Tuesday dawned with the promise of a warm bright day,and for once I
looked forward to the hour + drive to work.
Cooking down the Interstate, the GT was running great, but all to soon
the exit ramp beckoned, and I dutifully slowed to make the turn for the
start of the morning drudge, with no prospect of another drive til after
At the top of the exit ramp, the GT stalled.
Hm, says I. Could I have gotten a bad load of gas earlier upon topping
Hit the starter, and 3 of 4 cylinders run, but the fourth won't and
shows its displeasure by a loud (to me, anyway) intermittent
Crap!!!. Just what I need!
So, to the service station beside the exit, and pop the hood.
Rattle/knock seems to be coming from the top end in the vicinity of #2.
Either I've broken a pushrod or rocker arm, or (gulp!) swallowed a
Whichever, I'm only a few blocks from the store, and whatever damage has
been done. Push on! gently.
Call #2 son before he gets gone for the day, and tell him to bring the
tow dolly behind his truck and pick me up after work.
(Time jump to 6:30PM)
First step - Off comes the rocker cover.
Well, it isnt a broken pushrod or rocker, so maybe a valve.
Proceed with open block surgery by extracting the carbs, intake and
Hey, what's this in the 1-2 intake port?
"It" is a piece of steel about 1/2" long, pear shaped with rounded ends,
the larger of which has about a 3/16" radius and the other a bit smaller.
Highly polished and HARD. The heft and finish remind me of a ball
Head is finally removed with all the usual imprecations and oaths,
exposing a #2 piston that is, not to put too fine a point on it, a bloody
#1 piston crown, is only somewhat better, as it is obvious that whatever
the foreign object was (is), had visited that site too!
Apparently the object had gone from cylinder to cylinder, via the intake
valves and did it's thing on both piston crown, and the underside of the
Fortunately, the combustion chambers of both are unscathed, with the
exception of both "beaks", which are banged pretty good.
The culprit is something I have never seen before, and is certainly NOT
a part of any MGB engine I've run across. My son is of the opinion that
it is the means of a deliberate act on some SOB's part. And I'm swayed
to his point, 'cause thinking back, when I changed the oil about a week
or so back, I noticed the front air cleaner cover (custom covers) was
loose. At the time, I mentally slapped my wrist for not tightening it
correctly when changing elements earlier. Now I wonder.
I was considering just replacing the two bad pistons and cleaning up the
head, but I've now decided that with a little over 110,000 on the clock,
it wouldn't come amiss if I just pulled the engine, and went "whole hog"
and do it all.
So, I guess I'm looking at about a Grand before it's all over.
I just hope the low-life, son of a bachelor is enjoying himself. I know
I will, if I ever find out who it is!
Sorry about the long rant, but I had to let off a bit of steam.