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Re: Texas winters and MGA's - no fun

To: Robert Allen <>
Subject: Re: Texas winters and MGA's - no fun
From: George G Curl <>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 1996 07:44:20 -0600 (CST)
You missed the forcast. it won't bewarm enough to sit outsiede and drink 
until Saturday afternoon. 
George Curl
Bedford TX

On Wed, 18 Dec 1996, Robert Allen wrote:

> WARNING: Post not entirely composed with LBC content. Read at you own
> risk. In respect for bandwidth conservation, however, lower case
> characters were used as often as possible.
> Carol, you're a whiner! If you were to pull out your atlas, you might be
> aghast to discover that Texas is not the center of the universe! It's
> actually somewhat south. Most of the posters ain't gonna feel sorry for
> your balmy 28 degrees! It was windy and 6 degrees when I went to work,
> warmed up to just over a dozen, and is going to drop to, oh, about 0
> tonight in Kansas City. Besides, the cold weather will probably have its
> fill of Texas soon enough and you'll be drinking margaritas on the
> veranda by Friday night. Around here we're hoping for temperatures above
> freezing for a few hours on Saturday. Maybe.
> So you ain't got a cold weather starting problem.
> (LBC Mode On)
> What you are probably witnessing is the rather casual relationship
> generators have with batteries. Generators are only efficent over 40 or
> 50 miles an hour -- and for long periods. If you just cruise the
> neighborhoods at low speeds (the last sporting venue for MGA's <g>) your
> generator may not be keeping up.
> I'd suggest buying a battery charger and introducing it to your 'A'
> regularly. Alternatively, you can get a trickle charger and just leave
> the thing connected to the car; plugging it in to house power as
> required.
> Anybody sells battery chargers; 10 amp automatics for around $35 will do
> fine. But then, of course, you have to become adept at hooking it up
> (and remember positive ground!) A good source for a trickle charger is
> at a motorcyle store. Bikers commonly leave their sikles "plugged in"
> during the winter if they're not going to use them for a long period of
> time. Harley dealers are usually particulatly good sources for trickle
> chargers as they are used similarly to MGAs <g>.
> I'll bet you a Lone Star that three hours on a charger and the 'A' will
> spin to life. If not, then you likely have (surprise) a ground problem.
> There should be a healthy strap between the battery and the frame and
> then another between the frame and the engine. The 'other' cable should
> also be stout and clean on both ends from the battery to the starter.
> As for the smoke on start up, the engine probably enhaled a bunch of gas
> waiting for the ignition system to accumulate enough juice to light off.
> One of the injustices of electrics is that starters will suck every bit
> of current they can with no consideration for the needs of the ignition
> coil.
> Bob Allen, Kansas City, '69MGC/GT, '75TR6
> Carol wrote:
> > 
> > This is a "love-hate" story, and I usually tend to get a bit windy,
> > so...continue reading at your very own risk!
> > 
> > Setting:
> > 
> > December 17, 1996
> > San Antonio, Texas
> > Time: 5:30 p.m. CST
> > Temp: 28 deg. F
> > Wind: 25 mph out of the north
> > Windchill: had to be at least  -80F
> { Typical Texan exageration. Must be a native.... rda }
> <snip>
> > OK. Let's wait 10 minutes. We giggled like little kids hiding our utter
> > discomfort from each other. OK. Try her again. "ch..."  Rats. OK, another 15
> > minutes. "" C'mon Darlin'! You can do it. Start,  you
> > cold-natured "Beast"!  "Ch..." Nothing.
> { FYI-- it has been my experience that the term Darlin' is only
> effective after 
> plying target with large quantities of petrol... rda }
> > The iterations continued. I noticed that DOS was leaving the key on and told
> > her what was happening under the bonnet. She turned the key off.
> > 
> > OK. Let's try it again. Nothing. Wait. Again. Nothing. Another thirty
> > minutes pass...Laughter peals from the front seat. "I forgot to turn the key
> > back on." The good news: the engine was turning faster.
> > 
> > After another 30 minutes, Darlin' finally fired up. NOT happy with the
> > temps. And smoke? Jeez Louise, you couldn't see across the street.
> > Well, that's my Christmas story! Now that Darlin's got feet (except we'll
> > have to get new hubs because of the worn splines) I guess the carbs or
> > something under that bonnet is going to need attention.
> > 
> > Why on earth was that engine so hard to turn over? It's got Castrol 20-50 in
> > the crankcase. I used 10-40 in my Firebird and it would start in 5-degree
> > weather in Colorado. Maybe the "50" is too think for the MGA in the winter??
> > Any suggestions??
> > 
> > That episode was sufficient to warrant my reconsideration of a purchase of
> > another MGA. If I never have an experience like that again, it'll be too 
> > 
> > And why all the smoke from the exhaust? The engine just purrs. Sounds great.
> > Will we be looking at a carb rebuild, or just a carb tune-up?
> > 
> > Thanks for sharing in Carol's Perils!!
> > 
> > Carol

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