On The Road Again

MGB on test


Late in the summer I trundled down to Rumson, New Jersey to retrieve a 1965, give or take, MGB which had been sitting in a heated garage since about 1985.

Thirty years of solitude will effect a toll on a piece of machinery, and although conditions for a long term hibernation were favorable, we still went completely thru the fuel & ignition systems as well as the brakes, which are now fully relined and rebuilt, as well rebushing the front suspension and replacing the king pins, which we do by exchanging the stub axle assemblies complete.

It’s sort of a cliche, of course, but once we got it out on the road the car felt as if it had just been put away the night before.  There are still a few floating gremlins.  What you’re reading on the tachometer isn’t engine abuse, the car was in 4th gear.  Very high tach readings are endemic to early MGB’s with electric tachometers.  When they show up we just exchange them for a rebuilt instrument.  We keep them on the shelf both as positive ground units , and also converted for negative ground.

Jaguar XKE

E-type on test

Also this week your scribe had an early E-type in his service bay which by now should be familiar to regular readers of these notes.  This car still has plenty of go, it’s current malady was a lack of stop.  Fifty plus years had finally caught up with the upper (rear) master cylinder through which Castrol GT LMA brake fluid was cascading pretty freely.

We have a connundrum with cars like this.  Normally when we work with brakes and front ends and lots of other stuff, we strip and clean the component and then run it thru the bead blast cabinet and chase the results with an application of primer and paint.

3.8 litre E-type engine

Pumpkin Orange

That’s a tougher call on cars like this where our primary consideration after safety is preserving originality, which this car has in abundance.  So in this case honing and a trip thru the immersion cleaner is more than enough enough physical remediation.  You can see this brake master in the lower left center of the photo just ahead of the Clayton Dewandre servo.  This is post- rebuild, the fact identifiable by the now shiny-looking Dunlop aluminum I.D. band.

BTW:  This is the original, untouched engine in this car.  If anyone would like to whack away at the reason why the cylinder head isn’t painted gold we have a free oil filter awaiting a correct answer.

V12 jaguars

Barn clean out

Patrick and I hoe’d out the barn over the weekend and juggled a few cars around.  We’re making space for the anticipated winter influx of longer term work that always starts showing up around this time of year.  I snapped this picture as he was pulling out this fairly rare black two door XJ coupe, which is running on the battery from the green two door coupe also in the picture.

These very special fuel injected XJ’s started showing up in 1975, but not until the side windows would go up & down at 100 miles per hour, according to the Norman Dewis who was Jaguar’s chief test engineer from January 1, 1952 onwards.

If there was ever a more handsome rear profile for a big four seater, I’ve yet to see it.

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