I have finally decided to come out of the closet and admit that I AM
ADDICTED! I need to find the local chapter to start meetings. I can't pass
up an MG in distress and I AM ADDICTED. And what's worse is my wife
encourages my addiction! I currently have a yard full of MGs, but what do I
do, yup, buy another one.
It all started peacefully Monday evening as I'm reading the newspaper and
see an ad for a 1980 MGB, low mileage, needs tires, $600. Sounds
interesting, but I really don't need another MG. I'm in the middle of
restoring a 1974 MGB for my wife, and we just recently bought a 1966 MG 1100
that I'm trying to get running for Rendezvous 2001. However, it did say low
mileage, and only $600, maybe I should just give him a call. No, I'll
refrain, but I mention it to my SO. She says to give them a call and see,
it can't hurt (famous last words). So I call. The person on the other end
of the line (Tommy) informs me he sold it (whew), but (there's always a
but), the buyer got about 10 miles away and it was smoking so he is bringing
it back. You mean it even runs I ask? Yes he says, now I'm hooked. Tommy
says when the guy gets back he'll let me know what happens and if I don't
hear to give him a call tomorrow. Well nothing else develops that evening
so next day I call. (See I'm addicted) Tommy informs me he did in fact get
the car back and it was still for sale. I arrange to go look at it Tuesday
evening. I arrive and there it is, carmine red, or something close. First
impression looks pretty good, seems all the parts are there, drivers side
front fender has surface some surface. The top is in excellent condition,
no rust at all in the rockers or floors, none. Now I know it's got to be
mine. Well let's start it up, it eventually starts, but idles pretty high
(still has the water choke). Tommy tells me the guy from the previous night
brought it back because it was smoking out of the oil fill cover. I look
and the cover is broke in half and just setting there. It seems to be
running pretty good, but as it warms up it starts smoking out the oil fill
cover. Seems like a lot of smoke, so out comes the compression gauge. I
tell Tommy that if the compression is good I'll take it. #1, 120 psi,
great; #2 60 psi oops, #3 60 psi, oops again; #4 120. Oh well I tell Tommy,
but lets just shoot a little oil into #2 and see what happens, now it's
about 130. Seems like rings, the car has been sitting for about a year and
a half he tell me. He didn't change the oil, filters or anything, just
added gas and started it. Oh well, I head home without the car, see I can
I tell the wife about it and she says I should buy it, but I tell her, I
don't need another project right now. But she says "it runs and the body is
excellent". How do you fight this??? Anyway, I take all my will power and
say NO! Off I go to the garage to work on the 1100 some more.
Next day I'm at work telling a friend about it and he says, "the frozen
rings are no problem, just put a little kerosene in the cylinders and it'll
free those rings right up". Oh no, now I don't have an excuse. To make an
already long story shorter, I end up calling and telling Tommy I'll take the
car. There I said it and it's done.
My SO takes me to pick up the car, we have about a 5 mile drive home.
Brakes are pretty soft, going almost to the floor before they have much
effect. That's ok, I'll just stay a ways back. Everything is going fine
until I'm about a mile from the house. I stop to make a turn, and sure
enough, smoke is rolling out of the hood. Did I mention, there is no cover
on the battery? Well all that smoke found it's way into the car with me.
As I take off it looks like a steam locomotive is driving down the road.
Smoke rolling out of the open windows, smoke rolling out from under the
hood, smoke rolling out from everywhere. Did I mention that after the
previous buyer brought the car back, Tommy figured he'd take the valve cover
gasket off since it appeared cracked and dirty? Well let me tell you,
between the blow by in the crankcase and the dirty old oil running down all
sides of the engine, there was LOTS of smoke. I arrived home and
immediately opened the hood and grabbed the fire extinguisher, just in case.
Well nothing happened, and my wife eventually made it out back where I had
parked the car. There I was grinning from ear to ear and said, "See it made
it home with no problems, just a little smoke".
I'M ADDICTED AND I LOVE IT. Where did I put the Marvel Mystery Oil? I'll
get this on the road in no time. (famous last words)
1974 MGB in restoration
1974 MGB parts car
1974 MG Midget, with spare body shell, next for restoration
1966 MG 1100 almost ready to try starting
1980 MGB 'Old Smoky' runs
1971 TR6, the only one of the bunch I can drive!!!!!!
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