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|05/19/2013||Finding the Right Shim Stack for Front Hubs|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Steve Struck.
Lesson learned from re-assembling the GT - MGB Front Hub Assembly - Wire Wheel Hub.
The process of finding the right shim stack up for MGB front hubs generally means several "on and off" cycles with the hub, outer bearing, shims and tab washer. Easy enough except for getting the tab washer on if you have wire wheels. The recess distance of the wire wheel hub is long enough and the ID is small enough that you are pretty much down to trying to get the washer on with two (now greasy) fingers. And your fingers pretty much block the view of the tab and slot, making the job of lining them up a matter of feel and luck. This is much easier if you use a magnetized probe tool. Stick the washer on the magnet, tab up, and insert the washer over the spindle. The slender tool allows you to see the slot easily and the flat on the magnet holds the washer perpendicular to the spindle. Easy/breezy!
|04/28/13||Dash Plaque Dilemma?|
This Issue Tech Tip Is From Nelson Wittstock.
Nelson Wittstock. Thanks Nelson ($20.00 will be credited to your LBCarCo account) Please contact us ASAP for further info.I like the dash plaques that are given out for many car events. What I don't like is the adhesive used to put them on my dash. Now that is no longer a concern . What I do now is to put a strip of magnetic tape (available at Michaels) on the back of the plaque. The adhesive on the tape sticks to the plaque and I can put the plaque on my dash and remove it with no stickum left behind when I want to put a newer one in its place.
|04/21/13|| Replacing Your Heater Control Cable|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Peter Bowden.
Have you ever tried to replace one of your heater control cables on you MGB that snakes behind your dash? When I thought how difficult it was going to be, trying to get the new cable in where the old one was I almost gave up. What I did was undo both ends which is at the control knob and the other at the valve control. I then took the new cable casing and the old cable casing and butt welded the two ends together using a acetylene torch. I used a pair of Vice-Grips to hold the old cable as my third hand, then let cool. I then pulled and pushed the new cable housing through from the engine side until I had enough at the control knob. How simple is that? Then take a cut off wheel and cut to length. Now put the cable cord through and you have your new cable installed.
|04/14/13||Battery Cut Off Switches|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Bill Cole.
There was a previous tech tip regarding electrical system drains. I use one of the green-knobed battery cutoffs pictured here (part 145-795). I have always assumed that more is better, and when I undo mine to disconnect the battery, I always made the connection quite loose. To my surprise, I found that when too loose, the connection is remade and the disconnect is defeated. Now, I turn on the lights, then unscrew until they go out plus a little. Make sure you turn off the light switch when done, just in case contact is made.
|03/17/13||Square Nut Cages|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Chris Gillespie.
I've been trying to make square nut cages (the folded sheet-metal covers that are spot welded over square nuts) and was having trouble marking and cutting the corners square until I sprayed the sheet-metal with rubber cement and stuck graph paper on both sides instead of layout dye.
|03/10/13||Oil Pressure Valve and Spring Replacement|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Fraser Cooper.
A previous Tech Tip noted the difficulty of getting the oil pressure relief valve fitted with the engine in the car. The solution offered was to cut down a 1 inch socket to make the threaded cap easier to start in the block. A much cheaper and easier solution is to buy a 1 inch hex nut: put it in the socket and then put the hex cap on top. This pushes the cap out where it can engage the block threads and doesn't require a modified socket. A long extension on the socket allows the installer to put lots of pressure on the spring while turning the cap to get the threads started. This technique works for other similar problems such as exhaust flange nuts, etc.
|02/24/13||Simple Emergency Bonnet Release|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Rob Crissinger.
As a preventative measure on MG's and other makes with similar hood release mechanisms. A simple emergency release can be rigged up with 2 Zip ties,one looped tightly at the lever and the other longer one looped through it and the long end tucked into a convenient easy to reach spot behind the grill. If the hood release cable ever lets go and you really need to get under the hood simply fish it out give it a tug and open pops the hood.
|02/03/13||Homemade Gear Oil Dispensing System|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Tommy Baker.
I admit it. I like to work on the cheap and this household device is about as cheap as them come.
Ok, we have all been there. Trying to get the gear oil into the rear end (or oil into the tranny) only to be obstructed by emergency brake cables, gas tanks, exhausts and the like. You could go out and purchase a cute hand pump that mounts to the bottle for $10 or so, or you could struggle and attach a hose to the spout of the bottle and squeeze away. Why not use something you probably have around the house? Has anyone in your family ever purchased a bottle of shampoo or hair conditioner with that handy little pump dispenser on top? All you have to do is clean the container, fill with gear oil, attach a pvc hose and pump away. In no time your axle will be full, you will retain your sanity, and you can use the bottle as a storage container until it’s time to top it all off again. I have used this several times and it is particularly useful when you can’t raise your car to a comfortable position to work. Just place the container on the ground and go to work.
|01/27/13||MGB 10" Wiper Refill|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Glenn Wellington.
Finding 10" wiper blade refills for a MGB is not easy and expensive when you do. So, I make my own by cutting down a longer refill to the proper length of 10 inches. I usually can find a, still in the package but, discarded set at a Goodwill for a dollar or two. I've been doing this for several years now.
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Misha Low.
Here is a tech tip on SU mixture setting that I have used and works fantastic. I have a 1960 MGA which we have owned since new. Tuning the SU's has always been a problem, until recently.
I installed an oxygen sensor just below the exhaust manifold. This involved removing the exhaust pipe, drilling a hole about 3/4" diameter and welding on a nut to take a generic 2 wire sensor. You need to do all the other stuff, like setting the electrics etc, and balancing the air flow before setting the jets.
Once the sensor is in place all you have to do is tighten both jets fully and then back them both off exactly the same amount for about 3 turns. This is best done with a specially made or bought wrench. Next warm up the engine and measure the voltage on the sensor with a _digital_ volt meter. The sensor is designed to 'switch' at the optimum air/fuel ratio (13.7:1) and produces about 0.5 volts at this fuel mixture. A rich setting will give a meter reading of around 1.0 volt while a lean reading will be under 0.2 volts. Both needles should be adjusted as close as possible the same amount. The setup is very sensitive and changes of 1/6 of a turn (one flat on the adjuster nut) will change the meter reading.
With the electrics set, and the carbs balanced and the mixture set, the car has never run better. It's an absolute joy to drive and has passed the local air care test.
P.S. There is a bunch of stuff written on the Internet on tuning with oxygen sensors, and kits that are available.
|12/23/12||No Holes Half Tonneau Mounting|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Dick Thomas.
I purchased a half tonneau from LBCarCo for my MG TD. I had previously indicated my desire to avoid drilling into the body for snaps. After a lot of research and discussion with owners in the UK I decided on suction cups. They work, look great and no holes to rust. I haven't finished this yet? It is a work in process.
Where should the cups be placed? On the cover where they will match that location where the studs would have been on the body panel! To locate those spots go the Moss 'supplemental information for full tonneau cover' which can be downloaded from the Moss catalog tonneau listings. The drawings are detailed. Mark those spots with tape.Then lay the cover on the car and mark it at each tape point. These will be where the cups should be installed to the cover with the cup inside or against the car. Then the cups would be attached with a 'tack' or fastener thru the outside of the cover.
Go to Adams Manufacturing web site which will display more suction cups than you believe possible. Check #7505-00: small top pilot hole. Also check #8630-22: plastic disk tack. I called Customer Service and they agreed to sell me a "sample quantity" much to my delight. OR Go to Amazon and search 'suction cups'. You will see Cruiser Accessories #78401 and notice a different approach to the tack/fastener. They are cheap and I ordered a couple of bags.
Paul Ireland of the UK, who's idea this is and who's installation photo I sent you, fitted a full tonneau and had doubts that the cups would have the strength in the front to hold the full weight of the cover. Thus, he used the four regular studs and snaps on the dash cowl. You could try the suction and then transition to the studs if necessary in the front. They hold well. I can imagine that the next larger cup would be better but it's ok. I have some doubt that there is sufficient suction to hold a full tonneau.
You now have my full complement of knowledge on the subject. I have included a couple of images of the final result.
|12/16/12||Help Keep Your Plastic Window Clear|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From John Northrup.
If you're like me, you've probably experienced how quickly (one winters storage time) the plastic rear window on our LBCs deteriorate. Well, I've found a solution. There is a product on the market called "Goofoff", which is intended for removing graffiti, etc, but seems to work just great on removing that yellowish film that forms on the window. Just take a soft cloth, saturate it with this stuff, and polish gently inside and out on the plastic surface, and voila.............no more yellow, and you can actually see through the window again. Not really sure how permanent this is, or whether it eventually does any harm to the plastic, but at least for a season, it appears to work.
|11/25/12||Need a Short Screw Driver?|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Bill Brewer.
I needed a short screw driver to get in to a tight place. My shortest "stubby" Phillips was still too long. I found that a hex shank screwdriver bit for an electric drill (about 1/2" long) fits in a 1/4" box wrench. This worked great, much better that the offset ratchet screwdrivers a had. I could also get a finger tip over the end of the screwdriver bit while in the wrench to keep it from falling out. Duct tape or electrical tape can hold it in if the bit keeps falling out. It worked for me.
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Ron Atwood.
They say to soap your glazing rubber and than push the chrome frame piece on. To messy and the rubber moves around.
I found that if you put the glazing rubber on dry and fold and press it with your hands over the windshield and put clothes pins on the rubber to hold it in place it works so much better. Than you have free hands to soap (straight from the bottle) the channel in your chrome frame piece. The rubber will hold in place even after you take the clothes pins off. If you still feel you need to soap the rubber do it with the pins on before you take them off. I also used two belt's since i could not find my strap's to hold the top and bottom frames together while i put on the side pieces. It stopped the chrome from separating from the rubber.
I found that i could put the windshield together with a little help from the wife before the straps and after the straps all by myself.
|11/04/12||Removing Floats from Float Bowls|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Mike Razor.
Not the most technical or complicated task to accomplish on a British car but one that can be frustrating. Removing the floats from the float bowls is like bobbing for apples. I found a computer tool that is perfect for removing the floats. It reaches down and if needed under the float and they come right out. It is very inexpensive. I have attached a photo of one.
|10/21/12||Keep your Slave Cylinder Piston in Position.|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Doug Jack.
This home made device keeps the slave cylinder piston from popping out of the cylinder when the whole assembly is disconnected from the engine during a clutch replacement. This method also is applicable to an oil change as the slave cylinder is in the way of the oil canister removal. This device will work on any Triumphs using a slave cylinder and most likely other LBC's too.
|10/14/12||Need a Cheap Simple Paint Chip Touch Up?|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Dennis Mamchur.
I've picked up some stone chips on my red TR 4 and wanted to touch them up. I asked my body shop how to obtain some matching touch up paint. He suggested I go to his paint distributor some distance away where they would take a picture of the paint, insert the info into the computer and arrive at a match. He would then mix up a pint of the touch up and charge me more than I was ready to pay. I decided to pass.
On the way home, I came across a large cosmetics store (Harmons) and decided to stop in. I asked to speak to the manager who was a younger lady. I asked if she would step outside. Reluctantly she did. I then asked her if she could match a nail polish with the red paint on my Triumph. She looked at the color red then took me inside to the nail polish section. There had to be a thousand different shades of red. She put a different one on each of three of her fingers. We went back to the car and she placed each of the three colors on her nail next to my cars fender. The 3rd red was right on. I purchased 2 bottles at $2.99 each. I went home and touched up each of the stone chips and the color matched perfectly.
|10/07/12||Winter Storage Tips|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Lou Spradlin.
Some of your younger readers may find these "Winter Storage Tips" helpful.
Over the years a number of things have served me well to winterize my MGA for storage. First, to discourage varmints I have an ultrasonic critter emitter in the garage. Also, a circular stainless 1/4 inch screen is permanently over the heater air inlet hose (inside the grille). I put a few moth balls on the floorboards and in the boot, and a special plug at the end of the tailpipe. This plug consists of 3 inches cut from the tapered top of a plastic 1.75 liter Gilbeys gin bottle, which also serves to discourage air from entering the engine. The carb air cleaners are blocked with 3 inch sections cut from an old MGA inner tube (why did I save that???), which stretch nicely to fit. And I stuff a rolled paper towel in the engine breather pipe, although crawling under the car is harder each year. Of course, usual things are done such as gas stabilizer, squirting oil in the cylinders and rotating the engine a few times, as well as having the hood (top) up, and side curtains closed. I also put 4 large wooden blocks under the frame to support the car in case a tire leaks, not bothering to jack it up, however. In the spring, I reverse the process, rotate the engine (without spark) to get oil pressure, one squirt of ether into the carbs, and vrooom. Country roads, here we come - - life is good!
Jeff, I enjoy your newsletter, and it reminds me repeatedly how much energy y'all have!
|09/30/12||Use Instead of Speed Nuts|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Glenn Hedrich.
I own a 1956 MGA roadster, but I believe this tip would be applicable to many other British cars. Most of the chrome trim on my MGA is held to the various body panels by thin metal “pins” on the chrome part, that are pushed through punched holes in the sheet metal. The pins are usually secured by push on clips or “speed nuts.” These speed nuts grab the thin, fragile pins very tightly, and are extremely difficult to remove, once they are fully seated.
It is not uncommon to break many of the mounting pins, when trying to remove the press on speed nuts. When I install chrome trim, I discard the metal speed nuts, and use small diameter surgical tubing instead. Surgical tubing is available in many diameters, and I simply use short pieces of tubing that are a snug fit on the metal pins. Removal of the chrome trim then becomes very easy, and pin breakage is eliminated. The tubing can usually be pulled off easily, or can be cut off with a sharp xacto knife. Surgical tubing is available from medical supply houses, or at hobby shops, which sell this tubing as fuel line for model cars and aircraft.
|09/16/12||MGTD Buffer Plate Rubber|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Ralph Cacace.
Many times when restoring MG TDs the buffer plate rubber is worn out or crumbling. The metal part is usually in good shape. An easy way to restore the buffer plate with a new rubber mount is to remove the old rubber piece. The buffer plate has a hole where the rubber mounts. Obtain the cutoff part from a tubeless tire valve. The cutoff piece usually still has the remains of the valve stem which will fit into the hole in the buffer plate. For a finishing touch, dip the assembly in a rubber coating dip for tools.
|09/09/12||Bleeding a TR Slave|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Jim Hassall.
Bleeding the TR4 (and probably other TRs as well) clutch slave cylinder is a pain, due to the location of the bleed nipple. So, before mounting the cylinder and bracket assembly on the gearbox, allow it to hang and have a friend gently press the pedal while you crack the nipple. Usually one cycle will do it. Don’t worry about extending the piston too far as a circlip retains it in the cylinder. Be sure to push the piston to the fully retracted position before topping off the master cylinder.
|09/02/12||No Parts Washer? Try Over Cleaner |
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Scott Allen.
In cleaning the suspension parts of my '52 TD for painting I discovered something that should seem obvious: for those of us that don't have a parts washer oven cleaner is the best part cleaner I've run across. One application did the trick for most of the parts while a second application was enough for the rest. It washes off with water and doesn't craze paint, and if you use the fume-free kind you can even clean the parts indoors.
|08/26/12||Double Check Your Slave Cylinder|
This Issues Tech Tip Is from Steven Guterman.
In the process of rebuilding my 1959 Bugeye I replaced the clutch master cylinder. These can be very hard to bleed and mine was no exception. After failing to remove all the air, I decided the only way was to take it off and bench bleed.
Good thing I did!! It turns out the slave was never properly cleaned from the factory, it was full of little metallic bits from the machining operations. This was the aftermarket slave for a 1275 Spridget. It comes apart easily, only a spring, plunger and seal. If you buy one, clean out the cylinder, bench bleed it and then install the unit. You life will be much simpler. Enjoy the driving!!
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Mike Sullivan.
My overdrive was blowing the fuse for my brake, tail lights and overdrive every time I engaged it. I finally figured out that my negative battery cable was loose. I tightened it up and everything worked properly.
|07/29/12||MGB Master Cylinder Installation|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Gil DuPre.
When replacing the MGB master cylinders support box the two rear bolts that attach to the firewall from the inside are very difficult to align. I got a couple of 1.5 inch 1/4 24 studs and put in the support holes and it fit right in. Then I installed nuts washers and lock washers on the other end after aligning all the holes around the base of the box.
|07/16/12||Caliper Piston Retraction Tool|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Steve Budra.
During a disc brake job it's necessary to retract the piston or pistons into the caliper to fit the new pads. There are piston retraction tools available but I've always had good luck with a simple C-clamp and old pad backing plate. An 8" C-clamp should easily fit around most LBC calipers. While it's possible to use only the clamp to push back the piston, if it isn't centered you run the risk of moving the piston unequally and maybe scoring the cylinder. And you may push in the piston too far. Plus, if your calipers have two pistons pushing in one at a time may force the other out.
A better way is to use an old pad, preferably with the friction material worn away to the backing plate. Simply fit the old pad's plate between the piston and C-clamp and tighten the clamp. The backing plate spreads the load equally and if there are two pistons it will simultaneously retract them. The plate should also keep you from retracting the pistons beyond their normal range. Be sure when fitting the plate to the piston that you don't pinch the rubber piston seals.
|06/24/12||Bulb Replacement Tip|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Doug Housley.
Does anyone else have trouble putting in side marker bulbs on their LBC? With my short stubby fingers its really hard. I have found if you take the spark plug end of an old plug wire, the bulb will fit in the end of the plug wire then you can insert the bulb, push turn, and pull out the plug wire end and your bulb is in place
|06/10/12|| MGA Rear View Mirror|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Douglas Starns.
If your MGA has a spring clip in the middle top of the windscreen frame, you can take your dash-mounted mirror off and mount it over the clip. You need to grind the mirror base so it matches the frame, perhaps move the holes slightly with a drill, and use slightly longer screws to fit all the way through the spring clip, a piece of gasket and the mirror base, but with a little adjustment and a thin piece of stiff gasket material between the mirror and the clip, the mirror stays stiffly in place and doesn't vibrate even in motion. A vast improvement!
|06/03/12||Caliper Bolt Removal|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Valerie Stabenow.
Recently attempting to remove the bolts from the front calipers on the MGA, I was frustrated with trying to hold the ratchet wrench with one hand and wield the rubber hammer with the other and work inside the wheel well. Unable to get good leverage on the inside nuts with both hands on the ratchet, I was using the rubber mallet to whack the ratchet handle. This worked on the left side, but not on the right hand side caliper.
So I positioned the ratchet handle vertically up and looped a tie-wrap around the handle and part of the nearby suspension and snugged the tie wrap. Then I could get a two handed grip on the rubber mallet to whack the ratchet handle. It came loose in two hits.
|05/12/12||Coupe Window Trim Tip.|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Ira Spector.
To permanently fasten down the chrome finishing strips used to join the ends on older-style coupe chrome window trim (for example on MGA and Jag coupes) obtain a long strip of 1/4-round wood base molding strip, a few feet longer than the distance from the height of your garage ceiling to the height of your car window. Cut a V-shaped notch in one end. Then glue your chrome finishing strip down with epoxy, and use the molding strip as a wedge to hold it in place, with the V-notch against the finishing strip and the other end of the molding strip against the garage ceiling. A slight bowing in the wooden molding will allow enough tension to hold the chrome finishing strip in place for the 24 hours needed to fully cure the epoxy.
|04/14/12||Stop One Of Those Pesky Water Leaks|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Ron Hillbury.
I've found that poor sealing of the holes for the windshield washer nozzles are the source of many of those "pesky" leaks. The factory nylon washer wears out and silicone or that real tacky strip weather stripping wears out over time too.
Solution..remove one of the nozzles and head to the hardware store's rubber/nitrile o-ring selection. Pick the size that snugly fits around the base of the nozzle - nozzle size varies depending on your car. Reinstall the nozzle with the rubber/nitrile o-ring snug against the body - don't over-tighten and "squish" the o-ring - and your leaks will disappear.
|03/25/12|| A Bleeding Tip|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From John Mandella.
I needed to bleed the clutch cylinder on my MGB after replacing the clutch line. I had NEVER bled a hydraulic system before. After much research I bought a MityVac kit, but was NOT impressed the rubber fittings that are supposed to go over the bleed valve. I threw them across by workshop and bought a foot of clear tubing and some extra hose clamps. I clamped the tubing between the bleed valve outlet and the Mitivac. This created a good seal and had the extra benefit of keeping the tool connected to the car (really nice if you are working alone). Priming the system is good idea. I bought a cheapo, 79 cent syringe from a ranch/livery store (any store that sells saddles and horse stuff will suffice) and used the same “clear-tube connection” on the syringe before using the MityVac. Fast, easy, no fuss, no muss, no-pedal pumping, no broomsticks. Good solid clutch in 10 minutes.
|03/11/12||Emergency Throttle Cable|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Charlie Knight (Scotland).
Whilst driving the highlands of Scotland in my 'B' GT the throttle cable snapped. I had no spare cable in the car and stuck in the middle of nowhere, what to do? Looking at the carbs with a broken cable, I spied the choke cable. I disconnected the the cable from the choke and connect it to accelerator. Presto instant hand throttle you can even twist and lock the throttle in any position crude cruise control it will get you home.
|02/26/12|| Oil Changes With Canister Filter|
Our Tech Tip This Issue Is from Brian Molloy.
In a recent tech tip (and also printed in the British Marque) you had a tech tip regarding oil changes; Fill the filter with oil so it circulates faster, but I questioned if this would work with a cartridge like the MGB. It won't, but one can achieve the same effect by cranking the engine for 10-15 seconds with the coil wire disconnected, the filter installed, and the crankcase is filled with oil.
|02/05/12||Hood Support for a MGTD (and other T series)|
Our Tech Tip This Issue is From Frank Grimaldi.
When working on the engine on my TD, I don't like folding the hood (bonnet) and having its weight supported by the hinge. To remedy this problem I made a hood support using a wooden 2x4 coated with soft silicone caulk. The directions for its construction are as follows:
1. Measure the hood (bonnet) length and cut a 2x4 about 1 inch shorter.
2. Using a table saw, plane or whatever, and create an approximate 30 degree bevel along its entire length. The bevel should be rounded so that it takes the shape of the hood when folded.
3. Using silicone caulk, place a serpentine bead about a 1/4 inch diameter on the flat side of the 2x4, down its entire length.
4. Place a suitable shim about 1/8 inch thick at both ends of the 2x4 . Cover the silicone with wax paper, turn over and place on a flat surface, apply pressure and allow the silicon to cure.
5. On the rounded taper side of the 2x4, lay a 1/4 inch bead of silicone about 1/2 inch from the edge on the high side of the taper. Lay a serpentine bead on the remaining area. Again, using a suitable 1/8 inch shim (two Popsicle sticks are perfect), place them on the ends of the 2x4 and use tape to hold them in place.
6. Cover the silicone with wax paper that is wide enough to wrap the 2x4 on both sides.
7. Put the 2x4 on the hood, flat side down, and against the center hinge. Open the hood and lay it back onto the 2x4. Allow time for the silicone to cure.
You will now have a custom fitted hood support that will not scratch or deform your hood.
|01/22/12||Winter Storage of Tonneaus and Boot Covers|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Doug Housley.
I don't know if you would call this a tech tip or a storage tip. I've always hated to fold the tonneau cover and the hood cover for winter storage because of their age and the cold they could crack. I have found that using one of my wife's skirt hangers(the hangers that have the clips on each end to the hanger) I could fold the tonneau and hood covers in half and hang them and cover them with a laundry bag in the garage out of the way. This keeps them clean and maybe preserve them a little longer.
|01/08/12||Clogged Pickup Tube in Fuel Tank|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Joe DiDonato.
Over the last six months I have been restoring a 1970 MGB that had sat for over two years . One problem came from a clogged pick up tube in the fuel tank. I tried a number of things to unclog it including blowing air from my compressor at about 70 psi with no luck.
This left me a few options. First buy a new tank, Second get a sending unit from a later year car that has the pick up tube built into the sending unit itself, the problem with this choice is the baffles in the older tanks force you to cut and modify it to fit. Third modify the existing unit to work. I chose the third choice.
I had a piece of the metal tube from an old unit found a spot on the face of the unit where I could drill a hole and insert the tube without it hindering the float and with a little JB Weld on the out side of the unit secured the tube in place.
Having no screen on the new pick up tube I opted to add a second in line filter between the fuel tank and the fuel pump. After reinstalling the sending unit and refilling the tank the car started and runs with no more fuel delivery problems. In a few hours my car was up and running again. I hope this will help some else with this problem.
|12/18/11||Adjusting Drum Brakes|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Fraser Cooper.
On MGAs, Magnettes and many other LBC's, the drum brake adjusters are accessible through a hole in the disc wheel, if it is fitted in the right orientation. There are two holes in the wheel at different radii. Once you've sorted out which is the correct way for the wheel to be fitted, paint a white dot on the wheel stud nearest the valve stem so you can always put it back correctly. The brakes can be adjusted without jacking or crawling under the car; just rock it back and forth on a level surface. At one time, there was a rubber boot fitted to the adjuster hole and a plug could be put in the wheel hole to keep dirt out of the brake drum. I've never used the boot and plug and never had problems of dirt in the drum. Ed: See our RATCHET BRAKE WRENCH on our Specials Page, or search for part K10696.
|11/27/11|| Wiring Harness Rear Lights Contacts MGA (and other LBC's)|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Jim Vickery.
I am putting an MGA together that someone else disassembled. This is a total basket case.
I purchased a new wire harness to install in it. Everything was working well until I came to the rear tail lights. I found the light fixtures in the boxes of parts and installed them. When I went to wire them, I found that the small “bell shaped” wire ends were missing. These are the ones where you strip the wire and run the wire up the inside and fold it over the outside then insert into the small circular fittings in the light fixture. The license plate light uses the same sort of wire end.
I tried my normal sources of parts to find these “bell shaped” wire ends only to find that they are not available. I then measured the ID of the circular fittings and found them to be .200 inch. I went to the hardware store and purchased a small length of 3/16 in soft copper tubing and cut into 3/8 in lengths with a tubing cutter. I then stripped the wire and ran it through the inside of the tube and folded it over the outside and inserted it into the circular fitting of the fixture. The fit was perfect and I now have good contacts for the lights.
|11/13/11||Just in time for winter storage – keeping varmints out.|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Dennis Sokol.
There is a product on the market called a Washing Machine Lint Trap, available in Household Goods departments. It resembles a large condom made out of mesh aluminum.
Slipping this device over your tailpipe(s) will keep out varmints while allowing the exhaust system to breathe. An advantage of this configuration is that it’s easy-on, easy-off for those who run their engines periodically in the winter, but if you forget to remove it - no harm done!
Cut to length and close with a cable tie. It can be re-used each year.
|10/30/11||Brake Switch For Silicone Fluid (DOT5)|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Dan Lamprecht.
There are benefits to using DOT 5 silicone brake fluid, including no absorption of water into your brake lines and no lifting of paint when it spills or leaks. Silicone fluid works great as long as you don’t mix it with any other type of fluid, and introduce it into a clean, dry system with new rubber seals throughout. But a typical problem many LBC enthusiasts have complained about is that this silicone fluid is many times not compatible with the hydraulic brake light switches used in our older cars. The switch may work for a while, but in a short time you may notice that it takes heavy pedal force to turn the brake lights on, if at all.
Discovering that Harley Davidson uses silicone brake fluid exclusively in their late model bikes, it seemed likely that a Harley switch should be compatible with silicone brake fluid while also being designed to operate with the relatively light pedal force used with motorcycles. I went to the local Harley dealer and purchased 72023-51D BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH KIT REAR. The pipe threads are identical, and the Harley switch has the same 1/4 inch Lucar terminals typically found on our cars’ stock switches. It works great as a low pressure hydraulic brake light switch designed to be used with silicone fluid, while it has a relatively stock appearance on our classic cars.
|10/16/11||Fire Extinguisher Mounting|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Don Hilston.
I couldn't find a secure place to put my fire extinguisher in my E-type without drilling through the floor. The solution I came up with requires fasting the plastic extinguisher bracket with a couple of pop rivets to the rear part of the rubber floor mat. Be sure to use backing washers on the underside of the mat. It's easy to get to and out of the way of the passengers feet and looks neat. Cleaning is easy as popping the unite out of the plastic bracket and cleaning in the normal wash and scrub fashion.
|10/09/11|| Headlight / Dash Dimmer Switch Solution|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Charlie Clayton.
Like many of the Lucas switches, my headlight switch disassembled itself at a most inconvenient time. I replaced both the dimmer and headlight switches with an older GM (1955-85) pull/twist dimmer using the dimmer switch hole. [The wiring diagram can be found here http://www.cadvision.com/blanchas/54pontiac/WiringHeadlightSwitch.html It took a while to figure out which wire went where, but once done, it works fine (though non-original, far more functional). The hardest part was finding the bezel nut that held the switch against the dash. I got mine new from GM old stock , but a junk yard should have one. The switches and pull rods are available at any parts store.
|09/18/11||Protect Your LBC In Parking Spots|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Jeff Becker.
Many stores and drug stores carry a foam noodle that is about 3 to 4 feet long. Get some string or fishing line. Cut off about 6 to 8 inches of the foam. Put the string thru the hole in the noodle and leave enough slack in the string to go thru the noodle small piece and then thru the large piece. Put you window down about an inch and feed the line thru the 6 inch piece inside of the car to the outside of the window into the long noodle. Adjust to have the large piece about midway down on the door. You now have a door protector to stop nicks in parking spot.
|09/04/11|| Household Items Come In Handy In Workshop|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Chuck Welch.
I keep a container of the following household items in my workshop:
It's amazing how often I use these items - paint touch-up, gluing, detailing, etc. They are practical, disposable, & cheap.
|08/21/11||Priming an SU Fuel Pump|
This Issues Tech Tip is from Tom Case.
I was having a difficult time getting my SU fuel pump to prime after my MGA had sat idle for several months. The pump's internal check valve does ok sealing against gasoline, but wasn't tight enough when trying to pump air.My neighbor stopped by and suggested using a vacuum pump on the gas line where it supplies the carburetors to "pull" the gas through the fuel pump. It worked like a charm. The pump caught its prime, we put the fuel line back in place and went for a drive.
|07/31/11||More on Making Your Own Gaskets|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Terry Frisch.
The best way I have found to cut holes in gasket material is to use spent brass rifle casings that I collected at the shooting range. I have collected many different sizes with the largest being 45 cal. They make a clean cut through the gasket material with one tap of a hammer. I used this method recently when I replaced a thermostat on my MGB GT works great.
|07/17/11||Making Your Own Gaskets|
This Issues Tech Tip is from Brian Slick.
For those who make your own gaskets here is a simple way to make the bolt holes.
Take a piece of steel/ brass tubing counter sink the inside diameter making a sharp knife surface. Place the tubing where you want a hole, strike it with a hammer and a perfect hole will be cut.
Another more durable hole punch is to take a long bolt, cut off the treads then drill a hole down the center about 1/2" deep. Use a drill bit about 1/8" smaller then the bolt. Now countersink the end making a sharp knife edge. When the punch get dull, recountersink.
|07/03/11|| Installing New Interior Panels, Using Existing Screw Holes|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Herb Miller.
No drilling in hard to reach places, no extra holes in your car.
Using blue painters tape, tape a BB (as in air rifle) into each existing screw hole. Place tape on the back side of the panel in the approximate position of each hole. Position the panel exactly where you want it. Lightly tap each hole position with a rubber mallet. When you remove the panel there will be a small mark, and or a small indentation on the back side of the panel in exactly the position of each hole. To form the hole for the screws visit a leather hobby store, or go online, and find inexpensive leather punches of the proper size. Works for me.
|06/12/11||Choke Cable Replacement|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Raymond Marloff.
