A Cold and Busy Week

Butch welds up a broken brake hold down bracket

Butch welds up a broken brake hold-down bracket

An Alberta Clipper is making its presence known  here.  The outdoor thermometer needle is bouncing off zero (it’s 48 degrees here in my office right now) with a fierce wind that is propelling the wind chill well into the minus numbers and making the needle bounce.  Winter in Vermont.  That small distraction not withstanding we’ve managed to get some work done this week, but only one roadtest because it’s been so cold.

We finished up with the red MG TD Monday. The picture is of Butch welding up a broken brake hold down spring bracket.  Indications are that it had been broken for a long time.  I’ve never been able to gauge their actual importance.  These cars still seem to stop fine without ’em and the front drum brakes don’t even use them because of the twin leading shoe arrangement.

John & Steve prep a rebuilt MGB engine for installation

John & Steve prep a rebuilt MGB engine for installation

But they were part of the design specification for a reason, so we just do what we gotta’ do.

On Monday John and Steve installed the fresh engine in the MGB.  We’ve been kind of unhappy with the girly feeling AP Borg & Beck MGB clutches currently being supplied.  Give me a break !   I mean this is a sports car not a Toyota Corolla.  So this MG now has an AP Racing clutch installed which feels like the MGB clutches used to feel. If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can see the white alignment marks on the clutch cover and flywheel.  This is a fully balanced engine

running up a fresh engine

Initial run up

Tuesday we ran it up for the first time.  We have a strict protocal around initial start ups.  First we oil prime the engine by pushing it backward in 4th gear while pouring oil down the outlet to the filter on the right side  of the cylinder block.  Then we crank it with the spark plugs out so as not to put a compression load on the bearings and when oil pressure starts to register on the gauge we put the plugs back in and start it up. We run the engine for three minutes (or until the temperature gauge starts to register) at between about 1800 & 2500 rpms.  Then we shut it down and let everything heat soak for another five minutes and retorque the cylinder head and readjust the valves.  Radiator cap loose, of course.

Sourcing a used MGB front shock

Searching for front shocks in the MGB graveyard

Next step is a quickie-carburetor balance, a double check on fluids and out on the road to the Putney turnaround & back, followed by another retorque and valve adjustment.  That was it for roadtesting this week, it was not pleasant with the temperature hovering around 12 degrees.

In the midst of all this Steve and I have also been working on inventory which is endless drudgery, although sometimes we end up finding something interesting.  In my case it was a servicable front shock for my blue MGB GT taken from a parts car last weekend before winter boxed us in.

MGB GT, series 1 E-type, Morgan +4

5:00 Thursday: Our shop is not glamorous but the work is interesting

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