exhaust systems. Anti-seize has use in the front suspension, the front bolts of the rear leaf springs, the handbrake equalizer assembly, and that’s about all!

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