A Bracken MGB

Bracken MGB

'76 MGB in its original Bracken livery

Our neighbor Norm Wright found this 1976 MGB in Manchester, Vermont, still resplendid in its original bracken paint, but needing a clutch, tires  and some other titivation.  Speaking strictly personally, I’m kind of partial to some of the colors seemingly left by the wayside such as this car displays, like, say any MGA still wearing, or at least close to, it’s original Alamo Beige.  Most recently, we changed out the brake master cylinder, and hey, it goes pretty good.

Late MGB master cylinder

Master cylinder extraction

New master cylinder in a late MGB

Master cylinder installation

Later MGB master cylinders with their PDWA switch and three brake lines can be kind of a fiddly installation, and creating good access makes the job much easier.  ALWAYS start the brake lines by hand before using a wrench.  We begin with the one on the bottom before we even slide it over the brake servo studs, and use Vice Grips GENTLY to help line up the other two pipes.  If you’re not sure about whether the servo has turned into a brake fluid sump for a leaky master cylinder, undo the vacuum line from the manifold and use it as a putative drain pipe.

Take special note of the wet paper towel (brake fluid is the solvent for paint, and water the solvent for brake fluid) and the fluorescent drop light which can’t become an ignition source for the fuel in the carburetor.

A taillight wiring maze

What's wrong with this picture ?

In other MGB news, Reilly has been sorting thru some diverse issues with a 1972 MGB of generally good character.  One of the items for attention was tracing the source of a very hot fuse protecting functions which are switched thru the ignition like the wipers & turn signals.  We call it the “green” fuse.

The first obvious fault was the installation of a 35 amp Parts Store fuse.  The correct Lucas-style fuse allows a 35 amp surge, but only 17 amps continuously, (17/35).  However the ultimate culprit, pictured above, was in the trunk.  A black wire (always ground) plugged into the snap connector for the brake lights, which are of course green wires and therefore hot when the brake light switch is on.

Very dirty wheel bearings

It's 2014. when were your wheel bearings serviced ?

Sticking calipers were another complaint.  Dealing with calipers is made a whole lot easier if you first remove the brake pads and then pump the pistons out against the brake rotors.  Sometimes they’ll pull out at that point, but when they don’t we center drill & tap the pistons and use a hex bolt as an extractor.

It’s also considered to be good etiquette to clean & repack the front wheel bearings at the same time.  We’re guessing these wheel bearings were last serviced some time around 1980.

This MGB is due back in Washington, Vermont this weekend, and from there we’re off to Stowe to recover a very spanky series 2 E-type.  Stay tuned.

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