Chicagoland MG Club: Driveline September 2016

MGAguru is on the Prowl
MGA Guru is Gone Mobile

In late July (and again in early August) we had a couple of stops to visit our "fiends in the alley" in York, Pennsylvania (last seen two years earlier). Here we used the hoist momentarily to change the rear suspension rebound straps (for the third time). This time we have heavy woven synthetic fabric straps from a source in New Zealand, and they are very substantial and will work well.

Then we spent some time (more than one day) tinkering with "the HIF carburetors from Hell". After being rebuilt they would not run on an MGB, as they seemed to be flooding. We were changing float valves a few times and testing fuel pressure, refitting the carbs multiple times. In the end it turned out to be the hose to the anti-run-on valve being connected to wrong side of t

he ARO valve so the vent port was closed when running rather than open vented. Once you figure out what's wrong it always turns out to be something simple. Then I took the opportunity to install new Perspex sliding plastic panels in my MGA side curtains. They were last replaced in 2006 after 205,000 miles of service. Being badly scratched with poor visibility they needed to be changed again, this time only 135,000 miles in service. Other minor repairs included replacement of a corroded battery cable terminal, slight shimming of speedometer input shaft to reduce wavering of the speed needle at road speed.

Then there was an Austin Healey 3000 with low mileage and nearly rust free that hadn't seen the light of day in 30 years. Fuel was drained and refreshed, fuel pump points cleaned, fuel filter changed, ignition points cleaned, new battery installed, and with lots of fiddling the gentle beast was awakened from its long sleep, now christened "Rip Van Healey". A Mini Cooper got a new speedometer cable, an MGA got a tune-up, one 1975 MGB with a horribly crushed right side (and missing the rear axle) was procured cheap (almost donated), and drug in to be disassembled for parts.

On 30th July we were visiting the Clustered Spires British Car Club for a meeting and BBQ, at the home of Ed Moss in rural Jefferson, Maryland. Following instructions on arrival we got into the wrong driveway and got stuck in a wet lawn for a bit. Navigator pushing the car smashed a tail light which was later taped back in place as a temporary fix. Otherwise it was a great club meeting with 30 new friends and a new tech appointment.

Beginning 31st of July were visiting Steve Williams in Abingdon, Maryland. He has an MGA that was down for gearbox rebuild, then had the engine bay totally gutted for cleaning and painting, and now he couldn't remember where everything went. So we spent five days here reassembling the car, reinstalling everything in the engine bay re-routing hydraulic pipes and cable harness, rewiring most of the lights and some stuff under dash, installed new clutch and engine. I am happy to report that Moss Motors has finally corrected the jamb-on problem with their spin-on oil filter adapter (a nagging problem since at least 2005).
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