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Re: Previous posting / 73 B Rebuild

To: Allen Bachelder <>
Subject: Re: Previous posting / 73 B Rebuild
From: "John M. Trindle" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 1995 22:30:20 +0000
I received your message twice (as you should this one) so I think the 
list is working now.

Did you have that head magnafluxed when you had the seats and valves 
done?  I did and am hoping a crack didn't sneak by.

The adventure continues!

I pulled the carbs and manifolds to get at the breather tappet cover... a 
real pain but worth about 2 hours on Tuesday morning before work.  I used 
RTV gasket former to goop up the cover, as the rectangular rubber "O" 
ring would NOT fit... it had herniated the bottom front corner into the 
hole in the block, and that's where all the oil was coming from.  Anyway, 
I gooped it up and put it back on... twice, since now the bolt holding it 
on needed spacer washers since the thickness of the rubber seal was gone.

Drive down the road merrily... no smoke! (It was >very< consistant about 
when it smoked and when it didn't).  I pull into our county office 
building complex to get my tax stickers for the cars, and there is 
>liquid< dripping >rapidly< from under the engine... Aaargh!

I go in to pay my sticker fees, and come out, certain of mass destruction 
(oil spewing out, gaah).  Turns out it is coolant and I have a slightly 
weak radiator cap (and no recovery jar).  Whew!

Drive it to work, no problem! (yay).  Drive it to the parts store for a 
choke cable and radiator cap (30 miles)... no problem!  to the Mall... no 
problem (get the picture? <g>).

On the way back home, after the sun has set, I make it down the 
interstate about 15 miles... when.... Bambambambambambam!  Backfiring 
every revolution and almost no power...  I nurse it to the next exit, and 
to a 7-11 parking lot.  I park in front of the dumpster and it DIES 
COMPLETELY.  No starter crank or anything.

I piddle with it long enough to figure out I won't fix it in the dark, 
and call my girlfriend (true owner of the Spitfire) and give up for the 
evening... (oh, and I pushed it away from the dumpster... no use asking 
for a tragic misunderstanding on the part of the disposal company...)

This morning I drive down the 15 miles with the RX and a set of jumper 
cables...  I find various shorts in my horn wiring (a recurrent 
problem.... #@###% crimp connectors)... battery still has plenty of juice 
when not pushing a short (after about 10 minutes of charging from the RX).

Anyhow, to make a long story a smidgen shorter, it all became clear when 
I removed the valve cover.  #5 valve (#3 cylinder intake, I think) had 
about 1.00" (one inch) of lash...  The adjuster lock nut had backed off 
and taken the adjuster most of the way with it.  Back to 0.015" and away 
we go!

Car works great all day.  Then on the way home.... <g>....

Well, suffice it to say that one of York County's finest pointed out that 
my taillights were wired almost completely wrong.  At least that's 
something I can fix in the dark.  Thank goodness he didn't offer me a 
ticket, although he did offer to shoot me when I jumped out of the car, 
initially (hey, there's no dome light in a convertible, I thought he'd 
like to see me).

Don't wire your taillight circuit to the turn signal... the LEOs don't 
like bright yellow taillights.. (and no visible brake lights).

John M. Trindle     | | Tidewater Sports Car Club
'73 MGB E Stock     | '69 Spitfire E Stock | '88 RX-7 C Stock
Home Page:
"Sometimes there's not enough rocks - Forrest Gump"

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