One of the more annoying jobs when working under the MGB dash (probably other LBC's too) is replacing the choke cable. Tightening the retaining nut is next to impossible due to the position of the anti skuttle shake bar. By using a Honda motorcycle sparkplug socket, it becomes a 5 minute job. The socket is 4 inches long, slips over the cable and retaing nut then is secured to the threaded cable outer with a 17mm wrench.
|05/29/11||Priming Your Fuel Pump|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Tom Case.
I was having a difficult time getting my SU fuel pump to prime after my MGA had sat idle for several months. The pump's internal check valve does ok sealing against gasoline, but wasn't tight enough when trying to pump air. My neighbor stopped by and suggested using a vacuum pump on the gas line where it supplies the carburetors to "pull" the gas through the fuel pump. It worked like a charm. The pump caught its prime, we put the fuel line back in place and went for a drive.
|05/22/11|| Smile When You Use This Detail Tool|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Donald Hilston.
I found a wonderful use for an old electric toothbrush. The one that I used is the rotary brush type. It works very well cleaning wax and polish out of small spaces and doesn't hurt paint or chrome. It also is great for polishing around small bits like nuts or tight spaces with metal polish and after washing off the brush it will remove the dried polish and shine the metal. The brushes seem to last a long time. A great detail tool.
|05/08/11||Need Third Hand?|
This Issues Tech Tip is From Richard Carr.
When assembling our LBCs three hands are often needed. For example when replacing a rubber gasket, windshield rubber, plinth, body mount etc, just add a small inconspicuous drop of super glue to the hard part and hold together. The glue will keep the rubber in place long enough to finish to assembly. Presto an instant third hand.
|04/24/11||Do You Know Where Your Piston Is?|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Wayne Hough.
I'm writing to you from Australia. Out of curiosity I visited your web site and read your Tech Tips section.
I have this one which may already be known but here goes:
I have trouble finding out when the piston is near the top of the stroke on number one cylinder. I found an old spark plug and removed all the ceramic material until you are left with just the metal section. Buy a small party balloon and tape it to the non threaded end, screw the plug end into the plug hole of number one cylinder and turn the engine over with the crank handle. The balloon will slowly inflated as the piston rises to the top of the stroke.
I find this method easier than watching the tappet rockers.
|04/17/11||Black Plastic Molding Ugly Looking? Here is a Quick Fix|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Mitchell Buckley.
For those of us who have later British cars that have black plastic molding that has turned into a dirty gray color, I've found a way to restore the color back in the molding and last a couple of months. What you do is buy a small amount of oil based black paint and take a clean rag and dip it into the paint then rub some of the paint onto the molding and completely wipe of all the paint from the molding until it is dry and buff with a cloth. What you are doing is not painting the molding but the stain from the paint is what is doing the trick. You don't have to worry about paint cracking as you are not actually painting the molding. What happens is after a couple of months the molding turns back to it's original dirty gray and then you just do it again. Remember to wipe off all the paint and Buff. Wa La.........A new molding!!!!!!
|03/20/11||Check Your Bulbs|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Fred Humberstone.
I have discovered a simple way to test automotive light bulbs. Take the bulb and press it up against a 9 volt battery of the type used in personal electronics. Rest the base of the bulb contacting the wider negative terminal of the battery and press the metal neck of the bulb base against the positive terminal of the battery. As you can see by the photo attached this works and makes testing bulbs very simple and quick. If you are testing a dual element bulb, then just turn the bulb 180 degrees around so the second contact is pressing against the negative terminal and do it again.
|03/13/11|| You In The Hot Seat?|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Sherry MacGregor.
I do not have a cockpit cover, so my seats get blazing hot in the summer if I don't want to put the top up while I run into the store. An inexpensive solution I have found to this problem is to use the pop up windshield covers. When I am driving they fold into a small circle shape and when I park I can unfold them into a rectangular shape, which fits from the head rest to the windshield. This effectively keeps the seat cool and the contents of the car concealed. It also keeps light rain off of the seat. I bought mine at Target, they are also available at AutoZone, etc.
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Brian Warmuth.
Don’t despair if you don’t have one of those fancy bushing drivers to replace the simple and easily accessed bronze bushings on your car’s components - bushings such as brake/clutch pedal arms, actuating arms, rear generator, front and rear starter bushings, etc. Often times you can use a metal punch to oust the old bushing by catching an edge and working around the bushing with the punch and a hammer.
Alternatively, I have also had luck by using a socket of the appropriate size of the outside diameter of the bushing (but smaller than the bushing housing) and with your part on a solid surface with space below for the bushing to push through (you can also use a larger socket), use an appropriate large hammer and drift the old bushing out of its housing. If you carefully align the new bushing, a similar technique can be used to install the new bushing. I find it is sometimes helpful to gently chamfer the starting edge of the new bushing on a grinder and make sure it is straight before attempting to install. Proceed gently at first till the bushing is started straight. Where this technique is not appropriate to install the new bushing, (a thin wall for example) use a bench vise (and a socket if needed as a spacer) to gently press the new bushing home. By thoughtfully and carefully using these techniques you can save both time and money.
|02/06/11|| TR2-4A Sealing Block Pads Installation Made Easy|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Jim Hassall.
Installing the sealing block pads (#697-000) for the TR2-4A is a huge PITA, since the cork pieces are considerably thicker than the recess into which they fit (by design, so they'll seal well). I found this process to make installation almost easy. Coat the pads and the mating surfaces (sealing block and engine block) with Hylomar Gasket Dressing (available from LBCarCo #221-556), fit them into the sealing block, then clamp all three pieces in a large clamp with large jaws (like a bar clamp, furniture clamp, etc). Squeeze the life out of them, until the cork has taken a set. Then quickly insert the assembly into the engine block before the cork has a chance to expand. Very simple, very easy. This method should apply to other engines with sealing pads as well.
This Issues Tech Tip Is From John Flannery.
Have a sticking clutch? One that does not release quite right when you let off the clutch pedal?
A very simple thing to consider before trying to remove the trans to figure what is hanging up is the rubber hydraulic brake line between the master and slave.
Those hoses are built up of materials like cloth and rubber in layers.
If the hydraulic hose interior layer gets a leak in it, say from allowing the slave cylinder to dangle from it - or just old age, fluid can get between the lamination's. Or the inner lamination can rip and act as a flap or check valve.
When you press your clutch pedal, fluid pressure between the lamination's increases, sometimes causing the walls of the hose to swell like a balloon on the id of the hose and collapse the inner walls of the hose upon themselves. This is not obvious externally, it is the inner walls of the hose with the failure.
In order for the fluid to leave the slave cylinder and return to the master cylinder when you release the clutch, the fluid pressure between the lamination's must be relieved through the tear - or pinhole -first in order for the id of the hose to reopen and relieve the pressure in the slave cylinder.
The specific nature of the failure varies from case to case. Larger perforation? Quicker release. Pinhole sized leak? Feels like it takes forever for the clutch to fully release.
Generally, as that line restricts, you should also notice a corresponding increase in pressure at the clutch pedal. This causes it to be difficult for fluid to flow in either direction.
I've seen this with brake hoses too. It can cause a caliper to remain engaged and burn up your new brakes and rotors.
|01/23/11||Easy Parts Cleaner|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Ted Baldwin.
I use muriatic acid to clean rusty parts. I keep it in a plastic bucket with a lid on it. Caution is advised [gloves & face protection]. When I have a rusty part I tie a string on it and dip it in the bucket for about 10 minutes at a time. When its clean just rinse with water.
|01/16/11|| Spill Proof Bleeding or Adding Brake Fluid Master Cylinder|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Darryl Radick.
To avoid spillage when filling a T series master cylinder purchase the appropriate diameter rubber stopper, depending on whether you have an original or aftermarket m/cylinder, from your local science supply store. Drill a proper size hole in the center to accept a plastic funnel (clear if possible) and insert the funnel firmly into the stopper. Then push the stopper tightly into the m/cylinder filler hole and add fluid.
I bleed the brakes every winter by fixing the proper length of rubber hose to each bleed nipple draining into glass jars. I fill the funnel with brake fluid and carefully depress the brake pedal until the fluid draining into the jars is running clear. Closing all the nipples with the hoses immersed in the fluid in the jars should prevent any air in the system.
|01/09/11||Engine Immobilizer for the Less Classic LBC|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Trevor Marshall.
This tip may only apply to more recent cars such as my 2003 Morgan Plus 8 but it could save a lot of embarrassment and cost - especially as Morgan are known to get some of their electrical parts from other manufacturers.
If you have an engine immobilizer (not an "alarm" as such) and have armed it..if you then accidentally press the keyfob while you're wandering around at some greater distance from the vehicle it will no longer synchronize with the receiver when you get back "in range", so when you return it WILL NOT start because of the rolling code 'feature' in the ECU. It's designed to stop "code grabbing" but certainly had me fooled (and a lot of others!) at a recent car show. You can eventually clear it after at least another four attempts.
|01/02/11|| Installing Rubber Bumps On a 1969 MGB |
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Les Siler.
I have searched and consulted many folks about installing new rubber bumps on the rear suspension of my '69 MGB Roadster, yet I found little advice and info available. With trial and error, and a lot of muscle and persistence, I finally did accomplish getting the new ones on. I wanted to share my methodology in case anyone else ran into the same dilemma.
The challenge is obviously trying to fit a 1" O.D. bump support stud (located on the car) through a 1/2" hole in the bump. I first ordered the polyurethane-type bump, but it was not pliable (forgiving) enough, so I purchased the rubber type from Moss. In consulting their technical folks about "secrets" for easier installation, they shared an idea about using a 5" bolt, washer, and nut to assist in forcing it on. I tried their idea, but became frustrated after some time.
So, after trial and error of several makeshift "tools", here is what seemed to work best for me:
I took a 4" turnbuckle and on one end inserted a 3/8" hex hd. bolt, to secure a large 1.75" O.D. x .75 I.D. washer. (I had to also use a 3/8" washer with it, to keep the bolt head from falling thru the larger washer.) On the other end of the turnbuckle, I used a 3/8" rod stud about 3.5" long, cut from an old eyebolt.
I positioned the "studded" end of the turnbuckle into the hole of the bump pedestal, (which is sitting on top of the axle, held down by the U-bolts).
Next, I placed the bottom of the rubber bump onto the opposite "washer" end, allowing the bump to essentially sit on top of the washer. I lubricated the top surface and hole of the rubber bump with dish washing detergent, as well as the mating support stud, for lubrication purposes.
Once in position, I placed my left hand around the bump and the right on the turnbuckle, to turn it. Turning the turnbuckle then forces the bump upward. (Note, you may have to secure the "studded" end with vice-grips or some other improvised method, to keep the stud from rotating with the turnbuckle as it turns). Once the bump begins to feel resistance from the support stud, (to which it will be eventually attached), the hard part begins. The increased force and pressure on the bump will cause it to cock and slide off of the face of the support stud, due to the slippery lubricant. That is when you must apply a very firm grip and likely, strong leverage around the bump, to counteract the side force developing as the turnbuckle is rotated. Keep the bump and turnbuckle ass'y. in a vertical alignment as much as possible. Again, the side force and lubricant will try to change this as the resistance pressure increases. Some slight cocking of the bump may help its hole "catch" the support stud, but be careful, as it will quickly slide completely off.
At this point you just have to get physical and wrestle with tightening while holding everything in place. This is where persistence kicks in. Eventually, the bump will pop onto the support stud. I got lucky and did one side of the car in about (10) minutes. The other side took about (45) minutes.
|12/12/10|| Need 9" Brake Drums for TR3A?|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Fred Balsam.
Note that the rear brake drum listed as p/n 586-020 in the Moss book, and listed for the "TR4 IRS only", can be made to fit the TR3A cars with the late model 9" drums (TR3A from TS56377) by simply drilling the 4 bolt holes to 19/32" in order to fit over the 9/16" shoulder at the base of the lug studs on the hub. Once drilled, they fit perfectly in all respects.
|12/05/10|| Poor Idle on E-Type (and other LBC's with CDI)|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Howard Laramy.
I once owned a 1973 XKE V-12 Jaguar roadster with a 4 speed gearbox. It was BRG with biscuit interior. This car had been neglected and needed a lot of attention and I eventually fitted a new top and proper Avon tyres. The engine had a problem that stumped me for a very long time. The V-12 would idle on 10 cylinders but above 1500 rpm it would fire on all 12. At first I thought I would change the distributor cap, rotor and ignition wires, but when I found out the cost I thought I would trouble-shoot it down and find the real culprit. The solution came to me one night.
The Lucas ignition used on this engine is a CDI capacitor discharge ignition. It is triggered by a magnet moving past a pick up coil. Lucas uses a plastic disc placed under the rotor with 12 pin-sized ferrite magnets in it. This rotates past a pick up coil (it looks like a audio tape-head). At slow speeds ( idle) a weak magnet will not fire the CDI. The faster the magnet moves past the pick-up (over 1500 rpm) the greater the signal and it will then fire the CDI pickup. It is a lot like swiping your debt card through a reader slow: do it slowly and it will often not read but do it quickly and works every time. So how did these two magnets get weak? Someone apparently had used a metal feeler gauge to set the gap between the magnet disc and the pick-up coil. The ferrous feeler gauges will deplete enough of the magnetism from these little pins rendering the system unpredictable inoperable (at least for those pins affected). That was the problem. You might have noticed if you have a good set of feeler gauges (Snap-On or Craftsman) there is a brass 10/1000” (0.010”) gauge in there. That is the one you use to set this gap. If your feeler gauges do not have one like this, go find one before you set this gap space. MGs and Spitfires all use the same type of distributor; so does Ford and GM only their magnets are more robust. So the lesson to be learned here is that if you do not have a brass feeler gauge use the thickness of a business card to set the gap (or go find piece of brass sheeting stock that is 0.010” and use it). It will save you a lot of time and money.
And how did I remedy the problem once I found it? I figured out which magnets were bad and replaced them, but most of you will probably purchase a new magnet-disc. But that is another story. Good luck!!
|11/21/10||Boot Lock Fix - Big Healey (and other LBC's)|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Shawn Miller.
Ever have issues with the boot lock on your 100-6 or 3000? If the correct key fits in the lock and you can't turn it to lock the handle, or the lock spins and it doesn't lock the handle, then here is a tech tip to solve the issue.
To remove the handle from the boot lid: remove the two machine screws that hold the handle to the boot lid and one machine screw that holds the square shaft to the inner latch.
To disassemble the handle and remove the locking barrel: File down the swage edges (bent over areas that keep the bell retainer from being pushed outward by the spring) on the square shaft. There are two pins exposed when the bell retainer, the spring and washer are removed. Drive out the inner most pin and the lock barrel can be removed. On the bottom of the locking barrel is a "nub" that rotates (off center) as the key is turned in the locking barrel. This drives out the rectangular locking lug into a notched area of the outer escutcheon which locks the handle. Many times this locking lug is frozen in the outer handle body. Other times the nub has been broken off the bottom of the locking barrel. It may be as simple as cleaning the parts and lubricating for proper function. If the "nub" is broken off the bottom of the locking barrel then you can drill a hole where the nub would be and make a pin (soto "nub") out of a nail that is cut down to size. The pin will be held in from the pressure between the barrel and the locking lug when assembled. It may take some trial and error to make it the correct length. When you reassemble you need to swag (bend over the square shaft edges with a drift) so the bell retainer is secured in place.
Also you can have a key made for your lock. The code is stamped on the square shaft of the boot handle.
|10/31/10||Drilling Holes In LBC Bodies|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From John Minchin.
Drilling holes in pristine bodies for attachment of fittings, press studs, chrome strip buttons, badges etc can be daunting. How to stop the drill slipping and ruining your paintwork?
I fashioned a guide from a piece of thin (1/16" or 1.5-2 mm) Aluminium (Aluminum) sheet about 17mm x 150mm, with a 30 degree bend halfway along. Then I drilled a variety of standard hole sizes or groups of holes in 1 flat section. Then I stuck on some self adhesive closed cell foam to the underside of the drilled flat section about 3mm (1/8" ) thick with suitable punched holes to align with the drilled holes.
Then all you need to do is select the drill bit size, and holding the non drilled section, position it where you want the hole press it against the body, and drill the hole. The foam prevents it from slipping, and prevents any damage from the drill hitting the plate. Easily copes with curved surfaces.
|10/17/10|| Alternator Failure: 1974-1979|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Chuck Schmit.
The most frequent failure, I believe, is the diode set. The individual diodes are soldered to a metal heat sink and the solder joint fails. They can be tested with a simple ohmmeter and re-soldered , but this is tedious and a new diode set is avail for around $20. There are then only 3 wires to solder into place.
Sometimes the internal regulator fails. This can be tested in the car by shorting the case of the regulator (visible thru the slots in the plastic end cover) to ground while running at fast idle. This causes the alt to put out maximum charge.If the voltage increases the regulator probably needs to be replaced. You can do this to get yourself home but you can overcharge the Battery if you do it for over 1/2 hour with no load as your voltage is unregulated. In other words, the voltage will continue to rise past the ideal 14.7 volts. Running with the lights on will generally keep the voltage under control.
Note: On Delco alternators there is a hole in the back that you can insert a small screwdriver into and accomplish the same thing.
|09/26/10|| Getting Penetrant Into Tough Spots|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From From Peter Grinnell, Jr.
It is often difficult get your favorite penetrant (PB Blaster, WD-40, etc.) into some spots, especially with the short, stiff spray straws they provide. Facing this problem for the 1000th time, and really needing a solution, I looked around my workspace, and found an old, unused coil of nylon tubing meant for oil pressure gauges. It turns out that the penetrant straws are a good fit inside the nylon tubing! Just cut off a generous length so you can reach all likely bolts in the future, slide the nylon tubing over the penetrant straw, and you are in business. Wear eye protection because the fit between the tubings are not tight enough to be leak proof.
|08/29/10||Dried Wax Removal|
This Issues Tech Tip is From Steve Budra
As part of preparing my LBC for winter lay-up in the garage I typically clean, polish and give the paint a final Carnauba paste wax treatment. While I'm careful, undoubtedly I'll find white wax residue along seams, in crevices or in other hard-to-see areas long after the car has been finished. I've learned that an easy way to remove it - even after six months or longer - is to use a quick detailing product like Meguiar's or Mother's. Spray a light mist on the residue allowing it to penetrate for a minute or so and it will soften the old wax which is now easily wiped-off.
|08/15/10|| Find Your Wrench, Sockets and more Easily|
This Issues Tech Tip is From Bob Brew.
At the local Home Depot, I bought a package of electrical/vinyl tape that contains six rolls of tape in different colors. Using the red tape, I put a strip around each of my 1/2" box wrenches, open end wrenches and sockets. Using the black tape, I put a strip around each of my 9/16" box wrenches, open end wrenches and sockets. I did the same with the other four colors (blue, green ,yellow, white) on the various wrench sizes I use most often.
Now, if I need to find a 1/2" wrench in a crowded tool box or pile of tools on the floor while I'm working, I don't have to try to read the ridiculous little numbers on the side - I just look for the red tape! Periodically I have to replace the tape, but it's a cheap solution and it helps me keep my tools in order too.
|08/01/10||SU H4 Rebuilding - did the prior owners do it right?|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Douglas Starns.
If you're new to your car and suspect the carburetor jet bearings have been rebuilt, better check them out!
On my 1960 MGA, I found that the prior owners had failed to remove the original cork seal and cupped washer from where it sits in the bottom of the jet bearing bottom, and had put an O ring and another washer on top of it, so it always had a slow leak. They also has used a rubber washer or ring of some kind in place of the very thin and narrow copper washer that sits just under the top of the jet bearing bottom on the top of the securing nut. This piece, whatever it was, had disintegrated, and wormed its way between the exterior of the bottom jet bearing and the interior of the securing nut, literally gumming up the works.
If you're not sure if your carbs have been rebuilt properly, check them out!
|06/27/10||No More Wasted Tubes of RTV, Silicone, etc.|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Bob Jensen.
If you have gone into your shop supplies and found that the tube of Silicone glue, or RTV was now hard, you will love this little tip. I have used this for years and always can use the tube all the way down to the end. When you are done using the tube take a piece of plastic bag (the heavier ones that parts come in not a sandwich bag) put it over the end of the tube and twist up a little nipple of extra plastic then install the cap as usual. It will seal the end much better, and no more waste. It also works with the type that has the extension to caulk the tub or sink.
|06/06/10|| MGB (and other LBC's) Engine Removal|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Steve Budra.
Here's a tech tip for removing the engine or engine / transmission combo on an MGB. It may work for other makes, too.
Despite recommendations to use the MGB's protruding valve cover studs as fixing points for an engine hoist I've never really been comfortable doing it - the studs seem just too flimsy. Recently, I rented a hoist locally but the brackets on the supplied chain were sort of J-shaped: when I attached them to the studs and began to lift the engine / transmission as a unit the studs bent and finally snapped. Luckily the engine was only a couple inches off its mounts at the time. Other than the studs - which I later replaced - there was no damage from the fall.
Looking for a better solution I found two more substantial fixing points: one is the top mounting bolt on the alternator bracket (tapped into the right-side engine block); the other is the left engine plate bolt which is tapped into the top-rear of the block. These are 3/8" diameter bolts. I recommend substituting the original bolts with longer ones to give you enough space for the hoist bracket and washers, replacing them with the originals when you're done. The rest of the operation went smoothly and I felt much more comfortable with 600-700 pounds relying on these bolts. The only drawback is the engine is tilted a little to one side when lifted but with one person working the hoist and another rotating the engine a little it will work. You could also install an adjustable tilt lift between the hoist and engine which allows you to fine-tune the angles.
|05/30/10||Repairing Lucas Light Switches|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Lloyd Powell.
Many of us owners/drivers of LBC have had a problem or two with the Lucas light switch found on most any dash that malfunctions.
I took mine apart to see why I only had working headlights and no markers or parking lights. The turn signals as well as the hazard lights worked perfectly so I knew that I had proper power.
After I cleaned the brass contacts on the switch as well as on the slider I still didn't have the markers working. It was dark when I brought the dismantled switch into the house. During this short trip I lost the small spring and look as I did for it didn't find it.
What to do? My son suggested that maybe a spring from a retractable ball point pen might work. What a great suggestion. The spring was the perfect diameter and after cutting of several turns for length put it into the switch. The switch was once again operable in all positions. I attributed my problem to a rusty spring that had lost its tensile. Simple repair without any cost. The pen was a disposable one.
|05/16/10||How to Remove Rusty Nuts and Bolts in Plastic or Metal Housings|
This Issues Tech Tip Is From Steven Eubank.
Two items required are a propane torch and a candle. Heat the outside of the nut or housing and let the candle drip on the bolt stud or nut threads. Heat the nut till the wax starts to bubble up. The heat expands the largest part to allow the wax to get deeper in the threads than anything else that I have tried. Grab a wrench and remove the nut without breaking the plastic housing. If the nut is stubborn repeat the process. Since I have tried this method I been able to remove every frozen bolt. A true solution from an old farmer.
|03/28/10||Rear Tube Shocks For MGA|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From John Bendell.
I ordered a rear shock kit for an MGB, part #268-228. I have a 1956 MGA but I was certain it would fit. the Spax web site lists the same conversion kit for MGA, B and C rear suspension.
I installed it on my MGA. It was a very easy bolt off, bolt on installation. I have adjusted the shocks to the 16th click and they work perfectly and the ride/handling is good. I think you could be advertising this kit for MGA's as well.
|03/14/10||Setting Rocker Arm Clearance|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jim Lundgren.
I noticed a tech tip on setting the rocker arm clearance and felt this way might be easier. 1) Put the car in 4th gear. 2) Pull on the car while watching for a valve to fully open. 3) If you go past, push back until slack plus some is taken up and then approach fully open again. 4) Add a number to the fully open valve number to make 9. 5) Adjust the rocker arm of the valve number that you added.
|02/28/10||TR4 (and other LBCs) Gearbox Rebuilds|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From James Hassall.
When rebuilding my TR4 gearbox, I disassembled the top cover to replace the seals. Reassembling the shifters was "interesting", as there are some fiddly balls used in the selector mechanism to ensure only one gear may be selected at a time. Most of our LBCs have similar arrangements, so this applies to other cars as well. The balls have to be dropped into the cover bore, then convinced to roll into a perpendicular bore.
After much trial and lots of error, I hit upon two methods: the cleaner method is to lightly magnetize some steel bar stock (or perhaps a drill) and nudge the balls into place, then tilt the cover so they drop into place. Grease, liberally applied to the ball and the rod, may also be used. My preference is the grease method, as it's too easy to over-magnetize the rod. The grease will also hold the balls in place while the remaining shifters are inserted.
|02/07/10||Pre-Fill Your Oil Filter|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Brian Muscat.
When changing the oil in your car, remember to 'pre-fill' the new oil filter with fresh oil before you install it back onto the engine. (This will work for one piece metal can filters, not sure about the cartridge type).
Since the oil flows from the pump to the filter and then into the rest of the block, when you start the engine after filling it with oil, the oil pump will immediately push the oil already in the filter into the block. If the oil filter is empty, the engine will be running with no lubrication until the oil filter fills up. This is more important as the size of the oil filter increases. You'll notice the oil pressure will build up quicker when you 'pre-fill' the oil filter. It takes a bit more time to pre-fill the filter, but it's probably worth it in the long run.
For those that are a bit meticuluous when it comes to their LBC (or other vehicles), it may help you sleep better knowing that whenever you change the oil in your car, you're not damaging anything in the process.
|01/31/10||Pulling Your Steering Wheel|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Rob Dixon.
When removing the steering wheel on an MGB (other british cars may apply) one may remove two of the 5/16" fine thread bolts directly opposite from one another and insert two 2 to 4" fine thread bolts over a standard harmonic balancer puller and simply tighten the center stud to push the wheel center off of the splined shaft instead of the method outlined in several of the books which includes rapping on the nut on the end of the shaft with a hammer while pulling on the wheel. Works great!
|01/17/10||MGB Dual Batteries, Easy In|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Tim Clark.
After struggling for 38 years when servicing the batteries in my Mk 1 MGB, I finally found an easier way to reinstall the batteries. The issue always is lining up the very small holes in the battery with the threaded tie down rods in that very confined space while lowering the battery.
This time I simply used to hacksaw to cut a channel thru one side of battery hold down area and it was very easy to line up one thru the uncut hole and snap the other rod in the from the side via the channel. Old and wiser now.
|12/20/09||Rich or Lean, Here Is A Carburator Tip|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jimm Korbecki.
Has your LBC been running lean at speed or rich at idle? Does your car have spark plugs die for no apparent reason? If it does, the solution may be an easy and inexpensive fix.
My recent experiences with my six cylinder E-Types may apply to other LBC's as well. In the last few years our E-Types were giving us grief and eating spark plugs for dinner. I would adjust the SU carburetors for an excellent idle only to have the car miss at highway speed. The spark plugs would indicate a lean condition, Trying to adjust the caruretors for road speed would leave a rich idle and failing spark plugs.
The prime cause is the lower grade of fuel that is distributed in our area now. The required additions of MTBE and alcohol to gasoline have reduced the BTU's produced by a gallon of gas. Our older British cars were designed to run on pure gasoline, not a gasohol mixture now distributed. Newer fuel injected cars handle this type of fuel without any problems. the older carbureted cars tend not to respond well to the new mixture of gasoline.
My fix for my jags was to contact Joe Curto at 1-718-762-7878. I asked for a needle for a leaner idle for richer road speed. We discussed the tuning problem I had and settled on changing the carburetor needles from the stock UM to an OM.
What a difference! Smooth idle - great road running speed- no more black smoke-plugs stopped dying. It ran like the old Jag I loved.
This tip might also work on the old Strombergs. The "Non Adjustable" Strombergs could be slightly more difficult. There are dozens of different needles for each series of carburetor. Describe to Joe the problems your carburetor is causing and he can probably prescribe the correct needle to fix the problem.
I have had great success on five out of five cars. If you're having a similar problem it is a cheap and simple fix. Changing needles on SU carburators is an easy job that can be completed in a matter of minutes with basic tools.
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jeff McDowell.
My lovely wife recently purchased leather seat covers for my 1977 MGB. Part of the job involved recovering the head rests. Well, when I took the old units apart I found the metal headrest component at one time had a solid sandwich of wood between the metal layers that the original head rest covers were stapled to before the plastic cover was screwed to the underside of the head rest with two screws. After removing every old rusted staple from the wooden section, there wasn't much left to reattach the new covers to.
I took a few 1/4 inch thick pieces of balsa wood and using a THICK amount of wood glue, pressed it to the underneath section of the headrest frames. After drying, I now had a new section to use my staple gun to attach the new leather covers to the headrest foam/frame section. The balsa wood insert becomes quite strong after the amount of glue I recommend is used and left to dry properly. The result is a solid attachment platform for the new headrest covers.
|11/22/09||Need A Remote Starter?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From James Hall.
After performing a compression test on our '66 Midget, it occurred to me that I really missed being able to bump the starter from under the bonnet as I could with the pushbutton relay on my old Spitfire. I checked out the remote starter switches at my local chain parts store, but was unimpressed with the quality. A quick rummage through the garage junk box provided the perfrct solution - a momentary contact FOOT SWITCH!! I added a length of old extension cord and some alligator clips to complete the package. Much heavier-duty than the commercial version and leaves both hands free - just think how handy this will be the next time you adjust your valves! Switches can be found inexpensively on eBay or at surplus stores.
|11/08/09||Refitting Wiper Wheelboxes|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jim Hassall.
On the TR series of cars, reconnecting the wiper wheelboxes to the tubes which support the wiper drive cable demands lots of patience and dexterity, since there's only room for one hand to manipulate the bits and tighten the screws. It makes the reassembly much easier and less demanding on your colorful vocabulary if you wrap a small rubber band around the wheelbox and clamp plate, leaving the two screws very loose, before installing the wheelbox in the plenum. Tighten the nut which secures the bezel to hold the wheelbox steady. Then pull the clamp plate back, slide one tube into the clamp plate and snug that screw. Repeat on the other side and you're finished that box. Very simple, very easy.
|11/01/09||Help Your Tail Lights to Be Brighter|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ric Johnson.
Here's a simple and cheap way to make sure you're getting all the illumination from your tail lamps. This is particularly applicable to the MGB, but I'm sure all LBCs can benefit. Over time the gasket material between the bulb housing and lens of the tail lamps and reverse lights tends to shrink or crumble allowing dust to enter and collect on the inside of the lens, the bulb, and reflector, greatly reducing light output. All you need to do is remove the lens and use a paper or shop towel moistened with a light cleaner like Windex or my favorite window cleaner, Invisible Glass, to clean the bulb, reflector and inside surface of the lens. You'll be surprised at how much brighter your lights will be. This is also a good time to replace those rusty screws with some nice shiny 6-32 stainless steel screws from your local hardware store.
|10/25/09||Transmission Pilot Bearing Removal|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Roger Dotson.
While replacing my original transmission, the kit provided with the new five speed gearbox includes a new and different pilot bearing and the old one must be removed. This can be a chore without a puller, but it was suggested that grease could be applied into the center of the bearing. We did that, and used an old transmission input shaft as a driver. Placing it into the pilot bearing fills the hole and when struck with a hammer, the bearing pops right out! Worked great, and thanks to that suggestion, a potentially difficult step was made very simple!
|10/04/09||Pinion Nut Removal with Diff off Vehicle|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Brent Wolf.
