Automotive Hibernation

The Thanksgiving Holiday provides a convenient line of demarcation between the driving season and the off-season for our british sportscars.  Here in Vermont, this event has been punctuated by a heavy snowfall on the Tuesday night before the Holiday.

Our Westminster locale, I believe, is approximately 800 feet above sea level, but Butch & Steve live on the leaward side of the ski areas, Mount Snow & Okemo Mountain respectively, so the first topic of conversation Wednesday morning was ‘how much’ ?   In our valley it was around five inches, Butch reported nine, but Steve blew us all in the weeds with 14″ of snow in Ludlow.

Steve preps an MG TD for winter storage

Steve preps a TD for Winter Storage. Click to Enlarge

We have noted with some amusement that according to their  Holiday Sales Flier, our California Cousins at Moss Motors seem to believe that February marks the end of the winter salt season in the Northern U.S.  Well Dudes, I’m putting you on notice that I have a picture of Warner stuck on the manure pile in six inches of snow on Memorial Day with the lilacs in full bloom !   The last significant snow falls around here occur by  the end of April.

There is a large body of instruction as to how to put a car up for storage.  In the accompanying picture, Steve is topping off and correcting the coolant strength in this MG TD Tuesday morning.  Close observation will also show that he’s topped off the fluid in the brake master cylinder as well.  That’s a bottle of  Castrol GTLMA brake fluid on  the ground by the left front wheel.

Our protocal is very simple: Add fuel stabilizer, take a ten mile run, pump the tires up to 4o p.s.i. disconnect the  battery and cover the car.  A wash & vacuum are always a plus

An MG TD goes to bed for the winter

An MG TD prepped for storage is entering hibernation.

If your storage is damp, we’d recommend a car bubble with an air circulator.  Under those circumstances, some Marvel Mystery Oil thru the spark plug holes would be a good idea, too.

The TD is keeping company  between my XK 140 and an MGC.  We’ll revisit it periodically with the air tank and the battery charger to keep things up to snuff.

John has been overhauling the most worn out clutch we’ve encountered in 25 years, not only have the rivets holding the friction lining to the disc worn thru on both sides, they’ve also chewed a 3/32″ deep trench in the flywheel, renderering it junk, effectively.  The owner asked us to change out the 2nd gear baulk ring (or “synchro” ring as it’s commonly known), so I stripped down the gearbox for access to the 2nd gear synchronizer assembly, and as soon as I pulled the layshaft, the semi-caged needle roller bearings deposited themselves in the bottom of the TX main housing.  This is an indication of wear.

An early MGB 2nd gear synchro hub assembly

2nd Gear Synchro Hub Assembly with a Visitor From Another Transmission. Click to Enlarge

This is the 2nd gear synchro assembly for an MGB, which features a late steel baulk ring, but not from this gearbox, as it has a three bearing cluster gear, not the four bearing gear of the late ’67  TX.  These steel baulk rings are pretty much bullet proof, you can judge this by the relative lack of wear on the three outer ears, which are the initial contact point when 2nd gear is engaged.  The inner hub on the right, interestingly, has a partially broken tooth, the result, I suspect, of the fact that the hub had to be pressed off the mainshaft  because it didn’t slide like it needed to, the probable cause of  the owner’s complaint.

The operating principal of any 3 synchro transmission, doesn’t matter if it’s an MG or your XK 120, is that as the shift fork pushes the outer hub toward 2nd, the blocker teeth in the MG synchro ring, or swedged onto 2nd gear in the case of a Moss Box, create enough early friction to alter the speed of the gear to avoid crunching the synchronizer outer hub onto the short dog teeth of the gear.

John & Steve work on rear brakes

Synchronicity: John & Steve work on rear brakes

Slide the outer hub in the other direction and you engage the spur gear outer teeth directly with the cluster gear, and, Et Voila! first gear, which, because it’s straight cut, is always a little whiny, unlike the helical-cut 2nd, 3rd & 4th.

Butch is still deep in the assembly of an Austin Mini panel van, which we’ll report out about later on.  Having just changed-out the very wobbly clutch shaft & pedal bushings from this MG TD, Steve is seen here bleeding off the brakes while John replaces rear wheel cylinders as he waits for me to produce a transmission to finish his clutch job.

Thanksgiving greetings go out to you

Wayne & Devon round up the Holstein heiffers

Wayne (pictured) & Devon drive the Holstein heiffers down from the upper pasture Wednesday morning to feed them

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