Current work in the shop includes the Austin Healey 3000 BN7 two seater restoration which should be running in a week, the MGC with all the marbles, built up by MGC Tony during the Dot.Com boom of the ’90’s (with an engine built up by us), the 1953 one family MG TD seen here with John in the process of changing the radiator hoses for the first time in more than 20 years, and a long door TR2 with a chronic vibration problem which appears to be a bent right rear hub. That’s what’s upstairs.
Chris and I have been working downstairs, where I finished pulling down the early MGA bottom end seen here. Of particular interest, at least to me, is the early oil pump arrangement, which is immediately identifiable by the oil pick up strainer, most MGA’s use the same strainer as found in all 3 main & 5 main bearing MGB’s. This is a previously rebuilt engine, which can be judged by the shiny, but retrograde 5 ring pistons which have an additional oil control ring around the
skirt, a bad idea if ever there was one. We believe the 2nd oil control ring wiped the cylinder wall dry and caused the engine failure in the Elva which we’re temporarily re-powering right now.
The main bearing caps of BMC “A”, “B” & “C” series engines (Sprite/Midget, MGA/MGB, 4&6 cylinder big Healeys) are housed entirely within the cylinder block, and those caps are a press-fit. Life became much easier about 25 years ago when I was able to acquire an
Austin-Healey main bearing cap puller, Churchill tool # 18G 42A, which, with adaptors fabricated in-house, also pulls other MG & even Triumph bearing caps.
Pictured here is a formerly clapped-out 1972 MGB bottom end with a new set of piston rings & con-rod bearings, plus a used Piper 270 degree cam with a set of AE cam followers. Holding it down is a cast-off Paeco gas flowed MGB cylinder head, originally delivered with MGA valves installed. It’s painted grey, with Austin I.D. plates. That should give us plausible deniability.
We’re hoping it’ll run long enough to get Mike Drew to the British Invasion of Stowe next month. Maybe over the winter we’ll be able to build him up a real engine.