Manual simply says, "Although it is very tight, it can be removed easily with a long extension." Problem - how do you prevent the pinion from turning. I simply use a 3 foot lenth of 1 inch angle iron. Drill a hole to fit one flange bolt about 3 inches from one end and as close to the angle as possible while allowing a bolt head to fit.
Put your socket on the pinion nut, bolt the angle iron to the pinion flange, positioning the angle iron on the floor ahead of the tire. The angle iron will rest on the socket. Now use your long extension. Pinion nut comes right off.
The reverse is works for installation to specified torque, but the hole needs to be drilled on the opposite face of the angle iron.
|09/20/09||Great for Points in a Jam|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ira Spector.
"Borrow" an emery board (nail file) from your wife or daughter, and drop it into the back of your glovebox or use it as a bookmark in your drivers guide. If you are ever stuck, it makes cleaning points (in the distributor, an SU fuel pump, or even the older-style horns) a snap.
|08/30/09||Got parts to clean while working on your LBC?|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Don Boyko.
Now don't try this when the wife is home. One way to clean parts is to use your automatic dishwasher. Another method I use for parts that are REAL dirty is to boil a pot of water deep enough to cover the parts with several heaping tablespoons of automatic dish washer soap. The soap doesn't foam, and is activated by heat, (the hotter the better, and the minimum activation temperature is 140 degrees. Let the parts boil for 30-60 minutes, or longer, and they will come out all de-greased and super clean. You should see how the aluminum intake manifold came out for my Spitfire 1500 after it was boiled for about an hour!
Another tip is to use automatic dish washing soap to clean the cooling system on the car. Drain out the antifreeze and fill it back with water. Add about 1/4 cup automatic dishwashing soap and drive. I've done this when there was no danger of freezing, and just left it in the car until I drove maybe a hundred miles or so. Let the system cool and drain and flush real good. Re-fill with antifreeze, and your cooling system will be SUPER clean!
|08/09/09||Lift - a- Dot Installation Trick|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From John Crawley
Here is one I thought that I would pass along. If you are installing lift-a-dot fasteners and do not have the proper punch, DO NOT use an Exacto knife to punch the slits for the tabs - it is too easy to cut too long of a slit. Also the slits will tend to elongate and tear when the vinyl shrinks over time. Here is the best method that I have found for installation.
1. Use chalk on the top of the lift a dot stud and stretch the vinyl to where you want it, then press down and the chalk will transfer to the correct spot on the back of the vinyl.
2. Punch this mark out with the largest hole of a hand held punch.
3. Pull this hole over the peg so that the peg sticks through the vinyl.
4. Now press the top half of the lift-a-dot fastener on to the peg so that the tabs press into the vinyl and mark it. You can use chalk on the tabs as well. Make sure to install the Dots (the little bump on the top of the fastenar) downwards on the back and sides and forwards on the front of the tonneau cover, as this will make it easier to lift the cover off when installed.
5. NOW remove the vinyl from the peg and use the smallest hole in a hand-punch to punch the holes for the tabs.
6. Place the top of the lift-a-dot through the vinyl, put the back plate on and press the two together with a very small needle-nose vice grip set not too close but just enough to squeeze it all tight.
7. Now bend the tabs inwards. The tabs may be set with a gentle squeeze of the vice grips after.
8. Lift-a-dots are never to be pressed down all the way over the studs when putting your tonneau cover on the car; press them down only until they click onto the stud neck. This will prevent the bottom of the lift-a-dot from chipping your paint and will prevent the spring in the lift-a-dot from becoming weak over time.
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Kevin Coffey.
I had this problem with my MKII Spitfire, a unidentifiable rattle that sounded as though a bag of assorted broken glass had been tied to the under carriage of my Spitfire, whenever I traversed a bumpy road it sounded as though this glass was doing what it was intended to do, make a bunch of rattles. Hmmm ?, couldn't figure it out, after all there was no bag of glass attached to the under carriage of my Spitty.
Then one day I decided to change the brake pads (front). The new ones fitted more snug into the calipers (apparently earlier spits had slightly longer brake pad back plates and the ones that had been fitted were after 1967 and a touch smaller) when the new pads had been fitted with some anti squeal shims and some grease on the shims, I drove the Spit and the rattles had disappeared, This may help someone get rid of that infernal rattling noise, it's quite disconcerting. PS I fitted EBC Greenstuff pads, they are great but may need a bit of a modification to the top and bottom edges, grinding about an eighth of an inch off each edge so they slide snuggly into the calipers.
|07/05/09||Weber Acting up? Give this a Check.|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dave Testerman.
I have '75 Midget 1500 with Weber dual throat down draft conversion by Pierce. Engine would idle but act as if it was starving for gas when you tried to accelerate. I was finally able to isolate it to the primary side of the carb because if you opened the secondary side it would run better. All the jets and passages were clear but it still would not run above idle. After several remove, clean, and reassemble cycles of the Weber I was completely baffled. Sometime it would run for a few days and then crump again.
Finally during the last removal, I noticed that the brass spray bar in the primary venturi had the slot facing upwards while the secondary side was facing down. I pulled the venturi and found that the brass spray bar was loose and rotated easily (it is supposed to be pressed into the aluminum venturi). I rotated it back and tapped the venturi with a punch to hold it in place. It ran fine...at least long enough until I could order a replacement venturi. I still like the Weber better than the original carb, but now I know why the owner of the Weber setup got frustrated and traded it to me straight across for the original carb and manifold. Glad I found the problem and not him.
|05/24/09||Leaking 3 Main Engine?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Frank Grimaldi.
If you are experiencing oil leaks on a MGB/MGA 3-main or "T" Series engine you may want to consider the following:
My 3-main MGB had significant oil leaks originating from the rear main and both ends of the oil pan. Rather than pull the engine to measure and correct the scroll clearance and reinstall the straight cork seals, I decided to first install a PCV valve. A PCV valve, if installed correctly, will create a vacuum in the crankcase of about minus 2 PSI and would draw air in and prevent oil from leaking out. I tried it and low and behold it worked! I used a PCV valve and related parts from a 1964 - 1967 MGB and a front tappet cover w/an oil separator from a 1967 MGB. The PCV valve and related items are available, new, from LBC. The tappet cover will have to be used, as they are not available new.
|04/05/09||Replacing Front Wheel Brake Cylinders|
Our Tech Tip This Week Is From Bob Wharton.
When replacing the front brake cylinders on your MGA with drum brakes, forget the directions about not wrenching on the hose hex fitting. Removing the hose from the tube union is a real pain in the wrist!
Instead, wrench on the hose fitting at the brake cylinder until the flats on the hose fitting line up with the opening in the backing plate. Remove the cylinder and pull the hose through the opening and remove the cylinder from the hose. Reassembly is just the reverse, no more than 1/6 of a turn on the hose end. There is enough play in the hose to allow the slight twisting of the hose and if you pret-wist the hose, there is no stress after reassembly.
Just remember to tighten the hose at the cylinder after you snug up the mounting bolts on the cylinder. The first wheel cylinder took me about 45 minutes to figure this out. Minutes to complete on the second.
|03/29/09||Retractable Seat Belt Hanging UP?.|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Harry MacLean.
Ya say you bought the new automatic seatbelts to replace your worn out ones that don't work any longer? The belts never seem to retract correctly and seem like they are always hanging up? Here's the fix I used. I got some stiff shrink tubing for electrical wire. I cut off two pieces and put them on the round parts in the belt retractor (you can see them right next to the belt). I then fired up the old heat gun (the wife's hairdryer) and wa-la the belt can't go to the other sides and hang up all the time. It doesn't harm the operation of the belt, just keeps it lined up so it will retract every time.
|03/14/09||Automatic Battery Charger on the Cheap, Year Round.|
Our Tech Tip This Week Is From Brian Amato.
Here's a tip to keep your battery constantly charged with little or no effort:
Nearly everyone today has an automatic garage door operator.....you push a button on a transmitter in your car or the one mounted to the wall of the garage and the door goes up.
Almost all openers have a built in light that goes on when the door goes up.....goes on again when the door goes down. Usually lasts anywhere from 3 minutes to 5 minutes depending on make and model. Here's what you do: Unscrew the light bulb from the door opener head. Go to the hardware and buy an adaptor that screws into a standard light bulb socket and has an electric outlet on the other end....the kind you can plug an extension cord in. If your door opener only has one light bulb, buy the kind that looks like a "Y"....you can screw the bulb back in one socket and an adaptor in the other so you can plug a cord in. The bottom line is.....you want to end up with an outlet that will let you plug a cord into the place where the bulb used to be.
Now......plug an extension cord into the outlet where the bulb used to be and run it down near your car (or riding mower or motorcycle or whatever). Plug your battery charger into the extension and hook it up to the battery you want to charge. Every time you open the door in the morning.....the light will come on for 5 minutes and so will your charger...same thing when you come home at nite....another 5 minutes.
Without doing a thing, your charger will come on morning and nite and keep your battery in a charged status. Be sure to retain the ability to have the light come on too....you don't want to stumble around in a dark garage just cuz Dad is charging the battery on his LBC.
|02/22/09||Wire Labeling 101|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Robert Seymour.
It is a great idea to label your wires. A more secure and permanent way to handle this is as follows:
1. Go to the auto parts store or any shop that deals in electronics, and pick up the correct size of yellow heat shrink tubing.
2. On the yellow heat shrink tubing, write your wire label with a black fine tip sharpie.
3. Slip your heat shrink on the wire and terminate the connection.
4. Using a heat gun, shrink your tubing over the wire.Viola! Neat, clean, and easy to read wire labels!
|01/11/09||Winter Storage Tip - Brrrrr|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Robert Stark.
If like many of us LBC drivers we must put our cars away for the winter and the only space available to us is our family garage, which also has to house the family car. As you know bringing the winter driven car into the garage introduces moisture that condenses on the stored car. Here is a procedure I have used with great success to keep the stored car moisture free.
-Park the car on a plastic sheet to keep moisture out from the cement floor
-Cover the car with a breathable car cover
-Place a small electric fan under the car so the air is circulated under and up into the car
-Connect the fan to an event timer and run it a couple of hours a day during the wet winter season.
This procedure has kept our car moisture free during the worst of our winters.
|12/28/08||Golf Tees Make Great Hose Plugs|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ron Neumunz.
This one is pretty simple, and I've used it a number of times on my Morris and Triumph. Any time you work on any of the rubber fuel lines about the pump or carbs, there is always the problem of how to clamp off the line to avoid excess fuel spilling. I don't always have a pair of grip pliers on hand, and sometimes they don't work all that well, or apply too much force to a tired line. A way to get around that is to use golf tees; they fit nicely into the 1/4" line and neatly plug the end while you fiddle around with the pump. etc. I keep a few in my garage and try to have one or two in the car. Wooden ones are best, as they have some "friction" which keeps the plug in for simple repairs.
|12/14/08||Painting Bolts and Screws?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jon Francesco.
When restoring my MGB I found taking a 1/2 in thick piece of foil covered insulation from my vinyl siding project and sticking the screws and bolts into it and spray painting them. This was very helpful keeping them together and painting evenly till they dry and reinstalling them. As some of you know the other method is holding them with your fingers and getting paint and prints all over them.
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Steve Ramsey.
When restoring your frame there are many ways on prepping it. We all know of POR15 and many beginners do not know that it doesn’t act well with UV rays. To prep my frame I 1.)Sandblasted the frame 2.) Put POR15 on the frame 3.) Right when it is still sticky but not dry, apply Epoxy Primer and let it dry 4.) Apply a few coats of Rustoleum paint. The POR15 and epoxy primer bond really good together and what better paint to slap on the top but good ol’ rustoleum paint. Now you have a nice thick layer that will last you years to come. I must also add that we all know cutting out those rust parts was included in these steps somewhere.
|11/16/08||MGB Oil Pressure Valve and Spring Replacement|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ron Hillbury.
One of the most difficult jobs on an MGB engine is replacing the oil pressure valve and its spring while the engine is still in the car! The cap nut is easy to remove with a pair of channel lock pliers but putting it back on while trying to press that very strong spring home is next to impossible. The problem is that there is no room for even the smallest hands in the area; much less to turn that cap nut against that spring and trying to get the threads to mesh all at the same time. That one inch socket nearly bumps up against the body too!
I've found two things that make a seemingly impossible job just a bit easier. First, detach your exhaust system from the exhaust manifold and move it as far as you can to the center of the car to give you more room to work. Now put a one inch socket in your vise and cut it down until it's only one inch tall. It's easiest to use a cut off wheel on a die grinder but a hack saw will work too. You want all of the treads on the cap nut to show above the top of the socket. Now you have plenty of room to work. You now can press and turn at the same time. It's still a tough job but it will go much faster. Oh, don't forget to buy a new one inch socket!
|11/02/08||Keep Yourself Clean During Oil Change|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Peter Burnside.
When it comes time to do that messy changing the oil filter, wrap a plastic bag aound the filter (after you have loosened it a bit) and then spin the whole thing off, its better than getting an armpit full of hot dirty motor oil.
|10/19/08||Hard to Start? Check Your Distributor|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Cam Pritchard.
After a long 1400 mile trip to Hew Hampshire in our 73 MGB without a glitch I noticed the B was getting hard to start in the wee early morning hours when the engine was cold. Well lucky for us, the real problem didn't occur until a week later when the B was in the garage at home and she wouldn't start. Even after our recent ground up restoration!
She had SPARK, She had FUEL, and She had COMPRESSION. (PLUS GOOD LOOKS, old English white with red interior) what else would an old girl want? Well after hours of tests and changes we pulled the distributor to find that the shaft had seized on the brass bushing, making it impossible to turn by hand. This in turn will throw out the timing ,even though the engine turns over and shows spark on a open spark plug, and the fuel pump is pumping with the noise of compression, though the exhaust tail pipe.
The SOLUTION? Remove distributor from car, remove shear pin from offset cog drive, remove centrifugal dis. weights with springs and screw ( remember to reinstall the same way or the distributor rotor will be out 180 deg.) and pull or drive the shaft from bushing. You will notice the shaft has a grease grove on it . sand down shaft until it moves freely in the bushing and re grease. The shaft must move freely to have correct timing. Is your car becoming hard to start? If so you may want to check this out.
|10/05/08||Cleaning Clear Plastic Convertible Windows|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Greg Lemon.
I was not making much progress while trying to clean the plastic window on the convertible top of my Austin Healey. I decided to try something different and reached for some Meguiars 84 Compound Power Cleaner, a high tech rubbing compound for automotive paints. It worked great, removing all but the deepest scratches and all the dirt and grime and did not scratch the window.
|09/28/08||Floor Mat's Bunching Up?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Chuck Jackson.
Floor Mats that tend to bunch up. Go to Home Depot, Lowes, or your local swimming pool store and get four of those clips that are used to fasten onto a tarp or a swimming pool solar cover. Tie a piece of strong string or twine to them. I have had great success with that nylon string. Tie the string to the clips. Clip them to the floor mat (two clips per floor mat), thread the string under seat frame, and tie the string to the rear portion of the seat frame. Three years later, still no bunching up.
|09/14/08||MGB Boot Lock Wrench (other LBC's Too)|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dan Lamprecht.
It's always nice to have the right tool for the job. When removing/installing the boot lock on an MGB, the usual method to tighten/loosen the locking ring underneath the boot lid by using a flat bladed screw driver to pry against the tabs of the ring. But the screw driver gouges the soft locking ring, and one slip of the screw driver and there goes your nice paint finish.
The diameter of the locking ring is exactly 1.5 inches. Pick up a short exhaust pipe adapter at your local auto store with the same ID. Using a small round file (chain saw sharpening file), carefully file ridges in the end of the pipe to match the locking ring tabs. Whala, the perfect tool now makes it a simple job to mount the boot lock without the risk of scratches or dings.
|08/31/08||Brake Caliper Rebuild Tip|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Paul Tonizzo.
A lot of MGA owners (this tip should work on most any LBC) who need to rebuild frozen calipers will find that even compressed air won't move the pistons. An absolutely foolproof method is to use a grease gun. This is done by taking an old caliper hose fitting (the end that the caliper banjo bolt attaches to the caliper), cut it with a hack saw, and thread it to accept a grease fitting. After assembly onto the caliper, use a grease gun to pump grease into the bores and free the pistons. The pressure from the gun will move the worst frozen pistons you can find. The next step is to split the caliper, degrease the halves, get a new o-ring seal and bolts, and reassemble the caliper. You can also remove the centering pin in the bores and use the cheaper MGB pistons at this point too. Note that the manual advises not to split a caliper but I have never had a problem and on a badly frozen one you have nothing to lose.
|08/17/08||Bumper Installation Tip|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ira Spector.
Installing bumpers on LBCs without scratching them can be tricky. One slip of the wrench and you can chip the paint or scratch the chrome. I always use open ended wrenches, and wrap them with black tape around the ends. Then use a razor blade, utility knife or Exacto knife to cut away the tape that covers the box portion of the wrench. This will allow you to slip the wrench over the end of the nut you are tightening (on the inside of the bumper, on the bumper bolt),without risking chipping the paint or scratching the bolt if you slip or drop the wrench. Also, lay a blanket down under your work area before you start. Not only will this allow you to set the bumper down as you start, but it makes it more comfortable for you to lay down on your back (with your head on the blanket) as you work.
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Chris Kotting.
If your memory is as bad as mine, you will forget the order in which you want to check the valves to minimize turning the engine over by hand. So, look it up, and post it in big numbers on a chart on the garage wall, somewhere where you can see it with your head under the bonnet. (Hint: A chart for just about everything from 4 cylinders up through V-12s is on the back of the ClickAdjust package or available on the LBCarCo Website.)
|07/20/08||Removing and Replacing T Series Rear Axle|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Blair Weiss.
This is for "T" series owners, but I am sure it applies to many others. When removing and replacing the rear axle assembly, don't disconnect your brake system. It will save the headache of bleeding it later and the time associated with re-installing the brake shoes, springs, etc.. Disconnect the 3 way union from the axle, then take the backing plates off and hang then with mechanic's wire or a bungy cord from your springs, disconnect the rebound straps and the axle will come right out. If your really in a hurry, don't remove the lug nuts, just remove the cotter pin and axle nut and remove the drum with the wheel. Don't forget the driveshaft...
|07/06/08||Installing MGA Grille Piping|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is from Bud Nocera.
Installing a grille on a MGA without marring the car's paint, while keeping the gray piping in place, is quite a challenge. I found an easy way to install the grille by gluing the piping to the grille first, using tiny amounts of JB Weld epoxy. Start at the bottom center of the grille and use a short, stout piece of plastic wire tie as an applicator to place tiny dabs of well-mixed JB Weld about 1 inch apart on the part of the piping that contacts the grille. Then begin securing the piping to the grille using a long wire tie to tightly secure the piping. Put epoxy dabs on about four inches of piping at a time, and secure with wire ties as you go around the grille.
I used about fifty 10 inch ties, spaced every inch and a half or so. Allow to cure overnight or longer before cutting off the wire ties. The trick is to use many dabs of epoxy that are too small to be squished out from under the piping when the wire ties are locked down. If that happens, clean up the excess epoxy using a small amount of solvent on a rag or cotton swab while the epoxy is still wet. The good news is that the gray JB Weld comes close to matching the gray piping in color. Next day you will have a grille with piping securely attached and ready to mount to the car.
|06/22/08||Door Seals and Pop Rivits|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Craig Colby.
When installing the door glass seals on my MGB, Moss part numbers 282-380 & 282-390, I was frustrated when trying to install the pop rivets which anchor the seal to the door frame. The rivets would not always cooperate in my attempts to make them line up with the holes through the seal and into the corresponding hole in the door frame. To make matters worse, the rivet wouldn't always fully seat through the two holes completely, even when I had the holes lined up.
To solved the problem I used a straight piece (10 inches) of small diameter brake tubing to slide over the pop rivet. Using the tubing as leverage, I could manipulate and force the rivet through each hole, and then push against the flange of the rivet to seat it fully against the seal. Then, I just slid off the brake tubing, inserted my pop rivet gun onto the waiting rivet and locked it on. Installation was quick and easy.
|06/08/08||Rebuilding your Differential?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jim Hassall.
Here's another Tech Tip for your collection (I used this technique on my TR4, but it applies to any differential rebuild.)
When rebuilding the differential, it is critical to establish a proper mesh pattern for the ring and pinion gears. Machinist's Blue (also called Engineer's Blue, etc) is the usual marking fluid used for marking parts.But since my gears were new, the blue didn't work (dark on darker was very hard to read). However, white Lithium grease worked perfectly. It marked well, was very easy to read (and photograph for the build album) and was easy to remove.
Apply the grease to the ring gear with a small flux brush (found in the plumbing section of most hardware stores) or any fine-bristle brush about as wide as the teeth (a uniform coating of grease is easier to read). Apply the grease to three or four consecutive teeth in two or three different locations on the ring, then rotate the pinion (both directions) thru a couple of ring gear revolutions. Have a supply of shims on hand and the job can be done in a weekend. Happy diff rebuilding. It isn't hard, and is very rewarding.
|06/01/08||Tool for Finding Vacuum Leaks|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dean 'Greyhawk' Boufford.
This is a useful tool for finding vacuum leaks. I'm still using the one passed down from my father.
You will need one typical home propane shop torch and a length of hose with an i.d. big enough to fit snugly over the end of the stem on the torch. I use aquarium hose. Remove the flame head from the regulator's stem and install the hose in it's place. A bit of soapy water will help tight fits. Your tool is ready to use.
With the engine running, turn on the regulator and run the open end of the hose slowly around part joints (intake/carb mounts, rocker covers etc), vacuum hoses (especially at the ends) and anywhere you suspect a leak. You have found your leak when the engine suddenly begins to run much smoother.
|05/18/08||Aligning Doors, Bonnets and Boots|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Kelly Corkill.
I just purchased a slightly used '57 MGA, and one of the problems with the car was that neither door nor the hood closed properly. A little lubricant helped, but still I found that both doors were only catching on the safety catch, not really latching at all. A few hard corners and complaints from passengers pushed it up the priority list, and so I decided it had to be fixed even if it triggered sheet metal work sooner than desired. Then I remembered a very old autobody repair trick.
First I removed the latch post and checked that the door and hood fit in the opening properly, hallelujah they did! I then remounted the latch and post and put masking tape on the post surfaces, and closed the door. The masking tape tears where the contacts are made, and easily shows any misalignment. A few spacers, several tape applications (replace each adjustment) and both doors and the hood now solidly latch.
|05/11/08||Installation of Chrome Strips on MGT Series Side Curtains Made Easier|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Bill Baker.
Either current fabrics are thicker, or the currently provided T nuts are shorter, or both. Regardless, it is very difficult to get the chrome strip nuts to catch a thread. A solution is to lay a wire, (two conductor white wire with a red tracer provided with garage door openers worked well for me), between the inside of the chrome strip and the top of the T nut. This prevents the T nut from recessing into the chrome strip. Tighten all but the last nut at the end where the wire is left to hang out. Simply pull the wire out and tighten the last nut.
|04/27/08||HS4 Float settings with Grose Jets|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From John Twist of University Motors. Thanks John for permission to publish this tech tip.
I purchased a set of Grose Jets along with new floats for the HS4 carb's in my 1971 MG-BGT. There are no instructions on installation. The only way it appears to adjust the float level is with the gaskets which go underneath the jets? The floats do not have the metal tab for adjusting the level. What should be the correct level when using the Grose Jets?
When you turn the float bowl lid upside down, you should be able to roll a drill bit between the float and the lip of the float bowl (really the bottom-most edge, but as it's upside down now, it's the top edge) -- and, that drill bit should be between 1/8 and 3/16" in diameter. The only way to move the float height is with the application of various shims.
The original, double ball valves were named Grose jets after the Grose family who made them. We used to get our cashed checks back, endorsed by Mrs Grose! Now, I do believe they're sourced in the Far East -- but the construction is the same. Originally, they were supplied with three washers -- two thin and one thick. That is true again, now, I believe.
|04/13/08||Jazz up those Brass Valve Cover Nuts from LBCarCo|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Norb Wessely.
The brass valve cover nuts with the MG crest does not stand out as much as I would like so I taped them with masking tape so it was flush with the top of the nut. I then sprayed it with the engine color paint of my motor and wiped off the top of the letters and perimeter of the nut with a rag so it was the original brass color. I gave it two coats and what a difference this makes. The MG crest pops right out instead of blending in. This could also be done to the tappet, fuel float bowl and carb. nuts. They can be painted to match your motor, the car color or black to show the highlights. Some of the paint seeped between the tape and bolt and this was very easy to clean off after the tape was removed. You can also use this method on the Premium Tire Valve Covers Too!
|03/30/08||Help Stop Rust!|
Our Tech Tip This Week Is From Dave Purdy.
Like many car enthusiasts, I have devoted a lot of time to chasing the tin worm and guarding against its return. Most restorers, after carefully cutting out and repairing rusted areas will rely on a treatment of Wayoyl or a similar treatment. My tech tip takes this one step further.
The marine industry has known about the merits of a sacrificial anode for years. Car owners can also benefit from this protection by simply attaching a zinc electrode to the underside of the car. Provided it forms an electrical connection with the body and frame of the car, the zinc will corrode and leave the steel panels untouched. (This is the same principle behind galvanizing steel). Zinc electrodes are available from marine suppliers and provide inexpensive insurance.
|03/23/08||Easy Method of Putting Holes in Carpeting.|
Our Tech Tip This Week Is From Bill McCord.
If you are installing carpeting or installing screws through your carpet and wish to make a hole, don't use a drill use a small soldering iron. Buy a new tip and grind it to pencil sized point. This will make the hole in the carpeting material and seal it so it won't unravel. It will also make the hole in the jute backing, it just take a little longer.
|03/09/08||MG Home Made Sign - Very Cool|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Terry Frisch.
This is an idea to help display the passion for our MG’s. I came across an old poker table, the kind that has the built in trays for the poker chips, well these tables were made in, you guessed it, an octagon shape. The bottom, or back side of the table, was smooth and with a small time invested we taped off the MG logo and sprayed it black and hung it on the wall in the garage and it looks great, and to think I almost cut it up for the fire pit. So now you have another reason to go searching through those garage sales.
|03/02/08||MGA Crank Pully Rivits Loose?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Scott Steinhauer.
Sometime in the life of an MGA the crank pulley rivets will become loose. If another isn't available, or you don't want to raise the engine up to access the dognut properly (even when the nut can break loose), just clean the surface up and weld the two halves together with a spot near each rivet. After a quick spray of paint and you are safely back on the road and it's probably stronger than original.
|02/10/08||Yellow Rear Window? |
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From John Northrup.
If you're like me, you've probably experienced how quickly (one winters storage time) the plastic rear window on our LBCs deteriorate. Well, I've found a solution.
There is a product on the market called "Goofoff", which is intended for removing graffiti, etc, but seems to work just great on removing that yellowish film that forms on the window. Just take a soft cloth, saturate it with this stuff, and polish gently inside and out on the plastic surface, and voila.............no more yellow, and you can actually see through the window again. Not really sure how permanent this is, or whether it eventually does any harm to the plastic, but at least for a season, it appears to work.
|02/03/08||Mounting Mirrors Solidly|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Clive Reddin.
On my Midget, the hole spacing on the mirror mount was 2 1/8 inches and apparently, the flat plastic mounting piece with that dimension is no longer being made. I made mine up from sheet plastic but how to securely mount the mirror?
I hauled myself to one of the big name box stores and visited their hardware/fastener section. There was an item called a Tee Nut. This nut is designed with 4 steel prongs that bite into wood when tightened and the nuts are T shaped. I bought a pack and the corresponding 3/16 inch machine screws that were the same dimensions as my original self tapping screws.
Holding the prong with an 11 inch needle nose pliers, I was able to squeeze the T nut in between the window and into the door. With the top of the T against the inside of the door, I was able to screw the mirror mount to the door using the machine screw. To prevent the nut and screw from loosening up, I also used some thread locker on the threads.
The top of the T is about the size of a quarter and acts like a strengthening plate as well so it's stronger than the original system! You can get the nut in past the window but it would be easier without it so if you have the doors stripped down, put the mirror base on before you put the glass in.
|01/27/08||Replacing a Slave Bleeder Nipple? Stop it from Leaking|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Chuck Jackson.
I was replacing the bleeder nipple on my MGA's clutch slave cylinder because its shoulders were stripped. Unthreading it was a slow process, and I was being drenched in brake fluid. I retightened the nipple to stop the deluge. Then I took a cotton swab, cut off all but 1/8" of the cotton, trimmed the whole thing to 1/2", and jammed it into the nipple with the cotton sticking out and forming a bit of a seal.
I did the same thing to the replacement nipple. Except for the occasional drop escaping through the cotton, the only loss of fluid was when I physically removed the old nipple and started the threads on the new nipple. Since threading the new nipple was a very slow process because of the very, very tight fit, having that seal was a real benefit because the master cylinder would have drained before I finished!
|01/13/08||Floor Mats Don't Stay Put?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Buff Morris.
I had trouble keeping my floor mats flat, they often bunch up when I'm getting in or just driving my LBC. This causes the gas pedal to hang up on the folds and the engine to rev out of control until I reach down and pull the mat back.
I have tried several ways to solve the problem using double sided tape, Velcro etc. but after a while the problem always returns. I got an idea when I was hanging some window blinds for my wife. The blinds were the kind that are 3/4 inch wide by 36 inch long. After trimming them to length I wound up with 30 or 40 extra slats. I cut 4 slats to length and attached them to the bottom of the mats with contact cement. The flexible slats keep the mats from bunching up and they allow the mats to follow the contours of the floor.
|01/06/08||MGA Boot Lid Extension #2|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Russell Fleehearty.
I would like to add to Glenn Johnson’s earlier excellent Tech Tip for the MGA Boot Lid Extension, Instead of messing with the Bolts and Washers, Measure the approx diameter of the Rod Guide. Then simply go to your local Walmart, (You do not want to be seen at Joann’s Fabric), And in the Sewing Section, You can find a selection of Metal Thimble’s, these will be in several different diameters, Simply find the correct Diameter Thimble that will insert into the hole for the Rod Guide, Insure that it will be a Tight Fit, and it’s a Done Deal. They can be painted if you wish to do so.
|12/23/07||Mirrors Always Need Adjusting?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ron Hillbury.
Unlike “modern” cars, the outside rearview mirrors on our LBC’s are touchy to adjust. It seems everytime you get the outside rearview mirror adjusted, someone will bump it and throw the mirror out of adjustment. The metal part on the back of the mirror mates up with the metal of the mounting post and you don’t want to tighten the locking screws too much because it can bend the back of the mirror.
Solution? A drop of super glue between the mirror post and the back of the mirror will hold the adjustment against all but the most heavy hits.
|12/09/07||Window Winders Stiff?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Garth Bagnall.
Here is a tech tip from a regular New Zealand reader of your interesting LBCarCo Chatter.
MGB window winders usually end up being very stif. Even after regular lubing of the channels with silicone and grease on the bottom channel they are still stiff. So I removed the door panel, and drilled a small hole 3/32" dia in the top of the drum where the handle goes on and sprayed in some WURTH HHS2000 liquid grease. Hey Presto - free as a bird. Be careful not to go in too far a break the drill!!
|12/02/07||Sprite/Midget Master Cylinder Rebuild Tip|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Tim Summers.
When I rebuilt the, shared reservoir, master cylinder on my ’63 Sprite with new seals, the brakes worked a little too well. They got stiffer with every pedal push until they completely locked up. Turns out the new rubber didn’t allow the cylinder to bleed off upon release. The new rubbers were a little thicker and blocked the orifice.
