Short Note Before The British Invasion of Stowe

Butch installs E-type bal joints

Butch in a familiar position

I’m afraid I missed the major photo opportunity of the week Monday morning, which was an MGB clutch hose with a severe aneurysm.  When the clutch pedal was applied, the 40 year old clutch hose on the 40 year old MGB would blow up like a balloon just below the frame bracket.  Clutch operation was sluggish as you can well imagine.  R&R clutch hose is a tedious repair on an MGB (but not so on an MGA which uses the same slave cylinder & hose) and it is best helped along with a crow’s foot wrench.  The repair was successful, which left time for a full lubrication and examination of the brake cylinders and linings.  The R/H outer caliper piston was beginning to seize but we futured that repair until after the British Invasion.

U-joint zerk fitting

restricted access

driveshaft bolt removed

The work-around

While it was nice to see new universal joints with zerk fittings in the driveshaft, it was unfortunate that the installing technician didn’t give due consideration to future servicing.  At the front the zerk was accessable only with our NAPA grease gun extender for tight places.   At the back access was gained by removing the adjacent driveshaft bolt, all of which were installed the wrong way around. A trifling matter.

two master cylinder pushrods

Not close enough for government work

If you’re gonna replace thhe clutch hose, you might as well service the clutch linkages, right ?   As was no surprise, there was a huge amount of wear in the clutch master cylinder pushrod, clevis and clutch pedal.  I welded up the clutch pedal & re-drilled it and replaced the pushrod with its now football-shaped hole with a new one.  Unfortunately, because much of the british aftermarket now operates on the lowest common denominator model the pushrod clevis was too small for clutch pedal.

To solve this problem on a temporary basis I pulled one off a genuine Lockheed replacement clutch master cylinder (not Chinese) and reported my findings and this picture to the California-based vendor, which elicited this response:  “I tried it on a car here.  It is admittedly snug but it fit.  I noted that as I tried it on different places on the pedal arm the fitment changed.  The pedal arm is doubtless not uniform.”  with 1/16th of an inch of interference “snug” is the operative word.

Innocenti Mini

Motoring journalist Dave La Chance

In other struggles this week I took a call from the owner of the MG TD with the formerly dropped valve to say that the car’s performance after the repair was falling off.  I retrieved it from Pernkinsville. Vermont, and based on his description of the problem took a guess and replaced the coil which resulted in a wonderous restoration of power.  Meanwhile in the first picture Butch can be seen wrestling ball joints into yet another E-type Jaguar, and lastly, HMN journalist Dave LaChance was here Friday morning to snap a few photos of the Innocenti Mini before it departs.  At the the time this picture was taken the odometer reading stood at 17,017 kilometers, believed by your scribe to be correct.

At the time

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