Two Steps Ahead of The Weather

Am MGB retrieved on dry roads

An MGB retrieved on dry roads

If the weather forecasters are to be believed New England is in for a mighty big snowstorm.  We’ll see.  Last week we had a mighty big rainstorm which left the roads just as clean as they are in August and that set up the opportunity to hustle the red MG TD back to Boxford, Massachusetts and hike an hour into Maine to retrieve the black MGB  which can be seen here with John about to pull it off the trailer.  The dusting to an inch of snow came overnight while the car, truck & trailer were sitting safely in the barn.

fender covers bolstered by terry cloth towels

Soft paint means extra protection

We’re trying to figure out why this car has absolutely no heat.  It’s a puzzling matter.  We pulled out the heater assembly and put a new foam rubber A/C gasket around it so that no cold air can bypass the heater core, and we also replaced the completely obstructed Smith’s heater valve with no result.  Baffling.  What we do know is that the engine was overhauled by a New Hampshire machine shop that we’ve had to clean up after several times in the past, so we’re just wondering…

Prepping the Europa engine for removal

Patrick sets up his lifting tackle on the Lotus

Meanwhile Patrick was getting a move on downstairs with the late Lotus Europa Twin Cam.  It’s a car that’s been off the road for more than 20 years, many of them spent outside.  Because of our strong suspicions about the drivetrain It seemed like a wise precaution to haul it out and have a look at things.  The clutch bell housing had become a happy home for mice and the clutch itself was well and truly stuck to the flywheel.  Not an unusual state of affairs under the circumstances.  The engine did in

Patrick mounts the Lotus engine to the stand

Then mounts the Europa engine to the stand

fact turn, something of a surprise really, although it was pretty grotty on the inside.  The valves on #4 cylinder must have spent a long time in the open position because although the rings came off numbers 1, 2 & 3 pistons readily enough, they were deeply corroded onto piston #4 which is now soaking in a releasing agent.

Additionally, there is evidence of a previous repair, we’re guessing a dropped valve in #2 cylinder based on the beating that the cylinder head and piston have obviously taken, and we’d say the subsequent cylinder wall hone job makes the truly awful cylinder finish on 50’s & 60’s Jaguars look absolutely first class by comparison, but we can fix that !

So it’s back to work in the morning.  Butch is soldiering on with the early 3.8 E-type pictured here last week, while John is now attending to the green 1970 series 2.  Steve is still slogging thru inventory while I crunch those numbers and try to parse out their meaning.

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