I was given this tip. Get some thin gauge cardboard (back of a notebook or cigarette pack) and trace the gasket that goes under the push-rod cover, cut it out and pair it with the existing paper gasket. Put both on the master cylinder and there you have it. This adds the clearance you need to for the plunger to clear the orifice.
|11/25/07||Stubborn Fasteners, Studs, Etc?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Phillip Melendez.
Hopefully this is a tip that will help someone in a tight spot. When working on our LBC it will be inevitable that you encounter some stubborn fasteners that will resist penetrating oil, heat, etc. when trying to remove them. This will be especially true on engine exhaust manifold bolts. Try using an air chisel with a punch point bit. Put the point on the offending fastener and rap it a few times with the chisel and it should loosen the stubborn item to allow you to remove it.
|11/11/07||Keep Corrosion out of Fuse Boxes|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ed Madak.
In addition to Rick Acosta's tech tip which you will find below on cleaning fuse boxes. Make a trip to your local hobby shop and pick up some "switch lube" to coat the cleaned contacts, this will help keep them corrosion free for a long time. "While troubleshooting electrical problems, check the fuse box for corrosion where the fuses snap in. Depending on the climate and road conditions, they can get really nasty preventing good contact resulting in reduced or intermittent current flow. An easy way to clean the fuse box contacts is to use a wire brush used to clean rifles. The .22 caliber size works great by inserting it in the fuse holder and spinning it, or just pushing it in and out. All the corrosion will be removed without destroying the fuse clips. One thing to remember is safety and disconnect the battery first so as not to short anything out."
|11/04/07||Dead Battery Syndrome|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Gil DuPre.
If you are experiencing a dead battery syndrome a few days after charging it and can't seem to find the problem. Think about the last piece of equipment you added or had added to your car, such as a CD player or Radio. Then look where the main power to it is connected. Make sure it isn't connected to the wire running from your horns to the horn button. This wire will always have almost 12 volts on it when measured to ground. Some installers don't realize this and are only looking for a constant power source. Always check your wiring diagram when connecting accessories.
|10/28/07||Adusting Spitfire Brakes and a few Tips|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From David Parish.
Adjusting rear brakes on a Spitfire can be done quite easily with an 8 point 1/4" socket - it fits over the square adjuster head and you can turn it with a normal ratchet and extension.
Re: the fella who suggested superglue on cable ends - if you are willig to degrease the cable end thoroughly, soldering is much tougher and less likely to fray out than superglue.
Re. the fella who suggested using a 1/4" driver handle for Dzus fasteners - use a 1/4" extnsion instead. You can use a ratchet on it if necessary for additional torque.
Last but not least - installing a ZS carb - if you feed the bottom nut up between the stud and carb body and trap it with the carb body, you can make the first few turns by pushing on the nut flats with a skinny flat-blade screwdriver. Much easier than trying to get fingers in there or trying to thread it with an open end wrench.
|10/21/07||Top Hide-Em Welt Installation|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Everett Norwick.
Recently, while installing hide-em welt on the new top of my MGA. I found a easy and simple way to hold the welt open while you set the nails. Take a piece of 3/16 wood dowel rod about 1 inch long and place it in the welt. Install nails about half way across and drive them down to the welt. Then slide the dowel to the first nail and set nail. Slide the dowel rod to the next nail; set nail and so on. Works like a charm.
|10/14/07||Another Differential Filling Tip|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Bill Gardner.
To replace the differential oil when you can't easily pump it in:1. Jack and install jack stands under one side of the car so it is at angle.
2. Pull wheel and half shaft from the highest side of the car.
3. Pour your favorite gear oil down the hole where your half shaft used to be.
4. Clean it all up and reinstall the half shaft and wheel. 5. Put the car back on the ground.
6. Drive safely.
|10/07/07||Switching to Negative Ground?|
Our Tech Tip This Week Is From John Steger.
I recently swapped the grounding for my LBC from positive to negative. All went well until it came time to re-attach the battery leads. I soon discovered that the battery terminals were size specific, I guess to make sure that you do not attach the wrong cable to the wrong terminal.
My solution was to cut the ends off of the existing cables and replace them with new ends. I did not replace my red ground wire with a new one, so I taped a note to the battery bin cover stating “This vehicle is Negatively grounded”, I guess that I could have been traditional and stated “This vehicle is negative earth”, now the wire colors wouldn’t confuse me later. I hope that this helps someone out, and saves them an added trip to the auto parts store.
|09/29/07||Tool Tip For Your LBC|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Karl Koch.
I recently read the tip from the person who records everything about their car's needs re: type and weight of motor oil, plug type, tires sizes, yada....yada....yada.....! I would have thought this to be a standard practice for all LBC drivers and mechanics. I guess I was wrong.
Anyway, I just wanted to add to that person's idea. I have a TD in addition to a "B." The luggage space in the TD is well....limited. So we have to be extra careful about how we pack. This means cramming all kinds of stuff into far off corners of the car. Even under the bonnet. So, since we have to take tons of tools and spares along, it saves LOADS of time, during "roadside tech sessions", if we can go straight to a needed item instead of having to search through the whole car.
For example, if you need to get a plug wrench it's good to know that it's under the bonnet instead of in the side-curtain compartment, along with the spares. I know it sounds anal, but all I do is inventory what I am taking on any particular trip and then identify where it is stored. I use a simple word-processing program to do the job. I store the list with the repair "bible" in the "boot" ( if you can call it that) of the TD.
This approach has saved us a lot of time in searching, packing and repacking, when the inevitable happens. Hope this can be of some help to my fellow LBC aficionados.
|09/23/07||Filling Your Differential|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Wayne Hardy.
I have found the perfect device for adding oil or changing the oil in the differential of LBC's. If you've tried this, you know it's hard to get the bottle of 80W140 to tip up high enough to add much oil to the differential with the car in a level position without putting jack stands under the front and under the spring to body mounts on the back to let the rear axle sag down to the bottom of the springs. The gas tank is in the way.
At Wal-Mart they sell a little hand pump for adding oil to the lower unit of an outboard motor. You can find it in with the outboard motor oil and service stuff. This pump screws right on to the top of the bottle of axle lube when the little pointy spout is removed. Simply pump the oil into the back fill plug hole then until it runs out.
Easy and can even be done while the car is on the garage floor without jacking it up. The pump costs less than $6.00 and also speeds up adding oil to the transmission too, without spilling it on the floor mats. I'm sure someone else sells these but the one I bought really works a treat.
Ed: Picture of similar type pump made by Johnson Outboards
|09/16/07||Replacing Lift the Dot Fasteners|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Joe Dufresne.
Often, the fasteners you find on replacement LBC hoods (roofs) are not true Lift the Dots and either wear out prematurely or work poorly. You will find that they are often located in an area of the roof that is stitched and you can't simply replace them.
A little trick I have worked out is to use heavy lawn trimmer line, with a Christmas ornament hook taped securely on the end. Cut a slit in the inside lining of the roof in the area that the attachment bar is located, slip the trimmer line in (hook bent closed), hook on the fastener that has the tabs open. You can then extract it easily, and reverse procedure for installation. It works much better than a wire, it is flexible, will not snag or tear the roof material. It sure beats removing the roof, unstitching the area and replacing the Lift the Dot. I was able to change several non-Lift the Dot fasteners that worked poorly with the real thing in a matter of minutes.
|09/02/07||Wire Labeling 101|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Jim Hassall.
I'm replacing my TR4's wiring harness (tnx lbcarco for saving me so much $ on it), but want to add electrical items not supported by the original design. In order to identify new wires as they're added, I tag them with small labels. Self-stick address labels are the right width, and they can be cut to give many wire tags per label.
At the source end I write on the label where the wire is going, and at the destination end where the wire came from (e.g. "oil temp sensor", etc). After wrapping the label around the wire a few inches from the end, I then apply a small dab of white glue at the ends of the label, then shrink clear heat shrink over the label, overlapping the label ends by 1/4 inch or so. Properly applied, the glue and clear heat shrink will make the label waterproof. Now I'll never have to trace wires to figure out what the new wires do. I also annotate them on the wiring diagram.
|08/12/07||Servicing Front Wheel Bearings|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Glenn Markam.
When servicing front wheel bearing, I discovered a few Tips which I wanted to share. First, the Bearing Retaining Nut requires a 30 mm socket.( early MGB)Second, buy a complete set of Shims (263-500 / 510 / 520 / 525 ). You may need them, you may not. But they are very inexpensive, and worth having in hand.
The most interesting part of this operation was placement of the Shims in the wheel assembly. The Shim goes in the wheel on the axle before the outer bearing (126-100) is slid into place into its race, followed by the bearing retaining washer (264-955) and nut (310-820). The Shim is small enough to go through the outer bearing race and rests against the bearing spacer (264-620), when tightened up.
Also, buy yourself new Tab Washers for your Disc Brake Calipers, which need to be removed to perform this operation. The Tab Washers (181-670) are cheap security and make for a nice finish.
|08/05/07||Oil Filters for Spin-On Adpaters|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dan Herman.
The spin-on oil filter adapter for my early MGB (Moss number 235-940) was packaged with a filter element, Fram PH3600. Installation and removal of this element is difficult because its length results in very close clearance with the nearby body structural rail. The open space between the end of the filter and the rail is so small that an end cap type of removal tool cannot be installed and engaging a strap type tool can only be done just so and after several trials.
With a bit of searching I found a shorter element with the same mounting head and bypass valve fitments. The overall length of the PH3600 is 4.92 inches while the Fram PH3614 is 3.34 inches. The shorter element is MUCH easier to install and remove. The smaller filter is used on many modern engines with larger displacement and higher oil system flow rates such as the Miata 2.0L, PT Cruiser 2.4L, and the Lexus 4.7L V6 so is more than adequate for the MG and other British car applications. The PH3614 cross-references to AC PF-53 and one could find other equivalents from their filter brand of choice.
(Editor Comments - LBCarCo always stocks a shorter hanging filter to fit this application under our part number 235-880S)
|07/22/07||MGA Bonnet Latch Adjustments|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Tom Case.
When adjusting the bonnet latch on your MGA use a piece of masking tape over the catch plate to determine where the latch bolt is aligned. Only lower the bonnet enough to mark the tape until you get it centered. Don't allow it to catch or you may get that terrible sinking feeling when the bonnet won't release. I've found you can use a paint stir paddle for a 5 gallon pail to slip between the grille fins and tap the latch bolt back up in the event you didn't follow instructions and remove the grill before adjusting the latch.
|07/15/07||Worn Lettering on Dash Knobs?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dave Engauser.
Many times the lettering on knobs is worn off after many years of use. To restore the bright white I put typewriter liquid paper, correction ink on the lettering, let it dry and then buff off the excess with fine steel wool. I use the edge of a knife for the hard to remove areas. Then spray the knob with clear lacquer and it looks like new.
|07/08/07||Installing or Working on a Harness?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Clive Reddin.
Here is a tip for those working on a car that needs electrical work.......Some of us get cars that need electrical harness/system work. Instead of buying a 12 volt car battery I used a 6 volt lantern battery. This provided enough electrical power that I could test continuity of wires and connections. I suppose one could add a second in series for 12 volt. Naturally, one can't start the car as the batteries don't have near enough amps to start anything! Saves shelling out for a car battery for a car that may not be on the road in a while.
|06/24/07||Small Parts Storage|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Ray Lynch.
I save my kids' Skippy Peanut Butter jars: They are clear plastic, with a screw top, and almost unbreakable. They are ideal for small parts, nuts, bolts, etc.I put them into the dishwasher, take them out before the dry cycle, and can then easily peel off the labels. You can put all the small parts from one repair project inside, with a label on an index card, and seal it. No more lost clips, washers or screws.
|06/17/07||Help Protect Your LBC When Under the Bonnet|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dennis Sexton.
While working under the bonnet of my MG TD I was looking for a way to avoid scratching the paint on the radiator stays and body supports. An inexpensive length of pipe insulation (from the local home improvement center) cut to lengths made great covers for the stays and even clamps onto the edges of the radiator surround. They can also be used on the lip of fender wells, around windshields and many other areas on the car that you are trying to protect during maintenance.
|06/03/07||Nuts and Bolts, Get a Grip|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Eric Welty.
Surely somebody else has thought of this, but: Ever try and attach a nut to a bolt where you can't hold on to both at the same time and don't have a helper? Find the strongest magnet you can and lay it on the bolt head, it will hold the bolt against anything iron/steel, and the best part is, especially if your working against gravity, it will hold the washers for you while you get the nut started. Worked like a charm while I was underneath the new metal floors on the "B"!
|05/28/07||Rounded Bolt? Socket Won't Fit?|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Mark Jackwood.
Here is a tip I learned working on bull dozers and tractors. If the head of a bolt is rounded off and a wrench or socket just won't turn it, (which happens a lot with rusty LBC's) hit the end of the bolt with a hammer to flatten out the edges, then put the wrench (best to use a box end wrench if possible) or socket back on. You may need some gentile persuasion with the hammer to put the wrench or socket back on, then loosen as usual. Works every time!
|05/13/07||Rubber Hose Installation|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Dave Walter.
I was having a devil of a time installing new heater hoses on the Range Rover. It seemed that the hoses just were not the right size to fit over the tubes on the heater core and on the water pump. A friend of mine said that he keeps an old hair dryer in his garage for just this purpose. A little time spent heating up the hose with the hair dryer, a quick application of Vaseline to the inside of the rubber hose, and it slipped right on.
|04/29/07||Removing Master Cylinder Pistons |
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Paul Tonizzo.
Here's a trick for extracting stuck pistons from an MGA or other LBC master cylinder. I'm assuming you have already taken the master cylinder out of your car and removed the piston retaining plate. Use a 3/8" tap to tap the inside hollow of each of the pistons in the master cylinder. For each piston, screw a bolt into the newly created threads and clamp the bolt head into a bench vice. The piston can then be extracted easily my lightly tapping the face of the master cylinder body (where the plate attaches). Using a block of wood to tap on will prevent any damage to the master cylinder body. Note: Be sure to clean out all the metal filings from the tapping procedure from both the piston and the cylinder bore. This will ensure the bore is not damaged when extracting the piston.
|04/15/07||Bending Fuel and Brake Lines|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Mark Jackwood.
My tech tip has to do with bending new brake lines (also applies to fuel and pollution lines). When bending new lines use the old line as a template. As you bend the new line to match the old one, tape the two lines together about every 6 inches or so. This holds the new line steady so you can make the next bend. It also insures that the new line will be a perfect match with the old one.
Our Tech Tip This Week Is From Tim Burston.
Imagine you're miles from home, the stores are closed and the accelerator cable has just snapped. Use a bicycle brake cable if you're in a pinch. Keep one in your glove box. It takes up very little space coiled up and it'sinexpensive. Perfect for a roadside repairs. Also, keep a couple of coat hangers in the boot. They're great for temporary exhaust repairs.(ed: My cable snapped a recently about 11PM, about 5 miles form home, wish I had a cable with me, I do now!)
|03/25/07||Rubber Bumper License Plate Mounting|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Clive Reddin.
On the rubber bumpered Midget, the licence plate attaching screws are often overtightened stripping out the mounting hole. We put a couple of drywall plastic plugs into the existing hole. The screws go in normally and the expanding plug keeps everything where it should be.
|03/18/07||Timing your TR3/TR4|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Bob Muzio.
The timing on the TR3 and the TR4 is set at 4 degrees BTDC. This means that the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley is 3/8" before the timing pointer on the crankcase when setting the timing statically. The space is cramped so a small ruler isn't easily used and the view at best is a parallax one. The solution is a popsicle stick. A popsicle stick is 3/8" wide and can easily be held against the pointer to measure the distance to the timing mark on the pulley.
|03/04/07||Make Your Cable Look Like New|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Joe Didonato.
Last weekend I replaced the weber carb on my 75 mgb with a pair of SU's. The throttle and choke cables worked fine except for the plastic coating which had begun to peel and just looked nasty. After some thought I took some 3/8" shrink tube, cut the right length slid it on, heated it with a propane torch and presto the cables not only worked great, but they looked new. A easy and cheap fix to a common problem. A second use for shrink tube came when I had to extend the red wire from one of my rear lights. I did not want to use butt connectors. Instead I removed about one inch of insulation from the ends of the wires braided them together slid on and heated the shrink tube and I have a clean connection that looks great.
|02/23/07||Simple Theft Tool|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from John Orrell.
I was recently away on a "guys " trip with a bunch of friends, one who has a Corvette, who told me of an interesting way of monitoring your car. Some owners are so worried about theft or damage to their car,they do not like to leave the car in a motel parking lot overnight. Don't worry anymore. If you have this fear, you need to buy a baby monitor and place it in the car in the parking lot. Not only can you hear if some one tries to take the car, you also get to hear all the comments as people take a look at your prized possession.
|02/11/07||Fogged Headlamp Lenses?|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Jerry LaBant.
I Found out that the fogging was a common problem with all the 80's production of the PL's and Lucas Tri-Bar lights. The fogging occurs because of a reaction between the reflectors silvering and the white silicon used to adhere the lens. I've been told now by two sources that several denatured alcohol washes eliminate this haze. This may also work on current aftermarket lenses too.
|02/04/07||Topping Up Your Lever Shocks?|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Terry Frisch.
This is really two tips in one, in trying to fill the front shocks on my MGA with oil I realized very quickly that it was going to be a very messy job. First problem was trying to get the correct sized funnel to fit the opening. Then I remembered that I had an old style oil can with a long narrow spout that you tip up and use your thumb pressure on the bottom, it worked perfectly. But----I could see that air was trapped and took a very long time to bubble up. I solved this problem by inserting a red plastic tube that comes with the WD40 oil spray can into the shock as I filled it, it allowed the air to escape and the shock was filled very quickly.
|01/21/07||Spicy Way to Store Screws, Nuts and Bolts|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Dan Conrad.
I was recently taking the transmission tunnel cover off from My Spitfire and wound up with a pile of screws, slip plates and odd bolts. I tried putting them all in a magnetic tray, but they seemed to lose some of them due to a lack of steel content.
I receive a lot of medications from the VA in a number of different size bottles. The larger ones were perfect for the bolts, while the smaller ones were great for the screws and such. I put a simple label each bottle identifying the contents. Problem solved. I actually used one for each side of the cover so I would not confuse them since some were mongrel replacements. The final touch was storing them in an old spice rack hung on the wall beside the car. Everything is now at a glance and easy to reach.
As I began to reassemble everything, I made a hanger for the rack to slide onto the door window making the process one step easier. I find it invaluable for holding all of my small parts, clips, screws and such. The bottles are clear enough to see how many remain in it so I can get more when needed before I run out in the middle of something. With four Spitfires under various stages of repair, I use different color pens for marking the bottles, each in a color close to that of the car making the ID process quick and easy. It helps that the cars are all very different colors, like Pimento, Carmire Red, BRG and Brooklands Green. Sharpie has a great variety of colors available. When I am done using the bottle, I just put a blank label on it for future use.
|12/31/06||Fix Your Bulb Holders/Dremel Tools|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is from AJ Gillis.
You can use the end of a small, aluminum pop-rivet to replace the little crimp-on contact in bulb holders.
Speaking of pop-rivets...
You know those little buffing wheels you use with a Dremel tool? When the hole in the center that the little shaft thing screws into eventually strips, just take the now unuseable (you would think) wheel and replace the shaft with a large pop-rivet, tighten it up a little with your pop-rivet gun and presto, good as new. WARNING: Only do one squeeze with the gun. If the buffing wheel pops off and rolls under your car, you've gone too far.
Speaking of Dremels, buffing and going too far...
You can cut a Q-tip in half and put it in your Dremel tool. Makes a nice little polisher. If you go easy it'll last about one minute. These ideas will undoubtably save you thousands of dollars. ;)
|12/24/06||MGA Boot Lid Extension|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Glenn Johnson
This tech tip will not generate better gas miliage or horsepower, but is one I appreciate for its practicality:MGA owners can get that rear boot lid to stay higher by fastening a bolt + a couple of nuts on the pole guide at the driver rear side of the trunk. That guide is a flange with a hole in it that is a stay for the pole which bottoms out on the floor of the trunk. My guide, pole, and area where the pole hits the floor takes a bit of a beating thus can get rusty over the years as well. As someone 6'2", I like how this new setup keeps the lid up higher: All you need is a short bolt whose head would be put thru the bottom of the guide. Length would be determined by screwing 2 locknuts onto the bolt so that the 2nd nut which is at the top of the 1st, would just be screwed on by a few threads (~ 1/3 of the nut) leaving an empty hole in the remaider of the nut for your boot pole. Of course, this would never do for the concours crowd, but is easily disassembled or could be painted to resemble a feature found only on 'Deluxe' versions!
|12/17/06||Use a Rock Tumbler To Clean Parts|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Stan Watkins.
When faced with the task of cleaning hundreds of small metal pieces, nuts, bolts, and washers, I used a simple rock tumbler. The rock tumbler I used is the small hobby type where the pieces are sealed up in a rubber drum. Ifilled the drum with various sizes of hardware, water and dishwasher detergent. The drum should not be completely full, the parts need room to tumble. Heavily rusted parts require about 24 hours of tumbling. The parts come out of the tumbler clean, shiny, and ready for paint. I normally use a large handful of small scrap nuts and washers as tumbling media. Brass or aluminum part should be tumbled only a couple of hours with other metal pieces. I polish the brass and aluminum parts by tumbling dry with small pieces of shoe sole leather. Rusty nuts and bolts cleaned in the tumbler still need their threads cleaned with a tap or die. Be careful with plated parts - the plating can be worn off by tumbling. Most of the parts I cleaned were not plated, or the plating was long gone. Once the parts are clean and dry, they need rust protection. An example of a rock tumbler is pictured.
|12/10/06||MGB Tranny Dipstick Hole Cover|
This Weeks Tech Tip Is From Lee Prosser
I have a 1971 MGB Roadster, after purchasing the car I set about taking care of all the small neglected things that had not been corrected for the last 30 years or so. I also started to discover where the various fluid dipsticks and level checks were. I discovered the transmission dipstick behind the radio console and aquired a quart bottle tube attachment for adding oil, but discovered that the access hole was missing the cover. I went to my local Lowes store and purchased a size 9 1/2 Rubber plug from the hardware Dept. in the specialty fasteners sectio. It is shaped just like a large wine bottle cork and made of hard rubber. It fits the hole perfectly and is extremely easy to remove when I need to check the transmission oil level. I thought this information might help others as I have read that the original cover is extremely difficult to replace once removed.
|12/04/06||Lucar Connector Cleaning|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Kurt Bickel.
While trying to resolve an electrical problem I found that a 17cal gun cleaning brush fits nicely into the electrical connector to clean out the corrosion. This followed by some dielectric grease should keep these connection operational for some time.
Ed. Note: We just happen to stock the perfect solution very similar to Kurts.It is our Lucar Cleaning Brushes sold as a pair for $7.50 Our part number is GMG105.
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Robert Dixon
When installing new carpets in you LBC you can align the carpets under the seat then take a sewing needle and thread and pass the needle thru from below to accurately mark the bolt locations. Clip the thread and repeat for the other holes. Remove the carpet and place the marks over a block of wood and punch the holes with a 5/16" gasket punch. This makes for a nice neat installation and easy allignment.
|11/05/06||Check Your Filler Plug Before Draining|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Ben Pender.
To avoid problems, remove and check filler plugs from transmissions, differentials, and steering boxes before draining. If not, you could end up with an empty case and no easy way to refill it if the filler plug is stuck or stripped.
|10/29/06||Faulty Rotor Can Stop You Cold|
This Weeks Tech Tip is for Wayne Hardy.
Here's a tip, or maybe more the advice type info for those LBC owners who run the hot spark units like the Crane/Allison or MSD or other brands that give a capacitor enhanced hi-voltage spark (or multitude of sparks) be warned.
I've been running this type system on my B for 16 of the 18 yrs. since re-commissioning, AND on two occasions, had the car just stop running. The following investigation revealed no sparks at the plugs. OK, the first time I happened to already have a nice mechanical advance only Aldon dizzy that I was going to install anyway as the old original was getting a bit of a wobble, and problem solved, I went on my way, (the stoppage occurred at the end of my driveway..LUCK helps).
Next time, about 5 or 6 yrs. later, same symptoms, but not so close to home. After returning the car to the house I checked everything, and good current going into the dizzy, but nothing at the plug wires. Wasted a day trying to sort this one out then went down to my friendly auto general repair shop for suggestions; (they also run a dirt track car from there so are familiar with aftermarket spark boxes). Simple they said...you have burned a pinhole in the rotor top and all the current is going to ground down the shaft.
I assured them that I had examined the rotor several times CAREFULLY, and there was not any hole in it.You won't see the hole they said, it's pin prick size; but it's there. A lot of the earlier CD type systems on GM cars did this same thing said the shop folks. So, since a rotor costs next to nothing, I humored them, AND like magic, sparks again, (and by the way, did you know that the new "heavy duty" radiator hoses are reinforced with carbon fibers and will conduct electricity from a plug wire?? Don't ask me how I know, just trust that you can get a real thrill from your radiator hose if a plugs are tucked up on them out of the way while cranking the motor).
So the moral is, if you run an aftermarket, "super sparks" box on your LBC; always carry a couple NEW rotors for the distributor. You can carry a trunk full for the cost of a 50 mile trip home on the rollback truck. The soft brass of the rotor can be holed and you will never see it. Especially suspect this as a cause when the car just quits as if the ignition has been turned off. In fact, in 18 yrs. with this car; this problem is the only time it couldn't make it home on it's own power. And watch those radiator hoses, 40,000 volts will sure get your attention.
|10/22/06||Prince of Darkness NASCAR Style|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From John McNulty.
Having coil failure during a rainy night made clear there had to be a better idea. My Triumph engined Morgan has the coil mounted under the block. Heat is the enemy of coils. The solution is a second coil NASCAR style, It's mounted on the inner fender well, next to the original with jumper wires ready to go, day or night. Keep in mind, a Morgan was in the first Grand National Race.
|10/15/06||Choke Cable Installation/Repair 101|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From John Wierzbicki.
I recently found myself with a broken choke cable on my '74 MGB. Not wanting to remove the glove box, face level vents, and probably a hundred other minor items so that I could install a whole new choke cable assembly I knew there had to be a simpler way. The choke cable sleeve was still good so I thought it would be easy to just slide out the cable portion from the new cable assembly & thread it into the existing sleeve. MISTAKE #1!
The choke cable and the inside diameter of the sleeve are virtually the same size from the factory. When you try to thread the new cable into the sleeve, MISTAKE #2!!, the individual wires begin to peel back. Solution? Slide the cable out of the new assembly. Using CY glue (Krazy Glue), put a drop or two onto the last inch or so of the braided cable and let it set for a couple of minutes. Next, using a sanding drum on a dremel grinder, GENTLY grind a slight taper into the cable end evenly around the diameter and then give it another drop of CY glue. Let this set for a few minutes to penetrate the wire strands. Wipe any excess glue from the cable and it will slide into the existing sleeve in the dash with little effort. OK, so you've now got an extra sleeve. Throw it out!! The time you saved on installation was worth it. OR, sell the extra sleeve at your next swap meet. There's always someone out there ready to buy ANYTHING, right?
|10/08/06||Installing Rear Hub Oil Seals|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Tom Case.
I came across a neat solution for driving in oil seals while working on the rear hub of my MGA. I cut a circle of the right size out of a scrap of 1/4" Lexan. The material is strong enough for the job. Its easy to cut with a coping saw and you have the added benefit of being able to see what your doing the whole time. Most plastics shops have a scrap bin where you can find odd sizes at a reasonable price.
|10/01/06||Rebuiling TR 4 Tail Lights|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Jim Hassall.
Here's a tip which might help others foolish enough (like me) to rebuild their TR4 tail lights. This does NOT apply to the TR6s, might apply to other cars which have "crimp in" bulb sockets: After the bulb sockets are reinserted into the housing, support the socket from the underside with a 3/4" deep well socket. Ensure that the housing assembly is well supported fore and aft (a stack of 2x4 scraps works well) and that the whole thing rests on the socket. Using a steel drift, pound the socket tabs to the side and down to resecure the socket to the housing. In my case, I also used a couple of dabs of JB Weld around the backside of the sockets, just to be sure. The ground connection is the mechanical lock to the housing, so make sure it's very solid. The JB Weld is just to ensure nothing moves over time. Electrical connection problems, especially sporadic grounds, are a b*tch to troubleshoot.
|09/17/06||Removing Armor All|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Chuck Johnson.
Most of us have used ARMOR ALL, but few of us have needed to remove it. If you were so foolish as to spill it on a floor mat and then transfer it to the brake pedal via the sole of your shoe, you can appreciate the safety hazard this slippery combination could present. Should you need to remove ARMOR ALL, use a mixture of 5 parts warm water, 1 part household ammonia and 1 part dish detergent. Wipe this mixture on with a warm cloth and be sure to turn the cloth frequently; this will ensure that you do not re-apply the protectant after it has been removed.
|09/05/06||Gear Lever Installation Early MGB|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Ron Bland.
After many unsuccessful attempts to re-install the gear-lever on my '64 MGB with 3 syncro gearbox, I came up with the following solution. The problem is trying to hold down the retainer against the anti-rattle spring whilecompressing the circlip and fitting it into the groove. I don't seem to have enough fingers or hands for the job. I found I could hold the retainer in place if I stacked 4 sockets (starting with my 1-5/16in. socket for the front pulley nut and then 3 other ½in. drive sockets of decreasing size) over the gear lever, placed a large washer over that and tightened them down with the gearshift knob jam nut. I could then install thecirclip with a pair of needle-nose pliers without having the spring-loaded retainer pop out of place.
|08/27/06||Plastic Window Cleaning|
This Weeks Tech Tip is From Gerrit Edelijn.
If you barely can't see anything through the plastic windows of your softtop (MGA,B, triumph etc). clean them with copper polish (such as Brasso) and soft terry towel. First try it at a small place in a corner of the window to make sure you have no ill effects.
|08/13/06||Cutting your Carpet|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Jerry Frawley.
Since I am in the process of replacing carpet in a 79 Midget I wondered what the best way of putting holes in the carpet for the seats and other accessories. I finally can across the idea of marking the carpet on the bottom with a fine tip yellow paint pen. I then took it to my workbench and used a scalpel to cut small holes through the carpet. A scalpel being a very sharp, thin blade cut only what I needed and did not cause any runs or unnecessary tears. Now all I have to do is install it and the holes align perfectly.
|08/06/06||Coil Spring Replacement|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Ron Hillbury.
To easily remove and replace front coil springs, first support the Spring Pan with a floor jack. Next loosen, don't remove, the two bolts nearest the wheel holding the Spring Pan to the Wishbone Arm. Then remove the two bolts nearest the Sub Frame and the Wishbone pivot. The Spring Pan is now free to pivot on the outer bolts. Then just lower the jack and pull the Spring Pan toward the wheel on its pivot and the coil spring will easily drop free. Installation is the reverse. A much easier process than taking apart the entire wishbone assembly.
|07/30/06||Removing Light Scratches|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Arch Boston.
An easy way to remove light scratches from plastic----tooth paste, the kind recommended for smokers. It is a very mild abrasive. Use a bit on a piece of soft cloth (an old t-shirt is good) and a few minutes of effort will polish out most scuffs. It not only works on car plasticbits, but, it will also polish out scratches on watch crystals. Unless the watch crystals are synthetic sapphire or mineral crystals. Since it is a very mild abrasive it might work as a rubbing compound----you mightbe able to give your car a "Dentine Smile". All joking aside--it works give it a try.
