Back to Home
Prodigal.. car? Or, how even Caroholic can get shafted when he assumes...
A rust-free low-mileage, one-owner British sports car with 68K original miles gets discovered on a trip to the salvage yard!
Sold 09/08/07, bought back April 18, 2010
|June 2, 2012 - Coming Together! - I should be too ashamed to post these photos - look what Alfredo has accomplished in just FIVE days. The car looks wonderful! I'm still glad I sold it, and even happier that someone like Alfredo bought it - the car deserved much better than it got from me.|
|May 28 2012 - Home in Ohio - The GT arrived in its new home in Ohio with no fuss. Alfredo got it inside and headed off to bed. In the meantime, I have already started finding a few small parts which I'll gather and box up to ship to him in a week or so.|
|May 25, 2012 - And Gone! - I listed the GT briefly on the local MG Club site, then pulled it while I decided what to do with the car. Alfredo, a very nice guy from Ohio (even if he does own Triumphs) was directed to the ad by someone on the MG Experience web site, and called just before I cancelled it. He patiently waited while I got the car running and driving, and made sure all was in order. However, as soon as I was OK with selling it, he drove down with a tow dolly and cash. I spent all last night and this morning gathering parts and making sure I had the various bits together. he showed up tonight and took possession. Selling a car is usually hard, but this one was just a sense of relief. Silly, as it was a great car with tremendous potential. I took a real financial hit, as I not only paid way too much to start with, I bought new parts over the past two years. Oh, well. Alfredo will have an excellent GT, and I finally have space in the garage to get the Wagon inside!|
|May 25, 2012 - And Driving! - After more than two years in my a garage and a couple more in the garage of She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the GT moved under its own power tonight! The car ran extremely well, and has the great snicky transmission and solid feel I remembered. I made a video of it, though you mostly only see the gauges, and uploaded it to YouTube. You can see it here.|
|May 22, 2012 - And Alive Again! - I retrieved the fuel pump after work tonight and got it installed. Happily, it was the exact same kind of pump I had in the car before, so I just had to do a direct swapout. Even more happily, the car started right up and the alternator light went out just like it is supposed to. I made a video of it starting and running and posted it on YouTube (click here to see it). It is one of the smoothest-running B engines I've ever had.|
|May 20, 2012 - Dead Pump - I borrowed the GT's alternator to get Rodney up to Roanoke, VA for a big show a few weeks ago, and just got it back in. However, the fuel pump did not 'tick' and the car wouldn't start. I checked back at the pump and despite power and ground it is not doing anything. AAAAUUGH! Just when I start to make progress on getting her cleaned and sorted out. (See photos here). Naturally, the spare new pump I had was loaned out to someone who was supposed to return it more than 6 months ago. I am going over Tuesday night to retrieve it. I'll be spending evenings this week going through boxes and crates of MGB parts to gather all the pieces of the 73. I want to get it running and drive it around the block at least so I know all the major systems are OK. And I want to make sure I have all the various bits. Once I have a better idea of what I have, I'll make a determination on what to do with it.|
|March 31, 2012 - Switched Out - Coming up on two years since I made the mistake of dragging the 1973 home, with woefully little progress. However, today I was able to get a correct 1973 ignition switch from a friend's parts car and got it installed tonight. The car started up fine and ran well. I'll get some contact cleaner just to be safe, but I can start putting the interior back together.|
|December 12, 2011 - THE GT LIVES! As expected, the ignition switch made the difference, and the GT fired right up! No smoke, great oil pressure, smooth and quiet. CLICK HERE for a link to a video on YouTube. I let it warm up all the way, and just as I remembered, oil pressure was 50+ at idle and the temperature stayed on the low end of the gauge. Now I have some encouragement to start getting the poor GT back together.|
