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All Manner of (Long) Rantings

Subject: All Manner of (Long) Rantings
From: (NewEdge IAS)
Date: Fri, 29 Dec 1995 12:24:42 -0400
Greetings all from Canada's Atlantic coast! It's about -1 C, clear skies,
and after the amazing amount of snow that fell over the holidays, it's
actually very pretty. Too bad the roads are messy & salty, 'cause it'd be a
great day for an MG drive. The rather large snowbank across the garage
driveway is also a preventative is a certain degree of
sensibility...still, it would be nice. I'm envious of MG friends on this
list in California, Australia and other sunnier climes.

What was all that commotion over the 17-year old gent's comments? Each is
entitled to their own opinion - even if it doesn't match others. (I did
disagree with his rather stern tone about the cars, but the guy IS 17 - and
into MGs so, let's all lighten up and be thankful that a younger person has
found solice in the magic of MG!) Once our friend has a few more decades
under the proverbial belt, perhaps a mortgage, coupla kids, career - the
fact that the car is simplicity personified will more appealing to him. I
just think it's great that someone born practically at the end of the MGB
production has found their way to the octagon!

I'm patiently waiting for the holidays to pass so I can get on with arrival
of the engine/OD I found via the 'net. The engine's destined for my '77.
Since September, I've stripped out the engine bay, stripped the original
Inca yellow, primed and repainted in Damask, and have cleaned, detailed
repainted and reinstalled all the underhood components. It really looks
good. (Anyone got a plexiglass bonnet?) The OD will find it's way to my '68
roadster, the crowning glory as it were, as this car is Tartan red with
wires and the only thing it didn't have was OD. This is good.

I bought this car when we lived in northern Ontario about three years ago.
It was the victim of a divorce, subsequently, it had stood unused and
unloved for about 4 years. It seemed that for the last year it stood over
terra firma, and when the time came to move the car - the brakes had frozen
solid. It was like dragging a corpse onto the flatbed truck! I payed $700
(Canadian!) for the car, plus got the remnants of a very rough '74.

I couldn't believe my luck in finding this garage-mate to my '70 GT and '68
roadster. Both of these cars are show quality (not perfect - maybe 90%...but
they're my toys!), and I wanted to have a road-going MG. This
-the-clear-coat-is-lifting-and-it-looks-like-exema car was amazing solid.
Minimal rust on the sills, lower front fender and rear dog-leg - pretty
average stuff. But the floors, trunk, crossmembers, jacking points - all
perfect. The interior was particularly nice. With 50K showing on the speedo,
it was obvious that the car was never abused, just left alone uncared for
for many years.

When my career presented us with a move to the east coast, my company agreed
to ship the GT and roadster - but pushing for a third car to be moved was
just that - pushing. So, I put it up for sale. It didn't. The one day, a
call from the movers. "Didn't you have another MG to move? Well we've got
space on a truck heading out tomorrow - $400 to Halifax."

Couldn't believe that either. All quotes were 1000 bucks plus so we pounced
on this opportunity.

With a little spit and polish, the old road warrior was back on the roads by
Spetember of '94, and ran very well. I have about a 60 mile round-trip to
work each day. Mostly a highway run by the ocean - great daily therapy!

Last fall we came across an original works hardtop for the car, which made
sense as I planned to drive it 'til the snow flew - which would be to about
mid-December. The top was in remarkable condition (I've looked at many in
poor shape with high price tags over the years) - for $400 - and to top it
off (no pun intended) it was painted Damask! I love the look of the factory
hartop matching the body colour. Makes the roadster a pretty little coupe
with a roofline style very similar to the GT.

Then, in June, my son and I were returning from the movies, and it started
to miss. Next morning on the way in to visit my trusted mechanic, I observed
that someone was producing a great deal of smoke. Suddenly, I realized it
was ME! Pulled off, tore open the bonnet only to find thick oily smoke
puring out of the oil filler! This is not good I told myself.

Towed the ol' road warrior home and began removing the engine for
dismantling and discovered the melted #2 piston. Perhaps that long sit did
more damage than I had thought. Sure enough, I'm certain moisture found it's
way into the block and created damage that took almost 5000 miles to
manifest. The other problem I was discovering was that the last rebuild was
done by Conan the Barbarian mechanic. Reused loc-tab washers. Mismatched
bolts. missing washers - it became very clear, very fast that this was going
to be an expensive rebuild.

That's when I decided to attempt to find a running engine. No easy task when
you consider that even the newest MG engine is now 16 years old. If you
subscribe to the theory that an MG engine will average about 80,000 miles
before a rebuild - the odds of finding an engine were not good. Found two
seized units - but nothing 'til the 'net.

So, as the new year approaches, there'll be a high degree of activity in my
garage installing the engine in the '77 - then installing the OD in the '68.
This project will at least give me the opportunity to renew the front and
rear oil seals, which presently do their best British leak.

Anyone with tips/thoughts/experiences in renewing these oil seals?

Since I'm at it - I'm looking for a few small odds n' sods - like, the six
metal spacers that go betwix the '77s front rubber bumper mounting points to
the car, 

Here's to a Happy New Year for everyone on this service (hey, and even those
who are not - man, are they missing out!)


Terry Williams
'70 GT
'68 roadster
'77 roadster
'95 English Springer Spaniel (Pepper, Christmas arrival!)

            "Santa's Elves are just a bunch of subordinate clauses"
                                    Happy Holidays!

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