This weeks Tech Tip is from Tim Henderson.
I finally got my interior finished, just need the last head rest. But that work spawned a tech tip if you can use it.
When restoring your seats, stretching the webbing on the bottom of the seat (if this is the style you have) is exceptionally difficult, not to mention painful for your fingers. It also usually takes at least a couple of people and it is advisable to remove any children from earshot! A relatively easy solution is to use a 24" Quick Grip clamp. Put one grip on the metal wire near a webbing and the other on the seat frame. Squeeze the trigger to pull the webbing into the frame and put the hook into the hole. I think you will find that this works very easily. FYI, I did not have much luck with a c-clamp.
Also, make sure you place a dry cleaner bag over the seat back before trying to pull the new vinyl over the cushion. The vinyl will slide down very nicely and you can either leave the plastic or reach up and tear as much of it off as possible.
Another idea, especially if you are trying to work alone, is for the seat rails. They have one post and one bolt to go through the floor. Although you can reach the back bolts by moving the seat forward, it can be difficult if the seat won't move easily or the rails are not aligned properly. A way around this is to purchase new bolts for the rear holes and have them tack welded in the holes on the rail. That way you can get all four bolts through the floor by yourself and tighten from below without having to hold the bolt heads. (Make sure to check the new bolts to be sure they fit in the rear holes as they are smaller in diameter that the front.)
These tips will make assembling and reinstalling your seats much easier.
|07/02/06||LBC Won't Start?|
This Weeks Tech Tip is from Daniel Kerkman.
Here is something that may help your readers as they do their Spring maintenance:
When doing your Spring maintenance one of the important checks is the battery. After cleaning the battery terminals coat them liberally with Vaseline petroleum jelly. It will act as a dielectric grease and prevent corrosion around the terminals. Next year at this time they likely won't need any cleaning! Another seful 'tool' is an inexpensive squeeze bottle (sometimes called a wash bottle). It will make it easy to top off the battery cells with water.
This weeks tech tip is from Fraser Cooper.
I was working on a ZB Magnette's brakes which were pulling hard to the left and wanted to observe the wheel cylinders and brake shoes in action. I made up a band of 18 AWG steel strapping, 30 mm wide, and 10 inches diameter. I placed this around the shoes on one front wheel and got a helper to press gently on the brake pedal. I could them easily see which wheel cylinder wasn't pulling its weight. I wouldn't recommend a really hard application of brakes with this light band in place but it gave a chance to see what was normally hidden by the brake drum. It would be a good idea to wear eye protection while making observations.
|06/11/06||Installing Brake Shoes on TD and TF and other LBC's with Vertical Cylinders! |
This weeks Tech Tip is from Greg Van Hook.
This tip is for people who are replacing the brake shoes on a TD or TF (maybe other LBCs with vertical wheel cylinders - not TCs), and who do not have three arms or a helper.
Working alone, I find it impossible to install both shoes and all four springs onto the wheel without the lower shoe falling off, the springs flying, and the adjuster falling onto the floor. So, I lay the shoes out and hold the springs in place by pressing in 1/4-inch wooden dowels. Then I pick up the shoes and springs as a unit. With the top shoe resting in place, now I have two hands free - one to hold the adjuster against the wheel cylinder, and one to stretch the lower shoe into place. Then I pull out the dowels. I hope this will be helpful.
|05/28/06||Restoring That Shine!|
This weeks Tech Tip is from Dennis Silance.
If you're like me, you love seeing how old chrome, grungy wire wheels, or vinyl interior panels, etc., can be brought back to life after sometimes 30+ years or more of neglect. It still amazes me that when restoring one of these Little British Cars, how many of these pieces are still in great condition if we could just restore some of their original shine that lies under dull layers of grit or grime. Certainly the buffer wheel does a great job but you can't always get the piece to the wheel or it’s too big anyway.
A “tool’ that I've found to be indispensable is a product called the Magic Eraser. These 2 by 4 by1 inch thick pads made by Mr. Clean are simply amazing! The best invention since baking soda and you can use them on about everything. Take one out of the box and add just a bit of water to moisten it up a bit (they contain no soap and you don't need it anyway) and you can instantly remove years of grime on items like wire wheels, chrome or plastic bezels, convertible tops and interior panels, dashboards, vinyl or leather seats just to name a few. Ever had one of those plastic Tudor style windshield washer bottles that looked so stained you thought about throwing it away? Try the Magic Eraser on it…Worked for me.
The back of the box says to be careful about scratching highly polished pieces but so far, I haven't found it to be a problem. You can find them in the grocery store and they're relatively inexpensive but don't let your wife know how good they work, she'll have you cleaning the bathroom.
|05/14/06||Organize Your Nuts and Bolts |
This weeks Tech Tip is from Dan Conrad
I was recently taking the transmission tunnel cover off from My Spitfire and wound up with a pile of screws, slip plates and odd bolts. I tried putting them all in a magnetic tray, but they seemed to lose some of them due to a lack of steel content.
I receive a lot of medications from the VA in a number of different size bottles. The larger ones were perfect for the bolts, while the smaller ones were great for the screws and such. I put a simple label each bottle identifying the contents. Problem solved. I actually used one for each side of the cover so I would not confuse them since some were mongrel replacements.
The final touch was storing them in an old spice rack hung on the wall beside the car. Everything is now at a glance and easy to reach. As I began to reassemble everything, I made a hanger for the rack to slide onto the door window making the process one step easier. I find it invaluable for holding all of my small parts, clips, screws and such. The bottles are clear enough to see how many remain in it so I can get more when needed before I run out in the middle of something.
With four Spitfires under various stages of repair, I use different color pens for marking the bottles, each in a color close to that of the car making the ID process quick and easy. It helps that the cars are all very different colors, like Pimento, Carmire Red, BRG and Brooklands Green. Sharpie has a great variety of colors available. When I am done using the bottle, I just put a blank label on it for future use.
|05/07/06||More on Filling Late MGB Radiators|
Our Tech Tip this week is from John D. Perkins.
I would like to add a little advise to your tip - When I was working as a mechanic at an MG-Jaguar dealership in the late '70's, I came across a couple of MGB's where someone had "jammed" a funnel in to the opening of the thermostat housing and damaged the threads on the housing and in one case even damaged the thermostat itself!
First. the plug in the thermostat housing has straight threads (always replace the plastic version with the brass version) seals with a washer on the flat depressed area of the thermostat housing, not with the threads, so using a tapered thread pipe plug in the thermostat housing on a late MGB is wrong and can lead to a cracked thermostat housing.
Back to filling the system. If you have a plastic funnel that has a large enough tip on the end, you can screw the funnel into the thermostat housing to do exact what Ron Iltis said, but you must be careful only to engage the threads and not run all the way to the thermostat itself.
However, there is an easier way. I've always disconnected the upper radiator hose from the radiator and loosened the clamp on the thermostat housing. Then pivot the upper hose on the thermostat housing until it points straight up and tighten the hose clamp. Then open up the heater valve by setting the temperature control to it's hottest setting (this will help get coolant into the heater matrix as well). Now you can fill the system through the radiator hose without any fear of damaging the thermostat housing or thermostat. When coolant starts running out of the radiator, the system is full and you can loosen the hose clamp and quickly re-attach the hose to the radiator with very little loss of coolant. Then drive the car and refill the overflow tank as the remaining air bubble gets purged from the system during the course of the heating and cooling cycles that occur as you drive. I've never had to top up the overflow tank more than twice using this procedure.
|04/23/06||Need A "Third Hand"|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Michael Anderson
Undoubtedly everyone does this but it was suggested that I let youknow...
I have developed a "third hand" for those jobs where you must exert tremendous torque on a bolt or nut. I cast about my junk pile and had a 5-foot piece of angle iron (2"x2"x1/4") that I chose. I drilled a hole near one end just a little bigger than the clutch cover bolt. The cover was removed and the "helper" attached. I then installed another cover bolt and rotated the engine until the angle iron rested against it. Now I could loosen the pulley nut and flywheel bolts with ease as I didn't have to worry about either the crank rotating or the entire engine tipping over.
This device has come in useful for many many jobs around the garage when another person isn't available for holding something, the torque was very great or the assembly was too odd-shaped or big to fit in my vise. Strategically placed holes at the ends of the iron allow it to be used for nearly everything. As an example (on a VW, sorry), I have broken loose rear axle gland nuts (over 300#-ft when rusted) with the iron attached to the lug-bolts and a 6-foot cheater on my 3/4" breaker bar. After the success with the large bar I have made two more in smaller sizes for lesser tasks where the torque isn't great and/or space to swing the bar is at a premium.
|04/09/06||Painting Small Parts|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mac Askari.
When spray painting bolts, nuts, washers and other little metalic parts, the air pressure from your gun or spray can will always make these small parts fly across the work surface that you are using to paint these parts on. The solution is to get a sheet of magnet (about 1/16 inch thick 8 to 10 inches wide and however long you need it) from a sign shop or some auto part stores for a few bucks. Lay the sheet of magnet flat on your work surface and cover it with a newspaper. Secure the newspaper edges with masking tape to your work surface and then set your little parts on top of the newspaper. They should all stick to the magnet and you can spray them without any of them moving. After the paint dries on one side, you can turn them over and repeat the process. When you are done, discard the newspaper and roll the sheet of magnet and store it for the next time you have to spray paint other small parts. Good luck.
|03/26/06||Removing Screws in Close Quarters|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Greg Abrams.
Sometimes I have to remove screws that are in such a position that a normal screwdriver won't fit, not even a stubby. I recently wanted to remove some wheel well chrome but didn't want to take off the tire to fit the screwdriver in. I took the phillips tip off my cordless screwdriver and placed it in a 1/4 " box end wrench. With one hand I held the tip in the wrench and with the other hand I turned the wrench and removed the screw. This method will work anywhere you have close quarters.
|03/19/06||Mounting the Zenith Stromberg Carb|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Thor Patterson-Ritz.
Mounting the Zenith Stromberg Carb back on to the intake manifold can be frustrating to say the least. The space in the engine compartment as well as the space between the carb and threaded stud portion is very limited making it extremely difficult to get the nut on to it. The good news is there's an easier way. A friend showed me a way that worked great. Unscrew the stud from the intake manifold and while the carb is outside the engine compartment attach the nut to the 1 side of the threaded stud. Make sure to tighten the Nut just enough to hold it on to the stud. Next take a small pair of needle nose pliers and grasp the smooth middle portion of the stud and begin to screw in the stud into the intake manifold using the pliers. Be careful not to spin the nut off the stud while you are screwing in the other portin into the intake manifold. The space is so small where the nut and stud attach that its easy to get the nut caught on the housing of the carb. Once you've got the intake stud portion threaded in you will find all that's left is to tighten up the nut attached to the carb.
|03/05/06||Gasket Replacement Suggestion|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Greg Smela.
Any time I replace a gasket on my cars I first make a photocopy of the new gasket (after confirming it is the correct replacement). I then write the part number and application on the photocopy so that in the future I can be sure I've got the correct replacement. If I can't get the correct replacement I can make my own using this photocopy as a template.
|02/26/06||Yogurt and LBC's?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Tom Balutis.
I have found it messy, always ending up with a grease smudge somewhere, when working on one of my LBC's with the splined wheel removed. The simple and easy way to cut down on the mess is to slip a plastic yogurt cup over the hub while I am working on it. I've found Dannon to be the best, but others work too. The cups are also great for jobs like paint mixing, solvents, etc. Zero expense.
|02/05/06||TR6 Tonneau Tip|
This weeks Tech Tip is from Larry Gross.
For all those TR6 owners who have a tonneau cover with the strap that affixes to the base of the passenger seat when the passenger side cover is on, it is a problem putting it on the male stem and more of a problem releasing it.......the simple solution!
Find a male insertion plate like the seat belt in your car (I found mine at a junk yard) and put it on the strap that hangs down and after measuring the proper length for tension, use an adhesive and glue the strap together sothe male plate of your new seatbelt plate hangs on the strap. Now all you have to do is put the seatbelt plate into the existing passenger side seatbelt receptacle and you have it secured and when it is time to release it you simply press the seatbelt release and presto, it detaches!
|01/29/06||Changing Oil Pan Gaskets - TR3 and other LBC's|
This weeks Tech Tip is from Bill Brewer.
After fighting oil pan leaks on my TR3 for a long time I decided to change the oil pan gasket again. It seems like when you are trying to thread the bolts through the pan and into the block that the whole thing is sliding around and it is hard to line the bolts up with the holes in the block and the gasket and the gasket sealant smears where you don't want it to. I decided to make temporary studs to thread into the block by hand out of 2 inch 5/16-18 all-thread bolts (cutting off the heads). This way, all I had to do was line up the pan with the new studs and thread a nut on a few turns to hold it in place. This made it easy to line up all of the other bolt holes. When the whole thing was almost ready to snug down I unthreaded the studs and put in the proper bolts.
Another anomaly of my oil pan was that the oil was dripping out around the pan bolts themselves. Previously, I had carefully hammered the pan flat where it had been deformed by someone over tightening in the past and used plenty of sealant on the gasket, but this didn't help. My solution was to carefully seal up the new pan gasket with Permatex #2 and also put some on the bolt threads themselves (near the head). When I snugged it down there was some sealant oozing out under the bolt head and lock washer. Presto! No more leakage. It worked for me.
Our Tech Tip this wee is from Jim Hassall.
I just finished completely rebuilding my TR4's head. After cc'ing and polishing the combustion chambers, the old exhaust valves looked pretty shabby and would have been prone to carboning pretty quickly. By chucking the valves in a drill press and holding a stone against the face, followed by progressively finer emery cloth and wet-or-dry paper, the valves shine just like new and will shrug off carbon (for awhile). Also, I put a mirror on the drill press table so I could see the underside of the valve. (Hint: be sure to get Family Management's approval on your mirror selection.)
|01/15/06|| Clutch Slave Cylinder Bleeding|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dan Kimberlin.
When working on the clutch slave cylinder on an MGB, getting the air bled can be a problem. The easy way is to make sure the master cylinder is full, and the slave cylinder, while not attached to the car, is fully extended, . A discrete shot of air from the air hose works well. Keep the reservoir level low. Next, fill the slave cylinder completely full with fluid. Then attach the slave cylinder to the hose with all of the fittings tightened. Now, with the slave cylinder hose attachment pointing up, push the push rod fully into the cylinder pushing as much fluid (and air) into the reservoir as possible. Now fill the reservoir, and pump enough fluid into the slave cylinder to compete mechanical hook up, and check the fluid level. No bleeding necessary.
|01/01/06||Keep Your Engine Bay Oil Mist Free|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Allan McClure.
Here’s a neat little solution that I’ve used for years: The problem with most open circuit oil filler caps is that they allow a fine mist of oil to coat nearly every square inch of your engine compartment. Here’s a neat little solution I’ve used for years to prevent that from happening. Take an old white cotton athletic sock and cut off the bottom. Take the ankle section that remains and place it over the oil filler cap as a cover. It will stay firmly in place while you drive to the show. When you open the hood to display your detailed engine compartment, remove the sock and stash it till it’s time to leave. The result – no oily deposits anywhere and a lot less prep work for show time. Plus, no oil mist means no dirt to collect and stick to all those hard to get electrical connections.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Steve Earnhart
AS simple as it sounds, I was stumped on a good tool to use in replacing the headliner in my MGB-GT. I needed a tool to pull the windscreen seal away from the front so that I could tuck the headliner in behind. As I was perusing the tools on my wall, I noticed the paint can opener. It is curled a bit at the end (for grabbing the seal) and rounded on the corners to prevent tearing the headliner. Worked like a charm. I was able to simply slide the tool along the seal, following behind with a tuck of the headliner. Piece of cake with no tears or stretches.
|12/11/05||Bugs a Problem?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rick Brown.
An easy way to remove bugs from the front of your car and windscreen - save used dryer softener sheets from your laundry. Wet the used sheets and lightly rub the bugs away - there is just enough roughness to the sheets to do the job and yet not scratch your paint. It really works! (removes road tar as well).
|12/04/05||Engine Missing - This May Help|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ron Allen.
The rebuilt engine in my TR4 had been mysteriously missing out at highway speeds for quite some time. I was at my wits end testing, replacing and rebuilding several parts on the engine in an attempt to fix it. The new plug wires I had installed some time back in the engine rebuild process were a carbon core type which I had inserted into the Lucas distributor cap and had used the screws in the cap to make the electrical contact and hold them in place, as intended by the design. In my last troubleshooting process I measured the resistance of the plug wires in the cap and found there was substantial and varying resistance in each of the plug and coil wires. I also noticed that a couple of wires wouldn’t provide a consistent resistance reading, suggesting a connectivity problem. The carbon core wire I used does not appear to provide a suitable electrical connection in the Lucas distributor caps. The plug wire type intended for these distributor caps is apparently a copper core type wire, which is not commonly available in the auto parts stores. To improve the contact I inserted about an inch of solid wire (I used mechanic’s wire) straight into the end of each plug wire right through the center carbon core. I then reinserted the wires into the distributor cap. The screws in the cap now contact the newly inserted wire instead of just the carbon core center. I checked the resistance and found that each wire including the coil wire had much less resistance. The rough running engine problem is finally resolved.
|11/13/05||How I Rejetted My ZS Carb|
Our this week is from Warren Caruso.
I thought you might be interested in how I fixed a rich-running Zenith Stromberg carburetor by swapping out the fuel jet.
My 1977 Triumph Spitfire was running very rich. I tried every adjustment possible to try to lean it out, but with no luck. I finally decided that the fuel jet was worn out and the cause of the black, smelly exhaust. I haven’t had any luck finding replacement jets, so I decided to swap the jet from a parts carb.
To remove the jet, I used vise-grips to pull out the brass fuel tube from the bottom of the jet (this is the tube that extends down into the float bowl). By gently twisting and pulling the tube will come out. With the carb upside down, I then took a socket extension and carefully tapped the jet until it was flush with the base of the carb. Be sure to place a piece of wood under the carb so you don’t damage the edge where the air diaphragm seals! Next I found a bolt with the same diameter as the fuel jet and tapped the jet the rest of the way out of the carb.
Installing the jet is a little easier. Carefully tap the fuel tube into the bottom of the jet until stops. I believe this slightly flares the bottom of the jet and makes a tight fit in the carb body. Next, locate the single hole in the jet and make sure it is lined up with the port in the carb body. This hole/port is at a 45 degree angle to the front of the carb. Also, the flat side of the jet will also be parallel with the front of the carb. Now gently tap the jet back into carb until the top of the jet is flush with the bottom of the air chamber.
This may be a crude way to repair the carb, but it worked! Maybe it will work for you?
|11/06/05||Tach Cable Replacement|
Our Tech Tip this week is from John Kreimer.
This Tech-Tip applies to the MGA, but it probably would work on other LBCs with mechanical tachs.
There is not much room around the fitting where the tach cable attaches to the engine. With the exhaust manifold, steering shaft and the firewall, there is little room to turn pliers. (After years of heat, it is usually too tight to turn the collar with your hands alone.)
My solution is to use a basin wrench that is available in the plumbing section of your hardware or home improvement center. The tool is about $15 and will save your hands and temper.
|10/23/05||Work Under your LBC in Comfort|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Art Pfenninger.
For those used to working on their backs under a car make life a little easier. The next time you see a blue swimming pool solar cover in the garbage grab it. Cut off a 5'x8' piece and use it a pad to lay on. You'll be surprised at how comfortable this can be, it's like laying on a giant piece of bubble wrap. Your best chance of finding these covers is in the spring when pools are being opened or in the fall when they are being closed. Keep your eyes open there are lots of them around.
|10/16/05||Winter Storage - Mouse Preventer|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Joe Dufresne.
Here is my contribution for a tech tip given to me from a friend who uses this technique to protect his camping trailer during the cold winter months.
Last winter, I learned of a good “Mouse Preventer” for storing our LBC’s in colder climates. I have always been hesitant to put moth balls in the car not wanting to smell them for most of the spring. Something that will work as well, smells better, and won’t hurt your upholstery are scented dryer sheets. You might find the scent pleasant, but mice don’t. Just get a small box and spread them out over the floor, seat and trunk. You can even put them near ducts and under hood. At about ! $2 per box, its a small price to pay to prevent damage and droppings.
|10/02/05||Seat Webbing 101|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Oliver Dove.
I found that after having a couple back surgeries I wasn't as strong as I used to be. I took on the project of restoring my 72 MGB all by myself. I found that when it came to installing new Seat Webbing on my project it made me feel as Arnold would say Like a Girly Man. No heating would work for me. I remember that one of my many tools I had a brake spring pliers. I always thought it looked like some tool used by the Spanish Inquisition. I placed the curved side on the frame and the straight side on the seat webbing end were the hook goes. With one light Girly Man grip the hook had plenty of room so I could easily put the hook into the frame. I hope this helps anyone who has the same problem.
|09/18/05||Screw Loose? Get is Started With Ease |
Our Tech Tip this week is from Keith Yarbrough.
If you find that you need to get a screw in a hard to reach place and don't have a magnetic screwdriver to hold the screw close, try placing the screw on the screwdriver, take some dental floss and take a couple of turns around the screw head. Then take a couple of turns around the shaft of the screwdriver and hold on at the handle. Once the screw has been started, you can remove the dental floss.
|08/28/05||Hold Your GT Hatch Open|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Paul Tegler.
An even simpler way to hold it up.... Since I always carry a set of spare radiator hoses.... when I open the deck... I simply stuff the the spare 'upper' hose between the deck and hatch support thus stopping it from coming down. clean and simple.
|07/24/05||Make a Visible Timing Mark|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ben Pender.
To more easily set ignition timing, line up timing marks and then put a dab of correction fluid (like Liquid Paper) on both of them. If the marks are seen from underneath, such as on some 1800 B-series engines, simply put a dab of white out on the crank pulley and a corresponding reference mark on the timing cover or other stationary part of the engine where it is easily visualized from above. These will then correspond to TDC. You can make additional marks on the pulley to correspond to advance in the same way, or dial the desired advance on the timing light if equipped.
|07/03/05||Healey Shocks Loose?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Al Horn.
It seems that the nuts, lock washers, and bolts that hold the rear shocks on my Austin Healey phase 1 BJ8 to the chassis were constantly loosening after only a few hundred miles. One of the problems was that it was very difficult to get either a socket or open end wrench on the the forward bolt, although you could get a socket on the nut on the reverse side. Consequently you just couldn't get the nut and bolt really tight. To my local fastener store. I purchased new bolts that you can tighten with an allen wrench and new lock nuts, eliminating the lock washer. Problem solved.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jeffrey Popowski.
Sometimes if you put too much load on your original starter motor, the Pinion Gear can seize up resulting in a seemingly dead or blown out part. If you’re getting a current drain during startup, but no movement in the motor, check your wiring for shorts & opens and try putting the car in 4th gear and rocking the vehicle back and forth a few times until you hear a loud ‘pop’. Try this just before you tear apart your car replacing all those ‘old’ parts:o)
|05/22/05||Loosen that "SDN" NUT!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ron Roberts.
After reading your Tips article in a recent issue of The British Marque I got to page 7 and read the 'Tough nut to crack' by Chuck Jackson. I realized that I also have a way to loosen that " SDN " on some British Cars.
My first experience with one of those was on an MGA. It needed a new timing chain tensioner and no one could get that bolt loose ( several people tried before the car came to my shop ). After removing radiator and the motor mount bolts, relatively easy job, I jacked the engine up slightly and used a 2-1/2 FT long -1/2" drive extension through the existing engine hand crank hole in the bumper with my Impact Gun and a socket that fit nicely after the engine was lifted. Just a quick bump of the trigger and the SDN came right off. It was also easier to install the new parts with the engine lifted this way and the steering rack was not in the way either. I realize this way is not for the home handyman for reasons of tool availability, but it might help other shop owners who have experienced this problem.
Thanks for the tech tips ( which have helped me out in the past ) and for the service on the muffler I just ordered.
|05/08/05||Polishing Your LBC|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ed Eggleston.
Since the beginning of time the accepted polishing for your car finish has been cheese cloth. There is a better was. Go to a fabric store and purchase some flannel, cut it into convenient size and polish away. It is cheaper and won't leave fine scratch marks in your finish.
|04/10/05||Fill your Steering Rack with Oil|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Wayne Hardy.
Here's one more that will be of use to operators of older LBCs (like my '58 MG Magnette) that have the grease zurks on the rack and pinion tube for adding that all important 90 wt. oil, (never grease) to the steering. Your Quick Lube places don't have the means to add oil through their grease gun. At Wal-Mart, or your favorite outboard boat and motor shop, you will find a little pump for topping up or changing the oil in the outboard motor lower unit. The pump is made to screw right into the usual 1 quart plastic BOTTLE of oil, and it fits the bottle of 90wt. rear axle oil perfectly, (yes this is what MG recommends for the steering). Then go to the auto parts place and buy a discharge end fitting with short solid tube for a grease gun; the standard end, not the needle fitting. The discharge end of the pump can be removed (it's made for an outboard motor) and the grease gun tube inserted in its place with a very small hose clamp to hold it in the pump's plastic tubing. This will then allow you to pump the correct oil from the bottle into and through the grease zurks on your rack and pinion housing. The Wal-Mart pump costs about $6.00 and the grease gun end about $3.00. The pump is also nice for adding oil to the rear end if you take off the grease gun end and just pump it in. I've always had trouble getting the bottle up & inverted enough to get the oil in the axle due to the gas tank on a "B".
|04/03/05||Don't Set Your Engine on the Floor!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rick Acosta.
Once the oil pan is torqued down to the engine, be sure NOT to set the engine on the floor. The weight of the engine (especially if the tranny is bolted on) can squeeze the oil pan gasket more than what the bolt torque value does, causing leaks. Always use an engine stand, especially for engines like V-6's and V-8's.
|03/27/05||Dzus Fasteners Removal Made Easy|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Steve Vekasy.
I was always annoyed by the T-handle coach keys used to turn the dzus fasteners holding the bonnet down on my 59 TR3A. The tapered corners of the coach keys constantly get rounded over, making it a struggle to get the bonnet open. I solved the problem for good by buying a 1/4" socket driver at my local hardware store. It is the kind that looks like a screwdriver, but the business end is a square lug with the spring ball used for mounting a 1/4" drive socket. Take the business end to your bench grinder, grind the sides down nice and parallel (yes, the spring ball will wind up getting ground off). Grind a little, test it, grind a little, etc., till you get a tool that fits snugly in the dzus fastener. It opens the fasteners easily and never gets rounded off.
|03/06/05||Paint Masking Tip|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Brian Muscat.
This tech tip involves a masking technique when re-painting a section of you car. Before taping the masking paper to the car, fold over about 4mm of the edge of tape closest to the repair area onto itself, (so that edge doesn't stick to the surface). When you actually spray the area to be repaired, the overspray will get underneath the fold and cause paint to feather onto the original paint. This makes it easier to sand the new paint into the old.
|02/27/05||Air Filter Performance for MGB Owners and Maybe Midget|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Konrad Crist.
The stock MGB filter canisters have a base plate that is shaped as a small airflow trumpet to more efficiently direct the air flow into the carburettors. Actual testing by MG nearly 50 years ago showed that this little air trumpet does have a positive affect on the air-breathing efficiency of the fuel-air system. Unfortunately, most owners that migrated to aftermarket air filter canisters can no longer fit the stock base plate, which actually results in a loss of airflow efficiency into the carb(s). However, some aftermarket filters, such as the round Longflow filter have the size and clearance to allow the stock base plate to be installed inside the filter apparatus. The airflow efficiency improvement was noticeable enough in my case that I installed richer carburettor needles to compensate for the resulting slightly leaner fuel-air mixture. A slight, but detectable improvement in engine power was the happy result.
|02/13/05||Wing Welting Install Made Easy!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Frank Nocera.
Installing fender (wing) welt or piping on your MGA in cold weather can be difficult because the piping will tend to retain the bends developed from being rolled up for shipping. If you install it with those bends in it, it may have a wavy appearance on your car. Here's a recipe to make that piping easier to work with and will give your MGA a great looking result. Mount your wings to the body and leave about an eighth of an inch gap between the wing and the body. Preheat your oven to "warm." Cut enough piping for each fender and cut out the slots for the fender bolts using a half inch hollow center punch. My MGA 1500 wing bolts were on 6 3/8 inch centers. The top of the punch hole should be 1/4th inch below the piping bead. Use scissors to snip from the bottom of the punch hole to the bottom of the piping so it will slip over the bolt. Now comes the fun part. Place piping in a large Pyrex glass cake pan and warm one wing's piping a MAXIMUM of 10 minutes. It will come out warm and pliable. Put it on a clean, smooth surface (like a length of 1 x 3 wood board) or a flat, smooth floor, so it will cool in a straight, flat shape. Two people can then install one warmed segment at a time, starting at the cockpit and working to the end of the wing. One person tightens the fender bolts and one adjusts the piping as you go. Warm and install one wing's piping at a time. This procedure is quicker and easier than the old method of using a hair dryer to warm the piping. Be sure to keep the oven on Warm or its lowest setting and don't heat the piping for more than 10 minutes. The end result will be a straight, smooth appearance.
|02/06/05||How to Keep Chrome Screw Heads from Rusting!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Scott Allen.
When you install the screw the torque used in screwing it in will leave hairline cracks on the surface where the tip of the screwdriver met up with the screw. Moisture gets into the crack causing the head of the screw to rust. To keep it from happening apply a dab of clear-coat touch up paint to the exposed portion of the screw. This should work on other small chrome parts as well.
|01/30/05||Non Canceling Turn Indicators?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from David Levy.
Ever since I bought my 1970 MGB BL the left turn indicator would not always cancel. To understand how the indicator mechanism works I jacked the front wheels off the ground and place the car on suitable jacks. It is then easy to remove the cover on the steering column and observe how the mechanism works while sitting in the car.
Two hours later and after trying different techniques I found that removing the indicator mechanism and placing the right size elastic band over the two outside levers of the indicator mechanism was enough to bring them back in contact with the cam on the steering column when straightening the front wheels.
I am not sure how long the elastic band will work but it has solved the problem for now. In the mean time I am looking for a suitable size o-ring which should be more permanent.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Kevin Wolfe.
I recently purchased a set of 7" Semi sealed conversion headlamps with the 12V 55/60W HALOGEN P43T Bulbs - Item# (171-HL101) for my 69 MGB.
Because the rear reflectors are metal not glass they are thinner than the original sealed beams. I used some 1/2 inch round self stick rubber bumpers/feet that were about 3/16 thick. I stuck them to the 3 locating spots on the back of each headlamp. The headlights then fits very snugly in the bucket with the retaining rim screwed down.
These halogen headlamps are a great upgrade over the sealed beams. Very white and bright!
|01/02/05||Differential Rebuild Tip|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Hassall.
I just finished a complete rebuild of my TR4's differential. The ring/pinion mesh pattern is critical for diff longevity, so I wanted it to be perfect. Usually engineer's blue (also known as machinist's dye, etc) is used, but proved unsatisfactory, since it's dark on a darker surface. However, white lithium grease proved to be perfect; apply it with a flux brush (or other small, flat brush) for even distribution across both sides of half a dozen teeth. The mesh pattern is clearly visible and easily photographed for your car's build log.
|12/19/04||Rear Seal Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Joe Maggiore.