|December 11, 2010 - As you can see by the bottom inset on the left, the ignition switch had pulled apart pretty badly. I ended up getting a NOS Lucas setup (shown on the right) off eBay instead of the China/India Moss reproduction. Unfortunately, the only switch setup available is the 1974-80 version with a formed plastic plug instead of individual bullet connectors. This meant cutting either the new ignition switch harness or the car's wiring harness. I decided to make up an adaptor instead, using a socket from an old wiring harness and the wire ends from the original ignition switch (shown in the inset on the upper right). The ends are merged and soldered, with heat shrink for insulation. Now to see if she'll run!|
|November 27, 2011 - What's this roadster got to do with the GT? It's a 1974 parts car I got for $200 at a storage auction last week. Chip and I got her running really well, after just a few hours of tinkering. However, I realized I didn't NEED any of the parts! So I sold it today for $300 and worked on the GT instead. And I found the answer to why she-who-must-not-be-named started messing around with a car that had been running perfectly. Turns out the GT has a bad ignition switch - the casing is coming apart and not providing contact through the main circuit. That's what was killing the ignition and the fuel line. I'll order a new switch from Moss and will hopefully get it in this week. The fuel system is cleaned and the car has gas in it. With a good ignition switch, she might finally start up!|
|August 22, 2011 - Making progress - the fuel in the car is at least 3 years old, and could be older, so I needed to get it out of the tank. I hooked up a manual pump to the fuel pickup and got the old stuff out. Then I replaced the rubber fuel lines and dropped the battery in. She cranked fine, but the fuel pump is doing nothing. Also, the ignition light doesn't come on, so there may be a wire loose under the hood. I'll trace wires out. No telling what other trouble 'She-who-must-not-be-named' left for me to discover. However, I am hoping I can track down the electrical issues fairly quickly.|
|July 31, 2011 - Major news on the GT! I discovered a 73 MGB-GT at the same junkyard where I found the car yesterday and it it had a complete headliner setup! I went back today and very carefully removed side trim and headliner panel, succeeding in getting it all out without any tears or damage. This is a huge help - the side trim is not just plain vinyl, it is shaped. When 'She-who-must-not-be-named' gutted the interior, she neatly labeled all the pieces - but several were torn and the rest were crushed out of shape due to improper storage. These pieces are not available new and cannot be simply replaced with vinyl fabric, as was her plan. I can deal with everything else, and knowing I can get the interior back together properly is a big boost to my interest in the car. I'll have to drain the gas before I try starting the car - it's been in there for years, and I don't need to complicate things by running varnish through the carb! The parts car also yielded what looks to be a rebuild cylinder head and a complete rear hatch with glass for Chip's GT, It had a black label overdrive as well, but I decided not to try pulling the engine/tranny sitting outside with no lift.|
|February 5, 2011 - OK - I got cheated by the lady who sold me back the GT. After almost a year, it's time to get over it. The car has been ignored long enough. So today I installed a new distributor and the Falcon stainless steel exhaust, and put its back tires/wheels back on so it could rest on its own 4 'feet' for the first time in many months. I need to clean everything off and out of the car, and get serious about getting it running. It's the first real work I have done on the car in maybe 10 months - pretty sad. Oh, well. Now that I have broken the ice, so to speak, I may start making progress on it again.|
|September 25, 2010 - Progress! I wish I could say it was mine, but the poor GT owes her improved state to best bud Chip, who came over today and started putting her lights back on. I cleaned up around the car so I can work on her again, and moved some of the boxes out of the way. I need to pull the ^%$#@! electronic distributor and put in the new points type I bought, and then figure out what is wrong with the radiator - I was told it leaked all the coolant out AFTER I drove 5 hours to get the car that 'runs great'. Luckily, I got the good radiator that was in the car before along with the parts.|
