Saturday afternoon my MGB GT stalled abruptly out on the Westminster West Road, and I coasted into a farmer’s barnyard for a perfunctory look under the hood. No spark. It was close enough to walk home, so I wandered into the milking parlor and asked if it would be O.K. if I left it there for a while. I was dressed for it, of course. You’re a fool if you venture out in the wintertime dressed otherwise. It’s been a good car, so I gave it one last try, and wouldn’t you know it ? the old warrior started up.
Sunday morning it wouldn’t start at all, but a close inspection of the ignition system revealed the cause: a rust-out on the bottom of the coil drained it’s liquid medium, a condition known as “No Juice”.
It’s kind of unusual to run across an unmolested Mini Cooper “S”, even more so in this case because the odometer is reading around 34,000 miles, and it carries a set of 1974-issued Maine plates. Judging by the general lack of wear, the milage is almost certainly genuine.
Patrick got it running with a condensor and a new set of points, but not for very long , because with no oil pressure showing either on the gauge, or around the cylinder head, he shut it down before it made any of the expensive noises. We consulted with the owner, who said, “Take it out and fix it !”. O.K. Can Do.
Last week Steve was breaking down another MG TD and Friday afternoon with a little help from Patrick and John, off came the body tub. Patrick has already stripped the engine, and I hauled the chassis frame and body panels up to East Coast Collision & Restoration Wednesday. Today they were at work on it.
There’s quite a bit going on up at E.C.C&R, too. Go to our “links” page and log on to their website to have a look at what’s happening in ‘Their Week at The Shop’.
This is the second XPAG engine Patrick’s stripped in a week. An MGA 1500 with a broken crankshaft is on the yellow engine stand, and on the floor next to it is an MGC.
Directly behind him is the gear set from a four synchro Jaguar transmission, with a damaged mainshaft. The damage is to the hardening on the nose of the shaft where it is supported on the input needle roller bearings.
You can buy a new one of uncertain parentage for around $1000.00, but we have it out for repair, which is to hard chrome and regrind it.
George Borg apprenticed under his father Carl at John Deere and hated it. Marshall Beck was a lawyer with a mechanical aptitude. Working together they developed the most widely used automotive clutch design in the world, which is still the standard by which all other power transmission clutches are judged. You can buy a cheaper clutch, and some of them are very good, but not all of them. Sports Car Services uses only Borg & Beck clutches, and stocks them for everything from a Bug Eye Sprite to a V12 Jaguar. We’ll change your Sprite clutch in a day, but give us a week, please, with your E-type.
A Jaguar 10″ clutch is a heavy duty replacement clutch for an Austin Healey 3000 (except BJ8, which is a 9.5″ diaphram clutch). All it takes to make the conversion is the Healey graphite release bearing, which has just a little more offset than the Jaguar bearing.
Warner lowered the engine and new side shift transmission into the Healey 3000 two seater late Wednesday afternoon. There are bags of room with the sheetmetal off the front of the car ,which makes it a very easy job. It’s a little more fiddly when everything’s there, but the only time we haul the engine out of an Austin Healey is when we’re doing engine work, because to get at the clutch you pull the TX thru the passenger compartment.
We’re storny busy right now, but if there’s something you’ve been putting off, please don’t put off that e-mail or phone call too much longer if you’ve got springtime motoring on your mind.
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