After spending a good amount of time removing a rear seal on my MGB transmission per textbook methods, I found a better way the next time around. I simply used a slide hammer. In just three slides, the rear seal came out beautifully. I had it out it less than 1 minute once the yoke was removed. One word of caution, make sure that the pullers have enough clearance from the transmission splines or you risk buggering them.
|12/12/04||Rust and Paint Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Tim Wozniak.
This tip concerns rust and paint removal. I have been using the method outlined at the link: www.stovebolt.com/techtips/rust/electrolytic_derusting.htm lately in the restoration of some of my under hood ancillary items, such as the heater, wiper motor/gear, radiator shroud, and various brackets. These items have a combination of the original black paint and surface rust. My goal was to remove the original paint and the rust and then repaint the items for reinstallation. I have found this 'electrolytic de-rusting method' to be very effective - it is non-toxic, safe and does not hurt un-rusted metal. Also, as an added bonus, it completely strips the original paint back to bare metal. It has turned what I thought would be a long, terribly messy job into a pleasure.
|12/05/04||Helicoils, An Easy Way to Remove Master Cylinders|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dave DuBois.
Tired of trying to articulate your fingers in six different directions at once to remove the brake or clutch master cylinders from a MGB? The next time you have reason to remove them, install helicoils in the holes in the mounting flanges. You will use a kit to install 5/16 - 24 helicoils. The holes in the mounting flanges are close enough to the proper size that they don't need to be drilled, just tapped for the helicoil. After installation of the helicoils, the mounting bolts are just screwed in from the front of the pedal box and tightened with a 1/2" 1/4 drive socket. I ground off the 1/2" socket I use to make it shorter and getting it onto the lower bolt somewhat easier. From there on all the bolt turning can be done from under the hood, without having to reach in from inside the passenger compartment (except for the brake and clutch line connections).
|11/28/04||Door Hinge Screws|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Brian Kenney.
The early Sprite/Midgets (and perhaps many others) door hinges are attached to the door with Philip head screws. They are recessed in the door and are covered with rubber grommets. These screws are very difficult to put in as they typically fall into the cavity when you are trying to install them. Installing them, along with a washer, while the door is on the car is all but impossible. Why is this important? If you are like me and are trying to improve their fit by building up the edges, the doors are frequently removed from their hinges. This is much easier than removing the hinges from the door posts because you lose the more critical door alignment. I must have removed them 15 to 20 times from each door. The solution to this aggravating problem is to convert to cap screws. The hex head screw stays on the Allen key and can to easily inserted and started in the hinges. By using aircraft washers rather than standard washers (smaller outside diameter), the screw and the washer can be put through the outer hole at the same time. Even if you will want the original screws in the finished work, this change will save your sanity. I use the same screws to mount the hinges to the door posts, so buy at least 20 of them!
|11/21/04||Brake Shoe Installation|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ben Pender.
When installing brake shoes, keep the linings clean by applying a strip of duct tape to the linings. That way, the risk of contamination from dirty hands, leaking fluids, and grease is reduced. Take the tape off just before final fitment of the drum.
|11/07/04||MGA Tach Cable Replacement|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Martin Howard.
It is quite difficult to remove the knurled nut without removing the carbs/heat shield, Unless you have a plumber’s basin wrench handy. The reversible “gripping” head on the long shaft allows enough torque to tighten and loosen that nut without damage and without removal / reinstallation of too many other parts.
|10/31/04||Brake Caliper Rebuilding- Piston Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Paul Schroeder.
I am rebuilding my brake calipers, on my 72 MGB. They were seized. I found that my brake old brake hose gave me the perfect connection to my air compressor air nozzle. Just remove the threaded tip on the average air nozzle, and the smaller male thread which threads into your steel brake line fits perfect. This allows you to use your air compressor to push out your brake pistons, with a perfect air line seal. BE CAREFUL, MOVE UP THE PRESSURE IN SMALL INCREMENTS, until you get a pressure that will move the pistons. Remember to put blocking in the space between the pistons, so you don't push one out all the way without freeing the other. I had to move my pressure up to 125 psi to move one of the pistons.
|10/17/04||Trafficator Removal on Austin-Healey|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Al Horn.
When changing the steering wheel and hub on an Austin Healey, it is necessary to remove the control head (trafficator and horn push) first. The wiring from the control head runs down through the steering column (actually the stator tubes inside the column). You must disconnect the 4 bullet connectors. On my BJ8 the connectors are located in front of the radiator by the hood latch. You then tie a very strong string or wire to the bundle of 4 control head wires, so that you can pull the bundle back down the stator tube later. Finally remove the 3 set screws that hold the control head to the hub and gently pull the control head and wire bundle out. Try not to pull side to side or wiggle the control head as you will enlarge the larger stator tube and the two tubes won't fit together again properly.Once the wire bundle is pulled out with the attached wire or string, you may remove the steering wheel. With the new wheel and hub in place, use the wire or string to pull the control head wire bundle back down the stator tube. While this process sounds fairly easy, it can be rather frustrating. Although the bullet connectors are staggered and I taped the end of the wire bundle, I had to be real careful pulling them up the stator tube. And then they just refused to be pulled back down. After breaking my pull string twice and fishing for new ones, I realized the easy thing to do was to remove the bullet connectors with a solder gun. After the bundle was then easily pulled back down the stator tube, I replaced the bullet connectors and hooked up the wires. Of course it would be best to remove the bullet connectors before pulling the bundle up the tube in the first place.
|10/03/04||Side Curtain Rubber Installation|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bill Pederson.
I found it very difficult to replace the outside rubber seals in the extruded aluminum side curtains offered by several vendor. I tried the usual soapy water solution, graphite powder, silicon spray lubricant, freezing the rubber strips, etc..... but nothing allowed the replacement rubber molding to slide into the channel.
In the end, the easy way required a stubby flat bladed screwdriver about 1/4" wide. Simply place one side of the replacement seal into the channel, and then rock the end of the blade against the other side of the rubber strip and down into the channel. It took me about 30 minutes to complete the entire seal installation on each side curtain . Just be sure the end of the blade is not sharp since that would cut through the rubber seal.
|09/26/04||Tight Fit? Use Heat and Cold|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Eric Russell.
When installing items that are an 'interference fit', try using heat or cold to slightly alter the size of one or both of the parts to make the assembly easier.
Here is how I used this tip when rebuilding the front brake calipers on an MGB or MGA (others are likely similar). The dust seal on the caliper pistons is held in place by a metal retainer that is a tight fit into the caliper. If you get it crooked, you'll ruin the retainer.
I plan ahead, get the retainer & dust seal ready then place them in a zip lock bag in the freezer over night. Then, when everything is clean & ready for assembly, place the fluid seal in the caliper, insert the piston halfway into its bore then retrieve the retainer from the freezer. Slide the frozen retainer over the piston and it almost slips into the room temp caliper. Once it is started square into the bore, a C-clamp (aka G-clamp) & a small piece of wood will press it home.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Douglas Starns.
If your LBC has a sliding spine joint on the prop shaft, don't assume that when you grease it through that little grease nipple that the joint is actually being serviced--or that the joint even slides--just because grease comes out the relief hole at the end of the yoke. Over the years, the grease inside the splines can harden up so much that no more grease can get it, and the sliding spline joint itself can freeze up, putting considerable adverse pressure on the gearbox. If I doubt, pull the prop shaft and make sure the joint slides smoothly.
|09/12/04||Seized Clutch and Flywheel?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ralph Cacace.
When an LBC sits for a period of time, the clutch sometimes seizes to the flywheel. This is noted by an easy depression of the clutch pedal. There are two solutions to solving the problem; first would be to separate the engine from the transmission to gain access tot he pressure plate and free it up from the flywheel, the alternate course would be to jack up the rear wheels and start the engine in gear, preferably, in second gear. While running the engine at 2000 rpm momentarily step on the brake or use the hand brake to cause the flywheel to separate from the pressure plate. Some sounds may be hear and the clutch pedal will return to the normal pressure. Slowly depress the clutch and try to put the car in another gear to verify separation.
|09/05/04||Help Keep Your Chrome Wires Clean|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Art Greenberg.
I have chrome wire wheels on my 2002 Plus 8. They require a lot of elbow grease to keep clean, even with the regular use of the fine wheel care products available through LBC. Here is an easy way to lengthen periods between major cleanups and make interim dressing up a snap:
After use of an approved wire wheel cleaner, coat the wheels with silicone. This serves multiple purposes: Keeps air off the wheels, minimizing oxidation and rust, and makes simple cleanups of road grit, dirt and brake powder as easy as rubbing the wheel gently with a water-soaked rag. Most dirt has trouble adhering to silicone, and it will wipe right off. I have used Krylon brand spray silicone (which has many other automotive and household uses, making it a cost-effective purchase). It is widely available from hardware stores. This brand is very low in oil (which attracts dirt like a magnet.)
A few cautions, however: Never spray the silicone directly on the wheels! First, pray it on a cloth, and then use the cloth to apply the silicone to the wheel. Otherwise, the silicone may get into your brakes (especially open disc brake rotors and pads) and you may lose your brakes! Also, Do not use it on painted wires, as it may "melt" plastic based paints. Cautions aside, it works great.
|08/22/04||Hidden Tip...Abingdon Pillow Dash|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Paul Misencik.
If you drive a 1968-1971 MGB and you don't like the padded "Abingdon Pillow" dash, the solution is right under your nose! Remove your dashboard and strip away the vinyl and padding. Some sanding and elbow grease later, you'll be left with the metal under frame, which is a lovely looking dashboard in its own right. Get it nice and smooth, hit it with a few coats of wrinkle-finish black paint, and you have an MGA-style metal dashboard that looks great! CLICK HERE to view pictures and description on how to make the conversion.
|08/15/04||Master Brake Cylinder Bench Bleeding|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Pete Skalski.
I recently removed my midget's master brake cylinder to address a leak by having the unit brass resleeved. After disconnecting the brake lines, I immediately covered them with masking tape to keep dust or dirt out. With the cylinder at the shop, I decided to address some corrosion in the general area of the pedal box, and keeping the lines capped is mandatory for obvious reasons. Before installing my newly refurbished cylinder, I went through the process of bench bleeding.
Bench bleeding fills the cylinder with fresh air-free fluid and in effect "primes" it for integration with your car's system, making your brake bleeding a little easier. First, clamp the cylinder firmly in a bench vise so that the top is level. Fill the reservoirs with new brake fluid, and pump the piston slowly and evenly. I used a big Phillips screwdriver because its tip doesn't damage the piston and the handle gives you something to lean against. Through repetition, the air in the cylinder chambers will be forced out and replaced with the fluid. When installing the primed cylinder on your car, be careful not to drip the fluid on your paint! You may lose some fluid when reconnecting the lines, but this process will help a lot by saving time and effort when bleeding the entire system.
|08/08/04||Catch All Tray|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dan Conrod.
I own a 1973 Triumph Spitfire 1500. I was recently putting it back together after yet another motor rebuild. It has the tubular headers on it and I found that trying to fish the dropped screw or bolt from between the tubes to be a real pain. I found that if I used some heavy duty aluminum foil, I could create a custom shaped catch tray. It worked perfectly. I was able to simply reach into the tray to retrieve the dropped item. I also used it when I was reworking the air cleaner setup. I found myself placing the screws in order as they came out. It works even when the header is hot by just adding a heavier base to the tray.
After hours of burnt fingers and fried patience, I won't go anywhere near that side of the motor without the tray in its place. I have used the tray many times and was very cost-effective. It will work for almost any car that has the tubular style headers. My next door neighbor borrowed the idea for his hot-rod and found it did not leave any marks behind like the magnetic ones will sometimes do.
|08/01/04||Wiring Your LBC?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mark Ramos.
One tip that helped me with wiring issues on my LBC was to take my wiring diagram to the office supply store have it blown up then blown up again to blueprint size 24x36 and had it laminated also. It only cost me seven dollars for all of it a real bargain when you consider I can read it without my glasses! If you need to trace out a circuit you can use a dry erase marker, trace out the circuit you need then wipe it off. I also did the legend and had it laminated on the back side of the wiring diagram, and at this size it make a nice garage poster. Keep up the good work I always wait for your LBCarCo Newsletters. Thanks
|07/18/04||Proper Installation of MGA Factory Style Luggage Rack|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jeff Zorn, Cecilia Bruce, Tom Ball.
Several years ago Cecilia Bruce told me my luggage rack was on backwards. Ok I'll buy that but never got around to changing it, it was also installed by a professional restoration shop so I sort of blocked it out of my mind. Friday at the GT29 several of us were sitting in the garage chatting and lifting a few about 1AM. We then started talking about luggage racks and took a tour of the garage. We found well over a half dozen that had luggage racks on backwards as well as the non-factory style racks too. The non-factory style racks, which are only mounted in four corners don't offer the support of the factory racks. If any weight is placed on these you can damage the boot lid. The factory rack has two large metal supports that go vertically on the boot lid then the rest of the rack mounts to these straps for excellent support.
Basically look at the images below that show how the rack should be mounted when properly installed. The MG logo on the boot lid should be completely exposed under the rack, not covered over by one of the horizontal supports. Also the vertical supports will have a longer length at the top (front) and shorter at the back (bottom.) To change it over it is not really difficult and takes about 10 minutes. You do NOT have to remove the vertical supports from the boot lid. Just release the four side bolts on the vertical supports then lift the rack off. Flip it over and set it on the ground. Then undo the other four bolts and swap the vertical supports to the opposite sides and bolt it all back up. Then re-attach the rack to the boot lid and presto you are all set.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bob Klymciw.
I came across the tip section - the only tip I can think of now (it's 12:14 am) is if you replace your seat webbing and you are now sitting up really high, try undoing some of the hooks instead of cutting the webbing. This will lower you for the time being and once the webbing has stretched a bit you can the reattach the ones you released to get the proper ride height. If you have the diaphragm type of seat, sorry you might be out of luck.
|06/27/04||Differential Ring Gear Replacement|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Hassall.
When replacing the differential ring gear it is important to properly torque the retaining bolts to the correct torque in the proper sequence. I recently replaced the differential in my TR4, and didn't want to clamp the diff in a vise (even if I had one large enough!). I found that by using a Sears rubber strap wrench (like the kind you see advertised to remove stubborn jar lids, etc), I could easily hold the diff and get consistent torque wrench readings.
Note from Reader Charlie Smith on June 30, 2004. "I couldn't help but respond to the Tech Tip on the strap wrench. I also used one to accurately turn the crankshaft on my '71 TR-6 while adjusting the valve rocker clearances. It saves a lot of trial and error when using the starter and I was able to very accurately get the position right for each valve. These are very handy tools.
|06/20/04||MGA Air Cleaner Removal (Part Deux)|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Martin Straka.
One constant aggravation is removing air cleaners on MGAs. With a metal cutting wheel attached to an electric drill, cut down a 1/2" open end wrench so only a stub (1-1 1/2") remains of the handle and grind smooth any sharp edges. Now you've got a special wrench that easily works in the tight space between the carburetors.
|06/13/04||MGBGT Rear Storage Space Tips|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bill Powell.
I picked up on some 'Tech Tips' this weekend that may be of some interest to fellow MGB/GT owners. You can always tell a MGB/GT owner, ther're the ones with a flat forehead and no "widows peak". When you have to get into the trunk for tools or the spare tire, install a trunk lid prop to hold up the wooden lid instead of using your head. Also, if you ever have to get into the trunk at night and can't see what your looking for because you forgot the flashlight, place one of those self adhesive dome lights on the underside of the wooden lid or install a courtesy, dome or trunk lamp.
|06/06/04||Brake Dust Solution|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mike Cook.
Brake dust a problem? Here is a simple cheap and very easy way to help eliminate it. Now that the driving season is here and the miles mount up on our LBC's brake dust becomes a problem. To reduce the problem of blackened wheels take off the wheel and spray the reverse side (back) of the wheel with PAM cooking spray, you will be amazed how effective it is. If you wish to clean just use hot water and washing detergent. Enjoy your newsletter.
Ed> Of course you could always use our Green Stuff Brake Pads for better performance and low dust.
I also wanted to let you know at a recent event I bought an aftermarket fuel pump from you - just in case. Well, I needed it since about three quarters of the way back home the pump in my MGB quit, but luckily, I was able to coast into a rest stop. I changed it there with nothing more than a screwdriver and a few wire ties. I've since permanently installed it. It works great and it is virtually silent (unlike the aftermarket pump that it replaced). Thanks.
|05/30/04||Don't Damage Your Carpet|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Steve Budra.
I learned this quite by accident but there is an easy way to make a hole in carpeting or jute-backed fabric for fasteners (like seat bolts or screws for gearshift trim, ashtrays, consoles, etc.) without entangling the drill bit or messing up the material. Simply run your drill at slow speed in reverse to make the hole. The point on the bit is usually sharp enough to pierce the material(s) and make a clean hole. This works as long as you don't need to drill into the underlying metal. Exercise care in removing the bit, some wiggling or a slight turn of the bit is all that's usually needed.
I also wanted to let you know at a recent event I bought an aftermarket fuel pump from you - just in case. Well, I needed it since about three quarters of the way back home the pump in my MGB quit, but luckily, I was able to coast into a rest stop. I changed it there with nothing more than a screwdriver and a few wire ties. I've since permanently installed it. It works great and it is virtually silent (unlike the aftermarket pump that it replaced). Thanks.
|05/23/04||Cleanup when using Spray Contact Cement|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Walter Stokes.
When using spray contact cement and a small amount gets on a solid surface, do not rub, let it set up for one minute then take masking tape sticky side down and gently tap it, the cement will stick to the tape. This will not work with the brush on type
|05/16/04||Cad Plating Touch Up!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dave Carpenter.
You have older plated parts or maybe the new solenoid is that golden irridite instead of silver cad. No problem, go to the craft store and look for a product called Rub-n-Buff. It comes in silver and various other colors I haven't tried yet. It's a toothpaste consistency, squeeze a small amount on and smear it around, buff it up and you have fresh looking cad again. (Follow the instructions on the tube of course) It is a wax type finish so it may not hold up to heat and weather very long, but for a quick touch up it's great. I used it on the generator tach drive gear box, vacuum advance and new golden colored solenoid on our Bugeye and after 300 miles it still looks fine.
|05/09/04||Bending New Brake Lines?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mark Jackwood.
My tech tip has to do with bending new brake lines (also applies to fuel and pollution lines). When bending new lines use the old line as a template. As you bend the new line to match the old one, tape the two lines together about every 6 inches or so. This holds the new line steady so you can make the next bend. It also insures that the new line will be a perfect match with the old one.
|05/02/04||Filling Some Late Model Cooling Systems|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ron Iltis
It can be difficult to refill the cooling system on the 77-80 MGB directly through the top of the thermostat housing. An air lock builds up in the radiator and coolant can't make its way past. To solve this, jam a large plastic funnel tightly into the top of the thermostat housing. When coolant is poured into the funnel, the pressure in the column of liquid will overcome the airlock, and the radiator/block is easily refilled. Make sure to remove the cap from the coolant expansion tank to help expel the air.
|04/25/04||Switch Bezel Repair - Another Solution|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Barry Fluxe.
If the chrome on your car's switch bezels has come off, there is a easy way of making the bezel more presentable. Sharpie Permanent Marker in Metallic Silver (available at most discount stores) will closely match the chrome (silver color). The end of the marker comes to a point, so its fairly easy to cover the outside edges. If you do get some of the silver on to the surrounding area of the dash, Jack Feldman’s idea of the Testor’s Black Enamel Paint Marker with cover the mistakes nicely.
|04/18/04||Audible Directional Flasher for Many LBC's with Manual Switch|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Frank Lindauer.
This tip may help those of us whose hearing is not what it once was, or those who just can't hear the directional flasher or see the flasher indicator light, especially in daylight. Since the directional time delay, even when set at max, does not give a long flashing interval, it is useful to know when it has stopped, in order to make intentions more obvious to other drivers. Visit your local Radio Shack and buy one of their 12v mini-buzzers or tone generators. They are quite inexpensive. Mount it under the dash on the driver's side using double backed foam tape. Run the black wire through the firewall and connect it to the center flasher terminal. Ground the red wire under the dash. If you find the buzzer's tone unpleasant you can mute it somewhat with vinyl tape over the sound louvers.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ira Spector.
To protect your nice new or rechromed bumpers AND have them look great, instead of using an undercoating compound, consider coating the insides of the bumpers and over-riders with silver POR-15 before re-assembly. An epoxy paint, it brushes on, dries hard, and will look like a primed inner bumper surface, with a nice gloss. Plus, it is rust-proof. I use this on all the cars I restore.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bill Schmidt.
Ever had to paint a small part that's still on the car and wanted an easy and quick way to mask off the surrounding area from over spray? Simply use aluminum foil! It's cheap, quick and can easily be molded to fit odd shapes, especially in the engine compartment. Use as many pieces as necesary to cover the possible over spray area. Just be sure there are no gaps or places the overspray can get under the foil. When the paint is dry the foil comes off easily with no sticky mess from tape. I've used this trick to touch up exhaust headers before a car show and always get great results.
|03/28/04||Installing Top Snaps - Made Easy |
Our Tech Tip this week is from Andrew Dowling.
I recently replaced the soft top on my 1979 Spitfire and was having a very hard time with the snap tool that I had bought at the local automotive store. Talking with an acquaintance about my dilemma he told me about a tool he had made to make his life easier. Take an ordinary flat jawed vice-grip and weld the button cup on one side and the punch on the other side you only need enough of the punch for the depth of the button you use. You want to put the button part on the top stationary jaw and the punch on the bottom clamping jaw. Wow what a difference this made and you can put the snaps on while top is on the car with out worrying about scratching the paint or hammering!! P.S. Thanks Simon!!
|03/21/04||Attaching SU Air Cleaners|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Fraser Cooper.
After many years of frustration in getting the bolts to line up with the air cleaners from around behind the SU ears on my MGA, I replaced the bolts with short studs. These were 5/16-24 and I made the protruding part just long enough to get through the SU flange plus the thickness of a 5/16-24 nut. The stud thread should be spoiled so that the stud is locked in place, or use 'Locktite'. Now, the air cleaner slips onto the SU very nicely and is held in proper alignment, making it easy to get the nuts started. Ideally, the nuts should be the type with the attached toothed lockwasher, but so far I've not had a plain nut (no lock washer) fall off.
|03/14/04||Hard Nut to Crack? Free up that Rusted Nut and Bolt|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bob Ross.
An old farmers trick, when you are fighting that rusted bolt and nut that absolutely refuses to come apart without resorting to the grinder/cutoff wheel. Try heating it with your handy propane torch, then take one of your spouses (or significant others) good candles and work it over the nut allowing the heated wax to work into the nut. I have to tell you this really works well. (well, not my wife's candle part)
Actually, it is best to invest in one of your own to use in the garage, spouses generally take a dim view of "but I needed it in the garage".. also note: its even better to buy a second one for her.....lets her think that you were thinking of her all the time.....And just happened to remember you needed one in the garage, besides that gives you a spare....!!!!
|03/07/04||Leaky Headers? Seal 'em|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Harry MacLean.
Tired of those headers leaking all the time and you can never seem to get them to seal right? You put double gaskets on and they burn off and still leak. Here's a fix to try. Go to your local auto parts store and get the "red hi temp silicone". then take your header off and get your new gasket. Put a very thin bead of silicone around each side of the gasket by the port. Then reinstall the gasketagainst the head then the header. Leave two studs on each end of the head for easier installation. then tighten the header up to normal torque specs and let it sit for a cuople of hours before you try to start it to let the silicone cure. Viola, no more leaks. The racers have used this technique for years and it works very well.
|02/29/04||Strapped for spare parts Space? Try under the dash!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim and Ruth Bottomley.
Recently my wife and I drove cross-country in our MGA and space disappeared really quickly. I have kept a spare generator under the right side of the dash for awhile. So the idea grew. Zip lock bags, zip ties, and some glad ware containers were it!!! Here is the list: generator, distributor with points and condenser, ignition coil, water pump, fuel pump, distributor cap & wire set, plugs (4), points and condenser, brake hose, front and rear wheel cylinder kits (2 each), tie rod ends (over the top), flasher box, voltage regulator, relay box, throttle cable, 2 speakers, AM/FM/CD player
That left the boot open for tool roll, small tool box, and tire stuff. We decided to leave the spare home and brought a tube and tools instead. That was our biggest space gain by itself. Also all those tote bags from exotic places (read other GT's) really make great luggage as they are stuffable and clean up well.
Another good source of space is under the bonnet. 2-3 quarts of oil can be stored under the right fender near the firewall and a zip lock bag of small goodies can slip in under the left fender next to the wind screen wiper motor.
Of course since we had all of these items, we didn't need one of them, but we were prepared
|02/22/04||Don't Lose those Nuts and Bolts!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dan Conrod.
I have a 73 Spitfire with tube type headers on it. I recently was doing some work around these headers. I found that by wrapping aluminum foil around them in the shape of a small tray all the nuts and washers I dropped were easily retrieved. Not only were they not stuck between the tubes, it kept them from getting too hot to handle if the header happened to be hot. It also saved a slide under the car which is already too low to begin with.
|02/15/04||LBC Owners Memory Tip ;)|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Joe Messier
The older I get, the less information it seems that I can retain. When it comes to the LBC's information, I just can't remember what type of spark plug to use to the weight of the motor oil that is in the engine. My little trick is to make a list with the manufacture name and product # with a word processing program. I add anything and everything to the cheat sheet. Here are a few items I have listed: oil filter, tire size (and the correct air pressure), transmission fluid, light bulbs, motor oil, brake fluid, fan belt size, etc. Also on the bottom of the page, I listed a few spare part companies I deal with and their phone numbers and local towing services.. And last but not least...I put this information in the glove box of the car. I have everything I need when I need a simple part or get stranded on the side of the road (of coarse that wouldn't happen to me, but at least I would be ready). Cheers and happy driving!!
|02/08/04||Windshield Replacement MGB - Another Tip|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Lyn Pond.
I also recently rebuilt the windshield on a 1980 MGB and found a different way to "unfold" the seal between the windshield frame and the body. I was working alone so I had to have a way to do the job with only two hands. I placed the newly refurbished windshield frame on the car and put the two upper mounting bolts in place loosely and started the center bolts by a few turns in order to hold the assembly in place. Once that was done, I used a plastic putty knife to slip under the frame from inside the car and unfold the seal outward. As I progressed across the seal, it unfolded with very little problem. Once the seal was lying flat on the cowl, I tightened down the center bolts in incremental steps and then installed the remaining two lower bolts in the outside frame to body positions and the job was done. Elapsed time about 30 to 45 minutes.
|02/01/04||Windshield Replacement MGB|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Malcolm Eubanks.
I`ve recently replaced my windshield on my 79 MGB. The windshield frame to body seal was a serious challenge, when you have roll out the leading edge of the seal once on the car. I've read several ways to do this, but one seemed less of a chance of damage to the paint. You take a piece of strong rope about 1/8 inch thick and slip it into the folded over flap before lowering the windshield to the car, allowing extra to hang out the ends. Next get slight pressure on the middle attaching bolts. Then simply start at one end and pull the string out toward the front of the car and see how easy the seal comes out. Be sure to hold the other end of the string too. Job done with no problems. Boy if all things were this simple, life would be a breeze. But if you wanted that, you would not be working on an MG in the first place. This is not my idea, but a good one!
|01/25/04||Seat Installation Tricks|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Manning.
When installing the seats in an MGB you have the rail the wood spacer and the bushing to line up all at the same time while standing on your head. So if you take (4) 1-1/2 by 5/16 bolts cut the heads off round the top off then screw them into the four mounting nuts align your parts remove the stud install the proper bolt and you have your seats installed with hardly any problem.
|01/18/04||Protect your Media Blaster|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dave Hanson.
You can save money and protect the inner glass surface of your media blast cabinet by using plastic food wrap from the grocery store. On my plastic bench top unit I place a piece on the inside and wrap it over the edges before closing the top. On my metal cabinet I use magnetic strips to hold it over the glass inside. The self stick glass protectors supplied by the manufacturers cost about $2 each which will buy a roll of food wrap that will last you for a long time. The media has little effect on the wrap and it's so cheap you can change it often.
|01/11/04||Home Remedy Rust Remover|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Clive Reddin.
Our LBCs have many small brackets and the like that by now are rusting. To clean them up at home just drop them into a suitably sized container with some common vinegar. Let it sit for 2 or 3 days then scrub it with an SOS soap pad, wire brush or the like and it will come clean. If the rust is a little stubborn, let the bracket sit for a while longer and repeat. Stir up the vinegar once in a while to keep it from getting saturated.
|01/01/04||Storage Space in LBC's|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bob Freerksen.
Luggage space is so limited in the MGA that I wanted to make sure all cubic inches were effectively utilized. The spare tire is mounted top side up, and there seemed to be space between the center of the wheel and the trunk floor. I had a local upholstery shop sew up a "tool kit" 12" in diameter by 5" high with a zipper about 3/4 of the way around the rim. I used some leftover leather, but vinyl or canvas would work as well. This is perfect for seldom used but essential parts and tools. This idea will probably have applications to other LBC's as well.
|12/21/03||Wheel and Tire Balancing|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ron Davis.
As the owner of a Morgan, I am quite aware the value of extremely well balanced and adjusted wheel/tire combinations. You want to very accurately mount your tires and torque to spec, and then measure the run-out on the outter portion of the rim with a dial "tattle-tale". After a few attempts, moving the wheel from stud to stud, I was able to locate the rim onto the pattern on 5 studs with the very least run-out or "wobble". After you have done this, use a center punch on mark the end of the wheel stud closest to the valve stem on the rim. You want be able to feel the prick marks easily in the dark at night if need be.
After just having new tires mounted and very accurately balanced, I had a vibration "at speed". Guess what? I jacked up the Plus 8 and pulled the front rims ..as the tire tech had placed the rims back on the car 2 studs off. Rotating the Rims back to "the mark" and she runs as if on silk. Ron Davis 1986 Morgan Plus8
|12/14/03||Brake Caliper Piston Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Wayne Smith.
A friend of mine who used to be a mechanic for British Leyland showed me a tip for freeing brake caliper pistons. During the caliper rebuild process, it's often hard to pull the pistons out, especially if the car has been sitting unused. Since you're never supposed to separate the halves of the caliper, access to the pistons is limited. The easiest way is with compressed air. A bicycle pump usually has enough pressure to remedy the situation. Remove the connector that screws into the bicycle tire from the hose on the pump and hold the tubing to the opening for the brake line on the caliper. Be sure to place a shop rag between the pistons. When one piston is free, push it partially back in and hold it so you can free the other piston. A compressor shouldn't be used since the pressure generated is usually overkill. My friend mentioned a time that a novice mechanic had a caliper separated in two halves. Mistake number one. He attached the air nozzle from a compressor to the caliper half and opened the nozzle. Mistake number two. There was a loud pop as the piston cleared the muzzle and the piston was successfully launched from one side of the shop to the other.
|12/07/03||Male Stud Installation for Female Lift-A-Dot|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Doug McLaren.
I recently had to replace the Male studs for the Lift-a-dot fasteners on my MGB top and tonneau. It is near impossible to get the lock washer and the nut on the stud under the rear deck. Here's what worked for me.
1. Put the male stud into the hole in the deck.
2. Put a little grease on your finger and it will hold the washer while you fiddle around locating the stud from below.
3. Put a magnet against the stud above the deck. This can be any size of magnet.
4. Fit the washer onto the stud and the magnetism will hold it there.
5. Put the nut on your greasy finger and align it with the stud from below.
6. Turn the stud into the nut and you are almost there.
7. Use a 1/4 inch drive socket on the nut and a wrench on the hex of the stud and tighten in down.
8. I put a little bit of tape on the bottom side of the wrench to prevent damage to the paint.
|11/30/03||Catch Metal Chips|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Hugh Clay.