|September 12, 2010 - Alas, poor GT. I knew it well. No, the car is not dead, just the victim of misdirected disgust. And while she looks horribly abused, there is no damage being done. There are cushions and towels protecting paint and most of those boxes are parts for her eventual (I hope) reassembly. I think I have everything I need - just have to figure out how badly the prior owner botched her drive train. I know the distributor and radiator have to be replaced, and the fuel pump is a question mark. Really just an afternoon's work, but so far I can't get interested enough to give her 5 minutes. Yeah, stupid. The sooner I get her together and running the sooner I can get her GONE and put the whole ugly incident out of mind.|
|August 21, 2010 - A 'garage sale' of MGB parts this morning turned up some complete headlight assemblies for the 73 - the ones that were with the car had been disassembled and some of the parts couldn't be located. I am hoping to get the poor car running - hard to believe this is the same MG that drove from here to Raleigh without a hiccup three years ago. Problem is I get disgusted every time I look at it - not the car's fault, and it sure isn't helping matters letting it sit even longer. Oh, well. If I get all the parts I need together I might finally start work in it..|
|June 9, 2010 - I have been sorting through the boxes of parts and think I have most of the pieces identified for the 73. Many of the extra parts are roadster-specific, or are too well-used to be worth messing with. A fair chunk of the inventory went to the dump this weekend, but I still have a lot of usable items to re-sort and figure out what to do with. The original distributor turned up, so I'll see if I can get the car running on points. I think if I can get her started I can shake off the blue funk of disappointment. She's still a nice car, and I can get the interior back together eventually. One mystery was solved - the wood steering wheel I had before is not the same one in the car now - I kept looking for the nice hub. Guess it got sold, along with the Webasto roof and some other accessories I had with it before.|
|May 23, 2010 - Now that New Bern is over, I can spend some time on the GT. I started sorting parts, putting things up in the rafters and trying to clear out the car port. Most of the exterior lights turned up in the various boxes, though hardware is all missing and will have to be either replaced or sorted out of the bin of loose nuts and bolts that came with the car. The more I look at the 73, the more I realize I should have left Raleigh with an empty trailer. It's mostly my fault, too. While the ad rather glaringly omitted mentioning that the interior had been ripped out, I did not inspect the car properly when we got there. In short, I ASS-U-MEd that the car was basically the same as it was when it left my driveway 3 years ago, with the exception of putting the exterior trim back on. And the breakdown of the word should be obvious. In any case, I should have looked the car over carefully, not just started loading things up. Even a Caroholic can make mistakes, especially when he doesn't follow his own rules (and general common sense) about car buying.|
|April 27, 2010 - Got the battery charged up and installed - it was hooked up properly (whew). I suspect the starting issue is fuel-related - I didn't hear the fuel pump kick in once, and the battery bin was open, so it should have been quite loud. Could be a wire got pulled loose. I put a new pump in it the first time I owned it, so it should still be good.|
|April 26, 2010 - The battery was dead, so I put her on charge tonight. I'm not sure, but it seemed that the battery was hooked up backwards - which would explain it not starting after they put in the electronic ignition. I'll give the battery a good charge and put it in properly, then see what happens when I crank her.|
|April 23, 2010 - I emptied out the interior and got a good look for the first time - and it was not so good. Unfortunately, the entire interior has been gutted - all the trim, door panels, side panels, headliner, etc. Some of the pieces can be salvaged, but most will have to be replaced. Luckily I have several friends with GTs I can look to for guidance. The 'project' gets more involved every day. Oh, well. She'll be great once she is finally done.|
