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Re: Looking for opinions/advice

To: Greg Bass <>
Subject: Re: Looking for opinions/advice
From: Stuart MacMillan <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 14:45:02 -0700
The B engine is a good one to cut your teeth on as a first rebuild
project.  Besides the Haynes (the Bentley is useless here for the
novice) two other good resources are the engine rebuild video Moss
sells, and John Twist's tech manual
(, scroll to the bottom of
the page), which has a very thorough discussion of the rebuild process.

I would still send the unit to a machine shop for evaluation.  Pay them
to hot tank it (you can disassemble it if you want), and measure
everything up.  Then you can decide if you want to hone the cylinders or
rebore them, if the crank can be reused with just a polish, if the
bearing seats are round or need to be resized, and if the rod ends are
round or need resizing/rebushing. Also have him install a new set of cam
bearings.  Have him evaluate the head and valves as well.  This way you
pay only for what needs to be done, and you do the assembly.  Buy new
pistons and rings, regrind the cam, install new lifters and bearings,
new timing chain and tensioner, and new seals and gaskets.  Check the
oil pump for wear and replace if necessary.  Clean everything up and
paint with the correct color, dark red or black. 

You'll get a good, long lasting engine at the least cost. 

The '65's engine was my first ever rebuild, and for the same reason as
you.  I did all of the above, and assembled it on top of an old sewing
machine table.  I highly recommend that you get an engine stand from
Harbor Freight:

I just replaced that engine last summer after 120,000 miles and 29 years
of service.  It was still running fine, oil pressure was still 60 psi at
speed with zero oil consumption, but the compression was getting a bit
low.  I may just re-ring her and keep her for a spare!
Stuart MacMillan

'84 Vanagon Westfalia w/2.1
'65 MGB (Daily driver since 1969)
'74 MGB GT (Restoring sloooowly)

Personal mechanic for:
'70 MGB GT (Daughter's)

Assisting on Restoration (and spending OPM):
'72 MGB GT (Was daughter's, now son's)
'64 MGB (Son's)

Stripped and gone but their parts live on:
'68 MGB, '73 MGB, '67 MGB GT

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