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1971 MGB-GT

'Sunkist'

A long and troubled past comes to rest in my garage.

1800 cc 4-cylinder
Overdrive Transmission
Former A/C car

January 19, 2021 - Pumped - I picked up the 5/16" hose and new clamps, and used the rescued banjo end to fabricate a pump to main line fuel hose with a filter so I can see if fuel is being delivered.  The new washers took care of the leaks, and the pump is delivering to the front carb.  I next have to pull the air cleaners and make some adjustments, and also see if starting fluid will get the car to kick off.  Once it is starting properly, I plan to install anew Pacesetter performance exhaust system that arrived today - better sound and twin chrome tips for a snazzier look.
January 18, 2021 - Fuelish Woes - New washers and seals arrived, and I blew out the fuel line while I had everything apart today. The clear fuel filter I installed up front always looks empty, and I suspected blockage.  Instead of using one of the steel-braided hoses, I saved the old banjo end and will make my own with a filter between the pump and the main line. I need to pick up some 5/16" fuel hose, but after that I can get the system back together.  Also, a Pacesetter exhaust system arrived for the car today, which was a surprise since it is a Federal holiday! I left the back end on jack stands so I can get back out to finish the fuel lines and also install the exhaust.  But it got cold and windy, so I decided to put off finishing up for a warmer day.
January 10, 2021 - More glitz - The car did not want to start even with the battery charged, and the fuel filter looked empty.  And the new fuel pump is leaking at the fittings - I tried to reuse some seals and should have gotten new.  Now on the way from Moss.  I plan to remove the new hose, blow out the fuel line from the front, and then install a new hose with a filter in case trash from the tank is blocking the line. Anxious to do something constructive, I installed the new wood steering wheel.  It is at least 2 inches smaller in diameter and has a nice thick rim.  It also looks very snazzy.
January 9, 2021 - Shiny! - I had time and sunny, if cool, weather to tinker today.  First job was quick and easy - I  replaced the worn headlight rims with new ones from Little British Cars.  Next was the fuel pump and feed hose - both of which appeared to be OK, but I am glad to have the potential hard start problems checked off.  Of course, the battery was nearly dead so I could see if changing them out made a difference.  maybe tomorrow.
December 26, 2020 - Small Jobs - Temperatures changed rapidly - after the mid-seventies two days ago, I woke up to 25 degrees this morning.  Still it warmed up to the low 40s and I was able to get more work done on the car.  First off, I got more hardware and installed the back license plate.  Then I replaced the crazed and faded parking light lenses with excellent Lucas lenses provided by friend Richard, who also provided a replacement for Sunkist's missing battery cover.  Finally, I got the shifter boot, cover, and trim ring installed.  The battery was too low to get her to start, but I charged it up and will try it again tomorrow.  A high-torque starter may be in the works.
December 24, 2020 - More Goodies - With a 74-degree day and no rain due to late afternoon, I got more done on the GT.  First off was resetting the timing at the suggestion of Best Bud Chip - the car has been really hard to start, which I had suspected was an issue with the throttle choke follow-on not being set right. While the follow-on may still need adjustment, the timing was retarded about 8 degrees, and setting it to factory brought the idle up to a smooth 800.  I'll have to wait for another day to see if the cold start issue is fixed.  Then I replaced the passenger door card - this time I took a 'before' picture - quite a difference!    As a last tweak, I polished the corroded interior light, which came out great.  Based on weather reports, I may not get back to teh car for a few days, but good progress so far.
December 23, 2020 - Goodies! - My first day of a long Holiday break turned out to be great for Sunkist.  First and most importantly, the car is now titled and registered in my name! I lucked out and found an appointment with DMV just two weeks after I got the  Then lots of parts came in yesterday and today.  Biggest job was putting in the driver's side door panel, which has chrome strips instead of the plain black.  I also installed a new, correct driver's mirror.  Interesting to note that Moss Motors, the main MG parts distributor, had the mirror backordered and not currently available, but Little British Cars (LBC) not only had it in stock, but cheaper than Moss. Surprisingly, even with the the Holiday crunch, it arrived just three days after being ordered! Also added today were new lug nuts all around and new MG center caps for the wheels, plus a new chrome air vent grille. Along with those parts, I also received a new wood steering wheel, the passenger fender mirror, and some other small bits.  Busy times ahead!
December 19, 2020 - Little Jobs - Waiting on some parts to get bigger jobs done, but I did take care of a few items.  Sunkist had A/C from the dealer which got removed by a prior owner.  Souvenirs of that system were holes put in the firewall which I was able to close up using 2" faucet hole covers from Ace Hardware and some sealant. Next up was a new light switch from Moss which turned out to be bad.  I cleaned up the old one and got it reinstalled - the side marker lights come on with the headlights, so something is off there - probably some of the connectors in the wrong spot. I also replaced the fuse box and fuses.  As a side job, I removed the antenna and plugged the hole for now so that a new fitted car cover could be used.  And the new gear shift cover, seal, and trim plate is ready to go in, possibly tomorrow. 
December 13, 2020 - Moving on Her Own - Sunkist came home Friday on a flatbed, as I had never heard the car run and even Chip had not gotten the car off the jack stands she'd slept on for the past three years.  It was a good choice, as I was unable to get the car to start and run properly until MG Master Chip came over and laid hands on it.  She fired up and smoothed out after some tweaks, and I was able to take her around the block moving for the first time under her own power in more than a decade.  I removed the emission system leftover air rail from the cylinder head and plugged the holes with 7/16x20x1/2 hex plugs from Ace Hardware.  This cleaned up the engine bay nicely.  I also replaced some leaking fuel hoses and clamps.  Then I attacked the chrome.  It had a lot of white corrosion starting to build up, and I had expected pitting on the bumpers.  However, using a combination of Nevr-Dull and 0000 steel wool the bumpers and guards cleaned up like new, and most of the deterioration on other pieces came out well.  I pulled the clunky sound system, and spent some time getting most of the lights working. Many parts have been ordered from Moss Motors and eBay, and I scored an early appointment with the DMV.
December 8, 2020 - Staying in the 'Family' -  This 1971 MGB-GT has been off the road since the end of the 1990s through no real fault of its own.  Owned back then by good friends in my local car club, it was sent off to a local MG Specialist's shop for some minor repairs and an engine detailing.  Unfortunately, the specialist was not very responsible, and the car sat in a corner for ten years until the shop went out of business.  My friends sold the car to a former neighbor of a mutual car club friend.  This fellow bought tires, soundproofing, and other parts, but never got the car running while it sat at the mutual friend's house.  Best Bud Chip got busy overhauling the fuel and hydraulic systems and got the car running well, with minor and very occasional assistance from me. However, he was overextended with too many projects, and decided he wanted to focus on the ones he already had.  So now Sunkist is mine. The good that I know so far is that the car is rust-free and has overdrive, and the mechanic, while flaky, did a nice job of detailing the engine bay.  The interior needs attention, at least door cards and possibly a headliner, plus installing carpet and trim items.  I plan to flatbed the car home so I can check everything out before trying to drive it. That may change once I check the car out more thoroughly this weekend.  It hasn't moved under its own power in well over a  decade, but everything is supposed to be up and ready.  We'll see!

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