|April 21, 2010 - The new paint on the GT was great except for places on the outer edges (roof and front and rear fenders) where it looked like the paint had been rubbed off by the car cover. Happily, the dark areas came right off with some polishing compound! Yeah, I said I wouldn't mess with the GT until after New Bern, but I got frustrated with the TC's tires last night and the GT beckoned. Oh, Carolyn found some new bumper overriders and lug nuts she is bringing to New Bern when they come to the show.|
|April 19, 2010 - Moved in, and partially unpacked! Some more rearranging and shuffling of parts and boxes, and the GT made it into the garage. She's still full of parts, but at least out of the weather until I can get around to working on her after New Bern. The first order of business will be getting her emptied out, then work on getting her running again. From there, I'll start putting her back together.|
|April 18, 2010 - Back with LOTS of baggage! Richard and I rolled for Raleigh at 6:30 am and got in by 11 am, including a long breakfast stop! Carolyn and family had all of the MG parts laid out in the front yard, and I had some reservations about getting them all loaded up. Happily, Richard is a master packer, and with some creative cramming that including stuffing parts in and under the car on the trailer, we got everything aboard. The car was not running due to a messed up distributor, and was more apart than I expected. However, the paint look really good and there are parts there to really make her a beautiful tourer. Thanks to help from my sister, Tracy, we got rope and netting that kept the parts in place. And when I got home, neighbors helped us get the car off the trailer and up in the driveway. (Which has been replaced since the car left). I still have to unload the truck, and the car will have to sit until after the TC is done at New Bern on May 15th. Still, I'm glad to have her back!|
|RETURNING HOME April 189, 2010 - I got an email last week from someone telling my my 1973 MGB-GT was for sale again. I checked out the ad on the Raleigh Craig's List and did some thinking over the weekend while I was at the Charlotte Auto Fair. The GT was the most solid MGB I have ever seen, and ran and drove great. I sold it because the Packards were looming and it needed cosmetics. Now she is painted, has new seats and materials to do the interior over, and new chrome. A good project for the summer, and a car that I already know is a good one. The car also includes a Gold Seal factory rebuilt engine and rebuilt overdrive transmission, and a bunch of new sheet metal that can be sold to finance some upgrades from Moss as I put her back together. Richard Hall and I are rolling down to pick her up Sunday.|
|SOLD September 8, 2007 - It didn't take long for the car to sell - considering all the upgrades I've done and a pretty nice package of new parts to go with it, the price was very low. Still, I made my money back on the car. It was tempting to keep the Webasto roof, but I went ahead and made a clean break. The buyer came all the way from Raleigh NC - a very nice lady who has had 6 other MGBs, all roadsters. She looked everything over, gave the car a test drive, then handed me the cash. She then hopped in the car and drove it back home to Raleigh - 180 or so miles in a 34 year-old car that hasn't been on a road trip in ages. But she emailed to let me know the car did fine and she arrived home safe and sound. I was confident the car would make it, but it's always a bit nerve wracking when someone else has to rely on my handiwork. I'm sorry to see the car go, but it frees up time, money, and space for the 1939 Packard, which has been neglected far too long.|
|September 1, 2007 - Well, as often happens with me, I am going to send one of my cars off so I can focus on something else. In this case, the MGB-GT needs to either get the cosmetic attention I've been planning for two years, or get set aside while I attack the 1939 Packard that has been sitting for 4 years! It's a somewhat painful decision, as I have a terrific MGB, and gathered the parts to make it truly spectacular - the NOS Webasto roof has been teasing me for a long time with thoughts of convertible-type motoring in a GT. But I need to get on the Packard, and if I let the MGB-GT sit another couple of years, it probably won't be rust-free any more. So I have decided to send her on to someone else who wants to fix her up NOW! I have pictures taken tonight of the car - and below the pictures is a list of new parts that go with it. There are a bunch of used parts as well.|
|NEW SPARE PARTS INVENTORY
