Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline September 2013

books The Library Muse

You probably remember the heat wave that we had at the beginning of this summer. It was too hot (for me) to drive the MG so I put it into summer storage for about three weeks. This was comprised of putting on a battery tender and parking in the garage. When I brought the car back out I found that the battery was half dry. A liter of distilled water and a charge and it was ready to go. Worked fine until the August staff meeting at Mack’s. Battery was flat when I left to go home. A quick jump from George and I’m on my way. Get home without incident, headlights not dimming at low RPM, no loss of power. That was on a Monday.

Thursday I decide to take the car up to the local service garage and get the battery checked. Less than a half mile away. As I am pulling into their drive I hear a loud ‘pop’ from behind the off side seat. We open the battery box cover to find that one of the fill hole vent covers had popped off and hit the underside of the cover. Acid had sprayed all around the battery box. The acid was boiling in all 6 cells. To make a long story short (oops, too late for that) the alternator was pumping out over 17 volts. Time to switch to a Saturn alternator.

Lessons learned:
  • Don’t trust a battery tender for a long period of time, check on it now and again.
  • Always make sure the battery cover is in place. I had previously replaced mine with a two door hinged. With the original I probably would not have secured it and gotten an acid shower (also easier to get to your liquid refreshments in the left side box, although I’ve heard some people waste that space with small parts or tools).
  • Always wear eye protection near the battery. I came about 30 seconds from getting an exfoliated facial.
  • Wining Winning
    The Racing Life of Paul Newman
    Stone and Lerner, 2009, 176 pages, hardbound, photos

    “In Winning, Matt Stone and Preston Lerner draw on the trackside recollections of those who knew Paul Newman, the race car driver. Contributors include Bob Sharp, Dan Gurney, Bobby Rahal, Tommy Kendall, Patrick Dempsey, and many other fellow drivers, owners, engineers, and actors. With personal and archival photos, Stone and Lerner tell the story of a man known to many as one of the world’s finest actors. But to others as one hell of a racer.” Not to sound sexist, the book is about one half photos, which may interest the ladies. What’s he got that the rest of us guys don’t?

    ~~Bill Mennell    

    Motor Works
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