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MGA buying

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Subject: MGA buying
From: "Bill Eastman" <>
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 09:49:41 -0500
Malcolm Green's MGA restoration book has a good section on MGA purchase.
 The quick check for a solid car is to look at the sills, the door
pillars,  and the fit of the doors.  If there is evidence that the sills
are bad and the doors don't fit well, then you can either drive her like
she is or be prepared to do a lot of work.  MGA's are one of the
toughest cars to restore and get right.  Look under the car for rust
where the floorboards mount.  The floors are wood and trap moisture. 
Make sure that the windshield surround is all there and in good shape
since this is about the only part you can't buy.  

Mechanically check hot oil pressure at idle.  It should be at least 20
psi.  Also see if the tranny pops out of gear on overrun.  All A's weep
a bit of oil from the back of the motor but a constant drip could mean
that the motor is trashed.

If they want a lot of money, check for matching numbers.  Otherwise I
wouldn't worry about it.

MGA's are tough little cars.  An A can be in pretty bad shape
structurally and mechanically and still look and drive nicely.  There is
nothing wrong with this just don't pay top dollar for a dog.  body
parts, the  crankshaft, and  the master cylinder are quite expensive as
are the seat covers (leather faced).  Otherwise parts are cheap and

One other thing.  I would caution against buying a basket case A as your
first classic car.  The odds of finishing are very small.  I would
rather knowingly overspend a bit and get a runner to see if this is
something you like.  Losing a grand or two on a car that moves is better
than selling a "!0,000 invested" basket case for 2k.

Bill Eastman
61 MGA looking forward to this weekend's MG rally
58 Jaguar XK150 basket case - third owner of the pile of parts.

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