|December 27, 2006 - The MGB-GT got her first night out in a VERY long time. She's been sitting most of the past year, but everything is up and working great. So I decided to go to a local MG Club event tonight. We had dinner at a cafe and then toured a holiday light display. I took her there on the Interstate and the light display required about a half hour of idling along in first gear. No issues, no worries. The new steering wheel really gives her a nicer feel. I need to start driving her!|
|November 27, 2006 - The poor MGB-GT has been sitting in my neighbor's garage for the past few months. Amazingly, she fired right up today. Even more amazing, the brakes are fine! I can't figure how that could be - perhaps there was an air bubble, or it could be that I forgot how the GT's brakes are supposed to feel last time I drove it. Disc brake cars don't have the same 'rock' pedal that drum brake cars have, especially manual disc brake cars. They felt and worked fine today - I drove it around the neighborhood, then out on the Interstate. Smooth and strong, no hiccups. All the electrics are working, and the battery seemed to be fully charged. Mike hasn't been ready for the car yet, but it's looking like we'll get over to his shop soon for the strip and paint.|
|June 26, 2006 - Looks like Proper MG has closed up shop and didn't bother to tell anyone. When I called them to check on my refund more than a week after canceling the order, there was no answer. And no reply to multiple eMails. The web site is still up, but no one answers the phone day or night. I have gotten eMails from other victims who ordered parts months ago and have yet to get parts or money back. Happily, I went to my credit union two days before the 60-day grace period on making complaints expired - I filled out the papers, and had the fund back in my account two days later. On the plus side, I ordered a new master cylinder from B-Hive instead, and got it within 3 days! Very nice folks to deal with, and a good reputation. Now, I need to get the new master cylinder on and get her over to Mike's for the stripping.|
|June 1, 2006 - Hard to believe it has been more than a year and a half since my last update! Sadly, not much has happened with the car. The rebuilt brake master cylinder went bad, so I ordered a new one from Proper MG back in April - and found out today it hasn't even shipped yet! I cancelled the order and will reorder from someplace else. The car still starts right up and everything works. The paint job has been on hold waiting for Mike's schedule to open up. However, I wanted to do SOMETHING on the car, so tonight I installed a new Mountey wood steering wheel I got on eBay. Even got the horn button working! And as an even bigger, better, and scarier option, I have an NOS Webasto Sunroof from Belgium to install when I get ready for the paint job! Can I make that great big hole...?|
|September 25, 2004 - Haven't had time to do much on the GT this summer. I took it over to Mike Muscarella, my painter, back in June to find out what I need to do to get her prepped for new paint. We are going to take her down to bare metal. He marked all the dings and dents (very few considering). The left front tire was going down on me, but I was busy trying to get the 78 MGB sold. Now, with everything else done, I can finally start on the GT again. I got the tire fixed (a nail) and put on a new Monza exhaust system today that I got on Ebay back in July. Sounds great!|
|April 21, 2004 - Finally
got the front shock conversion kit installed tonight. Actually a very
simple job requiring only a few tools. The kit, which I bought on
eBay, retains the original lever-action shocks upper A-arms and adds
tube-type shocks using heavy brackets. The only modification required
is a slight bend to the brake hose mounting tab - about a half-inch is
enough - to clear the shock tube body. The difference is tremendous!
Tools required were a hydraulic jack, jack stands, 9/16 and 1/2 wrenches and sockets, a hammer, and a medium Phillips screwdriver.
|1. Raise front end and support
with jack stands.
2. Remove road wheels.
3. Use hammer to bend brake hose mount back about a 1/2 inch.
4. Remove outer lever shock mounting bolts.
5. Position top shock conversion mount over lever shock mounting holes and secure with long bolts provided.
6. Jack up lower A-arm to relieve tension.
7. Remove two 1/2-inch bolts that secure bottom spring plate to rear A-arm one at a time, replacing with longer bolts provided. Use Phillips screwdriver to center holes as required.