To catch chips when drilling holes, Place a magnet beside hole.To prevent scratching paint and easy chip removal from magnet, wrap the magnet with a paper towel or rag. (note-won't work with aluminum)
|11/23/03||Switch Bezel Repair|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jack Feldman.
If the chrome on your car's switch bezels has come off, there is a neat way of making the bezel more presentable.
The dash on my 72 MGB is black and so are the switches. To get rid of the unsightly color of the bezel I went to a hobby store and got a Black Enamel Testor's Paint Marker (item no. 2547C). It is a tube of paint with a built in applicator.The applicator is shaped like ones found on a magic markers. You can apply the paint to the bezel without fear (at least on MGBs) of slopping over on the switch or dash. The colors match close enough for an inexperienced (or clumsy like me) person to have good results.
In addition, I also painted the corroded chrome buttons on the light and turn signal stalks.
|11/16/03||Locking Choke Knob Quick Fix|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mike Janacek.
Cold weather is on the doorstep again. Got a manual choke cable that won't lock anymore? A temporary fix for your choke is to use one of those spring loaded clothespins, either wood or plastic between the knob and dash, to hold the choke open on warmups. It'll get you by until that new one you ordered from LBCarCo comes in.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ed Purdy.
Are your seals leaking?
The transmission and differential seals on TR's and MG's always seem to leak causing that wonderful coating on the bottom of your car. Well, maybe it isn't the seal leaking!
I had "finished" overhauling my differential and it was set aside for the next project. It was hanging on jackstands nose down and I noticed a small puddle of oil right under the flange. I had just replaced the seal and polished the sealing surface on the flange so this was a puzzle. The oil was leaking out from under the washer and nut. It was torqued to over 85 ft/lb and I would have thought this would provide quite a good seal. Wrong! Over the years and who knows how many ham fisted backyard mechanics the mating surface between the flange and washer was scored. Further, on looking closely, the splines in the flange were actually squeezed above the mating surface. The nut and washer had been thoroughly torqued down onto just the spline tips. Add in the scoring and it was a LEAK. As I was also working on the transmission, I checked the trans flange and it was in the same sorry shape.
The only good fix is to chuck the flanges up in a lathe and resurface the washer mating surface so the washer can actually act as a seal. I further surfaced just the splines another couple of thousands below the washer surface as the torque on the splines wants to squeeze out the splines into the washer lifting it away from the surface, thus leaking over time. By the way, no amount of gasket sealer will seal up this joint and will only glue your nut to the flange.
|11/03/03||Hub Puller without the Puller|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Scott Hower.
Here's a quick tip for removing the rear hubs on a disc wheel MGB without a hub puller. The rear axle nut is tightened to 150ftlbs, so these are usually fun to get off.
Remove the road wheel.
Remove the brake drum.
Undo the cotter pin and remove the axle nut.
Spray the axleshart/hub splines with penetration oil (Kroil, PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench)
Tap the hub with a hammer handle/deadblow hammer.
Here's the tip:
Locate the two threaded holes (1/4-28) in the hub. (these locate the brake drum)
Rotate the hub so that these holes line up with the bolt heads for the axle seal cap.
Thread a pair of Grade 8 bolts into the holes and screw them in until they bind against the bolt heads.
Slowly tighten them against the bolt heads alternating turns until the hub pops off.
(I usually fit a piece of flat steel/bar stock so I dont chew up the bolt head for the axle seal housing).
Tightening the bolts forces the hub away from the housing and off. Be sure to use good hardware: grade 2 or 5 bolts can strip the threads before the hub comes off. Spend $1 for two good 1/4-28 bolts. I have included a Our Tech Tip this week is from Scott Hower. Thanks Scott ($20.00 will be credited to your LBCarCo account) Please contact us ASAP for further info.Here's a quick tip for removing the rear hubs on a disc wheel MGB without a hub puller. The rear axle nut is tightened to 150ftlbs, so these are usually fun to get off.Generic stuff: Remove the road wheel. Remove the brake drum. Undo the cotter pin and remove the axle nut. Spray the axleshaft/hub splines with penetration oil (Kroil, PB Blaster, Liquid Wrench) Tap the hub with a hammer handle/deadblow hammer.Here's the tip: Locate the two threaded holes (1/4-28) in the hub. (these locate the brake drum) Rotate the hub so that these holes line up with the bolt heads for the axle seal cap. Thread a pair of Grade 8 bolts into the holes and screw them in until they bind against the bolt heads. Slowly tighten them against the bolt heads alternating turns until the hub pops off. (I usually fit a piece of flat steel/bar stock so I don't chew up the bolt head for the axle seal housing).Tightening the bolts forces the hub away from the housing and off. Be sure to use good hardware: grade 2 or 5 bolts can strip the threads before the hub comes off. Spend $1 for two good 1/4-28 bolts. I have included a photo - Hope this helps!
|10/26/03||Sealing Wooden Parts|
Our Tech Tip this week is from David Palmer.
This seems a little obvious, but I'll say it anyway. A lot of our cars have wooden parts, and these parts cause a lot of problems because they were never completely sealed. When we're replacing or refurbishing the wooden parts, they should be sealed. Today, the best way to seal wooden parts is to coat them with epoxy. There are a number of marine epoxy suppliers out there (Gougeon Brothers, System Three, MAS, They all have a lot of technical information available on the web and through marine supply stores.
The general rules for using epoxy are all based on the proposition that this is a chemical reaction between the resin and catalyst that forms long molecular chains that are (essentially) waterproof:
1. Carefully measure out the proportion of resin and catalyst according to instructions (weight or volume.
2. Mix your batches thoroughly, that is, about twice as long as you think necessary.
3. Work in fairly small batches, so the mixture doesn't kick before you use it. A large batch will generate heat which will speed up the reaction.
4. You can speed up or slow down the reaction by heating or cooling the batch. Spreading out the batch by using a bigger container (i.e. a paint roller tray) also works.
5. You can cover over painted surfaces if the paint is tight to the wood. I would scuff up the painted surface with sandpaper for better adhesion.
6. Wait until the first coat of epoxy has kicked, then give end grain a second coat.
7. Avoid undue contact with the uncured mixture (gloves available from LBCarCo) and the dust from sanding. People who have become sensitized to this stuff get all pink and itchy when exposed.
|10/19/03||Installing Engine Seals|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ron Hillbury.
Installing a rear or front main seal on the B series MGB engine is a lot easier when the seal is frozen solid. Metals and rubber contract - get smaller - when they freeze. Pop that new seal in the freezer. When frozen, its slighly smaller size makes it much easier to install. As it thaws it expands and fits tight.
|10/12/03||Quick Tip to Secure Items under the Bonnet|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Lou Zaninovich.
Ever wish you could attach or secure something in your engine compartment, and a rubber band would be just right, except that it won't survive in the heat and oil of that environment?
Try salvaging the circular coil springs from inside old lip type oil springs before you discard them. They pop out in jiffy, and after a while you can have a variety of sizes. Even if you don't use this type of seal often, try scrounging thru your favorite shop's trash can.
|10/05/03||Masking Tip For Painting|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bill Brewer.
While painting my engine block I needed to mask off all of the machined surfaces with masking tape. I tried putting the tape on and trimming the excess with a utility knife, but this proved difficult and it kept pulling the tape off. I found a better way. I use an orange utility knife with snap-off blades (79 cents at the hardware store). I use the diagonal end of the blade as a scraper and I gently scrape at where the masking tape is folded over the edge of the machined surface. After a couple of scrapes, the tape as worn through exactly on the edge and pulls off cleanly. Much faster and easier than trimming with the cutting edge of the blade. My block turned out great.
|09/29/03||Cleaning Plastic Reservoirs|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Eric Russell.
Here is a method for cleaning out the inside of plastic reservoirs - such as coolant over flow tanks. I often find these full of 'crud' (sorry for the technical language) that defies soap & water but I do not want to use strong solvents that might destroy the plastic.
After rinsing out as much crud as possible, I dump in some crushed ice then shake the reservoir to scour the inside of the tank. The edges of the ice are sharp enough to clean it out without ruining the plastic. Then, rinse it out with warm water & the ice (and 'crud') are gone!
|09/21/03||Pivot Bearing Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bob Simmen.
Sometimes it is difficult to remove the pivot bearing from the flywheel. An easy method is to fill the hole with grease and then take a dowel roughly the size of the inside diameter of the bearing. Start to insert this dowel into the bearing and when it reaches resistance from the grease, rap it with a hammer. The pressure of the grease will push the pivot bearing out of the flywheel.
|09/14/03||Rocker Arms and Bushings|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Doug Sjostrom.
Rather than punching out the hole plugs in the rocker arms in order to through-drill the new bushings. Pre-drill the new bushings prior to press installation in the rocker arm. A little oversize will be fine in that this is the non load bearing side. Eyeball align the pre-drilled hole and shazam...This saves the hassle of replugging the oil holes in the hardened rocker arm.
|09/07/03||Make your own Wire Wheel Rim Band|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Eric Pyle.
I came up with a solution to the high cost of the rubber bands that should be placed on wire wheels prior to the mounting of tubes and tires. Wal-Mart sells, in the bicycle section of the store, 12.5" inner tubes for children's bikes. They cost $2.89 each. Taking one of these tubes, inflate the tube part way, enough to make it round and about the same diameter as the rim. Using a suitable marker (there are now silver Sharpie markers!), mark the tube along the small ridge on one side of the tube. Deflate the tube to ambient pressure, then use a sharp pen knife to make a small slit along the mark. Using sharp scissors, cut along the mark all the way around, then "unfold" the tube into one wide, slightly curved piece of rubber. Using the pen knife, carefully cut around the base of the valve stem and remove it. Now, simply stretch the now flattened tube over the rim and position it over the spoke nuts. Since the tube is slightly curved, it naturally fits over both the center spoke nuts as well as the outer spoke nuts in one complete piece. Make a small hole in the rubber where the car tire inner tube valve stem is to go, and you are ready to mount the tire.
|08/31/03||Wire Wheel Cleaning|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Craig Runions.
Twice a year I do the 'off the car, tooth brush and cleaner, inside and out job' on my wire wheels. The work is made much easier by using a old round 30-gallon garbage can as my work bench in the driveway. There are holes in the bottom so the hose water can drain out. The can is a convenient work height and keeps most of the water off me. The tire sidewall rests around the can edge with no damage to the rim. The garbage can otherwise is my grass clippings, leaf, and weed transporter to the mulch pile.
|08/24/03||Brake Line Service|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rick Crawford.
When disconnecting the steel brake lines from both the front calipers and rear brake cylinders on my TR6 ( or any LBC) for the purpose of service or removal, I have come up with a simple device to prevent that precious DOT 5 fluid from draining out of the lines. This device keeps the fluid in the lines and makes it a lot easier when doing the reconnection and brake bleeding.
I simply acquired the mating female piece to the threaded brake line. This piece is the one as if you where doing an "in line" brake line connection/splice. I put a little chemical resistant silicone sealant into the end that the metal brake line pipe would normally be and let it harden. When I disconnect the brake line, I quickly screw this onto the line, tighten with a wrench, and I now have a stopper to prevent the lines from totally draining. Keep the master cylinder topped up with fluid and the brake bleed becomes a simple task. Do not pump the brakes while these are attached for obvious reasons.
|08/10/03||Rubber Hose Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Josh Hauger.
Old rubber hoses seem glued on to radiators heaters etc . Try using a small round "key" type paint opener you get free with a gallon of paint. The small hook on the end allows you to work it under and around the rubber hose and pry it up easily. Much faster than trying to pry off with a screwdriver and alot safer too. No cut fingers!
|08/03/03||Rusty Parts? Free them Up!|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Joe Taylor.
All of us have had a rusty bolt to loosen at least once. While taking a Ford Model A apart I had a bunch of rusted nuts, bolts and screws. I asked an old time restorer what the best penetrating oil was he replied brake fluid. I tried it and sure enough brake fluid (dot 3) works great on rusted parts. Soak the part to be freed with brake fluid let it stand a few minutes then use the wrench. Don't get it on any painted surface you care about as it is a fair paint remover too. ;)
|07/27/03||Windshield Wipers for MGA|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bill Heller.
I don't seek out opportunities to use the windscreen wipers on my 1500 Roadster, but occasionally I've needed them badly. Wouldn't it be nice if they'd actually did what they are supposed to do, namely wipe the raindrops from the windscreen? I was tired of the poor performance of the original style wipers and looked for a substitute with more spring pressure on the glass but still of the same (or close) small size. I found a good solution in the stainless steel arms and blades that fit the MG Midget. These are part #'s 164-615 and 165-046 respectively. They snap right on the wiper posts of the MGA, and with their stainless construction look a lot like the chromed versions original to the MGA. A purist might be bothered a bit since the arms are shorter and not quite as angled as the A's, and so won't park flat at the windscreen frame (at least not without changing the angle of the tip via brute force). But I'm happy with the result: now the windscreen gets cleaned of droplets, and only a concours judge will notice the wiper arms!
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Vickery.
It seems that in the mid 60's the engineers at MG felt that the Pozidrive recess in the flat and pan head screws would be superior to the Phillips recess they had been using. The problem that it causes for us is that, even though the recess looks much the same, they are very different. If you look very carefully at the "wing" in a Phillips recess, it tapers from the top of the recess to the point at the bottom of the recess. The "wing" on a Pozidrive recess does not taper, it remains nearly the same width from the top of the recess to the bottom. Another difference is that there is a small notch in the space between the "wings".
Attempting to use a Phillips driver to install or remove a screw with a Pozi recess, the driver or bit having a taper on the "wings" tends to lift out of the recess and strip the recess in the screw and or the driver or bit. You can most readily identify a Pozidrive recess by looking at the top of the head of the screw. It will have a small line runing from the small notch between the wings toward the outside diameter of the head of the screw.
Pozidrive bits are available although they are a little hard to find. I know that Snap-on has them as well as some industrial supply houses. Using the correct bit or driver will make removing or installing those screws a much easier task.
|07/13/03||Installing "A" Amrs|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Manning.
When installing the "A" arms on an MGB give this a try. If you use (4) pieces of ready rod about 6 to 7 in. long and make up a 6 1/2 deep socket then install the ready rod in the 4 holes. Put a nut on the bottom and use your impact wrench to bring the bracket up evenly into place then put the correct bolt in place and you have done the job safely and in a very short period of time.
|07/06/03||Balance those Wire Wheels|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Glover Sewell.
When completing the restoration of a 1962 Wire Wheeled MGA, I could find no one who could properly balance the tires.All tire stores have the tapered lock for the rear of the rim, but no one has a device to go over the front to properly align the tire and rim on a computer balancing machine. I had an old spinner that was of no value, so I had a 1 7/8" hole put in the spinner. The smaller taper lock fits nicely into the 1 7/8" hole to properly align the wheel on the alignment machine. Now any tire dealer can align my wire wheels with this device. I recommend you check with your tire dealer to be sure of the shaft size on his machine before cutting the hole.
|06/29/03||Pollution Equipment Hose Repair|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Clifford Philpott.
If you have small rubber elbows or fittings that are cracked or split from your pollution equipment and you cannot replace them, just slide a piece of shrink tubeing over the crack or split,add heat and bingo, just like brand new.
|06/22/03||Protect Your LBC's Paint|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Doug Altman
Many of us would rather not attach metal parts to the painted surface of our cars for fear of scratching the paint, eventually causing rust. I have found a no-cost solution to prevent this from happening. Before attaching items like hood securing hardware, mirrors, door latch posts, etc., and under bonnet items such as heater motors, fuse blocks, bonnet bumpers, etc., first cut out a gasket from a used plastic milk bottle. The gasket will not mar the surface, will not stretch or flatten, and if cut slightly smaller than the item being attached, will be virtually invisible.
|06/15/03||Generator Pully Removal|
Our Tech Tip this week is from ("The Inventive Team" of Mark Evenchick, Doug McClure and Karl Kock.
In dismantling the generator of my TD the other day, we were faced with the usual problem of how to hold the pulley so that we could get enough force on the fixing nut to remove it. After some deliberation, 'BING!' on goes the light! We took the fan belt and put it tightly around the pulley. We then put the fan belt in the vice. On went the wrench and off came the nut.
|06/08/03||TR Gearbox Installion|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Andrew Dixon.
When re-installing TR gearboxes, a means of supporting the 'box without letting the input shaft take the load is required. I made up four steel 5/16" diameter pins, 2.5" long, threaded 5/16"x24 UNF at one end and heavily chamfered at the other. Two of these I threaded into the existing stud holes in the top of the engine block (without locknuts) and the other two I bolted to the lower corners of the engine back plate, using a thin locknut on the gearbox side. Finger tightening is all that is required. (The original studs could be used at the top but these are threaded at both ends and tend to machine away material from the bell housing during installation - the plain diameter of the pins prevents this).The gearbox can now be lifted into place and lined up with the pins before the input shaft comes into contact with the clutch or flywheel. If the clutch operating arm fouls the driver's side floor, reduce the length of the lower pins by screwing them further into the back plate. The pins support the weight of the 'box while it is being maneuvered around the propshaft and rear mounts and while the input shaft splines are being aligned with the clutch.Once the splines are engaged, slide the gearbox forward until it stops against the lock nuts on the lower pins. Install and loosely tighten some of the original bellhousing-to-backplate fasteners, then slacken the locknuts and withdraw the two lower pins. Slide the gearbox fully home, replace the two upper pins with the correct studs and install all of the original fasteners.CAUTION : DO NOT try to tighten any of the bellhousing-to-backplatefasteners until the lock nuts have been removed from the lower pins. Failure to observe this precaution may result in a cracked bell housing flange.
|06/01/03||Wiring Harness Labels|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jeff Howell.
Anyone working on the Prince of Darkness with Lucus knows the frustration of wiring. To keep things in order and the ability to get the lights back on I have been using a neat trick to keep it all in order. I use a label maker that you can print out your own labels and label each wire with the correct color and corresponding wire with the same. You can label all the wiring, remove the harness it needed, and put it all back together without having wires left over. Good luck on your next wiring project.
|05/25/03||Special Screwdriver for TR3|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Sumner Weisman.
Here is a TR3 tech tip. The slotted screws that hold the chrome plated windshield brackets to the side of the car have very large diameter heads, much larger than any screwdriver that most of us have. I made my own special screwdriver for this application, with a 3/4 inch wide tip. I ground down a metal file to the correct shape, and then tempered it by heating with a propane torch and then quenching it in cold water. It has a commonly available wood handle, and is easy to use. For added leverage, I press in on the handle while rotating the screwdriver with an adjustable wrench. Problem solved.
|05/18/03||Sprite/Midget Heater Valve|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Clive Reddin.
The earlier heater valves for the Midget/Sprite seem to be quite plentiful. If you have a 1976 like I do, you know that the new valves are not available. The used ones often leak as well, (I speak from experience here on that matter).
A trip to your favourite plumbing supply store will reveal many copper elbows, adaptors and different sized pipe. A few minutes with a torch, some solder and you can solder up a connector that will replace the leaking valve. True you can't turn the hot water to the heater off, but with the heater doors closed, you won't notice it at all.
Polish up the copper, add a clear coating to prevent tarnishing and it looks quite nice.
It will keep you on the road with no leaks until you can find a good heater valve or they start making reproduction valves.
|05/11/03||MGT Series Wood Tub|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ralph Cacace.
The MG T series uses a wood frame for the tub structure. The wood is backed up by sheet metal in the door hinge mounting area. When securing the hinges to the sheet metal, the wood compresses over time causing the mounting bolts to be loose and finally sagging the door. In locations where there is high humidity or moisture gets into the wood, these process accelerates. A possible solution is to use metal tubes inserted in the wood holes where the bolts go through the frame. The tubes must be cut short enough to prevent the hinge from not sitting. Once the bolts are tightened with lock washers or lock nuts they will not change with time holding the door firmly against the frame.
|05/04/03||Painting Nuts, Clean Threads|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mark Jackwood.
When painting POR15 on various body panels that have captive nuts on my MGB, the paint was coating the inside of the nuts and I had to run a tap through each one before I could thread in the bolt. To prevent this I stuff a small piece of paper towel into the captive nut, then paint away. When the paint is dry, just take a punch or small screw driver and poke out the paper towel. The threads are clean and the panels are ready for assembly.
|04/27/03||Installing Dash Switches|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Tom Case
To avoid the extreme frustration of marring the paint on your dash use a popsicle stick or a wooden disposable chopstick when tightening the chrome ring nuts for Lucas switches. The wood doesn't seem to slip off the way a screwdriver often does and even if it does the damage is usually just a smudge rather than a deep gouge.
|04/20/03||Body Work Aid|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Brian Kenney.
When I was doing some body work on my Sprite I found out quite by accident a valuable asset to my work place. In the shop where I was working at the time there was a large seat cushion from a golf cart. It was torn and headed for the trash container so I started using it for supporting the doors and trunk lid, while doing body work on them. It protected the inside paint from damage while I hammered, sanded, and then ultimately buffed and polished these components. In hindsight there was nothing better for that type of situation. I did trash the old seat but now I keep some 4 inch thick foam seat cushions from an old sofa (minus the fabric) around the workshop and use them on the work bench when a have a delicate part to work on.
Our Tech Tip this week is from arch Boston.
Recently had some wheels to clean up before getting new tires fitted. The best thing to do would have been to have them sand blasted. But, I did get the wheels cleaned up and painted. They now look pretty good, not pefect, but good from 5 feet. Magic product used---oven cleaner. The wheels were encrusted with crud from many, many years. The oven cleaner (with the use of a scrub brush) cut through the grime with little effort. Fumes are ROUGH, so do outside in the open and with rubber gloves.
|04/06/03||Electrical Wiring Diagrams|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Robert Rushing.
When I was completing the restoration of my 1971 MGB, I found that the wiring diagram from the Haynes manual was just too small to follow easily while installing the new wiring harness. I took the wiring page and the index page (that tells which number corresponds to which part) to Kinko's where I had them make a double sided copy then enlarged it to 14" x 20" and had it laminated. After that it was easy to read and since it was laminated, I could use an erasable marker on it to follow the path of the circuit. After I was finished installing the harness, I punched a hole in the top so I could hang it by a nail in my garage for easy access (as well as for a neat wall decoration!).
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jeff Howell.
Anyone restoring a car knows the frustration of not remembering how to put it back together. If you have access to a digital camera (new ones now around $100) and editing software, just take a picture, copy to hard drive and annotate sticking notes with lines to show detail or special instructions. This works great and you can see the how the finished product should go back together, how to line up special items, bolts alignment, wiring hookups, etc.. Good shooting.
|03/23/03||Keep Those Electrical Contacts Dry|
This weeks Tech Tip is from Brian Toye.
For those who don't drive their cars much (or at all)during the winter months, condensation can and willform inside of the rear tail lights, especially after a wash down. This condensation will corrode the contacts for the lights and sockets and all.
A trick I use is to put in one of those little silicon packets shipped with various electronic gadgets into thelight assembly as these packets absorb moisture. These packets can also be purchased in bulk - great for the whole club to use.
On an MGB, one can leave them in all of the timeand for a judging event, it only takes a few minutes to remove them. (It also helps to have new seals of course.)
One can also put a packet inside of the fuse holder coverin order to keep the fuses and contacts nice and dry.
|03/16/03||Top Installation Tool|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Charles Long.
I found a new tool at Sears that really made disassembly of an original MGB top. The tool kit is Sears number 52154. It is a set of 3 screw removers. While disassembly of the side windows many of the screw were sized in the aluminum, these screw removers made the tack very simple, I did not break a single screw off.
|03/09/03||Master Cylinder Repair|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Richard Grucz.
Pursuant to another tech tip, I recently rebuilt my master cyl. On my 57 MGA, which had stuck cyl's. My solution to the problem was to place the tip of my air gun into the fluid hole and give a blast of air. Keep the cyl. Under control or it will be in the next county.
|03/02/03||Using the Gunson Smog (Gas) Tester|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Greg Knodel.
When using the Gunson's smog tester, rather than using the car battery for power source, use an inexpensive 12VDC power supply. The voltage across the batter will fluctuate with the RPM, so it takes a longer amount of time to stabilize this instrument when using the battery in the car being tested, Another advantage: the tester can warm up and stabilize while you are out driving and warming up your Little British Car.
|02/23/03||Steering Wheel Hub Puller|
Pulling the Steering Wheel Hub off the splined and tapered shaft can be difficult without the proper hub puller. You can make your own with an old 7 1/4" circular saw blade. Just drill three evenly spaced holes to align with the peripheral threaded holes in the hub, enlarge the center hole enough to allow a fine threaded jack screw to pass through providing jack nut on the underside and-voila, you got that hub popped off with an even pressure. Be careful of the saw blade teeth. Use gloves or run them over the grinder. All threaded fasteners required are hardware store available.
|02/16/03||Wheel Logo's - Keep them on|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jack Hutson
Do those pesky MG logos (and other British Marques) on your rostyle wheels keep falling off and get lost, or just come loose? With the void between the cap and the logo, you need something to fill it in and also adhere. Epoxy is good, but expensive. I recently put all four of mine back by using Liquid nails construction adhesive and a caulking gun. Be sure to use sand paper to rough up the surfaces. It is cheap and available at any Home Depot or lumber yard.
|02/09/03||Rubber Bumper Maintenance|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Gil Price.
For those with rubber bumper cars here's a way to restore the black shiny look. After trying every method I have read about, I discovered a new product called Turtle Wax Tire Wax--it's a creamy product that comes with an applicator sponge. After cleaning up the bumper well, with a good quality strong cleaner and letting it dry thoroughly, apply the wax and then let it dry overnight before buffing with a dry cloth. I applied three coats and the bumpers look like new and without a lot of elbow grease either.
|02/02/03||Transmission Removal - MGA|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Gordon Harrison
If you have ever tried to remove the engine / transmission on an MGA you will know that it requires the removal of the interior seats , floorboards and trans cover along with the carpet. This is because the trans mounting bolt is much longer than the space between the two side of the trans cover and although you can undo the bolt , you can not remove it without taking out the trans cover. To prevent this happening use a metal hole saw and cut a round hole into the trans cover(on the bolt head side of the cover). Make the hole large enough for a proper size socket to fit on the bolt. Then make a larger square cover plate to block the hole and attach it to the cover with sealer and four screws. Should the time come that you need to remove the engine/trans just lift the trans cover carpet, undo the four screws ,remove the cover plate and you will be able to undo and withdraw the trans mounting bolt. You will no longer have to remove the interior of your car.
Good luck & Safety Fast Gord "THE COUPE"
(Ed. Note: When installed from the factory the bolt was installed correctly and the above should not be necessary. The reason this problem of the incorrectly installed bolt can happen is: when the body is off the frame and the engine and transmission are put back onto the frame it is possible to install the bolt backwards.
You could do as Gord suggests or you can just cut off the incorrectly installed bolt, which would make the above unneccessary and install the new bolt head the correct way. Then you will have no problem in the future. When the body is on the frame it is impossible to install the bolt incorrectly)
|01/19/03||Installing a New Windshield|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Penny Ploughman.
After struggling with the soapy water method for easing the install of a new windshield to body seal on my 1973 MGB, I decided to try an all-vegetable cooking spray (in this case Mazola) and the seal slid right in! Remember never use a petroleum based product on rubber seals -- it makes them swell and deteriorate.
Ed. note: I also have used this a few times in the past when doing the rubber on side curtains and it really does work well.
|01/12/03||TR3 Windshield slotted screws|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Sumner Weisman.
Here is a TR3 tech tip. The slotted screws that hold the chrome plated windshield brackets to the side of the car have very large diameter heads, much larger than any screwdriver that most of us have. I made my own special screwdriver for this application, with a 3/4 inch wide tip. I ground down a metal file to the correct shape, and then tempered it by heating with a propane torch and then quenching it in cold water. It has a commonly available wood handle, and is easy to use. For added leverage, I press in on the handle while rotating the screwdriver with an adjustable wrench. Problem solved.
|01/01/03||Painting the engine compartment|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Norb Wessely.
While my motor is out and being rebuilt I decided to clean up and paint the engine compartment. I took out the heater, master brake cylinder and the wiper motor. After I got many years of grease, oil and rust removed came the job of painting the compartment.
The parts that I did not want painted, such as: dampers, wires, brake lines, voltage regulator (which I disconnected from the firewall but left the wires connected) etc. I wrapped with aluminum foil. It is easy to use for odd shapes and around your wires. I taped newspaper around the bonnet and to help prevent overspray I ran the shop vac. next to the area that I was spraying.
Ed Note: Please be careful, sometimes electrical devices with motors can give off sparks and if working with a flammable substance you would want to make sure that the motor is at a safe distance from your work area.
|12/22/02||Replacing the line cord|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jack Feldman
When replacing the line cord on a double insulated drill use a new vacuum cleaner line cord. They are much longer, very flexible, and will eliminate having to have an extension cord in many instances.
|12/15/02||MGB Seat foam replacement|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rod Nichols.
Most B owners I have talked to that have replaced seat foams and diaphragms are finding they have been elevated to new heights! If you find yourself in the same dilemma, here's a solution:
|12/08/02||Installing a washer, lockwasher, and nut on a bolt that you can only reach with one hand|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Carl Guderian.
Ever wonder how to install a washer, lockwasher, and nut on a bolt that you can only reach with one hand? If you have access to the bolt head, place an old permanent magnet speaker magnet on top of it. Then the washer/lockwasher combo will be held in place with magnetism and you'll have no problem.
|12/01/02||Master/slave cylinder replacement|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Terry Frisch.
When changing out your master cylinder or slave cylinder make sure that you blow out the hydraulic line between the two. I did not and the master cylinder was making strange noises one year after replacement and I opened up the master cylinder and slave cylinder they were full of chopped up rubber from the hose at the slave cylinder that had been replaced previously and when I blew out the hydraulic line it was also full of rubber bits. One second to blow out the line when you replace these items could save a breakdown later.
|11/23/02||Cleaning the Engine Bay|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Curtis Hale.
I wanted to clean my MGB's engine bay but, not wanting to give Lucas--the Prince of Darkness and Isolation--any more opportunity with my patchwork English/American wiring, I was reluctant to use the hose or anything involving water. I wondered how I was going to clean around the wiring and fuse box.
I hit upon the idea of using some waterless hand cleaner with a toothbrush. Worked like a charm. I wouldn't suggest using any of the cleaners that have grit in them, for the sake of the paint. I used the Castrol brand, because it's relatively smooth, waterless AND towelless. Just keep working with it until it starts rolling up into little balls of dirt. It eventually dries and you can brush it right off with the toothbrush. If you have a really dirty engine, you can use a larger brush where you aren't working around the wiring.
|11/17/02||MG T Series Side Panels|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Sherwood Parker.
When trying to split the side panels from the half hood sections of TCs or TDs I was stumped because anything strong to push out the brass rod was going in behind it and all I was doing was swapping problems. The solution was to use a portion of a tube flare kit. The portion that splits to hold the tube can also grip the brass rod with uniform pressure with little damage to the rod. Once firmly on the rod the flare tool becomes a "T" handle and you can pull and twist the rod out in very little time with very little effort.
|11/10/02||Reconditioning Top Bows|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ray Campbell.
When reconditioning your top bows (for a new convertible top) replace the worn out or completely missing felt strip padding that goes on the top of the bows; go to the hardware store and buy a Velcro "peel and stick" kit. Use the 'matted strip (not the 'hooked strip'. You may have to cut it down to 1/4" wide, but is so easy to install and adds that little cushion between the bows and the underside of the top.
|11/03/02||Aligning Clutch and Bellhousing|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Barney Gaylord.
