An MGA Gives Up its Secret

Red MGA 1500

HDR43 42624

Once upon a time, not so long ago, I handed over $500.00 in cash for an MGA and drove it home.  Incredible as it sounds now, I paid about twice what the car was worth.  When I see one on the road these days I always think to myself, “this is where I came in”.  We’ve not seen a superabundance of them this year, and right now we’re being clobbered with Austin Healeys.

Force bleeding an MGA clutch master cylinder

Force bleeding an MGA clutch master cylinder

The tandem master cylinders in MGA’s are often the devil’s work to get operative again after an overhaul.  Because we have some suspicions about the accuracy of the currently available service kits, we always bench bleed the cylinder before re-installing it in the car, and even then they can still be a struggle.  I was able to get the brake side working without a large amount of trouble, but the clutch side  challenged my sanity.

Illustrated above is a technique we use when the pistons won’t return in the bores.  It’s pretty simple: Just take out the front bolt and loosen the back bolt so you can swing the cylinder up to a convenient working angle and stuff your slotted screw driver (that’s the one that isn’t a Phillips) into the piston and work it up and down the bore, twisting it radially as you go.

You can bleed off the brake & clutch hydraulics completely by this method if your arm doesn’t fall off.

MGA spare key still fixed to the heater

Secret Revealed: click for detail

That’s my secret.

Now here’s the secret referenced above:  Look carefully just below the heater box side clip, and, Et Voila !   It’s the spare key still secured by the heater box hold down screw !   Now how many times (MGB’s don’t count) have you seen that ?

Butch preps a TR3 fuel tank for installation

Butch preps a TR3 fuel tank for installation

While I was having my ego flattened by a 55 year old MG, and John was at East Coast Collision & Restoration sorting out a recalcitrant TR6, Butch was making steady progress reassembling yet another recently painted TR3.

While we’re skipping a few degrees of detail, this car makes no pretentions about the show field, it will still have a tidy

TR3 in opalescent silver grey

TR3 in a 'one off' opalscent silver grey. Click for detail

mechanical appearance as well as a new wiring harness and some other general freshening up.   Soon, however, it will be yielding the floor to this season’s major undertaking…    More about this later on.

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