8. Position bottom shock conversion bracket on lower A-arm and secure with bolts.
9. Install road wheels and lower car. You're done!
|April 12, 2004 - Got the brake master cylinder installed - took a bit of maneuvering. Whoever did the clutch master was terribly sloppy - only one bolt held the master in, and one bolt held the brake cover on. Naturally the brake light switch broke, but I had another one in the garage. Also got the new grille guard cleaned up and mounted - looks quite nice!|
|April 6, 2004 - Things have been rather wild the past two months. Travel to England, Florida, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina has kept me out of the garage. However, I've managed a few things on the GT. Bought a nice grille guard off of eBay, as well as tube shock conversion kits for the front and rear. The brake master cylinder started to go out, and I had to stop driving it. I have rebuilt a master cylinder and have been working to get it installed. Easier said than done, as usual. I'm better than half done now, and hoping to get the rest of the parts installed this weekend.|
|February 5, 2004 - More annoying electrical problems cropped up a couple of weeks ago - the blower fan quit working, along with the wipers. I checked the in-line fuse and it was good, so I have been tracing the wiring. Replaced some bad connectors, but still had no luck. I kept coming back to the fuse. Today, the computer network went out at the office, so I came home to take advantage of sunny weather. This time I tracked all of the connected wires, and ended up back at the %$#@! fuse. It had always tested good before, but this time, I checked it in the fuse holder. The test light flickered as I moved it. At an angle, the fuse showed good. Straight-in, there was no power. Turned out a plastic shaving from the case had fallen inside the fuse holder and was keeping the fuse from making contact. When I was testing the fuse, it would tilt and make contact! I dug it out with a probe and needle-nose pliers, and everything is working again! Oh - the guy who I thought was going to buy the MGB-GT out from under me at the junkyard? He saw me pulling in to a local store this past weekend and came over to talk. A very nice fellow, as it turns out. He was pleased with what I have done to the car, and glad that someone who could fix it up had bought it.|
|January 15, 2004 - The car developed a nasty habit of dieing at unpredictable times - the tach zeroed out and the car quit as if I had turned off the switch. Playing with the coil and electronic ignition module wires fixed it right away - after buying a new coil, I finally decided that the wires of the old Piranha ignition have started to break down. I redid the original point-type distributor and put it in tonight. So far, no problem with quitting, and the car has better pickup. Lots of other things done - the right front caliper's inner piston was frozen, and dusting the wheel pretty bad. I got new loaded calipers from Advance ($54 each!) and already had hoses. I also have the parts to convert to tube-type shocks in the rear. Put on new polished stainless trim rings, a new grille badge, a Coverlay for the dash. new shift knob, and rerouted the heater hose to the intake manifold preheat setup the way it should be. I have put almost 900 miles on the car since December 24th!|
|January 3, 2004 - The weather wasn't as bad as expected, and I drove the car in to work on December 31 after all. She ran fine with the exception of cold starting - the choke linkage was not advancing the throttle. Also the exhaust was buzzing against a cross-member. I ended up driving the car every day as primary transportation every day since. I have been fixing a lot of the little things - put on the new rear bumper guard rubber caps, replaced the bad C-pillar upholstery panel, removed the old, rusty driving light. And today, I gave her a really good bath and waxed her - made quite a difference. Performance has picked up a lot - the car runs and drives great now.|
|The front shocks are probably shot - I will try adding fluid. Overall, however, the car is a great driver! Mike (the car paint man) is going to show me the tricks on stripping the paint off chemically, and even offered to let me leave the car in his shop while I do it. She will go back to the original color (Harvest Gold?). Maybe in a few months, she'll have new paint!|
|December 23, 2003 - OK - so I -didn't- get her to the office. In fact, the car wouldn't start at all. The alternator has apparently been shirking its duty, and the battery was nearly dead. I had to roll her out into the street, as I had rather optimistically put her in the back of the driveway. Amazingly, Advance Auto had a lifetime warranty alternator on the shelf for $65! I cleaned and painted the pulley and fan, and did some other adjustments. It is going to rain tomorrow, and the next few days will be spent at my parent's or traveling to my sister's, so she won't get tested until Saturday. But as always, I am hopeful!|
