Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline August 2017

MGA Guru Gone Mobile

June 23, 2017, Friday morning after the NAMGAR GT in Solvang, CA, we pointed the MGA north. We had a short visit with XKs Unlimited in San Luis Obispo, providing full service and restoration for Jaguar (and occasionally a few other models). Then we stopped to visit Tim and Gwen Clark in Capitola, CA with a nice MGB. Then on to visit Emile's Sports Car Performance in Santa Cruz where they love to work on British

Infrequent remote fuel stops
and European sports cars. While there an MGA we knew previously from Arizona showed up with a new owner and a clutch problem, which we promptly fixed by bleeding the clutch slave cylinder. At same time we did some long overdue trailer repairs, replacing bolts in the leaf spring rear shackles and installing the spare tire in place of a nearly new tire with carcass failure (very unusual). After a day-off to catch up clerical work, Sunday evening we took a short side trip to visit Michael Mitchell in Etna, CA, who has a daily driver MG ZB Magnette where we shortly installed a new generator and adjusted the voltage regulator to fix a no-charging issue, and before sundown we were in Oregon.

Late Monday evening June 26 we crossed the Canadian border from Washington state at Summas/Abbotsford, and landed in Chilliwack, British Columbia to visit Bruce Webster who has a 1959 MGA which he bought disassembled, now including 1800 engine and overdrive gearbox. We took a full day here to acclimate to Canada, picking up a Canadian cell phone, downloading GPS maps for Canada, and exchanging some US currency for Canadian currency. We also visited Doug Holbron at CRAP central (that would be Classic Restoration And Preservation) in Abbotsford, BC Canada. In recent years, they have absorbed the remains of another shop and are now renamed All British Cars/West Highland Coach House. Lots of interesting toys here. We also picked up oil filters and oil and Bearing Buddies for the trailer hubs (one needing immediate replacement), and paid up my car insurance for the next year.

By noon on the 28th we were heading north through plenty of mountains, long roads, thinning traffic, enjoying the cooling

Mountains everywhere in western Canada and Alaska
weather and higher altitude, landing in Prince George, 430 miles by day's end. On the 29th Yellowhead Highway 300 miles where some or the hills are 7-8% grades in 3rd gear with the trailer, wonderful scenery, not much traffic. Then BC-37/Stewart-Cassiar Highway 97 miles, Cassiar Hwy/BC-37 352 miles just into Yukon Territory and a few miles up YT-1/Alaska Highway by 1-am, 760 miles for the day. On the 30th we found the Alaska Highway in western Yukon Territory to be somewhat deteriorated and rather hard on the car. We had to stop for an hour to reattach the LF shock absorber to the frame, and shortly thereafter two hours to replace a blown head gasket (which had lasted only to months). But carry on, and by day's end we had

Better repair of shock absorber in Anchorage
crossed into Alaska, 600 miles for the day. Next day (1st of July) we ran into Tok, AK for lunch and a WiFi break, and called Moss Motors to send up two head gaskets (which we have so far not needed), then made our way west down the Glenn Highway to Anchorage by 7-pm, 355 miles for the day, 2145 miles in 4 days, arriving a day earlier than originally planned.

In Anchorage, we had a short visit with Del Rawlins, checking out his MGA restoration project, the car that used to belong to his father. Then two days for catch-up work. On Monday, we got the MGA into the Independence Day Parade in Anchorage along with half a dozen British cars from British Sports Cars Alaska local club, and lunch with some of the club members. Tuesday 7/5 was maintenance day for the MGA, repairing a broken bolt and a stripped thread to re-mount the LF shock absorber, doing oil changes for engine and gearbox and differential, lube job, reconnect exhaust pipe to manifold. Feeling particularly chuffed about the day's
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