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RE: MGA Engine Rebuild Questions

To: MGS <>
Subject: RE: MGA Engine Rebuild Questions
From: "Palmer, Lew (UCI)" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jan 96 08:49:00 PST
The engine's out and somewhat disassembled.  Please go easy on me.
Although I've "assisted" on several American V8 rebuilds this is my first
solo and my first MG.

>1) How does one get the 1-5/16 nut off the camshaft?  Try to turn it and
the shaft turns.  The only thing I can think of is put the block in a car
and take it to someone with an impact wrench.  Is there a way to keep the
shaft from turning?

Usually best to loosen this nut before the timing chain is out. That way the 
flywheel can be held while the camshaft nut is loosened. Otherwise, an 
impact wrench works well.

>2) The head is off and pistons out.  These pistons are five ring: four
above and one below the pin.  Were these original to the 1600 MGA?

Many different pistons were used on the MGA and MGB over the years. The 
original MGA pistons (at least on the 1500/1600) were five ring as you 
describe. I have no doubt that they were available/used on the MGB as well.

> The pictures in my manuals show only four rings above the pin.  The number 

four con rod is apparently from another engine.  DPO must have lost a rod
among other things.  Bores look good except for a little scuffing on
number four which is to be expected given the buggered condition of the
corresponding big end bearing.  It was actually _loose_.  I'll have to
have the machine shop check them.  Will they have the required numbers?

Normally, yes. However, it is best to have the machine shop match the 
bearings to the crank after any necessary machining has been done
>3) After I get the crank and cam out I guess my next step is to have the
shop find out if the crank is still usable.  How do I tell if the cam is
OK?  Take it to the shop also?  What do I do about the cam bearings?
Should I have the shop check the pistons?  What else needs to go to them?

Have the shop check the lift on the cams (difference between highest and 
lowest point on each lobe). Bring the tappets with at the same time. Have 
the machine shop check the con rods for cracks, straightness, and ovality of 
the big ends. They can usually reprofile if necessary. Replace the cam 
bearings. The machine shop can do this and ream them as well.

>4) What are the things that should definitely be replaced?  Like con rod
bolts and ???

Con rod bolts, head bolts, main bearing bolts, all lock tabs, all load 
bearing nuts, all cotter pins, all bearings and bushings, clutch assembly 
(cover, plate, and throw-out bearing), all gaskets that you expose.

>5) Is there a "general rebuild FAQ" I can download?  I don't want to miss
anything important.

Can't help.

Lew Palmer

Kevin Sullivan -- 1960 MGA
Nichols Research Corp.
Shalimar FL USA

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