|December 22, 2003 - I took the car over to Chip's again a couple of days ago, and the car nearly expired on the way home. A quick check proved that the points had closed up! Odd. So I reset them and the car ran great - until I headed off to my parent's yesterday and the car tried to expire again just a mile from the house. Once more, I made it back, but just barely. Then I remembered similar woes car nut friend and co-worker Greg Bradner had suffered with Red Car - his magnificent 1966 Shelby GT 350. The condenser on the car had gone bad - we spent some time remarking how neither of us had ever had one go bad before. Well, guess what? Turns out the points were overheating due to the bad condenser, which melted the plastic base and let them close up. So tonight, I yanked out the distributor completely and replaced it with a Piranha Electronic Ignition setup. I actually had two of them in the garage. That seems to have cured the ignition problems. I also replaced the heater hoses - original and looking ratty. So tomorrow I try again to drive her - this time to the office.|
|December 16, 2003 - The gas tank turned out to be badly rusted and full of dirt and varnish on the inside. Cleaning and lining the old one costs $150 and takes a week or more. A new tank is a better deal at about $200, but it also takes a week or more. With the Packard due in two days now, I have to come up with another solution. Like the gas tank I put up in the rafters a good ten years ago. Funny how desperation can jog your memory. Amazingly enough, it is the exact tank I need for the 1973! The inside is clean and dry, and after sandblasting and paint, it's as good as new!|
|I got it back in, added gas, and the beast started up with only a little fuss. No more dieing or gasping, and after getting her off the jack and outside, I took her for the first real drive - the 4-mile trek to best friend and fellow MG-oholic's Chip Woolford's home. But the Woolford family was asleep at 9:30 - all the lights were out. The good news here was that the car drove very well - strong brakes, tight suspension and steering, lots of clutch and a tight transmission. The gas gauge is working, as are all the other electrics. The car still stumbles a bit, but this is the first time she's really been driven in ten years. Plus, this is the first time out for the combination of Weber, header, fuel tank, fuel pump, and water pump. It will take some tuning to get it all working together properly. But she's drivable now, and everything looks great!|
|December 15, 2003 - Had to work part of the weekend, but I still managed to get the GT mostly ready. The front carpet is in, and everything is up and running - except for the engine. Fuel supply issues - I replaced the fuel pump, but the problem remained. A glance at the fuel sending unit at right will clue you in on the problem. The car sat for 10 years in storage, and the old gas left a mess. I pulled the tank out rather easily - so far, not one connection or fastener on the car has been corroded or stuck! Believe it or not, the sending unit cleaned up fine, and when I took it apart, there was no corrosion on the inside. Looks like it will work fine - a new one is only $24, but it takes a week to get. I have to get the GT back together before Thursday, when her big older sister (1939 Packard Coupe) comes home after a year and a half of paint and body work!|
|December 10, 2003 - Lots of work done on the car - got the parts in from Moss Motors and the Weber back from Chip. I installed the water pump and Weber, plus new hoses and general cleaning all around. Naturally, the new choke cable is the problem - what should be the easiest job is nearly impossible thanks to big hands and tight spaces. I got the new carpet kit in from Too Intense Restoration - if it fits as good as it looks, I have a real winner! Work and other projects are dragging out things, but I am trying to get a lot of little stuff worked out. Replaced the shifter bushing, interior light, and other small stuff. She's drivable as is, but I plan to get the carpet set in and the choke cable on before she leaves the garage.|
|November 30, 2003 - Had a frustrating day today - the car was missing very badly, and then started dumping fuel into the engine. Did a tune-up, and lost all ignition fire. I usually switch over to a Weber and electronic ignition, so I haven't dealt with the dual carb setup or points in a long time. I replaced the fuse block with a new one, and did a more severe rebuild of the carbs, installing new float valves. Still dumping fuel. My best friend Chip looked at the carbs and determined that the main needle valves were damaged by corrosion. I pulled a spare set of carbs from the garage and put them on. Took another look at the points and realized I had connected the ignition and condenser leads wrong. ::duh:: Once that was done, the car fired right up - and up - and up. The carbs are set way too high, but some adjustment got it down to a reasonable level. The engine sounds very strong, no smoke, all gauges and accessories working - even the British Leyland AM-FM radio! I will probably reclaim my spare Weber setup from Chip's MGA - but I gave him the parts he needs to get the original MGA carbs together. Oh, got the exhaust system done yesterday - looks and sounds good. I also did some cleaning and painting of engine stuff. The car will need a water pump and a few small bits, but all-in-all, she is shaping up very nicely.|
