Lethal Repairs, Part Two

A steering bracket bolt, cut in two

A very naughty repair

Several years ago the owner of a very spanky Pre-War VA engined MG TA Trials Replica brought it into us for some tidying up.  His major complaints were a severe steering wander, and bad brakes.  A simple brake rebuild cured the latter problem, but the steering issue was two fold.

The first fold was the fact that the car probably pranged a stone wall sometime around 1937 in the heat of a trials contest, opening out the kingpin eye in the front axle.  When we machined & bushed the by now severely oversized king pin axle thru-hole, we had a pretty severe positve camber situation because that long ago accident had also bent the axle, so we fixed it again.

a flywheel with no clutch dowel pins

What's wrong with this picture ?

The secondary, but far more dangerous problem was the loose steering box to frame bracket.  When Butch put a wrench on it, the bolt broke off in his hand.  It was a clean break, because some individual with little apparent regard for human life had found it a difficult fit with the engine in the way and had resorted to cutting the bolt in half ( first picture) center drilling it and running a 10-32 dowel down the middle, an even more outrageous repair than the the Triumph steering coupler from the week before last.  Oh, right, what’s wrong with this picture is that this TR3 flywheel has no dowel pins to positively locate the clutch.  They tend to induce a pretty good engine vibration under these circumstances, so we’re replacing the flywheel.

new & old brake fluid

The Good & The Bad

We go through brake fluid like circus elephants go thru peanuts.  John was in the process of flushing out some grotty old brake fluid last week when I snuck up on his work piece with my camera.  That stuff on the left is lethal to the brake system.  It’s a witches’ brew of moisture, dirt and some residual brake fluid, and it’s death to hydraulic pistons & cylinders.  One more time now:  Change that brake fluid every other year.

Patrick puts the hammer down in a Moggy

Patrick puts the hammer down in a Moggy recently

Monday was a nice day before Tuesday’s ‘dusting to an inch’ of snow.  We had the dusting here, but Butch reported that East Dover got the inch.  Some of it’s still around in the higher elevations such as South Londonderry, which I passed thru earlier today on my way to retrieve an MG in Manchester, Vermont.  Speaking of winter, I did the 5,000 mile service on my winter beater MGB GT (with four studded snow tires) over the past weekend.  The lights have been checked, the chassis lubed, and the brakes adjusted.  I’m good to go, although I’m hoping it won’t be for awhile.

Post Script:  This is our 150th consecutive weekly newsletter

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