Here's a tip for MGs that is seldom mentioned in the workshop manuals (but I feel should be.) I just saw a message on the net refering to difficulty in getting the MG clutch splines and bellhousing bolts aligned when mating the engine to the gearbox. This message recommended drilling out larger two holes in the engine rear plate that are "widely held to be mis-positioned by the factory jigs". DO NOT DO THIS !!!
The upper right hole near the engine block oil outlet fitting, and the lower left hole where the exhaust brace attaches are not misaligned, and should not be drilled out. Those two holes will be spot on for location, but are intentionally a smaller closer fit on the bolts than the others. These two holes and bolts serve as locators (similar to dowel pins) to maintain the concentric alignment of the gearbox input shaft to the engine crankshaft. If you just put those two bolts in first (or at least tighten those two first), then the rest will slip right in with your fingers with lots of clearance, and your input shaft and clutch will be properly aligned.
|10/27/02||Trans Dipstick Plug|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jason Gross.
I was always having trouble trying to get my transmission plug back on my transmission after topping up the gear box oil. I was always cutting up my hand while trying to get my hand though the small excess whole. So what I came up with this idea.
Take a piece of flexible plastic tubing 1.5 in whole size and about a foot long and slip it over the head of the filler plug. Then simply slide the tubing through the excess whole and twist the filler plug on. Then tighten down with your socket. I hope this helps others out.
|10/20/02||Oil Steering Rack|
Our Tech Tip this week is from John Panebianco.
Found a way to get the oil in the steering rack on late model B's. The older steering racks had a grease fitting, however on all late model car's this fitting was omitted. The manual only shows how to fill the rack during a re-build or replacement.
If you take out the top bolt on the damper cover you can utilize an oiling syringe to inject the oil into the rack through the bolt hole. A little pipe joint compound on the nut will seal it up properly when done. It's not the neatest project, but it beats removing the rack to get the lubrication in.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Andrew Adams.
few weeks ago you had a useful tip on lining up the nut securing the choke knob to the dash. I also had to replace my choke cable recently as the inner braided cable unfurled and basically jammed. The outer sleeve looked in good shape so rather than replacing the whole assembly, I simply removed that old inner cable by undoing the nipple at the engine end and pulling out the knob and cable from the dash. I then threaded in a new greased inner cable from the dash without any problem as the solder at the end of the cable holds the strands together.
Model - 1967 MGB GT - mine has a T knob assembly but the above probably applies to the pull type assembly as well.
(editor note - this tip can apply to several of the other cables as well, in many cases no need to pull the outer sleeve out, just replace the inner cable)
|10/06/02||ID Labels for tools, parts, etc|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Hart.
Here's an interesting tech tool (sort of). For identifying all your tools, accessories and spare parts - they now make indestructible I.D. labels. They were developed for the space shuttle program. they look great and will stand up to MEGA abuse. They can be ordered at the website http://www.extremelabel.com. They are useful for lots of other gear too!
|09/29/02||Storing your LBC|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bob Stark.
If like many of us LBC drivers we must put our cars away for the winter and the only space available to us is our family garage, which also has to house the family car. As you know bringing the winter car into the garage also introduces moisture that condenses on the stored car. Here is a procedure I have used with great success to keep the stored car moisture free.
Park the stored car on a plastic sheet to keep out moisture from the cement floor.
This procedure has kept our car moisture free during the worst of our winters.
|09/22/02||Mark your Nuts|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Gary Stephan.
Pulling maintenance on five vehicles (sadly, only one is an MG!) is sometimes a daunting task: changing oil finds me rummaging for the right size socket to fit the drain plug--metric, SAE, size, etc. To make the job a little more efficient, I found that using a machinist's marking pen I could write the size on the face of the drain plug, e.g. '5/8' or '10mm'. I use a yellow pen so it is quite legible and easily touched up as needed.
|09/15/02||Corrosion in the Fuse Box|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rick Acosta.
While troubleshooting electrical problems, check the fuse box for corrosion where the fuses snap in. Depending on the climate and road conditions, they can get really nasty preventing good contact resulting in reduced or intermittent current flow.
An easy way to clean the fuse box contacts is to use a wire brush used to clean rifles. The .22 caliber size works great by inserting it in the fuse holder and spinning it, or just pushing it in and out. All the corrosion will be removed without destroying the fuse clips. One thing to remember is safety and disconnect the battery first so as not to short anything out.
|09/08/02||Grill Badge Mounting|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Don Stewart.
I’ve had a few cases installing cloisonné grill badges and emblems where the mounting studs have broken off the back of the badge. I’ve also had two MGA grill emblems separate from the mounting stud, and I didn’t tighten them excessively.
To avoid the problem, place a small compression spring over the stud between the washer or mounting bar and nut when securing the badge or emblem. This will spring load the mounting point. Be sure to use a jam nut or some thread locker to prevent the nut from coming off. This will keep the badge secure without undue stress on its mounting stud.
|09/01/02||Punching Holes in Soft Material|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Paul Tonizzo.
Here's a tip for easily punching holes into soft materials like gasket material and tonneau/top vinyl (for lift-the-dot fasteners). Make a trip to a local gun club and pick up some spent brass shell casings from the firing range floor. A good assortment of shell sizes allows you to be able to punch needed holes into any relatively soft material. Make sure you strike the shell with a piece of wood under the material so it lasts a good long time. Note: Just make sure the shell is indeed empty.
|08/25/02||Door and Kick Panels|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ed Madak.
Door and Kick Panels If you find the holes for the trim screws are stripped out and you don't want to go to a larger size screw simply go to your automotive supply store and purchase the emblem attachment tube nuts. Napa part # 665-1915 Tubular Type Nuts for universal use and emblems. Press into place and put in the screw.
|08/18/02||Turn Signal Switch Repair|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Charles Givre.
Here is a tech, which worked wonders on my vacuum turn signal switch. I had pretty much given up hope that the delay on my vacuum turn signal switch would ever work, then I found an article on the matter, and was able to get mine to work.
Here's how you do it:
|08/11/02||Console Pad for CD Player, etc.|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mark Dawson.
Here is the design for something I find very useful. I've taken an old mousepad and cut it to fit the flat console area between the shift lever and the dash. This is a perfect sized area for a CD player, but the bumps and turns of the road often cause the player to skip or slide off.
Here is the template: http://www.bones.org/torch/mgb_console_pad.gif
Pick an old used black-backed mouse pad (one of the thicker ones) and cut the template shape out, with the rubber (back part) of the pad facing up. You can also cut along the red line and have an opening to support a PDA (Palm, Visor, etc.) against the upright section of the dash.You may have to trim the template some, depending on what program you use to print it out. Photoshop is good, but Internet Explorer prints it slightlylarger than real life.
|08/04/02||Reflective Surface in Lamps|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Corey Sherman.
If the reflective surface of your signal and taillights has faded or chipped away, don't bother with "reflective paints, they don't work-- instead spray mount a reflective foil over the original surface. Use thin aluminum wrapper foil (e.g., Hershey's kiss) or silver Mylar (Novelty Balloons are made of this) and then Adhesive spray to mount the material. This will vastly improve the lighting and reflective properties of the lamp.
|08/04/02||Protect your Bumpers|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Corey Sherman.
Protect the interior of your car's bumpers just as you would the underbody. Using an undercoating spray (e.g., 3M #8883 Underseal Rubberized Undercoating Black) on the inside of the bumpers will protect it from rust, provide some sound deadening, and improve the overall "shinny" effect of your car's body and chrome work.
|08/04/02||Emergency Heater Valve Plug|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Corey Sherman.
Add a 3/8" NPT plug and a 2" carriage bolt to your car's tool kit. Should your Heater Control/Water Valve spring a leak when on the road (usually due to a blown diaphragm/gasket), you can simply remove the valve entirely and use the 3/8" plug to stop the coolant from leaking all over the engine. Use the carriage bolt to plug the hose to your heater, and tighten the clamp down around the bolt to prevent a backflow.
|07/28/02||Weather Striping and Seals|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Valerie Stabenow.
Here is a tech tip if you are doing weather-strip or seal work: Often seals come in two pieces, or in the case of a trunk seal, there is a gap between the two ends. Install the seal(s)and use black weather-stripping adhesive to fill in the gap. (3M sells small and large-sized tubes). Cut a piece of plastic food wrap (Saran or other heavier weight wrap works best), spray one side with silicone and lay it over the fresh adhesive. Close the trunk lid or door and allow the seal to cure. This method should make the seal(s) appear to be one piece.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Alfred Hester.
It came to my attention the other day when I was trying to figure out where the vacuum leak in my '79 Midget was. then I read that if all the bolts on the manifolds needed to be checked. Well the two nuts in the middle caused a problem. The straight open and boxed end wrenches only get in their own way and even if you get the wrench over the nut you couldn't turn it!!!!!
There is a wrench out there that will do the job perfectly; it's a boxed end wrench that usually has a 9/16" (manifold nuts) on one end and has a 5/8" on the other. This wrench is also bent into a gentle u-shape. Great thing to have: but don't go to "Craftsman" not There you'll have to get one from the "Snap-on" or"Mac" tool distributor. Maybe one of the auto parts stores.Mines' an S-K. Hope this makes it easier for those that have Midgets and Spitfires that need new manifold gaskets or just to tighten down the old ones.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Steve Shoyer.
I did something the other day that I thought was clever; maybe other people will find it useful too.
I was replacing the hood release cable on my 1980 MGB. It looked like it would be a tight squeeze to get my hand behind the firewall to put the new sleeve in position, so I removed the old sleeve but left the old cable in place. Next, I fed the old cable into the new sleeve and pushed the new sleeve up the cable, jiggling a little bit to maneuver the threaded part through the hole in the firewall. Once the sleeve was in position, I removed the old cable, tightened the retaining nut to hold the new cable in place, then fed in the new cable.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rick Astley. (visit Rick's Fantastic Electrical Site for LBC's at http://www.mgcars.org.uk/electrical/)
The hot summer months are ripe for producing the phenomenon of vapor lock. Even if you have never heard of it, you may have experienced it and wonder why your car thinks its a kangaroo. The car will run fine until you have to stop for a while, maybe at a traffic light or at a gas station, then on trying to pull away, the car will surge forward and then the engine will die. In mild cases the engine may pick-up again or restart immediately but very often it will take several minutes before it can be started, after which it runs fine until the next red light.
The problem is caused by the fuel turning to vapor because it is literally boiling in the fuel pipes close to the very hot engine. Heat travels in 3 ways, convection, radiation and conduction and MG used 3 major systems for preventing the heat traveling by these means to the fuel pipes.
1. MGA's, MGB's and Midgets have a heat shield between the exhaust manifold and the carburetor. That metal plate is not there primarily to hold the carburetor springs, it diverts convected heat from the exhaust manifold away from the fuel system. However, chances are that the one on your car is not bright and shiny on the inside surface and so it may be doing a bad job of reflecting radiated back heat and that could make the difference between getting vapor lock or not. Indeed, if it is rusty or black, it may be doing a great job of heat collection, quite the reverse of its proper purpose!
As an update to this tip Wayne Hardy wrote us.
Wayne is right in that the outer edges of the heat shield of MGA's and some B's did have some insulation which was originaly asbestos, later changed to some less noxious marterial, pop riveted to the outside edges of the heat shield, where it shields the float chambers. Asbestos was naturally white and the new material is very white when new. If it is no longer that color then it will be much less effective. The center section should be shiny. I have certainly seen cars with no asbestos-like material and new heat shields that are all metal, so it may have been model year dependant. (Rick)
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mike Polovcin.
Recently I had the pleasure of installing (2) brand new doors on my 1979 MGB. My old doors suffered from major rot out on the bottom of the door panel. This was disheartening considering I had the car body repaired and repainted only 4 1/2 years earlier. I did notice however that most USA MGB's suffer from the same problem.
It appears that the vapor barrier is sealed poorly to moisture entering and as rust begins dirt and rust particles block the weep holes trapping water in the door pocket and accelerating the process. When I got the price from my friendly auto body shop to re-repair the doors I opted to purchase new ones. Once in my possession I then was alarmed to find out how much he wanted to paint and install the new doors. After some bartering I agreed to provide him with the painting material and when complete I would install them. Being mechanically inclined (but never doing this job before) I thought: How hard could it be? Well I was in for a lesson. The screws provided with the new doors were #3 Phillips Head 5/16"-24 machine screw just like the old ones. The old ones came out easy, but I'm afraid GOD would have a difficult time installing the new ones properly with adequate torque while aligning the new door. All of the attached door parts transferred fairly well between old & new doors, but those damn bolts.
After excessive adjusting and swearing, I felt there had to be a better way of doing this job. So after much thought I picked up my trusty McMaster-Carr catalog and located grade 8 Allen head socket cap screws the same size along with stainless steel flathead screws with allen socket heads of the same screw size. I now loosely replaced the phillips screws with the grade 8 screws so the door could be moved around slightly on the hinge leaf. I then taped (2) 3" x 3" x 1/4" plywood squares onto the jamb wall of the car body. Then forcing the loose door into the body pocket I latched it into proper place.
Climbing into the seat I then tightened the grade 8 bolts with an allen wrench till I was sure that they were secure. Then by unlatching the door and nudging it open I removed the taped plywood. The result was a perfectly hung door.
Then one at a time I removed the grade 8 bolts and replaced them with the flat head stainless bolts, this allowed the door panel to be replaced. I this will save someone the anxiety I went through learning this method.
Lookout Mr.Leyland, there is a better way.
|06/23/02||Plugging Rubber Vacuum and other Lines|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Rex LaBrie.
When doing maintenance and you need to plug the open end of a rubber vacuum line such as the dist. advance hose, just use a golf tee and poke it in the end of the hose. If you use a brightly colored one it will be easier to spot and not forget to reinstall the line.
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bob Bridger.
Tired of your rubber brake and clutch pedal pad coming off? Try putting them on with contact cement. They will stay put and can be removed by sliding a screwdriver between the pad and pedal.
|05/26/02||Dash Plaque Solution|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mike MacLean.
A lot of our cars have painted metal dashes and instrument panels. We also attend many shows during the year. Most of these shows hand out dash plaques with a piece of double sided tape on the back. Most people don't want to stick these to their painstakingly painted instrument panels which leave adhesive residue when removed. The solution is to take those flat refrigerator magnets like the take out pizza places, dentists, etc. hand out and cut hem to fit the back of the dash plaque. They can be moved around and rotated for different shows and no adhesive residue is left on your dash.
Our Tech Tip this week is from the Kenney Family.
I had much trouble installing fabric snaps (the round type) using the cheap tools available for them. The tool has to roll the hollow stem of the button top using a special punch and a die to hold the button. It seemed to never work properly even though I used many different techniques and hammer sizes. Usually the stem would collapse to the side rather than rolling back. I finally came up with a simple solution. Place the tool in the chuck of a drill press and the die on the press table and use the drill press to "press" the tool down. Works every time.
|05/12/02||Rejuvenate Buffer Plates|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ralph Cacace.
The Buffer Plate, Moss Number 406-830, used on the MG TD can be rejuvenated by replacing the existing rubber which I have seen has either dried out or has been damaged by engine heat. Going to a tire supplier, they have cut-off air valves from wheels which they are glad to get rid of. The rubber from the air valves will fit into the hole of the plate and lock in place. The plate is then dipped into the black liquid rubber used for coating tool handles and allowed to dry. Several coatings may be necessary to obtain a smooth finish. The black coating is available from Elmwood or JC Whitney. The finished product looks identical to a new part.
|05/05/02||Rearview Mirror for Luggage Rack|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Don Holle.
And for those who travel with a carryon size suitcase on the boot lid, I think my addition of a full-size (10") aftermarket rear view mirror is a good idea. The standard MGA mirror is useless with the suitcase in place, but a big mirror mounted about 2" below the top edge of the windscreen lets you see over it. The glue-on tab stays in place on the windscreen and you attach/detach the rest of the mirror as needed. Works great although it does vibrate.
|05/05/02||Emergency Freeze Plug|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Don Holle.
Our recent 260 mile sojourn from Albuquerque to the Las Cruces British Car Days started off ten miles from home with a disappearing freeze plug from the middle of the right side of the motor. Could happen to anybody, anytime. So I will hereafter carry with me spare freeze plugs (1 5/8") to hammer home should the same event happen again, along with a gallon of coolant. An expandable rubber expansion plug from NAPA is also in my kit for a really quick and temporary fix. Remember, if you are ready for Murphy, he will get discouraged and stay away.
|04/28/02||Smaller Battery for LBC's|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Glenn Johnson.
For MGAs with original/UNALTERED battery cages, you can find a 12v battery that will fit; it just won't be a car battery. I went to a 'BatteriesPlus' store and picked up their "U1" utility/lawn/tractor/mower battery which has the perfect length of 7 1/2". The battery has a CCA of 300; it is a little lower than car batteries, but my go-cart, err I mean my "A", likes it fine....it has spade terminals rather than the cylinder posts. cost - $29.00. Remember, your battery cage can take a 7 1/2" max length battery - that is why the group 26 batteries that folks (who have altered cages + don't realize it) are always recommending, do not fit.
|04/21/02||Rough Running SU?|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ed Madak.
I have a 1968 MGCGT 6cyl. I bought the car not knowing any of the history. When I bought it the previous owner had never had it running well. It fouled plugs and was running rich. I figured all it needed was a tune up, carbs balanced and final adjustment on the air fuel mix. Wouldn't you?
Well it doesn't always work that way as many of you know. After about three weeks of taking the carbs on and off, talking the problem over with others including professional mechanics, and nothing curing the sputtering on left hand turns, the fouling out of plugs either half of them or all. The inability to run below 3500 rpm. I was getting ready to sell the car as must have been the case with the previous owners. This is too simple, yet it can be the most difficult to find. As it should be.
If you are having problems with your twin Su carbs, like sputtering on left or right hand turns, fouling out of plugs either half of them or all. If you have put your carbs in good working order, ie: new throttle shafts, main jets, needles, seats, floats. And you have ruled out all vacuum leaks, etc. Don't forget to check your drain / vent lines. They need to be clear or you will have a host of problems like mentioned above.
The MGC lines on my car had some little bends in them, not kinks. These evidently acted like a p-trap does under your sink in the house. After 30 some years the fuel that went into that line finally clogged it solid. I straightened the line, sharpened up a length of welding rod and proceeded to drill it out. Of course you could replace it with new. Be a plumber when you put it back on. Make sure there are no kinks and no little bends in them that would hold fuel. It should have a gradual fall so that the line remains empty at all times.
|04/14/02||Installing Piston and Rod Assemblies|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Keith Lowman.
This is not news, but I have found that when placing piston and rod assemblies into the bore it is a good idea to place a section of vinyl tubing over the threads of the connecting rods. Most hardware stores sell a variety of sizes. Just get one that is a snug fit for your rods and put a section over each tread. This will protect the cylinder walls, crank, etc. during assembly.
|04/07/02||Cleaning Wire Wheels|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Joe Kaiser.
When cleaning wire wheels along with the general car washing always drive the car for a couple of miles before parking for a period of time. The drive will dry out the water that would otherwise be trapped in the wheels and invite the rust mites!
|03/31/02||Protect Your Carpet|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Terry Pahde.
Having recently completed the replacement of the carpet in my 1980 MGB LE (a job which took much longer than I anticipated) I was concerned about the premature wear that always occurs on the driver's side sill from resting your foot while driving. I wanted something that would provide protection but would not be obvious or unattractive. I finally decided to try a clear corner protector that you would use at the corner of a wall to keep wallpaper from tearing or peeling. They can be found at most any hardware or home improvement store and cost only a few dollars. After trimming to the desired length, simply peel off the covering of the adhesive strip and press it into place on your carpet. It fills the bill of protecting the carpet from excessive wear and is inexpensive too.
|03/24/02||Installing a Dash Top Cap/Cover|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Steve Powers.
When installing a dash cap forget the phone book idea to weigh it down there is just no room. Get some fairly thick plastic bags which are fairly long and narrow and fill them with play sand which you can get at any hardware store for about $ 2.50 for 40 lbs. Follow the rest of the instructions and you'll find the application is fairly easy.
|03/10/02||Wheel Shimmy, Check for Bent Wheels|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Demello.
If you experience progressively worse wheel shimmy as you increase speed, you may have one or more bent wheels. Put your LBC on jack stands, start the motor, put the transmission in fourth and watch the back wheels spin (don't let the car fall off the stands or you may have a two door garage). It is obvious when they are bent, the tire tread wobbles noticeably. Then rotate the front wheels to the rear axle to check them. Beats going to a tire dealer who may find the bent wheels, and then again may not. Balancing will not cure a bent wheel.
|03/03/02||Refilling Lever Shocks|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jeff Palya.
Refilling lever shocks on your British automobile? Use a trigger pumping oiling can to pump the replacement shock oil into the filling hole. This method works well when the shocks are on or off of the car. It allows filling of the shock quickly while allowing air to escape.
|02/24/02||Better Looking Chrome Molding|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Max Brand.
If you have an ornament or molding made of Pot Metal and chromed, you can remove the dull circles around the pits using an ordinary pencil eraser. It won't remove the pit but it will make the piece look 90% better.
|02/17/02||Radio's for your LBC's|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Tim Henderson.
Many of you LBCer's out there have asked about radios for your beloved cars. Well Tim has found some and here is the scoop below. His is a Midget, but of course this would be applicable for most LBC's.
Just wanted to let you know that, in my research, I found a shaft-mount radio that will fit an MG Midget. It is Radio Shack Model #12-2130 and is a AM/FM Cassette radio with CD input jack on the front. It is a shaft mount and is only 5.25" deep so should not require any modification to the console. The one hitch is that this model is being discontinued so people have to look fast to find one. I am buying a display model that they are doubling the warranty on.
The good news is that it is only $49.95!
Another possibility is the Audiovox Model #AV970 that may work also. It is also being discontinued so people may have to search for one. Check out http://www.audiovox.com.
Kenwood also makes a shaft mount available through Crutchfield but the depth is a little over 6" and the Midget can only handle 5 7/8". This may work in other Leylands where there is more space. Crutchfield should have the maximum dimensions for all "recent" Leylands (they had it for my 75). Crutchfield can be reached at (888)955-6000 for information. This is probably better than using their website for this application.
Hope this helps someone!
|02/10/02||Adjusting your Carbs|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Bill Mason.
If you have every had trouble remembering how many flats you have adjusted your carbs. Here is an easy solution. Paint one of the flats with red nail polish or whatever colour you prefer, then it is an easy job to count forward or back
|02/03/02||Installing the Choke Cable|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dick Brown.
When removing or replacing the Choke cable in my MGB, I found it very difficult to loosen the hex nut behind the instrument panel. The difficulty increases with the size of your hand..... and mine aren't small. Try this. Disconnect the choke cable from the carburetor linkage and slip the cable assembly into the cockpit. Then select a deepwell socket that fits the fixing nut and wrap friction tape around the outside of the deepwell socket to provide a good hand grip. Insert the choke cable into the hex end of the deepwell socket and through the square drive hole. Slide the socket up the cable until it engages the hex nut. You will then be able to loosen the hex nut very easily. Reverse the procedure for installation.
|01/27/02||Installing a Pertronix Electronic Ignition|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Carl Gwyn.
I have been using the Pertronix Ignitor Electronic Ignition for a few years now in my '68 MGB. I think that they are a great little unit; however, when installing care must be taken to make sure that there is enough play in the wires inside the distributer so that the vacuum advance is not hindered. Having been careful to do this, unfortunately I had a little too much wire and the insulation on one of them got "nipped" upon putting the distributor cap back on. This cause the unit to short out.
To avoid this in the future, I installed a new unit and placed the wires around the inside of the distributor. Then with a felt tip pen, I made a mark outside of the grommet (which may need to be trimmed some depending on the distributor cap for a good fit - jz) where the wires exit the distributor. Now the wires can be pulled through the grommet so they move well away from the side of the distributor for installation of the cap. Once the cap is in place, the wires are pushed back into the distributor so the mark lines up once again with the grommet. I tried this a few times and each time I opened the distributor, the wires were nestled comfortable against the side of the distributor with the maximum amount of clearance for the motion of the advancing mechanism.
|01/20/02||Slick 50 Makes Tranny Quiet|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Jim Harris.
Help make your tranny quiet! Try some Slick 50 in your manual transmission. I drained mine and put new oil in and added a bottle of Slick 50 for manual transmission. Since it's engine oil you're using, Slick 50 for the engine would work just as well. I'm sure other brands would also do as well. It is amazing to me how much quieter and smoother the tranny is now. My overdrive has never been as responsive and smooth.
|01/13/02||Replacing Nuts in Tight Quarters|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Dave Houser.
When attempting to replace the nuts on your B's exhaust pipe at the bottom of the manifold, with limited space here's a trick. Put two nuts into your socket and take a dap of grease to anchor the lock washer on top. With a long extension, swivel socket and 1/2" socket you can offer up the socket and screw on the lock washer and first nut in the socket in a spot where you can't get your hands easily! Works like a charm.
|01/06/02||Refreshing and Cleaning your Gauges|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Kim de Bourbon.
Have an older Smith's gauge with a needle that's dingy or dirty? I did -- My oil/temp. gauge worked great, but the needles were disgraceful looking.
Here's a quick and easy way to get them bright and white again: Grab a bottle of White Out or Liquid Paper correction fluid. (I recommend the "maximum coverage" kind.) It comes with a tiny brush that is just the right size for painting over your dirty needle.
Slip a piece of paper underneath the needle, to avoid accidently "painting" the gauge face. Make sure you have a fresh bottle of Liquid Paper, so fluid doesn't have glops in it. And take it easy; one single swipe on the needle should do it.
And, of course, as long as you have the gauge open, take time to blow out any dirt and wash the inside of the glass. (If you've got a dirty needle, it's probably because dirt was getting in there. That's what happened with mine.) Now's a good time to invest in a new rubber O ring to seal it up again, too.
|12/30/01||Fitting a Valve Cover Gasket|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Tim Burston.
Fitting a valve cover gasket successfully is a real challenge, even for the seasoned pro. Here is a tip used by some racing enthusiasts, who frequently remove their covers for adjustments. Secure the gasket to the cover using gasket cement, then smear grease on the bottom surface of the gasket that mates the head. The gasket cement keeps the gasket from "wandering" and the grease helps with the seal. This works perfect on my 948 cc.
|12/23/01||Upholstery Installation Tool|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Mark Stolzenburg.
While installing the upholstery on my MG TC, I made a tool to spread the hidem binding apart so I could install the pins. I took a jumbo paperclip and bent one end up 1/2 inch on a 60 degree angle. I bent the other end up 1/4 inch on a 60 degree angle. The body of the tool was approximately 1 inch long. I then cut off the extra unneeded portion of the paperclip and soldiered the loose ends of the paperclip together (this soldiered joint made up one of the longitudinal sides of the tool) so there were no sharp ends to damage the binding. I now slipped the tool in the center of the biding to spread the binding apart. I was able to nail and sink the pins without damage to the binding and without use of a flat screw driver as shown in Malcolm Green's book. The tool also slid along the binding so I could nail longer sections. The tool really worked well.
|12/16/01||Wheel Stud Replacement Tool|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Peter Nield.
I have a Triumph Dolomite; I'm not sure if this will apply to the MGBs and other LBC's...
I'd streched and snapped a wheel stud on a front wheel, and needed to replace the Stud. However, after removing the remains of the snapped stud from the wheel hub, I could not fit the replacement stud as I needed to split the hub from the Brake rotor. I recalled when I'd replaced the front bearings that I'd not been able to loosen the four bolts that hold the hub/rotor assemble once I'd remove it from the car as they are VERY tight.
Inspiration directed me to go and buy a shelf bracket, which I could use to split the assembly without having to remove it from the car. The Shelf bracket just nicely jammed against the remaining wheel studs when the car is jacked up to the correct height, and allowed access to one of the hub bolts at a time to loosen them with some "specific impluse" :-) The reverse can be done to re-tighten them.
This also had the advantange of not having remove the Brake caliper from the brake rotor.
Click here for a sketch of the type of shelf bracket I used, in the orientation required. The shelf bracket is for a 450mm shelf, or thereabouts.
|12/09/01||MGA Air Cleaner Removal Tool|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Keith Lowman.
Removing the bolts that hold the air cleaners to the SU's on my MGA was always a skinned knuckle affair. It is tight quarters and there is no room to a standard combination wrench in to get more that a 1/4 turn. You can buy special stubby wrenches for this purpose, but a low cost alternative is the by a cheap, made in who knows where ½ inch combination wrench an cut it in half. You now have tool in your tool box that will work comfortably in the space and costs a lot less that a set of stubby combination wrenches.
|12/02/01||How to Dislodge Your Head|
Our Tech Tip this week is from Ken Mulcahy.
I've been restoring Brit cars for over 30 years and your web site is the most helpful tool that I have come across in a long time! You really make it easy to find parts without looking through all those catalogs. Your great prices are the icing on the cake. Keep up the great work! It is much appreciated. (thanks for the nice compliment Ken)
Thought I'd pass along a little tech tip. Here's a tip for removing stubborn heads. The heads on British engines are notorious for being difficult to remove. The studs only compound the problem.
This is what I do and it has worked every time. Remove the valve cover, head nuts, and rocker assembly. Disconnect the spark plug leads but leave the plugs in. Just turn the ignition switch and the head should pop loose. All the valves are closed so the pressure developed safely dislodges the head. When reassembling, new studs are always great insurance. They often stretch and lead to gasket failure.
|01/01/00||Side Curtain Rubber Repair AMCO|
Tech Tip From Jeff Zorn.
While trying to locate the rubber that goes around the "AMCO" style aluminum side curtains for my MGA I was stymied. This molding is about 1 1/2 inches high, about l/8 inch thick (maybe a little thicker) and had a round bead on it that slides into the aluminum channel on the side curtain. I had tried most everywhere, including all the major supply houses, rubber and seal makers, and local auto window replacement shops. No one was able to help me with this problem, one that others may have. I could find nothing about replacement rubber in the NAMGAR Tech Tips from MGA! or in the A-Antics Tech Tips Manual. Distraught and very cold and wet on some days, I was about ready to pop for the $300 or so to replace the set of side curtains.At Indy '96 I spoke to several other folks and no one had any ideas. While strolling through the booths, I happened to walk by a vendor that had a display and saw that they had rubber molding that fits under the front windshield. It is the Bottom Windshield Seal-Frame to Body,Moss part number is 680-470. It was about the required height, just slightly thinner, and it had a rectangular bead at the base instead of round. At $10.00 each, I figured I would need 2 for each window frame - $40.00 total - so I bought them.
I finally got around to attempting to put them in the frame. With a little bit of cooking oil, which I put on the aluminum track, and some elbow grease, I was able to pull the rubber around the frame.
For each frame, I used one piece for the sides and top, and one piece for the bottom track. I then used a heat gun (a good hair dryer may work) to help form the top two rounded edges and to keep them from curling one way or the other, which will now give me a tighter fit. Or you can cut the rubber at the top rear corner and then attached with strong water resistant glue another piece of rubber to make essentially a V there which will help keep the rubber from curling excessively.
All in all it works and, for a total cost of about $40.00, it was well worth it.
Little British Car Co, Ltd. Vintage Motors, Ltd.
29311 Aranel, Farmington Hills, MI 48334-2815, USA
Contact: Jeff Zorn Tel: 248 489 0022 or 800 637 9640 Fax: 248 489 9665
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