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Re: [MG-MGB] Help with MGB purchase

To: <>, <>
Subject: Re: [MG-MGB] Help with MGB purchase
From: "Paul Hunt" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 16:28:32 +0100
That's a little harsh.  I saw the message, but at the time was too tired to
give a fulsome reply and expected someone else to do so.  I'm surprised no one
did, except the one 'cryptic' response which looked like copy and paste didn't
work or it had been filtered out by something.

G means 'MG'
H means engine between 1400 and 2000
N means roadster
U means North American spec
J means 1978 model year
447626 dates to between Sep 77 (but still a 78 model) and Oct 77, closer to
the former
G means assembled at Abingdon

Engine 18V883AEL is USA (not California), catalyst, no overdrive, produced
from Jun 76 to Oct 80, for car numbers 4100001 to 523002, engine numbers 101
to 50984.

So far so good, everything matches.

Weber is a PO fit, opinions vary as to whether it adds anything to an SU
equipped car, but then it would have replaced the single Zenith.

But the mileage is very low, 2nd (or more) time round?  Interior is par for
the course for being used or kept outside in lots of sun.  Either it *has*
gone round the clock, or has been left outside for long periods with little

Body condition is everything, sill (and associated panel) replacement is a big
job if the rust is coming form the inside.  External spotting would be
unusual, I'd have thought, unless regularly sprayed with gravel and left in
the rain.

With no battery you can tell nothing about the engine.  Clean oil means
nothing, it could have been full of water and hence corrosion until the day
before you looked at it.  Generally mechanical and electric things are
relatively easy and cheap to put right, although with something that hasn't
been used for a very long time, like this may have been, you will probably be
looking at replacing all the hydraulic rubbers, tyres, clutch could be stuck,
brakes stuck, discs rusty (?) etc.  Crank with the plugs out to get oil
pressure before starting, could have drained back and the pump lost its prime
if standing a long time, wouldn't want to fire it up like that.  Could be all
sorts of issues with ignition, bad fuel, stuck float valves etc.

$2k could be reasonable for a runner, too much for a long-term storer needing
a lot of fiddly work to get it roadworthy again, but a bargain after that if
it is a good'un.


  ----- Original Message -----

  Shall I tell my friend that the MGB folks don't have a clue what to look for
  when buying a used one? Or that they just don't care to help a new B owner?

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