|November 26, 2003 - OK, I was a little optimistic. After replacing the coil, I got the car running on Saturday. Barely. The carbs were gunked up inside and the exhaust down pipe was shot, but I was able to drive the car around the block. The brakes came up on their own after I added fluid to the master cylinder. I sandblasted and painted a set of Roistyles and had new tires mounted Wednesday - I put them on tonight, and have new emblems drying on the center caps. I had a nice ANSA exhaust header which I sandblasted and painted tonight. The carbs got a light overhaul last night, and look good. So far, except for the tires, I have everything the car needs already in the garage!|
|November 17, 2003 - Another accidental discovery ends up in my driveway. My best friend Chip was the one who spotted this 1973 MGB-GT in the 'for sale' area as we were leaving U-Wrench-It salvage yard this past Sunday. Now, finding any MG in a junkyard these days is odd - but after careful examination of every nook and cranny, we discovered that this was something never before seen by human eyes - a RUST FREE MGB!|
Once we got over the shock, we also noticed that the car was undented, and every body panel was as straight as the day it left Abingdon. After checking the interior for signs of Big Foot and the gas tank for the Loch Ness Monster, we went inside to see if this mythological creature really existed. Only to find out that it had just come in and a price wouldn't be assigned until Tuesday. I was given instructions to call after 10 a.m. Chip already has a GT, and is also a responsible father and husband - i.e., his wife would kill him if he brought home another car. So by default, I had clear shot.
|But only with Chip. Evil,
in the form of other interested parties, had already been lurking around
my MG, and I had no doubts others would be lusting after the little GT.
I called on Tuesday at 10, and again at 10:30 when the boss turned out to be
in a meeting. The price was $750. I offered $650, and we agreed
EXCEPT - money talks - the car would not be mine until I was there with the cash. My original plan was to leave early from work and get over to the yard about 4 p.m. However, I had a gut feeling that was a mistake, and packed up at 11:30 for a quick trip home to grab the truck and tow bar and stop by the Credit Union.
|I walked in the front door of
U-Wrench-It at about 12:30, just as a man was walking out towards the MG
saying "Yeah, I was here Sunday, but I couldn't get the hood open."
The yard owner explained that the guy was going out for a final look.
And since he had come before me, he had dibs.
A filthy, disgusting usurper had come to claim MY car! I had to stand there, money in hand, waiting for the guy to make a thorough inspection. I very carefully avoided the area so he wouldn't know there was a vulture circling. When he finally came back in, I braced myself for disappointment. Only to see him walk right by the counter and off into the yard without saying yeah or nay.
The boss shrugged, and said "Sold for $700." The car was mine. The would-be MG thief (at least in my eyes - he probably views me the same way) had gone out to look at another MGB in the yard, probably figuring he could barter if he played it cool. I was hooking up the tow bar when he came back to negotiate.
Why so excited about a 31 year-old car from a junkyard? Well, the GT is my favorite body style, and this one hasd a near-perfect body and glass, decent interior, and nice chrome! Plus, I had a feeling about the car - it was in awfully nice shape throughout, and the fluids were up to the level and clean..
|I called the previous owner
that night, using the name on the title. Turns out he bought the car
new, and the 68K miles on the odometer are original. He drove it as
a fun car in good weather only, logging just 64,000 miles by 1994, when he
had the upper end rebuilt. Shortly afterwards (68K miles), he decided
to put it in storage. He lost his storage recently, and decided that
he wasn't interested in working on the car any more. So he went for
the tax write-off and called the Kidney Foundation. Other than
problems due to the long storage (BAD gas, dirt, fading, etc.) the car had
no problems he was aware of!
As you can see from the photos above, a wash did wonders for the car. The clutch hydraulics are still full up, and the carbs freed up with one tug. They even had oil in the pots! I drained the old gas out tonight despite moderate rain, and will buy a battery tomorrow. I'll flush the lines and add fresh gas, then see what happens. Odds are good that I'll be driving the car this weekend!
Back to Home